The Bet of the Monsters – Sotto Voce

Pages: 406
Released On: 03/11/2022

After giving up every possession he has in exchange for peace of mind and getting away from everything that betrays him, Leo finds himself in a weird situation.

He discovers a fortune falling onto his lap, in the shape of a generous amount of money in his new bank account and a leasehold of a prestigious house, with only one explanation: Enjoy.

Should he play along?
What is the catch?


Thanks to Sotto for gifting me a copy of his new book in return for an honest review.

Whilst I did enjoy this and there are some very good points about it, I definitely preferred his other book, “In Ora: The Land of the Superior”, mainly because it was more my genre. This one has a whole different tone. It’s grittier, harsher, dirtier.

I feel Sotto gets the pace right, the flow right. It doesn’t rush but it doesn’t dawdle. It’s just the right amount for an enjoyable but relaxing read.

His own personal experience of moving around when he was younger, never settling in one place and with one people, it’s clear to see in his writing. It gives his characters hidden depth.

It did take me a little while to get into. To begin with, a lot of things aren’t said. Things are instead, alluded to, and it’s up to the reader to fill in the blanks. This might be a positive for some people, but I found it difficult for a little while.

The premise is good. It could have strayed into the unbelievable and the unrealistic, and whilst some of it touches on that, I think he found the right balance.

I found there was a little blurring between the characters of Tommy and Leo which added to the sense of confusion. Yes, it means it’s a bit harder to get your head round, but it also adds to the confusion within the story itself. I can’t decide if I thought positively or negatively about the characters. They’re not always what or who they seem and you’re not always comfortable with their decisions, which makes them well written in my opinion. There is some nice subtle character development too.

I did find bits that lacked a bit of finesse. It doesn’t interfere with the storytelling as such, but it would have made it fully absorbing if it had been neatened up a bit more.

Where I think he excels the most is how he writes endings. And I don’t mean that in the insulting “my favourite part was the end because it means it’s finished and I don’t have to keep reading it” kind of way. There are bits of the book that are a bit wobbly, but the last 20-30 pages is beautifully written and really ends it up nicely.

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