Top 5 Wednesdays: Favourite Monsters/Mythical Creatures

For some reason, I found it kind of difficult to narrow this one down to specific monsters, so I decided to broaden it a bit to focus on the kinds of monsters/creatures that I like to read about. I’m not a fan of horror, but I do enjoy fantasy books which also tend to have a lot of monsters or supernatural creatures. It’s kind of funny because I wouldn’t necessarily think that I often go for books that involve any kind of supernatural or paranormal creatures, but when I look back at the books I read and even the movies or TV series that I enjoy, I’ve realized that many of them actually do involve monsters of some kind.

Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Gingerreadslainey on Youtube, and is now hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. The official GoodReads group with the weekly topics can be found here.

1) Witches

In my recent post recommending books about witches, I mentioned how I generally love to read stories about witches, even though I haven’t read too many. It’s kind of tough to actually consider a witch a monster since most of them are otherwise normal people, but I tend to find it fascinating when people are able to do magic. It’s also hard to classify them as monsters when the character has magical powers but is otherwise the hero of the story. I especially love stories about people learning to use their powers, and I think witches can also make very interesting and frightening villains.

2) Vampires

I should clarify that I don’t mean the Twilight kind of vampire, but more along the lines of Buffy the Vampire Slayer vampires. If you had asked me a few years ago, I would have said that I actively avoid stories that involve vampires, and to some degree that is still true. I think a lot of that has to do with the sheer volume of vampire stories, which makes it tough to weed out the kind I like from all the others. If I see the word “vampire” in a synopsis, my gut reaction is often to avoid the book, but I often end up enjoying the stories that I do read or watch that involve vampires. I think part of my interest in vampire stories is because I love reading all about vampire lore and history, and many of these books tend to have a very gothic feel.

3) Demons

I guess “demon” is a fairly generic term for a monster in general, but what I had in mind was everything from the chimaera in Daughter of Smoke and Bone to A Monster Calls to This Savage SongThis Savage Song to (once again) Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There is just such a range of kinds of demons that an author come up with, so there is lots of room for creativity and I tend to find it interesting to see how authors craft the world to explain where the demons came from and what they are able to do.  I actually really like the Buffy approach to demons where many of them are a kind of metaphor for real-life problems.

4) Ghosts

This is another one where if you had asked me a few years ago, I would have said that I actively avoid anything to do with ghosts. I’ve always been afraid of stories involving ghosts, even going so far as to hide a book I once had that involved a ghost because it creeped me out too much (I was 8), and always putting another children’s book involving a ghost on the cover upside down so I wouldn’t have to see it. Ghost stories scare me and I don’t read them very often at all, but I was surprised to realize that I’ve really enjoyed every one that I’ve read. I think there is a lot that can be done with ghosts to make a really fascinating story, and they can also range from really creepy (ie. Little Girls by Ronald Malfi) to pretty light (ie. Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol).

5) Monstrous people

Even more creepy than ghosts for me are stories about the more realistic kind of monster — monstrous people. I’m thinking specifically of stories that involve characters who do something truly horrible such as serial killers, stalkers, or psychopaths (ie. We Need to Talk About Kevin or You). These are in some ways much more scary for me because these situations are real and could possibly happen. As much as ghost stories freak me out, I can at least tell myself that they are just stories and it won’t happen. Reading about a psychopath or serial killer, on the other hand, is scary on a completely different level because at the back of my mind is always the idea that this person actually could exist. It completely takes away that level of separation that I tend to have from other supernatural monsters, and makes it horrifying in a completely different way.


One thought on “Top 5 Wednesdays: Favourite Monsters/Mythical Creatures

  1. Pingback: Top 5 Wednesdays: Favourite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Creatures | Abyssal Librarian

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