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Ordinary Monsters
Ordinary Monsters: A Novel | J. M. Miro
25 posts | 16 read | 35 to read
A STUNNING NEW WORK OF HISTORICAL FANTASY, J. M. MIRO'S ORDINARY MONSTERS INTRODUCES READERS TO THE DARK, LABYRINTHINE WORLD OF THE TALENTS England, 1882. In Victorian London, two children with mysterious powers are hunted by a figure of darknessa man made of smoke. Sixteen-year-old Charlie Ovid, despite a brutal childhood in Mississippi, doesn't have a scar on him. His body heals itself, whether he wants it to or not. Marlowe, a foundling from a railway freight car, shines with a strange bluish light. He can melt or mend flesh. When a jaded female detective is recruited to escort them to safety, all three begin a journey into the nature of difference, and belonging, and the shadowy edges of the monstrous. What follows is a story of wonder and betrayal, from the gaslit streets of London, and the wooden theatres of Meiji-era Tokyo, to an eerie estate outside Edinburgh where other children with gifts - the Talents - have been gathered. There, the world of the dead and the world of the living threaten to collide. And as secrets within the Institute unfurl, Marlowe, Charlie and the rest of the Talents will discover the truth about their abilities, and the nature of what is stalking them: that the worst monsters sometimes come bearing the sweetest gifts. Riveting in its scope, exquisitely written, Ordinary Monsters presents a catastrophic vision of the Victorian worldand of the gifted, broken children who must save it.
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thewallflower0707
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Panpan

I liked the setting and the over all atmosphere, but around page 400 I lost interest. It‘s just too long and slow. After I‘ve learned that there is going to be a sequel, I basically just skimmed the last pages.

#OrdinaryMonsters #fantasy

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Chili
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AlizaApp
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Pickpick

The first in a fantasy series about orphans with magical powers in Victorian England. I enjoyed this one and it was a promising start to the series with good world-building and lots of interesting characters. A little long though maybe?

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TracyReadsBooks
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#wondrouswednesday @Eggs

Thanks for the tag @Meshell1313 —a little late but here goes:

1. Tagged book is definitely the most recent…or at least one of them 😬
2. Favorite book in August is Once Upon a River and it‘s not even close. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read for me
3. Top 3 favorite places I‘ve travelled to—this is hard but I‘ll go with Egypt, France and Hawaii

Eggs 3-impressive travels! Thanks for playing 📚✈️🗺 3mo
14 likes1 comment
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Branwen
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Got some great stuff at the farmer's market earlier! Croissants, cheese, cherries, peaches, and apple cider doughnuts! 😋 Pairing them up with my current read makes for a great Saturday! 💕📚🥐

NovelGirl82 That looks delicious! 4mo
49 likes1 comment
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ImperfectCJ
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Pickpick

This is a tough book to rate. In parts I was quite bored, but in others, I found the storytelling gripping. There are a lot of characters, but with a couple of exceptions, they feel distinct and have their own voices. I found the shifting motivations of some of them confusing and maybe a little too convenient for the plot. The ending sets things up for a sequel (I hope that's not a spoiler), but I'm not sure I would choose to read one. Low pick.

ImperfectCJ I just saw on The Storygraph that it's the first of a planned trilogy, so I guess that means it's not a spoiler that the ending sets the stage for a sequel. 5mo
46 likes1 comment
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ImperfectCJ
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Today was the first day of the first summer class I'm teaching, and I decided to walk the 3+ miles to and from work. On the way home, I didn't worry as much about getting dusty, so I took the dirt walking trail. It was just hot enough that I really appreciated the shade. Audiowalked with the tagged novel both directions. I'm liking the book better than I had been, but it still feels a little interminable.

UwannaPublishme Beautiful path! 5mo
ImperfectCJ @UwannaPublishme It's a lovely one! I'm so glad it's so close to our new place. We use it for running and walking, and there's an asphalt path parallel to it that's great for biking. And horses use the dirt path, too, so we get extra agility practice dodging the gifts they leave. ;-) 5mo
LiteraryinLawrence That‘s a long walk! Good for you and glad you have a book to keep you company. 5mo
See All 6 Comments
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Nice ❤️ 5mo
ImperfectCJ @LiteraryinLawrence It's definitely on the verge of being too long for a reasonable commute walk, but it wasn't too bad. I'm just glad I planned ahead and brought a spare shirt because I got pretty sweaty. 5mo
UwannaPublishme Oh those horses. Getting you to exercise any way they can!🤭😂 5mo
57 likes6 comments
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Eggbeater
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Mehso-so

#AudioColoring

It might just be me, but this book had trouble holding my attention. Parts of it were action packed and original, but the characters didn't strike me as fully fleshed out and I thought it was longer than necessary. I wonder if I would have enjoyed it better in print instead of audio. Anyway, I did color this flowery cat, among other things, which was relaxing.

