Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Roundup!

In addition to this week's countdown to Halloween, we've covered lots of spine-tingling (and some paranormal, but not so spine-tingly) topics over the months, so here's a list of lists for your Halloween pleasure!

(in chronological order)


More vampires


General Paranormal



More Faeries



Serial Killers


More angels

Jack the Ripper



More zombies


Even more vampires

Scary Books

More scary books

And, just because...

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It's Halloween! More Scary Books

It's Halloween! Here are some more scary books to get you into the mood!


Scowler by Daniel Krauss. Ry's father was a monster of a man, but he's in prison--until he escapes. Determined to return to the family he tormented, Ry's only choice is to bring back those who protected him in his youth-- nice Mr. Furrington, wise and all-knowing Jesus Christ, and the murderous blood-thirsty Scowler.

Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough. Aunt Ida doesn't want her nieces Cora and Mimi to stay with her-- she knows what happens to children in Byers Guerdon. She knows what happened last time, she knows the family curse. But as much as she tries to protect them, the more she pushes them to explore on their own-- leading them straight into danger.

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey. Will is an apprentice to a monster hunter. Late night slayers are normal, but there's a new monster taking over, one that Will may not be able to stop. The first of a series, follow it with The Curse of the Wendigo.


The House of Dead Maids by Clare B. Dunkle. Seldom House isn't passed through the generations. It requires a family that is related by death instead of birth. Tabitha is brought from the orphanage to be the maid for the new master. Once there, she is haunted by the ghosts of the maids that have gone before, cold figures with no eyes that slip into her bed at night. Technically a prequel to Wuthering Heights, you don't need to know anything about it to enjoy the book.

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff. Mackie is a changeling left in a crib 16 years ago. He just wants to fit in with the mortal world, but must return to the underworld he came from when the baby sister of the girl he has a crush on is taken.

Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton. Silla's just lost her parents to a murder-suicide and discovered that she can do magic, but her magic is based in blood.


Coraline by Neil Gaiman. Coraline feels ignored by her parents and is overjoyed to find a secret door in their new house that leads to an alternate reality, a seemingly better one. But the Other Mother never wants to let Coraline go back the real world, and she sees that not everything is as it appears. This one's for a bit of a younger audience, but is still deliciously creepy.

Velveteen by Daniel Marks. Velveteen was kidnapped and murdered and is now stuck in the City of the Dead. She has a job there, but she's just figured out how to exact her revenge on the man who killed her-- but doing so may destroy everything.

Extremities: Stories of Death, Murder, and Revenge by David Lubar. 13 horror stories include murder, ghosts, revenge, and monsters. Lots of good stuff to get you in the mood for Halloween!

What books freak you out and give you nightmares?

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Countdown to Halloween: Scary Books

Halloween is almost here! We've been looking at various creatures, but today we're just looking at scary and creepy books.


The Diviners by Libba Bray. Seventeen-year-old Evie O'Neill is thrilled when she is exiled from small-town Ohio to New York City in 1926, even when a rash of occult-based murders thrusts Evie and her uncle, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, into the thick of the investigation.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake. Cas kills the dead. He's come to kill Anna, but she's not ordinary ghost. She's killed everyone who's stepped into her house-- but not Cas.

Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney. Tom Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son and has just been apprenticed to the County Spook-- the man you call to deal with witches, ghosts, and other agents of the dark. The Spook has had many apprentices and Tom Ward will be his last. The first in one of my favorite series, follow it with Curse of the Bane.


Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves. Kit and Fancy are the children of the Bonesaw killer, and have inherited his desire to kill. Their father got caught because of forensic evidence, but they're determined to not let that happen to them.

Until the End: The Party; The Dance; The Graduation by Christopher Pike. This omnibus edition of the Final Friends series tells the story of a start-of-the-year party that goes horribly wrong when someone doesn't survive. They spend the next year fearing for their lives.

Carrie by Stephen King. Telekinetic Carrie is cruelly bullied at school, but still gets a chance to go to senior prom. When prom turns out to be yet another cruel joke, Carrie's anger and powers turn it into a night no one will forget--if they survive.


The Waking: Dreams of the Dead by Thomas Randall. After her mother's death, Kara and her father move to Kyoto. Kara's new school just lost a student to murder and Kara's haunted by nightmares and demons in this page-turning horror novel. Be sure to follow it with The Waking: Spirits of the Noh.

Blue is for Nightmares by Laurie Faria Stolarz. Stacey's nightmares predict the future, and now they're about her best friend, who's being stalked by a psycho. But Stacey's also a witch, so she can use magic to find the killer before it's too late. The first in a series, follow it with White Is for Magic.

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. Our unnamed narrator is a teen who finds a cache of letters that begins this sprawling epic through geography and time, where vampires lurk in library stacks, waiting to attack. Modern teens might be a bit confused by the Cold War geography and mindset, but for those looking for something beyond the basic vampire romance, this might be the ticket.

We'll do more tomorrow. What are your favorite scary reads?

