Halloween season is here, and with it comes the colder weather. If you’re not watching horror films and munching popcorn, you might want to snuggle up with some hot tea and a good book.
This year, there’s been some great new books featuring monsters, ghosts, and things that go bump in the night by authors that bring their formidable skills to bear in reads to frighten and delight. Here’s four that I loved:
Chuck Wendig brings the creature creep with novel Invasive. It’s a seat gripping suspense novel about genetically modified ants used for murder that’ll have you itching for days afterward.
Wendig has written a lot of great novels, but this one is one of his best by far. The main character is a nuanced, kick-ass woman who doesn’t lack for agency or flaws. The bad guy is both three dimensional and scary for a lot of reasons, and the ant science information is rather fascinating.
Hannah Stander is a futurist working as a consultant for the FBI. She gets a call from Agent Hollis Copper about a grisly scene that they’re not even sure is murder–but it’s weird enough that she needs to have a look.
A dead body stripped of much of its skin and about a thousand dead ants await her at the crime scene–ants that after examination, an entomologist tells her they shouldn’t exist. Someone has genetically engineered these ants and used them for murder. (Click to Continue)
Cherie Priest scares the pants off us with The Family Plot, a ghost story about a family salvage business that stumbles over a vengeful ghost determined to assert her wrath, and maybe take more people with her.
This novel creeped the hell out of me. I have high standards when it comes to horror, and this checked off all my boxes for a great scare. Priest is a veteran author, and it shows here. Beautifully written and frighteningly entertaining.
The Family Plot, like all well crafted ghost stories, slowly creeps up on you. Somewhere in your peripheral vision, it unsettlingly teases, dropping chilling clues. Then, in the dark, it pounces. (Click to Continue)
Seanan McGuire writing as Mira Grant gave us more zombie creeps with Feedback this month. Part of the Newsflesh series, this one can almost be read as a standalone, as it covers events that happened in the previous books from the point of view of another blogger team.
The book takes place in a world where a man-made zombie plague has changed the way the world lives, and news now comes from intrepid bloggers brave enough to go out into a zombie infested world to hunt it down.
No one ever wants to leave their homes anymore if they can help it, so they live vicariously through bloggers. Different categories of bloggers produce different content–Newsies focus on the hard news as it happens, and are all about the facts. Irwins (that reference should be almost self explanatory) create news and entertainment by being in the thick of things, baiting and killing zombies for the titillation of their audience. Fictionals write fictional content, often focusing on stories of before everything went belly up. (Click to Continue)
Silvia Moreno-Garcia brings us a vampire tale set in Mexico City, in an alternate timeline where vampires have always existed, and have been known for decades. Certain Dark Things is the story of one vampire running from a rival vampire drug cartel that wiped out her family. She meets a human that changes her outlook and helps her survive.
It’s a bloody tale full of action and interesting characters in a setting that makes for an engaging vampire story.
Mexico City is supposed to be the one Mexican city free of vampires. Sanitation does more than just monitor for people with the deadly Croneng’s Disease, and most of the ways in and out of the city are supposed to be tightly controlled.
Everywhere else, the vampire drug cartels fight bloody wars over territory, respect, and business. Mexico City only worries about human gangs. (Click to Continue)
Now that you’ve got some spooky books to read this Halloween, curl up with that hot tea and someone you love, and get to reading.
JL Jamieson is a strange book nerd who writes technical documents by day, and book news, reviews, and other assorted opinions for you by night. She is working on her own fiction, and spends time making jewelry to sell at local conventions, as well as stalking the social media accounts of all your favorite writers.