Pretty Monster

Ten years have passed since the mysterious event that occurred in New York City, turning hundreds of civilians into deviants – a strange and powerful new breed of humanity. Most of these creatures have been rounded up and sent to the deviant prison known as Devil’s Island. Quinn Harper – known to those who both fear and idolize her as The Siren – is one of the last free deviants.

When she faces a choice – surrender and go willingly to Devil’s Island, or watch her best friend die – she makes the only one she can. But she will soon learn that Devil’s Island is not the prison the world believes it to be. Will she be able to cast aside eighteen years’ worth of distrust and embrace this enigmatic new community? Or will she just keep running?

Warning… spoilers ahead. Then again, if you haven’t already read Pretty Monster… well, stop wasting your time here and go read it!

I know what you’re thinking: what kind of dark and disturbed mind comes up with a female lead as dark and angry as Quinn Harper? Is there anyone or anything she doesn’t hate?

Okay – hopefully that’s not really what you’re thinking. But Quinn is certainly angry at the world, and for good reason; they’ve been trying to hunt her down and imprison her for most of her life, and they killed her best friend right before her eyes.

For the record, I myself am not nearly as dark and angry as Quinn. I’ve always liked a strong female lead, though, and the idea of the last free deviant in the world intrigued me. After all, we’ve seen plenty of superhero and magic stories, but one where they’ve all been imprisoned on an island, save for one?

(If it’s been done before, do me a favor and just spare me. I don’t want to know.)

The love story, of course, was crucial. I’m a happily married woman, but my sweet, hardworking, dependable husband isn’t what you’d call an extreme romantic – and, even if he was, I still doubt we’d ever happen upon a beautiful, temperate river in the middle of the woods in which we would play the underwater version of drinking games to learn each other’s secrets. I mean, anything’s possible, but it’s certainly unlikely.

Plus, I mean, it’s Dash. Even his name is hot. Did Quinn ever stand a chance of resisting his charms? I certainly didn’t.

Rory was important to me, too. I have always found the innocence of youngsters to be poetic, and even made a short film about the friendship between a male and female kid in college (Playgrounds, it was called. I think it’s still somewhere on Vimeo… maybe). I liked the idea that Rory was almost as powerful as Quinn, but not yet corrupted by her. We know from Quinn’s relationship with Kurt that she has a soft, protective side buried deep, and I enjoyed having that side gradually open up again the more she got to know Rory.

As for the politics of the story, well, I’ll do my best to spare you from my own, personal politics, though they were probably clear in the novel. Suffice it to say that I believe in freedom and equality, and that no one should be treated differently because of their race, religion, orientation, or, well… magical powers.

If you’ve read Flame, too, then you know there’s a big chunk between the two stories that leaves plenty of room for another. That story would be follow Quinn again, and I’ll leave it at that for now, but be sure to check out my upcoming blog post, What’s Next?, to get some more details on what it would entail.

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