The horror, the horror—oh, how we love the horror. Creepy children, bloodlust and white specters dominate the best novels for sending chills down your spine this Halloween.
Most of the time, interviews about an author’s new novel take place a year or so after the book’s completion. So it might take a bit of doing for an author to feel up-to-date, especially if he or she is already ears-deep into the next project. Carlos Ruiz Zafón had to travel much further back in time when he spoke with BookPage from his home in Los Angeles about his fourth young adult novel, Marina: A Gothic Tale, which was first published in his native Spain in 1999.
Warning to the reader: It is impossible for this review to proceed without a number of spoilers. In case anyone still holds the charming belief (as I do) that the mechanics of plot have a bearing on our enjoyment of a novel, the reviewer feels obliged to perform his task up front. I shall do it The Quick (pardon the pun) way: If you are a fan of literary Gothic—think Susanna Clarke or John Harwood—buy this book. You won’t regret it.
With The Quick, Lauren Owen has created a brilliant literary debut to rival the work of classic Gothic authors like Radcliffe and Brontë.
In this fascinating and deeply creepy novel by South African author Sarah Lotz, four commercial flights go down on the same day. Everyone on board perishes except three children: a British preteen named Jess; an American boy named Bobby; and a Japanese boy named Hiro. The children are uninjured, but their personalities have changed.
It is a cool October night on Falstaff Island, about nine miles off of Prince Edward Island, and Scoutmaster Tim Riggs is enjoying a sip of scotch. He can hear his five 14-year-old scouts talking and laughing in the next room, most likely telling ghost stories before they fall asleep. All six are completely unaware of the horrifying turn their annual camping trip is about to take.
BookPage Fiction Top Pick, February 2014
“The first time I saw a sleeper, I was nine years old.” Best-selling author Jennifer McMahon (Promise Not to Tell) opens her new novel, The Winter People, with a sentence that offers a tantalizing glimpse of the horrors to come in this marvelously creepy page-turner.
Christopher Golden’s Snowblind is a supernatural thriller that transcends the ghost story genre. While this spooky story will not disappoint readers who relish all things creepy, Snowblind is also a well-observed tale populated by a cast of characters whose Recession-era lives are portrayed with poignant authenticity, offering up a 21st-century landscape of tract homes, strip malls and fast food joints inhabited by ordinary folks.
Seven years after her mesmerizing first novel, The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield returns with Bellman & Black, a ghost story that’s both terrifyingly familiar and unlike any such tale you’ve ever read. As in her previous novel, Setterfield once again transports us into a world of irresistible Gothic suspense, this time weaving in unsettling ruminations on mortality, nature...
A survey of a few recent horror movies (The Conjuring, Insidious 2, etc.) suggests that hauntings OF the children, BY the children and FOR the children are in. And why not? There’s really nothing creepier than a threat coming either from a ghostly child or toward a living child from some post-mortem parental entity. Three books investigate this disturbing psychological terrain, with...