• Ryanne Harper

Ryanne's Recommendation: Something Wicked

In honor of my favorite holiday, I'll be featuring spooky reads all month. Fair warning, I'm scared of almost everything so these books may not be that scary, but they all kept me up at night.

So, let's kick off the month with a traveling circus that survives off the life force of the people it imprisons, shall we? Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, who I've been feeling lately, is terrifying. To me, anyway. I find carnivals, fairs, anything like that, inherently creepy. This one in particular, Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show, features a Mirror Maze and a carousel that, when Mr. Cooger rides it backward, transforms him into a twelve-year-old boy is extra creepy.

Despite the warnings of Will's father, best friends William Halloway and Jim Nightshade cannot wait to get to the carnival. And also grow up to be vampire detectives. With names like Halloway & Nightshade, they could definitely open a supernatural detective agency.

William Halloway and Jim Nightshade, rad names, by the way, see a flier for Cooger and Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show and, for some reason, still want to go. The boys, super excited, ignore the warnings of William's father and go on opening day. There, they run into one of their teachers who has a minor freak out in the Mirror Maze. Basically, this carnival is up to no good and William and Jim need to get out of there. But, of course, they keep going back. Not only do they have a Mirror Maze to contend with, but there's a dust witch, Mr. Dark and Mr. Cooger, and a carousel that moves backward. Not only does it move backward, but it reverse ages Mr. Dark. He's now twelve-years-old. This carousel is bonkers.

Something Wicked This Way Comes has all the creepy elements I love in a Halloween story. Rides, creepy adults, children who are overly curious, and, of course, awesome names. Nightshade and Halloway, and we can't forget the lightning rod salesman, Tom Fury.

I'd recommend this book if, like me, you maybe like the idea of being scared a little more than actually being scared. I also have a fondness for coming of age stories; Something Wicked This Way Comes is a little bit of both.


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