Halloween season brings out the spooky in all of us. Candace of Beth Fish Reads picks five seasonal titles for young adult readers looking for ghost stories, Gothic tales or the dark side of magic.
The Dark Unwinding
By Sharon Cameron
Katharine Tulman knows her aunt controls her inheritance, so she usually does what’s she told, even traveling to an uncle’s isolated estate to have him deemed insane. When Katharine meets the older man, her first impression is of a gentle toy maker who employs the poor, offering them a better life than they would have had in Victorian London’s workhouses. The more she learns about the estate, however, the deeper she’s pulled into a mystery that makes her question her own sanity. Sharon Cameron’s award-winning The Dark Unwinding is a twisty Gothic tale of discovering both independence and love.
By Sarah Rees Brennan
For all her 17 years, Kami Glass has heard in her head the voice of a boy named Jared. Although this has kept her from feeling as if she belonged to her community, she does have a best friend and is an investigative reporter for the school newspaper. When an abandoned village manor house is suddenly reoccupied by a new generation of Lynburns, the original owners, Kami discovers the hidden, dark side of her hometown. Complete with screams in the woods, murder, terrifying houses and misty beings, Sarah Rees Brennan’s Unspoken is a riveting Gothic tale of the paranormal starring a strong, smart teen.
This Dark Endeavor
By Kenneth Oppel
You’re likely familiar with the classic Dr. Frankenstein story, but have you ever thought about what the doctor was like when he was young? In This Dark Endeavor, Kenneth Oppel fills in the background, answering the question of how Victor became obsessed with creating life from death. It was the need to cure his twin, Konrad, from a serious illness that lead Victor and his young accomplices to seek the Elixir of Life and study the alchemical tomes in the forbidden Dark Library. The search for the necessary ingredients takes the teens deep underground and into the dark woods in a race against time and at great personal sacrifice.
Daughter of Smoke & Bone
By Laini Taylor
In contemporary Prague, Karou’s blue hair might not turn many heads, especially at her art school, but her drawings of strange creatures and her mysterious disappearances are hard to explain. In truth, Karou is not human and lives with her teacher, who sends her through time and space to collect human teeth. Karou feels like she has everything under control — until she crosses paths with an angel. Now she’s suddenly on the run. Laini Taylor’s award-winning Daughter of Smoke & Bone is the first in a new series about Karou’s journey to understand her role in a violent struggle between otherworldly creatures and her destiny.
Anna Dressed in Blood
By Kendare Blake
In the remote town of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Anna Korlov haunts the Victorian house in which she was murdered in the mid-20th century. Wearing a white dress dripping with her blood, Anna kills all who dare to enter her home. On her trail is teenage ghost killer Cas Lowood, backed by classmates, his witch mother and a magical cat. Although Cas survives his first encounter with the powerful ghost, which one will be the last being standing? Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood is a truly scary ghost story that extends the ghost mythology and will make you think twice before entering an empty house.