Boo! With Halloween just around the corner, there’s no better time to get comfortable and open a spooky book. Below are some hair-raising reads that will have you wondering if you’ve really heard that bump in the night.
“Land of sadness” by Rivers Solomon (MCD, $ 27). Solomon’s third novel opens with a very pregnant 15-year-old girl named Vera who has decided to flee the strict religious complex (aka cult) where she was raised. Vera manages to escape and give birth to twins in the safety of the woods. However, the woods are just an illusion of security as the ties to her abusive past are stronger than she realizes. Author Roxane Gay said in a Goodreads review, “‘Sorrowland’ is beautiful and the writing, the storytelling, they are beautiful. This country has a dark history of what it is willing to do to black bodies and Rivers Solomon puts that truth to it. naked in the most unexpected and absolutely brilliant way.
“Little Nightmares: Very Short Horror Tales” edited by Lincoln Michel and Nadxieli Nieto (Catapult, $ 16.95). The flash fiction stories in this collection are sure to turn your dreams into nightmares. Kirkus Reviews called the book, “Sick and twisted and disturbing.” Continuing by saying, “Reading it is like stumbling across an old horror movie on TV in the middle of the night.” From serial killers who take Ubers to a demon who lives in an art exhibit, social ailments, and bone chills, these stories might be small, but they have lasting power.
” Alarm “ by P. Djèlí Clark (Tor, $ 19.99). A short but punchy short story, “Ring Shout” is the perfect blend of magic, horror and historical fiction. Think “Lovecraft Country” meets “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” but with a strong black female role. Throughout the story, Maryse Boudreaux, her magical sword, and fellow freedom fighters battle a wave of Ku Kluxes – monsters who plan to unleash hell on Earth. It’s a commentary on the unsettling power of racism and how hatred grows and manifests itself to create creatures devoid of humanity. But what sets “Ring Shout” apart is that although it is fictional, much of the storytelling is rooted in the culture and history of New Orleans, creating a mystical world that intersects with each other. feels a little too close to the truth.
“A deadly education” by Naomi Novik (Del Rey, $ 17). You can’t spell spooky without magic! Well, maybe you can, but the two go hand in hand. For fans of “Harry Potter”, this fantastic novel by YA takes place in a school for the gifted: Scholomance. There are no teachers or vacations here – students graduate or die trying. (Seriously!) Monsters roam the school and students are warned never to walk alone in the halls of the Scholomance. But all that could change with half-Indian, half-Welsh anti-social protagonist El, who possesses such a strong dark power that she could possibly rid the school-terrorizing monsters. The downside is that getting rid of them could also mean killing the other students. “A Deadly Education” debuted last year and the second book in the series, “The Last Graduate,” came out last month.
Like “Harry Potter”, “A Deadly Education” has been the subject of some controversy. Shortly after its publication, readers claimed the book was racist due to the author’s use of dreadlocks in it – Novik said since apologized and all future prints of “A Deadly Education” will not include the offending paragraph. “It is true that racist undertones in books should always be exposed,” Book Riot wrote. contributor Namera Tanjeem. “However, I think sometimes it’s possible to read things in a book that aren’t necessarily there. We must be careful not to suggest that there is a “correct” way of describing the experiences of certain characters, especially when the identity in question is as heterogeneous as race. “
“The ex-spell” by Erin Sterling (Avon, $ 16.99). If you’re looking for a spooky read without guts or gore, “The Ex Hex” might be for you. Under the pseudonym Erin Sterling, bestselling author Rachel Hawkins writes the magical love story of Vivienne Jones and Rhys Penhallow, exes who find themselves working together to save their town of Graves Glen, Georgia, from multiple attacks. And meanwhile, the spark between the two is rekindled.