I’m Friends with the Monster

Gil’s All Fright Diner, by A. Lee Martinez – I’d read his Divine Misfortune and thought it was pretty good, so I decided to check out his first novel. It’s a fantasy horror comedy, basically, featuring two good old boys named Duke and Earl who just happen to be a werewolf and a vampire. They pick up work at a country diner that was constructed as an interdimensional portal, and fight off zombies and ghouls sent by a teenage witch intent on bringing Lovecraftian horrors into town. There’s not too much new here; we’ve seen monsters as good guys, comedic takes on zombies, and parodies of Lovecraft plenty of times. Nonetheless, this is a really fun read, funny while also an engaging story with likeable protagonists. The mix of the supernatural and the normal definitely helps. It also strikes me as something that would go over well as a movie, and apparently there was some discussion about that in the past, although nothing was finalized as far as I know.

Greta and the Goblin King, by Chloe Jacobs – I can’t actually remember why I decided this was a must-read, but it wasn’t really what I expected. I guess from the title I was thinking of something like The Princess and the Goblin, but while there was definitely fairy tale influence, it delved deeper into the Paranormal Romance genre than what I usually read. The relationship between the title characters is complicated and sometimes a bit disturbing. I did like the world created here, one full of different communities of fantasy creatures that turn feral with the phases of the moon. Greta is a girl from Earth who ends up on Mylena when a demon tries to kidnap her brother, and takes to life as a bounty hunter. During the course of the book, she meets a group of boys who are also from Earth, and helps them try to get back home. Pretty good, but I don’t know if I’ll read the sequels or not.

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