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For those who enjoy a spooky tale, we have scary stories galore. From cute little ghosts for younger readers to truly terrifying reads for teenagers, you can find a wide selection of books in this section.
May MEGA 2022 Book of the Month | Yikes! Hundreds of thousands of fans around the globe will be both thrilled and crestfallen to learn that Until the End heralds the end of the second cycle of Derek Landy’s sensational Skulduggery Pleasant series. After appearing in 15 novels, and six short stories and novellas for fifteen years, will the world’s most stylish skeleton detective really hang up his bag of magical tricks? Skulduggery fans are certainly in for an exhilarating rollercoaster of a ride when they read this riveting, action-packed book to find out. Reeling with the pace, sharp dialogue, and wild wit fans have come to relish, it looks like the bad guys might have won. Or have they? It falls to Skulduggery to salvage what remains of the world by making friends of enemies. What a sensationally smart, thrill-a-minute conclusion this is. Derek joined The LoveReading LitFest to 15 Years of Skulduggery Pleasant - you can find a preview of this event and sign up to become a member. The LoveReading LitFest is a digitally native, all year round, online literature and books festival, with new content released every week is a free-for-all-users festival.
On a desperate journey to recover her sister's lost soul, Valkyrie Cain goes up against the High Sanctuary itself, and there's nothing Skulduggery Pleasant can do to stop her. With Abyssinia's grand plan about to kick off in a night of magic, terror, and bloodshed, it falls to Omen Darkly to save the lives of thousands of innocent people. And as the madness unfolds around him, as hidden enemies step into the light, and as Valkyrie is sucked into a desperate, lawless quest of her own, he has no choice but to become the hero he never really wanted to be - or die in the attempt.
April 2022 Book of the Month | Four young people, who know but don’t like one another; a Saturday detention in their creepy old school; and the sudden, terrifying disappearance of their teacher… The stage is set for a fabulously scary horror story in which Jennifer Killick gleefully plays the genre for everything it’s got: shocks, surprises, black humour, and a growing understanding between our bunch of unlikely heroes that if they’re going to get out alive, they’ll need to work together. Killick knows just the right amount of gory detail to include and has a great line in teenage banter too. Readers, especially those new to this kind of story are in for a treat!
The fate of peculiardom hangs in the balance in this epic conclusion to the #1 bestselling Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series. The last thing Jacob Portman saw before the world went dark was a terrible, familiar face. Suddenly, he and Noor are back in the place where everything began - his grandfather's house. Jacob doesn't know how they escaped from V's loop to find themselves in Florida. But he does know one thing for certain: Caul has returned. After a narrow getaway from a blood-thirsty hollow, Jacob and Noor reunite with Miss Peregrine and the peculiar children in Devil's Acre. The Acre is being plagued by desolations - weather fronts of ash and blood and bone - a terrible portent of Caul's amassing army. Risen from the Library of Souls and more powerful than ever, Caul and his apocalyptic agenda seem unstoppable. Only one hope remains - deliver Noor to the meeting place of the seven prophesied ones. If they can decipher its secret location. Jacob and his friends will face deadly enemies and race through history's most dangerous loops in this thrilling page-turner, the final adventure in the beloved Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series.
Powerfully applying the horror genre to explore racism and homophobia in a high school setting, Ryan Douglass’ The Taking of Jake Livingston is an un-put-down-able, chilling tale for our times. Sixteen-year-old Jake isn’t exactly your average teenager. He’s a medium, he can see the dead. Ghouls and zombie-like beings appear to him, ectomist seeps into his vision, “snakelike and sinister”. Jake is also one of the few black students at his private high school: “I hate it here. Every time we run warm-ups it’s like there’s a BLACK KID sign blinking above my head like a firetruck light”. As a result, the arrival of a gorgeous new black student is especially welcome, and brings the promise of romance. But Jake’s visions are worsening, to say the least. While most of the ghouls he sees are harmless, Sawyer Doon’s spirit is vengeful. After killing six students in a high school shoot-out, Sawyer killed himself, and is now set on using Jake to exact revenge. As an intense and chilling story of survival unfolds at breakneck speed, The Taking of Jake Livingston balances edge-of-your-seat scares and action with emotionally engaging themes.
