Posts Tagged ‘Supernatural’

The Walking Dead Compendium Vol. 1

December 5, 2012

Title: The Walking Dead Compendium (Vol.1 issues 1-48)

Author: Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn

Genre: horror, comic

Publisher: Image Comics

Publication Date: 2009

Pages: 1088

Geographic Setting: Georgia

Time Period: Post Apocalyptic

Series: yes- Walking Dead

Summary: Officer Rick Grimes and his family, as well as a rag-tag group of refugees, have to survive in a zombie infested world.

Subject Headings: zombie apocalypse

Appeal Terms: tense, suspenseful, dystopian world, horrific, supernatural, comic to tv show, survival, graphic, detailed, post-apocalyptic, zombies, bloody, atmospheric, character centered, dark, gritty, violent.

My Three: suspenseful, horrific, survival

Similar Fiction:

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks (Crown:NewYork, 2006)
A Survivor-eye’s view of the conflict between zombies and humans. If you want a book that is a cross between fiction and nonfiction, and has a touch of history, this is one to try.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith (Quirk Books, 2009)
The Jane Austen classic with a twist. For those who want to try something different when moving away from the tried and true.

Zombie, Ohio by Scott Kenemore (Skyhorse, 2011)
Told from the zombie’s point of view, Peter Mellor, a college professor, tries to solve his own murder. Interesting because the main character can still pass for human.

Similar Nonfiction:

So Now You’re a Zombie: A Handbook for the Newly Undead by John Austin (Chicago Review Press, 2010)
Like the title says, this is a guide to being a zombie. Not meant to be taken seriously, but could be a nice reference book.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Zombies! A Book of Zombie Christmas Carols by Michael P. Spradlin (William Morrow Publishing, 2009)
A spoof of favorite Christmas songs filled with zombies and other horrific bits. If you liked Nightmare Before Christmas, try this one for giggles.

The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks (Three Rivers Press, 2003)
What started out as the basis of an SNL skit turned into a fully comprehensive guide to surviving a zombie attack. Deadpan humor and extremely detailed. Bonus points that this is written by Mel Brooks’ son.

Name: Jennifer

A Dark Matter

October 26, 2011

Author: Peter Straub

Title:  A Dark Matter

Genre: Horror

Publication Date: February 9, 2010

Number of Pages:  Audio Edition (I-Pod) 12 parts; 14 hours 33 minutes

Narrator: Robertson Dean

Geographical Setting: Madison, WI and Chicago, IL

Time Period:  1966 and present day

Series (If applicable): A companion work called The Skylark told from the point of view of Spenser Mallon.

Plot Summary: Four High School students fall under the spell of a charismatic wandering guru, Spenser Mallon, and join him in performing a spiritual ritual in the agronomy meadow of the University of Wisconsin.  During this ceremony something supernatural happens, the participants see things and feel things that are indescribable.  The ritual also leaves one kid dead.  That was in 1966.   Several decades later, Lee Harwell is searching for answers as to what happened that fateful day in the meadow.  He was not involved in the ritual, but his three friends were, along with the woman who would become his wife, Lee Traux (The Eel).  Lee Harwell attempts to track down his old friends, Don Olsen (Dilly), Howard Bly (Hootie) and Jason Boatman (Boats), and in doing so each recounts their experience in the meadow, offering many different versions of the same event.  All involved in the ill-fated event were greatly affected in some way or another.  A Dark Matter is a creepy, psychologically suspenseful story that will leave the reader wondering what really happened in the meadow until the last page.

Subject Headings: The sixties; occult ceremonies; supernatural rites, teenagers, good vs. evil; psychic trauma; Bram Stoker Award Winners

Appeal: character-centered, intricately plotted, relaxed pace, bleak, creepy, psychological, supernatural, complex storyline, literary prose, multiple points of view, detailed, foreboding

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: character-centered, psychological, foreboding

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

1)     Helter Skelter: the True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi – Bugliosi was the prosecuting attorney in the Charles Manson murder trial.  His position as an insider has allowed him to give a unique perspective on one of the most notorious killers in American history. Charles Manson was a charismatic “cult” leader.  He lured both men and women into this “family” and he had a baffling hold on his followers.  In 1969 Manson and 4 of his followers carried out several murders of seemingly random victims.  It continues to be one of the most famous crimes and trials in American History.  Chosen as a non-fiction read-alike for A Dark Matter because the charismatic wandering guru Spencer Mallon is similar to Mason, luring young people in with his ideas and personality.

