NATIONAL BESTSELLER * "Charles Dickens meets Joss Whedon in Miro’s otherworldly Netflix-binge-like novel." —The Washington Post
MOST ANTICIPATED SFF BOOK of 2022 by Tor, The Nerd Daily, BookBub, Philadelphia Inquirer, Goodreads, CrimeReads, Buzzfeed, Professional Book Nerds, and more!
BEST BOOK OF SUMMER 2022 by SheReads, Book Riot, Goodreads, Gizmodo, Daily Beast, Paste Magazine, and more!
IN THIS STUNNING HISTORICAL FANTASY, journey to the Victorian era, as children with mysterious powers are hunted by a figure of darkness in a battle of good vs. evil...
"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 The Fireman and Heart-Shaped Box
Charlie Ovid, despite surviving a brutal childhood in Mississippi, doesn't have a scar on him. His body heals itself, whether he wants it to or not. Marlowe, a foundling from a railway freight car, shines with a strange bluish light. He can melt or mend flesh. When Alice Quicke, a jaded detective with her own troubled past, is recruited to escort them to safety, all three begin a journey into the nature of difference and belonging, and the shadowy edges of the monstrous.
What follows is a story of wonder and betrayal, from the gaslit streets of London, and the wooden theaters of Meiji-era Tokyo, to an eerie estate outside Edinburgh where other children with gifts—like Komako, a witch-child and twister of dust, and Ribs, a girl who cloaks herself in invisibility—are forced to combat the forces that threaten their safety. There, the world of the dead and the world of the living threaten to collide. With this new found family, Komako, Marlowe, Charlie, Ribs, and the rest of the Talents discover the truth about their abilities. And as secrets within the Institute unfurl, a new question arises: What truly defines a monster?
Riveting in its scope, exquisitely written, Ordinary Monsters presents a catastrophic vision of the Victorian world—and of the gifted, broken children who must save it.
Miro debuts with a sweeping historical fantasy that takes readers on an epic, continent-spanning journey, but the intricately constructed world and engaging characters don't quite make up for the plot's bleakness. When teenage Eliza, fleeing her abusive employer in Victorian England, discovers an infant glowing blue in the gloom of a freight car, she adopts the baby and names him Marlowe. The tale widens its scope with each subsequent chapter, but Marlowe remains central, as good and evil forces seek to harness his inexplicable powers. The labyrinthine plot risks becoming convoluted, but Miro retains masterful control over the details throughout. Marlowe and the diverse group of companions he accumulates including other mysteriously powered children like him are fascinating and easy to care about, and the prose shifts nimbly from thrilling fight scenes to quiet moments of connection. The world, however, is painfully austere, largely lacking in joy or even comfort, so much so that reading can feel like a slog despite the well-maintained pace. Still, readers who can stomach the grimness will be richly rewarded.