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21% Monster - P.J. Canning

When Darren Devlin is arrested for destroying his school with his bare hands, it's not just the police who are after him. Enter Marek Masters, 14 years old, 19% alien, and the most intelligent, most wanted "almost human" alive. Marek is here to tell Darren the truth - he is 21% monster, and together they must take down the secret organisation that created them.

Darren and Marek are wanted, powerful and dangerous. And now it's payback time.

I got the proof copy of this (in the brilliant and very X-Files-esque package above) back in April, and as you can see from my tweet at the time, I was hooked!

So I am thrilled to have been asked to be part of the blogtour in publication week - check out the other stops via links below for opportunities to win copies and more:

P.J. Canning has a PhD in Chemistry and works in Cambridge. He is married with three children, all of whom are brutal critics of his work. P.J. heard someone say "write about what you know", but he prefers to write about aliens and monsters instead. 21% Monster is his first novel.

And I couldn't agree more with these comparisons - they were all great favourites of mine, and with my classes over the years, and this deservedly places alongside them.

It has the technology and gadgets of Alex Rider, the cunning and not-quite-sure-if-he's-good-or-bad of Artemis Fowl, the action sequences of Percy Jackson, all alongside a sci-fi/thriller element reminiscent of the X-Files, as a pair of shadowy agents chase the results of a sinister agency's work-gone-wrong.

This is a classically-plotted, high-paced, action-packed thriller of a book, with lots of the expected and welcome tropes of the genre - chases, gun battles, close calls, twists and turns and untrustworthy characters - it had me literally on the edge of my seat, and I can't wait for more (without spoilers, there is a definite next book on the way after the ending to this one!!). I loved Darren as a character - firstly trying to hide and then to come to terms with his powers, and his relationship with his sister, too. I can't wait to see how his character (and others) develop over the series.

Find out more from publisher, Usborne, via their website: or on Twitter as @Usborne

Follow PJ Canning on Twitter as @PJCanningauthor

Review by Rich Simpson (@richreadalot) July 2022. All views my own. thanks to Usborne and Jess for the place on the blogtour and the copy of the book for review.

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