5 out of 5 stars.
Minor Spoilers Ahead.
First published by Viking Press in 1982, “Different Seasons” is a collection of novellas written by American author Stephen King. Each novella centres around the theme of seasons and steps away, mostly, from King’s obvious horror background. Three of the short stories were made into Hollywood movies, the most successful of which is the first one we’ll be discussing.
There is something very special about this book and the way certain stories interconnect within the collection, but also with other works by Stephen King.
3 out of 5 stars
Published in 2015, Killer Game is a YA mystery novel written by Kirsty McKay. Set in a boarding school isolated on a private island, the story follows new student Cate as she is invited to play the school’s traditional game – Killer. The rules are simple: amongst the Guild of Assassins, there is one chosen Killer whose job it is to secretly murder the rest of the guild through a series of pranks until there is either no one left or they are caught out. Unfortunately for Cate, this generation of the game begins to feel like more than just a prank – there is a real killer on the loose and Cate is the next target.
There was something about the synopsis of this story that really drew me in when I first found this book in the store. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my expectations.
5 out of 5 stars.
Based on an idea by Siobhan Dowd, A Monster Calls is a 2011 novel written by Patrick Ness with illustrations provided by Jim Kay. It follows the story of Conor, a thirteen-year-old boy who is plagued by nightmares – but not just any nightmare, the nightmare. Bullied at school and living alone with his ill mother, Conor tries to make the world believe he’s okay. Until the monster comes.
This was an amazing story. And I mean that whole heartedly. I managed to read it in two sittings across one weekend because I was so engrossed by everything. It was beautiful and haunting, and coupled with the artwork by Jim Kay, it created a tale that really struck me.
3 out of 5 stars.
Released as an extension of the indie video gaming franchise Five Nights at Freddy’s, The Silver Eyes is the debut novel written by series creator Scott Cawthon and Kira Breed-Wrisley. It was first published in December 2015 in typical FNaF style – i.e. ahead of schedule and as a complete surprise to everyone keeping tabs on any sort of FNaF updates.
Personally, I have mixed feelings about this story.
4 out of 5 stars
First published in 2010, Young Sherlock Holmes: Death Cloud is the first novel in a (at this point in time) seven book series written by British author Andrew Lane. As the title suggests, it follows the fourteen-year-old Sherlock Holmes in a time before he met John Watson. The first novel is sees Sherlock’s father sent over to seas to India whilst his mother is ill and his sister is left to care for her. As the oldest male in the house, his brother Mycroft sends Sherlock to spend his summer holidays in a small village near Portsmouth with relatives he can hardly remember. At the same time, a young homeless child named Matty witnesses a dark cloud floating away from a building only to learn that whomever had been inside had been found dead from a mysterious illness. When Sherlock discovers another body under similar circumstances, the two boys team up to discover the truth.
I was left with a fair few questions after reading this book – but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy it.
3.9 out of 5 stars
Asylum is a 2013 young adult supernatural-thriller novel written by American author, Madeleine Roux. It is set in the location of New Hampshire College Prep – a college which was established on the site of an abandoned mental asylum. Sixteen-year-old loner Dan Crawford has been sent to attend a summer program for prospective students and soon meets two friends, Abby and Jordan, with whom he discovers the secret of the dorm house. Local whispers and an unlocked off-limits room reveal that their dorm house was once the building used to hold the criminally insane, and as the trio dig deeper into the mysteries surrounding why they were really drawn to this school, a murder takes place in the style of the institutes most famous patient. He’s supposed to be dead though. With no memory of what really happened on that night, Dan begins to question his own sanity and tries to seek the truth before the killer strikes again.
My time reading this novel was quick but each time I picked it up, I did tend to question why I was even reading it.
4.9 out of 5 stars
The Screaming Staircase is the first novel in the Lockwood and Co. supernatural-thriller series written by British author Jonathan Stroud. It was first published in 2013 and follows a trio of teenaged ghost hunters as they try to solve the murder of a young woman they discover in the recesses of an old home in London. They are soon threatened financially and professionally, and finally find themselves with the task of cleansing the most haunted building in Britain in a race against time to find the truth and save themselves. It’s written from the point-of-view of fifteen-year-old Lucy Carlyle, the newest member of Lockwood and Co. whose only other members are the charismatic Anthony Lockwood and his not-so-enthusiastic friend George Cubbins.
I went into this novel with an open mind. The cover stood out to me among all the other YA novels on the shelves at Asda and I was very much in the mood for a good ghost story when I purchased it. Thankfully, the story didn’t disappoint.
5 out of 5 stars
The Battle of the Labyrinth was first published in 2008 and is the fourth book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series written by American author Rick Riordan. It follows the fourteen-year-old titular character, Percy, as he returns to Camp Half-Blood to discover the secret plans his friend Annabeth had been involved in prior to the events of the previous novel, the discovery of former camper Luke’s plan to use the legendary Labyrinth of Daedalus to invade the camp with Kronos and his army of monsters, and the inevitability he and his friends would have to enter the labyrinth themselves to persuade Daedalus to help them instead of Luke.
I absolutely loved this novel.
4.9 out 5 stars
Divergent was first published in April 2011 by American author Veronica Roth and is the first in a trilogy of young adult, dystopian novels set in a futuristic Chicago which has been cut off from the rest of the world by a giant wall. The novel centres around the narrating character Tris as she discovers that she’s Divergent – she fits into more than one of the five personality traits that make up the factions being ruled in Chicago. She has to hide her Divergence so moves to the faction Dauntless where she meets more challenges than she could have possibly imagined.
First published in 2011, Bioshock: Rapture is the official prequel to the video game series Bioshock, taking place before the game and explaining the events that led up to Jack’s return to the sunken city. It’s a very insightful read for fans of the game who have the patience to read through this hefty read – at nearly 500 pages, it’s the largest video game tie in novel that I own.