Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet! Over the history of my blog, I’ve done a lot of posts in the collection of Five Books With, and today I’m stepping back into the spooky side of things: Five Books With… Haunted Houses!
These books, authors and houses all function in different ghostly ways, and I’m excited to share my thoughts about them. It’s a great time to be reading ghostly books, as the weather draws in and the storms start to blow, and while I could have picked many different books, I’ve focused on these five as they really do show how the rules of ghosts vary from book to book, something I love when it comes to reading about the supernatural.
White Smoke – Tiffany D. Jackson
I read White Smoke after I was sent an advanced copy of it before its release last year. There are a lot of important themes running through this book, looking especially at racism and classism, both of which are topics vital to talk about. However, today we’re talking about ghosties and ghouls, which are key factors to this story!
Jackson uses the underlying terror of a haunted house to allow for space for the above real life issues to expand into the characters lives. It’s very cleverly done, and makes sure there is always the question of “but what if….?” dangling over both Marigold and the reader, leaving the character and you unsure of the ground you are standing on.
The Twisted Tree – Rachel Burge
Martha, the lead character in The Twisted Tree, is able to tell things about people by touching their clothes. But when she arrives at her grandmother’s house after her death, it’s not clothes that cause her the biggest problems: her grandmother’s death has caused a rift, and she can’t know for sure what’s going on.
I loved this book, as it was so character driven, and focused so much around what Martha needed to know to help her grow into her powers and pull the spiritual world back under control. It’s well researched, paced brilliantly, and will have you jumping each time you see a spooky looking tree!
Rivers of London – Ben Aaronovitch
This first book in the series of the same name introduces us to a huge world of all things supernatural, right under our feet, here in London. One of the key characters in the book is a ghost who keeps taking possession of people, and secondary to that, we are introduced to a ghostly maid at the supernatural division’s headquarters, by the name of Molly.
Molly is a very different type of ghost – and this is a very different type of house – to the others I’ve included in this list, largely because she is a running, key character in the series, rather than a situation to be avoided or handled as is in so many ghost stories. Molly plays an important role in the first book especially, and I love her as a character, especially as things develop throughout the books.
Gallant – V. E. Schwab
Possibly my favourite book of the year so far, Gallant is one of the most beautiful and clever books I have ever read. V. E. Schwab has also written the City of Ghosts series, a middle grade ghost story trilogy which was wonderfully vibrant, but Gallant? Gallant is sheer genius.
Olivia can see ghosts. When she arrives at the estate that belongs to distant relations, limited on energy, patience and communication, she quickly finds out there is more about Gallant than she could have been prepared for. It’s a brilliant story of growth and self discovery, and strength, the kind we find when we had no idea we had it.
Sixteen Souls – Rosie Talbot
Only released last week, Rosie Talbot’s debut novel has burst onto the ghost-themed scene with a stunning knowledge of folklore, and a brilliant creative set of ghost rules. Charlie and Sam are both seers, able to see the ghosts of their city of York. But this comes with a lot of drawbacks and risks, and when ghosts start disappearing, solving the mystery somehow lands on them too.
When it comes to the haunting of the house in this story, it’s done in a loving, friendly way. The friends that Charlie has gained in ghosts are even given gifts and have pages turned for them in comic books. However, there’s always the chance of something that bit darker following you home….
Watch out for my upcoming review of this brilliant book, which captures queer romance, dark mystery, folklore and ghostlore, and mixes it all together in a wonderful way.
Thanks for stopping by for this spooky post. I’ve dived right back into blogging this October with plenty of thrillers and mysteries, so there’s far more to come of this kind!