Friday, October 20, 2023

Five novels for fans of "Something Is Killing the Children"

Tobias Carroll is the managing editor of Vol.1 Brooklyn. He is the author of the short story collection Transitory and the novel Reel.

At he writes:
There’s a lot to like about the comic book series Something Is Killing the Children, beginning with its ominously-named protagonist Erica Slaughter and proceeding from there. The series—written by James Tynion IV and illustrated by Werther Dell’Edera—follows Erica, part of a secret society of monster hunters, as she deals with terrifying eldritch beings around the country. A Hollywood Reporter article published earlier this year called it “one of the biggest titles not published by DC or Marvel”—and announced that a Netflix adaptation is in the works.
Carroll tagged five novels in which "you may find monsters of mysterious origin and secret societies abounding with internal tensions—or some combination of both." One title on the list:
Big Machine by Victor LaValle

Spoiler alert: The idea came for this list when looking at my bookshelves and thinking, “You know, someone who enjoyed Big Machine would probably like Something Is Killing the Children, and vice versa.” The protagonist of LaValle’s novel ends up working for a group called the Unlikely Scholars, based in a Vermont space called the Washburn Library—and when he does so, this novel moves from the realm of realism into a world where the bizarre and supernatural are waiting for the unwary.

At the center of this book is a schism within the Unlikely Scholars—and it’s what sends this novel’s protagonist across the country to investigate another man who broke with the organization. If you’re fond of some palace intrigue within your mysterious organizations—and who isn’t?—this novel delivers. A sense of place, a penchant for mysteries, and a touch of body horror: This book has you covered.
Read about another entry on the list.

Big Machine is among Tara Isabella Burton's six books searching for meaning in times of despair and Laura van den Berg's six favorite unconventional mystery novels.

The Page 69 Test: Big Machine.

--Marshal Zeringue