This story completely devoured me, down to the bone, squeaky clean, with its big unhinged jaw. It is laden with grief, visceral yet tender, sweet and painful. Bizarre and surreal, but portrays the tangible experience of love so perfectly. This book feels like a small and strange creature that you will love unconditionally, no matter how absurd – you can’t help it.
A departure from Tingle’s typical steamy sentient food stories, this first of two traditional LGBTQ+ themed releases is scary because it reflects a chilling reality. Told through the lens of a young queer woman, it answers the question: How far could hatred masked as religion go to keep queer youth in line? Expect plague-like flying insects, monsters, and one pretty cool scene involving a rock-n-roll flame-thrower. But in this cinematic exploration readers can also expect heartfelt emotion, love, and friendship. A crew of misfits brought together by a (terrible) common experience must travel back to the conversion camp that cursed them to rediscover their authentic selves, but do they have the tools they need to defeat their demons?
It begins as a sweet, playful romance. Rosemary and Ash have a thing going–whatever that may mean. As an assistant professor, Rosemary is good with words, while Ash is an artisan who makes everything by hand. Everything is syrupy sweet until it becomes acrid. As a horror novel, you know that something sinister lurks around the corner, bubbling right under the surface, but you’re not quite sure what it is that is itching at the back of your mind until it drenches you like a bucket of ice. This is perfect for those who are allured by the thrill and the sense of dread that slowly spreads through your veins until it consumes you.
I never thought I would describe something as One Hundred Years of Solitude meets The Royal Tenenbaums - if both those creators watched Suspiria and Night of the Living Dead back-to-back during a popcorn-heavy slumber party. But then I dove into Candelaria and was met with all my favorite influences, along with the voice of someone entirely beautiful and unique to the genre.
Something grabs your wrist and drags you into the sea. You reach the deepest part of the ocean, living between jagged trenches, aptly called the hadal zone. With its extreme pressure, freezing temperatures, and lack of light, you see nothing. Just a struggle to breathe. Just looking out into the depths with awe. You don't know what's keeping you down here.
All of this to say, this is how I felt reading this book. Deeply romantic, horrifies yet tempts you, and treads carefully through what it means to love someone, while watching them deteriorate. You're watching a married couple fall apart because of what was found in the deep sea, through no fault of their own. And the whole time, you're being pushed around by the waves that feel like they have come from earth's core, wondering: What happened down there? What lives there?
This is a perfect October read for Horror newbies and veterans alike. As a prime example of Gothic Folk Horror, it relies on atmosphere and implication as a means to unnerve as we watch a land's history mingle with a couple's grief in eerie and sinister ways. Never has a rabbit sitting on a lap been so foreboding.
I’ll admit that horror is not my go-to genre, but “Disney princess by day, dive bar dweller by night” was too good a premise for me to pass up. Maeve is young, beautiful, and descended from Hollywood royalty, but she’s lonely and deeply unhappy. Haunted by her past and unwilling to accept the future, she tries her hardest to maintain the status quo. But then Gideon enters her life, and Maeve’s carefully regimented routines start to spiral out of control. Leede doesn’t hold back on the bloodshed, but the gore here is more than just spectacle. While horror as a genre is often prone to stereotypes and tropes that leave it feeling shallow or gimmicky, Leede draws characters with such depth and pure humanness that you can’t help but root for them. Dark, visceral, and unapologetically violent Maeve Fly is not for the faint of heart. I loved it, but maybe don’t give this one to your mom.
To me this is the perfect kids book.
Beautifully illustrated: check
Gazes into a vast, human loneliness and dares to reach out a hand: check
Haunted kids, ancient horrors in the garden shed, mad science gone wrong - this short story collection does it all. Mohamed writes dark fantasy and horror with a deft, captivating hand. Creepy fun!
I hate scary things. I don't get why one would choose to feel fear. But this little book got me. I was mesmerized by the discomfort these stories brought me, in small doses and somehow overwhelmingly. She leans into the eeriness of the everyday and the miniscule uncanniness that lingers in her juicy and transfixing prose. Dávila may have made me less fearful and hesitant of being afraid.