Read The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray by Chris Wooding Online

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The Alienist meets Dracula in this gripping, gothic-horror thriller from young UK phenom Chris Wooding.Thaniel, just seventeen, is a wych-hunter. Together, he and Cathaline--his friend and mentor--track down the fearful creatures that lurk in the Old Quarter of London. It is on one of these hunts that he first encounters Alaizabel Cray. Alaizabel is half-crazed, lovely, anThe Alienist meets Dracula in this gripping, gothic-horror thriller from young UK phenom Chris Wooding.Thaniel, just seventeen, is a wych-hunter. Together, he and Cathaline--his friend and mentor--track down the fearful creatures that lurk in the Old Quarter of London. It is on one of these hunts that he first encounters Alaizabel Cray. Alaizabel is half-crazed, lovely, and possessed.Whatever dreadful entity has entered her soul has turned her into a strange and unearthly magnet--attracting evil and drawing horrors from every dark corner. Cathaline and Thaniel must discover its cause--and defend humanity at all costs....

Title : The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780439598514
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 292 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray Reviews

  • Maria_Love_For_Books
    2019-03-12 11:51

    I couldn't connect with the story...Maybe I'll read it again in the future and find it better....

  • Andrew
    2019-03-20 08:06

    my review can be found here

  • Becky
    2019-02-20 09:47

    I was browsing the YA section of my local library and I stumbled across this book. Or maybe I should say that it called out to me. The blurry cathedral on the cover just promised to be dark and mysterious. I'm a sucker for dark, broody, creepy, gothic (etc) type stories, and this delivered just that. I haven't read anything by Chris Wooding before, in fact, I'd never even heard of him until I picked up this book. As soon as I'm done writing this review, I'm going to be adding his other books to my TBR. I only hope that they live up to the expectations I have from this book. The story takes place in an alternate version of Victorian London, a bleak and foreboding place where night is treacherous and unpredictable, wych-kin roam and wreak havoc and serial killers pick their victims off with shocking ease.We first meet Thaniel Fox, son of England's most reknown wych-hunter, on the hunt for a Cradle-Jack which has been plucking babies from their cribs for a tasty little midnight snack. Thaniel is independent, courageous, smart, resourceful and compassionate - all the things that an English gentleman should be. Add to that that he is simply bad-ass, and you have the making of one sexy hero. His fight with Curien Blake was... well, it was exciting to read. I'll just put it that way. There's just something about a man with a big knife that knows how to use it that gets my blood flowing. :)Anyway, so we meet Thaniel, and soon meet with a mysterious girl that is in obvious need of help. He brings her back to the house that he shares with Cathaline Bennett, another wych-hunter and Thaniel's tutor, if you will. The three of them discover that there is an ancient wych possessing Alaizabel, and embark on a journey to find out why, and how to get the wych out of her. From there, everything starts to go downhill, and the shocks just keep coming. I loved all of the characters in the story. They all felt real, and acted according to how real people would act. The romance bits between Thaniel and Alaizabel were a little rushed, but I can overlook that when I consider that he saved her and therefore felt responsible for her, and she was saved and was grateful. Both of those things can easily run a bit deeper, especially among teens who have both been alone for a large amount of their lives. To suddenly meet someone that plays such a role in your life, I would imagine that's a kind of big change. I also really loved the London that Wooding created here, complete with it's own Jack the Ripper-esque killer, Stitch-face. It was dark and creepy and definitely not the place one would want to take a casual midnight stroll. I loved all of the little mini-stories that he incorporated into the bigger London-story. It gave me an idea not only of what the city as a whole was facing, but who the people facing it actually were, and what kind of people a city this dark and menacing breeds. It's unforgiving, and that's represented in the characters depicted. I thought that it was a nice touch to add those little personalizations, even if they were only a page or two long.Wooding's imagination is awesome when it comes to the creatures that he brings to life here. I've read a goodish amount of horror in my life, but there were things in this book that gave me goosebumps, and that's not an exaggeration. The thing on the ceiling of Alaizabel's bedroom is seared into my memory as if I saw it myself, which is pretty commendable, as it was only very roughly described. I think that's a testament to a good author, to be able to subtly show us each what we fear without describing it into the light of perfect knowledge. Once we know what the heck we're dealing with, it's not nearly as scary as when we have no idea what's chasing us. I also loved the blending of mechanical inventions and superstition here. Airships on one hand, and cultish Rites and ceremonies and charms on the other. Wooding perfectly brought these two very disparate things together in this book, and made it believable and plausible. I really loved it, and look forward to more from him. :)