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Read_By_Red
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Pickpick

Onwukwe does an incredible job narrating the events of Ordinary Monsters. The pace was a little slow but the voices of the characters are so well done and narration was suspenseful at just the right times. I feel that my enjoyment was added to by listening to the audiobook. Sometimes I will read some of a novel without listening, often due to circumstances, but I did not skip a single second of this audiobook because it was just that good.⁣⁣

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Twainy
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Last one. My June GSFF arrived today! It‘s so pretty & girthy! The stenciled feathers on the edges are stunning. It came with a cool leather bookmark. Signed & numbered.

Love it!

#GSFF #OrdinaryMonsters #Miro

UwannaPublishme Wow! Those feathers! 😍 5mo
31 likes1 stack add1 comment
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ImperfectCJ
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I'm currently on the last several days of three weeks of travel. I haven't gotten a lot of reading done, but I did manage to listen to some of the tagged book this morning before hiking to this waterfall in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. One more state before we fly home. It's been fun, but it will feel so nice to be back home for a while (even though I have SO MUCH to do when I get back).

Chelsea.Poole Gorgeous photo! 5mo
UwannaPublishme Glad you‘re having such a great vacation! 5mo
48 likes2 comments
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Branwen
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Today must have been bookish mail day because my Goldsboro June book arrived today too! 🥰📚💕 I'm really excited for this one, because I keep hearing great things about it! Plus, it's a lot longer than I thought - look how chunky it is! And aren't those page edges gorgeous?! 😱 #goldsboro

Hazel2019 It‘s beautiful! I keep hesitating about whether to buy it or not… 5mo
Branwen @Hazel2019 You totally should! I keep hearing amazing things about it! 5mo
RaeLovesToRead ZOMG those edges!!!! 5mo
kplovesbooks I just started it too! Like just. I'm only 70 pages into this chunky thing. 😂 It took me a little bit to get into it, but it seems interesting so far. 5mo
57 likes4 comments
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Hooked_on_books
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Pickpick

This is the kind of book I occasionally enjoy, and that proved to be the case. A group of mysterious adults is searching for kids with particular talents to protect them from a nefarious other. But some things aren‘t what they seem. This was a bit slow to develop and a bit derivative in places (strong HP vibes), but I enjoyed it. A low pick for me.

48 likes1 stack add
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ImperfectCJ
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I'm finalizing our summer road trip audiobook list and was wondering if Ordinary Monsters by J.M. Miro would be a good family listen for spouse, two teens, and me. The description seems like something we'd like (fans of Neil Gaiman & The Umbrella Academy), but I nixed Lev Grossman's The Magicians because of at least one scene that I think would be...awkward to listen to as a family. Swearing is fine, but sexy stuff and gore get iffy.

Thoughts?

ImperfectCJ Our short list: Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune and The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig

Long list includes Happy-Go-Lucky by David Sedaris, Pony by RJ Palacio, Born a Crime by Trevor Noah, Funny Farm by Laurie Zaleski, and Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson (which is a re-read for teens and me but new for their dad)
6mo
Hooked_on_books Not sure if it‘s too late, but I just finished this one. There‘s no sex but there is a bit of gore. I strongly vote for Born a Crime. It‘s incredible on audio. 5mo
ImperfectCJ @Hooked_on_books Thank you! I suspect we'll finish Under the Whispering Door before we finish driving, and I'll make sure to have Born a Crime downloaded for after that. 5mo
33 likes3 comments
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TorieStorieS
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Pickpick

Set in an alternate version of our world with Talents- those possessing of seemingly miraculous abilities like manipulating dust, growing stronger or quick healing, this start to an epic new fantasy is utterly absorbing! The audio performance is truly stellar (though I would like to know the spellings of some of the characters names!), & hits all the right notes from the accents, to the eerie, sepulcher scenes to the action & moments of sweetness!

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Twainy
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Pickpick

🎧 it was supposed to be the year of the short book due to chronic reading slumpage. SO many pages 😫

This book is all over the place!! 1882 Victorian London gives this story an awesome Dickinsonian vibe to begin with but it visits Chicago, Scotland, Tokyo …

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 👇🏻

Twainy Charlie & Marlowe are orphans with unusual powers. They are The Talents. A jaded cop finds herself responsible for delivering these kids to … ahh another vibe … reminded me of the adult version of mrs peregrines home for peculiar children.

So who‘s the bad guy? Is it a creature made of smoke that‘s hunting them? Who‘s going to save the world today?

👇🏻👇🏻
6mo
Twainy I can‘t wait for the next book in this immersive world. Perfect choice for narrator.

