Spooky Reads

September 12, 2008

I just finished reading (listening to on CD, actually,) Avi’s The Seer of Shadows.  This was a good pre-Halloween read.  It’s set in 1872 in New York city. The protagonist is a photographer’s apprentice whose portraits of the living include images of spirits.  If he takes enough pictures of someone, the spirit that is near them is released into the world.  When this happens with one wealthy couple, the girl that they  mistreated comes back to exact her revenge.  This is a fun, not too spooky read.  I would recommend this to someone looking for something spooky, but not a Goosebumps or Scary Stories type book.

Another spooky book I recently read was Darkside by Tom Becker.  This UK import won the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize (for new authors) and was long-listed for the Manchester Book Award.  Kirkus called it “contemporary gothic horror of the juiciest kind.”  14 year old Jonathan, whose father suffers from bouts of mental illness and who never knew his mother, lives in modern day London.  When he is pursued  by kidnappers, he escapes into Darkside, a community within London which is unknown to most Londoners and only accessible by a few hidden entrances and is populated by the worst kind of people.  I couldn’t put this book down.  I was immediately sucked into the story and was anxious to read the second one, Lifeblood, which is on order.  I would give this to older kids and young teens (it’s reviewed for ages 10-14).  Reviews compare it to the Cirque du Freak series and the Last Apprentice series, but I haven’t read either of those, so can’t verify the comparisons.

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