The Captain’s Log – broken monsters (Lauren Beukes)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I seem to be in the minority for this one as it be just an okay read.  I loved the author’s zoo city and so picked up this one to listen to in audiobook format.  Here are just some of me random thoughts about the book:

  • Cool concepts – It starts out as a police murder mystery and winds into something crazier by the end.  It had thriller elements, paranormal fantasy elements, and some horror elements.  I enjoyed the mix.
  • Annoying characters – I think most of me problems with this book stem from the fact that I couldn’t stand the stupid teenager, Layla.  She was just so self-absorbed and dramatic and spoiled.  Her actions were selfish and thoughtless.  She never seemed to use her brain.  I didn’t like her mother, the police detective very much either.
  • The mother, Gabriella – This cop made so many bad choices.  Her daughter roamed wild and the mother made excuses for some of the VERY not cool things her daughter did.  She also broke police protocol all the time, used her position for personal gain, and left her gun where her daughter could get to it.  I think she is a negligent parent.  I did however buy the fact that she would do anything for her daughter and that her choices stemmed from (misused) love.
  • Social media – I did enjoy the use of social media in the book.  It was nicely used to further both plot and tension.  I particularly loved the live-streaming from the phone and the phone call logs.  There was also some philosophical dilemmas that arose from the proper use of social media and technology.  In fact this theme may be me favourite part of the book.
  • The ending – Did not do it for me.  I loved what happens to the reporter character.  That was cool.  And the portion about TK.  But again the mom and daughter stuff just seemed way too easy and unsatisfying.  Plus there were “convenience” characters that never got any real closure.  I don’t think other readers care but I wanted updates on them.

Basically me dislike of two main characters is what caused the decrease of satisfaction in this book.  However I still overall enjoyed the writing style and many of the minor characters.  I was engaged almost the entire time I was listening to it (minus the very last couple Layla sections).  No regrets here!

Side note:  The first mate just finished the shining girls and thought it was excellent.  I be readin’ that book soon.  Arrr!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

Detective Gabriella Versado has seen a lot of bodies, but this one is unique even by Detroit’s standards: half boy, half deer, somehow fused together. As stranger and more disturbing bodies are discovered, how can the city hold on to a reality that is already tearing at its seams? If you’re Detective Versado’s geeky teenage daughter, Layla, you commence a dangerous flirtation with a potential predator online. If you’re desperate freelance journalist Jonno, you do whatever it takes to get the exclusive on a horrific story. If you’re Thomas Keen, known on the street as TK, you’ll do what you can to keep your homeless family safe–and find the monster who is possessed by the dream of violently remaking the world.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Lauren Beukes – Author

To buy the book go to:

broken monsters – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

zoo city (Captain’s Log – Fantasy)

14 thoughts on “The Captain’s Log – broken monsters (Lauren Beukes)

  1. Hm. It’s a shame this one didn’t work out as well for you. It just sounds like a collection of things which didn’t really capture you. I’m glad you mentioned what kept you reading — writing style being strong is a good reason for me to keep reading, too! If the writing wasn’t as strong, do you think you might have DNF’d this book? Will you keep an eye out for more of Beukes’s work in the future?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read another of her books after this one and adored it. So her writing style is what keeps me going. Otherwise I would have abandoned ship. I am glad I didn’t. And glad the first mate told me I should read the shining girls. Even if I don’t love her books, I find them compelling enough to try her others. I also tend to think about them long after reading which is nice and a good sign to keep enjoying her work. Arrr!
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There aren’t many authors who inspire me to keep pondering their books long after I’ve finished the book. But there are a few. I’m glad that Beukes’ work is like this for you. Are there other authors who stick out in your mind as those which keep you thinking about the book long after its done?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ann Leckie and Neil Gaiman. The top of mind author for me is actually a fairly obscure YA author, Lindsey Ouimet. Also, Erin Morgenstern (she just announce a new book for 2019!!!), Jon Krakauer, and Kazuo Ishiguro.

        Hm. My list is all over the place with genre. I’d expect to see mostly sci-fi authors. How odd!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for your helpful and well written review, Cap. I, too, loved Zoo City, but although I’ve started a couple of the other books by Beukes I’ve never managed to get through them. A shame…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read shining girls and loved it. The review won’t be up until later in the month though because of arcs. Her writing is different and interesting but sometimes just plain weird. I don’t know what else I will try by her. I am glad ye read zoo city. That had such fun worldbuilding. Thanks for the comment.
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

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