Rachel Read it

Book reviews and creative discussion

Blogoween!

It’s my favourite time of the year, autumn, and more specifically HALLOWEEN!!!

Love love love the change of seasons in autumn, kicking leaves, early nights, so much more time to snuggle up and read, read, read!

The lengthening nights make it perfect for fireside scares, and with that in mind, I present to you, my version of Blogoween, having been tagged by the awesome, Two Book Thieves 

They, in turn were linked to Blogoween by Anthony at Keep Reading Forward and the original Blogoween post can be found here –

Blogoween (Bookblogger Style)

In the style of ‘The Monster Mash’, each of these creatures has a feature which you link to a book. It took me quite a while to work out mine but it was a lot of fun and hopefully some of you will join in too and maybe read some good books as you try and work out if that is a lengthening shadow of clothes on a chair in the corner or a ravenous beastie waiting to eat you!!!

Rules

-Answer all prompts

Be honest

Tag willing victims, I mean individuals

Credit the creator and who tagged you

-Have Fun!!

 

WITCH

A Magical Character or book

The character I would pick is from ‘Imajia’ by Clive Barker

Pie ‘Oh’Pah is one of the central three characters of ‘Imajica’, a book I lived and breathed and started as an assassin, hired by a jilted lover to kill Judith, another point of the triangle. Thwarted by the third character, Gentle, Judith’s ex-lover, Pie goes on the run , chased by Judith and Gentle who quickly realise he is not of this world, has magical powers and is involved in the ‘Reconciliation’-a ceremony when all 5 dominions, of which Earth is the estranged 5th, are supposed to be aligned. The assassin becomes hunted as Pie, Gentle and Judith travel to unfathomable lands in worlds they never knew existed but were only a step away from ours, hidden because humans have lost their belief in magic and art. Just writing that gave me shivers! It is a beautiful, wonderful book as Judith and Gentle find that they are more than human, more than lovers and Pie is the conduit and heart of the trio.

WEREWOLF

The perfect book to read at night

‘Rattle’ by Fiona Cummins

This, and the sequel, ‘The Collector’ are PERFECT to read at night as long as you don’t imagine you actually wanted to sleep. And have lots of lights turned on. And lots of coffee. Because when you start this story about a serial killer unlike any you ever read about, chased by a female police officer who breaks all the tropes , then you will not want to stop.

FRANKENSTEIN

A Book that truly Shocked You

‘The Girl Next Door’ by Jack Ketchum

*TRIGGER WARNING* Sexual abuse and violent assault and child abuse- this book has consistently come top of nearly every ‘Book I could not finish/gave me nightmares list’ I have EVER read. I like horror but draw a line somewhere, I want goosebumps but not to want to vomit (call me crazy I don’t care). But this book..I finally read it last year at age 42 and I cried . A lot. It is based on a true story that so horrified the author that he wrote about it, and this edition explains why he did so. It is the story of how 2 children fell through the gaps in society, that white picket fences and ‘respectable neighbourhoods’ can hide the darkest secrets. And this goes very dark indeed. It is hidden in a book stack, I can’t bring myself to read it again but also not to pass it on. It is brutal and dark but I don’t regret ready it.

THE DEVIL

A Dark, Evil Character

Randall Flagg from the Stephen King Universe

Randall Flagg,’The Walling Dude’, gets to appear in many , many guises across the Stephen King universe but in  ‘The Stand’ he gets all the best lines, the best tunes and is the most evil, malevolent character King has ever created. He does awful things whilst not doing them at all, he very rarely gets his hands dirty but creates situations and opportunities wherein people do the actual deed, but he put the notions in their heads, sits back and watches the world, quite literally, go to hell.

GRIM REAPER

A Character that should never have died

? from ‘Summer of Night’ by Dan Simmons

I am not going to name the character in case anyone who hasn’t read it gets a spoiler, but let’s just say this was gruesome, unexpected and I cried, a lot, again. It was necessary to the plot which is why I hated it so much but totally caught me unawares as it was not the character you usually expect to die-now thanks to George RR Martin we suspect and expect everyone and no one but this was, summer, I was 15 and this book blew me away. If you like ‘IT’ by Stephen King then definitely check Dan Simmons out. Started reading him with ‘Song Of Kali’ and never stopped.

