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The Invention of Ghosts

4.79  ·  Rating details ·  48 ratings  ·  26 reviews
It starts with rapping in the ceiling and spirit boards that know them a little too well.

Everly and her best friend aren’t your typical college students. Instead of raucous Saturday night parties, they spend their weekends conjuring up things from the beyond. Ectoplasm, levitation, death photography - you name it, and Everly knows all about it. But while this obsession wit
Published January 29th 2020
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Average rating 4.79  · 
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 ·  48 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The way some authors can pack so much punch into a novella length story will never cease to amaze me. Bram Stoker Award winning author, Gwendolyn Kiste is one of the best authors of indie horror fiction on the market today.
The Invention of Ghosts was an insta-buy. As soon as I saw it was one of Nightscape’s Charitable Chapbooks with a Luke Spooner cover and interior illustrations, I couldn’t pull the trigger fast enough.
This is the story of two best friends. The girls are social outcasts and sh
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-list-2020
This story was beautiful, and sad, and just perfect.
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Too many broken dreams not to be haunted."

Gwendolyn Kiste is one of my favorite authors, and this is yet another great story from her. There's a lot packed into this small book. I'm not sure if I fully understood everything that happened, but I really enjoyed reading it. The writing is gorgeous, and the story is captivating.

The artwork in this book was pretty, and it's a gorgeous chapbook. If you like haunting / ghost stories, I highly recommend picking this one up. Gwendolyn Kiste is the best,
Glenn Rolfe
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful piece of fiction. Kiste is an skilled writer. I anxiously await her next work.
Janelle Janson
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, 2020
Review to follow
Richelle SheReadsHorror
May 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is about everly and her best friend that aren’t your typical college students. They spend their weekends playing with magic until it goes all wrong. The whole time I was reading this book is was very curious and wanted answers and that’s what Gwendolyn wanted. She wants to leave you guessing and then at the end I was hit with so many emotions! My heart was bursting and my eyes filled with tears... this story you can’t get as a physical book anymore because there were only 100 made but ...more
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Review to follow...
Michael Hicks
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
My review of THE INVENTION OF GHOSTS can be found at High Fever Books.

In The Invention of Ghosts, Gwendolyn Kiste spins a slow and somber story about two young women in college with no memories and no pasts. Although Everly knows Dahlia is her best friend, she doesn’t know how they met and cannot recall anything of their history together. Their relationship is a perfectly blank slate, without even a single cellphone snapshot to commemorate their bond. Everly’s interests in witchcraft and the occ
Marcy Reads on IG
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Even God knew I was a lost cause."

I don't know what it is, but Gwendolyn's books always have a way of making me sob. I can feel her writing to the very core of my heart. She definitely knows how to write friendship in such a special and haunting way.

Sara Tantlinger
Sep 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A stunning novelette, both the writing and the amazing layout/artwork that Nightscape has put together. Kiste's voice really shines in The Invention of Ghosts. The story flows in a gorgeous, fluid way that lulls you like ocean waves, and you know something is haunting those dark depths -- throughout the book, we are completely immersed within the character of Everly, and Kiste really shows how shorter books can pack as much depth and punch as any other work. Everly is a fully realized character, ...more
Suz Jay
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
“That night, I went walking among shadows and forgotten spirits. All campuses were strange, spectral places, even if the brochures never bragged about it. Too many broken dreams not to be haunted.”*

Everly and her best friend do everything together. Childhood friends, they are roommates in college. Everly’s obsession with the occult terrifies her friend to the point that she demands boundaries be set. Boundaries that Everly can’t help but breach. Boundaries that once broken forever change their r
Mason Jones
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very nice chapbook story, a haunted piece of fiction that tells just enough while leaving things open to interpretation. Everly and her college roommate, her best friend from growing up, find that magic is a bit too real. Except that things aren't really what they seem. If Everly could remember her childhood with her best friend, that might help; but she can't, any more than she can control the things happening around her. The story has a wonderfully sinister ambience to it, helped by the beau ...more
David Thirteen
In looking back on this book, it’s simply incredible how much was achieved in so few words. This is a novella with depth, complexity, and subtlety. A story of a friendship between two broken people and a ghost story that doesn’t try to scare, so much as use the supernatural to reveal truths in a way reality cannot. If you are not already a Kiste fan this will make you a convert.
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
There are drinks that you slam back and drinks that you sip and savor. Due to the length (only 64 pages), this could easily be a one and done slam. However, I strongly suggest that you savor the delicate notes of this story.

The Invention of Ghosts is lyrical, sad, and beautiful. Gwendolyn Kiste's prose draws you in and holds you until the story is done. Luke Spooner's artwork adds to the sense of darkness invoked by Kiste's words.

