October 2003

Reading Recommendations · Horror and the Supernatural

Stephen King and Anne Rice can always be relied on for a good scare, but here are some recent horror tales that will also send a chill down your spine. We�ve also included a couple of books that are as humorous as they are scary.
Cover of Bitten

Bitten

Kelley Armstrong
The only female werewolf in the world, Elena Michaels is called back from her human life to help the Pack stamp out some renegade "mutts." But what the mutts really want is Elena, so that they can breed pure werewolves. A biting, fur-flying tale.

Dark Sleeper

Jeffrey E. Barlough
The world has been sundered in a great cataclysm and has entered into an Ice Age in Barlough�s vividly imagined alternate world. The appearance of a fierce teratorn signals ominous doings and it�s up to Professor Titus Tiggs and his good friend Dr. Daniel Dampe to discover what evil has been unleashed on their world.

From the Dust Returned

Ray Bradbury
Though a gala homecoming is planned at the Illinois country Victorian where the Elliots have lived for centuries, the unusual family realize their time may be over. Young Timothy, mortal foundling and family historian, is the only one who will age and die. Charles Addams illustrates Bradbury�s charming novel.
Cover of Fledgling

Fledgling

Octavia Butler
Octavia Butler died this year. She was an author known for her deeply moral works of fantasy and science fiction. In the final book published before her death, Butler provides a subtle examination of racism and species interdependence as backdrop to the tale of a young vampire seeking her true past and identity

The Overnight

Ramsey Campbell
Woody Blake, manager of the first British outlet of American mega-bookstore Texts, calls an overnighter to prepare for a visit from corporate headquarters. Business hasn’t been good so far, but Woody is sure he can turn it around. He and his beleaguered staff don’t realize the woods around the new shopping mall harbor malevolent spirits until the night unfolds in danger and death.

The Hour before Dark

Douglas Clegg
Following his father�s brutal murder, novelist Nemo Raglan returns to the Maine island where he grew up. With no clues and no suspect, finding the killer may not be possible, but as Nemo reunites with his siblings, the strange mind-projection game taught them by their father may prove the solution. Spooky, visceral horror.

Lost Hunters

Deanne Devine
Violence erupts in an Indiana town every twenty years, and many say it�s the curse of an eighteenth-century cult leader whom Lucas Vanderkellen cast into hell. A climax of vengeance rises up against young Leslie, last of the Vanderkellens, in local author Devine�s powerful horror tale.
Cover of The Good House

The Good House

Tananarive Due
The dark legacy of her vodou priestess grandmother troubles Angela Toussaint in Due�s splendid haunted house tale. Angela�s ignorance of her family history brings great tragedy. She must defeat the demon that possesses the old Victorian home before it completely destroys the Toussaint line.

Joplin’s Ghost

Tananarive Due
Rising R&B singer Phoenix sat at a piano that once belonged to Scott Joplin and apparently channeled the great composer’s music. Twenty years have passed and Phoenix is on the verge of stardom, when the ragtime musician comes back to torment her busy days and sleepless nights. A haunting novel of music, memory, and love that lasts beyond life.

American Gods: A Novel

Neil Gaiman
Gaiman�s bold, dark fantasy pits mythical figures of the old world against the gods of the new in a battle for the souls of America. Set adrift by his release from prison, ex-convict Shadow is enticed into the fray by a mysterious man named Wednesday and the ghost of his wife.

Straight on �til Morning

Christopher Golden
Fourteen-year-old Kevin Murphy has always loved Nikki French, but just when he�s about to reveal his feelings, he sees her fly off into the sky with her new boyfriend. Kevin follows them into Neverland to rescue his love. Golden melds ancient folk myths, the Peter Pan story, and adolescent quest elements into a creepy tale.

Wildwood Road

Christopher Golden
Michael and Jillian Dansky have happy, successful lives. Then, while driving home from a party with Jillian asleep in the back, Michael nearly hits a little girl shivering by the side of the road. His growing obsession with the child and the mysterious house where he took her endanger his marriage, his career, and, eventually, his life.
Cover of The Weaver and the Factory Maid

The Weaver and the Factory Maid

Deborah Grabien
Restoring an old estate in the English countryside, historian and musician Ringan Laine encounters disturbing evidence that the place is haunted. This debut of a series based on old English ballads is a wonderful combination of mystery and ghost story, with appealing characters and a lovely setting.

Cerulean Sins

Laurell K. Hamilton
Hamilton creates an alternate world in which vampires and werewolves co-exist with humans. Not always harmoniously, however, and Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, is now a federal marshal who tries to keep them all in line. Her own ties to both vampire and werewolf community complicate matters in this eleventh in the series.

Dead Until Dark: A Southern Vampire Mystery

Charlaine Harris
Waitress and telepath Sookie Stackhouse is thrilled when she meets a man whose mind she can�t read. Trouble is, he�s a vampire. Though vampires are now in the mainstream of society, they still get the blame when several women turn up drained of blood. Sookie and Bill search for the killer in Harris� delightful first in a series.

