Always in search of interesting bookish tags to explore, I found this one that’s part of a collection of very useful prompts: besides being intriguing, thanks to its focus on weird creatures, it has the added value of having been shared by fellow blogger Lisa at WayTooFantasy – be sure to visit her link for more book tag fun!

And now, let’s go with the critters! 😀


FIFTH HOUSE OF THE HEART by Ben Tripp: this is one of the best vampire books I ever read, where nasty, brutal bloodsuckers (no languorous sparklies here!) are pitted against a group of vampire hunters sponsored by no other than the Church. A blood chilling and breath stopping story, indeed.


THE SKIN TRADE by GRR Martin: a tense, dark novella from Martin’s collection Dreamsongs, and an interesting take on the myth of the werewolf, focused on the investigation of a weird chain of murders. Besides enjoying the written story, I had the pleasure of listening to its audio version read by amazing Claudia Black, which added great value to the tale.


FEED by Mira Grant: the first volume in her Newsflesh series, which takes a new approach to the zombie apocalypse, showing how the world deals with the roaming, flesh-eating undead once the worst of the horror has passed. Well, sort of… And there are bloggers as central figures, which made it even more interesting to me.


THE SHINING by Stephen King: we are all familiar with this King classic, set in an isolated mountain hotel haunted by terrifying ghosts that can prey on the mind of the unwary. Among the less fearsome, but still scary, are the two little girls that keep appearing to young Danny…


SNOWSPELLED by Stephanie Burgis: first story in the Harwood Spellbook series, a continuing saga about an alternate England in which men possess magical powers and the women deal with politics and the running of the country. That is, except for magically gifted Cassandra Harwood! The covers for these novellas are as delightful as the tales they tell 🙂


THE CRUEL PRINCE by Holly Black: again a first volume in a saga, one where the fae are showed for the nasty, merciless, callous creatures they are, although there are some humans that can stand up to them and play at the same game with equal levels of ruthlessness.


PENRIC’S DEMON by Lois McMaster Bujold: a fantasy tale from one of my favorite SF authors, and a series I still have to explore past this first offering. The demon in question is Desdemona, and she end up inhabiting young Penric’s body, gifting him with some special powers and changing his life forever. The usual Bujold humor applies delightfully here.


BLUE ANGEL by Phil Williams: there is no true angel here as we think of them, but the titular Blue Angel is a weird manifestation among the even weirder happenings in the city of Ordshaw, where magic and strangeness walk hand in hand with the more mundane aspects of life.


OUTPOST by W. Michael Gear: I can’t imagine anything more alien (and dangerous!) than the colony world of Donovan, where everything is out to maim, kill and/or devour the unwary humans that venture outside the fence of their main settlement. Lizard-like predators, flocks of killer birds, flesh-eating plants and so on: survival on Donovan is not exactly a given, but this world makes for a very thrilling exploration.


JADE CITY by Fonda Lee: in this alternate Earth, and particularly on the far eastern island of Kekon, the wearing and wielding of jade confers great strength and resistance, and allows the wearer great physical and mental feats. The strife to amass as much jade as possible is at the center of this compelling story that sees warring families fight for supremacy in a beautiful and immersive background.

And what are your favorite beings that go bump in the night?



  1. Simple tags like this are much easier to do than some of the others.
    I have one scheduled for May that just turned into a complete disaster 😦

    When Claudia Black read the Skin Trade, did she sound like Aeryn Sun?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, Claudia Black’s voice does always bring back memories of Farscape, but while reading some of Martin’s short stories like this one you can hear her amazing performing range: for example, in the audio version of Martin’s The Glass Flower, she does a few other different voices (the alien acolytes of the main character) and she’s just incredible… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a wonderful collection of books, Maddalena! I’m going to have to track down The Skin Trade as Fevre Dream by Martin is one of my all-time favourite reads. And I was delighted to see you feature Penric and the Demon – there’s another book in this series on the horizon, by the way…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think we all tend to be in danger of being crushed by our teetering TBR piles – so I completely understand the wince when you feel there are series you OUGHT to be reading on account of loving that author. I’ve got a very long list of those…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I was completely unfamiliar with The Fifth House of the Heart, but I’ve added it to my TBR. I love more hard-hitting vampire stories. Some other interesting looking books in the list, ones I’d like to try, though unfortunately The Cruel Prince just didn’t work for me. But great selection, just the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fifth House is one of the best, most delightfully truculent vampire books I can remember reading: if you like your vampires without sparkles or teenage angst, you will find yourself quite at home there. Just bring some garlic… 😀 😀


    1. Martin’s Dreamsongs collection is a good one: as many anthologies go, there are some excellent stories and some that are just… ok, but the overall quality is good and there are also many details on the author’s life as he grew as a person and a writer.


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