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The Monster Belt - Ruth Estevez

In the Monster Belt, discoveries are made. Some good, some bad, some life changing ... Harris White is on a journey, one that takes him across land and sea in search of The Monster Belt, where he believes he'll find the key to unravelling a mystery deeply rooted in his past. Dee Winter, however, has her sights set firmly on a future away from The Monster Belt. When their paths collide, will Harris and Dee find the answers they've been looking for?

This was a fantastic holiday read, and kept me enthralled right to the end with the twists, turns and characters involved!

Following the lives of Harris and Dee, both teens whose lives have been affected by the loss of someone in mysterious circimstances, the book tracks their paths as they investigate what happened, and link the deaths to the existence of the mysterious 'Monster Belt' where mythical creatures such as Kraken, yetis and squonks, both becoming involved in the world of cryptozooology, where their paths inevitably cross...

Along the way ( the story is set over a period of years following the initial deaths), they both make discoveries about themselves, their lives, aspirations, hopes and dreams, and I felt that the book was as much a coming of age tale as that of a monster-attack horror!

There are genuinely scary moments in this...Dee's encounter with a creature in the railway tunnel and Harris's at-sea meeting with Kraken are genuinely terrifying! The book, however, also has some beautifully tender moments where the characters' feelings (about each other, themselves, and the events that have occured) and descriptions add true depth to the book, and make it SO much more than just a horror/thriller, and it is this aspect of the book that will stick with me.

The settings too, from cold, wet Thorpmere in Yorkshire to the beautiful sun and sea of Formentera, are also beautifully written and create real atmosphere for the events that occur.

The beautiful cover and illustrations in the book were by @E_MA_Francesca

Beautiful, bold and scary, this is a great read that in turn both terrified and captivated me with heaet-melting moments throughout. Great stuff from Ruth Estevez, 'The Monster Belt' is out on 2nd September, published by Uclan.

You can preorder it via this link:

Find out more about author Ruth Estevez here: or by following her on Twitter as @RuthEstevez2 and on Instagram as @ruthestevezwriter

You can follow publisher Uclan on Twitter as @publishinguclan or via their website

Thanks to Uclan for the copy of the book to review in advance of publication.

Review by Rich Simpson (@richreadalot) August 2021, all views my own.

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