Club Monstrosity

Image of Club Monstrosity
Release Date: 
April 29, 2013
Pocket Star Books
Reviewed by: 

“. . . clever, tongue-in-cheek entertainment with a couple of unexpected twists . . .”

A group of oddly assorted people meet weekly in the basement of Holy Heart Church in New York City. All suffer the malady Monstofelldosis (MFD) and their group is MFD Anonymous. It’s a made up name for a nonexistent condition, but that isn’t the odd part.

What is? All its members are monsters.

There’s Natalie Gray, the only surviving Frankenstein creation, quick to remind everyone Frankenstein was the man and not the monster, though sometimes she feels that isn’t exactly true.

Then there’s Alec, a sexy werewolf bad boy with an amorous gleam in his amber eyes; Kai, a lady mummy working for a cosmetics firm; Linda, a swamp creature and perpetual whiner; and an elderly gentleman named Drake who has a habit of transforming into a bat in public.

It had to happen.

It was inevitable in this politically correct day and age that eventually someone was going to realize anyone subjected to continual destruction by pitchfork-wielding, torch-bearing peasants is bound to develop a persecution complex.

If a monster always gets mowed down without a chance to give his side of the story, he’s definitely going to reach out to those likewise afflicted for assistance.

Novels, movies, and television haven’t helped.

So the monsters meet and commiserate. And assure each other they’re safe and well-disguised . . . and then the Invisible Man is killed . . . just as depicted in the story written abut him by H. G. Wells.

The others consider this sad but not surprising, for Ellis was a bit of an irritant even to his fellow paranormals. He must have simply riled the wrong person. After all, this is New York. Then Bob the Blob is found stuffed in a freezer—all 400 pounds of him—also very deceased. That persecution complex they’re all barely holding in check escapes, screaming wildly, because Bob was also killed as in the movie based after him.

Is a serial killer loose in New York? Would that be a surprise? Is this one concentrating only on so-called monsters and offing them just as in the novel/movie about him/her?

One such group immediately springs to mind: the van Helsing clan. After all, they’ve made a fortune by preying on mortals’ fear of monsters and have wiped out quite a few of Natalie’s friends as well.

Drake reminds them the supernatural populace and the van Helsings have a truce, however. Live and let live, and all that. A quick visit to the monster hunters’ residence confirms this. But if not they, then who?

Ms. Peterson has cleverly taken all those horror clichés making each club member “monstrous,” transforming him or her into phobia-ridden caricatures—ridiculous in creatures invented to inspire terror in the hearts of the book-reading, moviegoing public. Truly they are more than human. They bicker among themselves, trade insults, sulk in private, and fall in love.

Natalie and Alec investigate, hoping to discover the killer before any more of their friends bite the dust even as they try to ignore the growing attraction between them. When Alec gets evicted and Natalie loses her roomie, she offers the wolfboy a place to stay, and the sparks they’ve been hiding kindle a warm glow in Natalie’s transplanted heart. A fire lights up in in Alec—the kind having nothing to do with the coming full moon.

While they admit their love, however, the killer prepares to strike again, this time armed with silver bullets for a certain wolfman. . . .

Club Monstrosity is an original take on the creature-versus-monster hunter theme, written from the monster’s point of view. It is clever, tongue-in-cheek entertainment with a couple of unexpected twists, pointing out that sometimes those we call monsters aren’t the vile creatures we make them out to be.

It’s a welcome entry to a genre overstuffed with the supernatural entities we’ve come to know and love—and perhaps still fear a little.