VEIL by Christopher Golden
The Veil series, by Christopher Golden, is something of a mixed bag. The first two books, The Mythhunters and The Borderkind, are fairly good. I enjoyed the world created in The Mythhunters. The books are a new take on some of our well-known characters from various fairy tales, legends, and pantheons. The legends of The Veil, however, are to children's bedtime story characters what Stephen King's Pennywise is to circus clowns.
The story revolves around Oliver Bascombe and his family who are caught up in a down-the-rabbit-hole-style adventure in a parallel fantasy world, beyond the veil that separates our world from theirs.
There was a gre... Read More
Christopher Golden(1967- )
Christopher Golden is an award-winning and bestselling writer of horror, fantasy, and suspense for adults, teens, and children. He also writes the Body of Evidence thriller series and contributes to Star Trek, Hellboy, X-Men, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Wars, Angel, and Battlestar Galactica. His original novels have been published around the world in more than fourteen languages. He lives in Massachusetts. Learn more at Christopher Golden’s website.
Christopher Golden also writes as Thomas Randall.
Veil — (2006-2008) Publisher: Yielding to his father’s wishes, Oliver Bascombe abandoned his dream of being an actor and joined the family law firm. Now he will marry a lovely young woman bearing the Bascombe stamp of approval. But on the eve of his wedding, a blizzard sweeps in-bringing with it an icy legend who calls into question everything Oliver believes about the world and his place in it…. Pursued by a murderous creature who heeds no boundaries, Jack Frost needs Oliver’s help to save both himself and his world-an alternate reality slowly being displaced by our own. To help him, Oliver Bascombe, attorney-at-law, will have to become Oliver Bascombe, adventurer, hero-and hunted. So begins a magnificent journey where he straddles two realities… and where, even amid danger, Oliver finds freedom for the very first time.
VEIL by Christopher Golden
The Hidden Cities — (2008-2011) Christopher Golden with Tim Lebbon. These are stand-alone novels with a similar theme. Publisher: You never know when you’ll find yourself falling through one of the cracks in the world.… Two of today’s brightest stars of dark fantasy combine their award-winning, critically acclaimed talents in this spellbinding new tale of magic, terror, and adventure that begins when a young woman slips through the space between our everyday world and the one hiding just beneath it. Always assume there’s someone after you. That was the paranoid wisdom her mother had hardwired into Jasmine Towne ever since she was a little girl. Now, suddenly on her own, Jazz is going to need every skill she has ever been taught to survive enemies both seen and unseen. For her mother had given Jazz one last invaluable piece of advice, written in her own blood: Jazz Hide Forever. All her life Jazz has known them only as the “Uncles,” and her mother seemed to fear them as much as depend on them. Now these enigmatic, black-clad strangers are after Jazz for reasons she can’t fathom, and her only escape is to slip into the forgotten tunnels of London’s vast underground. Here she will meet a tribe of survivors calling themselves the United Kingdom and begin an adventure that links her to the ghosts of a city long past, a father she never knew, and a destiny she fears only slightly less than the relentless killers who’d commit any crime under heaven or earth to prevent her from fulfilling it.
Mind the Gap by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon
Even though Mind the Gap is extremely fast-paced, the novel started out really slowly for me and it wasn’t until 160 pages in that I began to get excited about the book. The problem was that for almost the first half it seemed like Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon were just going through the motions, delivering a plot that was one recognizable convention after another:
The protagonist’s mother mysteriously murdered by shadowy people and forced on the run… Raised to trust no one, Jazz constantly lives in a state of paranoia… Discovers a forgotten subterranean Underworld of abandoned bomb shelters and train stations… The whole London backdrop and its ghosts of the past… A group of runaway urchins — and their Fagin-like mentor Mr. F — who survive by stealing from those ‘topside’… Possessing abilities that no... Read More
The Map of Moments by Christopher Golden & Tim Lebbon
Mind the Gap, the first collaboration between award-winning and bestselling authors Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon, was a solid offering, marred by a slow start and conventional plotting, but ended on a very strong note. Their second collaboration follows a somewhat similar path — slow beginning, powerful ending — but with some key differences.