  • Alexis
    2019-03-21 09:57

    I really enjoy reading Chris Wooding's novels. There's always something very dark and weird to the worlds he creates, and it makes the stories edgy and exciting. The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray is no exception. Set in an alternate universe of Victorian London, there are more than just famous serial killers (in this case, it's Stitch-face) to worry about. Ever since the city was bombed, wych-kin have been appearing in the Old Quarter. They kill, possess, steal babies, and just generally do bad stuff. They're the things of nightmares, of fairy tales, the things that go bump in the night. And they just keep coming.I unfortunately took a two month break before finishing the last 30 pages, but here are the basics:There's Thaniel, a teenage wych-hunter by birth, talented and powerful by training. His dad was a really famous wych-hunter, but they had kind of a strained relationship. And after his father died, he was raised by...Cathaline, his father's old friend. She finished his training and brought him up as her ward. She's way progressive. She even wears pants! Together they fight the wych-kin that threaten to overpower London. But one night, while hunting a cradle-jack, Thaniel comes across Alaizabel Cray. She's young and beautiful and totally possessed. He brings her home, and she snaps out of it at some point and is able to tell him her name. She can't remember much other than that, but the glimpses into the real Alaizabel have Thaniel falling for her. He vows to protect her, even though she appears to be a magnet for wych-kin.There's also an Inspector and his partner, who don't always seem to have the same interests, a doctor who runs the local asylum and who seems to know more than he lets on, Stitch-face the serial killer, a beggar king, a devil-boy, and of course, the spirit that is trying to take over Alaizabel's body - if only Alaizabel weren't so stubborn. And there's the Fraternity, but they're just a rumor...right? By finding Alaizabel, Thaniel is suddenly consumed by questions. Who is she? Where did she come from? How did she end up in the old district in the possession of a very powerful spirit? And then there is the nature of the wych-kin themselves - and why they seem to be increasing in strength and numbers. As carefully planned pieces fall into place around them, Thaniel and his friends must answer these questions and fight the coming darkness, which threatens to consume not just Alaizabel, not just London, but the whole world. This is a great creepy read. Chris Wooding's characters and writing style are fun and engaging, but he perfectly sets the sinister atmosphere of London's foggy streets with well-written detail. His stories are original and fresh, and when I'm in the mood to read something different, he's a good choice. If you've read Poison, I'd recommend checking this one out, too. (It's been too long since I read the first of Broken Sky for me to really comment on that.)

  • Kim
    2019-03-21 09:57

    Another unexpected wonder by Chris Wooding. In an alternative Victorian London, young Thaniel Fox hunts wych-kin, the spooky beings who haunt the Old Quarter. While hunting, he encounters the beautiful Alaizabel Cray, who is possessed by a spirit that makes her an attraction to all sorts of wych-kin horrors. In solving Alaizabel's mystery, Thaniel and his mentor Cathaline become discover a secret society that is threatening not only London, but humanity itself. This atmospheric tale is perfect for Halloween, not gory but decidedly creepy. London's fog-enshrined streets always make a perfect setting for tales of horror, and the creatures which haunt them are evocatively named (Cradlejacks, Stitch Face, and the Hallow Ghoul) and wondrously well described: "A dark scrawny shape, a flash of insane amber eyes and short, needle-point teeth. . ." If you liked the subtle creepiness of Neil Gaiman'sCoraline, and are looking for a new spin on the Gothic novel, give this one a try!