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Countdown to Halloween: Vampires

We're counting down the days to Halloween by looking at different paranormal creatures. Today, it's vampires!


The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. After a party, Tana wakes up, surrounded by corpses. Her boyfriend is a newly infected vampire and there's only one solution-- to take him to a Coldtown-- a place where monsters are quarantined. But if she takes him there, she can never return.

Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick. Seven tales take place at different points in time, with different characters, including ghosts and vampires. They're all on the island of Blessed, and they're all linked, somehow.

Soulless by Gail Carriger. Alexia Tarabotti is a half-Italian blue-stocking spinster in Victorian London. Every knows that. What not every knows is that she has no soul. In a London teeming with vampires, werewolves, and ghosts, Alexia can turn them mortal with a mere touch. But lately, random vampires are attacking her, and others have disappeared. They're after Alexia, too, but only if she doesn't find them first. The first in a delightful series, follow it with Changeless.


iDrakula by Bekka Black. The original was written in journals, letters, and newspapers, so it makes sense to tell his modern version in blog, email, IM, and tweets. Check out the sequel, iFrankenstein.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. When Bella moves to Forks to live with her father, she becomes romantically involved with Edward-- a vampire. But a human/vampire relationship is complicated from both sides.

The Awakening by LJ Smith. Elena is the queen bee of school and likes Stefan. Stefan likes her too, but is staying away because he knows it can't end well. Damon is Stefan's brother, and will do anything for revenge. The first in a series, follow it with The Struggle.


Romeo & Juliet & Vampires by William Shakespeare and Claudia Gabel. Ever wonder why the Montagues and Capulets hate each other so much? Well, in this version, the Capulets are vampires, and the Montagues are slayers.

Revealers by Amanda Marrone. By day, Jules and her friends are normal high school students. By night, they are revealers-- making vampires, ghosts, and other monsters reveal themselves so they can be slain. Jules is the youngest and as her friends turn 18, they're granted access to the inner circle of the coven-- something that they won't talk about, in a way that Jules knows shows that something is very, very wrong.

Vampire Knight by Matsuri Hino. Yuki was saved from vampires and adopted by the headmaster of Cross Academy. She know works to protect the academy's secrets, protecting the day class (normal students) from the night class (vampires.) This is the first volume of a long-running manga series.

We also covered vampires for in January (blood donor month) here and here. What other books would you add?

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Countdown to Halloween: Werewolves

We're counting down the days to Halloween by looking at the various creatures that go bump in the night. Today we look at werewolves.


Wolf Mark by Joseph Bruchac. When his dad (a former government agent) goes missing, Luke knows who took him, and is off to rescue him. Luckily, the fact he's just discovered he's a werewolf should help with this. Unluckily, his Russian mafia classmates may have also clued into the werewolf thing. It's an action/thriller/spy type novel, but paranormal abilities mean you don't need as many gadgets.

Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. After her parents are murdered by a rogue werewolf, human Bryn is adopted and raised by the pack. Her humanity isn't the only thing that makes her different and when she meets a newly-turned wolf, she starts asking questions that threaten the entire pack. The first in a series, follow it with Trial by Fire.

Dead Is a State of Mind by Marlene Perez. Daisy and Ryan are finally an item, but Ryan's being really weird and distant. Daisy can't spend too much time brooding though-- a popular teacher has been murdered and it looks like it was someone in the shape-shifter community. Nightshade's paranormal community is in an uproar, unless Daisy can help solve the case. The second in a series, go back and start with Dead Is the New Black.


Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride. When Sam discovers he's a necromancer, another necromancer views him as a threat and wants Sam out of the picture. Luckily, Sam has the paranormal community (including a werewolf love interest) on his side. Follow it with Necromancing the Stone.

Fateful by Claudia Gray. Tess is a maid to a wealthy family, sailing on the Titanic. Once they get to America, she's quitting. Alec is the first class passenger who captures her heart. But there's more than an iceberg to be afraid of on this voyage-- there are werewolves, too.

Not Your Ordinary Wolf Girl by Emily Pohl Weary. Sam is a bass player in an up-and-coming band and a devoted vegetarian-- until she's bitten by a werewolf. But she's not about to let that stop her-- but the lies she tells to cover her new reality might just trip her up.


Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson. Claire has a perfectly normal life until she turns 16 and learns that she's descended from werewolves about to be initiated into the all-female pack. To make matters worse, there's a rogue wolf attacking people in town and Claire is not sure she's ready for this. The first in a series, follow it with Nocturne.

Liar by Justine Larbalestier. Micah is a murder suspect. She's fast and has an uncanny sense of smell. But she's a liar and now she's telling the truth. Maybe. Maybe the truth is a lie and this is the true truth. Or maybe this other version is.

Wolf Pact by Melissa de la Cruz. In this e-only companion to the Blue Bloods series follows Bliss as she tracks down the Hounds of Hell, and joins forces with Lawson-- a wolf whose pack has escaped the underworld.

What are your werewolf must reads?

