Scary Monsters

PARANORMAL NOVELS BUILT ON PROVEN FORMULAS

The stories we read to frighten ourselves say a lot about what we want and what we fear. What the big horror books of the moment imply is that we hope for long relationships with fictional characters, especially if they're teenage girls; we prefer evil to be uncomplicated and unspeakably awful in familiar ways; and above all, we long to go to the movies.

Two of this season's paranormal novels--Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys (the first of a four-volume series of young-adult books) and Justin Cronin's The Twelve (the second volume of a trilogy, following 2010's The Passage) are built on...

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