Highly Recommended.
Theresa Braun
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"But how could you fight what wasn't there, a presence thinner than mist yet heavier than heartache?"

Beautifully written. Reality, imagination, and the supernatural blur in this emotional story of friendship and personal discovery...

Josh reading
Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Gwendolyn Kiste does it again! I fell in love with Gwendolyn’s writing after reading the haunting Rust Maidens and then her short story collection, Her Smile Will Untether the Universe, became one of my absolute favorite short fiction collections. The Invention of Ghosts is a novella that tells the story of two college age friends that dabble in the occult with tragedy to follow. It’s amazing what Kiste is able to do in this very short novella, the ending was justified and true. How do any of us ...more
S.J. Budd
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this so much I read it in one sitting and then immediately read it again.

The Invention of Ghosts is one of a series of charitable limited edition chapbooks available from Nightscape Press. However for those of you like me who live of the other side of the Atlantic these books will be made available as e-books once the paperbacks have sold out.

I was so thrilled to be given a chance to read this. Gwendolyn Kiste is one of my favourite authors who defies genre, one of those rare writers who
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
*** Review copy received from the publisher for review consideration. ***

We start off with two girls in a college dorm who are both eccentric. One of them is the more fearful and anxious of the two while the narrator (of the most unreliable sort) is obsessed with Victorian mourning and ectoplasm photography. At the outset, they seem to have more of an affinity of spirits, but as the story goes on, their distance becomes more pronounced. The second-person point of view lends a sense of intimacy
David Simms
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Just like Kiste's collection and her stunning debut, THE RUST MAIDENS, The Invention of Ghosts is a reading experience that seldom occurs.
Her writing is what makes the stories transcend most of what the genre holds these days, which isn't a condemnation of horror. All it means is that the author is that special.
The less said the better about this story yet it reminded me a bit of The Haunting of Hill House and Ghost Story, a mix between Shirley Jackson and Peter Straub. Yet, Gwendolyn Kist
Hailey Piper
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This novelette is both a winding of narrative thread into a skein and an unraveling, and it's hard to tell where one process ends and the other begins. Maybe they happen together. What seems an innocent look into early 1900s spiritualist fads by curious college roommates becomes a dissection of past and identity through conjoined first and second person tenses. Kiste's latest follows the melancholic appeal of past works and is no less powerful for its shorter length. I'm still emotionally dizzy ...more
Aaron Martz
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A haunting, ethereal examination of adolescent friendship and the growing pains of shedding youth to pursue your own life. This book perfectly captures that awkward transition from senior year of high school, still safe at home with all your childhood memories intact, to freshman year at college, far, far away for the very first time. The rift it creates right down the center of your being as you are pulled in two very different directions - toward the future and its limitless possibilities - wh ...more
Nick Cato
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Everly and her best friend room together at college. Everly is not only fascinated by the occult, but uses "parlor tricks" to amuse other students. Her best friend isn't as crazy about the dark side, and sets some boundaries to try to keep herself safe. But when Everly decides it's high time to go home for a visit, she discovers things about herself, her friend, and both of their parents that lead to a life changing conclusion.

Kiste has delivered a couple of original ghost stories before, and th
Kevin L
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved this beautiful chapbook. And it IS beautiful. And the words? Well, Kiste knocks it out of the park again.

There’s an ethereal atmosphere to this book, not unlike the feeling of otherworldliness I felt when I read Rust Maidens. It was an almost dream like experience, which was perfect for this ghost story.

And what a good, sad, little story it is. Kiste has such a way with words and her skills are in full display throughout.

I stretched this out as long as I could, savoring every morsel. I kno
Kevin Lucia
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Just wonderful. Only a few copies left, so hurry and grab one. Full review at CDonline soon.
Jeremiah Dylan Dylan
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
For my full review, visit ...more
Thomas Joyce
May 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful. For such a short book, Kiste manages to address a great deal of topics without cramming it all in. Friendship and loss and loneliness and feeling like an outsider. She uses some wonderful phrases to describe what is happening in the story, evoking emotion from the reader and making us remember similar feelings from our own lives. She is a master of characterisation and really allows us to empathise with her characters. Kiste is a tremendous storyteller.
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Gwendolyn Kiste is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe, from JournalStone; the dark fantasy novella, Pretty Marys All in a Row, from Broken Eye Books; and her debut novel, The Rust Maidens, from Trepidatio Publishing. Her short fiction has appeared in Nightmare Magazine, Shimmer, Black Static, Daily Science Fiction, Interzone, LampLight, and Three-Lobed ...more

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