2)     The Tibetan Book of the Dead by Padma Sambhava and translated by Robert Thurman – Said to have been written in the 8th century A.D. by Padma Sambhava who is also said to have been the first person to bring Buddhism to Tibet.  The book is a guide for the dead to guide them through the stages the will encounter between death and their rebirth.  Basically the soul needs guidance once it leaves the physical body and this book is a guide.  It contains prayers and ways the living can assist the dead.  In A Dark Matter the Tibetan Book of the Dead is mentioned on several occasions by the guru Spencer Mallon, so perhaps readers of the novel would enjoy this non-fiction work to learn more.

3)     The New Encyclopedia of the Occult by John Michael Greer – John Michael Greer is an “occult practitioner” who consulted scholarly text in order to write a well researched, informative encyclopedia of occult traditions, lore, etc.  Included are 1500 entries listed in alphabetical order and include spiritual movements, magic, alchemy, and astrology.  Chosen as a read-alike for A Dark Matter because the ceremony the teenagers and guru perform in the meadow is an occult ceremony and readers of the novel may appreciate learning more about the occult and all of its aspects.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

1)     I’ll Take You There by Joyce Carol Oates – A nameless white girl at a fictional college falls for an African-American grad student in this character-centered work set in the 1960’s.  There is, of course, the racial tension one would expect from an inter-racial relationship at the time.  Along with the social backlash, the girl is also haunted by the fact that someone she once thought was dead is actually alive.  Similar to A Dark Matter in that it is set in the 1960’s and involves college students.  (creepy, psychological suspense, character-centered)

2)     The Revelation by Bentley Little – This creepy story in a small town in Arizona, where events seemingly signal a looming apocalypse.  The church is desecrated, animals are being sacrificed and people are disappearing.  A new Episcopal Priest comes to town and enlists the help of three others as he believes only the four of them can save the town from the evil.  Similar to A Dark Matter this novel has supernatural elements and an underlying theme of good versus evil. (creepy, menacing, supernatural)

3)     Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King – A collection of five short stories that are linked to each other and revolve around events that occurred in the 1960’s.  The Vietnam War is at the forefront of the creepy tales that include some supernatural elements, which makes this story similar to A Dark Matter.  Other similarities include a 1960’s setting and having interweaving stories told by several individuals. (creepy, suspenseful, character-centered)

Name: Michelle Worthington

Dead Until Dark

September 28, 2011

Author: Charlaine Harris

Title: Dead Until Dark

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: 2001

Number of Pages: 292

Geographical Setting:Louisiana

Time Period: Present Day

Series: Sookie Stackhouse Series

Plot Summary:  Sookie Stackhouse seems like a normal small-town Louisiana waitress, but there is something different about her, she has telepathy.   While some might think it would be awesome to hear the thoughts of other people, Sookie finds it to be a curse.  Four years after they came out of the coffin,
Sookie finally meets a real life vampire, Bill Compton.  Sookie is immediately drawn to Bill and although he is a vampire, she is relieved because unlike humans, she cannot hear his thoughts.  Meanwhile, women in the town are being murdered and the only thing they have in common is “relationships”
with vampires, so Sookie fears she might be next.  Sookie, along with Bill, and a cast of quirky characters work to find out who is murdering the women, all while the idea of coexistence between humans and vampires is still fresh.

