Derek Stabbers wants revenge. He’s been planning to get it ever since his parents were convicted of the brutal murders of several neighbors. The state blamed mental illness; Derek blames monsters.
Paxton Hellswood wants to be left alone. She’s barely made it out of the house in the hundred years since she was reborn from the dead, and that’s just fine by her. She’ll take the comfortable embrace of her couch over human interaction any day.
After a series of violent misfortunes, Paxton’s incorporeal form becomes stuck inside Derek, forcing the two enemies to begrudgingly share a body.
Together (as one), they embark on a hilarious and poignant journey that ultimately proves there’s no such thing as monsters—just a world full of terrified creatures all hungry for a connection.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 32 members
ALL the stars I can give possible! [Thanks to Travis and his Publisher, etc. who have allowed us an opportunity to read/review] I am probably going to be one of those outlier reviewers who kind of stare at this book in some kind of mild case in awe and wonder... asking, "Where has this book, and/or Author, been all my life?"... and then stalk them like a crazy person stalker for their next endeavor. Look, my track record here shows me basically a fan-girl for Romance, but you gotta understand the scope of me, especially from my past goes way-deeper than surface appearance. I grew up with a steady diet of Stephen King, watching and reading. My life as a movie viewer hit a deep-dive into the macabre... even when it's THE Best in horror, or the Classics... to those lowest of lows, when the horror is cliched and schlockey, the Grade Z so-bad-it's-good movie nightmares--more likely in the making of, than in the watching of... This book is something I always fall back on and say..."what a breathe of fresh air". Here is an Author Voice that has needed to be brought forth because there have been so few out there doing this kind of an amazing job. This book presents a lot of social commentary to unpack, but wrapped in this horrific, gorey and macabre trappings. I know that most of the reviews here make the claim... the book is confusing and it is too crowded [w/too many characters]. uhm, yeah, it's true, not going to lie outright or sugarcoat, but there is also something here that I believe comes out once you understand where this Author comes from. And, yeah... it is basically movie-making. He writes like he is making a movie, or that he has oodles of scriptwriter experience... and what a gem this becomes because it fits right into my own reading attempts-->> I READ like I am watching a movie. As I sit here, a few hours after finishing my ARC...I am kind of trying to piece together what was flowing through my mind that helped guide me in the midst of how easily I fell into admiration for how this whole tale began unfolding. I hate those Author or Reviewer/Blogger blurbs where they try to utilize... it's a little bit THIS, with some THIS or THAT. And I dislike this form of reviewing because it somehow lessens the brilliance of what Travis has done here, all on his own. Everyday Monsters is, to me... BUFFY, THE VAMPIRE SLAYER [the movie, not the show] the camp-y-ness that isn't afraid to be cliched or tropey, but also nuanced in ways that feel or breathe "new life" into the old... mixed with THE PRINCESS BRIDE-style of wry and witty humor. There is also some mode of humorous macabre like in DEATH BECOMES HER, certainly the moments where Hawn and Streep try every damn avenue to keep on livin' despite being so-DEAD... in this book, the poor MCs [Derek & Pax] have to keep on dyin' just to keep on livin'... and it's what makes this story stand-out for me... what makes it such a delicious riotous romp. eh, now that I have used a bunch of meaningless movie references... I suppose I will need to let you in on why exactly this book works for me. There is Good vs Evil... but sometimes what was once Good is now Evil... and then what was once thought Evil is now... uh, Good. Sounds so simple and easy, but within this mode of storytelling there are such intricacies given to each moment of revelation... this enriches everything once thought to every moment popping off the pages. I enjoy this onion-layer peeling... and it was done so well here. The summary leads one to believe... there is a Boy who meets a Girl... and this is their nightmare on Earth come to Life. That is just about 15% of what is truly going on. Travis makes you feel like even the minor-est of characters are needed to not simply world-build but flesh-out exactly what is going on behind-the-scenes, or behind very tightly shut closed doors... This is why it reminds me so subtlety of BUFFY... because a Hellmouth exists and Monsters of every walk of life keep coming in... to Rainy Mood... the Nothing Happens Here But Boredom and Population Growth town Derek Stabbers has lived in and now feels like he can somehow become the Hero of. Paxton was an unexpected likable and deeply engaging heroine... but let's not also forget... her Family nest of Vampires, helmed by her awesome Vamp Mom, Clem... and