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Off the shelf @ your local library - Halloween reads


By Kathy Pillatzki
Assistant Director
Henry County Library System

  True confession: fog gives me the creeps. Just a little. I am not ordinarily a fearful or superstitious person; my mild fog-phobia is a holdover from reading The Mist, a Stephen King novella, more than 20 years ago. The morning after a severe storm, a small town in Maine is engulfed in a thick mist that conceals huge, mutated creatures. Anyone who ventures outdoors is snatched away by the creatures, which appear only as enormous tentacles and claws that reach out of the fog.

  Most of the story takes place in a grocery store, where acquaintances and neighbors are going about their ordinary business when the fog rolls in. At first the trapped residents band together to try to figure a way out, but soon factions form and leadership of the group is in dispute The entire group quickly devolves until the reader realizes how thin the veneer of civilization really is. Think Lord of the Flies meets Jurassic Park. With fog.

  My phobia doesn’t keep me from going about my business on foggy days (though I may keep an eye peeled for stray tentacles), but it’s a testimony to the effect of a truly chilling story. If you’re in the mood for something a little spine-tingling in keeping with the season, try these new offerings from some contemporary authors:

  Kiss the Dead by Laurel K. Hamilton. The newest in the Amanda Blake vampire hunter series.

  Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz. The latest in Koontz’s series about Odd Thomas, a fry cook who can see dead people.

  Shadow of Night, by Deborah Harkness. This sequel to A Discovery of Witches jumps right in where the first book left off.  Lots of characters and plots to keep straight in this witch-loves-vampire epic. Read A Discovery of Witches first or you’ll be hopelessly lost.

  The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor. The latest installment in the wildly popular graphic novel series by Robert Kirkman. The season premiere of the television series based on the books recently shattered viewership records for a cable TV series.

  Zoo, by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge. A worldwide increase in animal attacks on humans has scientists concerned, but when it becomes apparent that the attacks are being coordinated by supernatural forces, the human race becomes the latest endangered species. Hailed by critics as Patterson’s best work in years.

  If you follow teen horror series fiction, several new releases will be of interest: 

  City of Lost Souls, by Cassandra Clare, Book 5 in Mortal instruments series.

  Flesh and Bone by Jonathan Maberry, Book 3 of the Rot & Ruin series

  Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. This dark fantasy, the author’s debut novel, has made her a darling of the critics. First in the planned Grisha trilogy.

  The Mist was first published in the 1980 Stephen King anthology Dark Forces. It was republished in King’s short story collection, Skeleton Crew, in 1985. Check with your local library for the availability of these and other seasonally creepy reads. And watch out for fog.



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