Derek Landy’s riotously inventive Skulduggery Pleasant series first blasted its way onto bookshelves back in 2007, and fresh fantastical thrills keep on coming in Dead or Alive - no mean feat for book fourteen in a series. With the world teetering on the brink of irrevocable, devastating change, this penultimate novel sees Skulduggery, Valkyrie and Omen face their most trying test (yet…). As wildly witty and exhilarating as ever, this doorstopper of a page-turner sizzles with a burning sense of time slipping away, for if Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie can’t rid the world of Damocles Creed, the world’s people will be wiped out. Even Valkyrie is thrown by the imminent prospect of making the ultimate sacrifice: “Valkyrie woke, jumped out of bed and managed to get halfway to the bathroom before she threw up. They were going to kill Creed. They were going to kill Creed and nothing would be the same again.” The dialogue dances, desperation escalates, and fans will be left longing to know how Skulduggery’s awe-inspiring story will end. Read about 15 Thrilling Years of the Skulduggery Pleasant series here!
Sam Copeland is the absolute master of genuinely funny stories (Pussy Lanimous, Greta’s cat, has to be one of my favourite names ever) with a real emotional heart and the story of Greta may just be his best yet. After a near death road accident Greta is left terrified of the outside world and discovering that she is able to see the three ghosts inhabiting her home, makes indoors nearly as bad. She also has self-obsessed and not very empathetic parents threatening to put her beloved grandma, who lives up in the attic of Woebegone Hall, in a home. They also employ real ghost hunters to exorcise the ghosts that Greta claims to see. If they succeeded, the ghosts would disappear and lose their chance to move onward to the Other Side. Can Greta save them and her Grandma? Can she ever find the courage to go outside in the world? Can she get to the bottom of the problems that are anchoring these ghosts to this house? While answering these questions we are also coming to understand about anxieties and fears, about love and grieving and about what friendship (even with a ghost) can help you achieve. Marvellous characters and moments of pure slapstick comedy make this a really engaging and hugely enjoyable read. Highly recommended.
A November 2021 Star Book! | Reeling with high-stakes adventure, Shadow Town smoulders with big themes delivered in engaging style. There’s something Neil Gaiman-esque about the tone and matter of fact delivery, with emotional forces simmering, barely contained, beneath the surface. This masterful sparseness creates tremendous tension throughout Shadow Town’s classic quest to return home, with Toto here taking the form of Alfred the cat, and Dorothy manifested as Toby, a lonely, unhappy boy from suburban London who finds himself pulled into an alternate world during the upheaval of his parent’s impending divorce. Toby’s dad is an unkind grump, embittered by his lot in the world, and consumed by the fantasy novel he’s been writing since before Toby was born. Toby’s mum is a climate activist. Neither parent really pays him any attention, and his sole friends are their lodger and her cat, Alfred. Toby’s miserable lot is shaken up when a shadow appears in his garden and his dreams, and he finds himself transported to a strange land, where elemental forces (blazing fires, floods and earthquakes) are at play in a kingdom ruled by a tyrant. A realm in which Dreamers can envision things into existence. Here Toby meets otherworldly, ethereal Tamurlaine. As he helps recover her memory (cue a succession of unexpected, shocking revelations), and helps others along the way too, Toby shows his true self through taking responsibility and looking out for those who are weaker than him, and through fixing things rather than settling for the status quo. Alongside exploring themes of self-determination and forging your own path, rather than treading the one that’s expected of you, Shadow Town’s fantasy world is an allegory of Toby’s life in the real world, and also a kind of political allegory - “The Dreamers dream what the government tells them to. What the government wants. And the Regent is head of the government. The Regent has made dreaming like a machine - he churns out dreams. He gives the people what they want.” Above all, though, Shadow Town is a smart, punch-packing page-turner, with engrossing atmosphere.
