Final girls, red herrings, revenge plots, grisly deaths, casual sprinklings of references to Scream and Hellraiser - what more do you need from a book? Maybe just a perfectly sarcastic, horror-trope obsessed, chain-smoking heroine to take you along for the ride through her quickly gentrifying small town and the mysterious slasher terrorizing all its inhabitants.
Dark academia and murder and witches, oh my! Felicity Morrow feels ready to return to school after a tragic accident, but when she finds herself tangled up with the elusive teen prodigy Ellis Haley, Felicity will have to face the darkest parts of herself before moving on. Between the atmospheric setting and gorgeous writing, I couldn't put this book down. Part fantasy, part thriller, A Lesson in Vengeance is guaranteed to lure you in and keep you entranced.
Let me introduce you to Brian Evenson. He can write in nearly every genre imaginable. He's the Rod Serling of books, guiding you through moral tales of ecological horror, the violent history of American religion, the monstrous, self-destructive nature of our species. Booksellers, critics, hard-boiled genre writers, and the snooty upper echelon of literary novelists speak about Brian Evenson in hushed, reverent tones. He never misses.
Perhaps the most perfect creepy book for middle schoolers that I have ever read. Sisters Winnow, Mayhap, and Pavonine live in the strange, otherworldly Straygarden Place surrounded by tall, interminable, antagonistic grass. When eldest Winnow abruptly leaves the security of the house, she returns with an acute delirium and begins to turn the same sickening silver as the grass itself. Chewins writes Mayhap's increasing paranoia and the growing sentience of Straygarden Place with such easy, vivid poetry that readers will find themselves utterly transported into this twisty, turny, and unpredictable tale.
This crime-horror-fantasy is set in the dark swamps of Arkansas, where evil men and an ancient creature are restless with their own dangerous desires. Miranda Crabtree, a quiet and haunted ferrywoman for a ruthless cartel, keeps her head down and avoids colliding with anyone outside of her secret found family. But when an unexpected package is delivered to her boat, a series of events are set off over the course of 48 hours, including but not limited to Slavic bathhouse demons, squished eyeballs, and vengeful house spirits.
Mariana Enriquez brings the senses alive with her descriptions of the putrescent. Her addicting stories read like freshly unearthed urban myths and legends, full of yearning, filth and witchcraft. They make me feel gross and I love them for it. I haven't been this excited about a book in quite some time, and I will greedily consume anything she produces in the future.
This book meets LOVECRAFT COUNTRY meets BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. You can read this in one sitting but fair warning, you will want more.
This brilliant collection of short stories is Mariana Enriquez's English language debut. In some ways, these stories could easily fit into the horror genre, but they would be more appropriate in a category simply labeled Unsettling. The story "The Neighbor's Courtyard" still haunts my dreams, in a good way.
Weird dark stories for weird dark times.
I have experienced a lot of side-eyes glances and unwelcome critique for my love of the horror genre, the assumption being that my outlook and tastes must be base if not subterranean.Tell that to Carol J. Clover. Through thoughtful and academic lenses she looks at the slasher/horror genre as one with the potential to build empathy. This book reminds me that guilt and pleasure should never occupy the same space.
"There is no delight the equal of dread"
Clive Barker's artistic range is on full display in this toothsome collection of shorts: from haunted shrouds bent on revenge to possessed pigs, each tale is an allegory wrapped in viscera. Along with Angela Carter's 'The Bloody Chamber', 'Books of Blood' rests atop my list when it comes to short story collections. A truly bloody affair.