Urban Fantasy, what is it? And how do you create good urban fantasy? I’ve mentioned Urban Fantasy before in some articles, but I wanted to delve deeper into it and provide some more examples beyond my normal one. Urban fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy in which the narrative has […]
Tag: Neil Gaiman
We all know fantasy pretty well, at least I’m assuming that we do. We’ve seen and/or read Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. We might have read the Shanara Chronicles, Wheel of Time, Mistborn, or so many other epic fantasy series or watched shows […]
We’ve done most of the Halloween topics that I wanted to cover already in October, and we still have two weeks to go. This seems like the right time to do good books for Halloween.
The Dresden Files
These are also good Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, and 4th of July books. Okay, maybe not, but I just really like this series, and the supernatural aspect with the fae creatures, demons, vampires, zombies, werewolves, and more showing up throughout the series, every book in the series is a good Halloween book. I’m currently reading through the series again, and it’s one that I suspect I’ll do that quite often. Harry Dresden is a Wizard PI in Chicago, and Chicago is a hot bed of trouble for the supernatural. How will he almost fail at and then eventually solve the problem that he’s being faced with? The Dresden Files aren’t a scary series, but they do have that monster feel that you generally associate with Halloween.
Definitely my favorite Stephen King book, and I like most of his books, in fact another will be showing up on the list. One of my knocks from just putting Stephen King completely down as the list as any of his books is that some of them suffer at the end, they just don’t wrap up as well as you would hope that they would. It, however, wraps up the best, in my opinion and makes a very well told story. The interlacing of the two timelines also works so well in the book. Most people probably have some idea of what this story is, but in Maine there is a town, Derry, that has a monster in it, and while people don’t really think about it between when it strikes, it’s always there ready to come back. They were kids when It happened to them the first time, and now as adults they are going to put an end to it.
Probably not the Stephen King book people would expect to see on the list, but it’s one that I enjoy a lot. It’s an interesting balance where it isn’t just normal Stephen King horror, but has a good amount of suspense and craziness. Anything by Stephen King, at least that I’ve read, has some horror feel to it. A girl who is born with powers, because of some crazy experiments done on her parents is on the run with her dad as the government tries to chase them down. It’s an interesting concept and I feel like Stephen King was channeling Robert Ludlum for some of the writing as it has some more of the intrigue feel that you get from Ludlum. Probably not a story for everyone just because it isn’t as much horror, but I’ve enjoyed it.
Under the Dome
Last Stephen King work on the list, and I know there could be a ton of other options as well for Stephen King, like I said, it could be a whole list. In Under the Dome, a city is completely surrounded by a dome, and no one knows why, where it came from, or how to get rid of it. The horror shines through in this one a whole lot more then Firestarter because it really looks at the horror of what people might do in that situation. One thing that I really like about this book is how King manages to make his bad characters really bad, but the good characters definitely are more shades of grey than they are the knight in shining armor. That makes the characters much more compelling to me, and definitely has my most hated bad guys in King’s writing.
So a major departure from the things I’ve written about before as Coraline is definitely leaning towards a children’s or young adult book, but Neil Gaiman’s story, definitely has that Halloween feel to it. From the talking cat which feels very Halloween like, to the other mother in the story, there are great nods to horror in the book without being too scary and without having the feel of blood and gore. I would say that this is a book that a parent should probably skim or read (it’s a short book) before giving it to a child because it might be much for some children while others might be able to handle it. If it is too much, you can always start with Gaiman’s Wolves in the Walls.
Another Neil Gaiman book, and you can probably now tell some authors I like quite well, Neverwhere was originally a mini-series (which is okay), but was then turned into a book. This is definitely less horror and closer to the Dresden Files where it is more urban fantasy than anything too scary. However, the story, like The Dresden Files, does have some of that feel where there’s enough unsettling or fantastical things going on that it just matches the Halloween spirit. It’s been a while since I’ve read or watched this one, I should probably do that again sometime.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Again, an urban fantasy series, but there is so much going on in this story, it has more of a gothic feel than it does horror, but that still fits well in Halloween for me. What makes this series really interesting is the fact the fantasy isn’t the standard, New York, Chicago, London story, it’s set in Prague, and the monsters aren’t the standard Vampire, Zombie, and Werewolf. While this does run into the issue of information dumping and going a little off the rails at the end of the series, it’s still really well written and does something that is very unique. Both Kristen and I like this series a lot.
What are some books that I could have mentioned? I know that there are classics out there, which I’ll mention right now such as Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Portrait of Dorian Gray that also all deserve to be on the list. I don’t want to completely gloss over them, but at least Frankenstein and Dracula should be two of the books that people first think of when it comes to Halloween books and that people might generally know more about.
I’m not sure that there will be any more Halloween lists like this, but I will continue next week doing more Halloween posts, just not sure what they’ll be yet, they might be more in depth reviews of things, like I did with iZombie, or it might be ranking various Halloween things for the fun of it, or maybe even a battle between Vampires, Werewolves, and Zombies? If you have any ideas, let me know!
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For those not familiar, American Gods is a book by Neil Gaiman. He has written a lot of other fantasy-esque books such as Coraline, Stardust, Neverwhere, and many other books. Starz has picked up the option to create a series based on his novel American […]