ZOMBIE

A Book that made you hungry for more

‘Cabal’ by Clive Barker

This could count for most of Clive Baker’s titles which have been foretold a second and sometimes a third book in the series, ‘Cabal’, or ‘Nightbreed’ will leave you wanting more of the back stories of the inhabitants of Midian, more of the story of Boone and Lori. There might be the chance to return to Midian given the news that ‘Nightbreed’ could be being brought to us by the Syfy channel! Currently the film is available on Amazon Prime, but the book is just it’s own creature.

GARGOYLE

A character you would protect at all costs

‘Mary Jekyll’ from the Athena Club

Theodora Goss has created a brilliant, feminist re-telling of major monster myths by placing the women in the tales front and centre. The heart of the tale, however, is Mary Jekyll who finds when her mother-dies that she has left her a strange legacy…a sister called Diana Hyde. Add in a host of women from gothic literature, a serial killer stalking London and a healthy dose of black humour and you have the ladies of the Athena Club!

VAMPIRE

A book that sucked the life out of you

So many to choose from….any of Dan Brown’s books, The 50 shades Trilogy, but the one that disappointed the most was probably ‘Don’t Wake Up’ by Liz Lawler. It was meant to be a psychological thriller, many, many people loved it but I found it difficult to stay awake reading it. As a third year student nurse and former midwife, I find it irritating when people get basic medical information wrong. Sloppy researching, a main character who you were supposed to feel sorry for -but didn’t- with little to no suspense or tension, I gave it a very rare 1 star because I resented the time I lost reading this. No links, but you could find it easily enough-if you want to!

GHOST

A Book that still haunts you

‘Koko’ by Peter Straub

Absolutely terrifying. ‘Koko’ is hard to describe, it intertwines with another of Peter Straub’s books called ‘The Throat’ and a story ‘The Blue Rose’ and is one of the most harrowing descriptions of Vietnam and a supernatural killer haunting 4 ex-soldiers that I have ever read. It is haunting because of the unflinching way that war is depicted in an era where I was probably too young to appreciate the societal impact of Vietnam.

DEMON

A book that really scared you

‘Supernatural Tales’ by Arthur Conan Doyle

As a child I owned the frankly terrifying ‘Ladybird Books of Horror’-of the 4, the most terrifying by was this one, ‘The Mummy’. Remember, these were for children!! There was’ Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’, ‘Dracula’ , ‘Frankenstein’ and this one…this one gave me nightmares. The Ladybird books were so well written back then, they weren’t patronising, and the densely packed pages really gave you a feeling of reading something, and learning things. These can be picked up quite cheaply on ebay to terrify the youngsters of today which I *may* or may not have done to my own children…

This story led me to check out the other things Conan-Doyle had written such as The Lost World, The Adventures of Sir Nigel and someone called Sherlock Holmes?!

SKELETON

A Book you have bones to pick with

‘Conjoined’ by Jen Sookfung Lee

The bones I have to pick are that this story left me bereft, heartbroken and unable to read for a week after I finished it. It’s an astonishing story of 2 missing sisters and the social worker who tries to find them. In a system that isn’t invested in working out where two Asian children have vanished to, it explores the complexities of socialisation and being conflicted between what is expected of you from your parent’s culture versus the one you grow up in. Powerful stuff.

MUMMY

A Book you would preserve through time

‘Salem’s Lot’ by Stephen King

I read this, huddled behind the sofa in my nan’s ‘good parlour’ when I was 10 and no one was around to stop me. It had a terrifying cover and I was a quiet child that no one ever noticed was really there or not. Good parlours were kept with plastic wraps on the sofas, dust,the best ornaments,windows were never opened and this room was used to pay respects to the dead or entertain visitors. It was also where my uncles kept their collection of scary books . From Shaun Hutson, James Herbert and a million lurid 70’s paperbacks began a life long love of horror. But this was the first book that I read cover to cover and maybe I stole it and maybe it is held together with Sellotape on a shelf upstairs with it’s fantastic cover of vampire faces1975 cover

CREEPY DOLL

A Cover too scary to look at

Slenderman

Check out the cover for yourself,it’s a book so spooky that no one will admit to being it’s author…unless it was the Slenderman himself?!

I could have easily picked so many books, it was an absolute blast doing the Monster Mash!!