Friday, August 16, 2019

ARC Review: Monster of the Week (The Rules #2) by F.T. Lukens

Monster of the Week (The Rules, #2)
In the sequel to F.T. Lukens' The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths and Magic, spring semester of Bridger Whitt’s senior year of high school is looking great. He has the perfect boyfriend, a stellar best friend, and an acceptance letter to college. Oh, he also has this incredible job: assistant to Pavel Chudinov, an intermediary tasked with helping cryptids navigate the modern world. His days are filled with kisses, laughs, pixies, and the occasional unicorn. Life is awesome.

But as graduation draws near, Bridger’s perfect life begins to unravel. Uncertainties about his future surface, his estranged dad shows up out of nowhere, and, perhaps worst of all, a monster-hunting television show arrives in town to investigate the series of strange events from last fall. The show’s intrepid host will not be deterred, and Bridger finds himself trapped in a game of cat and mouse that could very well put the myth world at risk. Again.

Todd's rating:

Okay, it's official, I've ADORED pretty much everything about this series.  : )

In this second installment, Bridger's life was starting to fall into place, with a boyfriend, a best friend, and a chosen family that he truly cared about, and was equally cared for in return.

Although Bridger still possessed a penchant for getting himself into sticky situations, with both paranormals and humans, he had begun to mature and think before he took dangerous leaps. Mostly, but he was still Bridger, so... you know.

But Bridger's mostly-ordered existence got turned on its ear when supernatural journalist Summer Lore arrived in his hometown to overturn a whole bunch of stones that Bridger and his boss, Pavel, needed to stay out of the public eye to ensure the safety of the "Myths".

Unlike the first book, which was chaotic start to finish, the actual action in this story was limited to only a few occasions of what I'd term actually as "action".

Instead, there was a lot about Bridger's high school life, his 18th birthday, his impending graduation, and his continuing relationship with his boyfriend, Leo. I didn't really mind, and never found myself bored, but I wouldn't have frowned on a tiny bit more action being included.

One aspect of the book that truly worked for me was the drama introduced by the return of Bridger's decade-long-absent dad, what that ultimately meant to the abandoned son, and how someone else may have unwittingly filled that role.

If I had to pick a least favorite aspect of both books, it would be the limited amount of on-page time that Bridger and Leo spent with one another. Both of their schedules were hectic, but I freaking *craved* to see them spend their days living out of one another's pockets, but alas.

A close second least favorite would be how the book ended with a wishful HEA, but realistic HFN, since many of those “what next?” details were left unspoken.  : (

These were two fairly minor niggles, though, allowing me to still thoroughly enjoy the series. However, that still doesn't stop me from praying that there is at least one more book to come, that would hopefully cement Bridger and Leo's romance into "Forever And Ever" territory.

Overall, the angst was manageable and the one steamy scene was totally off-page, so we didn't get to witness Bridger becoming less "unicorn-friendly", as he himself would put it.

I'd rate this second book at around 4.25 stars and highly recommend it to any lovers of M/M YA fantasy stories.

My ARC copy of the book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.

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