Firstly, the setting for The Map of Moments is much more interesting than it was in Mind the Gap. No offense against the city, but I’ve read so many books set in London that every time I go back there, it’s like déjà vu. On the flipside, I’ve only read one short story set in post-Katrina New Orleans, so reading a novel in that milieu was a fresh experience. Of course, it also helps that the... Read More
The Shadow Men by Christopher Golden & Tim Lebbon
The Shadow Men is the fourth book in Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon’s THE HIDDEN CITIES series. If (like me) you’re not familiar with the previous books, it may be good to know that all four books can be read as standalone novels that share a common premise but (as far as I know) no major characters or plot elements. In the series’ fantasy universe, cities have something like a soul or consciousness, which is incarnated in a human “Oracle” who helps the inhabitants and the city itself. The previous three novels (Mind the Gap, The Map of Moments and The Chamber of Ten) were set in London, New Orleans and Venice respectively, and The Shadow Men takes place in Boston.
When Jim wakes up from... Read More
The Waking (Gaijin Girl) — (2009-2013) Young adult. Publisher: Starting over in a place that’s haunted by death… Kara Foster thinks the hardest thing about moving to Japan will be fitting in as an outsider. But dark secrets are stirring at her new school. When Kara befriends Sakura, a fellow outsider whose rebellious nature sets her apart from the crowd, she learns that Sakura’s sister was the victim of an unsolved murder on school grounds. And before long, terrible things begin to happen.It starts with nightmares — strange, otherworldly dreams that wake Kara in terror every night. Then more students start turning up dead, with strange marks on their bodies. Is Sakura getting revenge on those she suspects are responsible for her sister’s death? Or has her dead sister come back to take revenge for herself? This first book in a frightening new trilogy will have teens glued the page and scared to go to sleep.
The Waking: Dreams of the Dead by Thomas Randall
Considering what an awkward foot Dreams of the Dead by Thomas Randall (Christopher Golden) starts off on, I was pretty surprised when, shortly after beginning, I found myself unable to put it down.
In spite of my overactive imagination, I like something scary once in a while. Poor Thomas Randall was already up against some stiff competition, since only days ago I wheedled my husband into watching Ringu (the Japanese horror film re-made as The Ring) with me. Fortunately, Dreams of the Dead has a lot of its own strengths to carry it.
Kara Harper and her father move to Japan, a sort of long time dream of theirs. There, in her new school, Kara meets fellow outsider (though in a different way) Sakura. Shortly after, she learns that S... Read More
Poison Ink by Christopher Golden
Poison Ink is the first YA novel that I’ve ever read by Christopher Golden, and from start to finish, I couldn’t be more impressed. As usual, the first thing that stands out is the author’s top-notch writing. Which in this case encompasses his ability to convincingly adopt the personality of a sixteen-year-old female high school student; faithfully capture domestic, social and high school life — including different cliques, lunch ladies, texting, flirting, and peer pressure — and a gift for witty banter:
“My Clever plan for world domination failed.”
“So what next, evil overlord? What’s Plan B?"
“No Plan B. I met this girl. Makes me think maybe it’s time to leave world domination schemes to my flunkies, stop and smell the roses, blah blah blah. Want to hang out Saturday night?”
“Well, if it means preventing w... Read More
Father Gaetano’s Puppet Catechism by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden
There is just no way I can resist reading a novella called Father Gaetano’s Puppet Catechism, especially when it’s written by the guy who created Hellboy. As I expected, I was rewarded with just over 4 hours of constant audio entertainment.
The young priest Father Gaetano has just been assigned to a church in Sicily that has taken in children who were orphaned during World War II. The nuns love the children and are doing the best they can, but they are happy to have Father Gaetano’s help with the teaching. In the aftermath of war, most of the children have lost their families and they’re dealing with the most difficult of all theological questions: How can God let bad things happen to good people? Father Gaetano admires the children for not being willing to settle for such platitudes as “God still loves you” or... Read More
The New Dead: A Zombie Anthology by Christopher Golden (ed.)
