Why this book?: I love cryptids and creatures and monsters, so seeing this book was amazing.
I would like to thank the people at Llewellyn Publications for allowing me to have an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I don’t know if I hide it well or not, but for a while I’ve been really interested in cryptids and monsters like Bigfoot, the Jersey Devil, Chupacabra, and even a few in my state of Wisconsin. When I saw a book basically dedicated to these monsters, I was ecstatic. I was slightly concerned that the voice might make the book dry and hard to get through, but I was proven wrong nearly immediately.
The novel starts off with an opening written by someone I’ve never heard of. No offense to this person, but I really couldn’t care less about what they were saying, because it was basically “Jason Offutt is amazing and put in a lot of research into this book” and honestly, I just wanted to get to the monsters. But I have to admit–whoever opened this book wasn’t joking. Jason Offutt but a lot of time and effort into this book, thoroughly examining each legend and story and shortening them before putting them into their place in this book. Not only that, but the way Jason narrated these stories kept me so engrossed that I was reading this book long into the night. Jason’s voice is so dynamic and entertaining, I didn’t feel like I was reading a non-fiction book at all.
Jason’s research was over the top. He got really detailed and talked about the original, dated stories, as well as more recent sighting and stories. It was really interesting to see how each story was approached differently and uniquely, and Jason even joked around, and I was laughing while learning about American monsters.
Each chapter of each state is separated by an illustration of a specific monster mentioned in the upcoming chapter. These illustrations were amazing, and I found myself studying them before reading, or even going back and forth between the illustration and the chapter. They enhanced the stories so much, giving life to what Jason was telling us. There were a few where I didn’t agree with how they were drawn (mostly just the stories I was familiar with) but I loved the illustrations so much that I didn’t care about that.
Final Rating: ★★★★☆
This book was one of the best non-fiction books I’ve read. It was so interesting and engaging, yet so informative. I had so much fun reading this book. I will say that it didn’t get five stars because it just really didn’t blow me away. I had a lot of fun reading this book, and I’ll be recommending it to people, but it wasn’t shocking or thrilling. Just fun and entertaining.
Would I Recommend?
I kind of answered this before, but definitely. If you’re interested in cryptids and monsters, this is the book for you. For a few chapters, some alien stories are even featured, and it was a lot of fun.
Published: March 8th, 2019
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications
Page Count: 384
Synopsis: via Goodreads
From Alabama to Wyoming and every state in between, the United States is crawling with monsters lurking in the dark corners, just waiting for the right moment to scare the pants off unsuspecting victims. This eye-opening book is a state-by-state guide to monsters, myths, cryptids, and things that go bump in the night. Discover Connecticut’s Black Dog of Hanging Hills, the Tommyknockers of Pennsylvania, the Banshee of the South Dakota Badlands, and hundreds of other fearful figures. With more than 250 creatures covering everything from modern-day dinosaurs and dragons to extraterrestrials, lizard men, gnomes, and more, Chasing American Monsters brings you face to face with the unique beasts that hide in the shadows of each of the fifty states. Don’t forget a flashlight, pepper spray, and a good pair of running shoes–some of these monsters are downright nasty.
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