Fantasy, horror or thriller, adult and children’s literature does not lack imagination to make us shiver as Halloween approaches.
Get out your cauldrons and spell books, Halloween is almost here. Like every year, fantasy lovers cherish this moment when they can give free rein to their macabre and strange desires. If some have already started their cinematic marathons, for others it is above all an opportunity to escape with seasonal novels. If you don’t know which novels to turn to, here is our selection for adults looking for the big thrill and teenagers who want to immerse themselves in stories tinged with mystery and magic.
The Strange Crossing of the Saardam – Stuart Turton
Published in March 2022 by Sonatine Editions (576 pages) – 23 euros
What is more mysterious than behind closed doors? We start this selection with a book that would be hard to put in a box as it is infused with diametrically opposed genres.
In 1964, the Saardam left the East Indies for Amsterdam. The governor of the island of Batavia, his wife and his daughter are on board as well as a prisoner: the famous detective Samuel Pipps. As the crossing proves difficult and perilous, the travelers are confronted with strange occurrences. A symbol appears on the veils, a terrifying voice is heard and no rational explanation emerges.
After the great The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, Stuart Turton returns with a new book which this time takes us aboard a mysterious ship. Filled with colorful characters, The Strange Saardam Crossing is inhabited by a latent mystery and flourishes thanks to the rich writing of the novelist. Teeming with details, the novel is devoured in a few days, despite its thickness. We gladly drown in this fantastic and confusing plot, and the season lends itself really well! Perfect for keeping busy during the holidays and as Halloween approaches.
Buy The Strange Crossing of the Saardam
Bayuk – Justine Niogret
Published in May 2022 by 404 Editions (298 pages) – 16 euros
Teenagers are also entitled to their little seasonal thrills. bayuk intends to offer them through an adventure in the heart of the Bayou. Inspired by New Orleans folklore, Justine Niogret’s work is a subtle mix of genres that is as disconcerting as it is refreshing.
It is said that it happened on a moonless evening, in the village of Coq-Fondu, in the most remote place of the bayou. A daughter has been cursed for the crimes of her mother, the most feared pirate of the seas she has ever known. To break this curse, Toma will have to go in search of the wreckage of the Mermaid’s Plague.
Justine Niogret signs here a new rather intriguing youth novel. Building on a gallery of endearing characters, the adventure is conducted at full speed for just under 300 pages. A literature accessible from 11 years old, to occupy our dear little darlings during the All Saints holidays or to please lovers of children’s literature. If you like the folklore of The princess and the Frog from Disney, and you’re not afraid of ghosts, go for it. With its rather unique decor, bayuk stands out from the rest of the works of the fantasy genre.
Down to Earth – Sue Rainsford
Published in August 2022 by Aux Forges de Vulcain (211 pages) – 20 euros
Recounting the transition to puberty through a fantastic thriller is Sue Rainsford’s bet. The Irish author places femininity at the heart of a story that is as fascinating as it is disconcerting with Down to the Earth.
Ada and her father live in a clearing on the edge of a forest, not far from the city. They spend their time treating the inhabitants of a small town with unorthodox methods. When Ada falls in love with Samson, this passion quickly arouses the anger of her father and the young man’s sister. Torn between her heart and her reason, she will discover a terrible secret.
With an almost anatomical approach to the mystery, Rainsford embarks on an autopsy of carnal desire and puberty. This story takes us into the strangeness of its universe, in the heart of a sticky and anachronistic campaign. Under a blazing sun, the narration brilliantly led by the novelist weaves the webs of a mystery that will occupy us for a little over 200 pages. Quickly, Ada’s adventures take root in our hearts as fans of the fantastic and the strange, to the point of becoming an obsession. Fortunately, a few hours will suffice to complete the work, perfect for rainy October afternoons.
Down to the Earth
Parasites – Ben Winters
Published in June 2021 by Sonatine Éditions – 20 euros
And if we took a turn on the side of horror, the one that provokes epidermal reactions with Parasites by Ben Winters. The prize winner Edgar-Allan-Poe traumatizes us with the story of an invasion of small critters.
In Brooklyn HeightsSusan and Alex have finally found the apartment of their dreams. In a spacious and relatively inexpensive duplex, he prepares to live a sweet and peaceful life with their daughter. Except that the picture will be blackened when a formidable scourge interferes in their daily lives: bed bugs. Invisible and bloodthirsty, they will gradually cause a feeling of paranoia in Susan. Are they real? Susan hashas she lost her mind?
With this thriller, Ben Winters tackles a phobia for many readers. The author also plays on this fear of the little beast to bring his story to life. The reaction in the reader is immediate, we scratch, we shiver. Disgust is at the heart of the process and mystery is latent. If the author does not reinvent the wheel, he seizes the mechanics of the genre with great ease and manages to give birth to a convincing and gripping story.
Zora’s Spells: A Witch in Middle School – Eva Grynszpan
Published in September 2022 by Rageot –
Our dear little darlings are also entitled to a little magic as Halloween approaches. Zora’s Spells is the perfect holiday read for ages 9 and up. In its illustrated novel version, the story of Eva Grynszpan stands out as an excellent introduction to fantasy.
Driven out of their village, Zora and her grandmother Babouchka took refuge in Paris. They live hidden on the roof of a building, in the middle of a magical garden. If Babouchka dreams of seeing her granddaughter integrate among non-witches, Zora does not hear it that way. No question of giving up magic!
This mischievous tale, halfway between Harry Potter and Kiki: the little witch, is accessible for very young readers. Whether your child is a novice or more experienced, he will undoubtedly fall in love with young Zora and all her smala. Punctuated with illustrations, the little book shouldn’t give fans of the genre too much trouble.
Buy Zora Spells
Alien 3, the screenplay by William Gibson – Pat Cadigan
Published in October 2022 by Bragelonne (384 pages) – 19.95 euros
We will not introduce you to the saga Alien. A true monument of horror-fantasy cinema, the license now has five films, as well as a more or less successful crossover with predator. However, a third alternative film exists: before the 1992 film, the science fiction author and initiator of the cyberpunk movement, William Gibson had written the script for a sequel to Aliens, the return. Never adapted to the cinema, the project is now being adapted into a novel by Pat Cadigan.
Buy Alien 3
Son of a Witch – Gregory Maguire
Published in October 2022 by Bragelonne (416 pages) – 22 euros
In the land of Oz, young Liir was last seen the day Dorothy eliminated the Witch. A few years later, bruised and plunged into a coma, he was treated at the Cloister of Sainte-Glinda. At his side, Candèle tries by all means to understand how the young boy fell into a coma. Is he really Elphaba’s son? And above all, did he really inherit his mother’s powers? Between Alice in Wonderland and the Hobbit, Son of a Witch once again questions the myth of Oz, in a modern reinterpretation that perfectly combines drama and humor.
Buy Son of a Witch