Creatures Most Vile is Chelsea Lauren’s (from what I gather) debut novel. It’s a young-adult fantasy dystopia that grabs you by the throat from page 1. As (almost) always, I got a free copy of the book through NetGalley, all the way back in August. All opinions are my own.
I delayed my Creatures Most Vile review for so long simply because its release is TODAY. Yeah, you read that right, the book drops on October 12th. Do yourselves a favor and add it to your TBRs or just buy it. But enough of that, let’s dive right in.
Creatures Most Vile: The Plot
If you read the book’s synopsis in Goodreads, you’ll know what you’re getting yourself into. It’s pretty straightforward – a dystopian world plagued by monsters that hunt by sound. Quite The Quiet Place vibes, right? It’s a world in which you need to be very quiet if you want to survive. Mankind is virtually helpless in the face of that monstrous threat. Their only hope lies with the so-called Guardians – people with special abilities, allowing them power over the natural elements.
Enter Anora – a girl suffering from PTSD, with a past of trauma, hoping for a calm and secluded future, be it without her closest friends. But as fate dictates, a severe trial reveals she’s gifted with the power over water. Anora’s very good at running, but there’s no running from that. Now she has to go train for a Guardian, to battle the monsters she’s feared all her life.
As she sinks deeper into the inner workings of the training facility and its Commander, Anora discovers there are worse things creeping in the shadows than the monsters that have been hunting the humans.
Creatures Most Vile: The Characters & Worldbuilding
I must say, the main character was the most well-developed one. There was a whole company of side characters, which is to be expected from a young-adult story like this one. They could’ve been more fleshed-out, but we still get enough given the size of Creatures Most Vile (standing at 320 pages). What I did not like were the would-they-wont-they romance and a certain love triangle. They served plot purposes only and didn’t really contribute to the character development.
As for the worldbuilding, it’s safe to say I loved it. I love stories with creatures and monsters to fill the minds and fuel the nightmares of humans. There was plenty of that in Creatures Most Vile. I love convoluted plots and stories that portray humans just as monstrous as the creatures, and Chelsea Lauren manages just that.
The book would’ve benefited, though, if some questions were answered here, though. For example, why are the people on the continent left to fend for themselves when there’s a whole branch of society thriving on an island? Is this place a training ground or a massive experiment? But I guess those are things left for the sequel. While the story was a bit predictable, it doesn’t ruin it, even if you figure out the plot twists early on.
Should You Read It?
If you’re into fantasy dystopias with monsters and elemental powers, Creatures Most Vile must be on your TBR. Fair warning, it is a young-adult book with all the training, fear-conquering, and love tribulations required for it. I think the start is very compelling, especially if you can relate to the PTSD and the panic attacks that Anora experiences. Which I did. I could feel it all as real.
Chelsea Lauren has created a fast-paced action story, and I flew through the pages in a day or two. I do believe it’s a one-sitting read. Lucky for me, I was able to ignore the minor issues I had with the plot and thoroughly enjoyed it. Even the massive cliffhanger at the end didn’t sour the experience.
Books like Creatures Most Vile remind me there are still good reads to be found in the young-adult genre, even though I’m old. Maybe because of the trigger warnings, such as gore, death of a family member, violence, anxiety, torture, to name a few. Yeah, a 5* read!