Use the code TAKE5 for $5 off your first package!

15 Year Anniversary Release of THE MONSTER VARIATIONS by Daniel Kraus




Publisher: Cemetery Dance | June 2024



Someone is killing boys in a small town. The murder weapon is a truck, and the only protection is a curfew enacted to keep kids off the streets. But it’s summer—and that alone is worth the risk of staying out late for James, Willie, and Reggie.

Willie, who lost his arm in the first hit-and-run attack, finds it hard to keep up with his two best friends as they leave childhood behind. All of them are changing, hounded by their parents, hunted by the killer, and haunted by the “monster,” a dead thing that guards the dangerous gateway between youth and manhood. But that’s not all: shadowing the boys everywhere is Mel Herman, the mysterious and brilliant bully whose dark secrets may hold the key to their survival. As the summer burns away, these forces collide, and it will take compassion, brains, and guts for the boys to overcome their demons—and not become monsters themselves.

In this chilling and poignant debut novel, Daniel Kraus deftly explores the choices boys grapple with and the revelations that occur as they become men.

“Utterly unique from the very first line.”
-JOSHUA FERRIS, award winning author of  Then We Came to the End

“Beneath the terror and the thrills, there is truth in this haunting tale. It pierced my heart straight through.”
-LAUREN MYRACLE, NYT bestselling author of the Internet Girls series

DANIEL KRAUS is a New York Times bestselling writer of novels, TV, and film. His latest novel, Whalefall, received a front-cover rave review in the New York Times Book Review, won the Alex Award, and is L.A. Times Book Prize Finalist.

With Guillermo del Toro, he co-authored The Shape of Water, based on the same idea the two created for the Oscar-winning film. Also with del Toro, Kraus co-authored Trollhunters, which was adapted into the Emmy-winning Netflix series. His also cowrote The Living Dead with legendary filmmaker George A. Romero. Kraus’s The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch was named one of Entertainment Weekly‘s Top 10 Books of the Year. Kraus has won the Bram Stoker Award, Scribe Award, two Odyssey Awards (for both Rotters and Scowler), and has appeared multiple times as Library Guild selections, YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, and more.

Kraus’s work has been translated into over 20 languages. He lives with his wife in Chicago. Visit him at

Share this post

Leave a comment

Note, comments must be approved before they are published