Archive for the ‘ghosts’ Tag

New Books Highlight: Literary Remixes

The literary remix is fast becoming its own genre. Let me define: literary remix is when an author takes a work of literature or lore and reworks it as a new piece of fiction. Whether the story uses the same character names and relatively the same plot but puts it into a different time or place, or uses the plot and its symbolism as bones to build a pretty new story around – a lot of authors take inspiration from literature and lore. It’s a really fun genre because if you’re familiar with the original, the reworked piece is more vivid. It’s fun to see where the plot is similar, or how the author of the remix has transformed objects, places and people for the modern day or future. Here are a few new books that remix either fairy tales or canonical literature.

Fairy Tales

Rags and Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales, edited by Melissa Marr and Tim PrattRags & Bones

The fact that this is a remix is right in the title: twists on timeless tales. Melissa Marr works in the fairy-tale remix genre often, so it is not surprising that she co-edited this. It features new stories by authors like Neil Gaiman, Margaret Stohl, Rick Yancey and Holly Black. Each story reworks a classic piece of literature or lore, and in the remixing author identifies which story inspired them, and tells you a bit about why. This is the most fun to read if you know the stories being reworked, but if you don’t you will be inspired to find them.

Hero by Althea KontisHero by Althea Kontis

This is the second volume in the Woodcutter sisters series. The author remixes not one but many fairy tales, even throwing in some Greek mythology for good measure. Most of Saturday Woodcutter’s family understands their magical gifts – everyone but her, it seems. So when the tossing away of a magic mirror puts her whole family in danger, Saturday is ready to take on the adventure in the hopes of better-understanding her gifts. She set sails on a conjured sea only to be imprisoned by a blind witch who mistakes her for her brother. But the witch has other prisoners and with their help Saturday may be able to orchestrate their escape – if she doesn’t accidentally fall in love first.

Literature:

Black Spring by Alison CroggonBlack Spring

This is a dark and story paranormal romance retelling of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. In this remix, the style of writing and the structure of the story remain very close to the original work – but author Croggon sets the story in a world in which women practicing magic has been made illegal, and main character Lina may have supernatural powers. As in the original, Lina is in a star-crossed lover situation with her adopted brother, Damek, which amps up the danger Lina faces. It is as haunting and atmospheric as the original, with even more Gothic touches and a paranormal overtone.

Still Star-Crossed by Melinda TaubStill Star Crossed

This is not a classic remix because it is set after the events in the original story, William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Author Taub imagines what comes next after Romeo and Juliet have both died (and now you’re totally saying, “I have always wondered!”). Verona has found some piece in its grief over the young lovers’ deaths. But the Montagues and the Capulets have not set aside their rivalry. Their is violence in the streets, and Prince Escalus decides he must take action: by forcing a Montague to wed a Capulet, thereby uniting the two families once and for all.

Thorn Abbey by Nancy OhlinThorn Abbey

Based on the classic Gothic novel Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. Tess has transferred to elite boarding academy Thorn Abbey. Despite her lack of confidence – or perhaps because of it – she draws the attentions of Max de Villars. However, Tess, and everyone at the school in some way or another, seems to be haunted by the ghost of Max’s last love, Becca, who tragically drowned the previous year. Tess’s roommate was especially changed by Becca’s death, and now seems to be channeling her madness towards Tess and Max’s union.

New Books Highlight: Chilling Reads for Halloween

There are a lot of horror-type books written these days. Even non-horror fans can find horror books they like simply because authors are rolling thrilling, chilling moments and plot lines into all kinds of genres in all kinds of ways. Check out a few brand new ones guaranteed to be a little haunting:

Thin Space by Jody CasellaThin Space by Jody Casella

For realistic fiction fans: Marshall survived the car accident that killed his twin brother. This fact consumes him with guilt and drives him to search fora  way to communicate with the dead in an effort to somehow assuage his guilt. He seeks a thin space, where the barrier between the world of the living and the world of the dead is not as solid, something he could potentially reach right through. A woman in his neighborhood – Mrs. Hansel – may have created one with her death, but a new family moves into her home before Marsh can investigate. He befriends the new residents and soon has their help locating the thin space. He’s barely keeping it together as the weight of regular life coupled with keeping dark secrets weighs on him. This is a spooky – and yet realistic – story, with a chilling atmosphere of grief, guilt and secrets.

Sneak Peek! “Every morning, I walk by Mrs. Hansel’s house and plan my break-in. Today I think about kicking down doors, shattering windows. I have a one-second flash of myself climbing down the chimney. Which just shows how far gone I am lately.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Jody Casella)

The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April HenryThe Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry

She wakes to hear what she thinks is her death sentence. All she knows is what she can see and hear – the ramshackle cabin surrounded by nothing, and the two men fighting over killing her. Who she is and how she got here is a mystery.  Spurred into action by fear, she moves fast and manages to escape, but has no idea where she should go. Thanks to a stranger she meets soon after her first escape, she manages to evade capture and begins to piece together her story. But what she finds about who would want to silence her is shocking. It’s a race against the clock that will keep you turning pages.

