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Happy Halloween: horror, monsters, and zombies, oh my! (Part 2)

Happy Halloween. Welcome to part two of our scary book reviews week.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Cas Lowood has an interesting job for a teenage boy, one that he took up after his father’s terrible death. Cas hunts and kills ghosts. One might wonder how you can kill something that is already dead, and the answer is with a magical blade called an athame. Cas lives with his kitchen-witch mother and their ghost sensing cat, and their odd family is constantly moving for Cas’ occupation. Their most recent place to call home is Thunder Bay, Ontario, where Cas is determined to go after one particularly bad spook that the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood. Anna was murdered on her way to a school dance, and she still wears the same white dress from that deadly night in 1958, only now the dress is soaked and dripping with blood. Anna haunts her old family home, and brutally kills anyone that dares to step inside. Cas has never dealt with such a bloodthirsty ghost, and things go less than ideal when his new schoolmates’ ‘prank’ goes very wrong after a party and Cas wakes up from unconsciousness to find himself inside Anna’s domain. To his great surprise, Anna spares his life. Cas doesn’t know why Anna let him live when she hasn’t let anyone else leave her house without being in pieces, or why she seems more self aware than any of the other ghosts he has faced, but Cas is determined to unravel the mystery or join Anna in death by trying.

I picked this book up because it had a cool cover and sounded interesting.
I finished this book because I wanted to know what was going on.
I’d give this book to any ghost fan, or any romance fan looking for a dark twist.

Want to read it? Click here to place the book on hold!


Zom-B by Darren Shan  (2014-2015 Soaring Eagle Book Award nominee)
B is an average teenage delinquent with a freshly shaved head and a very bad temper. B likes to stay out at night with friends, listen to music, and bully people. While B breaks a lot of rules and is on the racist side, B never thought that life would be different from what it was. At first B doesn’t believe what is on the T.V. and thinks it is some kind of prank that someone is pulling by putting their zombie movie footage on the news, but B soon finds out that it is real. Zombies attack B’s school, sending everyone running in terror or being torn apart and eaten by the walking dead. Once they are killed, the fallen students turn into zombies themselves. B and friends are trapped in the school; someone has blocked all the exits, and it is becoming increasingly apparent to B that this slaughter has been done on purpose. But who would do such a thing and why?

Darren Shan, author of the Cirque du Freak series, has put out another gory, gut churning beginning of a series with Zom-B. Unfortunately, the writing is a bit flat and the main character is hard to like, but things may change for the better in the future books in the series. However, there is a pleasantly surprising ending for the reader who picks up this book.

I picked this book up because I read everything by Darren Shan.
I finished this book because it was a quick read.
I’d give this book to any horror movie zombie gore fan.

Want to read it? Click here to place the book on hold!


Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
R is a zombie. He wears an old, blood covered suit, he ambles along with the other walking dead, and he doesn’t remember anything about who he was in his previous life. R lives with the other zombies at the abandoned airport, where he joins them on their hunts for warm flesh and has almost conversations with his best friend, M. But R feels a little different from the other undead. He has an interest in the living world and even has dreams. On one trip into the city, R eats the brain of an unfortunate young man and also consumes some of his memories. In them, he sees a beautiful girl full of sunshine and life named Julie. Julie also happens to be hiding in the corner of the room R and his friends have infiltrated. R feels a connection to the girl after eating her boyfriend’s brain, and decides to save her by smearing her with the blood of a fallen zombie. He then takes her to the airport where he keeps her hidden in his home, an old jet. Julie is terrified at first, but her terror turns to fascination when she finds out that R can speak, even if he can’t form complete sentences. She is also surprised to find that he likes music and has an old record player that he listens to often. Julie wants to leave and go back to the stadium, the safe haven for the few people who remain alive, but she also feels a connection to R, not knowing that he is the one who killed her boyfriend. R shows Julie bits of his world, feeling more alive just by being around her. Something in him is changing, and it is slowly spreading to the other zombies as well. When Julie finally leaves without saying goodbye, R is determined to see her again, even if it means his second death.

I picked this book up because I wanted to see if the plot was different from what the movie seems to be about. It was.
I finished the book because it was very interesting and full of fresh ideas, even though the plot circles around rotting corpses.
I’d give this book to any fan of romance and zombies.

Want to read it? Click here to place the book on hold!


Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough
Said my Lord to my Lady,
as he rode away
‘Beware of Long Lankin
that lives in the hay.’
Cora and her younger sister, Mimi are sent to live with their elderly aunt, who is not at all happy to see them, in the small village called Byers Guerdon. Aunt Ida is strict and cold, and she treats the girls distantly, making them yearn for their home back in London, and she even asks that their father come get them and take them away even though they have to stay. But what the girl’s can’t know is that there is a history of disappearing children in their aunt’s family, and she will do anything to keep the same fate from befalling her nieces. Cora is curious about the strange town, and about the secrets that are hidden there, so she befriends a couple of village boys that are eager to help her unravel things. However, an ancient evil has been patiently and silently waiting for its next victim, and it has set its sights on Mimi. Cora has to race against time to save her sister’s life from a darkness that has an insatiable hunger for children.
Want to read it? Click here to place the book on hold!

Ripper by Stefan Petrucha
Carver Young is a fourteen-year-old orphan with great ambition and wits, whose home has been Ellis Orphanage since he was an infant. Nothing remains a secret from the inquisitive Carter for long, including the locked file room that he manages to get sneak in. There, in his files, he discovers that even though his mother died in childbirth, his father may be still alive, an interesting prospect for him that he plans to look further into. That is, assuming he can be adopted, and he very much hopes to be adopted by the master sleuth and police commissioner, Teddy Roosevelt. Unfortunately, at the meeting that is set up for the orphans to meet with possible parents, Carver loses his nerve and is unable to speak to the charismatic Roosevelt. However, Carver by chance meets Albert Hawking, a visionary inventor, who agrees to take him in and teach to him to be a professional detective so he can track down his missing father. Meanwhile, a murderer is loose in New York City, one whose brutal and bloody killing patterns much resemble the not long inactive Jack the Ripper. Teddy Roosevelt is quick to take on the case, but Carver and Albert Hawking are also following the bloody trail, coming closer and closer to possibly one of the most famous serial killers in history, as well as to the truth about who Carver’s father is…This book, set in the 1890’s, is full of steampunk themed inventions, disturbing murders, historical figures, and a fast-paced mystery for the reader to enjoy!

I picked this book up because I was interested in the title.
I finished this book because I had to know how it ended.
I’d give this book to any mystery or young Sherlock Holmes fan.

Want to read it? Click here to place the book on hold!


Frankenstein; or The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley
Captain Robert Walton and his crew never expected to encounter a soul on their Arctic expedition, but when their ship became trapped in the ice, halting their journey, they spotted a strange figure in the distance, riding a sled pulled by dogs. The encounter was surprising enough as it was, but even more so because the man guiding the sled was a giant, gangly creature like none Walton had ever seen. Not much longer after the creature sped out of sight into the snow, the ice broke apart and the ship was able to proceed once more, however, much to Walton’s astonishment, another man was spotted. The man was pallid and very near freezing to death, but he refused to come aboard until he knew to where the vessel traveled. Once he found their answer satisfactory, he allowed himself to be rescued. Walton immediately felt drawn to this strange man, who seemed like he had been gentlemanly at some point in his life, even though now his eyes were hollow and he was driven by a mad urge that he refused to explain. Until, at last, when he was informed about the sighting Walton had had of the creature. At Walton’s urging, the man finally decided to tell his horrifying story, as well as his name: Victor Frankenstein.

I picked this book up because I have always wanted to read it, but never got around to it.
I finished the book because it was very different than I had expected.
I’d give this book to any science fiction fan, because Mary Shelley is rarely credited as being to inventor of the genre.

Want to read it? Click here to place the book on hold!

Reviews by Serina, NCPL employee, former teen, and horror expert


The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Cormac McCarthy’s masterpiece is the story of an unnamed man and his boy as they travel across a post-apocalyptic United States. There are no animals to be seen anywhere, the entire land is burnt and covered with ash, corpses are lying everywhere, and survival is very unlikely. The man and boy are no exception. They travel south in the hopes of finding food and protection from the dangers of the outside, the worst being the people. Starvation has driven them mad with hunger turning them in cannibals. A true horror story. The man does everything to keep his son safe and the boy will always remain loyal to his father. All they have is each-other and whatever supply they carry. I read this book and couldn’t put it down because of all the horror and suspense. It will keep you guessing and you will be shocked at all the horror McCarthy sends into your mind.
I recommend it to anyone over the age of sixteen. Anyone younger might not be able to handle it. The question is can you?
Want to read it? Click here to place the book on hold!
Review by Estaban, former teen

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