I was perusing blogs this morning, and stumbled across this tag on Book Princess Reviews. She linked to the original post from Katytastic on youtube, which (get ready to gasp here) was my first ever booktube video! Might be checking out some more of that later today… I’ll try not to get sucked too far down that rabbit hole, lol.
ANYWAY, this tag seemed right up my ally, so I went ahead and tagged myself.
Basically, you just pick a favorite book featuring each of these monsters. Woo! I love monsters! He we go!
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
I actually had a really hard time choosing here, because you all know how obsessed I am with Dracula. But I feel like I’ve gone on and on about that classic enough, and maybe it was time to talk about something different. Also, since it’s not scary, I probably like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter better, if you can believe it.
So for those of you weirdos who don’t know, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is written as Abraham Lincoln’s diary. The author is given the diary by a mysterious person, and is shocked and terrified to discover that it accounts Lincoln’s journey as a vampire hunter. It’s full of actual real-life research and true to history facts about Lincoln’s life, mixed in with the obviously fantastical element that he spent his nights destroying vampires. It’s hilarious, and creepy, and emotional, and everything that makes a novel great, in my opinion. If you like to laugh and you like vampires, I strongly recommend this book!
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Confession, it appears I’ve only read 2 books/series featuring werewolves, Harry Potter and The Mortal Instruments. Obviously it was no contest.
First of all, Lupin is basically my favorite Hogwarts professor of all time. Except McGonagall, obviously. He genuinely believes that every student has the potential to succeed and has greatness in them. Plus, I love the backstory of the Marauders. But then there’s the prejudice against vampires. Harry Potter deals with prejudice indirectly, tackling muggle-borns rather than racism. Most people seem to agree that werewolves represent AIDS/HIV victims and the way society fears and ostracizes them. It’s not a great allegory since obviously people with HIV/AIDS don’t become dangerous, but it still sends a really powerful message about judging people just based on their condition without getting to know their character. Regardless of who werewolves represent, I think it’s SUCH an important message for kids that you are more than your disease.
World War Z by Max Brooks
Okay guys, if you’ve never read World War Z I’m not sure that I’ll be able to adequately express to you just how brilliant it is. Instead of being written in narrative form, it’s written as a collection of accounts from people around the world and throughout the zombie war, starting with the initial outbreak and going all the way through full-out war. It’s such a unique story-telling style, and Brooks pulled it off SO FREAKING WELL. Gah! Honestly, I hate zombies, they kind of freak me out a little. But I loved this book anyway. That’s how well it was written. Go read it!
The Amber Spyglass by Phillip Pullman
So I don’t know if they’re technically “ghosts”, but in the final installment of His Dark Materials, Lyra and Will take a trip to the underworld, in all its ancient Greek glory. They meet the spirits of the dead, which are very ghost-like, and attempt to set them free of their eternal enslavement. Yeah, okay, so this is my least favorite book in this trilogy. Please don’t judge the entire series by the little blurb I just gave. I truly believe The Golden Compass is worth a read if you never have before, so go check it out on goodreads or something. But as lackluster as my Amber Spyglass blurb sounded, by the time you get there it really has a huge emotional impact. Also, there’s a LOT more going on in this book, there’s just not really time to get into it.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Because I thought Harry Potter was too obvious and that you guys are probably tired of hearing about it…
What I loved about Uprooted was how unique the magic is. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautifully crafted story with lovable characters and a classic battle between good and evil and absolutely BRILLIANT prose. Yes, that is all true. But I was captivated by the way magic is worked, especially at how differently the two main characters use it. Agnieszka is taken by a wizard called The Dragon to be his servant for ten years, at which point she will be given a dowry and sent on her way in the world. But shortly after arriving at his castle she discovers that she, too, has magic in her blood, though the Dragon proves to be a very poor teacher. As she learns magic she becomes a major player in the century-long struggle to keep the evil magic of the Woods at bay. Guys, truly an amazing book.
