book: craving

"craving" by david hontiverosthere’s something about putting small children in danger that terrorizes almost everyone. and it is this fear that david hontiveros evokes in CRAVING.

still part of the filipino horror book pile (three more to go–four, if i ever find a copy of NINE SUPERNATURAL STORIES), CRAVING was recommended by blogger will. he said, “Have you read anything by David Hontiveros? Craving was okay.

and i agree with will’s statement; CRAVING is okay.

the novella centers around married couple lester and anne who heeds the suggestion of their ob-gyn, to take an extended vacation in the province. that’s because anne is having trouble with carrying a pregnancy, and a change of pace in life might just be what she needs.

this is not a supernatural worry. this is something that really happens in real life. and this, i think, is the reason why CRAVING is effective in building up the fear ante. because it builds up on something very much taken from real life. and it showcases fear in its most popular guise: “fear of losing a loved one.” albeit, in the novella, the loved one in question is yet to be born. but that just emphasizes the fear more.

when lester and anne start to experience chilling conversations with locals, and a stare of owls suddenly take interest in hanging out at their backyard, the novella takes a turn to the foreboding.

fear continues to grow, which is a very good thing when it comes to horror. but when you keep building up fear, you’re expected to give a fitting end that would either give your reader a scare to haunt them for days to come, or at the very least, an ending that would satisfy the reader’s hunger for the macabre.

david hontiveros delivers with the macabre. and then ends with an epilogue that took away the horror from an otherwise promising book.

from the books i’ve read, the movies (and television shows) i watched, i understand this: horror works best when there is emotional attachment involved. but for horror to actually scare people, you should keep the emotional scenes to just an involvement–don’t let it work its way into the limelight. otherwise, the horror falters.

so, like blogger will, i would recommend CRAVING to other people too. but i would add one more recommendation: when reading the book, skip the epilogue. unless you like your horror with a dose of self-imploring drama.

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giveaway: filipino horror — the entries!

"waking the dead" by yvette tanthis november, i’m giving away four books to two bloggers (two books each) who recommended horror novels/books written by filipinos.

initially, i was going to pick the winner by october 31. but since looking for some of the books are proving harder than i thought, i’m giving myself an extension. also, i’ve yet to start reading the books i already do have because i’m finishing MARLEY & ME.

the prize, to remind you guys, are these:

one winner gets WAKING THE DEAD and ILUSTRADO. the other winner gets WAKING THE DEAD and TIME FOR DRAGONS. what is WAKING THE DEAD? here’s a review by artseblis.

now, i’ve actually decided to change the rules a little bit in picking the winner. the book/novel i like best will get the WAKING THE DEAD/ILUSTRADO prize. as for the WAKING THE DEAD/TIME FOR DRAGONS prize, i’m making you guys choose.

recommendations were closed as of 12 midnight this morning. and the entries are:

fantaghiro23: TRESE series

will: NINE SUPERNATURAL STORIES, AFRAID: THE BEST PHILIPPINE GHOST STORIES, CRAVING and TAKOD

ivanbookworm: TRAGIC THEATER

kwesifriends: THE BEST OF TRUE PHILIPPINE GHOST STORIES

jzhunagev: NEWS OF THE SHAMAN

blooey: TALES OF ENCHANTMENT AND FANTASY and SPOOKY MO: HORROR STORIES

this is a bit of a gamble, and i am hoping for your cooperation. i want you guys to pick the scariest book, in your opinion, off these entries. and you can’t pick your own recommendation. the book/novel that gets picked the most will have the person who recommended it win the WAKING THE DEAD/TIME FOR DRAGONS prize.

both winners will be proclaimed by november 15.

also, if you guys can help me locate the books. the TRESE series, CRAVING, TAKOD and NEWS OF THE SHAMAN i’ve already found in fully booked. the NINE SUPERNATURAL STORIES recommendation came with a where-to-buy. as for the other books–a little help, please? directions would be nice too. thanks!