Review: Halloween Reads, Part III

Halloween is tomorrow (!!!!!!), so let’s celebrate by reading/sharing/talking about some more scary books.

The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman

Nobody Owens lives in a graveyard.

When he was a toddler, both of his parents and older sister were murdered by a mysterious man. Bod (as he likes to be called) escapes this attacker and wanders down the street towards the graveyard that is adjacent to his home. The local ghosts bring him in, and his guardian, Silas, promises to be there for him until he is a young man. 

Bod is not allowed to leave the graveyard; the mysterious man who killed his family, who Bod later learns has dark hair and is named Jack, might still be out there. All of the ghosts in the graveyard help raise him, and teach him everything they know: from dream-walking to fading, and how to read and write.

Over time, however, Bod becomes more curious about the world outside the graveyard, which results in him leaving, and coming face to face with the Order called the Jack of All Trades. This then allows him to learn the true fate of his real family, and face those that have been looking for him since birth.

The Graveyard Book spins a supernatural tale, and will make you laugh while also giving you a slight bout of the creeps. The most mysterious part of the book, though, is Bod’s guardian, Silas.

Silas is very secretive, and never reveals much about his life to Bod. What we do know is that he often sleeps during the day, is unable to see his reflection, and, during the Danse Macabre, he explains to Bod that he is neither living nor dead. Based on these facts, I’m pretty sure that he’s actually a vampire.

Even though The Graveyard Book is technically a children’s novel, I’d still recommend it to anyone looking for a lighter, spookier read. Plus, it’s Neil Gaiman, so you know it’s going to be good. The book also has extra awesomeness because it’s illustrated by Dave McKean. 

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Bird Box, Josh Malerman

Imagine living in a world where you can’t open your eyes. If you do, you might see it. You’re not sure what “it” is, but seeing it will drive you insane to the point of committing brutal violence and inevitable death. In order to survive you must stay indoors, with all windows boarded and covered up.

This is the world that Josh Malerman has created in his debut novel, Bird Box.

Weird, unexplained events started in Russia, and eventually begin happening elsewhere. Reports say that people see creatures, and then, within minutes, end up dead. No one knows what these creatures look like, or why they cause humans to go insane.

Malorie and her two young children have finally left their home to look for other survivors, but will they make it there while blindfolded?

The story focuses on their journey, and includes several flashbacks explaining how the world sunk into violent chaos over the past four years. No detail of the mysterious creatures are given, so your imagination runs wild with possibilities of what they might look like.

Read this book if you want to experience a psychological rollercoaster. You never know what’s going to happen when you turn the next page.

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