Spies Stole My Monsters

As a kid, my monster book buying options were limited. Too young to travel to bookstores, I had to rely on garage sales and library quarter bins. I canvassed like an archaeologist, carefully searching for anything in my interests.

And, along the way, I got really pissed at spies.

Now, I loved real-life spies. The only books I checked out of the library for most of elementary school were mostly nonfiction on monsters, myths, spies, and detectives. Man, did I get a kick out of Operation Mincemeat, where Britain dropped a dead body with fake spy identification and war plans off of the Spanish coast during WWII.

Fictional spies, however, spent years trolling me.

Every so often, I would get a temporary thrill as I spotted a book destined to crush my hopes. The titles are lost to me, but I can recall their flavor. Book after book, with names like The Minotaur Operation, The Gargoyle Sanction, The Gorgon Imperative. Often, the covers would even have a cool picture of the monster in question. And guns, too! Were they books about minotaurs hunted with guns? Oh my Ackerman, my young mind would wonder, are they about minotaurs with guns?

The blurbs wouldn’t always be the same. Something like:

Dashing, middle-aged, and strangely attractive Harvey Danger Whitebread is caught in a web of corruption, conspiracies, corrupt conspiracies, and Nazis…

And I’d lower the book, fooled once again.

Now, I freely admit that younger me had laughably narrow taste in reading material. I’ve expanded my interests quite a bit since then. Still, if I see a badass monster on the cover, I away wince if it turns out to be a metaphorical representation of a code name.

So now, I’m reading… this…


Somehow, I am still dedicated to clearing out the trashy paperbacks I've accumulated in the name of being a Goodreads-based Mystery Science Theater 3000 for you, the people. So far, this one is not making me hopeful. Still, I will give this book one test.

No matter how many points it loses in weird gender politics, I will hold one to that last, single point if it can just provide me with a real goddamned satyr.

Your move, Linda Crockett Gray.