City of Masks: A Cree Black Thriller

Daniel Hecht
Once, Cree Black didn�t believe in ghosts. Now she�s a professional �ghost-buster� in the Psychic Research Association, and she is visiting New Orleans because society lady Lila Beauforte Warren believes her house is haunted. Ghostly forces and old family secrets are uncovered in this thriller with a vivid setting and a great new character.
Cover of A Fistful of Sky

A Fistful of Sky

Nina Kiriki Hoffman
In a family of witches, Gypsum is at least five years late in acquiring her inherited powers. At age twenty, she finally undergoes the transition. Unfortunately, she receives the dreaded curse power. Gypsum must figure out how to use her gift wisely in this entertaing tale that will appeal to teens as well as adults.

The Stormwatcher

Graham Joyce
Joyce’s eerie, literate novel is set in the French countryside at a remote farmhouse. Tensions run high among the adults, and eleven-year-old Jessie begins to suffer from bewildering, apparently uncontrollable “fits.” The dark underside of the adults’ relationships and Jessie’s increasing strangeness stand out in stark relief against the sunny countryside.
Cover of Candles Burning

Candles Burning

Tabitha King and Michael McDowell
Horror novelist Michael McDowell, author of the popular Blackwater series, died in 1999, leaving an unfinished manuscript of Candles Burning. Tabitha King completed this engrossing Southern Gothic tale set in New Orleans in the 1950s. The story involves 7-year-old Calley Daken, a little girl who hears the voices of the living and the dead.

To Wake the Dead

Richard Laymon
A wealthy eccentric�s bequest of Egyptian antiquities to a small Los Angeles museum sets off a chain reaction of violence and horror when the dead queen in the mummy case returns to life. Laymon�s latest is chilling and gory�the perfect Halloween read.

Gil’s All Fright Diner

A. Lee Martinez
Earl (a vampire) and Duke (a werewolf) drop into Gil’s for a quick meal, and waitress Loretta is grateful they're around when the zombies stage their nightly attack. But staying on could be dangerous: even the undead can be killed through carelessness, and Gil’s Diner lies on an active nexus of occult energy. A gruesomely funny debut horror novel.

Woman

Richard Matheson
On the evening psychologist David Harper and his television producer wife host a cocktail party before the Emmy Awards, an uninvited guest appears. Desperate for David’s help, she triggers a series of events that sends the other guests into a tailspin. In Matheson’s novella, a simple cocktail party is the setting for tragedy.

The Midnight Side

Natasha Mostert
Isa DeWitt is reluctant to follow her deceased cousin�s plans to ruin her ex-husband�s life�Alette�s obsessive desire for vengeance is hard to understand. But manipulative Alette directs weaker-willed Isa from the grave and will stop at nothing to effect Justin�s destruction. Mostert�s debut is eerie and shocking.
Cover of The Night Country

The Night Country

Stewart O’Nan
On Halloween night, five teens were in a car accident. Three of them died and one was left horrifically brain damaged. The one left alive shows no outward signs of the psychological damage he suffers. On the first anniversary of the accident, the dead teens “return” to see what has happened in their town and with their friends. A sadly haunting story.

A Choir of Ill Children

Tom Piccirilli
Forced into early responsibility for his conjoined triplet brothers, Robert repressed his own desires and emotions. But now both the local granny witches and Robert�s gifted best friend warn �the carnival is coming,� and he must act to save his little town from dire consequences. Steamy Southern gothic.

A Winter Haunting

Dan Simmons
At a crisis point in his life, Dale Stewart returns to the town of Elm Haven, Illinois, where a close friend was murdered four decades ago. New terror emerges as Dale recovers lost memories. A complex, richly detail novel of psychological horror, this sequel to Summer of Night explores the aftermath of dealing with evil

Pharos

Alice Thompson
Cameron Black is a lighthouse keeper on lonely Jacob’s Rock. He welcomes the arrival of his new assistant Simon, and as the younger man grows accustomed to the solitude, Black retreats into Bible study. Then a young woman washes ashore with no memory of her life. Thompson’s debut is an elegant ghost story with gothic sensibility and nineteenth century setting.

The Haunted Air: A Repairman Jack Novel

F. Paul Wilson
When a pair of brothers purchase an old house in Queens, their pose as psychics able to communicate with the dead comes literally true. The scene of several brutal murders decades earlier, the house will need Repairman Jack�s unique touch to rid it of the spirits haunting the Kenton brothers.
Cover of Midnight Mass

Midnight Mass

F. Paul Wilson
Wilson depicts a gory, grim vampire-ruled world in which Asia and Europe have already fallen to the undead. Now the vampires have arrived in America, and most of the east coast is under their influence. In a small New Jersey town, a rabbi, a disgraced priest and his lesbian niece, and a former nun band together to stop the spread.
Need more suggestions? Contact the Fiction & Young Adults Department (513-369-6918) and a reference librarian will be happy to assist you.