Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Till We Become Monsters by Amanda Headlee


*No Major Spoilers*

Monsters exist and Korin Perrin knew this as truth because his grandmother told him so. Korin, raised in the shadow of his older brother Davis, is an imaginative child who believes his brother is a monster. After the death of their grandmother, seven-year-old Korin, blaming Davis for her demise, tries to kill him. Sixteen years following the attempt on Davis’ life, racked with guilt, Korin comes to terms with the fact that Davis may not be the one who is the monster after all.

Past wrongs needing to be righted, Korin agrees to a hunting trip with his brother and father. But they, along with two friends, never make it to their destination. An accident along the way separates the hunters in the dark forests of Minnesota during the threat of an oncoming blizzard. As the stranded hunters search for each other and safety, an ancient evil wakes.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

I am a big fan of cryptids and other mythological creatures. Since I live in Oklahoma which may not be the epicenter of Bigfoot sightings, this state does have more than a few known Bigfoot hunting grounds. However, there is no Bigfoot in this story, Till We Become Monsters is focused on the Wendigo.

For those unfamiliar with the Indigenous Peoples’ Mythologies, a Wendigo is a creature that is created from the dire straits people in the northern areas can find themselves in if they get caught in a snowstorm unprepared. They say once someone gets a taste of human blood, the never-ending hunger grows and morphs the person into a monster.

Back to the book, we meet Korin who we watch grow up feeling emotionally neglected by his parents. His big brother Davis has both of his parents’ attention and love throughout childhood and into adulthood. Seeing the events from mostly Korin’s perspective makes you feel bad for him.

“We never know how far we have fallen until we become monsters.”

Amanda Headlee; Till We Become Monsters

After about halfway into the book, we see Korin’s childhood from both parents’ and Davis’ perspectives. It doesn’t negate how his parents neglected Korin and that they spoiled Davis to the point where the whole family dynamic is toxic and borderline abusive. It just provides context for the reader that the parents fumbled the parental football to the detriment of the family.

Even though no one in the family is worth rooting for, you can’t help rooting for all of them to survive the aftermath of the car accident. I think this shows that the author took the time to give each character a slight redeeming quality. I think if everything was left in Korin’s perspective, we’d want all the family to fail.

Overall, this was a good book. I got swept up in the action, and the building of Korin’s character. I think the mythological aspect of this novel was pulled off really well. I also think if you are interested in cryptids, survival horror, and just all around spookiness, then I would say give this novel a try.

Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels

REDO REVIEW: Fly by Night by Tara O’Connor

*No Major Spoilers*

Trigger Warnings: Verbal Abuse, Grief, and brief mentions of fire and murder

Something supernatural is lurking in the woods. While out searching for her missing sister and desperately trying to find any possible clues to her whereabouts, Dee discovers something . . . isn’t quite right . . . in the woods. Dee soon finds herself in the middle of a battle to save the pinelands, and she is finding more suspects, and more questions, than answers.

As time goes on, there is only one thing she knows for certain, there are monsters among us. But they aren’t who you should be afraid of . . .


Rating: 4 out of 5.

I have been trying to diversify my reading this year, and when I saw this at my local library I thought I’d take the opportunity to check it out. The vibrant cover, and the mystery aspect makes this seem like the perfect review for me. So let’s sniff out Fly by Night.

First of this novel’s favorite color is purple. Even though a majority of this graphic novel is seen in shades of lavender and lilac, there’s a creepiness to it that helps the on going mystery of it all. Color theory for the win!

I like that we have a unique situation regarding Dee’s parents. That they were not only divorced but it was an interracial marriage. It’s hinted at through dialogue and insomnia spells that Dee’s father was abusive towards their mother. The father believes that if he kept both sisters together that Beth wouldn’t be missing.

Dee’s mom is visibly declining in health, she has heavy bags under her eyes and she looks like she hasn’t eaten or slept since Beth’s disappearance. Having her ex-husband there going on tirades when he’s not at work clearly is not making things easier. However she is relieved to have Dee there to help find out what happened to Beth.

As Dee is trying to sniff out clues, there’s an ongoing war against an oil company wanting to destroy the Pine-lands by building a pipeline. Beth was a major defender for the forest along with their science teacher and other students at the school. So how anyone has time to finish homework is beyond me. (haha)

Overall, I really enjoyed this graphic novel, there’s a lot of heart and care put in towards the characters. Even the Jersey Devil get’s an appearance and has a role to play in Dee’s story. I would recommend this novel for anyone looking for a heartwarming mystery. Even fans of the Jersey Devil or Cryptozoology would enjoy this tale of how we need to protect the places that mean the most to us.

Posted in Book Reviews, Non-Fiction, Novels

REVIEW: Beyond the Fray: Bigfoot by Shannon LeGro and G. Michael Hopf

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It’s argued that the recent search for Bigfoot officially began on September 21, 1958, when journalist, Andrew Genzoli of the Humboldt Times, featured a letter from a reader about loggers in Northern California concerning large footprints they’d found at a worksite. What began as a fun article turned into an almost instant national sensation, and since stories of the elusive creature have poured in, not just from California and the Pacific Northwest, but from around the world.

BEYOND THE FRAY: BIGFOOT features some of these personal eyewitness accounts and terrifying encounters, most taken from the transcripts of the popular podcast, “iNTO THE FRAY.”  These stories are unique and scary. They will leave you wondering what this creature is and will no doubt give you pause before you cross the wood line and enter the woods.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

This novel is an anthology of people who have had encounters with the legendary Bigfoot. I have a casual interest in Cryptozoology, and I’ve been looking for a good Bigfoot book to read for a while. I am also a bit embarrassed by my casual interest in things like Cryptozoology, UFOs, and other supernatural experiences.

This anthology is an excellent quick read. Each chapter starts with the host’s thoughts about the upcoming encounter, just like I was listening to a podcast in the same niche. I always enjoy hearing thoughts from a third party. I feel the most credible witnesses to these creatures, in my opinion, are those who aren’t going into the deep woods looking for Bigfoot.

However, this novel isn’t full of stories about Sasquash. There’s Dogmen, Dire Wolves, and other creepy crawlies that go bump in the night. I find the idea of Dogmen and other creatures to be more interesting than Bigfoot. I might go into more detail on my thoughts on Cryptozoology and other paranormal things in a later blog post.

Overall, I would highly recommend Beyond the Fray: Bigfoot if you’re itching to dip your toes into the weird world of what goes on deep in the woods in the middle of the night.