  • manda
    2019-03-03 12:06

    15 Jan '12Still shrieking, she saw the thing lurking in the shadows of the corner of the room, visible only in the murk of sleep-fogged eyes. Naked, twisted, an old, old crone with her long straggly hair cloaking her bent body, she crouched on all fours with hooves for feet and a long tail twitching behind her.If you liked the Bartimaeus Trilogy, or if you thought The Mortal Instruments was good - or, in my case, had good ideas but failed to deliver, then go give The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray a try.People! People, people, people!I am so distressed that not enough people are reading Chris Wooding! I really, really am.Or. I guess, maybe this genre isn't as popular?I remember the days The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud came out. I read it and loved it. I loved the humour, I loved the genre, I loved the plot -- the everything; and I thought it got better and better as the series progressed.I also remember bugging ALL my readaholic friends to go out and read it, but maybe two, three of them actually did (view spoiler)[and consequently bought the rest in the trilogy (hide spoiler)].A couple years later, Twilight came out. I tried to read it (view spoiler)[before it was even cool to hate it, yo (hide spoiler)] and I couldn't get past the first chapter. So I chucked it away, and guess what. ALL. MY. FRIENDS. kept talking about the book and urged me to read it. Even my non readaholic buddies.So, you know, maybe I'm just not in with the "cool crowd" when it comes to book genres. So feel free to ignore me, y'all ...... but let me tell you what you'll be missing out on if you brush this book aside without sparing it so much as a glance.(view spoiler)[Taken from DeviantArt (hide spoiler)]Like every other book I've read so far by Chris Wooding, the world-building is fantastic. The Haunting took me right to the heart of Old London, reeking of an ambience you might find in a Tim Burton film.If the mixture of supernatural, alternate-reality, mystery, and horror isn't enough to make it variative enough, The Haunting also contains a hint of steampunk. I am, however, rather apprehensive of actually listing this book as "steampunk", as the elements thereof are really very minimal it might not even be there. There are airships. And that is basically it.So should you decide to read this book, I suggest you not to expect what you would find in traditional steampunk adventure novels, lest ye be disappointed.(view spoiler)[Taken from DeviantArt (hide spoiler)]If you're a fan of Victorian horror then this is the book for you. Just in case the title itself doesn't give it away, The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray is, first and foremost, a horror story. Set in an alternate Victorian England, the narrative sets a mood to satisfy anyone looking to be immersed in a Gothic London.It's been 20 or so years since London was infested with wych-kin. Thaniel, following in the legacy left by his father, is at seventeen perhaps the best wych-hunter around. It is upon one of his stints when he finds the mysterious Alaizabel Cray.She doesn't know where she is, how she got there, or where she came from. All Thaniel can tell is that she attracts the wych-kin like a beacon, and he's making it his business to know why.Thaniel helps Alaizabel rediscover her past along with his mentor, Cathaline. Along the way, deeper, more sinister secrets are uncovered, and they discover it is up to them to prevent a greater calamity from covering London and the rest of the world.(view spoiler)[Taken from DeviantArt (hide spoiler)]I think characterization was one of the weaker points of the book. The cast we meet along the way are ...... diverse, to say the least. Although our protagonists are likeable and competent, unfortunately for me they weren't as deep as I would have liked them to be.Thaniel felt too cold and distant, whereas I never got the feel of Alaizabel's character at all. Or perhaps that was simply the way they were supposed to come across?The relationship between characters never detracted from the overall plot; however I could have done without the budding romance. Although it was never -- not in the slightest -- made into a major point of the novel, the romance between Alaizabel and Thaniel did not seem convincing to me. Perhaps because I never fully connected with the characters themselves to begin with.And finally, the ending.This, I felt, could be a real hit-and-miss for some people. On one hand, the conclusion provided an explanation of sorts; it wrapped things up and yet leaves us with a perfect balance between answers and mysteries left for our imagination.On the other, the answers may seem to be a little too forced; a little too philosophical where it might have been better to leave it open-ended.However, none of these things took away my enjoyment of the novel. It is a great horror read; a great supernatural mystery with characters that don't make me want to throttle them in their sleep. The pacing was perfect -- plenty of action scenes to even out all the detective work, and unlike most books I've read, the characters did not take forever to figure things out, resulting in us coming to our own conclusions at the same time they do, and leaving the story free to progress in a timely manner.10 Jan '12AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH I finally have this! I finally have this! I finally have this!!!!You don't understand. I've been wanting to read this since FOREVER[image error]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Jason
    2019-03-03 09:44

