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Fiction Action & Adventure

Ordinary Monsters

A Novel

by (author) J.M. Miro

McClelland & Stewart
Initial publish date
Jun 2022
Action & Adventure, Gaslamp, Historical
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2022
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2024
    List Price

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"Charles Dickens meets Joss Whedon in Miro’s otherworldly Netflix-binge-like novel." —Washington Post

MOST ANTICIPATED SFF BOOK of 2022 by Tor, The Nerd Daily, BookBub, Philadelphia Inquirer, Goodreads, CrimeReads, Buzzfeed, Professional Book Nerds, and more! BEST BOOK OF SUMMER 2022 by SheReads, Book Riot, Goodreads, Gizmodo, Daily Beast, Paste Magazine, and more!

In this stunning historical fantasy, journey to the Victorian era, as children with mysterious powers are hunted by a figure of darkness in a battle of good vs. evil...

Charlie Ovid, despite surviving a brutal childhood in Mississippi, doesn't have a scar on him. His body heals itself, whether he wants it to or not. Marlowe, a foundling from a railway freight car, shines with a strange bluish light. He can melt or mend flesh. When Alice Quicke, a jaded detective with her own troubled past, is recruited to escort them to safety, all three begin a journey into the nature of difference and belonging, and the shadowy edges of the monstrous.

What follows is a story of wonder and betrayal, from the gaslit streets of London, and the wooden theaters of Meiji-era Tokyo, to an eerie estate outside Edinburgh where other children with gifts—like Komako, a witch-child and twister of dust, and Ribs, a girl who cloaks herself in invisibility—are forced to combat the forces that threaten their safety. There, the world of the dead and the world of the living threaten to collide. With this new found family, Komako, Marlowe, Charlie, Ribs, and the rest of the Talents discover the truth about their abilities. And as secrets within the Institute unfurl, a new question arises: What truly defines a monster?

Riveting in its scope, exquisitely written, Ordinary Monsters presents a catastrophic vision of the Victorian world—and of the gifted, broken children who must save it.

About the author

Contributor Notes

J. M. MIRO is the author of the international bestseller Ordinary Monsters. He lives with his family in the Pacific Northwest, and also writes under the name Steven Price.

Editorial Reviews

"Charles Dickens meets Joss Whedon in Miro’s otherworldly Netflix-binge-like novel." Washington Post

“Haunting, tense, earth-shattering. . . . A riveting mix of magic and terror.”
—Tamora Pierce, author of Trickster’s Choice and In the Hand of the Goddess
Ordinary Monsters is a towering achievement: a dazzling mountain of wild invention, Dickensian eccentrics, supernatural horrors, and gripping suspense. Be warned . . . once you step into this pennydreadful to end all penny dreadfuls, you’ll never want to leave.”
—Joe Hill, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fireman and Heart-Shaped Box

“From the very first page, you’re pulled into a world of hope and fear, dark and light, the known and the unimaginable—a world that is equal parts magic and pain. Readers should prepare themselves: there’s nothing ordinary about Ordinary Monsters.
—Alma Katsu, author of The Fervor and The Hunger

Ordinary Monsters is one of my favorite books of the year—it’s full of surprises, atmospheric as hell, and moves like a runaway train. Nothing in this book is what you expect it to be, and it couldn’t be more satisfying.”
—Kelly Braffet, author of Save Yourself and Last Seen Leaving
“J.M. Miro's Ordinary Monsters reads like a Dickensian X-Men. At once lush and refined, grounded and fantastical, it will pull you into its world in the way of the most fulfilling entertainments.”
Andrew Pyper, bestselling author of The Residence and The Demonologist

“Epic, sprawling, and evocative—a sweeping and richly-imagined gaslight fantasy that takes readers on an incredible journey. Miro immerses us in the grime and grit of life, but also makes them believe that monsters and miracles are possible.”
A.C. Wise, author of Hooked

“Miro’s debut has a fascinating magical system. . . . The vivid cinematic quality of the world and its magic will appeal to classic-fantasy lovers.”

“I totally devoured Ordinary Monsters. What a banger!”
—Camden Avery, The Booksmith

“Complex, creepy, and atmospheric fantasy fiction. Looking forward to book two in the trilogy.”
—Laura Harvey, Copper Dog Books

“Deeply thought-provoking and engaging.”
—Emily Autenrieth, A Seat at the Table Books

“It's been a minute since I found a book that both intrigued and terrified me, but J.M. Miro's novel fits the bill! l loved this cast of 'monsters' like were old friends.”
—Mystery To Me Bookstore

Ordinary Monsters is the first in what promises to be my next series addiction.”
—Mackenzie Johnston, Out West Books

“One of the most refreshing and engrossing books I have read.”
—Lark and Owl Bookstore

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