Hello everyone!

This week I am back with a review of Mannheim Rex by Rob Pobi. Thanks so much to Simon and Schuster Canada for sending me a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Ok, so before I get into the review, I just want to say that I'm not sure that this book was written for someone like me.

I was hoping, based on the synopsis that, yes there would be a hunt for a lake monster, but the book would mainly focus on the characters and their issues. I suppose in the end it did, but I just thought there was too much monster/fishing and not enough stuff that the average person would enjoy. If you like monsters or fishing and that sort of thing, you will enjoy it. If you don't, you may have a harder time getting through this one.

The fact that this book wasn't for me isn't the author's fault. I tried to get out of my comfort zone, and it wasn't something I enjoyed. That doesn't mean that you won't like the book, or that it's a bad book.

Now that I have that out of the way, let's talk about the characters.

Gavin was probably my favourite character in the book. He is a widower with, what I would say is an alcohol abuse problem, although once he moves out of New York City, he drinks much less. I really enjoyed how the author portrayed Gavin. Even though he is set up to be this stereotypical, drunk, recluse writer who has millions of dollars, he comes across as a guy who writes but has his own demons. I really enjoyed how, even when he had a good reason, Gavin battled his demons and was able to push through them.

A couple of times throughout the book, he thinks of committing suicide, because he can't stand the reminders of all he has lost. I felt like Gavin's struggles were reasonable and believable. He got upset at, I don't know, the 'right' things, and not the insignificant little details. And for the most part, his reactions were accurate to the issue at hand.

I also really enjoyed Finn's character. He was a lovable 13 year old boy who, even though he hasn't been dealt the best cards, he makes the most out of every situation. Perhaps because he is a sick kid, he is mature and quite wise for his age. He is always helping others, and making sure they feel important.

The character I absolutely could not stand was the Sheriff. At the beginning of the book, he is cordial enough, but he turns into one of the most despicable human beings in the book, and possibly I have ever read. I do think that it is interesting that we have to males, about the same age, who for the most part are unhappy. I think that the Sheriff shows what City Gavin could turn into if he doesn't move on and get away from it all, a drug and alcohol addicted, power-hungry creep. But instead, City Gavin choses happiness, or at least a different path than that of his previous destruction.

I didn't this book for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the whole fishing/monster hunting thing was too over the top for me. It makes sense in this book, but like I said earlier, it was just too much for me. Secondly, I wasn't really a fan of the very thinly veiled idea that there are monsters everywhere, in the lake, in life, etc. It seemed a little cheesy and cliche to me personally. And finally, and probably most importantly, in this almost 450 page book, the plot didn't really pick up until close to 300 pages in. There is A LOT of backstory covered, some of which is necessary, others, probably not. I almost DNF'd a couple of times, either because of lack of interest, or the fact that the story was going over my head with the fishing and things.

Overall, I made it through the book. I'm not sure I really enjoyed it a ton, but I could see how others could and there are some strong themes throughout.