Greetings Fellow Book Dragons!
This is a weekly meme within the book community that was created by Lainey of GingerReadsLainey, but is now hosted by Sam of Thoughts on Tomes. If you’re interested in participating, find out more on the Goodreads group!
This week’s topic is Favorite Spooky Settings! These can be settings that exist in books or ones you’d like to see in books. These don’t necessarily have to be horror or scary settings. You can also use eerie, atmospheric, macabre, or eclectic settings. In no particular order, here are my favorites!
1. Christmasland from NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
Christmasland is a hidden place that is only accessible by the character Charles Manx Talent, an undying man who has a special penchant for understanding children, especially those that find themselves in unfavorable circumstances. The kids are brought to this terrifying playground of amusements, but don’t ever find yourself there if you’re an adult! It’s cold, both literally and figuratively, and quite disturbing.
2. Le Cirque des Reves from The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
This place is just so atmospheric to the point that your senses become magically enchanted by this place! Reading this book is such an experience! It’s like imagining your favorite season and then describing that feeling using your senses. For instance, fall for me is big, orange pumpkins, crunching leaves scattered across the ground, and the smell of cinnamon or coffee lingering in the air. This book brings the circus to life in so many ways beyond the words on the page.
3. Endovier from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
This town houses the Salt Mines, a work camp where enemies of the throne and slaves from captured areas are sent. Conditions are horrible and people don’t usually live long after they arrive. It’s a brutal place where light and hope are very rare occurrences. It’s one of those places that you would either want to burn to the ground and from the ash hopefully something beautiful could be built or leave it to serve as a haunting reminder and memorial to those that perished there.
4. Soldier Island from And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
This is the small, isolated island that all the guests come to under false pretenses. During high tide, the island is cut off from the mainland, essentially leaving them to whims of their mysterious host. What makes this place even more foreboding is that there is nowhere to hide, the killer is one of them, and they all arrived to this place under their own volition!
5. Blackcliff from An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
While there are many supernatural beings that exist within this world, these elements enhance the world-building. What creeps me out about this place is how brutal and nasty it is. Children as young as six are brought here to train until they are 18 to become the militaristic arm of the Empire. Essentially, these kids learn to survive or die trying. But it’s not just the students that have to remain on constant alert. The staff, which largely consists of slaves and Masks (students who have graduated) walk on eggshells around the Commandant, the school’s leader. She is an evil woman, torturing and ruling over the school like a dictatorship as though it’s her own empire within the Empire. You just never know from one minute to the next whether you will face praise or punishment, and this predicament really feeds into the tension of the overall story.
What are your favorite spooky settings? Let me know in the comments!