Subject Headings:  Vampires; Telepathy; Murder; Mystery; Small-town;Louisiana

Appeal: Mysterious, Fast-paced, Witty, Humorous, Steamy, Romantic,
Supernatural, Engaging, Quirky, Contemporary, Small-Town, Imaginative, Upbeat, Flawed characters

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Supernatural, Quirky, Humorous

Similar Authors and Works

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

1) The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the
Invention of Murder
by Daniel Stashower

True crime story of the 1841 murder of a 21 year old woman which was sensationalized becasuse of suspected
connections with Edgar Allen Poe.  (Novel-like writing, murder mystery, engaging)

2) Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: a Savannah Story by John Berendt

True story of the murder of a young Savannah, GA boy and the trial that follows. (Murder Mystery, Set in the South, Engaging,
Quirky Characters, sometimes witty)

3) The Vampire Defanged: How the Embodiment of Evil Became a Romantic Hero
by Susannah Clements

Analysis of pop culture vampire novels, movies, and television shows, including the Sookie Stackhouse books and
the True Blood television show. (Vampires, Humorous)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

1) Undead and Unwed by Mary Janice Davidson

Betsy Taylor is killed in a car accident and becomes undead, this is the story of her foray into the vampire world.  (Fantasy Fiction, Vampire stories, Funny,
Steamy, Fast-paced, Series)

2) Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton

Follows vampire hunter, Anita Blake as she investigates the murders of innocent vampires. (Fantasy Fiction, Mystery, Fast-Paced, Engaging,
Vampire Stories, Series)

3) One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

Follows bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum on her first assignment to track down the murderer of a vice cop.  (Mystery,
Fast-Paced, Funny, Witty, Series)

Name: Michelle Worthington

That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis

August 17, 2011

Author: C.S. Lewis

Title: That Hideous Strength

Genre: Inspirational, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Publication Date: 1945

Number of Pages: 380

Geographical Setting: Fictional towns of Edgetow and surrounding areas, England

Time Period: A few years post World War II (1940’s)

Series: The Space Trilogy

Plot Summary: That Hideous Strength was written as a “a modern fairy tale for grown-ups” and follows the previous books in the series (Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandria) while still standing on its own. The story follows two narratives, following Jane and Mark Studdock respectively. Feeling despondent after a difficult marriage, Jane begins to find herself plagued by strange and prophetic dreams. Her husband, Mark, is drawn into a strange cabal of academics called the NICE. The NICE is a collection of academics who seem bent on subjugating the town of Edgetow, England and the world. As Jane comes to her friends regarding her strange dreams she finds herself taken in with the opposite force, a collection of people led by an enigmatic man who has traveled among the stars. Supernatural forces clash against the hard power of science as good and evil battle for control of the world. This story seamlessly blends the mystery of science fiction, the mysticism of fantasy as well as the underlying spiritual message. In a more “mature” take on Lewis’ Narnia series, That Hideous Strength is a thoroughly unique story.

Subject Headings: Dystopian future, mad science, angels, demons, King Arthur, Merlin, magic, aliens, Christian fiction, supernatural

Appeal: genre-defying, in-depth, deliberate pace, dual-narrative, political intrigue, mysterious, evolving

3 terms that best describe this book: mysterious, supernatural, genre-defying

3 Relevant Non Fiction Works and Authors

1.)The Mammoth Book of King Arthur: Reality and Legend, the Beginning and the End–The Most Complete Arthurian Sourcebook Ever by Michael Ashley- Lewis’ book draws very heavily upon the Arthurian mythos and uses many direct references to specific stories.

2.) Planet Narnia by Michael Ward- This is an in-depth discussion of both the mythology of the space trilogy as well as the Narnia series.

3.) Science and Faith: Friends or Foes? by C. John Collins- One of the emergent themes in That Hideous Strength is the clash of science and faith. This book takes a spiritual and philosophical discussion on the dichotomy between the two.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

1.) All Hallow’s Eve by Charles Williams- Lewis was good friends with Williams and much of the similar themes of newer fantasy and spiritualism can be found in this story.

2.) A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle- Follows suit with similar melding of science fiction, fantasy and subtle inspirational motifs.

3.) The Shape of Things to Come by H.G. Wells- That Hideous Strength was actually partially written as a reaction of Lewis to this story and uses some of its dominant themes as a counterpoint.

