Reviews

Monsters Born and Made, by Tanvi Berwah

emilyhillreads's review

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adventurous emotional inspiring mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.25

An explosive debut fantasy.

I loved this book. Koral is my favorite kind of character, one who just doesn’t give up no matter what the world throws at her. While the plot meandered a bit at the beginning, she propelled me through to the intense and climactic second half. Also, with that ending, I’m pretty desperate for a sequel.

The world was my favorite aspect of this book, and, to me, the part that stood out the most from a very crowded YA market. It was this crazy mix of brutal and breathtaking, futuristic sci fi mixed with survivalist fantasy and monsters. It felt like a mash up in the best way. As a stand-alone, I think it left some things unresolved that should have been addressed, but I am assuming this is a set up for a sequel where more of these questions will be answered.

Overall, I eagerly await for more from Berwah!

nihaarikasingh's review

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adventurous tense medium-paced

5.0

kaylee_jenkins's review

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4.0

"I am a Hunter.
I have grown up in the sea.
I will win this, no matter the odds."


Big thanks to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the e-ARC!

I loved this! The Hunger Games meets the The Scorpio Races in the best way possible.

Monsters Born and Made focuses on Koral, a 16 year old girl from a family of Maristag hunters, horse-like ocean creatures who are used in the The Glory Race that takes place every four years. Only Landers (the elite, ruling class) have ever been allowed to participate in the grueling and deadly chariot racing tournament. Until Koral, a lowly Renter, decides to enter and race to claim the glory and gold to help save her little sister from dying of disease and save her family from financial ruin.

"You can fight it, but is it a fight you'll win? And what if you win, what happens then?
I rise. I rise, against everyone's wishes. Against everyone who will see me trampled and begging."


Koral was a great MC! She was stubborn and determined and everything she did, she did for her family. Her and Stormgold's bond was beautiful and I enjoyed how we saw the progression of trust between them. The worldbuilding was fantastic and filled with monsters and mayhem without becoming t0o overbearing.

"This is the ocean, and you're a Hunter. You swim with monsters; these people cannot scare you."

I highly recommend this book and can't wait until the next one releases, I am dying to know how Koral's story will continue.

conjurerachel's review

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4.0

It is rare that I see a book live up to its comp titles. Monsters Born and Made by Tanvi Berwah is the perfect companion to The Scorpio Races and The Hunger Games, weaving both an immersive atmosphere and a high-stakes tournament where only the strong survive.

Koral comes from a family of renters on a deadly island where monsters roam the sea and sky. As her sister gets sicker and her family is threatened with losing what little status they have left, she cheats her way to join the Glory Race, a tournament that has competitors race on maristaggs, one of the most dangerous creatures on the island. But a lifetime of training these monsters cannot prepare her for what's inside the Dome and the fracturing socio-politics that threaten to devour everything.

Berwah draws on her South Asian background, grounding this dystopian fantasy with real and current issues about caste systems and abusive powers. Koral is more than just marginalized, she's isolated from a number of support systems, a community that could help her rise. This is, in my opinion, what many dystopian novels lack, characters who are truly outcasts who have no good choices left. Even the rebellion and rogues are shown in shades of gray, twisting on the usual YA tropes. It's rare that I've seen this kind of portrayal since The Hunger Games.

Monsters Born and Made is a book that needs a sequel. I want to see more of Dorian and Koral's relationship develop, what happens to her family, the mysteries of the world – please, Sourcebooks! This book got me through a heatwave in the city!

A copy was provided to me by NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

thelifeofkim19's review

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3.0

I find the comparisons to The Hunger Games to be fair, inasmuch that both stories center around literal fights to the death, with many teenaged competitors and only one winner (possibly only one survivor, too). There are also similarities between the protagonists, with their strong family ties (doing this for my sister). However, I actually found the tone, pacing and general feel of this book more comparable to Red Queen.
The world building was fair. I particularly enjoyed the very many monsters, and how basically everything in this place is trying to kill them, but still they survive and ultimately thrive, too.
I feel the political intrigue/rebellion could have been expanded on, however I am not sure if this may be a series, in which case this may be explored further in subsequent books.
I didn't particularly connect with any of the characters, apart from Mama (the author could definitely do with exploring her backstory more!)
All in all a solid 3 stars.

sophiephie333's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging emotional inspiring mysterious reflective sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

Thank you to SOURCEBOOKS Fire and NetGalley for giving me an E-Arc. My review is give honestly and voluntarily. 

I really enjoyed this book. It was well written and I loved the world. I did have issues imagining the creatures, so that did take from the experience for me, but that’s most likely just a me thing. There was times I was dragged into the story, like I was the one running through the alley ways and doing what the main character was doing. 

Enjoyed Koral a lot. She’s a strong character, but she does make mistakes. I appreciate how she’s also not a know it all character, I feel like it adds depth to her all together. Dorian, I’m still back and forth about him. As a reader I really liked him, but story wise, I’m keeping my eyes on him. The other side characters are the same, I actually found it fun to try to figure out who was on what side. 

Overall, I highly recommend this book. It was fun and it is different from what I normally read. It seems like this is part of a series so I’m so excited to read the second book in the future!

jodiesackettbrown's review

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adventurous dark tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

aziz_reads's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

This was a good book. Great plot, excellent worldbuilding, awesome characters...something just felt off to me. The action was well executed and needed whenever it happened, but I feel like the pacing of the scenes was too inconsistent to really hold my attention well.

veil0819's review

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adventurous challenging medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

thesapphiccelticbookworm's review against another edition

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adventurous slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

2.25

Thanks to Netgally and Sourcebooks Fire for a copy of this book.

Sixteen year old Koral and her brother, Emrik are maristag hunters, a dangerous job, but they do it to help feed their family and get medicine for their little sister. The ruling elite in this dystopian fantasy, the Landers hold a dangerous competition every year, the Glory race. The prize is gold and glory, but not all survive.

Koral cheats her way into the competition as her family need to the money to survive. The stakes are high as a rebellion rises.

I wanted to love this book, as I loved the Hunger Games-esque premise. Unfortunately, I found the world building, scene setting and characterisation seriously lacking, as it's all action, action, action. Therefore I was unable to care about the characters or the plot and just found it boring