Sunday, October 4, 2015

Nadaness In Motion’s recommended reads for Halloween

I’m not an expert on the horror genre and haven’t read much recently but I’d like to recommend a few books I’ve read for October – or in general, though the below list will mostly focus on witches, the scary and the paranormal.
Titles will be accompanied by link to my reviews of these books. Don’t worry I won’t recommend anything below four stars : )
They are in no order whatsoever.

Thirty Scary Tales by Rayne Hall

Thirty Scary Tales by Rayne Hall is a collection of short stories encompassing an array of settings, narration styles and topics with theme of ‘scary’.
Including real-life and supernatural tales, this collection includes vampires, ghosts, magic, dreams, evil birds, fires and more. Some of the best titles in the collection are: The Grey Walker, Arete, Through the Tunnel, The Colour of Dishonour, Burning and The Painted Staircase – just to name a few.
There are also a few stories set in Rayne Hall’s dark epic fantasy novel Storm Dancer, with exceptionally vivid characters and settings as well as strong creativity and unfathomable twists! You have no idea what you’re up against!
“But his actions had not been water drops that evaporated in the sun without leaving a trace. They had been cruel flames, scorching deep holes into Laina's defenceless heart.”

Seasons of Time by Miriam Khan

Seasons of Time opens with an eerie prologue of a jealous unnamed mystery woman and possible spell-casting that is the essence of the novel. Lara Voight is sent to spend the summer with her step-mother's grandmother Gracen, a rude combination of grudge and age.
As soon as Lara arrives at Gracen's mansion, she experiences burning pains and emotions as well as a fragrant familiar scent that often results in a vision of the past. Soon, she discovers that she is the "spitting image" of a murdered Penelope Le Rose 'Pen' and comes across her diary.
"My hand immediately traced my mattress for Pen's Diary, a book that was my revelation, my retreat to the real me, my beginning with the people I would always cherish whether I knew them or not."

Strings (collection of 33 short stories) by Darren Gallagher

Strings by Darren Gallagher is a collection of 33 mostly scary short stories spanning different eras, worlds, themes and places. The stories encompass a variety of topics ranging from vampires and werewolves to swarms of spiders, to newly-made up creatures to cowboys even.
Among the titles I enjoyed were: Ruby Red Soldiers, A Hiker’s Life, The Wishing Well, A Bag Full of Ashes, Hustled, Sinsu; just to name a few.

The Witches of BlackBrook by Tish Thawer

The Witches of BlackBrook is a quick-paced and easy-to-navigate story about three witches: Karina, Kara and Kenna, who lived in the late 1600's, when magic was practiced freely. Mischief befalls the three, when a woman tricks the elder sister, claiming her baby is ill. After that, Karina is accused of killing the baby and being the devil's daughter. She is sentenced to burn at the stake, where she performs a spell to protect her and her sisters. Karina casts a spell that takes the sisters across time, to be reborn in different bodies every time.
Opening with a short but powerful prologue, we see a witch's sacrifice from the first page, which immediately gives an idea about the character, even though we are not sure who that character is from the beginning but later learn that it is Karina.
There is also the use of tarot readings. "Trin acknowledged the Magician card as her past, no surprises there. But the present and future cards had her undivided attention.
The Seven of Swords indicated deceit and deception surrounding her present, while the reversed Tower forewarned her of major changes, where she could no longer count on those close to her."

Shadow, Shadow by V.B. Marlowe

Shadow, Shadow, the first instalment in The Shadow Pines trilogy, is an amazing multi-faceted becoming-of-age novel about four school students given four Shadow Boxes on their sixteenth birthday.
Harley, Teaghan, Gianna and Brock, are told that they have the power to remove one person from their lives by giving them to the shadows, which need to be fed. However, they are later told that they must use the Shadow Boxes or someone close to them will be killed/taken by the shadows.
“The four of you have been blessed with a great gift. Well, it’s a gift for you, but a curse for someone else.”

The Huntress: The Beginnings by Nadja Losbohm

The Huntress: The Beginnings, the first instalment in the The Huntress series, is about Ada, whose life is turned upside down when she is told that she is destined to become a Huntress.
Unathletic, ordinary Ada is told to leave her life, get in shape and fight monsters and demons. Narrated in the first person from Ada's perspective, the novella opens with Ada telling the reader that she is pregnant and is going to meet with a reporter (Dan Meyers) to tell the world her story and get them to realise that there are monsters on the streets that they need to be careful of.
"So, when I can't make my rounds, who else is there to protect all those people from what's lurking in the dark?"
The story is in the form of flashbacks about Ada, her transformation and her relationship with Father Michael.

A Fistful of Evil by Rebecca Chastain

There is evil and there are Enforcers to do something about it. Madison, the protagonist and narrator in Rebecca Chastain's A Fistful of Evil, possesses an ability she calls "soul-sight", with which she can switch her vision to see people and the world from a different view and perspective, literally.
Narrated in the first person from Madison's perspective, the novel is full of sarcasm, humour and snarky comments.
“A cell phone yesterday. A video conference today. Watch out, world. I might get a Twitter account next!”
Madison is thrown hard into this world of Primordium or “soul-sight” and soon she has to battle blobs of evil and bigger problems. The book is a combination of fun, fighting (without major weapons) and self-discovery.
“Mr. Pitt snorted. He redirected his gaze to Rose. “Make sure she doesn’t do anything stupid.”
“That’s above my pay grade.”

Family Secrets by Kat Nichols

The first instalment in The Secret Societies Collection, Family Secrets is about Sophia, who discovers that she comes from a long line of witches. She has to learn everything within five months for her initiation on her eighteenth birthday. She is also to be named the next matriarch of the Blackthorne Coven.
The family and coven are loaded with secrets, rivalry and lust for power. Sophia is to be trained by her cousin Alexa, who is not an easy-to-deal-with character. At school, Sophia meets Connor, who has a secret of his own, and who is named by Alexa as the 'enemy'. But who is really the 'enemy' in Family Secrets?

Revelations by Jennifer Carole Lewis
Although it is not a horror or scary read, it is certainly a dark one.

"Wherever there is prey, there are hunters. Jungle, ocean, city – the location doesn't matter. Predators will always find the vulnerable." – The opening line for Revelations and one that rings true on several characters and lines in the story.

Revelations (Book I of The Lalassu), by Jennifer Carole Lewis, is a quick-paced action-packed adventure mainly about a dancer with super human abilities. For years, Dani has been fighting her family's nagging that she take up the role of High Priestess for the lalassu people in order to serve as their guide and connection with the goddess. We later learn that that connection, known as the Huntress, seems to have been "corrupted".

Necrophilia by Sherine Hanaay
This novella is written in Arabic, but I’m including both the English and Arabic reviews for it. Although it is not a horror story, it is intensely dark and mainly falls under the psychological-thriller genre. It is worth the read, especially if it’s ever translated. It is certainly new topic in Arabic literature.

Happy/Scary reading! : )

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