In the Flesh, by Clive Barker

April 1, 2011

bob5ush1.JPG (300×448)Author: Clive Barker

Title: In the Flesh

Genre: Horror, Fantasy

Publication Date: 1986

Number of Pages: 182

Geographical Setting: Britain and Greece

Time Period: contemporary (to when it was written – the 80s)

Series: Books of Blood, vol. 5 (works as a stand-alone title)

Plot Summary:

In the Flesh contains four elegantly chilling novellas.  In the title story, a prisoner watches in fear as his young cellmate is slowly transformed into a monster by his murderous dead grandfather. “The Forbidden” tells a story of urban decay, as a young woman is repeatedly drawn to the graffiti in a decaying tenement complex.  The theme of urban decay is again present in “The Madonna,” as two businessmen scheme to revitalize a decrepit bathhouse, unaware of the mysterious and terrifying creatures within.  The last story, “Babel’s Children,” is unique within the collection for its lack of supernatural beings; it tells the story of a young woman who decides to explore off the beaten path, and quickly runs into trouble when she discovers an isolated compound in the Greek countryside.

Subject Headings: Good and evil; Ghosts; Graffiti; Grandfathers; Murderers; Politics; Poverty; Prisons; Urban legends

Appeal: Atmospheric, chilling, compelling, dark, foreboding, intellectual, nightmare, sophisticated, stark, supernatural, suspenseful, violent, well-crafted

3 terms that best describe this book: chilling, intellectual, violent

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Urban Legends: A Collection of International Tall Tales and Terrors, by Gillian Bennett and Paul Smith – Readers who liked “The Forbidden” for its urban setting and the outlandish tales and conspiracy theories of the tenement residents will appreciate this collection of urban legends.

Peninsula of Lies: A True Story of Mysterious Birth and Taboo Love, by Edward Ball

Sexuality and sexual transformations make frequent appearances in Barker’s work, including “The Madonna.”  Readers drawn to this aspect of Barker’s writing will appreciate this compelling true tale of a gender switch in the 1960s.

Supernatural Murders: Classic True-Crime Stories, by Jonathan Goodman

This anthology of thirteen true crime stories with purported supernatural elements will capture the attention of those who appreciate the elements of violence and the supernatural in In the Flesh.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Just After Sunset, by Stephen King – like In the Flesh, this is a collection of horror stories with a suspenseful tone and compelling writing.

What the Night Knows, by Dean Koontz – a horror novel with suspenseful, compelling writing, a supernatural elements, and murderers.

Something Wicked this Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury – a horror and fantasy novel with an atmospheric tone, compelling writing, and a focus on good and evil.

The Graveyard Book

June 21, 2010

The Graveyard Book (Audio) Cover

Author:  Neil Gaiman (narrated by the author)

TitleThe Graveyard Book (unabridged audio)

Genre:  Fantasy, Mystery, Horror, YA fiction

Publication Date:  2003

Length: 7 CDs; 7.75 hours

Geographical Setting:  Great Britain

Time Period:  present day

Plot Summary:

On a dark, quiet evening a cold and efficient killer wielding a razor sharp knife- a man called ‘Jack’- is making quick work of his assignment: to murder a family of four in a small British town. All is going according to plan until Jack finds that the youngest, an 18 month-old boy, has left his crib and toddled off, out into the night. Following his keen sense of smell, Jack stalks up the hill and into the graveyard, looking for the child that got away. But Mr. and Mrs. Owens, deceased couple and graveyard residents, find the boy first. Sensing the distress of the boy’s recently dead mother, the Owenses hide and protect him, and the man called Jack leaves to look elsewhere.  With the narrow escape, a prophesy unfolds.

The ghost couple adopts the child and Silas, a mysterious character neither ghost or human, agrees to be his guardian. They name him “Nobody Owens,” or Bod for short. Bod is given “the freedom of the graveyard” and grows up walking a line between the worlds of the living and the dead. He befriends ghosts, witches, and werewolves, and learns the skills of haunting. For the most part Bod is safe in the graveyard, but he can’t avoid the outside world forever. The man named Jack is still looking for him, and will not rest until his mission is complete.

Neil Gaiman’s narration delights, frightens, and engrosses, making the listener laugh while at the same time expressing the danger lurking. He effortlessly embodies characters of varying ages and historical periods, from ancient vengeful spirits and ghouls, to a sleek white haired businessman and teenager with a Scottish brogue. Each disk ends with a cliffhanger, leaving the reader clamoring for the next chapter.

