A few weeks ago I made about a post about some of my favourite gothic novels, and also featured some of the gothic novels releasing in the future. I really liked doing it so I’m thinking I might make a regular feature of it? 5 favourites and 5 future? I need to think of a better name… But since it’s Halloween this week, I thought I’d do one on horror! So here are five of my favourite horror books, and five I’m excited to read in the next few years!
Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
I read Into the Drowning Deep during spooky month last year. It was my first adult horror and I absolutely fell in love. This book was just so terrifying?! It’s about a company who send a bunch of scienctists to investigate the existence of mermaids after a ship and all its crew members are mysteriously (and gruesomely) killed. Of course when they find the mermaids, they aren’t like the fairytales: these mermaids will literally tear off your face and eat it. This is a very sciencey heavy book, but I loved that about it as it really added a layer of reality to it which I think really helps make books scarier.
The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling
The Luminous Dead is very much a psychological horror/thriller novel. It’s set inside a caving system, where a woman, Gyre, gets trapped. The entire novel takes place inside this caving system as Gyre tries to escape; the only other character is her handler, Em, who is looking after her suit and body from the outside. But Gyre keeps discovering more and more lies from Em, and then she finds bodies….and soon she doesn’t know whether what’s happening is real or not. It’s such a brilliant book, and the use of the unreliable narrator here is excellent, as see Gyre descend further and further into madness, the longer she is trapped alone, underground. It’s such a phenomenally creepy novel, and I finall picked up a hard copy of it last month so I can’t wait to reread it!
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Okay yes, I had Mexican Gothic on my gothic list as well, but it is also very much a horror novel and it is so thrillingly creepy that I had to mention it again this week in case anyone was still unaware that I adore it. It’s about a woman who goes to rescue her cousin from an old manor house in Mexico and gets trapped there herself in a very fucked up mushroom world.
The Scapegracers by Hannah Abigail Clarke
Definitely on the lighter side of horror, The Scapegracers is a witchy sapphic delight with one of the best portrayals of female friendship I’ve ever read in YA. It follows Sideways, an outcast lesbian teen who is paid to perform some magic at a party thrown by three popular girls. But instead of being the usual bitchy girl trope, Sideways is welcomed into their group and they form their own coven as they try to fight off attacks from witch hunters.
The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson
The Year of the Witching was one of my most anticipated books of the year, and it certainly lived up to everything I dreamed of it! It’s so dark and full of evil, set in a puritannical, cult like society called Bethel. A young woman, the daughter of a witch, finds herself being called to the dangerous woods, where the witches live. She tries to hold them off but as she discovers move about the church and the history of Bethel, she’s unsure she even wants to hold the witches back… It’s dark and bloody and gorey and so so witchy, I love it!!
Five future releases
In the Garden of Spite by Camilla Bruce
A book about one of the most prolific female serial killers in American history? Yes please. Pub date: 19 January 2021
Synopsis: An audacious novel of feminine rage about one of the most prolific female serial killers in American history–and the men who drove her to it.
They whisper about her in Chicago. Men come to her with their hopes, their dreams–their fortunes. But no one sees them leave. No one sees them at all after they come to call on the Widow of La Porte. The good people of Indiana may have their suspicions, but if those fools knew what she’d given up, what was taken from her, how she’d suffered, surely they’d understand. Belle Gunness learned a long time ago that a woman has to make her own way in this world. That’s all it is. A bloody means to an end. A glorious enterprise meant to raise her from the bleak, colorless drudgery of her childhood to the life she deserves. After all, vermin always survive.
