I finished up two books this week: one with my 12-year-old son and one I was reading on my own.


Monster is the second book of the Dark Missions of Edgar Brim gothic trilogy by Canadian author Shane Peacock. Book 2 is a continuation of the first book that sees — SPOILER —- Prof. Lear murdered by a monster who he says is worse than the vampire they just killed. Like the reverent before it, this creature comes from the pages of literature, and Edgar and his friends Lucy and Jonathon, Lear’s grandchildren, and his childhood friend Tiger need to figure out who – and what – it is before it destroys them all.

The action begins from the moment you start reading this book and continues right up to the end, leading you directly into the third and final book. I know exactly who this monster is, and I haven’t read the classic its based on. Actually, I haven’t read any classics that Peacock alludes to, although we do get to meet author HG Wells within these pages. (I suggested we read them. My son says no thanks.)

There is more of a love story in this book, which did have my son shouting “please stop”, although I didn’t read over it this time. Because of this start of a love story, my son found Lucy quite annoying and didn’t find Jonathon much better. Without spoiling the ending of this one, we did have a rather good debate about the end situation and I have to agree with my son.


Lona is an art school dropout who has no idea what she wants to do with her life – nothing makes sense or brings her joy.

“Her aimlessness terrifies her, but everyone else appears oblivious to her fears” including her parents, her brother, who has a new girlfriend, her best friend Tab, who appears to be drifting away, and even her blossoming relationship with a cello-playing medical student.

“Lona knows it’s up to her to figure out what she wants to do with her life: the problem is, she has absolutely no idea where to start.”

I wouldn’t want to be in Lona’s head. It’s complicated – her thoughts, her viewpoint and angst. I was exhausted listening to her and felt sorry for those around her – she never showed her true self and her friends had to guess what she was feeling and what she needed. Lona wasn’t the only one hiding herself as she finds out: her friends also seem to keep bits of themselves tucked away.

Loner wasn’t a hard read, just the opposite – the pages flew by and I finished the book within a couple of days. I can’t say I loved any of the characters, not even Lona, but I was interested enough that I wanted to learn more. It was a story about young adults, growing up and eventually finding themselves in the most realistic of ways.

Loner is by Georgina Young and PGC Books. It comes out Feb. 19 and retails for $17.99.

I Read Canadian Day is Feb. 17.

A copy of Loner was courtesy of PGC Books for an honest review. The opinions are my own.