the cacophony of fantastic bad-ass siblings---I SEE you, Gretel!!... and Pax's "Shade"/Human, Lottie... who really felt like the TV SHOW version of the "Buffy" role to me--the Popular Girl turned Bad-Ass Slayer... but then later becomes somewhat of a really fascinating character in a minor role I kept wanting to see more and more of. Anyone else would've made Lottie 1-dimensional, but under Travis's deft hand... she wields some wonderfully awesome moments... I found myself smiling more when she showed up... her backstory is just... it leaves me breathless even now, thinking about her after I closed out the book. Each MC has a background set of minor peeps... who also have the spotlight shown on them... and the opportunities for Redemption arcs... wow, man, I am always here for this set-up. This is what I mean by Good turning Evil/ Evil turning Good... not everything once thought is Black or White... we must always consider the Grays, too. Travis does something wonderful as a creator where he breathes humanity and a stable sense of morality... but when the Stakes are so high... Death is nearby... so many of his characters are finally learning THE REAL TRUTH. I almost feel like it is a bit like those who build their real lives around Conspiracy Theories and suddenly one day... something wakes them up, learning they cannot trust someone thought of as a Great Leader any longer... because he's a grifter and outright crook, who has been getting away with such evil doings, sometimes plain ole murder... There is so much Travis sculpts, in minuscule ways, then weaves in and out of the simple story of a Boy & Girl... granted... they are a Monster Hunter and a Vampire... who becomes a Werepire [werewolf-vampire]... and then becomes...ghost-werepire... yeah, there is endless subjection of poor Paxton, or Pax... as she... who was once called "Oh, you're The Couch Vampire" has suddenly gotten off her couch and decided to live life... a Dead Life, sure. But then an even more Dead-er life once she and Derek start "becoming one"... hehe, I find that wording kind of chuckle-worthy. They genuinely DO, become one. See, it is really tough to sit here and go through every single step Travis takes us down, because it's an experience a reader should want to learn on their own. If I tell you, then it spoils the fun...'cuz I wanna tell you about the chapter, late in the book... when Pax "haunts/possess" Derek's sperm... and Travis eloquently writes one of the most beautiful explanations of just how ONE sperm "wins" the race and makes a baby... hehe, so, yeah... BUY THE BOOK [to coin a Time-Life phrase]... you won't regret it. I really don't know what else to say except... I laughed out loud so much during this book and when a book or its blurb warn me ahead of time this is LOL-y... or I will honestly hold-my-belly with raucous laughter, laughing-out-loud at every chapter???... usually it's a selling point that never gets fulfilled. This book never promised me that experience... and I found myself laughing out loud so much more than I ever have [I think the last time I did was Ann Aguirre's STRANGE LOVE]. When a book can tickle my funny bone or make me adore its ability to make me envision every damn scene... and every character Travis introduced readers to was a knock-out-punch... the back history to old BFFs Lottie and Jazz was just... heartfelt and amazingly powerful... oh, yeah... book's rating shoots right to the top. I also want to commend Travis on his type of writing style... which is highly immersive and why I kept picturing not just how to SEE this book... how to see characters, actions, scenes play out... but also how to use my other senses to enjoy a book that is sometimes horrific and gorey, with shards of such detailed narratives that it personally makes me drool to actually visualize the Special Effects any SE Artist/Company can render to make this come alive on-screen... I expect, in a few years, to see... "Optioned for a movie..." somewhere blurbed on this cover one day... eh, maybe I should shoot off some good vibes to Netflix or someone with some Squillions in their back pocket. I am simply one voice in the darkness damn-near enjoying myself to death...and I cannot wait for this book to adapt to film. Can we get on that Travis, huh? You have one Insta-ticket buyer right here. **I received this e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
Reminiscent of Christopher Moore and A. Lee Martinez, Everyday Monsters is a thrilling, fun ride in the comedy horror genre. Vampires, Werewolves, Ghosts, Ghouls, Killer Robots, Evil Scientists, Squirrels, and more this book has them all. I will definitely be on the lookout for more from this author.
This is a fun comedy horror story with some really great original ideas. However, for me there was a bit too much going on, almost like it was trying too hard at times. A decent read all the same.
I’m really glad I gave this a chance and stuck with it. The story was a little hard to get into and the ending is A LOT. However this turned out to be a very smart and funny satire of monster stories. It was immensely enjoyable.