    4 Stars The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray by Chris Wooding is a fun, fast, and action packed gothic horror novel that is done up in a steampunk like London. Wooding has created a cast of likable characters and put them in a really cool urban fantasy setting. Thaniel, our main protagonist is a young man that is a Wych-Hunter by trade. He is the son of England’s most renowned Wych-hunter, and has had to try and live up to his father’s legacy. This novel centers on a mass murder named Stitch Face, a legendary cult that is attempting to resurrect it’s dead god, and a mysterious young lady that is possessed by an old dead wytch named Thatch. Wooding is a gifted writer and I have been a fan of his for quite some time. His style adds to the awesome Gothic setting in this book: “Thaniel was stricken with horror. Alaizabel looked old. No, no, that was not right. Her skin was as smooth as ever, her features as small and childish, her hands pale and slender, but it was the manner of her body that had changed. She hunched forward towards the fire like a bent-backed crone. Her head protruded, tortoise-like, from her shoulders, bobbing on the end of a stiff neck. Her face seemed to have sagged, her features pulled downward in a severe expression, and her hands were bunched into arthritic claws. She was wearing only the soft purple nightgown that Thaniel had provided for her.” This novel unfolds quickly and there are plenty of bumps and booms to keep you at the edge of your seat… “…Still shrieking, she saw the thing lurking in the shadows of the corner of the room, visible only in the murk of sleep-fogged eyes. Naked, twisted, an old, old crone with her long straggly hair cloaking her bent body, she crouched on all fours with hooves for feet and a long tail twitching behind her. Claris’s heart had always been weak; it stopped altogether at the sight of the Night Mare taking her husband, and she sighed and lay back in her bed as if returning to slumber. She did not see her husband continue his smooth rise to the ceiling, dreaming of flying, until he was swallowed by the shadows up there. She was spared the slow, steady droplets of blood that began to spatter the beds,drip, drip, drip, painting the white sheets in shocked flowers of red.” I really had fun reading this book and highly recommend it!!!

  • Michelle
    2019-03-12 08:47

    This one's a keeper. Some books just hit you in the first few pages, and you know deep in your gut that you've stumbled on a true find. Wooding has crafted a gritty, atmospheric fantasy set in the Old Quarter of London. Thaniel is a wych-hunter; he hunts Cradlejacks, monsters who steal babies. He protects Alaizabel who is mysteriously possessed and a magnet for evil creatures. The tools of a wych-hunters trade are well-detailed, and it's a pleasure to read such a well-thought out form of magic. Although it is marketed to the young adult audience, fans of Patricia McKillip and Philip Pullman will be riveted. This is a brilliant creation filled with magic, monsters, and madness.

  • Aly (Fantasy4eva)
    2019-03-13 13:54

    So I'm actually not going to rate this book until I've finished my review. I've had a lot of mixed feelings about this one. Normally I would just decide whether a book is good or not, but for some reason I just couldn't decide this time around. I felt maybe reviewing it would finally bring me to a conclusion. The problem might have been that I actually found the main characters bland. Whilst the ones that stood out were the bad creepy ones, and you know when your preferring the bad guys over the heroes that something is very wrong.Stitch - Face and Jack stood out to me. Their creepiness more like made them stand out. Was it because the other characters were so plain in contrast? It's not one of those that after a few pages you give up on, and trust me I've been doing that a lot lately. Actually far from it, I finished it within the day, so its not that it was boring although it wasn't exciting or anything. It was good enough to keep me reading, this is why I'm confused. I really haven't been in this situation before. I'm normally very final about my overall opinion.The Wych kin were an interesting concept, and something that's kept very much in the dark and mysterious until the very end of the book. The outcome, was I felt also very interesting. The plus point I would have to say would be the ending. I thought it was very cool and left a lot of room for a sequel. Maybe I'm just not getting it, but within characters like Stitch - Face and Jack who normally I would never like or want to relate to, this time I found myself actually having some sort of understanding towards, so if anything this book does leave you a bit more open minded. My problem with Alaizabel was that she seemed pointless. Her whole character seemed pointless, and Thaniel seemed to have no personality at all. If at least one of them stood out then I might have been a bit more forgiving, but for me the main characters making an Impact is essential because for me they make the story. However the story does have its fair share of action and bad ass points not to mention it was a pretty fast read!I'll leave it at that, and let you guys decide for yourself. A fellow blogger and mate adored it and it was under her suggestion I decided to read it. *cough KAY! :D* I don't regret reading it. I just felt maybe a little let down, but I wouldn't say don't pick it up because others have actually enjoyed this book a lot more than I have, so give it a go, and get back to me =)

