For this month's Creature Feature article, I decided to focus on sea monsters. I went into this having read some Peter Benchley books when I was younger but other than that, I'd only read three of these before this article. I was lucky enough to discover Severed Press, an independent publisher that focuses on the apocalypse and creature horror. If you go to their website, you can sort their books by the type of creature you're jonesing for. A lot of books on this list are theirs, but I haven't even scratched the surface on what they offer.
So, sea monsters. Big beasties that live under the water, always waiting to chomp on your legs. I've always been suspicious of deep water and am not of fan of swimming in the ocean or lakes. There's something about the depths that just freaks me out, and god forbid that something brush against my leg when I'm in the water. So, just looking at the cover's of
some of these books gives me the heebie-jeebies. Without further ado, here are my top five sea monster books followed by a list of other sea monster recommendations.
Thresher by Michael Cole
A man-eating shark invades the water of a small coastal town. If you were like me and disappointed in Jaws the book, then give this a go. The shark in this book is a thresher shark that has become outrageously large. I hadn’t heard of the thresher shark before reading this and it is a seriously interesting animal. It has a long tail that it uses like a whip to stun its prey. This leads to some very interesting shark attack scenes that went above and beyond what I was expecting from a shark book.
Floaters by Kelli Owen
Floaters is a small-town mystery with a very original monster. Bodies are showing up floating in Lake Superior. Our protagonists must race to determine what’s killing them. Spoiler: it’s a lake monster. In addition to the monster, there are also characters that I cared about, and they feel as if they exist in a believable and consistent world. There's plenty of violence, death, and destruction to satisfy my need for an old school chomp and stomp monster story, but there's more going on in this book that makes it just a solid book that I really enjoyed.
Relict by D.T. Neal
This novella packs one hell of a punch. When two couples on an experimental boat come up an uncharted island in the Pacific. They can see signs warning them to stay away but they go ashore anyway. Soon, they find out what those warning signs were all about. This plot of this one is so tight that it doesn’t give much breathing room for non-spoiler descriptions but I predict this one will be one of my top reads of the year. I absolutely loved the monster in this one
Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
I have yet to read a Mira Grant book that I didn’t enjoy. This and its prequel, Rolling in the Deep, are about ships that set out to the Mariana Trench to search for mermaids. Yep, I said mermaids. The ships are funded by a fictional Discovery Channel analog called Imagine Entertainment. They want to make a fake documentary about mermaids but it turns out, mermaids are real, and they are pissed. I’m recommending both of the books in this series because they are both excellent. Loads of violence and interesting scientific explanations for the creatures. The characters are also very well done and ItDD includes one of the best executions of a deaf character that I have experienced.
Primordial by David Wood and Alan Baxter
One of the things that I appreciate about monster books is when there are strong characters to go along with the creatures. There’s also a small town that is guarding ancient secrets and a crazy rich dude that’s hell-bent on finding the lake monster. Primordial is less horror and more thriller but when the monster shows up, there’s plenty of blood and chomping to go around. There’s a sequel to this one that I will definitely be checking out.
They Rise by Hunter Shea
Killer fish rise from the bottom of the ocean, havoc ensues.
Loch Ness Revenge by Hunter Shea
Sister and brother set out to kill the Loch Ness monster after it ate their parents.
Dead Sea by Tim Curran
Ship and crew become lost in a strange mist in the Sargasso Sea, there are cool, original monsters
Into the Sounds by Lee Murray
A crew of hunters stumbles across a poaching operation while the poachers stumble across something else.
Gyo by Junji Ito
Sealife walks out of the sea on legs that don’t look natural. There’s a bad smell.
Hybrid Vigor by John Lee Schneider
Someone in the Everglades has been breeding giant hybrid crocodiles. They get loose.
Ocean Grave by Matt Serafini
There is a hidden treasure and a GIANT fish that guards it. Think Indiana Jones meets Jaws.
Hotel Megalodon by Rick Chesler
A luxury underwater hotel gets attacked by a big ol’ shark.
The Black by Paul E. Cooley
An oil rig is drilling in a newly discovered oil reservoir, the oil isn’t the only thing down there
Infestation by William Meikle
The 1st book in the incredible S-Squad series. Scottish military encounter giant insect-like creatures from the sea.
Monsters in our Wake by J.H. Moncrief
Most of the book is told from the perspective of the monster after its life is disrupted by an oil drill.
Creature of Lake Shadow by Michael Cole
A bank heist gone wrong that see’s the thieves laying low at a cabin on a remote lake. The cops aren’t their only problem.
Lords of the Deep by Tim Meyer and Patrick Lacey
Ghost pirates, sea snakes, secret treasure, small-town mysteries
That’s it for sea monsters! Next time, we’ll talk about werewolves. What monsters or creatures would you like to see featured here? Hit me up on Twitter, @teamredmonreads, or Instagram, @teamredmon, and tell me about your favorite monster.