Posts Tagged ‘Horror’

The House of Madame M by Clotilde Perrin.

November 1, 2019 Comments off

houseThe House of Madame M by Clotilde Perrin. Pub. gecko Press, 2019.

This large sized, inter active picture book with lift-up flaps inside, is a treat to experience, as well as read. A little bit of fear in literature is not a bad thing so the scaredy cats amongst you better stay away.

Madame M is out when you the reader visit. Her servant, a bird like creature with a sharp beak, a fierce look and a pointed tail like a stingray, bids you to take your shoes off and be as quiet as you can.

The door mat says “Your heart stops beating here”.

As you progress through you can open draws, lift flaps and look for all the macabre things on the walls, in the sink, in the bath and behind doors. The toilet is out of order, lift the lid and see why. A cupboard holds poison, dynamite and cigarettes among other things.

Then a door creaks and heels click, Madame M is home. Would you stay?

Superb illustrations, heaps to look at, ingenious flaps and tabs to pull out. Stick around,  its not really the end.

One of the best for every child and imaginative adult.

HERO by Michael Grant.

October 10, 2019 Comments off

heroHERO by Michael Grant. Pub. Electric Monkey, Imprint HarperCollins, 2019.

This work is like a Marvel or XMen comic written as a novel, and that is a good thing because it allows the reader to use his or her own imagination to view what is going on not someone else’s.

It is the third and final part of a spin off series of the GONE series, some of the characters are in there, so is the gore and mind blowing action.

Eight years ago a meteor hit Perdido Beach and everybody disappeared except those that lived within a dome created by an alien virus. The rock that the meteor was made of contained a virus that turned people into monsters.

The dome helped create the Rockborn gang – Dekka, Shade, Cruz, Malik and Armo. They are mutants, have special powers and can morph and demorph into super heroes at will. They kept the world from disintegrating in the last book, live in Las Vegas, and now they have a new challenge.

Another asteroid with the same virus is orbiting the Earth and is projected to hit New York. They Nuke the thing but large rocks and dust still crash into the city. Those hit by the dust are isolated, taken out into the country and slaughtered at the behest of the Federal Government in case they turn into monsters like Perdido. This clashes with the will of New York City.

Four people allegedly survive and one is newly infected Bob Markovic whose invisibility is covered with stinging bees and insects. A new kind of monster. As a human he was a capitalist whose philosophy is “morality and profit do not walk hand in hand”. See how he handles being a monster.

The Rockborn gang are brought in to sort it out and they are having doubts as to who they really are and what type of world are they living in. Are they living in an AI sim as comic book super heroes or is it the real world?

Check it out for yourself. I thought it was brilliant but not for everybody. The gore and the action hits you in waves.

Secondary and young adult but adults who like horror and sci/fi will devour it. Superbly written in short chapters to keep you up with the pace.

Scared to Death by Anthony Horowitz

September 28, 2018 Comments off

scared to deathScared to Death by Anthony Horowitz Pub. Walker books, 2018.

This book came to me on a day in which I received 14 other books to read. I checked them all out but there was no doubt that this was the one I would read first and I was not disappointed.

The cover boasts “read this at your peril” and it was not wrong. Ten stunning short stories, eleven really if you read the Note from the Chairman of Walker Books at the end. Each of the stories pushes boundaries and the endings of all of them are particularly satisfying.

Bet your life pushes the TV quiz show to deadly heights. You Have Arrived is what you wish would happen to those thugs out there. The Cobra challenges the cynic in the lovely city of Marrakech. Robo Nanny takes child care to a new level. My Bloody French Exchange brings the vampire into reckoning.

If you want to know about any of the other five you will have to read it yourself but Power was most satisfying and the J Train awoke my new York experience.

Each story is wonderfully constructed and told. Every story will surprise you. Anthony Horowitz is a master story teller.

Short stories evoke the imagination and will attract the most reluctant of readers. One of the best collections I have read and apart from Juniors they are for all reading levels.

The Rephaim Bk4: Burn by Paula Weston

September 10, 2015 Comments off

burnThe Rephaim Bk4: Burn by Paula Weston. Pub. Text Publishing Melbourne, 2015.

The final thrilling book in this series that will have you on edge to the final page. The first part of this series with essential background is also reviewed earlier on this blog so read it first.

The sons and daughters of the Fallen or the Rephaim are at sixes and sevens. Divided and all unaware of the truth and reality of each others lives. None more so than leading characters twins Jude and Gabe. Neither knew of the others existence believing they were dead but nothing is as it seems in this novel.

Meeting an 11 year old girl called Dani who was visions of the past and crucially the future is the game breaker. She makes the Rephaim realise that if they are to free the Fallen who are their fathers, they must unite. Then they can find out why they exist and what they are to do with their lives.