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Countdown to Halloween: More Zombies


As we prepare for Halloween, here are some more zombie books.


World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks. After the zombie war ends, Brooks interviews the survivors to get the eye-witness accounts of what happened from the beginning to the end, from many perspectives around the world.

Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier. Which is better, zombies or unicorns? Black (team unicorn) and Larbalestier (team zombie) have picked their teams of all-star YA authors and are battling it out. The authors on Team Zombie include Libba Bray, Carrie Ryan, Alaya Dawn Johnson, and Scott Westerfeld.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem! by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame Smith. Smith thought that this classic comedy of manners would be more entertaining if they were also all fighting zombies. We don't know if it's more entertaining, but it is certainly funny. Plus, zombies offer a good excuse as to why the regiment was in Meryton, why Netherfield was empty and why all 5 Bennett sisters were out at once.


Zombie Queen of Newbury High by Amanda Ashby. Mia thinks her boyfriend's attention may be waning, so she casts a love spell. Only, it goes horribly wrong, and turns the entire senior class into a zombie and Mia into their queen. Mia is puzzled and flattered by her new-found popularity until the new kid, Chase, tells her that Zombie Queen just means she's the first to be eaten. Now Mia and Chase have limited time to reverse the spell and save the prom.

Zombies Don't Cry by Rusty Fischer. When Maddy is struck by lightning, she wakes up as a zombie. Turns out some of her classmates are also zombies and can show her the ropes of her new life, including protecting the humans from some bad zombies. The first in the Living Dead Love Story series, follow it with Zombies Don't Forgive.

Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber. In this Star Wars novel, an Imperial prison barge (home to the galaxy's more ruthless criminals) gets the zombie plague. Aw yeah. For more Star Wars Zombie action, check out Schreiber's Red Harvest.


The Infects by Sean Beaudoin. Nero got sent to a wilderness trek for delinquents because of an accident at work. Things get worse when the councilors turn into zombies and take half the kids with them.

Bad Taste in Boys by Carris Harris. It's bad enough the football coach has been giving the team steroids, but when they turn the team into zombies, no body is safe. Kate needs to find an antidote before she and everyone she loves, gets eaten.

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. When R eats Perry's brain, he gets his memories, especially of his perfect girlfriend, Julie. After he saves her from attack from other zombies, Julie and R embark on a very weird relationship.

What are your favorite zombie books?

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Saturday, October 26, 2013


Halloween is fast approaching, so we'll be spending the rest of the week looking at Halloween-y things.

First up, ZOMBIES!


Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry. Benny will never forgive his brother Tom for what happened on First Night. Tom is legendary bounty hunter, a zombie-killing hero, but Benny knows the truth. But as Benny follows Tom into the Rot and Ruin, into zombie territory, Benny learns there is more to his brother and to his world than he ever thought. There are monsters out there, but the undead aren't the only ones. The first in a series, follow it with Dust & Decay.

Ashes by Ilsa J. Blick. An electromagnetic pulse destroys all electronic devices and kills billions-- but some of the dead have come back. The first in a trilogy, follow it with Shadows.

Zombie Blondes by Brian James. There's something weird about Hannah's new town. There's something even weirder about the cheerleaders-- they're too alike, too similar. Hannahs' desperate to be popular and jumps at the chance to join the cheerleading team, but what if her friend Lukas is right-- what if they are really zombies?


The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. Generations after The Return, Mary longs for more out of life than her existence in her small, isolated village. When the fences break, Mary and her friends must flee, to confront everything they've been told is out there, and everything they hoped may be as well. The first in a trilogy, follow it with The Dead-Tossed Waves.

Generation Dead by Daniel Waters. Not all dead teenagers are staying dead, but they still have to go to school, even if the living aren't thrilled with the idea. But then Phoebe (living) falls for Tommy (dead)-- a romance that everyone has a hard time wrapping their head around. The first in a series, follow it with Kiss of Life.

You Are So Undead to Me by Stacy Jay. Megan thought that after the zombie attack 5 years ago, her Settler powers had left her. No such luck. On the night of her date with the hottest guy in school, right before he's supposed to pick her up, someone else shows up at her door. An undead someone. The first in a series, follow it with Undead Much?.


Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter. Alice has never been allowed out after dark--her father was too afraid of monsters. After zombies attack and kill her entire family, Alice learns to also fear the monsters-- but it's too late. She's now on a path of vengeance. The first in a series, follow it with Through the Zombie Glass .

This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers. Sloane was contemplating suicide when the zombies attack. She finds herself holed up in the school with five other students-- students who actually want to live. Sloane's just counting the time until the zombies take her, but those around her will do anything they can to make sure that doesn't happen.

I Kissed a Zombie, and I Liked It by Adam Selzer. Living in the post-human era when the undead are part of everyday life, high schooler Alley breaks her no-dating rule when Doug catches her eye, but classmate Will demands to turn her into a vampire and her zombie boyfriend may be unable to stop him.

We'll do more zombies tomorrow, so stay tuned!

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