book review · Why I Love

Why I Love Market of Monsters by Rebecca Schaeffer

Hello friends! I’m so stoked to be sharing this post today, because it’s about Rebecca Schaeffer, aka one of my favorite authors, and her Market of Monsters series.

Before we get into it, I’ve done similar posts for Talia Hibbert, Alyssa Cole, and Lucy Parker three romance authors I love to the moon and back. You can check those posts out by clicking on their names. ๐Ÿ’œ

Now that that slight self-promo is out of the way, let me introduce you to Not Even Bones, the first book in Market of Monsters.

Nita doesnโ€™t murder supernatural beings and sell their body parts on the internetโ€”her mother does that. Nita just dissects the bodies after theyโ€™ve been โ€œacquired.โ€ But when her mom brings home a live specimen, Nita decides she wants out โ€” dissecting living people is a step too far.

But when she tries to save her motherโ€™s victim, she ends up sold on the black market in his place โ€” because Nita herself is a supernatural being. Now Nita is on the other side of the bars, and there is no line she wonโ€™t cross to escape and make sure no one can ever capture her again.

Nita did a good deed, and it cost her everything. Now sheโ€™s going to do a lot of bad deeds to get it all back.

four reasons to read the series

it’s one of the darkest series I’ve ever read

I’ve seen a lot of books promise to be dark, disturbing and twisted, but most of them never quite deliver on those promises. Rebecca Schaeffer, however, goes there; not once, not twice, but over and over again. She does not shy away from gore and torture; but more than that she tells characters’ stories who would, without doubt, be the villains in most novels.

“Piece after piece went into little glass jars. Fingernails were pried off and dropped into vials with little clinks. Hair was shaved off and tied with a ribbon. The skull was sawed off and the brain scooped out, and portioned into little Tupperware containers like a zombieโ€™s lunch.”

Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer

Nita grew up dissecting supernatural beings her mother kills, so the family can sell these body parts on the black market. It’s a bit of a strange job, but Nita enjoys the hell out of it; so much so that she struggles when she is unable to dissect anyone for a while. Kovit is a zannie, an unnatural who feeds on people’s pain. Technically, he could find the pain he needs to survive without hurting anyone – e.g. in hospitals – but instead he has mastered the art of torture.

Nita and Kovit are characters I wouldn’t want to meet with at night – scratch that, I wouldn’t want to meet them, period – yet, I couldn’t help but love them. Schaeffer has given these characters so many layers that, on some level, I couldn’t help but root for them. They do the creepiest, most disturbing shit, yet they have complex emotions and aspirations and are struggling through life just like everyone else is. It’s an entirely new look at villains, at morally grey characters and Schaeffer does an amazing job of giving them depth without romanticizing their cruel deeds.

the main characters are incredible

Nita and Kovit are captivating to read about. Nita could already be considered a morally gray character when the novel starts, but she believes herself to be a good person, and for the most part, she is. She is someone who decides to set her mother’s captive free despite being utterly terrified of how her mother will react. However, she pays dearly for this decision and what comes after her kidnapping drastically influences her character development. Kovit, on the other hand, is a fully formed villain by the time he appears in the novel and he is not about to apologize for the decisions he’s made.

Luring those men in and killing them made her feel powerful, in a twisted sort of way. In control.

Only Ashes Remain

Due to these differences, they change and evolve in different ways, but neither is less fascinating then the other. I think my favorite part of the series is seeing the lines they draw for themselves – we see how crossing lines they never thought they would affects them, and how these lines also change throughout the series as they try to find where their morals stand.

the world is bloody fascinating

Throughout the series Schaeffer keeps broadening the world, giving us more and more details without info-dumping. We’re constantly learning new things about the unnaturals and about how this society works, and as this is happening we – and Nita – are faced with new information that changes our original opinion.

A great example is a question/issue one of the characters asked/raised towards the end of the second book. It puts a lot of things into a new perspective, and made my view of this world evolve a bit. As the story progresses I’m sure Nita will dig deeper into this issue, which is something I’m very curious to see.

the diverse cast and social commentary

A big part of the cast, including our main characters, are people of color, and the books also touch on topics relevant to our world, such as racism, privilege and how English speakers can act towards speakers of other languages. All of this is addressed in a nuanced and real way, and having real world issues mixed with this fantasy world’s issues was incredible, especially when most of the fantasy world’s issues also serve as apt social commentaries.

Quick note: I’m reading this back and I’m not sure if I’m tired, or if that sentence is a bit messy, but I hope y’all get what I mean.

discover bonus content

๐Ÿ–ค Rebecca Schaeffer talked about how she creates truly morally gray characters; see it here.

๐Ÿ–ค In this interview she discussed her inspiration for the series, her favorite character(s), and other fun things.

๐Ÿ–ค She gave an interview to The Rose Quinn Podcast, which you can listen to on Spotify here, or whenever you listen to podcasts.

let’s chat!

Do you enjoy darker, grittier fantasy? Do you have any recommendations (YA or Adult)? Have you read Market of Monsters?

15 thoughts on “Why I Love Market of Monsters by Rebecca Schaeffer

  1. AHHHHH!! DARK, BLOODY, AND DOVERSEEEE?!? SING ME THE HELLL UPPP, GURLLLL!! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

    Seriously though, I didnt know about this author before and after reading this, I am sad that I didnt! BECAUSE THIS SOUNDS AWESOMEEE!! โค๏ธโค๏ธ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

    And the title – MARKET of MONSTERS – IS SO SO SOOOO COOOLL! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ป๐Ÿ‘ป๐Ÿ‘ป

    I enjoyed reading this AWESOME post, Veronicaaa!! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ This one is definitely going on my tbrr!! ALL THANKS TO YOUUUU!! โค๏ธ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh, please read this, Rain!! If you enjoy dark, bloody, disturbing AND diverse books this series is 10000% for you.

      And oh my god, yes, I think the publisher failed this series, it deserved so much more promo and hype, because we all want dark books!! So why wasn’t this pushed at us more!? Smh.

      Thank you! ๐Ÿ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh gosh, I can’t believe this series slipped from my TBR! I added it a while ago, but admittedly, I took it off because I didn’t think that it was worth my time! Now I definitely have to read this! I love morally grey characters *to death* because they are infinitely more interesting than you run-of-the-mill heroes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh, please read it, it deserves so much more love than it’s received!! (I do totally understand deleting books from your tbr, though, I’m brutal to keep it from getting too big haha.) Same, and there’s so much development here and not really into the “they are becoming good people” direction, which seems to be the case with most morally gray books.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Coming into the post I was all like. ‘who is this author and series’ but I actually heard about the first book a little while back and was totally interested in reading and forgot about it! Thank you for reminding me of it. I thought it sounded good before but you’ve made me all excited to read all over again, I love that it’s dark but with awesome characters too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really hope you’ll read it, Becky!! I agree that the series kind of disappeared – I feel like the first book was barely given any promo (even though we all want dark books, soo??) and so the second book only interested few bloggers. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ This series and author deserve better!! I’m happy my review made you excited for it again. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  4. This one is on my wishlist and all the reasons why this series should be has me all the more excited for it. I love my dark and gripping stories, and it sounds like these characters are bad and they know it! Which is something I love. Oh, and I really am always for strong world building. I just know I am gonna love it and I am so happy you already do ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh, I hope you’ll get to this series soon, and that you’ll love it!! It really is so unique, imo, because of how dark it is and how complex and, yes, BAD the characters are. They both have lines they don’t want to cross, but then they do, esp Nita, and it’s so fascinating to see their reactions and evolution. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

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