Hey guys, how you doin’?
Today I’m here with a brand new Top 5 Wednesday on the topic Favorite Monsters. Although it says “monsters“, any mythical creature is a go. I made my choices based on the idea “if a book has this creature, I’m more likely to pick it up”. I’m actually planning another post on some other creatures you might not have heard of for this Halloween month, so let me know if you’d be interested.
Now without any further ado, let’s do this:
Yeah, yeah, I know vampires are supposedly not cool anymore, but here’s the thing: they were ALWAYS cool to me, long before the world went on a craze about them too. I honestly have no idea where or when my interest for them started. I remember I first learned about Twilight (which we all know jump-started a whole undead-loving era for the world) when my mom saw a low-key article about the production of the first movie adaptation on some random magazine and she was like “hey check this out, vampire story, so you might like it”. She knew I already had a big interest in them, way before Twilight was a thing, but I CANNOT for the life of me remember where the heck that interest came from – I just know I’ve always liked them. I mean, I’ve had my ups and downs with the vamps, but I’m always up for new interpretations of the myth. My interest for these bloodsuckers seems to be undying just like them.
Ok, so I was obssessed with The Little Mermaid as a kid. It was one of my favorite Disney movies of all time, and I even had an Ariel Barbie that you could dress with a tail. If you asked me back then, all I wanted was to become a mermaid. Why? I have no freaking idea. Maybe it seemed like fun, or liberating? Or I just liked to swim? Regardless, that’s kind of hilarious because nowadays I’m terrified of the ocean. Like legit terrified – like “can’t even look at a picture of deep dark ocean water without freaking out” terrified. Disney sea, and real sea are quite different, so little me clearly didn’t know any better. But I still like mermaid stories. They can still fascinate me, except that now they usually seem more threatning and ominous.
So, if you’ve watched or heard about an anime called Yu-gi-oh! – which is about duels using monsters essentially – there’s a character there called Mai Valentine and she is famous for playing with a deck of Harpies. In case you don’t know, in greek myths, harpies are basically half-women, half-birds-of-prey creatures who are usually not very nice. I mentioned the anime, because that was where I first learned about them, and I was so fascinated that when I started playing the Yu-gi-oh! card game in real life (yep that’s a thing), my boyfriend – who I met because of the game btw – build a beautiful deck of Harpies for me, which I cherish to this day. Also those harpies caused mayhem with my oponents and I loved the chaos haha So yeah, if a story has harpies, you better believe I’ll be interested – although I’ve only seen them in Percy Jackson since then, and they were just there to eat campers who didn’t respect curfew.
I think the interesting thing about ghosts is their backstories. They’re usually not happy ones (for starters they’re dead and can’t move on), and you can dive into the human nature in a way that hits closer to home. You might never become a vampire or a mermaid, but a ghost is the closest thing to us, because we’re all bound to death. I’m not talking about beliefs of afterlife here, I’m talking about being afraid to die, being scared of not leaving a mark behind, or not enjoying life to the fullest. We all can relate to that, which makes ghost stories more frightening – you think “I don’t want to become that ghost”, “I don’t want that to be me”. I know, too real, but I guess that’s what fascinates me and creeps me out about these stories. Ghosts are supernatural, but they’re essentially humans, and some humans can be quite naturally monstrous.
Now wait, hear me out. In most depictions demons are dangerous, amoral, unhuman and non-empathic, but you know what? That’s kind of what makes it fun. They’re usually evil agents of chaos and sometimes I just want my villains to be really bad. And well, bad guys with chaotic natures can be very entertaining. I love both extremes, villains that can be redeemed, and villains that can’t be reasoned with because they kind of just want to see the world burn. Everything will depend on the execution of the concept, of course, but if well thought out, these creatures of darkness can really spice up a story.
A quick shout-out to witches, who I love, but that didn’t make the cut because I wouldn’t generally classify them as monsters or mythical creatures.
You can find the Goodreads Group for T5W here.
So, what did you think of my picks? What are your favorite monsters? Let me know in the comments. 😀