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Posted on May 6, 2016

S. A. Bodeen’s The Detour—Including Thoughts from the Author

Dawn Keetley

I’ve read a fair amount of young adult fiction of late, most of it with a leaning toward the horror genre (not surprisingly). The Detour by S. A. Bodeen, published in 2015, is one of the few that has really stayed with me.

After thinking about it—on and off—for several days, I realized that part of the reason the novel wasn’t letting go of me was that it featured a distinctly unlikable protagonist. The Detour also raises important questions that (even more importantly) are not resolved and perhaps don’t even have clear answers. The Detour thus stretches what can sometimes be the often rather suffocating confines of YA literature, with its firmly drawn moral boundaries and clear resolutions. Read more

Posted on April 14, 2016

Essential Reading: 6 YA Books for Horror Fans

Elizabeth Erwin

In another life, I used to be a Youth Services librarian which means I have read more than my fair share of books aimed at 12-17 year olds. One of the criticisms against young adult books (YA) is that they are too formulaic to ever have any real stakes. And for horror, those stakes are vital. But a recent groundswell of YA titles exploring generational fears, both real and imagined, highlight the complexity and the subversive value of the genre. From carefully constructed character studies to goretastic forays into dystopian universes, YA books offer cinematic horror fans an opportunity to enjoy the genre in a new way.

Here’s my list for the crème de la crème of YA tackling all things macabre! Read more

Posted on December 11, 2015

Fiction Review: David Moody, HATER (2006)

Dawn Keetley

There’s plenty of post-apocalyptic fiction out there these days—and a lot of it is quite bad. British horror writer David Moody’s novel, Hater, is one of the rare exceptions.

Published in 2006 by Thomas Dunne Books, Hater is the first of a trilogy—and is followed by Dog Blood (2010) and Them or Us (2011). And it seems a film of Hater may be imminent: there’s a producer, a script, and several interested parties.[i] Fingers crossed!

Moody does so many things right in Hater. The narration, for one, is compelling, as we see events unfold through the eyes of a distinctly ordinary character, one who (like most of us) has no ready aptitude for the cataclysm that confronts him. Danny McCoyne is shiftless and  unmotivated, shuffling through his deadening life while expending as little effort as possible. In his late twenties, he has had a series of jobs for the council, being demoted from one to the next, and when the novel opens he “works” (although he tries hard not to) in the Parking Fine Processing office, mostly dealing (ineptly) with irate people who’ve had their cars clamped or been given parking tickets.

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