Thematic Recs: Halloween!

Halloween is coming up soon, so here are some of my favourite spooky books to set the tone for next week! Though you’ll have to bear in mind none of these are super-scary, since I don’t read much horror…

Darren Shan//Cirque du Freak1) The Saga of Darren Shan by Darren Shan. The (12-book-long) story of a young boy named Darren, who is turned into a vampire (& a proper, horror story vampire) and has to leave his home & family in order to protect them. I read this series back when I was about 11 or 12, so they’re not too scary, but they’re perfect for younger readers who don’t mind a little bit of gore.

Laurell K. Hamilton//Guilty Pleasures2) The Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton. Another vampire  series, but this one is definitely not for children. The Anita Blake books are very explicit (in terms of both sex & violence), and can actually be pretty disturbing at times… The series goes downhill after the first few books, but there are some occasional gems. My personal favourite is Obsidian Butterfly (book 9), in which Anita joins her friend Edward for a hunt. The vampires might initially be the main horror-story element in this series, but as the series goes on, we get introduced to lots of other creatures of the night, too, including lots of zombies and were-creatures, & even a demon or two…

Patrick Ness//A Monster Calls3) A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. This one’s not so scary, but is very atmospheric. It’s all about a boy who’s been suffering from nightmares as his mother gets sicker and sicker, and then, one night, a monster shows up outside his window, and starts to tell him stories. Beware of tears, because it’s quite sad.

Ransom Riggs//Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children4) The Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series by Ransom Riggs. This isn’t too scary either – it’s quite creepy, especially during the early parts of the first book, but it’s much less of a ghost story than the covers would imply. What makes this series so great for Halloween is all the pictures – both books are filled with super-spooky vintage photographs.

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