FORMAT/INFO: The New Dead is 400 pages long divided over nineteen short stories. Also includes a Foreword by the editor Christopher Golden, and biographies on all of the anthology’s contributors. February 16, 2010 marks the North American Trade Paperback publication of The New Dead via St. Martin’s Griffin. Cover art provided by Per Haagensen. The UK version will be published on February 18, 2010 via Piatkus Books under the altered title: Zombie: An Anthology of the Undead. Subterranean Press is also producing a limited signed edition of The ... Read More
Death’s Excellent Vacation by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner (eds)
Even paranormal creatures need to get away from it all sometimes. In Death’s Excellent Vacation, editors Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner present a collection of thirteen stories tied together by the theme of “vacation.”
The “headliners,” as evidenced by whose names are in big type above the title, are Harris, Katie MacAlister, and Jeaniene Frost. Each of these three authors contributes a vignette from one of her popular series: Sookie Stackhouse, Aisling Grey: Guardian, and Night Huntress respectively. These stories will be enjoyable to readers who have been following t... Read More
The Monster's Corner: Stories Through Inhuman Eyes edited by Christopher Golden
FORMAT/INFO: The Monster’s Corner is 400 pages long and consists of 19 short stories. Also included is an Introduction by the editor Christopher Golden, and biographies of all of the anthology’s contributors. September 27, 2011 marks the North American Trade Paperback publication of The Monster’s Corner via St. Martin’s Griffin. The UK version will be published on the same day via Piatkus Books.
ANALYSIS: The New Dead was one of my favorite books of 2010, so when it was announced that Christopher Golden was putting together another horror-themed anthology, I couldn’t wait. Like The New Dead, The Monster’s Corn... Read More
Ghosts of Albion — (2004-2006) Amber Benson and Christopher Golden. Publisher: Even death could not stop Britain’s greatest defenders. In 1838, William and Tamara Swift inherit a startling legacy from their dying grandfather, transforming them into the Protectors of Albion, mystical defenders of the soul of England. But the shocked, neophyte sorcerers also inherit unique allies in their battle against the dark forces. Fighting alongside them are the famous — even infamous — Ghosts of Albion: Lord Byron, Queen Bodicea, and Lord Admiral Nelson. When strange and hideous creatures appear in the slums of London, an unholy plague threatens to launch an epic battle that may rage all the way to Buckingham Palace… and beyond. Time is running out as William and Tamara must learn whether their friends will stand beside them, or seduce and betray them.
The Seven Whistlers — (2007) Publisher: Legends say that on stormy nights, or on sunsets, there sometimes comes a strange whistling noise in the sky, followed by sightings of enormous black dogs. But these are no ordinary dogs. They are demonic things, hounds loose from the Wild Hunt, and they are searching for lost souls. Ill fortune will befall any who encounter them, one by one. They are rarely sighted more than one at a time, and if all seven should come together, it will mean the end of the world. In the picturesque New England town of Kingsbury, Vermont, a young woman named Rose Kerrigan mourns the death of her grandfather, the sweet but strange old man who raised her. She’s never been able to get along with her cold, distant grandmother. In the wake of Walter Kerrigan’s death, the town is beset with strange occurrences, stormy weather, and eerie whistling in the night skies. Sightings of a huge, black hound are reported, followed by incidents of terribly bad luck, accidents, and unpleasant coincidences. Perhaps this is why Rose’s grandmother has been acting so strange — in addition to her grief, she’s deeply unsettled by the goings-on in Kingsbury. At least, this is what Rose and her tight-knit group of friends believe, when they discuss such things at the coffee house where they hang out together. Some of these friends — people Rose has known her whole life — have experienced some of the unpleasant, and yet also wonderfully strange, events happening in town. Weird, magical stuff. Soon, Rose will learn the legend of the Seven Whistlers. They’ve come to Kingsbury, Vermont, in search of a soul that has been hidden from them, and they will not leave without it. First there was one, then two…but now, as Rose becomes more and more anxious, people see three of them together, and then four. If they don’t find what they’re looking for soon, perhaps all seven will gather in Kingsbury. A 40,000-word novella from the authors of GHOSTS OF ALBION.
The Shadow Saga (Peter Octavian) — (1994-2013) Publisher: When a mysterious and ancient book, called the Gospel of Shadows, is stolen from a secret sect dedicated to the destruction of vampires, private detective Peter Octavian — a vampire himself — is drawn into a desperate search for the missing book.
