A lot of YA novels (Young Adult – generally aimed at readers aged between 12 and 18 years old) have themes based around friendship, first love, relationships, and identity. Ouija is slightly different as is YA horror novel based around the occult but still with themes of friendship, first love, relationships, oh and summoning evil spirits!
Have you ever spoken to the dead? Conjured up a spirit or demon? If yes, you may have just used a Ouija Board to do so. We have all heard of a Ouija Board, they are used to apparently communicate with the dead and the spirit world, getting answers to simple questions and quite frighteningly, summoning demons as well as friendly spirits (no not gin, vodka or Casper the Friendly Ghost)! Whether you believe in them or not, the idea is frightening and probably not something to mess with (although if they were that dangerous surely they wouldn’t be so readily available to buy on Amazon and in other places).
I have never dabbled with a Ouija Board but books featuring them generally make a good horror story. That brings me nicely to Ouija, the debut novel from by Zoé-Lee O’Farrell. Ouija is the second book in the Question Mark Horror YA Horror series (one series by a variety of authors) for readers aged 13+ suitable for fans of Point Horror, Christopher Pike and Nicholas Pine.
Ouija is the story of teenagers being teenagers and messing around with something that they know very little about – a Ouija Board. Rather than “playing” with it in the comfort of their own homes they decide to pay a visit to the site of terrible tragic event. And all does not well.
Welcome to Rayner High School. Once a prestigious school until a teacher goes off the rails and ventures out on a multi-casualty killing spree. The school has since closed down and left in ruins. One year after the tragic events, six teenage friends visit the school with a Ouija Board in the name of fun and unleash a nightmare in the form of a demon that just won’t take NO for an answer.
Overall, I loved this debut novel by Zoé-Lee O’Farrell. It is a YA horror novella that delivers the chills, scares and horror with perfect ease and without crossing over to the ridiculous. The story travels along a very good exciting pace without any real lulls.
The story is not over-complicated, six friends visit the site of a horrific massacre and carry out a séance using a Ouija Board (printed on paper from the internet) to try and communicate with the spirits using information they have found online. Needless to say, despite the lack of through research (the have read the basics and how to) they manage to bring an evil spirit into their world.
The story begins with a shocking scare that doesn’t give too much away and then starts to build a suspense-filled story of terror and death paired with a race against time to capture the demon or die.
The plot is simple but is perfect and executed extremely well with some excellent well fleshed out characters that actually come across like real teenagers. The horror is delivered well, suitable for a teenage reader, without lots of gore or horrific details but chilling enough to get the hairs on your neck standing to attention, goosebumps running up and down your arms and a chill tickling your spine.
Ouija is an enjoyable dark and tension-packed horror story that builds the fear and scares with ease without resorting to unbelievable over the top horror. A perfect horror story for its intended YA audience and adult readers that like a scare without all the gore.
RRP: £5.99 (Paperback) / £0.99 (Kindle)