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Rise of the Monsters: Top Horror Titles and Trends Coming This Season

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Reading with Horror Movies

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PREMIUM

The Raven

Readers will root for Dez’s success and find the species he meets along the way fascinating. A perfect choice for fans of horror-sf hybrids, such as Rebecca Roanhorse’s “Sixth World” series or Josh Malerman’s “Bird Box” novels.

Clown in a Cornfield

While this title is marketed to teens, adult readers familiar with the classic horror slasher movies of the 1980s and 1990s should find it appeals. For more modern genre gems, see Stephen Graham Jones’s The Last Final Girl or Gretchen McNeil’s Ten.
PREMIUM

The Bright Lands

Fram refers to himself as “Stephen Queen,” and while this should certainly be embraced as a “gay Stephen King” read-alike, it is also a confident and thought-provoking tale that explores complex family dynamics, sexuality, religion, and coming-of-age anxieties within a solid horror frame. A great choice for fans of Victor LaValle or Ania Ahlborn.

Night of the Mannequins

A hotter voice in horror would be hard to find these days, and Graham Jones does not disappoint, delivering another masterpiece. Give to fans of slasher or serial killer tales, and those who enjoyed James Tynion’s graphic novel series “Something Is Killing the Children” or Oyinkan Braithwaite’s My Sister the Serial Killer.

PREMIUM

The Perfectly Fine House

Great for readers who love haunted house stories with detailed worldbuilding, such as Tananarive Due’s The Good House, and for fans of dark, speculative tales that employ unique twists on established tropes, such as Ben H. Winters’s preapocalyptic trilogy, “The Last Policeman.”

PREMIUM

Malorie

Having read Bird Box will help, but essential worldbuilding is seamlessly interwoven in a narrative paired with enlightening flashbacks into Malorie’s childhood, making this a solid stand-alone. Malerman will no doubt add to his legions of fans with this title ripe for readers of any genre seeking an intensely thrilling ride.

Miscreations: Gods, Monstrosities & Other Horrors

Featuring well-known horror writers, as well as some need-to-know new voices, while also representing a wide range of the genre, from slight shivers to outright terror, this small press anthology is one most libraries should own. Hand to fans of Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year.

PREMIUM

The Year of the Witching

An exciting debut with the potential to appeal to a wide range of readers and fans of titles as varied as Jennie Melamed’s Gather the Daughters, Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, and Scott Hawkins’s The Library at Mount Char. It also joins a recent trend of witch-themed titles like the short story anthology Hex Life, edited by Christopher Golden and Rachel Autumn Deering.

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Devolution: A Firsthand ­Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre

Brooks’s creative and well-executed conceit will have readers searching Wikipedia to look up names and events, even the parts they know are not based on reality. An obvious choice for Bigfoot fans, also suggest this to readers who enjoyed Alma Katsu’s The Hunger and those who appreciate nonfiction survival stories such as Hampton Sides’s In the Kingdom of Ice.
PREMIUM

The Unsuitable

A weird and bloody ghost story combining the terror of mental illness with body horror that, while set in a gothic world, features a sensibility more at home in the 21st century. Similar in appeal to the intense psychological suspense of Sarah Waters’s The Little Stranger mixed with the real-life horror of the domestic abuse and self-harm at the heart of Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects.

Wonderland

Reminiscent of the severe disorientation and trauma in Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves and the nature-seeking revenge theme of Stephen Graham Jones’s The Only Good Indians—with elements of and nods to Shirley Jackson’s works

The Living Dead

A true gift to horror fans. Pairs well with Nights of the Living Dead, edited by Romero and others, with appeal for fans of apocalyptic epics such as Chuck Wendig’s Wanderers and Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven.
PREMIUM

Final Cuts: New Tales of Hollywood Horror and Other Spectacles

The unique themes and diverse array of stories make this anthology appealing to a variety of horror readers and is a great introduction to new readers looking for work by a range of authors.
PREMIUM

