Tag Archives: horror

In the Shadows

Text Story by Kiersten White, Art and Art Story by Jim Di Bartolo

Intended for age 12 and up


I am really excited about this novel of suspense and horror!  Its main characters are young adults who live in or are visiting a boarding house by the sea. Two sisters share some duties with their mother after their father’s mysterious death. Three young men, one terminally ill, are visiting with them. The boys’ respective fathers are also deeply involved in something sinister. As the plot unrolls, the characters become embroiled in a chilling series of events that seem to involve far more than their sleepy little town. Reluctantly, they find themselves forced into more and more dangerous situations that involve not only their fathers but many of the townspeople they thought they knew well.

I want to hand this book to all my reading friends and order them to read it, and look at the twin story in paintings by Di Bartolo. It is a brand new technique to me. It’s not really manga, because there are no thought balloons or speech balloons or captions or any text whatsoever accompanying the paintings. It’s not really an illustrated narrative either, because the pictures have a purpose beyond accompanying and interpreting the text.  I believe there are two narratives going on in parallel, both delivering the plot in different ways and from different points in the narrative.

At first I had no idea what the paintings showed, because they start the book, and with no captions I was lost. Still, they are so compelling that I spent several moments on each picture, struggling to “read” it. It wasn’t until I had read a fair bit of the text that the pictures started to have a narrative for me too. Then the two media started to work together brilliantly.

The text itself is a verbal wonder that conjures a visual wonder as effectively as the paintings. White creates characters you can see, without wasting a word. The creepy atmosphere of horror is just as much a product of the evocative writing as the shivery paintings. The story is a series of shocks to the nervous system that will keep you turning the pages well in to the night. Now that I am tuned in to the art work, I am going to re-read it to see what I missed at the beginning. This is a book that will merit second or third or even more readings.


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Filed under Books, children's books, Graphic Novels, Review, Teen Books

The Demonologist

I’m pretty sure Andrew Pyper has a winner here, at least in terms of bestsellers.  I’ve been hearing The Demonologist suggested for those who liked
The Da Vinci Code; it’s really not.  It features a book (Paradise Lost) and some obscure clues.   So really, it could also be compared to Nancy Drew.

It would be more accurate to compare it to classic horror like The Exorcist by William P. Blatty (yes, it was a book first), or Unholy Fire by Whitley Strieber.  It’s not gore fest horror, more of a psychological thriller.

What makes it scary is the combination of the protagonist’s daughter going missing (presumed dead by everyone but him), and his own internal debate about whether or not this is all the product of him having gone insane.

It’s a relatively fast read, and probably not a re-read for me, but it was enjoyable.  A little of a slow start, but a decent pace once it got going.

What I do, weirdly, appreciate is that the cover under the dust jacket is also cool.  So few books are like this, and it’s a nice surprise.

If you’re looking for a fun horror/thriller that won’t have you hiding under your bed for the night, this is a good candidate.

Happy reading!


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Filed under Books, E-Books, Review

Wanted: Scary, Scary Books

I’ve been having fun reading Kelley Armstrong’s latest, 13 (the conclusion to the series I’ve been reading for oh, ten years), and some Sherrilyn Kenyon League novels (cross sexy romance with full-on guns blazing sci-fi action, and you get the league books).  They’re great, but for some reason I’ve been in the mood for horror.

I don’t mean gory, or thriller stuff.  Zombie body parts can be icky, granted.  I, however, am looking for the kind of book that makes you want to hide under the bed.  The book version of The Grudge (original Japanese or the remake, your pick).  I just don’t get as creeped out by books as by movies, so far.

C’mon people, I need help here.  No Stephen King, read them all as a teenager.  Suggestions needed!




image source: http://thehorrorhotel.blogspot.ca


Filed under Books, Review

Everybody Loves Zombies

A lot of the conversations I’ve had lately have had the topic of zombies come up.   One recent discussion with coworkers involved debating what actions we would take, given the zombie apocalypse (My vote is to head for the Arctic, others thought staying on the move and raiding small towns… it got heated).

The Walking Dead tv series is possibly one source of zombies on the brain (either that or the Oscars, and thoughts of Joan Rivers).  The tv series is based on the graphic novels of the same name, which are definitely worth checking out, and have a depth of storyline to them that isn’t often found in zombie stories.

walking deadnulljoan rivers

In fact, there are a lot of books that can be classified as zombie lit, ranging from survival manuals to novels, and a few in between.  Here are a few I recommend, with some suggestions from fellow zombie-loving (in the story sense, no necrophilia here) friends.

Want to plan for the zombie apocalypse?  Here’s your go-to guide.

zombie survival

I have mentioned Pride & Prejudice & Zombies before… this book will create a whole lot of new Jane Austen fans.  Loved it.


World War “Z”  comes highly recommended by several of the staff at the bookstore – written as a nonfiction account of the history of the zombie war, the new perspective alone makes it worth checking out.  Apparently it is being made into a movie, too.


For those who like mixing reading about the undead with reading about kinky sex (and who doesn’t), the   Laurell K. Hamilton’s series is full of zombies, as well as vampires, werewolves, and assorted other creatures of the night.  These books are definitely not Twilight (and I’m not just talking about the sex).  The stories are pretty dark, and can be downright uncomfortable.  But they are almost never bland, at least.  This is the cover of the newest one, coming soon:

Anyways, enough from me… have a great zombie read to recommend?  Let me know!  Also, I’d love to hear what your zombie apocalypse strategy is.



Filed under Books, Bookstore, Review