Tuesday, 10 December 2013

What fantasy creatures will be popular next?

To celebrate the release of the latest Hobbit film, come and join the blog hop to win books with a fantasy or supernatural slant, a box set of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit books, as well as an amazon gift certificate. Very handy for your holiday shopping! Don't forget to visit each author's blog during the hop, where you will also have the chance to win an individual prize from each author.

Join the blog hop here: Fantasy blog hop

I was going to talk about the first Hobbit film today. But, I've changed my mind. Thinking about the Hobbit made me realise that hobbits are one of the few original fantasy creatures I can think of so I thought I'd do a post about it.

Right, hands up who’s not read the Twilight series? Anyone? Come on, there must be someone somewhere who didn’t give in to all the hype (unlike me, much to my eternal shame). It seems that everywhere you look these days there are books about teen vampires, werewolves or angels. Heck, they now even have their own section in my local bookshop!

It got me wondering what kind of creature will be popular next. Now that the Twilight series has ended have vampires had their day? Are we sick of werewolves and angels? Is another fantasy creature waiting in the wings to take up the mantle? Well, some are mentioning that it’s going to be mermaids. When I read this, my mind immediately turned to images of Ariel from The Little Mermaid. And of course, all the songs started running through my head, “under da sea, under da sea, darling its better down where it’s wetter, take it from me!” Ahem. Anyway. Moving swiftly on.

If you look at all the popular series of the last few years, the fantastic creatures in those books are human in some way. Vampires are humans turned immortal blood-suckers. Werewolves are humans turned scary doggy, mermaids are humans with, well, tails. What we don’t see are books centred on completely non-human creatures. When was the last time you read a book where the central character was a goblin? An ogre? A troll? There are, of course, exceptions to this rule (Stan Nicholls’ Orcs series springs to mind) but even these creatures are given human characteristics. This makes perfect sense of course. After all, readers want characters they can identify with. It’s easy to identify with a boy going through school and falling in love for the first time, even if that boy is a sparkly 100 year-old vampire.

Was it Tolkien that started our obsession with these human-type creatures? The elves in LOTR are humans with all the bad bits taken out. Beautiful, powerful, immortal. Let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to be an elf given half the chance? So perhaps this is where it all started. Just one more thing to blame Tolkien for.

One of the key things in recent stories is that these fantastic creatures are usually able to interact with the human world, be it through going to school, living in normal towns and cities etc., but how will mermaids, who live in water, do this? I will be interested to see what new slant writers are able to put on this. There are some hugely talented writers out there and I’m sure they will be able to surprise me.

Can anyone think of a creature that’s not yet had their popularity stint? How about banshees? Nymphs? Or why don’t we go the whole hog and fall in love with talking lions again?

Don't forget my competition! You can win yourself two free ebooks (The Last Priestess and The King's Mage from my The Songmaker fantasy trilogy). Leave your name and contact email in the comments section!



  1. You know, you're right about the lack of original creatures. I've sort of admired the attempts to make zombies sexy (and I liked WARM BODIES quite a bit) but the gargoyle stories I've seen have been kind of a stretch. I think we're about to see a lot of mermaid stories. I know there's a mermaid movie coming out (period piece, mermaids in France) and I think that's going to kick it off. But ... in the meantime, I'd be up for more talking lions.

  2. Hi Katherine,
    A girl after my own heart! I'm not sure zombies could ever be sexy though. They are, after all, rotting bodies aren't they? But then, vampires are dead too and they're uber-sexy these days so who knows, there might be hope for zombies yet!

  3. And scarily EB--after you mentioned banshees, I saw a book with a banshee, first person heroine today. Maybe on Book Bub? Very curious to see if the writer pulled that off.


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