'Only A Monster' Book Club Readalong Day 5!

By: OwlCrate . Photo By: @wordsandworldsbooks

Welcome back to the fifth day of our book club readalong for OwlCrate's February book, Only A Monster!

Just a reminder that this will be a SPOILER discussion for Chapters 14-16 of Only A Monster, so make sure you read are finished this section before continuing.

Discussion questions are listed below, and anyone who participates in the comments will be entered to win a free OwlCrate box! Don't forget, you can also post about the readalong on Instagram with the hashtag #OCOnlyAMonster for another chance to win!

The story continues...

Chapter 14:
Back at the apartment Ruth tells Joan and Aaron what happened. They think Nick’s wants to go to the Monster Court in order to change the King’s timeline and kill the original monsters, aka, all monsters ever. Joan insists they must find another way to the court now that the necklace is gone, and she thinks back to the stall owner who offered to buy it.

They find the man, Tom Hathaway and ex Court Guard, in the dark back corner of the market. At first he tells them to go away when Joan asks where she can find another necklace, but when Joan makes the offer sweeter for him - he help them into the Court and they can both steal what they need - he agrees. In two nights time the Court gates are opening, for the first time in a century, and it’s lucky they are there. The luck makes Joan feel very uneasy.

Back at the apartment Aaron again argues against the idea. They have no plan, no idea what the item will even look like, and they could very well be killed at the gates. He tells them of the time Conrad, a Court Guard came to his school and took his cousin for being suspected of stealing time from other students, a mistake the King will not tolerate.

Later that night Joan leaves Aaron and Ruth sleeping and goes back to the inn, where she find the innkeeper who has the location of Dorothy Hunt. He warns Joan against finding her. Joan locates her Gran at an empty bar and decides to be forthwith with her. Her Gran reveals the device they are looking for is called the transformatio and the King’s treasures are kept in the Royal Archive. When Joan asks if she knows what her special power might be she notices her Gran use a silent hand signal to the bartender, asking him to summon someone, and Joan realizes her Gran doesn’t think she can understand. Feigning she needs to use the restroom Joan runs, looking back once to see the bartender staring after her. Back at the flat she finds Aaron awake and waiting and she tells him what she found out.

Chapter 15:
They are getting ready for the gala and Aaron and Joan have an oddly intimate moment when he clasps a necklace around her neck. Joan tells him his debt is paid and he doesn’t have to come, instead of commenting, he hands her a pair of black flats, in case they need to run.

The head to where Whitehall Palace used to stand, hundreds of years ago, waiting for the clock to strike midnight, as it does monsters appear on foot and the old Palace gateway appears, revealing the palace whole on the other side.

The guards at the gate are checking identification to make sure monsters are on the guest list. Tom helped them prepare for this by offering them each a chop washed up by the Thames. He advises getting in the back of the line and hoping the guards get lazy later in the evening and stamp their chop next to a personal mark that looks similar and hope they don’t get found out.

Once successfully inside they marvel at Whitehall Palace, which exists outside of time. They are in a mire, a place where monsters can’t travel, so when they need to leave they need to go back through the gate. They find that Tom has also made his way through, and Aaron warns Joan to stay away from any Olivers - if they see her eyes they will know she’s not fully a monster. Unfortunately they quickly run into Aaron’s father, and creating a distraction Aaron approaches him paces away from Joan. His father is angry Aaron was able to get in as he has been removed from the Oliver line of succession. Joan can see how much this is hurting Aaron, and they are drawing a crowd. His father walks away in a huff and when Joan goes to offer some sort of comfort Aaron storms off.

They meet up with Tom and Ruth, Tom leading them to a room down the hall. Once cleared of other people Tom clicks a button behind a cabinet, revealing a secret passage, they all enter, Joan closing the cabinet behind them.

Chapter 16:
Tom leads them through the palace. It feels unreal. It is said the King steals places for moments in time. When they look out the window they see London, but everything is frozen. Nothing moves. They start to feel like they got something wrong. Tom tells them the King is never seen, but Court Guards Conrad, Eleanor and the one called Giant are sent out to do his bidding.

Tom, taking out four guards, leads them to the Royal Archive. In the passageway leading up to it they notices a slice of winter, and within it is a saber-tooth tiger that leaps, but can’t break through. Joan gets an idea. Rolling up the carpet they make a tunnel, and Ruth using her Hunt power is able to push it through both sides of the barrier. Joan, Aaron and Tom crawl through, but the door on the other side is locked. In frustration Joan hits the lock, and then something of her secret power manifests, turning the lock into brittle stone, allowing the door to open. Inside isn’t the Royal Archive, but rather a prison cell. An old thin mattress and a desk covered in blood like someone had struggled. On a hunch Joan searches the desk and pockets an object, but it’s not what they were looking for. Out of time, they hurriedly crawl back through the carpet tunnel just as Ruth loses her grip, the carpet falling into the snow in the paleolithic time. They need to get out, and now.



  1. What do you think the object was the Joan found in the desk?
  2. Who do you think was in the prison room?
  3. Why do you think Aaron was removed from the Oliver line of succession?
  4. Do you think Nick is also in the palace?

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