Top Ten Tuesday #391

Hi everyone, hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these. Not much to report here again this week, though I did have a riding lesson today which I really enjoyed.

Anyway, it’s Tuesday, so it’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday from Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Today’s topic is our annual Halloween Freebie, and I have to admit, after seven years of doing this, I’m starting to run out of Halloween themed ideas for these posts. I’m going very basic today, and just talking about my Favourite Spooky Books. It’s probably going to be a fairly similar list to this Books To Get You In The Halloween Mood list that I did about six years ago, but I have read more books since 2016, so I’m hoping it will be just different enough to be interesting. So here we go, my Favourite Spooky Books:

  1. Skulduggery Pleasant series-Derek Landy

I couldn’t do a Halloween themed list without including one of my favourite spooky series! I mean if you’re a spooky lover, this series has it all, magical skeleton detectives, zombies, vampires and a myriad of other monstrous creatures and there’s no shortage of gore, particularly in the later books. It also has a healthy dose of humour, which is something I always love in my spooky books as it definitely helps balance out the dark stuff.

2. Unwind dystology-Neal Shusterman

I did like Scythe (though I’ll admit, I’ve only read the first book and not the rest of the trilogy yet) but the Unwind series will always have my heart as my favourite of Neal Shusterman’s books. This series is probably one of the creepiest I’ve ever read given the premise of teenagers being taken apart to deal with an organ shortage, and THAT SCENE from the first book will be forever burned into my mind. I was quite surprised that I loved this series as much as I did because it probably leans slightly more towards the horrific than I would usually read, but much like Skulduggery Pleasant, it’s very humorous, which lightens up some of the dark stuff!

3. Stalking Jack The Ripper-Keri Mansicalco

Jack The Ripper tours always seem incredibly popular at Halloween so this seemed like a fitting choice! I’d probably say the second one in this series was the spookiest, but the first book was my favourite, so it’s the one I wanted to include here. Given that the book follows an investigation into a serial killer and the detective is a 17-year old aspiring forensic scientist who carries out a lot of autopsies, darkness is baked right into the book from the start!

4. Not Even Bones-Rebecca Schaeffer

Without a doubt the goriest book on this list! Nita dissects monsters as part of her mother’s business selling monster body parts on the black market, but ends up being one of her mother’s sales when she refuses to dissect a live monster. I really enjoyed this book, it’s full of villainous characters (who are always my favourites) but be warned, it’s not for the faint of stomach as there are quite a few gory descriptions of dissections.

5. Frozen Charlotte-Alex Bell

I don’t know if I’ve just watched too much Pretty Little Liars, but dolls are definitely super creepy! These ones are no exceptions, the Frozen Charlotte dolls in this book basically possess people and make them do super gross things like sticking needles in their eyes. This one was a really good one for me because it was kind of horror-lite, I don’t mind a bit of horror, but I generally don’t love super graphic gore (I know I’ve mentioned a couple of the books on here being gory, but they’re all YA books so aren’t ridiculously graphic) so this worked well for me.

6. The Diviners series-Libba Bray

One of my favourite series discoveries in recent years, the Diviners has it all. Ghosts, supernatural abilities, 1920s New York setting and incredibly creepy atmosphere. The thing I loved most about it though was definitely the Diviners gang, it’s a big cast and they have a great dynamic with each other, it’s one of my favourite found family groups I’ve read about in recent years. I would highly recommend the audiobooks for this series, January LaVoy does such an excellent job of creating the dark, creepy atmosphere!

7. City of Ghosts-VE Schwab

I could have gone with quite a few of VE Schwab’s books for this one, as she definitely likes spooky atmospheres in her books, but this felt like the most obvious one given that the whole book revolves around ghosts and ghost hunting. I’ve not really read much middle grade in the past few years, but this was a really fun little book, and I’m excited to finish off the series (for now) with Bridge of Souls whenever I get around to it.

8. The Raven Cycle-Maggie Stiefvater

This series basically has spooky written all over it. You’ve got psychics, you’ve got talking trees, you’ve got dead people and dream creatures, what more could you possibly want? This definitely fits more into the spooky/atmospheric vibe than outright horror but then that is generally what I prefer to read!

9. Ninth House-Leigh Bardugo

I’ll admit I didn’t find this one as gruesome as I was expecting from reading some of the reviews, there’s definitely some dark themes, but it generally wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle (which I’m glad about!). However it certainly fits into the spooky book category, with the main character’s ability to see ghosts and all of the supernatural goings on at Yale’s magical secret societies. I will admit, I hardly remember what happened in this one though as I read it three years ago, so good luck to me when the sequel, Hell Bent comes out next year!

