Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week is a Halloween freebie meaning you can do any Halloween-related top ten you like. I’ve decided to go for my top ten spooky-ish creatures in books. These can be creatures or animal companions that are evil, helpful, mysterious, mischievous, or combinations of all of the above.
Pocket – The Murdstone Trilogy by Mal Peet
Pocket is sort of a gnome/elf like character and while they might say they’ll help you solve all your problems; they have a high price.
Salome – Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman
Salome is a Mummified cat. Yes, you read that right. They don’t do a lot besides scratching furniture and people and generally being a pain – like a lot of alive cats can be – but I just really like the idea of an undead cat hanging out in an apartment.
Ren – Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
While I didn’t really like the Monstress comic much, I did like Ren. A cat with two tails that has lying and double-crossing down to an artform.
Solembum – Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
Solembum is a werecat so sometimes he looks like an average cat albeit with red eyes, and sometimes he looks like a young boy – even though he’s definitely older than a child.
Bassareus and Horatio – The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen
I’m currently reading this book and nimkilim are talking animals that once were messengers of the Gods but now deliver the post for humans and can appear as any type of animal, it just depends on where they live. In The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy the main nimkilims are a crass rabbit called Bassareus and a posh owl called Horatio.
Lying Cat – Saga by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples
Cats sure seem to be the go-to for unsettling but sometimes helpful creatures. I love how Lying Cat looks and it sure would be handy to have someone (or something) around that could tell when people were lying – though might be a bit uncomfortable at times.
Baba Yaga – Foxfire, Wolfskin and other Stories of Shapeshifting Women by Sharon Blackie
In Slavic folklore Baba Yaga is a supernatural being who appears as a deformed and/or ferocious-looking woman. There are obviously many different interpretations of Baba Yaga in different works but the most recent version I read was in the short story “Meeting Baba Yaga” in Foxfire, Wolfskin and other Stories of Shapeshifting Women. I just loved the different spin on the character and the fact that the narrator didn’t seem to know/believe she was in the presence of Baba Yaga while the reader does, meaning there’s a sense of unease throughout all of their interactions.
Chunk – Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega
Chunk is mostly a normal tubby tabby but he’s also a witch’s familiar and when ghosts attack, he can become something far larger and more vicious.
Mogget – the Old Kingdom trilogy by Garth Nix
Mogget is like the definitive unearthly animal companion to me. He may look like a white fluffy cat but there’s definitely more than meets the eye with him. I love how he knows so many things because he’s so old and how he’s cryptic with everything.
Disreputable Dog – Lirael by Garth Nix
So Disreputable Dog isn’t as potentially evil/disruptive as some of the others on this list. But she’s definitely not a normal dog, has certain powers and is secretive with them too. The Disreputable Dog definitely falls on the more helpful end of the scale compared to the rest of the characters.
What are some of your favourite spooky/unsettling creatures? Have you read any of these books before? It does amuse me that over half of these creatures are cats – or at least take on the appearance of cats.