  • Sesana
    2019-03-06 06:04

    It's kind of strange that I would end up reading this book right after I finished playing Dishonored. Like Alaizabel Cray, Dishonored is set in a vaguely steampunky/Victorianish city, infested with hungry rats and being devastated by a mysterious plague. I couldn't help but picture parts of the Wooding's Old Quarter as looking like the Flooded District of Dishonored. But if the developers of Dishonored took any inspiration from this book, that's where it ended. In Dishonored, magic is very thin on the ground. But here, magic is everywhere. And it's wild, dangerous, and mysterious.It's a fantastic setting, and it's the main strength of the book. And Wooding can certainly set a scene. I don't think his characters are quite as compelling to read, not overall. Luckily, lead characters Thaniel (the wych-hunter) and Alaizabel (who is indeed quite haunted) are the best of the lot. And at least the characters tend to feel like real people, who have real reactions, even if they are shallowly defined. Wooding's prose can be heavy at times. But he keeps himself admirably in check here, providing vivid and often creepy descriptions, without going overboard with purple prose and a plethora of adjectives. I do like that there's a lot left unanswered at the end of the book. Wooding could easily write another in the same setting. But it doesn't feel unfinished or rushed, which is good.This is the second book that I've read by Wooding. The first, Storm Thief, was just barely shy of the mark, in many ways. Alaizabel Cray is a marked improvement, in all departments.

  • Malissa
    2019-02-21 13:06

    I'm maybe a bit below four stars on this one, but I'll round up because my teen book group really seemed to like it, and teen appeal counts for something with YA lit. In general, this book held my interest well. It was pretty original, and the writing is decent. Toward the end, though, it seemed to get a bit heavy handed with the philosophical aspects of the story. I like the idea that the witch-kin (ghoulish beings of all sorts) come from the dark part of human minds, but to say that they come *because* science has taken away all that humanity once believed in seems a bit preachy to me. Or maybe just a bit too simplistic when the idea is crammed into the second to last chapter of the book. It's an idea that would have been better explored in depth than just stated. Which brings me to another thing that I didn't love about the book. It seems often to tell rather than show. I hate, hate, hate when a book (or an author) does that. A good example of this is the romance that eventually (and predictably) develops between Alaizabel and Thaniel. The reader doesn't so much see it happening, but is told that it is. That makes for pretty weak romance as compared to many other YA books out there. Bottom line: a good recommendation for teens who like darker stories that aren't too scary and have a neat, happy ending, but not as much meat as there could be.

  • Felicia
    2019-02-26 05:49

    I enjoyed this book, it was Young Adult in tone but not pandering. I just read two books of very similar tone to this, and I liked both of them. This one has a very Gothic, Faerie Tale bent to it. Definitely felt Young Adult, like Graceling, but I was engrossed and kept with the characters. Interesting environment and world (which I was interested in learning more about, sometimes it felt a bit thinly drawn, but the author succeeded in giving me the total creeps a few times with his monsters, so bravo to that). The characters were quite interesting, albeit some were familiar from this genre (but like I said, I've read several very similar to this book lately). Another review mentioned similarities to Coraline, and I would agree. Definitely felt "Gaiman-ish".I would definitely be interested in other books by this author, especially ones more adult oriented.

  • Djordje
    2019-03-22 12:48

    UKUPNA OCENA (overall rating) - 7/10Radnja (story) - 7/10Likovi (characters) - 7/10Pripovedanje (writing style) - 7/10Okruženje (setting) - 8/10

  • Shaun Chen
    2019-02-20 05:48

    Steampunk meets horror. YA adventure. Monsters, serial killers, elder gods, and dirigibles! This is one of those books where I can just start listing off a bunch of random things that are cool about it. For example, the characters:Alaizabel Cray — she’s cray-cray, but that’s because she’s possessed by the spirit of an ancient wychThaniel Fox — our protagonist, a teen gentleman-badass who hunts monsters… and isn’t snarky?? Perhaps that’s the biggest surprise of the novelCathaline Bennett — 30-something monster-hunter and Thaniel’s mentor — and hey, an adult who isn’t useless in a YA novel, how about thatStitch-face — a Jack the Ripper type of serial killer; he wears a corpse mask and plays an interesting role in the narrativeAnd then there’s the wych-kin, which are basically all of Britain’s fairy tale monsters come to life, and then some. Draugs. Cradle-jacks. Rawhead. The author came up with all sorts of clever and fairly horrific creatures to work with, giving them all specific ways of killing people in mysterious ways, and in turn specific ways of being dealt with. Sometimes bullets or a knife to the face does the trick; sometimes charms, runes, and potions and such are required instead.Also, there’s the Underground with its gangs run by Beggar Lords. One memorable side character is found there by the name of Devil-boy Jack, a mysterious seer with his eyes sewn shut.And then London’s police are on the case, and we get the viewpoint of an inspector for some segments of the book. When a number of murder locations seem to be making the outline of a Cthulhu-expy on the London map, the inspector has to wonder what’s up with that?Indeed, there is also The Secret Organization of the Powerful Elite who Secretly Run the World, and they’re one cool cult — they’re set to summon all the elder gods!This book was enjoyable to read (twice), and I was surprised both times by the reveal regarding the wych-kin near the story’s conclusion. I could tell the author put a lot of thought into the alternate history world of this standalone novel, and managed to get across some interesting concepts regarding the clash between science and faith that occurred in the 19th century, not to mention the ways that large cities began to completely change the way people went about their day-to-day lives.And perhaps this is one of the things I liked best about The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray. It’s not just a story about Thaniel going around beating up a bunch of monsters and solving the mystery behind The Secret Organization. The author uses a third-person omniscient narrative style, jumping from one character’s point of view to the next, giving an overview of how things are going in various communities in general, sharing thoughts of different characters while outside their point of view, and even noting things that are outside the knowledge or awareness of the characters we’re following. This style has its positives and negatives, but Wooding managed to utilize it really well. I especially liked the third-act chapter in which monsters wreak havoc across London, and we more or less get a half-dozen or so short stories about random citizens as the city is under siege. Instead of just describing how a bunch of nobodies get slaughtered, we get to learn the brief back-stories of several specific individuals, and actually feel a bit bad for them as the monsters work their dark magic against them.It’s a solid read, and definitely of the better YA titles I’ve gone through as of late. Feel like I ought to take a look at some of the author’s other releases some time, in fact.