10. Daughter of The Burning City-Amanda Foody

This is a murder mystery, but not your regular murder mystery…..the victims are all illusions created by the main character, who shouldn’t be able to be killed, because they’re not real and therefore shouldn’t die! I really enjoyed this one, it was incredibly atmospheric & the whole idea of setting a murder mystery in a circus and having illusions be the victims was really cool.

So there we go, those are some of my favourite spooky books! Have you read any of these? Did you enjoy them? Do you also find it hard coming up with Halloween themed topics? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back next week for another Top Ten Tuesday, we’re talking Unlikeable Characters You Can’t Help But Love and if there was a topic made for me, it’s this one! I love a good villain!

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31 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday #391

  1. Terrie Purkey 26/10/2022 / 12:20 am

    I loved Ninth House! AND, though I didn’t know any of your others, I added 2 to my TBR – Unwind & the Diviners; both sound like good reads. Thanks so much for visiting me!
    Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys

    • iloveheartlandx 01/11/2022 / 1:18 pm

      Ah yay glad to have helped you find some new books. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

  2. WendyW 26/10/2022 / 3:42 am

    What a great list. I don’t read spooky books, but, I’m glad you enjoyed these.

  3. Marianne Maurer 26/10/2022 / 1:15 pm

    Well, spooky books is a fantastic idea for this challenge. I didn’t do half as well as you.

    Thanks for visiting my TTT this week this week is a Top Thirteen of songs that can be played at Halloween.

      • Marianne Maurer 01/11/2022 / 1:21 pm

        Thank you so much.

  4. FangirlFlax 26/10/2022 / 3:36 pm

    How interesting–I found Ninth House plenty gruesome!

    • iloveheartlandx 01/11/2022 / 1:16 pm

      I don’t think it was that I didn’t find it gruesome at all, it was more that I’d read so many reviews that said something along the lines of it being the darkest thing they’d ever read and I didn’t find that. Probably says more about me than anything else though!

      • FangirlFlax 01/11/2022 / 6:55 pm

        Ahh, that makes sense! Sometimes the hype definitely impacts expectations and actual impressions.

  5. Greg 26/10/2022 / 6:01 pm

    These are great picks for Halloween atmosphere. Stalking Jack sounds scary. I didn’t love Ninth House for some reason.

    • iloveheartlandx 01/11/2022 / 1:12 pm

      Thanks! I didn’t love it as much as some of her other books, but I still enjoyed it enough.

  6. Louise 26/10/2022 / 7:06 pm

    Not Even Bones was gory but brilliant, I always meant to read the sequel.

    • iloveheartlandx 01/11/2022 / 1:08 pm

      I still need to! I bought it right after finishing the first book, but still haven’t got around to it yet.

    • iloveheartlandx 01/11/2022 / 1:07 pm

      The second book is coming out next year, so there’s still time to catch up!

  7. thebookishlibra 27/10/2022 / 1:04 am

    Love that V.E. Schwab series. I still need to finish too though, haha.

    • iloveheartlandx 01/11/2022 / 1:07 pm

      Ha ha I feel like unfinished series are the story of my life!

  8. Rissi 27/10/2022 / 1:27 am

    Despite my general dislike of the horror genre, with few exceptions, for some reason I am curious about the Jack the Ripper YA novels. Maybe someday I’ll give them a chance! πŸ™‚ Thanks for visiting my website as always.

    • iloveheartlandx 01/11/2022 / 1:06 pm

      They’re really not too horrific, the focus is definitely more on the historical elements than the horror, so I reckon you’d probably be okay.

  9. Aj @ Read All The Things! 30/10/2022 / 12:58 pm

    There are so many good books on this list! I feel your pain with running out of book list topics. I’ve been blogging for nearly 10 years! I’m all out of ideas!

    • iloveheartlandx 01/11/2022 / 1:05 pm

      Thank you! There’s really only so much you can do with Halloween and I definitely feel like I’ve been scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas for the past few years!

  10. Leslie 30/10/2022 / 5:59 pm

    I need to continue the Diviner series! I couldn’t get into Stalking Jack the Ripper and it’s sad bc so many enjoy those books!

    • iloveheartlandx 01/11/2022 / 1:04 pm

      I hope you enjoy the rest of them! Ah that’s a shame, but there’s always plenty of other books to enjoy!

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