Horror book review: I remember you by Yrsa Sigurdardottir

The crunching noise had resumed, now accompanied by a disgusting, indefinable smell. It could best be described as a blend of kelp and rotten meat. The voice spoke again, now slightly louder and clearer:
Don’t go. Don’t go yet. I’m not finished.

In an isolated village in the Icelandic Westfjords, three friends set to work renovating a derelict house. But soon they realise they are not alone there – something wants them to leave, and it’s making its presence felt.

Meanwhile, in a town across the fjord, a young doctor investigating the suicide of an elderly woman discovers that she was obsessed with his vanished son.

When the two stories collide the terrifying truth is uncovered . . .

Taken From Amazon

This book is a really good read, and should be enjoyed now that the nights are getting darker and it is becoming colder outside. If you have read any of Yrsa’s crime novels before, you know that you are in for a treat. Like most of her Thora books, here you also get to follow different stories that in the end come together and tell you just what has been going on.

If you haven’t read any of her other books, and decide to start with this, you should pick up her crime books as well, as all of them have some sort of ghost story element. Even as the ghosts are not a big part of the story, and always lurks on the outside, only felt and never seen, we the readers get to experience them, and the stories never disappoint.

I read her book, ‘Silence of the sea’ first, when I were confied to the hospital and had to stay there for a little while. I read it in two days, and I would have read it all in the first read if I didn’t have to sleep. The mood was perfect, and when the lights in the hospital went out for the night, and I went deeper and deeper into the mystery of the abandoned boat, I knew that I needed to read everything from this author.

Shortly after I got all the books rented from the library, all while trying to buy them when I could. I now have all the books that had come out in either norwegian or english, and have read them all but the newest one. I have also met the author herself and gotten two of my books signed, and from what I saw when I met her, she seems to be a really nice person as well.

So, if you like a good mix of humor, crime and a chilling element of darkness and ghosts, pick up her books. You won’t regret it as long as you can accept some bittersweet endings.

Horror manga review: xxxHolic

Made by the mangaka circle of fangirl pain, Clamp, xxxHolic is a series that is built around the idea of people’s wishes and what wishes can do for a person. Not entierly a horror series, but there is a lot of really nice horror moments in both the manga and the anime.

We follow the story of Watanuki Kimihiro (written as 1st of april), a youth that has lost all of his family, and have to deal with being able to seeing spirits, with also having habit of attracting them. One day he comes across a shop that grants wishes, and the owner, Yuko, promises to give him his wish to not be bothered by ghosts anymore, as long as he works it off as her part time worker.

Together they experience many adventures, as we get to see anything from japanese yokai, to normal ghosts and peoples bad habits manifesting into deadly curses. With the help of Yuko he gains many friends, and creates never ending bonds, all the while she leads him down to his destiny, as there is a mystery in his past that only she, and someone that is closest to him in all worlds knows.

While this series works mostly fine on its own, it is also a crossover with Clamp’s manga Tsubasa RESERVoir Chronicle, that is linked to the start of xxxholic, and also the end. There are lots of small crossovers with other clamp series as well, but can well be enjoyed on its own.

So if you want a fun, scary and heartbreaking read for halloween, xxxHolic is a nice place to start for those that can’t take too scary stories. But still, you will be getting stuff like this:

or fun nods to japanese folklore like this:

All in all, if you check out the anime, or the manga, you will have a lot of fun ^-^

Horror Game Review: 零 (Zero)

The story of this game, that had its release in 2001, Zero (or Fatal Frame in America, and then Project Zero in EU) lets you follow Miku, a young girl, who armed with only a camera, has to save her brother that disappeared when looking for his friend. The search brings her to an old mansion in the mountain side by a small fishing village, and according to legends, only misfortune has plagued the mountains since the ritual of the rope maiden went horribly wrong.

This game sends you as the player alone into the darkest and moodiest old japanese mansion you can ever imagine, and your only weapon to protect yourself, is an old Camera with the ability to capture ghosts. As you move through the story, you find out more and more of what has happened, and you can even find out small stories about each ghost, as all the enemies has some sort of horrible back story. With lots of well written and paced scraps and notebooks, you find out about the rituals and the stories of the people that have lived there through the years, and with variously well made sound recordings, the mood is set for a night of horror.

With small scares well paced, and a story that still to this day is horrifying and makes you sit through it to the very end, this game is still a gem to play today. The quality of the game is also still really good, and thanks to the dark setting, you won’t care if some renders might not have lived well through the years since this game came out. Down to the smallest sound cue, this is a gem, and even if the american voice acting is far from the best, it still works. (the voice acting in the 3rd game is a lot better, and gives the last boss battle some real chills!)

While the 2nd and 3rd game has unforgettable music from the singer Tsukiko Amano, this one still has awesome music that sets the mood, and with two possible endings, you are sure to want to do all you can for the happiest possible ending.

Of course, not everyone has a ps2 or xbox, so if you don’t mind watching others play it, there is an amazing lets play by Lotus Prince, that has done four of the games, and he does his best to get everything of the story!

Also, if you want it in the original japanese, GirlGamerGab has done 1-2 and 4-5, with her own translations of the game.

So, no matter how you decide to enjoy these gems, turn off the lights, get something to munch on for the night, and lean back with what I without a doubt feel is the best, and scariest, horror games that has ever been created. And, if you happen to hear a slight ring of a bell, or have the feeling that someone is standing behind you… run.