Sigh. Ripping on independent authors who no doubt work hard to produce a finished written product is not something I relish. So I'm not going to. Instead I'm going to express my many and varied issues with Paul Emil's Monster Gauntlet without resorting to hyperbole, exaggeration, or semi-amusing turns of phrase.
Monster Gauntlet is set in an under-developed world in which monsters exist and are used in a reality TV show to hunt convicted criminals for the enjoyment of the viewing audience. The POV character becomes a reluctant participant on the show in a way which is extraordinarily hard to believe, gets trained up by under-written characters whose motivations make no sense, and then is thrust into the game to compete with a bunch of cliched characters, none of whom is made to seem like a real person. Then a whole bunch of action takes place off page as a few unexciting monsters make their plays for the characters, while the protagonist survives encounter after encounter that she should not have been able to, only for a final reveal to partially explain this, before an ending that has to be read to be believed takes place.
The writing is simplistic and not at all engaging. The editing has missed a number of mistakes that one further read through should have found.
All in all, Monster Gauntlet is not an easy book to read. But it is short, so if the premise catches your eye, give it a shot. You'll know within 20 pages if it is for you or not.
1.5 Uninspiring Creatures for Monster Gauntlet.