Saturday, 22 October 2011

Halloween-o-rama (part 4)

Unfortunately Oh’s Halloween-o-rama ends today with an entry on books!

Originally I’d hoped to put books and comics/graphic novels into the same category, but ended up wanting to write about far too many!

If you missed the previous parts, find them here:

To start off, here is a book I read recently:

Wormwood by G.P. Taylor.

This book is meant to be a Young Adult book, but I believe books can be enjoyed at any age!

Set in London in the middle of the 18th Century, this book begins with Dr Sabian Blake, a master of the Cabala, astronomer and scientist, researching based on an invaluable book containing the secrets of the universe. Deciphering a note in the margin is his only hope of saving London from a deadly fate. But other, more unscrupulous people are in want of the book, too.
In this book we follow Blake, his maid Agetta, an angel named Tegatus and more in a race against time, fate, and evil...

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova follows three timelines - that of a father, his tutor, and his daughter - in the search for Dracula’s final resting place. The storyline takes us on a journey from America and across Europe, passing through England, France, Turkey and Romania, among others.

This is an excellent book filled with mystery; whilst the outcome of two of the timelines is obvious from the narration, the climax of the novel is kept tightly under wraps until the end--and even the end comes with an unexpected twist.

If you only read one book this Halloween, make it this one.

A Zombie Ate my Cupcake by Lily Vanilli is a cupcake cookbook with some fantastic ideas on decorating your cupcakes with a Halloween theme. It also includes recipes for making the cupcakes themselves.

Puppet Master is a young adult novel by Joanne Owen. Set in Czechoslovakia in the nineteenth century, Puppet Master is a fairytale-style gothic story that follows a girl named Milena. Her parents once ran Prague’s best puppet theatre, until her mother disappeared and her father died under suspicious circumstances. A travelling puppet theatre comes to town, run by the Puppet Master, a frightening man who seems to control people as well as he controls his puppets. The Puppet Master plans to take over the city, and only Milena - with the help of her magical aunts - can stop them.

Mr Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange sets itself up as a sequel to the classic Pride and Prejudice.
As Darcy and Elizabeth tour Europe on their honeymoon, the secrets of Darcy’s family curse are slowly revealed.
If you like your vampires to be romantic vampires, this is the book for you!
I was given this book for Christmas a couple of years ago (along with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) and whilst it was a little cliché and predictable, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite is another vampire story. With this tale, Brite breaks a number of taboos - underage pregnancy, drug abuse, incest, homosexuality, violence and more - and wraps it up in a neat little package with daredevil vampires and a little North Carolinian band, ‘Lost Souls?’
The story begins with four storylines that swiftly roll into one: that of three-hundred-year-old barkeep vampire Christian, adopted outcast Nothing, renegade vampires Zillah, Twig and Molochai (old by human terms, young by vampire) and that of Steve and his psychic friend Ghost, who make up the aforementioned band.
All characters gravitate towards Steve and Ghost’s hometown of Missing Mile, NC, the vampires picking up Nothing on the way (and discovering a few things about him). Steve’s ex-girlfriend Ann becomes enamoured - and impregnated - by Zillah, and when the vampires skip town, follows them to New Orleans where the story reaches its climax.

This is a seriously gritty, gripping novel; due to its content I wouldn’t say it was everybody’s cup of tea. I’m well aware that it contains situations that would make some people uncomfortable!
But I’m putting it here because a book that journeyed half-way around the world so I could read it (a New Zealander friend sent it to me) deserves some notice! Kudos to the author for putting so much tough stuff into one novel and making it work.

These final two books are by authors much more well-known, but still heartily recommended!

Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett is part of the Discworld series of books but as with all of them is suitable to read as a standalone novel. It focuses on the character Death (an anthropomorphic personification. After the Auditors - beings responsible for making sure everything in the Discworld follows The Rules - decide that Death is forming too much of a personality, they send him to live with everyone else. He assumes a name and starts working on a farm. Consequently, all species create their own, new Death. Except for the humans, who take some time to create their new Death. The lack of a human Death leads to a rise in paranormal activity, with characters such as the wizard Windle Poons finding themselves returning, undead, to the Disc.
When the New Death is created - a being with no humanity and no human face -  it goes to claim the old Death.
Death has to outwit the New Death, tidy up, and face Azrael, the Death of the Universe.

This is the 11th book in the Discworld series and the second with a story focused around Death. Unlike the foreboding character usually expected in stories of Death, Terry Pratchett’s creation is comical--as is the book.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (yep, him again) is the last book I’ll write about today. Though it’s a children’s novel, it’s equally enjoyable as an adult! The Graveyard Book is the story of Nobody Owens (‘Bod’). As a toddler, Bod’s parents are murdered by ‘the man Jack’. Bod finds his way to a graveyard where he is adopted and named by the ghosts of Mr and Mrs Owens. Bod is granted the freedom of the graveyard, and the somewhat mysterious Silas takes on the task of providing for him.
The story revolves around the adventures Bod has in the graveyard, though danger lurks close by in the form of Jack, who is set on finishing the job he started.

Well, that brings us to the end of my little series of Halloween-themed entertainment ramblings!

If this wasn’t enough, then I have one final recommendation for you!

Horror Shock Lolipop is a blog run by a group of Horror fans. Interesting and informative, here you will find all things scary and cute, weird and wonderful, and of course, a good deal of Halloween and Horror.

Enough of my recommendations, now I’d like to hear from you!
Do any of you like to read horror or fantasy books?  Which books did you enjoy reading the most?

1 comment:

  1. I love reading the vampire novels. I have read several different series. Thank you for dropping by my blog and leaving kind words about my sideboard. :-) Peggy


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