Today’s review is about WE’RE ALL MONSTERS HERE by Amy Marsden. It’s a novella about a vampire who bides her time to take down the Board of an oil company. This quick read is perfect for those who want a heavy helping of vigilantism and a dash of sapphic romance.
This review is brought to you by my participation in the Speculative Fiction Indie Novella Championship (SFINCS). SFINCS, pronounced “sphinx”, is a yearly competition to recognize, honor, and celebrate the talent and creativity present in the indie community. It’s a sister competition to both SPFBO and SPSFC, and it highlights greatness in the novella format in all areas of speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction, horror, etc.). I am part of Team Behind the Musings. You can find out more about us here.
Author: Amy Marsden
Age Category: Adult
Publish Date: June 16, 2023
Print Length: 99
When Anna is invited to a secluded retreat full of selfish, greedy humans, of course she doesn’t say no. Not only did she manipulate the CEO of the world’s largest oil corporation, Peter Beyer, into organising the four-day getaway in the first place, but no self-respecting vampire would ever turn down such easy prey. Her weekend gets even better when she meets Saira, one of Peter Beyer’s employees, and they begin a whirlwind affair. Blood and beautiful women are Anna’s idea of a great time.
She should have known it was too good to be true.
Hunters are dangerous, deadly, and dedicated to eradicating vampires. When a group of them turn up at the retreat, Anna must use her centuries of experience to escape their ever-closing net. Will she get out unscathed, or will they finally catch up to her? Will she give into her intense and unexpected feelings for Saira, or will she leave her to burn as she destroys all evidence she was ever there?
A fresh twist on urban fantasy, with an added splash of sapphic romance.
WE’RE ALL MONSTERS HERE is one vigilante vampire’s quest to eradicate problematic people. If Anna has to kill to survive, why not try to make the world a better place, one death at time? Throw in a side of sapphic romance and Anna is in her element. This dark novella follows Anna as she stealthily works to take down a corrupt corporation from the inside out.
This is a well-rounded story that lays out Anna’s goals and history from the start. The reader quickly understands why she wants to murder the entire Board of an oil corporation. If companies won’t help stop climate change or any other myriad of major issues, in comes Anna, buster of bad businesses. Aside from the Board’s detrimental capitalism, it is also apparent that they are less-than-stellar humans. This only sweetens the deal for Anna.
However, what Anna doesn’t anticipate is her attraction to Saira, the CEO’s secretary. In between covert killings, Anna and Saira strike up a whirlwind seduction. As Anna adeptly maneuvers around lecherous and arrogant advances from men on the Board, she can’t help but give in to her desires, even if it complicates her plan.
The title of this novella is, I believe, meant to play to the different kinds of monsters that exist. There are the storybook monsters, like vampires. And there are also the more figurative kind of monsters that one defines as such based on their behavior and morals. I appreciated this juxtaposition. WE’RE ALL MONSTERS HERE, though, remains more on the surface level on this commentary that one could explore more deeply.
Overall, this is a fast-paced, slice-of-life tale about a vampire working within a grey area to use her monstrous nature to overcome others’. It’s a quick read that will hold one’s attention as Anna navigates a shadow life in the open in the bloody name of justice.
Content warnings: blood, violence, death, sex, mentions of drug use, homophobia, sexism, racism
Reading format: Kindle e-book