Reviews tagging Domestic abuse

Monsters Born and Made, by Tanvi Berwah

2 reviews

libscote's review

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adventurous dark mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


I really enjoyed this one. It's sort of like The Scorpio Races mixed with a dash of Hunger Games. Koral and her brother Emrik catch maristags for the Glory Race, an event that happens every 4 years and is usually reserved for the upper class. If they don't catch maristags, they don't get paid, and then they starve and can't afford medicine for their sick younger sister. When they lose the last maristag of the season, Koral makes a desperate bid to enter the Glory Race. Can she win despite all the odds?

It's definitely a hard book to read at times. There's an upper class determined to hold onto their place at any cost, and the lower class is balanced between trying to survive and being resentful of anyone who earns a little more. There's a rebellion happening, but it's complicated. The way the rebellion is portrayed I actually really enjoyed, because it felt very realistic. The ending leaves space for a sequel. 

I read an ARC of this title.

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e_flah's review

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adventurous emotional tense medium-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


Koral and her family are Hunters -- tasked with capturing the aquatic monsters, maristags, for the wealthy Landers who live on the island. The Hunters have a precarious position in society as they have a bit more prestige than the lowest class, Renters, yet are entirely dependent on the upper-class Landers for their continued employment and social position. When Koral's sister, Liria, needs medicine that the family can no longer afford, Koral decides to enter the Glory Race, a dangerous chariot race that is historically only for Landers. Monsters Born and Made follows Koral as she fights for her family, tries to find her place in the world, and questions the power structures she's forced to operate within.

Monsters Born and Made was an immersive story set in a world I desperately want to learn more about. The island of Sollonia brimmed with interesting monsters and characters who all have different views of how life on the island should be. Koral was a main character who was so easy to root for. Koral's fierce determination to provide for her family paired with her deep rage about the structural inequalities of her life made her a compelling protagonist. I loved seeing her work to forge a path that was different from the ones typically available to Hunters, particularly through her growing friendship with her maristag Stormgold.

To top it all off, this book brims with action from the very first chapter. There are aquatic fights with sea monsters, chariot races, and so much more. The action paired with the captivating setting and Koral's magnetism to make Monsters Born and Made a book that was hard to put down. This was a highly enjoyable debut that left me wanting more in all the best ways.

Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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