Subject Headings:  Boy orphans, Supernatural, Cemeteries, Orphan Boys, Ghosts, Werewolves, Dead, Occult fiction, Fantasy fiction

Appeal: creepy setting, haunting, witty, dark, quirky characters, multi-generational, humorous, magical, adventurous, foreboding, heroic, coming-of-age, climactic ending

3 terms that best describes this book: humorous, creepy, coming-of-age adventure

Similar Authors and Works:

Nonfiction

The Black Hope Horror: the True Story of a Haunting by Ben & Jean Williams and Bruce Shoemaker

Odd occurrences, violent storms, plagues of insects, and finally five swift deaths strike the Williams family upon moving into a quiet Texas subdivision, which, they soon discover, is situated on a graveyard.

Similarities: spooky, creepy, haunting, graveyards, nightmares, cinematic

Necropolis: London and its Dead by Catharine Arnold

Offers an historical narrative of the city’s attitude to going the way of all flesh. This blend of archaeology, architecture and anecdote includes phenomena such as the rise of the undertaking trade and the pageantry of state funerals; and public executions and bodysnatching. This book covers both anecdotal history and cultural commentary.

Similarities: graveyards, culture of death, Danse Macabre, British atmosphere and culture

The World before this One by Rafe Martin

This collection of 14 Seneca tales is presented through the retelling of one central story into which all of the others are artfully woven. The Author’s Note sets the stories in their historical context, relating the importance of the Seneca as one of the founding nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. An introduction by Seneca Elder Peter Jemison sets the stage for Martin’s storytelling in the tradition that’s gone before.

Similarities: boy orphan protagonist, coming of age, storytelling, adventure

Fiction

The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse by Robert Rankin

Jack sets out to seek his fortune in Toy City and hooks up with Eddie Baer as they try to stop a serial killer who is murdering old nursery rhyme characters.

Similarities: Humorous (British humor), dark, adolescent protagonist, quirky characters

A Brief History of the Dead Kevin Brockmeier

A city in the afterlife world is inhabited by the recently departed who are sill remembered by the living. Here Marion and Phillip Byrd fall in love again, while their living daughter, Laura, is stranded alone in an Antarctic research station. As souls disappear from the city in droves, it becomes clear that tragedy has swept planet Earth.

Similarities: contrasts/ explores the living world with afterlife, fantasy environments, imaginative

Nation by Terry Pratchett

After a devastating tsunami destroys all that they have ever known, Mau, an island boy, and Daphne, an aristocratic English girl, together with a small band of refugees, set about rebuilding their community and all the things that are important in their lives.

Similarities: Witty, humorous, good vs. evil, similar characters, fantasy, adventure story

Name: Amy

Sharp Teeth

June 14, 2010

June 14, 2010 by rayjani

Author:  Toby Barlow

Title:  Sharp Teeth

Genre:  Fiction – Horror

Publication Date:  2007

Geographical Setting:  Los Angeles, CA

Time Period:  Present Decade

Plot Summary:

Anthony takes a job as a city dogcatcher only to find himself trying to save three dogs from extermination.  A shape shifting, lycanthrope gang leader (known as Lark) has devised a scheme for domination of the normal human population of L.A.  Anthony unknowingly becomes involved in Lark’s plan when the female lycanthrope in Lark’s gang and Anthony fall in love.  These shape-shifters can change from human form to canine form at will; they do not need a full moon.  Anthony’s love interest (who remains nameless throughout the book) keeps her secret from Anthony.  The gangs are rivals, and one of the gangs seeks out and destroys meth labs and their owners for partner leaders in organized crime.  There are three rival pack gangs.  Lark’s pack is the “money laundering” gang.  Cutter’s pack (rival to Lark’s pack) is into organized crime involving drugs and competing meth labs.  The third pack is a battered and reduced pack of surfers who are out to avenge dogs that were adopted from the pound and trained to become gladiator dogs forced to fight for their lives.  After betraying Lark, Baron, a member of his pack, takes over the rest of Lark’s pack, forcing Lark to go undercover and recruit new pack members.  Lark allows himself to be impounded in the city kennel and is adopted by a needy woman named Bonnie, who treats him very well.  At night while Bonnie sleeps, Lark goes about rebuilding his pack.  In the midst of all this, Peabody, an L.A. detective, is investigating mysterious murders of city dogcatchers.  The “surfer” pack is responsible for these.  Meanwhile, Anthony’s love becomes the target for execution by Baron’s pack.  Baron sends his pack’s female, Sasha, to do the dirty deed but Anthony’s girlfriend foils the attack and kills Sasha.  She then goes into hiding, knowing she is being hunted.  Anthony becomes depressed and distraught over her disappearance and easy prey for initiation into Baron’s pack.  The rivalry and murder investigations culminate in a battle involving all three gangs and the meth lab partner kingpins.