Slow at times, all over the place, great audiobook!
6mo
25 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Addison_Reads
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Pickpick

#NetGalley #AudioARC

When historical fantasy is done well it is one of the most satisfying genres to read. J.M. Miro has created a world full of magic and monsters set in Victorian times. This book has a large cast of characters and lots of action going on. Kids with special "talents" are being hunted. There's an underlying darkness to this tale that made my horror loving mind happy and mixed with the adventure and fantasy made it a perfect read.

vivastory This sounds great & your line about kids with special talents being hunted reminded me of 6mo
Addison_Reads @vivastory I thought about that book while I was reading this one. I think you'd like this one. It's the first in a trilogy which makes me even happier because I can't wait to revisit this world. 6mo
vivastory Just put a hold on it at my library 👏 6mo
32 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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kplovesbooks
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I just got an email from Goodreads...I won a copy of this book!!!! 😍😍😍

BooksNBowls Lucky!! I never win 😢 6mo
kplovesbooks @BooksNBowls I try to only pick the ones that are giving away 100 copies. That way there's SOME chance!! Otherwise it's pretty hopeless. 6mo
BooksNBowls @kplovesbooks good point! I still try every month lol maybe in a couple years I‘ll win 😅 6mo
26 likes4 stack adds3 comments
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Addison_Reads
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I've been using #NetGalley for almost a year now and I've never gotten so many books I requested before. I was excited to see all of these added to my account today. I really need to get to reading. 😁

I also picked up True Biz and the new Gilgamesh translation at the library today.

jlhammar Wow! So great. Can't wait for your thoughts on these. I'm about halfway through True Biz and really enjoying it. 7mo
LiteraryinLawrence I‘ll be really curious what you think of the new Zevin. I‘ve liked the previous ones but the premise of this one seems like it could go either way… 7mo
Megabooks I‘ve heard good things about the Wong and Zevin! True Biz was great, too. 😁 7mo
vivastory I wish I enjoyed using my kindle more than I do bc of netgalley 7mo
Addison_Reads @vivastory I prefer physical books. I taught myself to appreciate reading the ebooks more by doing it at night with all the lights out. Now I look forward to reading that way each night. But if the sun's out, or lights are on in the house, I just can't concentrate on an ereader. 7mo
48 likes5 comments
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wanderinglynn
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Pickpick

Wow! I wasn‘t sure what to expect + I was a bit hesitant because of its size (656 pages) as I feared there‘d be a lot of filler. But this is an immersive, dark, sweeping epic fantasy where not one page is wasted. What I liked best was the grayness of the story—who is a villain, who is a hero, who is a monster? I was constantly questioning the characters‘ motivations. I can‘t wait to see where Moro takes this trilogy.

#almostachunkster #ARC

wanderinglynn Thanks to Flatiron Books for providing me this ARC. 7mo
wanderinglynn @KatieDid927 I really enjoyed it! 7mo
KatieDid927 @wanderinglynn Thanks for the tag! I‘m definitely intrigued by this one. 7mo
TracyReadsBooks This is high on my “I want to read right now” list. Super excited to see you really liked it! 7mo
wanderinglynn @TracyReadsBooks I didn‘t know really what to expect. But it kept me turning pages! I‘m interested to see where Miro takes this story. 7mo
100 likes6 stack adds5 comments
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wanderinglynn
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Welcome back #thoughtfulthursday 🎉

1. Tagged (ARC), Night Soldiers (paperback) + Part of Your World (audio)

2. Not really except I‘m more likely to read outside on warm days 🌞

3. All the trees with their green buds & baby leaves. I love the fresh green of spring! 💚

Thanks for the tag @KatieDid927 & @TheSpineView 💜😘💜

KatieDid927 Oo def curious to read your thoughts on the tagged book! 7mo
Susanita Hooray for reading outside! 7mo
TheSpineView You're welcome! 7mo
MoonWitch94 THANK YOU! It‘s good to be back ☺️ 7mo
58 likes4 comments
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wanderinglynn
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#wondrouswednesday

1. I have enjoyed book clubs before but I‘m not currently a member of one. I prefer in-person. I like the idea of buddy reads but I‘m terrible at them! 😆

2. I like broader themes since I‘m a mood reader. Like the theme for #WyrdAndWonder this year is forest fantasy.

3. The tagged (ARC), Night Soldiers (paperback), Part of Your World (audio), What You Wish For (library)

Thanks for the tag Lisa!

Eggs Thanks for joining in 💗 7mo
49 likes1 comment
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wanderinglynn
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Super excited to dive into this ARC!

Plus I love that the letter came in a wax sealed envelope. Such a great detail!

87 likes1 stack add
review
abookishbutterfly
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Pickpick

J.M. Miro has woven a remarkable tale here. One that, despite its length (almost 700 pages), never failed to captivate me. Not a single word in this stands as filler. I fell in love with these characters and even found myself, at the very least, feeling sympathy for the more villainous ones. That‘s how finely nuanced everyone is in this book.

My full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4501345867

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abookishbutterfly

“She‘d seen too many kids in that chair, hurt over and over by the world, until their hurting and their being hurt no longer seemed shameful at all. Those were the ones that worried her.”