  • Sawler
    2019-03-04 10:56

    I never expected any anticipation of a pleasurable read from this book. I was bored and I was in dire need of buying a book and I came across this book by Chris Wooding and it was on sale at that time. A book below ten bucks is what I consider a sure buy with no regrets, which is why I didn't shed a tear when I bought The Da Vinci Code. So, I bought it and let it collect dust on my bookshelves for a while until the day I was urged to read it. I finished the book in one sitting and at the end of the book I had this overwhelming tendency to slap myself senseless because I had missed out on this book for two whole months! I was instantly pulled in into the world of the old (and very unsanitary) London, and I was introduced to the morbid wych-kins from the Old Quarter (I prefer to call them old-time creatures from the murky sewers). The characters were very likable, and I had this twisted fascination with Stitch-face. Maybe it was because of the fact that he was a territorial killer who targeted only women was what makes me wonder as to the reason for his deeds. But unfortunately, the reason went unknown but that was not the demerit of the story. There were lots of intriguing characters to marvel over, and the plot! Not a single page was dull and boring and it was teeming with the vibrancy of the dark arts. I swear when I read the part where Alaizabel woke up only to hear the eerie sound of wet webbed feet ascending the stairs, as if on cue, that was exactly what I heard. Scared the life out of me. This book is recommended for those who love gothic horror and suspence, AND it even has an appreciable dose of romance to keep your heart tingle with excitement you can't help but smile ( or at least it did for me).

  • Alice (theseoldbooks)
    2019-03-04 11:50

    This book is good. Scary good. I love it. Take this with a pinch of salt though because I first read it when I was quite young, so rereading it meant a whole lot of nostalgia. It’s absolutely amazing because Wooding has managed to stick so much into such a small book, and do it well.To summarise: Thaniel is seventeen (prime YA protagonist age) and an orphaned wych-hunter in a steampunk London which is overrun with ‘wych-kin’, (boogie men, zombie things, ghouls, and monsters that steal babies). He’s orphaned, and lives with his hunting partner/mentor Cathaline, who is a badass. Thaniel is hunting a monster one night, when he is attacked by a beautiful girl so naturally, he takes her home and looks after her. It turns out she is the key to a massive apocalyptic plot masterminded by a shadowy cult-thing called the Fraternity (by the way, I used this name for a shadowy criminal organisation in a fanfic once), and they have to stop the apocalypse. Of course.To see the rest of my review, please visit my wordpress blog, these old books.Thank you!

  • Photina
    2019-03-18 13:07

    Photina HaumschiltGenre: HorrorThanial Fox is a seventeen year-old wych-hunter. London has been plagued with wychs and dark creatures ever since The Vernichtung. While on a hunt for a Cradlejack Thaniel finds what he thinks to be a creature crouched in a corner half-crazed. He soon finds out that the "creature" is really Alaizabel Cray and that she has been possessed by an old wych spirit. With his mentor and friend, Catheline, they all set out to find answers and fight the creatures that keep plaguing the city. What they begin to stumble onto is bigger than any of them ever imagined. The creatures of the night have been given free range on London and it's up to Thanial, Alaizabel, and Catheline to stop them and those who set them loose. You won't want to read this gripping story of possessions, darkness, and murder in the dark. The characters and storyline feel real. You can feel as if you are actually running from the horrors in Wooding's book as you read.