If you've ever entered the world of Travis Betz, then you likely won't be much surprised by his latest effort "Everyday Monsters." I first became acquainted with Betz through his work as an actor on the indie film "Little Big Top," a dark yet sentimental film in which the Indiana-born actor excelled and set the tone for the career as an actor and filmmaker to follow. He's directed such films as "Lo," "Joshua," and "The Dead Inside" while his work on the "Paper Cuts" series is imaginative and awesome. Betz is a unique voice and once you know that and accept it, the complex yet surprisingly simple story that unfolds in "Everyday Monsters" won't be a surprise at all. At his best, Betz taps into both intimate and universal concerns rather sublimely. The same is true with "Everyday Monsters." It's also not surprising given Betz's film background that "Everyday Monsters" is an incredibly visual film to an almost exhausting degree. I personally had to read the book slower than I usually read because, quite simply, it's a book that requires energy and investment in its story and in its characters. The characters start with Derek Stabbers, a young man left alone to live with his slightly older brother after his parents are institutionalized following their conviction for brutally murdering several neighbors. The State called it mental illness. Derek knows otherwise - he blames monsters. The characters continue with Paxton Hellswood. She's barely been out of the house in at least a 100 years since she was afforded a second chance at life that she's perfectly fine wasting away on the comfort of her couch. After a series of violent mishaps, Paxton's incorporeal form becomes stuck inside Derek and the two enemies have to find a way to semi-peacefully co-exist. Together, they embark on a weird but wonderful journey that that is simultaneously dark and violent, a little perverse, and frequently rather sweet. In other words, it's a Travis Betz creation. The truth is I've always had an appreciation for the worlds created by Betz. Perhaps it's a result of my own frequently dark life turned into something resembling Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, but I love the way Betz is able to explore both the best and the worst of us as human beings and as monsters. While Betz is an experienced writer, you can tell at times he's still sort of fumbling his way around figuring out how to make the images and the story in his mind fit within the confines and structure of an actual novel. It's safe to say Betz has a very freestyle sense of creativity and, at times, you can sense that he's feeling his way around how to make that creativity fit within the novel format. While the book's description sounds rather straightforward, rest assured that "Everyday Monsters" actually gets quite a bit more complex. For the most part, however, "Everyday Monsters" stays cohesive as characters intertwine and storylines crossover and eventually the story itself winds down with something resembling resolution for darn near everyone involved. The truth is I enjoyed "Everyday Monsters" quite a bit. While it required quite a bit of an investment, it was worth that investment and characters like Derek, Pax, Lotti, and Jordan linger in my mind still. This is really not a book for children, though late teens and young adults won't read anything in here they haven't talked about in school or with their buddies. Admittedly, they probably haven't actually done these things. At least I hope not. With "Everyday Monsters," Betz continues what in many ways has been an underlying theme of many of his works - there really are no monsters other than the ones we create and the vast majority of us are just really starved for something resembling genuine connection. It's a theme that's particularly powerful in this pandemic-influenced world and it's a theme that Betz has brought to life in a dark, humorous, violent, sexual, sentimental, sarcastic, and weirdly sweet way in "Everyday Monsters."
**I received an ARC from the publisher on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This book was amazing!! And it had it all...vampires, werewolves, ghosts, ghouls, witches, vampire hunters, cannibals, tons of other monsters, and one hell of a plot. I couldn't stop reading this book. It was well written and the characters were vivid. You can't help but fall in love with Pax and Derek and be obsessed with their crazy adventure. And then you have Axe, who is a badass that you hate but end up rooting for. The monsters aren't who you think they are... This will be a book I'll be reading again
Everyday Monsters, as the name suggests is an enigmatic Supernatural Dark Comedy penned by Travis Betz. I would love to go into the plot of the story, but I won’t because I’d rather you guys enter the novel blind. The kind of narration the author brings forth is commendable and I ought to admit, the book was so cleverly written that I couldn’t put it down once I started reading it. I know the blurb makes it sound as if it’s an easy read, but don’t be fooled, for it’s not As the plot progressed, the story became rather complex and it took me a little longer to read the book as compared to my generic reading speed. The world building was amazing and it was as if I am watching a movie rather than reading a book. There were too many characters but I didn’t have much difficulty keeping track of them. The characters were all pretty well penned and I enjoyed reading this book a lot. The climax was something really graphic, and I LOVED IT.
You have a sense of humor that leaves others side eyeing you? Then this book will tickle your funny bone that's dark and, perhaps 'should be buried' according to a more basic set of people. A good and blood-splattered time, this book is not the light read the summary may suggest. Readers are thrown into vivid scenes with multiple characters and then left to dig their way through the lyrical bushes and figure out which character they're spying on in the scene. The plot grew complex with changing standards of morals and requires a focused attention. This book is best read when not juggling between four different books as this one has more than enough to keep you invested: well-developed supporting characters, multiple stages of "after life, body sharing with enemies, cinematic scenes, and redemption arcs (and vice-versa).
This was a fantastic read. Fans of dark humor and horror will absolutely love this roller coaster of a read, from the vast amount of supernatural creatures and elements the author infuses into the story to the complex way the author blends humor with deep looks into the best and worst humanity has to offer.
