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  • Ordinary Monsters

  • The Talents, Book 1
  • By: J M Miro
  • Narrated by: Ben Onwukwe
  • Length: 25 hrs and 21 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (47 ratings)

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Summary

Bloomsbury presents Ordinary Monsters by J M Miro, read by Ben Onwukwe.

The first in a captivating new historical fantasy series, Ordinary Monsters introduces the Talents with a catastrophic vision of the Victorian world, and the gifted, broken children who must save it.

There in the shadows was a figure in a cloak, at the bottom of the cobblestone stair, and it turned and stared up at them as still and unmoving as a pillar of darkness, but it had no face, only smoke....

1882. North of Edinburgh, on the edge of an isolated loch, lies an institution of crumbling stone, where a strange doctor collects orphans with unusual abilities. In London, two children with such powers are hunted by a figure of darkness—a man made of smoke.

Charlie Ovid discovers a gift for healing himself through a brutal upbringing in Mississippi, while Marlowe, a foundling from a railway freight, glows with a strange bluish light. When two grizzled detectives are recruited to escort them north to safety, they are confronted by a sinister, dangerous force that threatens to upend the world as they know it.

What follows is a journey from the gaslit streets of London to the lochs of Scotland, where other gifted children—the Talents—have been gathered at Cairndale Institute, and the realms of the dead and the living collide. As secrets within the Institute unfurl, Marlowe, Charlie and the rest of the Talents will discover the truth about their abilities and the nature of the force that is stalking them: that the worst monsters sometimes come bearing the sweetest gifts.

©2022 Ides of March Creative Inc. (P)2022 Macmillan Audio

Critic reviews

"Ordinary Monsters is a towering achievement: a dazzling mountain of wild invention, Dickensian eccentrics, supernatural horrors and gripping suspense. Be warned...once you step into this penny dreadful to end all penny dreadfuls, you'll never want to leave." (Joe Hill, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box)

"From the very first page, you're pulled into a world of hope and fear, dark and light, the known and the unimaginable. A world that is equal parts magic and pain. Readers should prepare themselves: there's nothing ordinary about Ordinary Monsters." (Alma Katsu, author of The Fervor and Hunger)

What listeners say about Ordinary Monsters

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    3 out of 5 stars

More suited to a YA listener maybe?

I really enjoyed the first 18+ hours of this story but lost the plot with only 7 hours to go when I found I no longer understood (or, sadly, cared) what was going on ... I enjoyed the sections set in the USA, Victorian England and Japan, especially the historical aspects, but then started to find the plot confusing ... I'm probably too old to appreciate this type of fantasy fiction which is a shame as I thought it was very well written - really brilliant narrator too ...

1 person found this helpful

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it's okai.

i liked it enough, but disappointed in how little I enjoyed it Vs how much I was expecting to enjoy the book.

some great parts, but also felt too wordy at times. like lots of what being said, but nothing was really happening.

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Brilliant

Absolutely loved this book, characters really come to life,. Story is well written. can recommend.

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A beautifully written.......

... deep delve into its characters and other world. I loved it. There are a lot of characters in this book, but because the author did a fantastic job taking his time letting us, the reader/listener getting to know them, I found myself emotionally connecting to them and this is the real art of a book. It takes you out of yourself, you're somewhere else, with the children as they face everything from racism in the USA to poverty on the streets of London, to having the one person they should be able to trust, betray them.

Read by Ben Onwukwe, he gives every character their own voice and has a genuine empathy for the children as they traverse their very singular worlds, he is a wonderful reader and the perfect choice for this book.

J M Miro is one to watch, this is a future classic in the making.

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Marathon

This is an interesting listen, with strong echoes of Ransom Riggs’ peculiar children. However, I really struggled with the last quarter. It is far, far too long. This really dims any sense of danger and urgency. Learning that there is more to come made my heart sink rather than soar. Maybe I am having a bad week but for me, it was an endurance test towards the end.