Release Day Review: The Monsters In Your Neighborhood by Jesse Petersen

Posted July 29, 2013 in Review / 2 Comments

The MonstersThe Monsters In Your Neighborhood (Monstrosity #2)
By Jesse Petersen
Published July 29th, 2013
Pocket Star
224 pages
Urban Fantasy
Source: Received from Pocket Star (via Edelweiss) in exchange for an unbiased review – Thank you!



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About the Book:

As one of Frankenstein’s Creatures, Natalie Gray knows that unique parts sometimes make up a great whole. Still, leading a diverse support group for monsters—now including Cthulhu!—isn’t an easy task. Especially not since the internet arrived.


New York City embraces the different and the bizarre. Still, even for such a fun-loving city, the supernatural and monstrous might be a bit too much. It’s been six months since the members of “Club Monstrosity” overcame the most recent spate of anti-monster violence and they’ve reestablished their routine of meeting in a church basement once a week to (ugh!) talk about their feelings. Still, they also know a war against them is brewing.


Natalie and Alec (the werewolf) have begun dating, and the mummies Kai and Rehu are tighter than a bug in a…well, bandage. But when modern means (YouTube, Twitter, bits and bytes) are used to chip away at the solidarity of these ancient monsters, it’s up to Natalie to save the day. #MonstersInNewYork may be trending on Twitter, but this girl’s trending toward saving the day…somehow.

I’ve always wanted to secretly be a witch.  Ever since “Bewitched” was on tv (“Google it” you youngsters), I wanted my mom to some day tell me that she was like Samantha and I was like Tabitha and we had super cool powers that only took mastering the nose twitch to activate.  I never could twitch my nose so I thought that was the only thing holding me back.  I knew in my heart of hearts that weird creatures existed.  We grown-ups call them “supernaturals”.  I call them cool and it would be so awesome if they did exist the way they do in Jesse Petersen’s Monstrosity world.

This is the second book in her urban fantasy series and Frankenstein’s creature, wolfman, Dracula, two mummies, a lizard lady and now a cthulhu are trying to stay one step ahead of technology so they can continue hiding in plain site in New York City.  Yep, you guessed it, with the rest of the freaks…

Story / Tempo / World Building

As far as urban fantasy stories (and series) go, this one is a super quick read because both books in the series are on the shorter side.  The world is New York City (easy to imagine) and the monsters are all fabled characters we all grew up knowing and loving.

Our monsters need a little help though.  They need each other so they can work together to keep themselves hidden from the humans.  Especially if they want to continue acting like humans and enjoying the lives they’ve established in New York City.  One thing they’ve established to help with this are their support group meetings.

The book starts out (just like the first one) in another support group meeting but this time, it’s Natalie who is trying to run the meeting the same way Bob (aka Blob) did in the past.  Already things aren’t going well for her when everyone in attendance shows her a note they received.  This note simply says one word, “war”.  It only gets worse as reports of monster attacks goes public and the gang is left trying to figure out who is attacking the humans.  If you read the first book, you might have an inkling who it could be.

But this story isn’t that straightforward.  It whips around, toys a little with you but because it’s short, it wraps up quickly.  It’s not an overly deep story and doesn’t delve too much into the the character’s relationships.  It’s just a straightforward urban fantasy, light on relationships.  I kind of wished we had more on Alec and Natalie’s newly found “coupledom”.  I mean, we did, but it really didn’t satisfy me.


I mean, Alec has proven that deep down, he really cares for Natalie but Ms. Petersen never took it another step further.  Alec is so much more than the goofball he portrays on the outside.  He’s this really smart leader who I believe just pretends to be dumb so he can enjoy his long existence with dumb distractions.  I really wish he would come out and say, “HA!  I’m alpha, hear my roar!  I mark you, Natalie, to be my mate.  Roooooaaarrrr!”.  Guess maybe I was looking for something that just isn’t going to be there, even with the little hints I thought I saw *sad face*.

I do like Natalie.  Her character has stayed consistent through both books.  And we get to see a completely different angle to her life in this book.  Something I completely didn’t think about in the last book that totally made this book for me!  Yes, I’m being vague on purpose but I don’t do spoilers.  I’m hardcore like that.

If you need an escape for just one evening, crave a fun urban fantasy, and don’t want to get tied down with heavy world building – basically get in, get out, smile at the end – then this is the book and series for you!  Sometimes its just fun to play pretend for a few hours.  Now if you’ll excuse me,  I’m off to do my daily nose aerobics.


Photo Credit: imaginate photography
Photo Credit: imaginate photography

About the Author:

Jesse’s life as a writer began when her husband made the brilliant observation that she was much happier writing than doing anything else. So she took the plunge and decided to do that full-time. After many years and many books in different sub-genres, she was bitten by the zombie bug (not a zombie, but the bug) and took off on a zany adventure into the world of Urban Fantasy. Soon zombies were not enough and now she is poised to take over the world with her not-so-normal paranormal stories which inject dark humor into uncommon circumstances.

When not coming up with stories about the weird and wonderful she lives in Tucson, AZ, with her high school sweetheart husband and two cats. She plays video games, hangs out with her favorite nephews, hikes in the beautiful mountains, watches wayyyyy too much reality TV (and some really good scripted TV), ponders all things geekish and madly scribbles notes on her next idea while she laughs at people who still have to shovel snow.

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About Kristin

Kristin has to ensure she gets her minimal requirement of “happily ever after” books in between those books that contain cliffhangers and never-ending story arcs. It’s for her family’s sake. When not reading, she’s homeshooling her 10-year old son, watching cartoons on TV, or taking a nap.

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