Bestselling author Meg Collett retells the ancient Filipino legend of the aswang in this sexy, bone-chilling new series.
I’ve always known I was a monster, and I don’t mean some teenage vampire shit either.
My mother abandoned me when I was ten years old because I have a freakish mutant disease that makes me incapable of feeling pain. I bounced from one foster family to another because too many people like to test my medical condition in a game of “Try To Make Ollie Scream.” At sixteen, I killed a man for taking that game too far.
Two years later, I’m still on the run in Kodiak, Alaska. Here, I’m the most dangerous person around, until I come face to face with a creature that should only exist in folklore. The monster is an aswang, and I, with my medical anomaly, am uniquely qualified to hunt the beast that haunts the night. At least, that’s what the two scarred, mostly crazy ’swang hunters tell me when they kidnap me and take me to Fear University, a school where young students learn to hunt and kill aswangs.
I arrive at the university a prisoner, but I stay because I finally find my freedom.
For once in my life, I belong. I’m needed. I make a home for myself inside the university masquerading as an old Alaskan prison. Something close to happiness warms my icy heart when I’m with my scarred, still mostly crazy tutor, Luke Aultstriver. For a murdering runaway like me, Fear University is a haven where I can put my skills to good use hunting monsters in the night.
But when certain truths come to light and even more lies are exposed, I fear that I, Ollie Andrews, am the worst kind of monster of all. And, maybe, they should be hunting me.
Warning: This book is recommended for mature readers due to sexual content, violence, and language.
Upon browsing Amazon, I came across this one in hopes of finding a hidden gem in there somewhere. I wasn't entirely sure what I was looking for, but I decided to give Fear University a try and here we are. Giving it a four star rating on the blog and pining for the second book in hopes to know what happens next. (Kind of annoyed at how abrupt the ending was. It ended on 88%, and there was me thinking there was more to come)
Fear University follows civilian Ollie Andrews who has a "disease", as she calls it, which makes her unable to feel pain. She is living in a place where aswangs are amoungst the town and prowl around the streets at night in hope for blood.
Side note: If you're not familiar with aswangs, you really should look them up. They're creepy as hell, and they're compared to being vampire-like but more animalistic. I've not heard of them until reading this book, and the ancient Filipino creatures are intriguing and down-right frightening. Seriously, read about them.
Ollie is able to fight one and in the presence of aswang hunters, who are impressed with her ability to fight them and her amazing pain tolerance, so they bring her to Fear University. There, she is introduced to fellow students, hunters and a new friend, Sunny, where she will learn about aswangs, about fear and to train for future hunts.
To kick the review off, I'll start with characters. With our protagonist, I did sometimes find Ollie to be a tough person to like at the start. I found her a little too rude to people and a bit of a bitch, so it took me a while to warm up to her. Her constant 'woe is me' got a little annoying but I managed to get too into the story to kind of care about that and she did ease up after a while. She doesn't have a lot of love for herself, she calls herself a monster a lot, brings herself down and at times says that she deserved to be punished or hurt. I do hope in the future books that she will get past it all and learn to love herself, hopefully gain a bit more confidence. Ollie also calls herself a monster due to killing a person for the sake of protecting someone, and I think she shouldn't be so harsh on herself. For the situation she was in, she had to do what she did, and I think she's brave for not even thinking twice.
But other than that, she was an interesting character to read about. She grows an attraction to Luke, one of the best hunters in the university, and he was just angst angst angst.
I thought he just looked like this the whole book
I do like him as a character, but I wouldn't think he was some kind of swoon-worthy guy. He was just too moody and he was quite harsh when it came to Ollie. I know he is aware that she can't feel pain but jeeze. He actually, no joke, shot her in the leg at some point. I mean, he isn't very nice to her. Even when he kisses her, it's hard. Dude, you need some tiny kittens and ice cream. Chill out, you seem tense! (please don't hurt the kittens)
I do wonder if the author is making him the 'broody, grumpy yet handsome tough fighter' but so far, it's not having me swooning. Here's hoping that he's less douche-y in book two and can have a conversation with a smile at some point. I just couldn't work him out. There were times when I was wondering if he was a good or a bad guy. Only time will tell. There's more I could say but I don't want to spoil things.
We also meet Sunny, Hatter and Thad, as well as the typical 'cheerleader bitch' type, but there's one in every school-type book. I enjoyed Hatter's character, he was the funny sidekick of Luke but he wasn't just there for comic relief. He was one of the best hunters so I liked that they didn't make him just... there to make people laugh.
I do smell a love triangle coming along though, but I feel like it's one of those 'oh no, we're just friends' with one of them because as of right now, they are. I just hope that the author doesn't make it a love triangle. (Please... I beg you). Nobody likes a love triangle.
Meg is telling a very interesting and unique story - mostly unique to me due to never reading about aswang's before - and it was constantly interesting with events and revelations in most chapters. I didn't find myself getting bored at all, and the very many twists and turns kept me turning pages, eager to know more. There's so much more to go, characters that will grow, villains that will hunt, and love triangles that hopefully won't happen. The next book is set away from the university, and I think that'll give the author more leverage to expand on the characters, the world and the action which gets me very excited.
Nicely paced, different and some very complex characters, I think this was a very good find for the 'free kindle books' list on Amazon. Give this book a try, guys.
Are you familiar with the myth that is aswangs? They're new to me and I, for one, want to know more about these weird creatures. I also love finding these hidden gems while traipsing through the never ending lists of books on Amazon, they can sometimes end up being a new favourite series. I'm not always into reading what everyone else is reading (#hipster) so discovering something new that I've not seen anyone else read is always fun.
Have you read a book about aswangs? Think you'll read this? Let us know! We want to know what you think. You can either find us at any of the following social outlets or leave a comment:
BOOK REVIEW: FEAR UNIVERSITY BY MEG COLLET
4/ 5Oleh The Honest Bookclub