Here's the rundown for you: A guy and his wife (who has a stutter) go on a survival outing. They hike to their first location and camp out. While they are camping, something attacks. The man, Reed, manages to escape, and his wife, Beck falls down a waterfall and is carried away by a shadowy creature. The rest of the book is spent with Reed (with the help of friends and locals) trying to find Beck... living or dead. While the search is happening, Reed's friend, Cap, is doing some research into some strange tracks and hairs they find at the campsite. It leads down a twisty road of DNA that may or may not be a strange chimpanzee cocktail of base pairs and shenanigans.
There, I said it. It's not a spoiler because you find out about them early on in the book. Let me just be clear about this. The book is about Sasquatches.
If you like Sasquatches, give this book a go. If you aren't even remotely interested in them, like me, then I wouldn't give this book the time of day.
I remember reading "The Oath" and sitting up at night fully creeped out without being able to put the book down. "Monster" was nothing like that. The ambiguity of the evil and the suspense that was so wonderful in "The Oath" is totally lost in "Monster". I'm honestly surprised I finished this book. I guess I was just hoping that it would get better... and it never does. On top of that, Peretti has gotten a lot more political in his books.
Let me compare this to something we are all familiar with: Steven Segal.
Okay, okay, you may not have any idea who that is, but there will be another comparison further down. Steven Seagal is most known for his action films. He does some martial arts stuff and uses guns occasionally, but for the most part, he just kicks butt. After he became known for his action movies (Under Siege is really the turning point), he started making more. Eventually, they got pretty ridiculous. He started choosing hot topics that he wanted people to know about and incorporating them into movies. So, instead of non-stop ninja action, you get a whole movie (On Deadly Ground) of Steven Seagal saving the environment as well as the world. Side note: Michael Caine is the bad guy. This movie is so terrible it's worth watching.
Here's another example: Michael Crichton.
Once upon a time, Michael Crichton wrote entertaining stories with a message. Jurassic Park dealt with the God Complex in genetic manipulation and the consequences. They were extremely entertaining and well researched. Then they started getting less entertaining and more message driven. "State of Fear" is around the time that things started to go downhill, if not before then. After his death, a few books were published posthumously that he had started and never finished. They shouldn't have been published.
Peretti is on this list of people. His books were so good... but they have lost that edge that they used to have. I don't know that I would recommend this book unless you are interested in Sasquatches. Meh.