A major battle is looming, it could result in all out war between Heaven and Hell. If the Rephaim are not united how can they go into battle and win if they cannot have the confidence that someone is watching their back. You will have to read the novel to find out more.

Much of the novel is around the personal level of settling differences between the Rephaim. These highly sexed, beautiful teenagers who are 140 years old smoulder with desire. Their encounters are heated and urgent.

The plot is complicated by the telling in 3 time zones, now, one year ago and 11 years ago. At times it confuses but you get by.

They say you can’t buy a thrill but buy this and see if it is true. For teens who love horror and romance for that matter.

Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen.

November 5, 2014 Comments off

evil librarianEvil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen. Pub. Candlewick Press, 2014.

The lesson of this novel for teenagers is, “if you are going to make a deal with the devil or a demon make sure  the wording of the deal is exactly right”. Devils and demons are what they are because they are dirty underhanded beings with no conscience.

Cyn is in love with a boy who she has never talked to. She can’t. Whenever he is around she gets tongued tied and she can hear her heart go bumpity bump. Its a fool grown crush. His name is Ryan and she wants to mess with him big time and have his babies.

Cyn’s best friend Annie is cynical but her turn is coming. A new librarian, Mr Gabriel, comes to school. He is good looking, young and seems to mesmerise Annie but has no effect on Cyn. Then Cyn witnesses an evil occurrence in the library in which there is a great deal of blood.  Mr Gabriel warns Cyn to stay cool knowing that his powers only have minimal effect on her.

The school is putting on the operetta Sweeney Todd in which a madman takes revenge on those who have wronged him and cooks their flesh in pies. There is something to be said for vegetarianism. Cyn and Ryan are in the play giving Cyn a chance to lust after Ryan.

Then the headmaster dies in mysterious circumstances, Cyn tells Ryan the librarian is a demon and ends his skepticism by confronting Mr Gabriel. Everyone is in danger.

Cyn and Ryan research how to get rid of a demon with an occult black magic shop owner and discover that demons of  underworld are battling for power. To win a demon has to have a human consort. Then it gets really good.

Very well written in a gushy school girlie way at first but things change as the situation deteriorates. The dialogue is great, the plot moves in mysterious ways and the humour is outstanding. A bit like Tarantino’s film From Dusk Till Dawn. You will not forget this novel in a hurry.

Lockwood & Co. Pt2: The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud

September 25, 2014 Comments off

lockwoodLockwood & Co. Pt2: The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud. Pub. Random House, 2014.

This is the sort of novel that those who aspire to writing should read. The story flows like a well oiled machine, the detail of the settings are immaculately described, the characters are uniquely created, the dialogue is snappy and witty and the plot is totally absorbing and told well. Can I say more?

It is essentially for high school students but good intermediate readers will devour it. The novel is 469 pages long and is part 2 of the Lockwood & Co series and there are more to come. It stands alone as a novel, I didn’t read the first part titled the Screaming Staircase but I am going back to get it.

The setting is London and while it is present day or near future it seems like a Dickensian setting. It is mostly told at night and the urban poor are everywhere along with the rich , wealthy and decadent.

Lockwood & Co are three people. The handsome and mysterious Lockwood who is early 20’s, a younger George his researcher and Lucy a shy but attractive girl who hears the whispers of the dead. All three are Agents, they hunt the ghosts ghouls and various creatures of the dead that have come loose in an event they call The Problem. Ghosts are everywhere. Using, iron, silver salt, magnesium flares and rapier swords they combat these ghosts wherever they occur.

In this novel the grave of Edmund Bickerstaff a Victorian crazy has been disturbed. In it was a bone glass mirror that has the power to show the holder what goes on on “the other side”. But it kills those who can’t handle it. It is stolen and the chase is on the recover it before it can do great damage. The climax in the catacombs below Kensal Green Cemetary will have you on edge. Splendidly told.

I can tell you no more except that it is compulsive reading. Jonathan Stroud wrote one of the best fantasy series title The Bartimaeus series. This is up with that. As Rick Riordan says “Stroud is a genius”

Don’t miss this.

Starblade Chronicles Bk 1: A new Darkness by Joseph Delaney.

May 29, 2014 Comments off

new darknessStarblade Chronicles Bk 1: A new Darkness by Joseph Delaney. Pub.Random House, 2014.

A spinoff from the Wardstone Chronicles the last of which is reviewed elsewhere on this blog. The Spook of Chipenden was killed in the last of the Wardstone books and now his young apprentice, Thomas Ward is the Spook.

The first half of this book introduces a new, predicted, enemy from the North, the Kobalos. Tom’s first task is to deal with a mage Kobalos who has come south and has killed and drunk the blood of three young girls.