Subject Headings:  werewolves, animal wardens, police, gangs in Los Angeles, murder, murder investigation, dogs, supernatural, drug traffic, Los Angeles, novels in verse, horror stories.

Appeal Terms:  eerie, creepy, unsettling, surrealistic, supernatural, vicious, gory, graphically descriptive, bloody, menacing, dark, violent, ominous.

Three terms that best describe this book:  visceral, unsettling, and surrealistic.

Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Canyons by P.D. Cacek portrays Lucius as the leader of a highly civilized pack of Denver werewolves who is holding off the invasion of a rival pack.  He does all this while avoiding his increasing attraction to a journalist who is bent on reporting on Lucius’s pack.

The Wolfman by Nicholas Pekearo has Marlowe Higgins moving from one town to another after a dishonorable discharge.  Higgins becomes trapped in an ongoing struggle with his werewolf nature that forces him to kill heinous villains during every full moon.  This eventually leads him into a deadly confrontation with a serial killer in a small town in Tennessee.

Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris pits telepathic waitress, Sookie Stackhouse against a race of unhuman beings who are more powerful and secretive than vampires or werewolves.  The smell of war is in the air in Bon Temps, Louisiana as vampires, werewolves, and werepanthers prepare for battle.  Sookie soon finds herself in the thick of it as she investigates a murder of a werepanther.

Relevant Non-fiction Works and Authors:

Streetwars: Gangs and the Future of Violence by Tom Hayden gives a hard look at gangs and youth violence in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.  He includes firsthand stories from gang leaders.

Inside the Crips:  Life Inside L.A.’s Most notorious Gang by Colton Simpson describes the home environment that led to gang membership for a member of one of L.A.’s most dangerous gangs.  Included are accounts of confrontations with rival gangs and his incarceration at Calipatria Prison.

Monster:  The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member by Sanyika Shakur, who is one of Los Angeles’s most notorious gang leaders, gives readers an inside look at the world of gangs including gang wars, politics, his climb through the ranks of his gang’s hierarchy, how he survived rival gang attacks, and what prison life is like for a gang member.

Zane’s Trace

May 26, 2010

Author: Allan Wolf

Title: Zane’s Trace

Genre: Adventure

Publication Date: 2007

Number of Pages: 177

Geographical Setting: U.S.A. (West Virginia and Ohio)

Time Period: Present day

Series (If applicable): N/A

Plot Summary:

17 year old Zane Guesswind, an epileptic who also suffers from hypergraphia (the overwhelming urge to write), finds himself driving a stolen 1969 Plymouth Barracuda to his schizophrenic mother’s gravesite in Zanesville, Ohio after believing that he has killed his grandfather by writing him out of the world with a Sharpie.  As the numbers on the mile markers dwindle, Zane also embarks on a journey through his past and starts to learn more about who he is and where he came from.

Zane picks up a mysterious hitchhiker at The Happy Days Diner, 288 miles from his destination.  Her name is Libba and although she has to have the last word in any discussion she does give Zane insights into his past that he never could have expected.  As the Barracuda eats up the miles, Zane also meets several other characters, some real and some imagined (or are they?), who also provide him with pieces to the puzzle that is his life.

Presented in verse form, this fast paced and energetic novel puts the reader in the back seat of that Plymouth Barracuda along with Zane and Libba.

