I had been poring through a steady stream of non-fiction books. Usually I try to tackle reads that will challenge me and make me think and analyze my position or stance. As such, they can take a long time for me to complete. However, sometimes I like to just sit back and enjoy some lighter fare, and let a compelling and riveting fiction story be my companion. It was then that I decided, without too much pre-thought, to purchase the Frank Peretti book Monster. To date, my experience with Peretti was reading his "Darkness" trilogy in 2008 and 2009.
Monster is the story about a couple, Reed and Beck, who head into the untamed forest in the Pacific northwest in an attempt to gain some life experience and some independence and confidence. On their first night making camp, something, apparently, sinister, lurking just beyond their perimeter, makes itself known. After an attempt to make a run for it, Beck is captured by something big and hairy and smelly. We learn fairly quickly that Beck has been taken by a small tribe of Sasquatch. The remainder of the book tells the tale of the search for Beck by Reed and a crew of volunteers. Along the way we witness Beck develop something like a Stockholm Syndrome for her capturers, we learn of a sinister element within the troop searching for Beck, and we find out who the real monster is.
Before I sat down to write my review, I perused the on-line feedback from others who had read Monster. I focussed on the 20% of folks who panned this book. After reading their viewpoints I found that I agreed with essentially every point they raised. However, despite that, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Peretti has a writing style that pulls me in and somehow replaces the words on the page with vivid scenes and images in my mind. Certainly the characters were not fully fleshed out, the "sermon" on evolution vs. creationism was a bit one-sided and pseudo-factual, and the ending was a bit predictable. It didn't matter. I had to make sure that those I had started to care about in the story made it through. I wanted and needed to share in their victory.