Audiobook Horror Starred Reviews | Fareeda Ahmed, Kirby Heybourne, John Keating, Jennifer O'Donnell, Jonathan Todd Ross, Neil Shah, Jasmin Walker, and Rita Wolf Read The Season's Top Picks

Horror listens, as all bumps in the night are even more terrifying when they are inside your head.

Dark Stars: New Tales of Darkest Horror. Recorded Books. May 2022. ed. by John F. D. Taff. 16:13 hrs. ISBN 9781705041673. $29.99. HORROR

Author and editor Taff (The End in All Beginnings) draws together 12 original horror stories, featuring writings from horror luminaries, such as Josh Malerman, Ramsey Campbell, Alma Katsu, and Stephen Graham Jones. This collection is a perfect entry point for new horror readers, who will gain an understanding of the many facets of the genre and may be surprised at the depth and breadth of the field. Experienced readers will recognize many of the authors and enjoy their skillful manipulation of familiar tropes. The stories cover every aspect of the genre—from eerie to terrifying, from real world terrors to dark fantasy, from bloodless to bloodbath. This remarkable variety is enhanced by the seven brilliant narrators who perform the stories. Each narrator reads an entire story (never two in a row), allowing the authors’ unique voices to shine through. The cast of narrators ensures that the characters are imbued with authentic accents and speech patterns. Readers may not love each story equally, but this well-planned anthology has something for everyone. VERDICT This is a collection to put on prominent display. A must-buy that will lure horror fans and horror newbies alike.—Matthew Galloway

Kraus, Daniel. The Ghost That Ate Us: The Tragic True Story of the Burger City Poltergeist. Books on Tape. Jul. 2022. 14:06 hrs. ISBN 9780593669006. $95. HORROR

Kraus’s (cowriter with Guillermo del Toro of The Shape of Water and Trollhunters) hilarious, creative, and horrifying novel confronts many issues—addiction, brain drain, the encroachment of corporations on small businesses—that cause the death of small towns. On June 1, 2017, six people were murdered at the Burger City franchise in Jonny, IA, following a months-long investigation of paranormal activity (“the Burger City Poltergeist”) at the restaurant. Kraus has thoroughly investigated the Burger City Poltergeist, providing the only account of the events as told by the survivors. Full of interviews, articles, and footnotes, this account attempts to uncover the reality of one of the most gruesome events in history. Kirby Heybourne provides excellent narration, adding a sense of mystery and intrigue to the story, reminiscent of true-crime documentaries. VERDICT A must-add for horror collections. Fans of Grady Hendrix novels and We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry will love this new mockumentary-style novel.—Elyssa Everling

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