Sneak Peek! “I wake up. But wake up isn’t quite right. That implies sleeping. A bed. A pillow. I come to.” (Text copyright © 2013 by April Henry)

Contaminated by Em GarnerContaminated by Em Garner

Dystopia meets zombies in this thriller. In a bleak future, millions have been transformed into zombie-like creatures thanks to a mass market weight loss beverage. Velvet’s mother was among the unlucky ones. Now, Velvet and her family must live amongst the undead of America. The suspense that comes from Velvet sharing her world with a crew of unpredictable demonized former humans is palpable – and will keep you up at night.

Sneak Peek! “They keep them in cages. The unclaimed. Long rows of narrow, filthy cages lined up along dark corridors lit by bare, hanging bulbs.”  (Text copyright 2013 by Em Garner)

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

From one of the authors of the Beautiful Creatures series comes this haunting new paranormal romance. Kennedy Waters discovers she is a member of an ancient secret society called the Legion when two other members sweep in to rescue her from an attack by a poltergeist. Her mother has just died, so joining forces with the Legion provides some comfort, even as it gets spookier by the minute. The Legion must protect themselves from a demonic force that wants them all dead, and their only hope to do so is to brave the scenes of grisly murders to track down a mysterious device that is supposed to be their savior. From haunted mansions to abandoned mental hospitals – this book takes you to all the creepy spots while keeping you enthralled in the haunting story.

New Books Highlight: Creepy Fantasy & Fairy Tales

Creepy books! They are not for everyone, that’s for sure. But if you like your fantasy or re-told, re-imagined fairy tales with a little bit of a creep factor – think Libba Bray, Melissa Marr, Kenneth Oppel, etc. – then check these new books out!

Nameless: A Tale of Beauty and Madness by Lili St. Crowcover image for nameless by lili st.crow

This is a new and creeptastic take on the story of Snow White. Camille is an orphan, found abandoned in the snow, who has been raised in the lap of luxury as the ward of the godfather of the Seven. The Seven are the powerful families that rule their magic-infused world of New Haven. Only Camille is not magical – she is mortal, with a past that remains a mystery until she meets Tor. Part fairy tale, part paranormal steampunk.

Sneak Peek! “Of all the cars in New Haven to fall before, I chose Enrico Vultusino’s long black limousine. The Dead Harvest had been dry for once, but Mithrus Eve had brought a cargo of snow, a white Mithrusmas for New Haven after all.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Lili St. Crow)

Faerie After by Janni Lee Simnercover image for faerie after

This is the third book in the Bones of Faerie trilogy, and of course promises much of the same fantastical faerie magic as you saw in the first two books. It’s part postapocalytpic mayhem and all dark fantasy. Liza’s world in Faerie is suddenly disintegrating, seemingly struck by a sickness that is causing living creatures to turn to dust. Liza realizes the fate of her world is linked to that of the human world, and she must risk bridging the two to save both.

Sneak Peek! “He came to me in the rain, as the first maple leaves were surrendering their green. Beyond the path where I waited, their veins burned orange and red beneath a steel-gray sky, and their branches hissed restlessly as they reached for falling water.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Janni Lee Simner)

The Archived by Victoria Schwabcover image for the archived by victoria schwab

Mackenzie is a Keeper with the heavy job of ensuring Histories – like ghosts, only more…complex – return to the Archive where Librarians store their knowledge and stories. As  Keeper, Mackenzie must ensure that wayward Histories don’t escape into the real world to cause havoc. Soon after her family relocates to a creepy new home in an old hotel, Mac meets a fellow Keeper and their previously quiet world begins to fall apart. Histories are on a rampage – and they may be getting help from inside the Archive. Not to be read in the dark if you’re easily scared!

Sneak Peek! “There is nothing fresh about this start. I lean back against the car and stare up at the Coronado, the hotel-turned-apartment building that my mother and father find ‘so charming.’ It stares back, wide-eyed, gaunt.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Victoria Schwab)

 

The Name of the Star

When Rory moves to London from Louisiana to attend school she knows things will be different.   At first trying to keep up with classes and learn British slang takes all her time.  But when  copycat Jack the Ripper murders happen in her neighborhood and at the school, Rory gets pulled into the investigation.  “Rippermania” takes over London and Rory finds herself at the center of a the mysterious killings.

A great murder mystery with a supernatural twist, The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson, is an exciting read filled with interesting characters, and fantastic setting, and a truly original plot.

Ghosts and Witches

A few great reads featuring ghosts and witches:

Hourglass by Myra McEntire
Emerson sees ghosts, apparitions from the past.  And until she meets Michael, she fears for her sanity.  After meeting Michael she fear’s for her heart.  An innovative and delicious supernatural romance.

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Sophie, a witch, is sent to Hecate Hall after her spell goes terribly wrong and she’s discovered.  At “Hex Hall,” she meets Jenna, her vampire roommate, Elodie, the mean girl who wants Sophie in her coven, and Archer, the hottest warlock at Hecate and Elodie’s boyfriend.  Excitement ensues as Sophie learns more about her magic and tries to win Archer.  Don’t miss the sequel, Demonglass!

If those two aren’t enough, here are a few more:
Immortal by Gillian Shields
Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough
Bras and Broomsticks by Sarah Mlynowski
Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore
The Other Side of Dark by Sarah Smith
Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe
I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder
A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb

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