By: Zac Soper, Columnist
Fall is upon us and the cold weather is perfect for staying inside with a book, preferably a scary one for this time of year. I’ve compiled a short list of spooky reads across a few genres:
- “Darkling” – “Darkling” by K.M. Rice is the perfect atmospherically spooky read for this time of year. This is a great read for fantasy fans. The town of Midsummer no longer has any sunlight, and the people live in permanent darkness. In their attempts to save their people, they sacrifice a young girl named Willow to the dark creature that haunts them. In her sacrifice, Willow is led through a dark past of cursed lovers and is left to uncover the secret of the creature and bring light back to her people. This chilling story is filled with grotesque imagery and ghosts of all kinds.
- “The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein” – Kiersten White, an author notorious for her historical fiction/feminist spin-offs, is no stranger to the scary season. In her book “The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein,” White puts a spin on the story of the morally gray doctor. Instead of following Victor, we follow Elizabeth, who was left behind while Victor pursued his knowledge of life. But of course, Elizabeth was not as naïve as she was made out to be, and much more aware of what was happening around her. Elizabeth travels the same routes Victor did, and in her search for him she meets the monster as well and begins to take matters into her own hands. White fills Elizabeth’s narrative gaps where we don’t see her in “Frankenstein.” Following its source material this book is filled with late night adventures through the woods during thunderstorms and the fear of the unknown.
- “The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer” – Following a more contemporary, but not less thrilling story is Michelle Hodkin’s Mara Dyer trilogy. The first installment, “The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer” is a great entry into paranormal thriller. There is the usual amount of high school drama and romance that most young adult fiction will bring you, with some added horror factors. Mara Dyer thinks she cursed, her two best friends died the night they all snuck into an abandoned hospital, and she survived. Mara moves to a new school and begins to hear the voices of her dead friends and see the haunting image of her friends’ older brother, who assaulted her right before the hospital ceiling came down and killed him. Is Mara experiencing post-traumatic stress? Or is her paranoia justified? Could she really have caused the hospital to collapse? She meets her new school’s bad boy, Noah Shaw, and they come to discover that they are haunted in similar ways. They dive into the investigation of their pasts and open some doors that maybe should’ve stayed closed.
- “Stalking Jack the Ripper” – If you’re into true crime, check out Kerri Maniscalco’s “Stalking Jack the Ripper.” Like Kiersten White, Maniscalco takes a feminist perspective into history. We follow forensic scientist Audrey Rose as she works with her uncle to uncover the face behind the Ripper murders. There is no shortage of entrails on cobblestone streets or mutilated bodies in Audrey Rose’s life. This murder mystery, infused with chilling metaphors and imagery is no disappointing read. This series follows the solving of a few serial killers throughout history, so if you’re into that sort of thing this series is perfect.