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
I’m not crazy about the new Fae craze, I find it a little odd. But the classic use of fairy godmothers in Ella Enchanted is so perfect! But like, the fairies aren’t the typical fairy godmothers you would expect. There’s lots of little things separating them from the classic stories. My favorite thing, I think, is how they’re regular sized, but they all have tiny feet. Like, what? But most notably, fairies don’t do “big magic”. Clean up broken plates using magic to sweep all the little pieces into a bin? Yes! Fix the broken plate. NOOOOO. That’s big magic. No telling what kind of havoc that plate may wreak later on that the fairy would then get blamed for. It’s one of the pivotal points of the novel, and very unique and fun.
A Discovery of Witches
Again, I haven’t read a lot of books featuring demons, it was pretty much between this and The Mortal Instruments. But I have to admit, my favorite thing about A Discovery of Witches was the way the three supernatural beings were depicted. They’re not your typical witches, vampires, and demons. Demons seem to be more or less indistinguishable from mortals except that they’re like, super creative and/or persuasive. Most of the most famous artists and musicians of all time were probably demons. But as a result of their super-creativity they’re also pretty ADD, and they have a hard time focusing on or doing anything other than what immediately interests them. They’re also very charming and good at getting what they want. I don’t know, I just found that very interesting and unique, even if demons don’t play a large part in the story overall.
Many Waters by Madaline L’engle
So technically the creatures in this book aren’t “angels”, they’re “seraphim”. I know, I know, if you google it seraph basically means angel, but in this story they are DEFINITELY not the same thing. But I digress. Many Waters is the final book of the Wrinkle in Time series. It follows Meg and Charles Wallace’s twin brothers, Sandy and Dennys. They go exploring in their parents’ lab and are accidentally sent back to the time of Noah’s ark. They know what is going to happen, and they are powerless to stop it. The seraphim in this story are presented as villainous types, tempting humans into sin for their own selfish games. But they’re still heavenly creatures, and they aught to be revered. It’s very unusual, and an interesting take on these beings that are only briefly mentioned in the Bible.
Animorphs by K.A. Applegate
Guys, I am completely obsessed with aliens. As I’ve talked about plenty of times before, this goes back to a long-standing obsession with Animorphs in my childhood that led me to continue to explore the they-walk-among-us genre. I just can’t get enough of any book, movie, TV show, whatever that features aliens pretending to be people so that they can take over the world. Always looking for recommendations. Seriously, go comment with your favorite. NOW.
Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Percy Jackson. I did a re-read in February and blogged about it, so yeah. However, this time I’m bringing up the second, more YA series, The Heroes of Olympus. I love this series for a lot of reasons. First of all, we get a good look at both Greek AND Roman mythology and how they saw the gods and demigods, which is cool. Second, there’s a much more diverse cast of characters. And we can take that word, diverse, one of two ways. Yeah, there is a lot of racial diversity in this series, and eventually LGBTQ rep as well. But there’s also a lot more diversity just in terms of character personalities. The first Percy Jackson series basically always follows the same three characters, Percy, Annabeth, and Grover, with occasional appearances by other characters. This second series has seven main characters, and you get to read from all of their points of view. And these characters are as different from each other as you could wish, meaning that there’s someone for just about every kid to relate to. Finally, this series asks a lot of important questions that I’ve never seen anywhere else in kids or young adult literature. My favorite, what makes something evil? Are they born evil, do they learn to be evil, and can they be redeemed from evil? Gah, this is such a great series!
Well, I think this is a super fun tag, and I have some friends who I bet are going to have some really unique and interesting opinions about this! But, as always, feel free to tag yourself if this strikes your fancy. That’s what I did!
- Darque Dreamer Reads
- The Orangutan Librarian
- Flavia the Bibliophile
- Melanie will get mad if I tag her, which is too bad since I bet she has some VERY interesting favorites!
- coffeeloving bookoholic
So what about you? What are some of your favorite books featuring creatures of the night?