Halloween Recommendations: Atmosphere

It’s Halloween this week! Last week I gave some spooky recommendations, the theme was all about Monsters. This week I wanted to continue with some more recs but this week the focus is on Atmosphere.

So, I have picked 4 books that I believe have a great creepy atmosphere! Ranging from YA re-tellings to niche horror!

  • Title: Lost Boy
  • Author: Christina Henry
  • Genre: Fantasy re-telling and Horror

Plot: There is one version of my story that everyone knows. And then there is the truth. This is how it happened. How I went from being Peter Pan’s first—and favorite—lost boy to his greatest enemy. Peter brought me to his island because there were no rules and no grownups to make us mind. He brought boys from the Other Place to join in the fun, but Peter’s idea of fun is sharper than a pirate’s sword. Because it’s never been all fun and games on the island. Our neighbors are pirates and monsters. Our toys are knife and stick and rock—the kinds of playthings that bite. Peter promised we would all be young and happy forever. Peter lies.

This book is not a whimsical version of Peter Pan. Do not go into this thinking it’s going to be sweet. This book left me on the edge of my seat! Christina Henry does a great job of creating this dark and terrifying version of Neverland and does an amazing job of creating the uneasy tension between characters. The way Peter has a hold on these characters made me uncomfortable and by the end of this book you are flicking through the pages as quickly as you can to find out what happens next.

  • Title: The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
  • Author: Stuart Turton
  • Genre: Historical Fiction and Mystery

Plot: At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed–again. She’s been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden’s only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend–but nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

When I think of atmosphere in this book I think of a storm. There is a lot of rain etc. in this book and that always makes me anxious in books like this! I think what adds to the atmosphere here is the idea of a countdown. There is only so long for our main character to solve the murder so you are anxiously reading with this timescale always in the back of your mind!

  • Title: Requiem Infernal
  • Author: Peter Fehervari
  • Genre: Sci-fi and Horror

Plot: The Adepta Sororitas of the Last Candle have stood vigil over their sanctuary world for centuries, striving to decipher their founder’s tormented visions. Outsiders are unwelcome… yet still they come. Decimated by an encounter with a lethal xenos entity, the survivors of an elite Astra Militarum company have journeyed to the Candleworld in search of healing, escorted by a woman who is no stranger there – Sister Hospitaller Asenath Hyades, who turned her back on the order decades ago. As the seekers near the sect’s bastion, malign forces begin to stir among the planet’s storm-wracked spires, but the most insidious shadows lie in their own souls.

One word: CREEPY! This was my first horror reading experience and I ended up finishing this book at like 2am and I couldn’t get to sleep I was that creeped out. Fehervari does an amazing job in creating a sense of panic, of tension and he manages to write words that make you feel like you are being watched! I had no idea what a Warhammer 40K book was going to be like. I thought it wouldn’t be for me, as I had no prior knowledge, but it was super fun to read!

  • Title: House of Salt and Sorrows
  • Author: Erin A. Craig
  • Genre: Fantasy re-telling and Mystery

Plot: Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods. Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with? When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

The atmosphere for this book is solemn. We meet our main character who just seems to be in an un-ending cycle of grief and it just shows in the writing. But don’t let that fool you, you will be on the edge of your seat, reading as fast as you can, panicked about what is going to happen to our characters and who will be next!

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