Booklists · Horror and the Supernatural
Stephen King and Anne Rice can always be relied on for a good scare, but here are some recent horror tales that will also send a chill down your spine. Weï¿½ve also included a couple of books that are as humorous as they are scary.
The only female werewolf in the world, Elena Michaels is called back from her human life to help the Pack stamp out some renegade "mutts." But what the mutts really want is Elena, so that they can breed pure werewolves. A biting, fur-flying tale.
The world has been sundered in a great cataclysm and has entered into an Ice Age in Barloughï¿½s vividly imagined alternate world. The appearance of a fierce teratorn signals ominous doings and itï¿½s up to Professor Titus Tiggs and his good friend Dr. Daniel Dampe to discover what evil has been unleashed on their world.
Though a gala homecoming is planned at the Illinois country Victorian where the Elliots have lived for centuries, the unusual family realize their time may be over. Young Timothy, mortal foundling and family historian, is the only one who will age and die. Charles Addams illustrates Bradburyï¿½s charming novel.
Octavia Butler died this year. She was an author known for her deeply moral works of fantasy and science fiction. In the final book published before her death, Butler provides a subtle examination of racism and species interdependence as backdrop to the tale of a young vampire seeking her true past and identity
Woody Blake, manager of the first British outlet of American mega-bookstore Texts, calls an overnighter to prepare for a visit from corporate headquarters. Business hasn’t been good so far, but Woody is sure he can turn it around. He and his beleaguered staff don’t realize the woods around the new shopping mall harbor malevolent spirits until the night unfolds in danger and death.
Following his fatherï¿½s brutal murder, novelist Nemo Raglan returns to the Maine island where he grew up. With no clues and no suspect, finding the killer may not be possible, but as Nemo reunites with his siblings, the strange mind-projection game taught them by their father may prove the solution. Spooky, visceral horror.
Violence erupts in an Indiana town every twenty years, and many say itï¿½s the curse of an eighteenth-century cult leader whom Lucas Vanderkellen cast into hell. A climax of vengeance rises up against young Leslie, last of the Vanderkellens, in local author Devineï¿½s powerful horror tale.
The dark legacy of her vodou priestess grandmother troubles Angela Toussaint in Dueï¿½s splendid haunted house tale. Angelaï¿½s ignorance of her family history brings great tragedy. She must defeat the demon that possesses the old Victorian home before it completely destroys the Toussaint line.
Rising R&B singer Phoenix sat at a piano that once belonged to Scott Joplin and apparently channeled the great composer’s music. Twenty years have passed and Phoenix is on the verge of stardom, when the ragtime musician comes back to torment her busy days and sleepless nights. A haunting novel of music, memory, and love that lasts beyond life.
Gaimanï¿½s bold, dark fantasy pits mythical figures of the old world against the gods of the new in a battle for the souls of America. Set adrift by his release from prison, ex-convict Shadow is enticed into the fray by a mysterious man named Wednesday and the ghost of his wife.
Fourteen-year-old Kevin Murphy has always loved Nikki French, but just when heï¿½s about to reveal his feelings, he sees her fly off into the sky with her new boyfriend. Kevin follows them into Neverland to rescue his love. Golden melds ancient folk myths, the Peter Pan story, and adolescent quest elements into a creepy tale.
Michael and Jillian Dansky have happy, successful lives. Then, while driving home from a party with Jillian asleep in the back, Michael nearly hits a little girl shivering by the side of the road. His growing obsession with the child and the mysterious house where he took her endanger his marriage, his career, and, eventually, his life.
Restoring an old estate in the English countryside, historian and musician Ringan Laine encounters disturbing evidence that the place is haunted. This debut of a series based on old English ballads is a wonderful combination of mystery and ghost story, with appealing characters and a lovely setting.
Hamilton creates an alternate world in which vampires and werewolves co-exist with humans. Not always harmoniously, however, and Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, is now a federal marshal who tries to keep them all in line. Her own ties to both vampire and werewolf community complicate matters in this eleventh in the series.
Waitress and telepath Sookie Stackhouse is thrilled when she meets a man whose mind she canï¿½t read. Trouble is, heï¿½s a vampire. Though vampires are now in the mainstream of society, they still get the blame when several women turn up drained of blood. Sookie and Bill search for the killer in Harrisï¿½ delightful first in a series.
