INTO THE SHADOWLANDS—Book 2 in the Monster or Die Series

Last year I interviewed the author, Cynthia Reeg, and reviewed the first book in the series, FROM THE GRAVE. It’s all here if you need to catch up.

The story continues with some very uneasy monsters, at odds with their futures at Fiendful Fiends Academy. Frank and his nemesis Malcolm share the duties in telling this tale of misfits. Frank is a not so scary blue Frankenstein who likes to keep himself neat. Malcolm McNastee is a troll who despises Frank for bringing back Mr. McNasteee, his traitor father from Exxillium, the place where misfit monsters go to die.

There is some creepy fun and scary moments along the way, especially in the closing third of the book. It’s a set-up for book 3 which readers will anxiously anticipate. For now kids can gear up for a spooky Halloween season with an up close view of a monster school’s dark side.

FULL PLOT (From Cynthia Reeg’s Website) In this tale of two monsters, seventh-grade troll Malcolm McNastee is on a mission to rid Uggarland of misfits, especially Frankenstein (Frank) Frightface Gordon. Much to Malcolm s horror, Frank rescued Malcolm’s disgraced dad from exile. This unspeakable act could tarnish Malcolm s true-blood troll reputation. On the other claw, Frank a neat freak who s never fit the normal monster mode must quickly reform under a new Uggarland law. If he doesn’t, he could face exile or worse. Malcolm decides to regain his good-monster standing by leading Frank and a band of misfits into the dangerous Shadowlands where many enter and few emerge unscathed. Frank and Malcolm must brave the Shadowlands perils, realizing that even if they make it out alive, their lives will never be the same.



  1. Another winning cover featuring four of the characters. Frank and his blueness has become my favorite.
  2. You can jump right into this one without having read Book 1. The backstory is sprinkled throughout. What you will miss is the character arc begun in the first book and continued here. Good stuff.
  3. Monster up or Die. Keep calm and scary on. Just two of the unique sayings in Uggarland.
  4. Themes of being true to yourself, fitting in, and friendship will for sure resonate with any middle school kid or monster.
  5. A good balance of humor and creepiness. Just what you’d expect in this wildly imaginative tale.


“They mean, why are you in our Odd Monsters Out class?” asked a sniffing Newton. He wiped his drippy eyes and nose with the bottom of his tattered shirt.

Scarlett licked her lips. ” I…um don’t like to drink blood. Milk is my beverage of choice.”

AUTHOR QUOTE (From Cynthia’s website)

I think writing is loads of fun. But I also enjoy playing tennis, hiking, reading–and hanging out with my two grandsons!

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
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3 Responses to INTO THE SHADOWLANDS—Book 2 in the Monster or Die Series

  1. I like the cover too. Great choice for October and sounds like a great book for boys.

  2. That is one great cover. I think boys will really like a book that is creepy and humorous! Liked your comments.

  3. Perfect for Halloween, eh? I like your favorite line. Thanks for the review.

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