Subject Headings:

Epilepsy; Orphans; Interracial persons; Family; Death; Automobile travel; Loss (Psychology); Grief; Guilt; Suicide; Mental illness; Self-discovery; Novels in verse

Appeal:

energetic, fast moving, engrossing, fierce, reckless, compelling, cynical/sarcastic, humorous, spiritual, earnest, melancholy, trippy, quirky, supernatural, cathartic

3 terms that best describe this book: tight; charismatic characters;  wild ride

Similar Authors and Works:

Fiction:

1)      Before and Again by Doris Mortman

Callie, the daughter of a schizophrenic who committed suicide, searches for answers after she begins having the same sort of disturbing dreams that destroyed her mother.

2)      Night of the Radishes by Sandra Benitez

Annie Rush has dealt with various family tragedies which prompts her to try and find her long lost brother.  Along the way she must decide who she really is.

3)      The Rhythm of the Road: A Novel by Albyn Leah Hall

Another novel involving road trips and hitchhikers, this one centers on Jo Pickering, who travels everywhere with her truck driving father.  When they pick up a female country singer, Jo’s life is forever changed.

Non-Fiction:

1)      Flight of Passage: A Memoir by Rinker Buck

Two teenage brothers fly a plane over the U.S.  This adventure eventually brings them closer to their father and to each other.

2)      The Midnight Disease: The Drive to Write, Writer’s Block, and the Creative Brain by Alice Flaherty

Flaherty talks about how hypergraphia affected her as a writer and as a person.

3)      The Mourner’s Dance: What We Do When People Die by Katherine Ashenburg

Rituals of death are explored in this book and how different cultures deal with death is also examined.

Name: Valerie Kyriakopoulos

Something From the Nightside

May 19, 2010

Author: Simon R. Green

Title: Something From the Nightside

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publication Date: 2003

Number of Pages: 230

Geographical Setting: Nightside (Alternate London)

Time Period: Modern Era

Series: Nightside Series

Plot Summary:

Business is slow for detective John Taylor until a beautiful, wealthy woman comes into his office late one evening.  Joanna is desperately seeking help to find her lost daughter Cathy, and was told that Mr. Taylor was the only man for the job.  Taylor has a special gift that allows him to track the lost; however, when he realizes this job will take him back to his former home of Nightside, he has to think twice before venturing into the vile and dangerous place.  Making matters worse, Joanna demands to come with, in case Cathy’s body cannot be brought back to her in London.  The two venture into the disturbing world of Nightside, where the wild run the streets, the full moon shines 24 hours a day, and the clock always reads 3:00 A.M.  John is somewhat of a celebrity in these parts, and news travels fast that he has returned.  Taylor begins asking around to find information about the missing girl, and even though one never really has any friends in Nightside, they are given a clue which leads them to the heart of the city.  All the while, Taylor senses something is very different about Nightside this time.  Filled with haunting scenes, this fantasy thriller will engage readers who enjoy twists in plot and action.

Subject Headings:

Alternate Reality; Detectives; Fantasy; Missing Children; Monsters; Mystery; Paranormal; Supernatural

Appeal:

Relentless; Haunting; Dark; Dangerous; Series; Action Oriented; Mystical; Urban; Direct

3 terms that best describe this book: Dark; Haunting; Solitary

Similar author and works (why are they similar?):

Fiction

1)       For a Few Demons More by Kim Harrison

Her portrayal of witch bounty hunter Rachel Morgan blends elements seen in Nightside such as justice, supernatural, action and alternate cities.

2)      The Spirit by Will Eisner

Components of this comic book favorite will appeal to readers of the Nightside because of the setting, storytelling, crime and supernatural detectives.

3)      Sin City by Frank Miller

A city in ill-repair and characters that have the city coursing through their veins will draw many comparisons.

Non-Fiction

1)       The London Monster: A Sanguinary Tale by Jan Bondeson

The mystery surrounding this London slasher case will resonate with those who connected with the suspense and edginess of the Nightside.

2)      Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found by Suketu Mehta

A look into the stranger side of Bombay (now Mumbai), Maximum City is intriguing in its parallels to the “anything goes” lifestyle of the Nightside.

3)      Comeback: A Mother and Daughter’s Journey Through Hell and Back by Claire and Mia Fontaine

This will appeal to those who enjoyed the plot of a runaway girl and a mother’s love trying to bring her back.  Expanding on this facet, similarities are tied between the young girls being immersed in a dangerous existence.