It’s Luna’s favourite time of year!
Oh yes, Luna is crazy for Halloween. The orange and black aesthetic, candy, scaring small children…wait, what do you mean that’s not the point?
You’re not supposed to frighten children apparently. No matter. I have jelly beans, a skull headband and some spooky recs.
This is a middle school series but the way Robert Beatty writes and builds tension is far better than some adult fiction authors I’ve seen. I was genuinely on the edge of my seat when Serafina first encounters a stranger in the basement halls of her home. The first book Serafina and the Black Cloak is surprisingly terrifying material, with a gentleman in a black cloak stalking the land and kidnapping children, never to be seen again. If you want spooky without staying awake all night, I recommend these.
THERE ARE ZOMBIES. NEED I SAY MORE.
Genuinely though, these are very well written books set after twenty years after a zombie apocalypse. Several times the main characters realise that things are all too quiet…and then the undead moaning starts. The zombies aren’t the main point of the story – it’s more of a political story, with the usual corrupt body of authority, that just happens to be set in a world where a zombie outbreak took place. I read all three of this series right after the other, desperate to know what happens to the After The End times new teams.
Behind her eyes
THIS IS WORTH THE HYPE.
At the beginning of the year I kept seeing #wtfthatending trending on twitter. I was even more curious when it turned out it was about a book I wanted to read. And if I wanted to read it before, all these people exclaiming over the ending bumped Behind Her Eyes up to my most anticipated list of 2017.
AND MY GOD IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT. In a world where twists are expected and then often unsatisfactory and cliche, this one delivers. It is set up wonderfully and I didn’t suspect a thing. When I thought I had the ending sussed WHAM there was the true twist after all. This book will keep you up to finish it and then staring at the ceiling in shock for the rest of the night.
I just finished this book and I’m hesitant to get into my true feelings for it in too much detail (full review pending!) but I had to add it to my list. It does exactly what it says on the tin – follows Quincy and her two ‘sisters’ in blood, the trio of women the media have dubbed Finals Girls. Years ago Quincy escaped a massacre at Pine Cottage, the only one left alive. One Final Girl turns up dead and the other turns up on her doorstep, leading Quincy down a twisted terrifying path, back to that night at Pine Cottage.
I won’t give my thoughts here but I devoured this and rightfully so – it’s brilliant.
I also intend to read There’s Someone Inside Your House. It sounds atmospheric and spine tingling levels of creepy but I couldn’t read it in time for this post.
(Luna would like to give a PSA that she is a wuss and will avoid anything truly scary on Halloween. I watched Joy Ride a few months ago and that’s terror enough to keep me going until 2018.)
BUT if scary flicks are your kind of things I recommend the mentioned above Joy Ride, Don’t Breathe and It Follows for some terrifying Halloween movies. Scream Queens and Supernatural are two of my favourite TV shows that offer a little light hearted humour alongside the terror. And as always, my favourite Halloween watch – THE ADDAMS FAMILY.
So, here’s a list I wrote for Halloween recommended reads based on some of my all time favourite scary/Halloween friendly reads:
- Bird Box – Josh Malerman
- A Head Full of Ghosts – Paul Tremblay
- The Dead House – Dawn Kurtagich
- Broken Monsters – Lauren Beukes
- The Radleys – Matt Haig
- Odd Thomas – Dean Koontz
But I also thought I should share with you the books I’m really looking forward to reading (as my top 6 I’ve probably reviewed to death and nobody wants to be recommended the same books every year).
Stuff I Want To Read To Scare Myself This Halloween
It – Stephen King
This one is very topical right now because of the movie reboot. I haven’t had a chance to see it yet, though I have watched the 90s miniseries staring Tim Curry and it was utterly freaky. It’s the story of seven children who are terrorised by a shapeshifting monster than plays on their worst fears. The creature generally takes the form of Pennywise, the clown, in order to attract its prey – young children.
Wendigo – Vaughn C Hardacker
The Wendigo is a Native American monster of legend, with an appetite for human flesh. When a man is found butchered in the woods, surrounded by inhuman footprints, John Bear becomes convinced that this is the legend come to life. But how do you stop a creature that can look like anyone?
I’ve wanted to read this since I saw the Supernatural episode where monster of the week was a Wendigo and I was scared witless.
The Ritual – Adam Nevill
Four old friends reunite for a hiking trip and become lost in the wilderness (guys, never take the shortcut). Amongst the ancient trees they stumble across an isolated house (again, can’t you hear the warning bells?). Inside are the remains of old rites; ancient artifacts and old bones.
There’s a bestial presence in the ancient forest, and now it’s hunting them.
(There’s also going to be a movie!)
Gather the Daughters – Jennie Melamed
In a post-apocalyptic landscape, young children reign supreme for one glorious summer. The girls are wives in training – destined to be married, provide children, and end their lives with poison. As they reach puberty they face a ritualistic summer of Fruition – they live wildly and fight over food while the adults shelter indoors. At the end of this summer, one girl sees something so horrifying that it upends the laws of their island and sows the seeds of an uprising that could destroy them all.
Hekla’s Children – James Brogden
When a body is found in an ancient woodland, everybody assumes it’s that of one of three children that went missing ten years ago, but soon turns out to be a bronze age archaeological curiosity. The discovery triggers flashbacks for Nathan, the teacher who saw his students disappear a decade ago and he starts to have nightmares about his students trapped but still alive. Then Olivia, a survivor of the strange mass disappearance, becomes insistent that the bronze age body be returned to the earth – she’s convinced that he is the only thing keeping an terrible evil at bay.
Ancient evil, monsters and curses, oh my!
My Favourite Murder podcast (a comedy podcast that discusses murders, which also happens to be my favourite podcast)! Particularly episode 7 where the hosts talk about the deaths associated with the filming of the films Poltergeist and Rosemary’s Baby.
Book Riot also recommends 16 books about the Salem Witch Trials which you can read here
And remember, if you really want to frighten yourself this Halloween, all you need to do is to cruise President Donald Trump’s twitter feed. Yeah, there’s some terrifying nighttime reading for you…don’t say I didn’t warn you.
So we bid you a happy halloween and a blessed Samhain. Tomorrow is November and you know what that means. 30 days of us trying to stick to our schedule and plot lines, while swearing at computers and googledocs when it goes down. Oh yes, Novel Darlings is taking on Nanowrimo for the second year running!