My Favourite Classic Monsters of 2023

Happy Spooky Season Readers, 

I was talking to a friend about classic monsters and got inspiration for this blog post. I have also shamefully missed out three of my favourite classic monsters as I haven’t read a mummy book this year, read a Frankenstein tale and totally forgot till the end of this post that zombies are a classic monster. The classic monsters I have picked are only from books I have read this year. 

Werewolf: Such Sharp Teeth by Rachel Harrison (Gifted)

Such Sharp Teeth may be one of my favourite werewolf books I’ve ever read, it’s been a while since I read a book where my humour is fully in sync with the authors. This book is right up my street as we share the same sarcastic wit and humour. “Fuck you, moon” page 15, 12 lines up from the bottom of the page, when I tell you I snort laughed dear Reader it was full on. There is a lot of talk in this book that can be related to similar situations in the real world. There are discussions about when your life changes drastically and your future isn't what you dreamed it would be, it really hit home for me. I have never related more to a character maybe I related to Rory thinking how she feels about turning into a werewolf and having no control is kind of like my allergy disorder and how my life and future has changed.

Ghost: Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune

This isn’t a scary ghost story, but it is one of my favourite ghost books I have read this year. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas was a close second and deserves an honorary mention. The emotional whiplash within this book is something else in this book, I went from hating Wallace to then making me feel all the sad emotions and actual tears. As much as I loved the opening and the world building this book really comes into its own when Wallace finally starts accepting his death, he finally sees his life for what it was, where he went wrong. As sad as it sounds Wallace never really lived until he died and its quite sad in the grand scheme of things not just in the world of TJ’s book. I am so glad I got to go on that journey with him. This book really brings into focus what it means to truly be alive and it’s not a bad thing to see beauty in vulnerability.

Vampire: A Dowry of Blood by S.T. Gibson

Of course, a book in the same vein as Dracula was going to take this spot. I loved learning more about the brides and I would read every book I could about them. A Dowry of Blood is a story about Dracula's Brides, the story is told in the form of a diary or series of letters from his first bride Constanta. I think this medium worked well though the book as all the emotions and reactions by Constanta felt raw and all the more powerful. I enjoyed watching the relationship dynamics between everyone in this polyamorous relationship shift and evolve. In Dowry it was interesting to see how the dynamics were influenced outside of the spice and how jealousy can evolve into love and even into a sense of family.

Creature: The Society for Soulless Girls by Laura Steven

This is a Jekyll and Hyde retelling, and I devoured it within a day, it was everything I would have expected from a Jekyll and Hyde retelling. As this is a Jekyll and Hyde retelling it explores the violent impulses that everyone has and what would happen if we gave in and lost control of our anger. I loved the books feminist twist not only does this book highlight current feminist issues but shows us the abuse inflicted on women throughout history. There’s a lot to love with in the books pages we have enemies to lovers, dark academia, a rich atmosphere, a compelling mystery, and an appreciation of gothic literature.

Slasher: Curse of the Reaper by Brian McAuley

This book is something that could possibly be plausible I can picture it so clearly happening in the real world. A classic horror movie icon gets replaced by a new more popular model for the reboot and I was along for the ride. I went into this book expecting a typical slasher from what I had seen from other reviewers. I found myself flying through this book, enjoying every page, and devouring every word. Like any good slasher I couldn’t keep up twists and turns and guess where Brian was going to take me. There was just something about this book that just dug it’s claws into me.

L x

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