Manhunt by Gretchen Felker-Martin
If I had to choose only one single book that has been announced that I want to read immediately, it would be this one. The level of excitement I have for this knows no bounds. Pub date: 2022
Synopsis: Gretchen Felker-Martin’s MANHUNT, about trans women scavenging for estrogen in a post-apocalyptic world where a viral plague has transformed all cis men into feral monstrosities, fighting tooth and nail against a menace they’ll join if they miss a dose, and on the run from an authoritarian faction of cis women who see them as a dangerous liability, pitched as a trans woman’s response to Y: THE LAST MAN, plus another standalone horror novel, to Kelly Lonesome at Nightfire, in a very nice deal, in an exclusive submission, in a two-book deal, for publication in March 2022, by Connor Goldsmith at Fuse Literary (world).
Jake in the Box by Ryan Douglass
This is a horror written by a queer Black man about a queer Black kid who is being haunted by the ghost of a school shooter! And it sounds so phenomenal. Pub date: 13 July 2021
Synopsis: It’s hard being the one of the few Black kids at St. Clair Prep, especially when you’re routinely harassed by the dead. This year, sixteen-year-old loner Jake Livingston plans to make real friends, which means paying less attention to dead world and more to reality.
But when a series of murders breaks out in Jake’s neighborhood, he discovers they may be linked to Sawyer Doon—a vengeful spirit who carried out a school shooting a year prior and then killed himself. Sawyer is back, determined to wreak havoc on new targets from beyond the grave.
Now, Jake’s home isn’t safe. School isn’t safe. The more he tries to ignore Sawyer, the more he feels the ghost boy’s impact on his psyche. And the closer he comes to understanding who Sawyer was, the more he realizes how similar he may be to the boy once bullied relentlessly for his sexuality, now hell-bent on taking power back from a world that took it from him.
To protect himself from possession, Jake will have to master his power over both dead world and reality and discover his own reason to live.
Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
So obviously since my favourite book of the year was Mexican Gothic, I am extremely excited for the release of Moreno-Garcia’s vampire horror duology by Tor next year! Pub date: 11 May 2021
Synopsis: From the New York Times bestselling author of Mexican Gothic comes a pulse-pounding neo-noir that reimagines vampire lore.
Welcome to Mexico City, an oasis in a sea of vampires. Domingo, a lonely garbage-collecting street kid, is just trying to survive its heavily policed streets when a jaded vampire on the run swoops into his life. Atl, the descendant of Aztec blood drinkers, is smart, beautiful, and dangerous. Domingo is mesmerized.
Atl needs to quickly escape the city, far from the rival narco-vampire clan relentlessly pursuing her. Her plan doesn’t include Domingo, but little by little, Atl finds herself warming up to the scrappy young man and his undeniable charm. As the trail of corpses stretches behind her, local cops and crime bosses both start closing in.
Vampires, humans, cops, and criminals collide in the dark streets of Mexico City. Do Atl and Domingo even stand a chance of making it out alive? Or will the city devour them all?
Dead Silence by S.A Barnes
I was mega excited for a horror spaceship book this year and it really did not live up to what I hoped so I am crossing all my fingers that this one gives me the terrifying spaceship horror of my dreams! Pub date: February 2022
Synopsis: At the edge of the solar system, no one can hear you scream.
The Aurora, a luxury space-liner destined for a cruise of the solar system, has been missing for twenty years. Among the hundreds of presumed dead were passengers from society’s finest – celebrities, tech giants, influencers. Every last one… vanished.
So when Claire’s crew picks up an emergency signal in deep space, the long-lost Aurora is the last ship they expect to find. The salvage claim could be their best chance at extraordinary wealth, but it might mean missing their transport back home, and nobody can stand another minute out in the darkest corner of the universe – nobody, except Claire.
Once onboard the ship, the crew realizes something is terribly wrong. Unspeakable horrors lurk in every shadow of the massive ship, and soon they each start experiencing violent hallucinations.
Claire must fight to keep her sanity and get her crew back to safety – before they all meet the same ghastly fate as the Aurora passengers.
Blessed we are by the new Tor Nightfire horror imprint that is bringing us diverse horror!! I can’t wait for all their books (Manhunt, Certain Dark Things and Dead Silence are all being released under this imprint). What horror books are you looking forward to reading soon? Let me know in the comments!