Derek Stabbers wants revenge. He’s been planning to get it ever since his parents were convicted of the brutal murders of several neighbours. The state blamed mental illness; Derek blames monsters. Paxton Hellswood wants to be left alone. She’s barely made it out of the house in the hundred years since she was reborn from the dead, and that’s just fine by her. She’ll take the comfortable embrace of her couch over human interaction any day. After a series of violent misfortunes, Paxton’s incorporeal form becomes stuck inside Derek, forcing the two enemies to begrudgingly share a body. Together (as one), they embark on a hilarious and poignant journey that ultimately proves there’s no such thing as monsters—just a world full of terrifying creatures all hungry for a connection. Everyday Monsters is definitely a curious and fascinating read. If the Brothers Grimm were re-incarnated and knew what people were into these days, then you can imagine this is the kind of thing they would write. It is a horror-fantasy fiction novel with a touch of humour thrown in. The scene is set when the first thing we see happen in the neighbourhood is a mental killer squirrel attacks a vampire. It would be humourous unless you like squirrels or love all animals. (In which case, this book might not be for you). Also, do not be fooled by the cute cover because this is definitely not for kids, young adults at a pinch. Because they have probably seen and read worse. There are so many characters in this book, and they are brilliant portrayed in different guises by the author. Some of the characters are detestable, loathsome, and reprehensible. And yet, as the narrative progresses, things have a habit of changing, and your viewpoints and attitudes towards individuals do likewise. The Axe and Dereks characters are understandably heavily focused on revenge, so they initially get the sympathy vote. While Pax, Lotti, and Jordan are all right royal pains in the backside. The book flows along at a break-neck pace, so there is not a lot of place setting. But as the book is character-driven, you do not expect that. The sub-plots within the book involves misfortunes for most of the leading protagonists. That is something that does make this book slightly out of the ordinary. It is also what makes this a much better read than your average vampire/werewolf/monster novel. There is a lot of mature content and language, and some scenes are vividly described. So be warned. As I mentioned earlier, there is humour within the book, not necessarily the laugh out loud kind, and some of it is dark, but it is there. Everyday Monsters is a well-crafted and well-conceived novel. It is an unpredictable and unexpected gem, and anyone interested in the genre will not be disappointed.
This is a great, quick summer book. Do you ever see a book and say "I remember when I read that"? And you can recall that it was the summer of 20xx perfectly and it gives you feels? I feel like this is going to be my 2021 book. It was fun, original, and the characters were perfect.
this was such a cute little book! i really enjoyed this one a lot. i'm so thankful to netgalley for letting me read all of these books early. it's so wonderful!!
This is absolutely one of the most unique stories I’ve ever read. I was never ever bored. The character development was fantastic, and the characters felt so real to me. Even if some of them were rather stereotypical, I still felt like I could really see them and I loved watching them grow through the story. My only complaint is that I felt the Progression got a bit repetitive. It ended up feeling like the gang had an issue, they’d have their plan to solve the issue go off without a hitch, but then it would turn out someone stabbed them in the back. Rinse and repeat. It wouldn’t have gotten so old if it wasn’t essentially the entire story. The end was a bit frustrating for me as well, because it seemed like we were right back to Pax’s conflict near the beginning of the book where she had two hosts in one body, except now she’s content with it. I personally don’t love open endings either, but I understand why that choice was made. All in all, this was a very memorable and different story and I thoroughly enjoyed my time reading it.
You have to love Netgalley, you pick your books, they get loaded up on your e-reader and you are always open up for a surprise and nothing is more surprising than the absolute fun and exciting new book by Travis Betz. This is a sure fire thrill ride that one does not want to get off anytime soon because there are thrills, horror, mystery, excitement, drama and comedy throughout its pages. The characters in Everyday Monsters are fun and three dimensional. Each and every character is well crafted with their individual way of speaking and expressing themselves. They each have their own unique personality and make each and everyone of them stand out amongst the fairly large cast. Not one is hidden within the shadows and to be able to do this is no mean trick. Hats off to Betz for bringing us so many unforgettable characters that I am left wanting more. The plot is masterfully crafted from the mystery of cannibalistic parents, vampires fighting against werewolves and misplaced youth caught in the middle as there is something more sinister going on within the small town. Betz has even found a way to weave in the politics and this is not just a town of otherworldly characters but a town where normal folk coincide with the unexplained. He balances this beautifully. Another thing to note that once we leave the town, the fully realised world of the island is so welcomingly narrated that it feels alive; and feels that it actually exists. This is a totally well rounded package that deserves its own show and a franchise as the only flaw that I could find is I wanted more, more, more. Paxton and Derek could keep the franchise alive along with the multi-faceted characters and to be honest, I can’t find one thing to fault. I am now going to be an avid fan and will be looking for other work by this phenomenal writer. If you like your books to be slightly off centre with great humour, horror, gore, thriller, mystery and drama that makes you soar and cry with the characters plight then look no further. This is a fast pace absolute winner that needs to find its audience and keep the lights forever burning bright. Excellent.