“Momo,” plunges readers into a gripping tale that intertwines legends, terror, and redemption. This captivating story not only unveils the terrifying legend of MOMO, the “Missouri Monster,” but also explores the intricacies of a father-son relationship amidst the chaos.
MOMO, also known as the “Missouri Monster,” is a cryptid legend entrenched in the folklore of Missouri. Described as a sasquatch-like creature, it has long been a source of mystery and fear among locals dating back over 100 years.
I remember the story vividly in the late 60s and early 70s as the local news was filled with sightings. More than 20 sightings that year prompted posses to be formed in an area between Bowling Green and Louisiana., Mo. in an effort to catch the creature. A 1972 movie chronicled the events. In fact, at the age of 10 some friends and I may have snuck into the Liberty Theater in Mexico, Mo. to see the 1972 B-movie. It was made more thrilling that the sightings were less than 50 miles from my boyhood home. That may explain my interest in the latest book about the Missouri Monster and how it resonated with my own childhood.
REVIEWED BY DWIGHT WIDAMAN | EDITOR
At the heart of Kevin M. Kraft’s award-winning work is the relationship between Mark and Evan, a father and son grappling with the chasm between them, worsened by Evan’s adolescent attitude and Mark dealing with the recent loss of his father. Their weekend getaway to a family cabin in the woodlands near Louisiana sets the stage for a life-altering encounter with the creature of legend.
Kraft weaves tension and suspense throughout the story as the father-son duo faces an unexpected attack by the creature on their cabin. In the face of terror, they employ their wit, skills, and courage to survive, transcending their own limitations and drawing strength from one another.
The character development in “Momo” is exceptional. Mark and Evan are flawed, relatable characters, mirroring real-life struggles between parents and teenagers. Readers are given insight into their inner worlds, their insecurities, and the wounds that have strained their relationship. It’s a testament to Kraft’s writing that readers will find themselves invested in their journey.
The pacing of the novel is its standout feature. Kraft expertly combines moments of heart-pounding action with introspective interludes, ensuring that readers are consistently engaged. The suspense is skillfully woven, and the plot twists keep you on the edge of your seat, making it an enjoyable fall read.
One of the book’s core strengths is its ability to explore deeper themes while maintaining a thrilling narrative. Through the lens of their ordeal, Mark and Evan’s personal growth and the healing of their relationship take center stage. This transformation is beautifully depicted, emphasizing the power of resilience and the potential for redemption.
Although the book is not explicitly religious, the spiritual dimension subtly weaves its way into the narrative, as both father and son find solace and strength in their faith during their harrowing experience. This adds an additional layer of depth to their characters and their journey.
The dialogue in “Momo” is authentic and relatable, particularly for parents and teenagers. Kraft skillfully captures the nuances of their interactions, making it easy for readers to connect with the each and their struggles such as grief, loss, expressing love and guilt.
Intriguingly, “Momo” is in the process of being adapted into a screenplay by Kraft and his production company. This decision underscores the cinematic potential of the story, given its fast-paced action, emotionally charged moments and accolades from the publishing world.
The novel is a compelling read that, at just 132 pages, blends the mystique of a legendary monster with the deeply human experiences of family. Kraft’s storytelling prowess shines as he navigates the complexities of the father-son dynamic while delivering a suspenseful narrative that keeps readers eagerly turning pages. With its unique blend of horror, inspiration, and relatability, “Momo” is not just a thriller; it’s a tale of healing and rediscovery that will leave readers reflecting on the strength of family bonds long after the final page.
The sightings may have disappeared, but not the fear and wonder they instilled in a 10-year-old boy.
–Dwight Widaman | Editor of Metro Voice