The Book of Koli

This first installment in a planned trilogy is a disorienting look at a dystopian future that is firmly rooted in the concerns and issues of our current moment. Likely to appeal to fans of Jeff Vandermeer’s novels and Carrie Vaughn’s “Bannerless” trilogy.
PREMIUM

Out of Body

Nebula and Shirley Jackson Award winner Ford (A Natural History of Hell, The Girl in the Glass) offers a short, captivating tale about strength and sacrifice. For fans of Neil Gaiman’s Ocean at the End of the Lane, Samanta Schweblin’s Fever Dream, and Keith Donohue’s The Motion of Puppets.
PREMIUM

Dracula’s Child

This novel is nestled perfectly within the popular pantheon of stories that use the frame and style of Stoker’s classic to create original and entertaining stories that add to the lure and enjoyment of the source material. Hand to readers who liked Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi’s Stoker’s Wilde or Lauren Owen’s The Quick.

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Lullabies For Suffering: Tales of Addiction Horror

This under-the-radar indie title is recommended for all collections, as it could make a difference in readers’ lives, especially those in recovery, who know someone who is struggling, or have lost someone to the struggle.
PREMIUM

The Ancestor

The rags-to-riches theme paired with long-buried secrets and a claustrophobic setting in which monsters can hide in plain sight makes this title appealing to a wide range of readers, especially in this age of ubiquitous DNA testing. Pair it with Jennifer Egan’s backlist gem, The Keep.
PREMIUM

Prosper’s Demon

With a fresh take on the well-trod demonic possession trope, solid worldbuilding, high-court politics, and an engaging narrator, this short tale will draw in fans of dark speculative fiction, especially admirers of Martha Wells and Grady Hendrix.

The Only Good Indians

One of the most anticipated horror titles of 2020, Jones’s latest does not disappoint. While fully entrenched within the genre, its well-developed cast, lyrical language, and heightened suspense will have broad appeal. Fans of Paul Tremblay, Victor LaValle, and Samanta Schweblin will be delighted.
PREMIUM

The Beetle

Like many Victorian-era gothic tales, this will appeal to a wide range of readers. The universal ick factor of creepy crawlies additionally ensures that this crowdpleaser from the past will continue to strike fear in the hearts and minds of 21st-century readers.

The Deep

A riveting, seductively menacing tale of love, loss, and betrayal set amid the glamour of the Titanic, filled with seances, sea witches, and second chances. Hand to fans of Dacre Stoker, J.D. Barker’s Dracul, or Lauren Owen’s The Quick.
PREMIUM

The Chill

Based on the true history of a drowned town and inspired by recent articles about the state of New York City’s water tunnels, this novel provides an alluring mix of truth and ghost story which will draw interest and keep readers hooked. Read-alikes include Christopher Golden’s “Ben Walker” series and the novels of Jennifer McMahon, where humans clash against a monster from the past seeking revenge.

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Wicked Good Reads | Genre Spotlight on Horror

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Don't Call It a Comeback

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PREMIUM

Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories

Horror and suspense aficionados will welcome this shiver-inducing collection.
PREMIUM

The Survival of Molly Southbourne

The follow-up to The Murders of Molly Southbourne is just as chilling as its predecessor, exploring identity and nature in a captivatingly bloody manner. This distinctive horror novella will linger in readers’ minds long after they finish.

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PREMIUM

Colonial Horrors: Sleepy Hollow and Beyond

For lovers of American literature and horror fiction fans, this important anthology reveals how the religious beliefs, historical events, and folktales of the colonial period influenced the writerly imaginations that led to the evolution of the modern horror genre.
PREMIUM

Krampus the Yule Lord

This illustrated horror novel by acclaimed gothic fantasy artist, illustrator, and novelist Brom (The Child Thief) is perfect for anyone who disdains a cozy, sentimental holiday story.
PREMIUM

Home

Costello creates a sense of urgency and fatigue as Christie tries to protect her family. He wastes no time with extraneous detail but keeps the pages turning with action and emotion that rings true. Readers need not have read the previous book, as this one works well by itself, but those who enjoy it will probably turn to more from the author.
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