Prowlers — (2001-2002) Publisher: An ancient race of sentient predators lives amongst us. Their numbers are few and they hide themselves well — like all predators, they are expert at the art of concealing themselves from their prey. They can pass as human, and blend seamlessly in to human society, whether it be in the guise of cunning corporate lawyers like Eric Carver, or gangland psychopaths like alpha male Owen Tanzer. They are not werewolves — but they are the reality that lies behind the legend of werewolves. When bar-owner Jack Dwyer’s best friend Artie is brutally murdered, his restless spirit leads Jack to uncover the truth. Jack burns to avenge Artie’s death — but who will believe his story of who or what the murderers really are? Jack is on his own — except for his girlfriend Molly, his sister Courtney and their head barman, Bill, who hides a potentially shocking secret under the skin. The four of them must destroy the pack that threatens to take over Boston, before they themselves are hunted down as prey.
The Hollow — (2005-2006) Young adult. With Ford Lytle Gilmore. Publisher: New to Sleepy Hollow, teens Aimee and Shane Lancaster find that upon their arrival an ancient curse has been unleashed upon the town, tracing back to the town’s famous legend, which just might be more truth than myth. Now an array of evil demons is after them, with the infamous Headless Horseman leading the pack.
Selected stand-alone novels:
Strangewood — (1999) Publisher: Strangewood is the story of Thomas Randall, creator of Adventures in Strangewood, the most popular series of children’s books in the world. Thomas is recently divorced, and dealing with the repercussions of that trauma, as well as the damage it has done to his five year old son, Nathan. But there is other damage being done as well. Due to his recent life changes, Thomas has begun to neglect the world and characters of Strangewood. The creatures who live there are not at all happy. Strangewood must be saved, but to do so, they are willing to risk anything, even the life of a little boy.
Soulless — (2008) Publisher: Times Square, New York City. Three mediums have gathered for a live broadcast on network television. They believe they can jointly create a massive communication network, thinning the barrier between this world and the next, and every spirit within a 300 mile radius will be able to cross over, briefly, to speak to grieving loved ones. What sounds like a miracle quickly becomes a nightmare — for 300 miles around fragments of corpses dig themselves out of the ground and seek out those they left behind with sinister intentions.
When Rose Wakes — (2010) Publisher: Her terrifying dreams are nothing compared to the all-too-real nightmare that awaits… Ever since sixteen-year-old Rose DuBois woke up from months in a coma with absolutely no memories, she’s had to start from scratch. She knows she loves her two aunts who take care of her, and that they all used to live in France, but everything else from her life before is a blank.Rose tries to push through the memory gaps and start her new life, attending high school and living in Boston with her aunts, who have seriously old world ideas. Especially when it comes to boys. But despite their seemingly irrational fears and odd superstitions, they insist Rose not worry about the eerie dreams she’s having, vivid nightmares that she comes to realize are strangely like the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty. The evil witch, the friendly fairies, a curse that puts an entire town to sleep — Rose relives the frightening story every night. And when a mysterious raven-haired woman starts following her, Rose begins to wonder if she is the dormant princess. And now that she’s awake, she’s in terrible, terrible danger…
The Secret Backs of Things — (2010) Publisher: From the author of Wildwood Road, and The Ferryman, comes Christopher Golden’s first-ever collection of short stories. The Secret Backs of Things takes the readers into a realm rich with legends, folklore and myths, while still finding a place for some modern horror. Illustrated by Glenn Chadbourne, The Secret Backs of Things is Christopher Golden at his best. Chilling, harrowing and, at times, more than slightly unsettling, this collection is sure to excite and entertain longtime Golden fans and new readers alike.
Menagerie — (2004-2007) Christopher Golden with Thomas E Sniegoski. Publisher: They are beings of myth and legend. They possess powers beyond imagining. They are our only hope… The Menagerie. Behind the facade of a stately Boston brownstone, humanity’s last defenses are being marshaled. Called to action by the enigmatic, brilliant man known only as Mr. Doyle, they hail from all planes of existence and are born from an array of supernatural and otherworldly backgrounds and bloodlines. But as the group struggles to come to terms with their shadowy pasts, personal demons, and conflicting loyalties, their greatest challenge awaits them. Together, they will confront the minions of utter darkness, who have already begun their quest to resurrect the most malevolent of the fallen angels — whose wrath against mankind knows no bounds.
