Books that involve a visit to (or from) a different dimension, the after-life, or an alternate reality add a whole other level of complexity to a story. When done well, they are completely wild and amazing! Here are a few of our recent favorite reads that involve another plane of existence…
The Book of Accidents, Chuck Wendig
I can’t even tell you how much this book blew me away. Wendig manages to marry horror with magical realism in such a way that the story is both terrifying and beautiful. Loved this one so much!
Long ago, Nathan lived in a house in the country with his abusive father—and has never told his family what happened there. Now Nate and Maddie Graves are married, and they have moved back to their hometown with their son, Oliver. What happened long ago is happening again . . . and it is happening to Oliver. He meets a strange boy who becomes his best friend, a boy with secrets of his own and a taste for dark magic. This dark magic puts them at the heart of a battle of good versus evil and a fight for the soul of the family.
The Hollow Places, T. Kingfisher
I read my first book by Kingfisher this year and now I can’t get enough. T. Kingfisher is one of Ursula Vernon’s pen names. She’s won several awards and it’s not hard to see why. Her storytelling is so unique and creative. The Hollow Places was so haunting and a bit disturbing too.
Kara finds these words in the mysterious bunker that she’s discovered behind a hole in the wall of her uncle’s house. Freshly divorced and living back at home, Kara now becomes obsessed with these cryptic words and starts exploring the peculiar bunker—only to discover that it holds portals to countless alternate realities. But these places are haunted by creatures that seem to hear thoughts…and the more you fear them, the stronger they become.
The Kaiju Preservation Society, John Scalzi
If anyone can write an alternate reality like a pro, it’s Scalzi. The world’s he builds are fantastically weird and fun and the one in Kaiju is no different. This short book is quite the ride!
When Covid-19 sweeps through NYC, Jamie Gray finds himself unemployed and accepting a job working as an “animal rights activist”. What he soon finds out is that the animals he’s working to preserver are massive dinosaur-like creatures named Kaiju that have come to earth from another dimension. It’s not just the Kaiju Preservation Society that’s found its way to the alternate world. Others have, too–and their carelessness could cause millions back on our Earth to die.
House of Hollow, Krystal Sutherland
This is a YA that bounces between present day reality and a dream-like, horror filled alternate reality. You won’t know who to trust and trust me, you won’t see that twist coming.
Seventeen-year-old Iris Hollow has always been strange. Something happened to her and her two older sisters when they were children, something they can’t quite remember but that left each of them with an identical half-moon scar at the base of their throats. When her eldest sister, Grey, goes missing under suspicious circumstances, Iris learns just how weird her life can get: horned men start shadowing her, a corpse falls out of her sister’s ceiling, and ugly, impossible memories start to twist their way to the forefront of her mind.
The Library of the Dead, T.L. Huchu
How about the ability to drop in on the World where the dead exist and rule … and if they smell the “living” on you, they’ll just eat you up! That’s the ability that Ropa has in The Library of the Dead … among other things.
Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghostalker. Now she speaks to Edinburgh’s dead, carrying messages to the living. A girl’s gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone’s bewitching children–leaving them husks, empty of joy and life. It’s on Ropa’s patch, so she feels honor-bound to investigate. But what she learns will change her world.
Do you like alternate reality books?