A review by david_agranoff
Man Made Boy by Jon Skovron
When I requested this book my editor at Monster Librarian pointed out “David you do know this is a YA novel.” Granted I don’t read a lot of YA stuff but have from time to time and I am not against such things. I tend to enjoy a harder, darker horror in general but I thought the concept I read online sounded interesting.
It is indeed an interesting book filled with fun ideas. Man Made Boy is the story of Boy, the son of the Frankestein monster and the Bride who lives in a NYC refuge for monsters. Hidden in plain sight from the public as a part of a freak show the monsters live in a labyrinth behind/under a theater in the city. I LOVED this concept. The set-up is beautifully done and creatures a wonderful environment that is both gothic and surreal.
Boy is a teenager and this for sure a road trip coming of age novel. Boy decides he wants to leave the show and live in the outside world. Which is not the easiest thing to do when you are made up of re-animated body parts, but he gets out there and gets a job. Once he travels he meets other monsters, falls in love and has adventures.
Where it gets muddied is a secondary plot about Boy’s love for hacking. He creates a villain named Vi. A sentient computer virus, which in effect makes Boy like Doctor Frankenstein.
The theme is not subtle, it is about responsibility. I thought the novel was fun overall and would be perfect for young teens. I should point out there is some strong language and suggestion of sexuality entirely off camera. The book says for 12 and up, that in my mind is fair but I was reading adult horror novels at that age so take that with a grain of salt.
I think YA collections should have this book, kids looking for a light hearted fantasy will enjoy it.