A Book That Reminds Me Of A Certain Time IN My Life: Christopher Pike’s “Monster”

Funny how certain movies or music reminds you about a certain time in your life, a certain place or a certain person or experience you were experiencing at the time. And it takes you back. Well books can also do that. For some reason I was thinking about a novel that I remember reading in my early 20s. I think I was 21-22 which means 1997-1998. And I think it was condensed version of two novels by the same author in one book, which some of my cousins who were born & raised in the UK had brought with them on one of their 2 months visit during that summer.

One lazy afternoon while I was there, I asked them for a book to read as I had seen that they had a bunch of them and one of my cousin sisters handed me a couple and Monster by Christopher Pike was one of them. Now, I think the cover was different but the story was the same ofcourse. Monster was about this teenage girl (college or final year of high school) who had moved to be with her aged uncle or grandfather I want to say; can’t remember which, in a town away from her own. While staying there she met and befriended the local captain of the American football team and a few others. For some reason which I do remember they were infected with the blood of some ancient creature – like bat or bird but certainly a monstrous kind that was unknown to most, except for elders of a Native American tribe.

I remember that once infected – how again, I do not remember – she starts to get these huge cravings for meat. Her going from eating 1 Big Mac & fries to several to them eating a bunch of steaks raw and even hurting her uncle/grandpa’s dog as she felt it’s heartbeat but not harming it too much as she regained her senses in time. She then realizes that she is somewhat protected as the Native tribe elder gives her a pendant; she will turn into the monstrous bat/bird but will not attack humans unlike the rest. Before she & the other teens in town can turn into those creatures, she takes a shot gun and kills them all. A police detective who was been investigating the murders is the only one who knows what has truly happened and adopts the dog that was left behind, while the girl now completely turned into the monster creature watches while perched upon a branch, not attacking the detective as the pendant is still with her.

I found the story compelling, even if it is a young adult novel and I don’t think much about them. Christopher Pike’s book do seem better than most in that genre and his work even reminds me of Stephen King, who he admits is an influence. I love this book although I haven’t read it since then and it reminds me of that time. A lot more carefree and casual time in my life.

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