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.

Halloween music: Sound Horizon – halloween to yoru no monogatari

Once more the month of Halloween is upon us (hush, for me it is the entire month! I live and breath on my horror!) and this year, I will try to do some more suggestions for books, movies, series and also try to share some music and games! To start it off, an single based around Halloween from my favorite fantasy group, Sound Horizon!

I think the right translation of the album would be: The story about Halloween and the night.

The album has three different songs, and like most of their singles the songs comes together in one way or another. While the first one is really long, and have so many mood swings you will feel like you are listening to more than 20 songs in one, it has the best start and ending ever. (not the english in the start, that didn’t happen -.-, not the spoken part, but the sing part from Revo… never ever… happened -.-)

Most of the stories are linked together with the history of immigration to America from Ireland during a lot of wars and famines, and we first follow a young man that moved away to be able to make a new life for himself, and in turn his sister and her family still in Ireland. While lots of sadness and tragedy follow him, and he becomes a cripple after a war, he still finds a woman and falls in love, and even get enough money for his sister to be able to follow him to America with her family. The night after getting to know he is becoming a father, and having sent the last of his money to his sister, he is murdered in the street, and as he hears the singing and voices of children, the last he knows, is that he dies at Halloween night.

The second song is about a group of children celebrating Halloween night, and besides seeing the same man that told the first story, it don’t seem to have much to do with the first song. At the end, one of the children collapses.

The third song is where it is all tied together, as we hear the story of the child in the second one, and the story of his parents, that were able to move to America from Ireland by help of her brother, that they never heard from again. Having been born on the trip there, their son is weak, and never really leaves his room, until he gets a friend in the town they live in. They also find out they have the same last name, but never find an explanation of this. In the song, we find out that Lenny’s time is over, and he probably won’t survive long, so his parents lets him go out for his first and last Halloween with his friends. The last part of the song has his mother sorrowfully sing her last good night to her son.

“I believe that my child is still out there somewhere, having a Halloween that

never ends.

If you see a boy with a head like a pumpkin, then maybe that’s Lenny.

This is the end of my story. I don’t care if you think it’s not true.

I just want three seconds of your time, right before you fall asleep.

Just for that moment, would you forget all your worries, your hatred, your

sadness… and say this for me?

“Good night, Lenny.”

If you like sad yet story full music, I think you should check it out, if only to say you have seen lots of men in pumkin hats rage war, or a kid with a pumpkin head for hair. If you want to get the stories better, there are also translations easy to find on the net ^.^ Hope you enjoy! Let us all have a fun Halloween month (month!!! MONTH!!!!)