Tom is the 7th son of a 7th son and is immune from much magic but the Kobalos mage is powerful and Tom needs the sword given to him by the witch Grimalkin to deal to it.

In the conflict he is helped by a girl called Jenny the 7th daughter of a 7th daughter who has insightful gifts of her own. She helps him trap the mage but is almost killed herself. Jenny wants to become the apprentice to the Spook  Tom, a situation unheard of before. Will it work?

Tom puts her through some tests and agrees to take her on. But the task against the Kobalos is going to be tough and brutal.

Fantasy horror at it’s best. Well written, continuous tension and action with worthy lead characters who face evil with tenacity.

Junior high and Intermediate students will love this first in a new series.




The Farm by Emily McKay

November 22, 2012 Comments off

The Farm by Emily McKay. Pub. Penguin Group, 2012. 

This is a thriller horror story of a Dystopian World that has been invaded by blood sucking Ticks who love humans. Where they come from, what they look like is one of the secrets of the novel. It is revealed to the reader in stages to keep you in the book and believe me you will want to stay there.

Lily and Mel are twin sisters. Lily  looks after her sister who is autistic and assesses people from the music that she hears  emitting from them. The sisters live on a Farm which is like a University Campus surrounded by a seriously guarded fence. Is it to keep the Ticks out or the teenage population that inhabit it, inside?

Life inside the Farm is disturbing. Some girls are designated as Breeders to have children for the next generation, they are up for grabs to the Collabs. who control the Farm. Punishment is to be left outside the fence for the Ticks.

Lily and Mel plan to escape. Then Carter a boy from the Before World, whom Lily had a deep crush on, arrives and the action begins. Carter knows things the girls don’t and what he knows is frightening.

The novel is narrated by Lily, Mel and Carter and the action is over a week. The ending is as gory as it gets and the action is always tense.

High teenage appeal for vampire lovers. Not unlike The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda reviewed elsewhere in this blog.

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

December 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. Pub.Vintage Books, 2010.

This is a senior secondary/young Adult book and it is about zombies. In fact it is a zombie love story.

It is set in a decaying world in which zombies rule and feed on humans. They particularly like the human brain and they eat it in small chunks because each mouthful gives them the experience and memory from the human from whom the brain came.

R is a zombie although a recent zombie. He doesn’t really know as he has no memory of being an ordinary human. He has no sense of taste, any sexual feelings have gone and he is decaying away at a slow rate. He cannot form sentences and talks in two word phrases with that gap in between. Worst of all he knows neither how long his present condition will last nor if he will eventually decay away to bones and die.

The zombies all live at the airport now deserted by humans and every so often they do a human hunt in the decaying city. These are blood thirsty and violent as the zombies dismember humans and eat them, leaving the choice bit, the brain, for last.

R has a friend M and on a raid in the city, R takes a live human woman and disguises her in blood and gore so that she looks like a zombie. Why does he do this? How does the human, Julie feel about it? Can a zombie fall in love? and deeper still can a human woman fall in love with a zombie? The biggest challenge is to keep Julie a secret from M and the other zombies.

I never promote a book without hope and in the second part of this novel hope arrives, but will it be allowed to persevere?

Interesting stuff. I was amused, revolted, mentally stimulated and heartened at the same time. Stephenie Myer said “I never thought I could care so passionately for a zombie”. I think I feel the same.

I will let you make your own mind up. But it is definitely senior literature. If you want something very different then this is it.

A Fallen Novel Part 2. Torment by Lauren Kate

October 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Torment by Lauren Kate. Pub. Doubleday, 2010.

If you want to know where all the Twilight readers have gone to and what they are reading now, then check this Fallen series out.

The plot and storyline will be very familiar to you but the lovers in this are called Luce and Daniel and instead of Vampires and werewolves we have Fallen Angels. The angels are divided and the darkness side are after Luce and Daniel must protect her.

After the battle at the end of the Fallen, Luce is taken out of her old school in Georgia and sent to California to attend The Shoreline school. The girls aren’t as steely c0ld as in Fallen because  they are in awe of Luce and her legendary love affair with Daniel.

The main villains in this book are the Outcasts, a sect of spineless waffling angels, who have been shunned by both heaven and hell and nasty sinister creatures they are.

Luce has been around before in several other lives and Daniel tells her all about her past lives. But is he telling the truth and will a rival emerge?

I cannot tell you too much about this novel except that Luce goes blond and after a similar slow start to Fallen, once the action heats up you won’t be able to put the book down. Do so in the knowledge that part 4 Passion will be out early next year.

Intermediate and  secondary students will love this esp[ecially girls but pass it on to your mothers.