  • colleen the convivial curmudgeon
    2019-03-04 09:04

    3.5The writing in regards to place and the general happenings of the story in this alt-reality Victorian London Lovecraftian type creep-fest is good - it's very atmospheric and there were definitely moments where I found myself reading with wide-eyes and a quickened heartbeat, unconsciously holding my breath. Not much gore, which is good, but definitely some creep factor going on.I didn't feel that the characters were developed quite as well as the world, though, and I was a bit unhappy that Thaniel, the wych-hunter, bloew off questions of where the wych-kin came from and then we get a sort of hamfisted "villain tells all" kind of deal at the end.Actually, the ending, in general, fizzled a bit for more, which is why this is more a 3 1/2 than a full 4... but, despite that, this so-called "post-gothic" tale had most of the elements I was looking for in a good Halloween read.I'll definitely be keeping this one and probably read it again at some point.

  • Sara
    2019-03-16 09:49

    I found this book on a steampunk list, but don't be fooled. It's not steampunk; in fact, it's more Lovecraftian horror, by which I mean lots of creepy creatures and not much soul.Basically, that's the problem with this book. The characters are fairly one-dimensional and you never get close enough to them to really invest in their story. The description and detail in the book is great, but when more time goes into describing the wych-kin than the characters reaction to them, you're in trouble.For me, I never got invested in the characters enough to really care whether they saved the day, and I pretty much skimmed through the last seventy-five pages. Wooding also commits one of my biggest sins: random characters who exist long enough to do something vital for the plot, then vanish, never to be seen or heard of again. That's a plot failing for me right there.This seemed like a good read in the beginning, but it turned out to be a very pretty facade with nothing behind it.

  • Diana
    2019-03-05 12:12

    This came highly recommended from someone at work, but it just couldn't sustain my interest - I was reduced to skimming my way throught the final third to see what happens. The concept of an alternate Victorian reality is definitely an awesome one, but it wasn't always executed well. Its Jack the Ripper figure, for example, ultimately had little to do with the integral narrative, not to mention the fact that I was highly disappointed at not discovering the murderer's identity. Why is it that neo-Victorian narratives rarely live up to expectations?

  • Fiona
    2019-02-20 09:54

    Chris Wooding did here what Cassandra Clare was trying to do with Mortal Instruments: write a story set in a Big City swarming with evil beasties, centred around the heroic actions of the evil-beastie-hunters. Wooding did it much, much better (and with a lot less would-be incest). I really enjoyed the fast-paced, suspense-driven plot while being successfully spine-tingled by the scary bits. The carriage-driving serial killer, Stitch-face, particularly sticks in my mind. I'm almost glad I've left London, or I'm not sure I'd be able to leave the house after dark...

  • Doris
    2019-02-20 08:44

    This book completely redefined my view of fantasy. I love how instead of using Harry Potter style magic, they took the superstitions and ran with them. The creatures that Chris Wooding invented are beyond any stretch of my imagination. I've been to England before, but I have to say that this time I didn't want to come back home.

  • Angela
    2019-03-04 08:11

    Left unfinished. Just couldn't get into it. I was hoping for something creepy, intriguing. It was a bit too predictable and easy.

  • Seizure Romero
    2019-03-04 07:05

    Has a few deus ex machina moments toward the end, but mostly a tale well told.