Once, Cree Black didnï¿½t believe in ghosts. Now sheï¿½s a professional ï¿½ghost-busterï¿½ in the Psychic Research Association, and she is visiting New Orleans because society lady Lila Beauforte Warren believes her house is haunted. Ghostly forces and old family secrets are uncovered in this thriller with a vivid setting and a great new character.
In a family of witches, Gypsum is at least five years late in acquiring her inherited powers. At age twenty, she finally undergoes the transition. Unfortunately, she receives the dreaded curse power. Gypsum must figure out how to use her gift wisely in this entertaing tale that will appeal to teens as well as adults.
Joyce’s eerie, literate novel is set in the French countryside at a remote farmhouse. Tensions run high among the adults, and eleven-year-old Jessie begins to suffer from bewildering, apparently uncontrollable “fits.” The dark underside of the adults’ relationships and Jessie’s increasing strangeness stand out in stark relief against the sunny countryside.
Horror novelist Michael McDowell, author of the popular Blackwater series, died in 1999, leaving an unfinished manuscript of Candles Burning. Tabitha King completed this engrossing Southern Gothic tale set in New Orleans in the 1950s. The story involves 7-year-old Calley Daken, a little girl who hears the voices of the living and the dead.
A wealthy eccentricï¿½s bequest of Egyptian antiquities to a small Los Angeles museum sets off a chain reaction of violence and horror when the dead queen in the mummy case returns to life. Laymonï¿½s latest is chilling and goryï¿½the perfect Halloween read.
Earl (a vampire) and Duke (a werewolf) drop into Gil’s for a quick meal, and waitress Loretta is grateful they're around when the zombies stage their nightly attack. But staying on could be dangerous: even the undead can be killed through carelessness, and Gil’s Diner lies on an active nexus of occult energy. A gruesomely funny debut horror novel.
On the evening psychologist David Harper and his television producer wife host a cocktail party before the Emmy Awards, an uninvited guest appears. Desperate for David’s help, she triggers a series of events that sends the other guests into a tailspin. In Matheson’s novella, a simple cocktail party is the setting for tragedy.
Isa DeWitt is reluctant to follow her deceased cousinï¿½s plans to ruin her ex-husbandï¿½s lifeï¿½Aletteï¿½s obsessive desire for vengeance is hard to understand. But manipulative Alette directs weaker-willed Isa from the grave and will stop at nothing to effect Justinï¿½s destruction. Mostertï¿½s debut is eerie and shocking.
On Halloween night, five teens were in a car accident. Three of them died and one was left horrifically brain damaged. The one left alive shows no outward signs of the psychological damage he suffers. On the first anniversary of the accident, the dead teens “return” to see what has happened in their town and with their friends. A sadly haunting story.
Forced into early responsibility for his conjoined triplet brothers, Robert repressed his own desires and emotions. But now both the local granny witches and Robertï¿½s gifted best friend warn ï¿½the carnival is coming,ï¿½ and he must act to save his little town from dire consequences. Steamy Southern gothic.
At a crisis point in his life, Dale Stewart returns to the town of Elm Haven, Illinois, where a close friend was murdered four decades ago. New terror emerges as Dale recovers lost memories. A complex, richly detail novel of psychological horror, this sequel to Summer of Night explores the aftermath of dealing with evil
Cameron Black is a lighthouse keeper on lonely Jacob’s Rock. He welcomes the arrival of his new assistant Simon, and as the younger man grows accustomed to the solitude, Black retreats into Bible study. Then a young woman washes ashore with no memory of her life. Thompson’s debut is an elegant ghost story with gothic sensibility and nineteenth century setting.
When a pair of brothers purchase an old house in Queens, their pose as psychics able to communicate with the dead comes literally true. The scene of several brutal murders decades earlier, the house will need Repairman Jackï¿½s unique touch to rid it of the spirits haunting the Kenton brothers.
Wilson depicts a gory, grim vampire-ruled world in which Asia and Europe have already fallen to the undead. Now the vampires have arrived in America, and most of the east coast is under their influence. In a small New Jersey town, a rabbi, a disgraced priest and his lesbian niece, and a former nun band together to stop the spread.
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