In an effort to satisfy my hunger for a good ghost story around Halloween, I stumbled on two firmly planted in the horror genre. Read at your own peril. Spoiler alert.

Beyond- A Ghost Story by Graham McNamee

Seventeen year old Jane was born dead and revived. In her short life she has escaped death four more times, but her shadow is after her. While Jane wrestles with these issues her best friend, Lexi, provides necessary comic relief. As the “Creep Sisters”, Jane and Lexi have to deal with being outsiders at school. Jane must find out why death haunts her before it’s too late and the opportunity comes when a skull is unearthed on the edge of town. Solving that mystery brings her face to face with a serial killer and reveals why her shadow is after her. McNamee successfully incorporates the idea of a dark, lost region that contrasts sharply to the bright light bliss of near death experiences. It’s a nice twist making it a unique ghost story. Sufficiently creepy, fast paced, and satisfying.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Cas Lowood has inherited the job of ghost killer from his dad. Armed with a powerful knife, he seeks his prey. His next case draws him to Anna, a girl killed in 1958 on her way to a dance. Anna has the nasty habit of killing anyone who enters the house where she resides. This is a fairly well-crafted story, but not as original as Beyond. It has garnered quite a following seemingly attracting the Twilight crowd because of the romance between Cas and Anna. That part didn’t resonate with me. Cass witnessed a kid being ripped apart by Anna and yet he falls for her. The most unique aspect of the story comes from the idea of the Obeah- a creature seeking power and the Wicca traditions brought to the story by some of the lesser characters. This is a fast read, entertaining, but a bit familiar.      


Filed under Book Review, Books

23 responses to “A PAIR OF YA HORROR NOVELS

  1. Pingback: Two Books About Death… and Also About Life « Bahia Portfolio

  2. Great reviews, my oldest daughter enjoys scary movies and reading but so far the two interests have not crossed. It sounds like ‘Beyond’ may well appeal to her (and me!)


  3. Great Post! I haven’t read Beyond, but now I will have to look into it. I read Anna Dressed in Blood about a month ago, great book. I didn’t see the whole twilight thing either.


  4. I agree with your take on Anna Dressed in Blood. I liked that Blake brought in the idea of Obeah and touched a little on Voodoo, something I have not really seen in YA paranormal fantasy. I’m with you on the romance between Cas and Anna – it did not go with Cas’ personality at all. I mean the first chapter of the book is him describing killing a ghost and how he does not really feel sympathy for them. The interactions between Cas and Anna were not enough to convince me it would be believable for him to fall in love with her.


  5. An interesting blog. The supernatural always fascinates humanity.


  6. Hello! I noticed that you liked my blog so I thought I would come over and pay you a visit! I have never read any horror novels, I think I let the Twilight ruin it. I understand that all are not the same and you’ve piqued my interest in this type of literature! Beyond sounds like a good book with a metaphysical plot that I could relate to real life. I’ve always been an information reader myself, but perhaps these books will give me new inspiration. Thank you.


  7. Hi Ellis…sorry to be away so long. “Beyond” sounds intriguing and original. In fact the idea of your shadow chasing you gave me chills and made me want to turn off all the lights so I wouldn’t have one. “Anna…etc.” reminds me in a sort of remote way of the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which I was a huge fan of, by the way. Even though I was way too old for it 🙂 But Buffy had a couple of relationships with vampires. Both Twilight and Anna sound very derivative. Buffy was a great character and it was a great show.


  8. My impression from your reviews is that, as an “old adult,” I’d probably find “Beyond” the more interesting read. Your thoughts?


  9. Ah – I wish I could read ghost stories but then I can’t sleep – for weeks! Was in Edinburgh last year and wanted to go on one of the famous ghost walks but totally chickened out at the last minute after reading about people who came out of Greyfalk Kirk (sp?) with strange little injuries…..


  10. Anna is seriously creepy and awesome!


  11. I like your honesty! What is going on psychologically with someone who sees a “being” rip apart another being, and yet think “she” could care for him? Yikes!


  12. I’m wondering if my books might be able to be featured on your blog? I’ve got two out. They’re titled “The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer” and “The Super Spies and the High School Bomber”. 🙂 I’m not sure how to contact you! Sorry about leaving this in a comment. 🙂


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