Lori Spadea's Reviews > The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray

The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray by Chris Wooding
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's review
Jul 19, 2011

it was ok
Read from July 19 to August 02, 2011

Steam Punk is a very interesting genre. I would have to read a few more books in this genre before making a judgement on it. I would venture to say that in high school, Emo kids, Punk kids, and Goth kids may enjoy these books very much. These groups were previously a very hard niche to please.
The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray is very different from anything I have ever read. It was very, very dark. Darker than I care to have explored. I would may even go so far as to say sacreligious if you are a strong Christian.
The story takes place in Old London, or the Chris Wooding version of Old London gone bad. London is a very different place that has been taken over by Wyches. These Wyches (and there are different kinds) take over peoples bodies and turn them into Wyches too. They do this by biting or scratching them. Most of London lives on the North side of the river. The South side has been taken over by these beings. Any shop keepers that work there close before dark and return home. There are certain people who are Wyche hunters. Thaniel Fox is one. His father did the same thing and was one of the greats but has since passed away. Thaniel’s friend and fellow Wyche hunter Cathaline lives with him.
One night as Thaniel is hunter a Cradlejack, he finds a girl. He take her home to care for her and finds out that she has escaped from the mental institution. She has a strange episode, and he and Cathaline find out that she isn’t insane, she is “haunted” also known as possessed. A secret society called the Fraturnity tried to poison her and make her week enough for a demon named Thatch to inhabit her body and take over, but she recovered and he wasn’t able to take over so they are both in there. Thatch is the part of the Fraturnity’s plan to take over. Thaniel with the help of Cathaline and Lord Crott (and his followers) set out to help Alaizabel. One of the characters is called Devil Boy. He is a particularly creepy blind boy with extrasensory abilities. He can tell what is going to happen, who is going to live and die, and sometimes how they die.
They also run into Stitch face, who is essentially Jack the Ripper who ends up helping them. This was a very disturbing novel. Definitely a very different experience. I would be afraid to recommend this novel to anyone under senior year. I would feel irresponsible recommending such a dark book to anyone younger.

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