I have actually stopped reading the second book in his John Clever series, Mr. Monster to come say that Dan Wells has got to be one of the bravest writers that I have come across in recent memory. The first book in the series is a pretty brave and fun departure from what we would normally call Young Adult. For those who haven’t heard, let me give you some backstory.
The first book is called “I Am Not A Serial Killer” and it’s about a boy in high school who actually has the tendencies of a serial killer and is trying to fight the urge to kill. His world is turned upside down when another serial killer comes to his small town and rouses the monster inside of him. Mr. Monster is the sequel to that.
What sets the book apart from a lot of fiction about serial killers is that it’s told from the boy’s, John Clever, perspective and gives insight into him and his thoughts. Some of it gets down right twisted, but there’s a moment in the second book where all of this comes to a head. I can’t believe what I just read.
I was thrilled and worried and excited and disappointed all at once. This is the kind of writing that we need to see more of out there. There was great risk in what he wrote and I wanted to capture the excitement of what I had just read. I think I have more respect for someone who does something risky and exciting (even if it fails) than someone who plays it safe and just does well. That’s why I respect the movie Sucker Punch, because it was basically a failed battering ram all about feminism and it kind of failed to hit home. That’s why I really respect Spec Ops the Line, because that game succeeded in it’s mission to make players feel like horrible power hunger children for playing it.
And with Wells the ultimate result lies in what the rest of this book and the book after it have in store for me. Something tells me I won’t be disappointed.