If it Bleeds… We can read it (it worked the first time, so I’m going to say it again).
Despite it sometimes feeling like the apocalypse, the earth has continued to spin and somehow we have found ourselves on the brink of August already. And despite the world having its own horror-flavour right now, I know that, like me, you are all looking for more horror to read. So let me give you a quick rundown of what to keep an eye out for that is due to be released over the next few months.
The Living Dead, George A. Romero & Daniel Kraus (Expected: 5th August)
And to kick this side of the year off to a good start is the zombie king himself.
“In a Midwestern trailer park, an African American teenage girl and a Muslim immigrant battle newly-risen friends and family. On a US aircraft carrier, living sailors hide from dead ones while a fanatic makes a new religion out of death. At a cable news station, a surviving anchor keeps broadcasting while his undead colleagues try to devour him. In DC, an autistic federal employee charts the outbreak, preserving data for a future that may never come.
Everywhere, people are targeted by both the living and the dead.
We think we know how this story ends.
We. Are. Wrong.”
The Legendary director of Night of the Living Dead unfortunately passed away before this novel was completed, but his widow reached out to Daniel Klaus who was able to complete it. Thus giving us the chance to experience and enjoy Romero zombies once again.
Clown in a Cornfield, Adam Cesare (Expected: 25th August)
Can you not see that cover? That title? That tagline? Do you really need more?
“Quinn Maybrook just wants to make it until graduation. She might not make it to morning.
Quinn and her father moved to tiny, boring Kettle Springs to find a fresh start. But ever since the Baypen Corn Syrup Factory shut down, Kettle Springs has cracked in half. On one side are the adults, who are desperate to make Kettle Springs great again, and on the other are the kids, who want to have fun, make prank videos, and get out of Kettle Springs as quick as they can.
Kettle Springs is caught in a battle between old and new, tradition and progress. It’s a fight that looks like it will destroy the town. Until Frendo, the Baypen mascot, a creepy clown in a pork-pie hat, goes homicidal and decides that the only way for Kettle Springs to grow back is to cull the rotten crop of kids who live there now.”
And if you still don’t want to read it, then there is no cure for you, my friend.
Night of the Mannequins, Stephen Graham Jones (Expected: 1st September)
Another one? So soon? What is it with authors called Stephen knocking out awesome horror books so frequently? I’m not complaining!
“One last laugh for the summer as it windows down. One last prank just to scare a friend. Bringing a mannequin into a theater is just some harmless fun, right? Until it wakes up. Until it starts killing.
Luckily, Sawyer has a plan. He’ll be a hero. He’ll save everyone to the best of his ability. He’ll kill as many people as he needs so he can save the day. That’s the thing about heroes- sometimes you have to become a monster first. ”
The Ghost Tree, Christina Henry (Expected: 8th September)
Henry’s re-imaginings of classic children’s stories such as Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan often come with a dark twist, but I don’t know what to expect from this. I am excited to find out though!
“When the bodies of two girls are found torn apart in the town of Smiths Hollow, Lauren is surprised, but she also expects that the police won’t find the killer. After all, the year before her father’s body was found with his heart missing, and since then everyone has moved on. Even her best friend, Miranda, has become more interested in boys than in spending time at the old ghost tree, the way they used to when they were kids.
So when Lauren has a vision of a monster dragging the remains of the girls through the woods, she knows she can’t just do nothing. Not like the rest of her town. But as she draws closer to answers, she realizes that the foundation of her seemingly normal town might be rotten at the center. And that if nobody else stands for the missing, she will.”
The Hollow Places, T. Kingfisher (Expected: 6th October)
“Pray they are hungry.
Kara finds the words in the mysterious bunker that she’s discovered behind a hole in the wall of her uncle’s house. Freshly divorced and living back at home, Kara now becomes obsessed with these cryptic words and starts exploring this peculiar area—only to discover that it holds portals to countless alternate realities. But these places are haunted by creatures that seem to hear thoughts…and the more one fears them, the stronger they become.”
I’m slightly terrified just reading that description, so I can’t wait to pick this up.
We Hear Voices, Evie Green (Expected: 6th October)
That name is a great start and I can already feel the chill factor.
“Kids have imaginary friends. Rachel knows this. So when her young son, Billy, miraculously recovers from a horrible flu that has proven fatal for many, she thinks nothing of Delfy, his new invisible friend. After all, her family is healthy and that’s all that matters.
But soon Delfy is telling Billy what to do, and the boy is acting up and lashing out in ways he never has before. As Delfy’s influence is growing stranger and more sinister by the day, and rising tensions threaten to tear Rachel’s family apart, she clings to one purpose: to protect her children at any cost–even from themselves.”
Pair the name with a flu-like virus and with a child’s imaginary-maybe-real-friend and we could be sleeping with the lights on after this.
On Sundays, She Picked Flowers, Yah Yah Scholfield (Expected: 18th October)
Bringing it down a notch with what appears to be a delicious, soft but equally chilling gothic novel.
“Judith finally escapes from her mother and moves to countryside of Georgia. There she makes a home for herself in a cottage given to her by a relatively kind innkeeper. And it’s there she begins her Sunday routine. And it’s there she learns of the beings in the woods.
And it’s also there she meets Nemoira, the woman who changes her life in ways Judith never even thought of.”
The Children of Red Peak, Craig DiLouie (Expected: 17th November)
“Bram Stoker Award nominee”, “heart pounding”, and “psychological suspense” are some of my favourite words thrown in a sentence together. I also cannot resist a story about cults, fact or fiction.
“David Young, Deacon Price, and Beth Harris live with a dark secret. As children, they survived a religious group’s horrific last days at the isolated mountain Red Peak. Years later, the trauma of what they experienced never feels far behind.
When a fellow survivor commits suicide, they finally reunite and share their stories. Long-repressed memories surface, defying understanding and belief. Why did their families go down such a dark road? What really happened on that final night?
The answers lie buried at Red Peak. But truth has a price, and escaping a second time may demand the ultimate sacrifice.”
The Blade Between, Sam J. Miller (Expected: 1st December)
And last, but not least, we have this upcoming novel from Nebula-nominated author of Blackfish City
“Ronan Szepessy promised himself he’d never return to Hudson. The sleepy upstate town was no place for a restless gay photographer. But his father is ill and New York City’s distractions have become too much for him. He hopes that a quick visit will help him recharge.
Ronan reconnects with two friends from high school: Dom, his first love, and Dom’s wife, Attalah. The three former misfits mourn what their town has become—overrun by gentrifiers and corporate interests. With friends and neighbors getting evicted en masse and a mayoral election coming up, Ronan and Attalah craft a plan to rattle the newcomers and expose their true motives. But in doing so, they unleash something far more mysterious and un-containable.
Hudson has a rich, proud history and, it turns out, the real-state developers aren’t the only forces threatening its well-being: the spirits under-girding this once-thriving industrial town are enraged. Ronan’s hijinks have overlapped with a bubbling up of hate and violence among friends and neighbors, and everything is spiraling out of control. Ronan must summon the very best of himself to shed his own demons and save the city he once loathed.”
Which of these are destined to be on your shelves later this year? What are you most looking forward to reading?