Book Review: Monster on the Hill by Rob Harrell

Monster on the Hill is a graphic novel by Rob Harrell. The story takes place in an alternate version of 1860s England. In this England every town is terrorized by its own ferocious monster, much to the townsfolk’s delight. Each town’s monster is a source of local pride and significant profits from tourism. Unfortunately, the monster of Stoker-on-Avonis not all that impressive, instead his is depressed and sighs more than he stomps or roars. With the help of the eccentric Dr. Charles Wilkie and the plucky street urchin Timothy, Rayburn searches for his confidence and motivation. Can the depressed Rayburn become a proper monster before the town is destroyed by a beast even the monsters fear?

Monster on the Hill offers readers a good laugh, a lesson in friendship, and colorful illustrations. I think it could easily be geared towards readers of all ages, but think that some of the humor might go over the heads of younger readers, but it would still hold their attention because of the story arch and bright artwork. This story of friendship and teamwork managed to keep me smiling, laughing aloud on several occasions. I liked that the story dis not seem to take itself to seriously, while managing to offer parodies of several genres at the same time. The balance of story, humor, and artistry was almost perfect.

I recommend Monster on the Hill to readers of all ages, particularly those that love a good monster, dragon, friendship, or road trip story. The artwork and constant humor will keep readers that do not typically enjoy graphic novels, or claim not to, turning the pages.
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