October 2021 Debut of the Month | Shortlisted for the 2021 Branford Boase Award | A gobble-it-up fiery and intense yet thoughtful debut novel about family, betrayal, and witchcraft. Opening the pathway to a fabulous historical fantasy series this calls out as a must-read for young adults. Set during the civil war in 17th century England, 15 year old Evey has to flee with her little sister Dill when her mother is murdered. As with all good young adult novels, it is perfectly easy to slide into and really enjoy as an adult too, particularly with the wonderful cover drawing you in. Touching history, it flies into fantasy, as author Finbar Hawkins examines the meaning of witch. Evey is a complex character and as she tells her own story she has the ability of self-reflection, even if she doesn’t always like what she sees. Witch is a read that fair on crackles with energy, it also encourages thoughts to both consider and soar and deservedly sits as one of our LoveReading debuts of the month.
A moving, compelling and spooky YA romance. Fifteen-year-old Maggie is in foster care following the death of her mother and her grandmother's slip into dementia. When Ryder saves her life, she can't help but fall in love with him. The only problem is that he has been dead for five years... Unsentimental, passionate and immensely moving, The Wanderer takes a fresh look at first love and growing up.
A young girl lives in an old house – she thinks there may be a ghost, but she has never seen one. Perhaps the reader can help her find the ghost, or maybe more than one… This is a beautiful, funny, spooky picture book that will captivate children of all ages. The girl in the sumptuous house – built in 1760 – has been searching for her ghost and wonders if the reader can help – well, yes, we can – but that doesn’t really help her. The delightful gentle humour of the sparse text and the big greyscale illustrations of the house complement the brightly coloured small girl showing us around – and as we turn the transparent pages, we can see the array of friendly ghosts in all the parts of the house. They hide in plain sight, in the chandeliers, in the hall, under and over the bed – everywhere that will make children giggle with joy as they see them – and the little girl doesn’t. The transparent pages are very cleverly designed and printed so that the ‘ghosts’ only show up on the page turn against the darker illustrations of the house. What a brilliant idea! This will be a favourite for many years to come and be looked at every Halloween – as well as during the rest of the year.
Penned by long-time paranormal investigator and TV presenter Yvette Fielding, The House in the Woods is a Point Horror-esque adventure for fans of fast-paced fiction. It’s Halloween and friends Clovis, Eve and Tom are well and truly shunted into spooky mode when they see something scary in a graveyard - a tall man wearing a top hat. While logical Clovis reasons that it may well have been someone in fancy dress costume, Tom is certain it was a ghost, while Eve is open to either scenario being true. Matters take an undeniably terrifying turn when they play with a ouija board in a creepy abandoned house and wind up with a spirit on their case. Cue the trio stepping up as ghost hunters as a seriously scary adventure unfolds…
It's fright-time in the supermarket, and the veggies are seriously spooked! Strange shapes, weird noises and eerie shuffling - whatever can be behind these ghostly goings-on? Join Supertato and the gang to find out in their latest unmissable adventure! The perfect book to calm bedtime fears and snuggle up with this Autumn.
Bethany and her new friend Ebeneezer Tweezer think they’ve seen the last of the Beast, the greedy and thoroughly nasty creature who has been Ebeneezer’s master for the last 500 years. After all, they watched their friend Claudette the singing parrot eat him up. But don’t count your parrots before they hatch is the lesson here. As Bethany tries to persuade Ebeneezer to ‘de-beast’ and take up do-gooding, things just get worse and worse. Whatever philanthropy Bethany tries goes wrong, Ebeneezer is being tormented by a possessed frilly shirt, and poor Claudette is losing her feathers and her voice. Don’t despair though, our friends are tougher than they look, and there’s always D.o.R.R.i.S. if things go really awry (the Division of Removing Rapscallions in Secret). This is zanier than the first Beast story, but as deliciously sharp and funny. Don’t miss! The LoveReading LitFest invited Jack to the festival to talk about The Beast and the Bethany, his delicously macabre new series. Watch this event, and more, free of charge on our LitFest Channel. Check out a preview of the event here.
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