Outcast — (2004-2005) Ages 9-12. Christopher Golden with Thomas E Sniegoski. Publisher: Timothy is a freak, a weakling, an impossibility. He’s the only person in existence without magical powers and has spent his entire life hidden on a remote island. When Timothy is finally taken back to the city of his birth, he is fascinated by the current of magic that fuels the world, and mesmerized by the buildings and orbs that hang weightlessly in the sky. But he is also marked for death. Assassins are watching his every move, and the government wants him destroyed. Timothy can’t imagine what threat he could possibly pose; after all, he wields no power in this world. Or does he?
Magic Zero — (2013- ) Christopher Golden with Thomas E Sniegoski. Ages 9-12. Publisher: Timothy has great potential for power— no magic necessary — in this start to an action-packed fantasy series from two New York Times bestselling authors. In Timothy’s world, everyone has magical powers. Except him. He has spent his entire life as an outcast hidden on a remote island. When he is finally taken back to the city of his birth, Timothy is fascinated by the current of magic that fuels the world and mesmerized by the buildings and orbs that hang weightlessly in the sky. But he is also marked for death. Assassins are watching his every move, and some very powerful people want him destroyed. Timothy can’t imagine what threat he could possibly pose; after all, he wields no power in this world. Or does he? This first book in the Magic Zero quartet, originally known as the Outcast series, features a refreshed cover and an unforgettable adventure.
The Secret Journeys of Jack London — (2011-2012) Christopher Golden with Tim Lebbon. Ages 9-12. Publisher: The world knows Jack London as a writer who lived his own thrilling, real-life adventures. But there are parts of his life that have remained hidden for many years, things even he couldn’t set down in writing. Terrifying, mysterious, bizarre, and magical — these are the Secret Journeys of Jack London. We meet Jack at age seventeen, following thousands of men and women into the Yukon Territory in search of gold. For Jack, the journey holds the promise of another kind of fortune: challenge and adventure. But what he finds in the wild north is something far more sinister than he could have ever imagined: kidnapping and slavery, the murderous nature of desperate men, and, amidst it all, supernatural beasts of the wilderness that prey upon the weakness in men’s hearts. Jack’s survival will depend on his ability to quell the demons within himself as much as those without. Acclaimed authors Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon, along with illustrator Greg Ruth, have crafted a masterful tale both classic and contemporary, a gripping original story of the paranormal in the tradition of the great Jack London.
Joe Golem — (2012) In 1925, earthquakes and a rising sea level left Lower Manhattan submerged under more than thirty feet of water, so that its residents began to call it the Drowning City. In Joe Golem and the Copper Girl, hard-nosed private detective Joe Golem and his employer are faced with one of their strangest cases yet. When a young mother named Rachael Blum arrives on their doorstep, frantic about the bizarre changes in her daughter’s appearance and the terrible dreams plaguing the girl, it’s up to Joe to separate nightmare from reality. But Joe Golem knows better than anyone that sometimes, the two are one and the same.
The Cemetery Girl — (2014- ) Publisher: Charlaine Harris, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels and the Harper Connelly Mysteries, and New York Times bestselling author Christopher Golden present an original graphic novel illustrated by acclaimed comic book artist Don Kramer — first in a brand-new trilogy. She calls herself Calexa Rose Dunhill — names taken from the grim surroundings where she awoke, bruised and bloody, with no memory of who she is, how she got there, or who left her for dead. She has made the cemetery her home, living in a crypt and avoiding human contact. But Calexa can’t hide from the dead — and because she can see spirits, they can’t hide from her. Then one night, Calexa spies a group of teenagers vandalizing a grave — and watches in horror as they commit murder. As the victim’s spirit rises from her body, it flows into Calexa, overwhelming her mind with visions and memories not her own. Now Calexa must make a decision: continue to hide to protect herself — or come forward to bring justice to the sad spirit who has reached out to her for help…