  • Foggygirl
    2019-03-10 06:51

    An excellent book, creepy and adventerous

  • Bettie☯
    2019-02-23 11:45

    spotted on Alyssa's profile

  • Eva
    2019-03-18 10:48

    A lovecraftian gothic horror Young Adult novel is always a welcoming idea. There's a portion of young adult people who want their book scary but also adventurous with a tinge bit of romance. I was one of them though I am no longer a young adult. Yet, there's a good lovecraftian gothic horror young adult book and there's this book....SIGH....I don't like this book at all. It's not bad. I can't actively say this book sucked ass and bad. Chris Wooding has a talent, I give you that. But dear Lord! This book is incredibly frustating because between the pages, you could feel the potential it failed to reach. And that's the tragedy of it; this novel could be much better in the hand of more sophisticated writer. This one felt like a debut novel. Too many negative things dragging it down.The pacing is uneven; some part is full of tension, some part is borefest. Most part is a mediocre at best. The author also has tendency for dropping exposition bomb in such blatant tasteless manner, it's embarrasing. Everytime the exposition came, the story flow stopped in screeching halt. Why the editor did nothing to fix this? But the weakest part is the characters, they are lackluster. So emotionless and stiff and absolutely lacking in personality. Nobody is interesting, the heroes are flat. Thaniel has a paperthin personality, and others too.The villain is your standard mad scientist. Nothing stood up to hold the story together.And because the character is so goddamn uninteresting, you can't connect with everything. You don't even care. It's like reading bunch of words, you could understand the meaning, but there's no emotions, nothing. Nada. The author however, has a knack for describing the creepy atmospheric tension, and I like the diversity of the wych-kin and how to banish them is individually different. The world building is overall great and very interesting. It's like Supernatural season 1 when the show still has something to offer. The variety of the wych-kin however, reminds me of Inuyasha anime, which is cool. Also, I like the theory of where the wych-kin came from, though it's still unclear if the theory is actually correct or not. It's still a mystery though. Anyway, enough ranting. I will move on to other book and I won't recommend this for anyone. It just not good.

  • Omiai
    2019-03-02 14:01

    What a wonderful book this was! I was hooked from the start, and it just kept getting better and better!The storyline was captivating. Not much information was given at the start about the wych-kin or in fact the characters, but it was such a realistic world that it wasn't needed, everything was clear and brilliant from the start.The characters themselves are wonderful. Even the characters who are in it for less than a page (such as those mentioned in a chapter that is mainly about murders being commited in the city) are vivid, and you truly feel for them, even though they have not been in it long enough to get attached. The main characters, Thaniel, Alaizabel and Cathaline are all excellent. Thaniel especially I had a soft spot for, I just wish there had been more of him. The story is mainly about Alaizabel, but I really felt I wanted to know more and read more about Thaniel. Cathaline was well written too, she was alive and bubbling with personality, without Wooding have to write very much about her, which is a true talent!The writing style is similar to that of Darran Shan (more his Demonata series than his Darran shan vampire books). However the difference here is that the creatures Wooding describes are incredibly believeable. To the point that you could imagine them creeping along dark alleyways, sneaking out on unsuspecting passers by.This is a truly frightening tale. Or perhaps unnerving would be more accurate. Brilliantly written, I was so impressed by this book that I picked up completely by accident.I would recommend this to any fans of horror or fantasy, not just teenagers (to whom this book is aimed). It is a great read and I can't imagine anyone being disappointed by it.

  • Jovvi Rain
    2019-02-28 14:10

    Waaaaah!!!This book was ROLLICKING!! Action! Adventure! Edge of your seat, what WILL happen next-ness!!!!It was creepy, without actually trying to freak you out it does anyway! I sat and read, read, read it so that bed time came and went, while my enthusiasm for it did not."But then", you ask, a tentative hand on my shoulder, "Why did you only give it 4 out of 5 stars?""Ah!" I reply, a grave and sincere look upon my face, "Because..."Because I have to admit, the characters themselves could have just been cleverly disguised lumps of chalk and cheese for all the personality they had. Looks, yes, but soul? Nope, nein, nuh-ah!Thaniel is a broody bloke you keep forgetting exists (Seriously you start to think Devil-boy is the main character and you sort of start wishing he was), Alaizabel gets better, but never truly shines, and all the rest sort of fill the background in an obligatory way, much as tangerines do a Christmas stocking.They had no sizzle.But, see, it's still 4 stars, because the story manages to make up for that, and drag them along regardless, so yes, I totally recommend it if you want something a bit different, a bit spooky, and 100% absorbing!!

  • Denay S.
    2019-03-05 10:13

    The haunting of Alaizabel Gray is a great book when I first heard the title I thought that it was going to be a very scary book but it actually wasn't there were some creepy parts in the book but they mass out the great parts of the story I would recomemd this book to anyone because anyone can read it but I wouldn't suggest it to kids grade pre- 4 because they migh tnot understand the theme and the reason of the book whicih is a very big thing because if you know what that is then you will understand what Chris Wooding is talking about if not you will get confused I had to read it twice to understand what the purpose of the haunting was then after the second time I read I understood. I also believe that if you have an adapted mind that is big enough to remember things that would work because every chapter goes off of the chapter before so you need to really pay attention.