Warm Bodies screening with author Isaac Marion

 warm-bodies-postersCan love make a dead heart beat again? Shamble in to the Central Library to watch the newly released zombie romance film “Warm Bodies” and meet the book’s author, Isaac Marion, for a question and answer period afterward. Isaac Marion has recently completed a prequel novella and is currently working on the sequel to Warm Bodies.

 Warm Bodies stars Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer and John Malkovich and will be shown in the Microsoft Auditorium at the Central Library at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 6. Library events and programs are free and everyone is welcome. Registration is not required. Bonus points for coming costumed as a zombie!!

Book review: I Am Not a Serial Killer

I’m not a big reader. I like books, but I simply don’t have the attention span to sit down for hours at a time, plowing through hundreds of pages, when I could be baking, sewing, or casually surfing the internet. However, I recently read a book so exciting and suspenseful that I not only read it in two days, but I proceeded to check out its two sequels and read each of those in two days as well.

I Am Not a Serial Killer, by Dan WellsI Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells (co-host of the great podcast ‘Writing Excuses’), is a wonderful horror book on the darker side of the Young Adult genre. Written in spectacular, unique first- person, the novel is about a high school boy named John Cleaver, a serial-killer fanatic/sociopath who holds himself to a strict rule system so that he does not become a serial killer himself. For instance, he is not allowed set fires or hurt animals, and he’s not allowed to stare at someone for too long, lest he become too interested and begin to stalk them. Continue reading “Book review: I Am Not a Serial Killer”

How about a little horror for your summer?

Our librarians put together a list of some of their favorite horror novels and short stories from the past couple of years. Most of the books are available now, or have short waitlists. Here are a few to get you started:

Horns by Joe Hill
After the murder of his girlfriend, Ig Parrish gets drunk and wakes up with horns in his forehead. Ig’s demonic appearance only increases the suspicions and whispers around him and awakens a terrible power and rage.

The Disappearance by Bentley Little
Gary’s girlfriend has vanished, along with any record of her existence. All the clues lead to the eccentric Homesteaders cult, but the answers will have dire consequences.

Swan Song by Robert McCammon
The world is dying and nefarious armies of men and monsters walk the decimated cities. A young girl named Swan has a hidden power that may save mankind—if she can save herself.

The Passage by Justin Cronin
Sabotage at a military research facility triggers the liberation of a virus that turns infected people into insect-like vampires. The survivors’ only hope lies with a 6-year-old orphan girl who may be able to turn the tide for humanity.

Disturbed By Her Song by Tanith Lee
A heady mix of fantasy, surrealism and the darkly erotic, these stories take place in a variety of eras and places, from early 20th-century Egypt to an alternate universe Paris.

John Dies at the End by David Wong
Once you try the new street drug Soy Sauce you may come back, but you may not come back human… A humorous gross-fest about two college dropouts who are trying to save the world from a very hostile takeover.

For 16 more suggestions, see our Seattle Picks: Horror list.

‘Tis (almost) the season for new books: Urban fantasies for 2010

My favorite thing about the last part of any year is book anticipation.  Readers of urban fantasy know that the new year brings with it fresh installments in all our favorite series, and usually, these books arrive in stores (and libraries!) within the first  four months of the calendar year.  I have a very full reading list this time around as all my favorite authors (Mark Del Franco, Anton Strout, John Levitt, Kim Harrison, Eileen Wilks…) are releasing something new, but there are three books I am especially excited for.

Changes by Jim Butcher.  In this newest Dresden Files story, old characters return with grand tidings and terrible secrets.  The Dresden Files is one of those very rare series that has actually gotten much better as it has gone on.  While most authors have trouble keeping a series fresh after 10 or 15 volumes, Butcher has introduced a whole conspiracy element that is crazy good.  I can hardly wait until April 6, 2010.

silver borne by patricia briggs book coverSilver Borne by Patricia Briggs. This is the new Mercy Thompson novel and  I already love it for two reasons: werewolves and faeries.  And it takes place in Washington state!  This series introduced readers to a rare kind of shape shifter, one that doesn’t have the speed or strength of the traditional werewolf but comes with twice the attitude. Mercy Thompson is a treat, and she will be back on March 30, 2010.

Roadkill by Rob Thurman.  Rob Thurman is a woman (no joke) and her Leandros Bros are back in an adventure I know absolutely nothing about, but I still can’t wait.  This book will be available on March 2, 2010 and I am so excited!  In the last book, Death Wish, Thurman told the story from both brothers point of view. Let’s hope she carries that theme on in this new book because Niko is seriously cool.

I’m sure everyone is as excited about the new book season as I am, but don’t discount the last months of 2009!  There are a few books still to come this year (First Lord’s Fury by Jim Butcher for one), but with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) wrapping up and holiday plans kicking off, there is plenty to keep us busy while we wait.

New Horror to keep you awake at night

seance by john harwoodOld-fashioned creepy Victorian horror sneaks up on you in the night, haunts your dreams and harasses you the next day. Recent novels guaranteed to do all three are John Harwood’s The Séance, Sarah Waters’s Little Stranger and John Langan’s Mr. Gaunt and Other Uneasy Encounters.  In Harwood’s tale, a young woman inherits the seedy mansion, Wraxford Hall, after the owner dies and is warned by villagers that the house is haunted. Will a séance bring the ghosts to light? In The Little Stranger, the last remnants of an aristocratic family eke out a fading existence in an old manor house. When Dr. Faraday comes to call, feelings about his low birth and his obsessive interest in the eldest daughter are twisted into an almost tactile malevolence. Likewise, in Langan’s collection of macabre and mysterious tales, Mr. Gaunt, the skeletal butler of the title story and the keeper of an ancient burial relic, is truly the stuff of nightmares.

And for those of us with active imaginations and the ability to accept the seemingly impossible, consider a magical map that transports its owner to key times in history. In The Map of Moments, by Christopher Golden, set in post-Katrina New Orleans, a conjure man’s map grabs an ordinary guy, Max, pulls him helplessly through history and forces him  into a voodoo hero role for which he is ill-prepared. In The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan, a passenger jet lands at the airport but no one disembarks – authorities find the passengers sitting dead in their seats. Then the truly bizarre happens: they reanimate. What viral strain or power is responsible and how can it be stopped? S. G. Browne spends no time questioning the reality of a zombie infestation in Breathers: a Zombie’s Lament. Newly revived zombie, Andy Warner (living with his parents who wish he’d stayed dead), joins a support group and learns how to succeed at being undead. Often funny and truly unusual, this magic little book makes you wonder about the afterlife’s actual location!

house of lost souls cottamKeep the lights on for novels that define the new horror, such as Nate Kenyon’s portrait of a schizophrenic girl in The Reach.  Little Sarah, imprisoned in an insane asylum, is able to manipulate the energy and objects around her, including Jess, her psychiatric counselor. Everyone is powerless against Sarah’s unleashed fury and chaos ensues when she escapes and goes on a killing rampage. The house in The House of Lost Souls, by F.G.Cottam, calls to four daring students who succumb to madness almost as soon as they enter – one even commits suicide. Now it’s up to Nick Mason and the one person who escaped the house’s madness (or did he?) to save the three who cannot shake the house’s menacing power. Finally, Christopher Ransom imagines a dream house that turns on its owners as soon as they move in. Read The Birthing House, but be prepared to be absorbed – and changed.

Find more great horror recommendations on Shelf Talk here.