This entry is brought to you as part of the theme sponsored by The Broke and the Bookish. I’m pretty sure that since this is Halloween themed, there are going to be many interesting entries for this one.
So, on Halloween, many would think of candy, Halloween goodies, and dressing up in all kinds of costumes (my personal favorite was dressing up as Esmeralda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Disney version. The costume I had actually had coins sewn onto the sash of the skirt.) They would also think of spooky stories. I wouldn’t consider myself the kind of person who scares easily (*knocks on wood in the hopes that she doesn’t end up eating her words later on*), but there’s something cathartic about being scared in a good book.
So this entry’s dedicated to some horror (either themed or genre) reads that I personally enjoyed. No particular order here, just going with the flow.
1. “It” by Stephen King
Seriously, is anyone surprised I’d put Stephen King on this list? I could probably list many of his books, but “IT” genuinely scared me while at the same time leaving me not terrified of clowns for life. (I’m serious – I do not find clowns horrifying. I actually like creepy carnival environments or carnipunk themed stories. It’s the theme to one of the manuscripts I’ve been working on the past year. Living animatronics- a la Five Nights at Freddy’s, though? That…does terrify me to a certain extent, but depends on how it’s done.) I’m due for a re-read of this book (and basically many of SK’s early works), because many of them I haven’t read since my teens/early 20s.
2. I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells
Basically, I could put the whole John Cleaver series on this list, but there’s something about “I Am Not a Serial Killer” that left its mark on me. There are genuinely terrifying moments in this YA crossover series, and some of it is a battle of internal and external demons (some literal, some not). I enjoyed it because John’s voice appealed to me with dark, candid humor, blended with harrowing moments the serial killer struck (and yeah, I knew its genre leaning from the get go).
3. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
I thoroughly enjoyed “Something Wicked This Way Comes” – it’s part horror, part coming of age, and the writing – to me – was beautifully poetic while having some genuinely creepy tones to it throughout the narrative. I also probably loved this one given my love for creepy carnival environments (see explanation above for “IT”). The movie adaptation I thought was very well done for this.
4. Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer by Van Jensen and Dusty Higgins
I honestly did not even know this book was a thing until I browsed the first volume of this comic at my local library, then got a galley for the entire series from NetGalley (which I’ve yet to review). But OMG, this was dark. And funny. Pinocchio breaking off his nose to use as an attack stake to kill vampires? The concept of it was brilliant, and kudos for the creativity in the backstory. This was a mashup of a classic story with a horror theme that worked rather well, and I’m glad I read it.
5. Batman – Red Rain
While on the subject of comics, I remember Batman – Red Rain rather vividly. The Batman franchise has had a number of holiday themed comics that stood out to me (I think I remember the one called “Haunted Knight” that I liked as well.) But this was the first where I looked at the story drawn between Batman and Dracula and went “Well…darn. That’s a good parallel.” It had some dated elements to it, but I was drawn into the story and I’ll admit it didn’t let me go even in this first part of a respective series.
6. “Unwind” by Neal Shusterman
So I know that this is a YA dystopian series, but it counts as horror. Namely because once you read the process of what “unwinding” is like…it’s horrifying. I loved this book so much. Shusterman just does description so well.
7. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
I found the first book in this series to be the best and the most successful in creating its creepy and distinctive characters, and it’s one of my favorites in terms of establishing a narrative ghost story as well. It was fun in moments too.
8. Frenzy by Robert Lettrick
“Frenzy” was middle grade horror done right, especially in the vein of rabid animals attacking and killing off the cast of characters in the midst of a camp site. I didn’t expect to be so emotionally drawn into it. It was one of those narratives where I’m like “NOOOOOO, PLEASE DON’T DIE! DON’T SAY HE’S/SHE’S DEAD!” Yeah. It was like that.
9. The Birds by Daphne DuMaurier
This story is the reason why I look up to the sky and hope a flock of birds do not come swooping down to peck me to death. I’m not especially terrified of birds, but I mean, the narrative gives one second thoughts.
10. Feed by Mira Grant
Because bloggers saving the world from zombies equals…a whole lot of chaos and political turmoil. The Newsflesh series had many harrowing moments, and the ending of this really got to me on an emotional level (though arguably, with events of the series, one could say it’s not the whole story, but it still packed a punch for me).
Until next entry,