• Book Review

    The Whispering Skull (Lockwood & Co #2) – Jonathan Stroud

    “‘Don’t look now,’ Lockwood said. ‘There’s two of them.’  I snatched a glance behind me and saw that he was right. Not far off, on the other wise of the glade, a second ghost had risen from the earth. Like the first it was a pale, man-shaped curtain of mist that hovered above the dark wet grass. Its head seemed oddly skewed, as if broken at the neck.”  When the Lockwood & Co. team find themselves in a sticky situation and Kipps’ Fittes gang save them all Lockwood can do is enter into a deal. The next time they go head to head on a case, the best team wins…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    Haunted – William Hussey

    “‘You gotta bring them back the head, Henry, or it won’t count. Good luck.’ Henry Torve sidestepped through a gap in the rusted bars, his teeth clenching at the clatter-clang of the gate. Ever since he’d heard the stories about this place, most of them told by his cousin Emma, he had dreamed of this moment: his leg reaching through the gate, his foot touching down upon the cursed earth, and then… he shivered. Henry wouldn’t let go of the bars, not yet, the others might notice how his hands shook.” When Henry is dared to go into the cursed Funland theme park, deserted for years since its owner blew…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    Shine – Candy Gourlay

    “‘Are you listening, Rosa?’ I stared at Yaya. Her eyebrows were knitted on her yellow forehead and her face was suddenly smaller, her eyes hard and buring like black coals. ‘Listen, listen. This is important.’ The seriousness of her voice and the smallness of her face made me feel suddenly scared. I climbed onto her lap.” There is a place where it rains consistently throughout the year. It rarely stops. Yet in this place when the rain does stop it’s not so much a celebration, no. When the rain stops the locals believe that monsters come, monsters bad enough to claim their children’s lives. The Calm is a symptom of…

  • Book Review,  Reviews,  Uncategorized

    The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co #1) – Jonathan Stroud

    “Of the first few hauntings I investigated with Lockwood & Co. I intend to say little, in part to protect the identity of the victims, in part because of the gruesome nature of the incidents, but mainly because, in a variety of ingenious ways, we succeeded in cocking them all up. There, I’ve admitted it! Not a single one of those early cases ended as neatly as we’d have wished.” When Lucy Carlyle goes for her interview at Lockwood & Co. the agency seemed unusual and shabby, there wasn’t the formality that there had been at the other agencies and one of the workers seemed sure she would run screaming…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    Listening for Lucca – Suzanne LaFleur

    “I’m obsessed with abandoned things.  Left-behind things, unwanted things. Forgotten things.  When Lucca and I got to the park, a small lamb waited on a bench.  The lambie was stuffed and half-full of plastic beans and fluff. He was gray and worn; chew marks creased his nose. He was small enough to hold in one hand.” Siena is a collector of forgotten things and of memories. She has had a recurring dream about an old seaside house for years but has never been there, at least not until now. Her little brother Lucca is nearly four, and hasn’t spoken for over a year. The doctors can’t find anything wrong with…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    Into The Grey – Celine Kiernan

    “We were watching telly the night Nan burnt the house down. It was March 1974, and I was fifteen years of age. I thought I lost everything in that fire, but what did I know about loss? Nothing, that’s what. I would learn soon enough.” When Patrick’s Nan burns down his family’s home and they are forced to move into a house they usually rent in the summer, Patrick is sure things can’t get any worse, he has lost everything and his parents are falling apart. However then Dominick, his twin brother, seems to become distant and the two of them receive ghostly visitors, have nightmares and Dom is dying…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    The Weight of Souls – Bryony Pearce

    “Dead men take me to the nicest places.  I pulled my hood further over my eyes and glowered at the block of flats. Stained net curtains billowed from otherwise bare windows and, on half of the balconies, shirts and greying underwear were hanging out to dry. My bones thrummed with a deep bass that seemed to boom through the tarmac itself; the music actually came through an open window on the ground floor.” Taylor Oh is cursed. A curse that goes back centuries and has been passed through the generations of her maternal family. She sees murder victims and when they mark her she must avenge them. If she fails the…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    Sammy Feral’s Diaries of Weird: Hell Hound Curse – Eleanor Hawken

    “Pay up or pack up! That was the message Dad gave Donny and Red today. Yes, they’ve been living at Feral Zoo rent-free for months. Yes, their pet collection of a gut worm, a phoenix and a wish frog isn’t exactly cute and cuddly. Yes, they look like weirdos of the highest degree and most normal people would rather swim with crocodiles than talk to them. Yes, they register a firm 7 on the Feral Scale of Weirdness. And they’re my friends. In the last few months we’ve been through some tricky times together.”  When Sammy’s Dad points out that if things don’t start getting better for the Zoo it…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    In The Shadow of Blackbirds – Cat Winters

    “The day before my father’s arrest. I read an article about a mother who cured her daughter of the Spanish flu by burying her in raw onions for three days.  ‘It’s like the Gypsies hanging garlic above their doors to ward off evil,’ my father remarked over supper, ‘relying on folk remedies out of desperation.’ He shook his head at the state of the world and scratched his white whiskers.” When Mary Shelley’s father is arrested for rallying against America’s involvement in the First World War she escapes Portland in order to seek refuge with her Aunt in San Diego. For years she has been conversing with an old friend…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    The Diviners – Libba Bray

    “In a town house at a fashionable address on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, every lamp blazes. There’s a party going on – the last of the summer. Out on the terrace overlooking Manhattan’s incandescent skyline, the orchestra takes amuck-needed break. It’s ten thirty. The party has been on since eight o’clock, and already the guests are bored. Fashionable debutantes in pastel chiffon party dresses wilt into leather chairs like frosted petite fours melting under the July sun.” The story beginnings at a party in danger of being likened to a church social, sprucing things up a bit the hostess helps herself to an ancient Ouija Board. This tantalises the guests…