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A Highly Recommended Terrifying Read: The Devil’s Whispers

22 Jun

Haunted castles conjure an image of long, dark hallways, pillowing curtains, and shadowy figures from the corner of your eye. They are the perfect setting for any gothic novel and even better if one is seeking a little horror as well.

This is what The Devil’s Whispers by Lucas Hault sets up for us. We are introduced to British Lawyer, Gerard Woodward, who is summoned to the dreary castle to attend to the last affairs of the castle’s lord, Ferdinand Elvin Mathers. 

The narrative is provided to us in multiple perspectives, Gerard’s journal, Nathan Connolly’s notes, letters, and diary entries from different characters. They help to set the tone of the book and allow us to see the perspective of each of the characters. It’s one that’s not often used, but one that adds an interesting twist. The one drawback to this, however, is that some of the sections are broken up a bit too short and as a result, some readers may feel pulled out by reading a diary entry that’s only a few sentences long.

Then there’s the tone of the book itself, from the start we are shown first hand the type of story we are in for, the creep factor slowly building up and with a tension that carries itself well through the story, the ghosts and ghouls as terrifying as they are meant to be.

For those seeking a terrifying read, The Devil’s Whispers is one that comes highly recommended. Hoboken residents can borrow an ereader or iPad with The Devil’s Whispers ebook along with titles for our book discussions and many popular bestsellers. The ereaders are great when you are travelling, but still want to bring along a HUGE selection of reading materials. Just stop by the reference desk on the second floor of the main branch to check one out or learn more.

Written by:
Lauren Lapinski
Access Services Assistant

New and Unique Fantasies: The Dawnhounds and Book of Night

15 Jun

The Dawnhounds
by Sacha Stronach

Sascha Stronach is a Maori author from Wellington, New Zealand, but has also spent time in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore, which are reflected some in the immensely creative The DawnhoundsThe Dawnhounds is set in a post-apocalyptic world with previous technology that seems to mirror our own, but their modern technology revolves around biomechanical plant and fungus.  The story focuses on a former thief turned police officer, Yat, who has been banished to night shift due to her “delicate condition” of being bisexual.  One evening she is murdered under some shady circumstances but is brought back to life by a monkey god and aided by a pirate crew; it is then her adventures truly begin.  This might seem a lot going on, but I did not find the story difficult to follow and I still found Yat a sympathetic character despite the complex world building.  This is Stronach’s debut novel and if you are like me you will be glad to know this is the first in a series.

Book of Night
by Holly Black

Holly Black’s Book of Night features a world much like our own, save one significant detail magic, specifically shadow magic is real.  In her alternate reality people may have their shadows slightly augmented by adding horns, wings, and taking the shape of animals or shadows may be used for more devious purposes such as spying or controlling others.  The story focuses on Charlie Hall, nicknamed The Charlatan who was sucked into a life of thievery at an early age and is trying unsuccessfully to staying on the straight and narrow to help her younger sister have a better life.  Although I thought a central twist was fairly obvious, over all I enjoyed the creativity of Black’s dark fantasy world.  Black previously has been known for writing YA and Middle grade novels like the Folk of the Air Trilogy; hopefully we will see more innovative adult works from her in the future.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Information and Digital Services Manager

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