Monsters and Mythical Creatures from around the World
November 28th, 2019 by diane92345

This book is filled with 240 Monsters and Mythical Creatures from Around the World. From recent creatures like Chupacabras, Jackalopes, and the Australian Drop Bear to ancient foes like the multicultural dragon and the horse-lion Durong Kraison of Thailand, the full range of time is explored here. Creatures are ordered by region, which is why the dragon is described in three separate entries. Many of the monsters will be familiar but many will be new to most people. About every third creature is illustrated using bright colors.

Monsters and Mythical Creatures from Around the World is an excellent tool for horror writers to use for new ideas of horrifying creatures to include in their fiction. The pictures and text are created in a non-dramatic way, which makes this a perfect gift for older children who like monsters. The explanation of the possible cultural reasons for the monsters’ creation was fascinating. For example, the hairless deformed Huallepen is found in Chile and Argentina. When it mates with local sheep and cattle, it causes offspring that look like it—explaining common local birth defects. There is another story explaining how the jackalope was created by taxidermists and later used as tourist bait in a small Wyoming town.

Overall, the book is an interesting read for anyone interested in mythology or monsters from around the world. 4 stars!

Thanks to Red Feather, Schiffer Publishing Ltd. and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Buy the Book here

Posted in New Books, Non-fiction Tagged with: , ,

Chasing American Monsters
March 8th, 2019 by diane92345

Organized by state, Chasing American Monsters is a fine introduction to monsters found next door and across the United States.

With more than 250 monsters listed, this book is sure to have something to interest every monster fan. I didn’t know that the state I live in, California, has both evil gnomes and giant (six and a half feet long) cockroaches so expect some surprises.

While I liked the brief stories about the monsters, I didn’t see the value of the state overviews. Do I really need to know which state was the last to join the union or has the largest population? Also, I wish there were drawings of each monster rather than just one per state. Overall, Chasing American Monsters delivers on its promise to provide a brief overview of the most famous or unusual monsters in each state. However, fans of particular monsters will want to pick up more detailed books. 3 stars!

Thanks to Llewellyn Publications and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Non-fiction, Paranormal Tagged with: ,

Vault of Frankenstein
October 17th, 2018 by diane92345

From Mary Shelley’s 1818 book to The Munsters and beyond, the Vault of Frankenstein is an extensively researched look at the impact of a single book published 200 years ago.

“Only Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan and Dracula have appeared more often in media than Frankenstein’s monster.”

Not bad for a nineteen-year-old first-time writer who only wrote the horror tale on a dare from two older published poets. Her real story is almost as famous as the monster himself. It opens the Bride of Frankenstein and was the entire plot of three other movies.

The Vault of Frankenstein explores how a book written so long ago has inspired so many interpretations. Emphasizing movies and television shows, the book also briefly summarizes plays and books based on Frankenstein. The illustrations include pages from the first edition books, engravings of locations, playbills, movie posters, candid production shots, and movie stills. The final chapter goes beyond film into cereal, cartoons, comics, dolls, models, and music in the Frankenstein genre.

I consider myself a horror fan. I even had the Frankenstein model shown in this book. However, I learned many new facts from the Vault of Frankenstein. Who knew the original silent 1910 Frankenstein film is 13 minutes long, restored and available on YouTube? Or that Igor (or his original incarnation, Fritz) was a device used by plays and movies so the audience would know Dr. Frankenstein’s thoughts? He wasn’t in the book at all.

The Vault of Frankenstein is perfect for a horror fan or Frankenstein memorabilia collector. The hardcover includes replicas of book manuscript pages, a playbill, movie posters, and stills. This book is a fascinating deep dive into Frankenstein lore. 5 stars!

Thanks to the publisher, Becker & Meyer, and NetGalley for granting my wish and providing me an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Horror, Non-fiction Tagged with: , ,