10. Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons
First published in 1989, this book is a little sci-fi, a little fantasy, and a whole lot of horror. This novel follows a secret society (I know: this part intrigued me too) of terrifying, quasi-vampiric beings. These beings possess the ability not only to read humans’ thoughts but also to control their bodies, feeding off their emotions while forcing them to commit unspeakable atrocities. As you do when you’re a part of a murderous secret society, three of the most powerful members of this order meet once a year to discuss their plans for further carnage. But, at this particular meeting, something goes terribly wrong. If you’ve ever debated the merits of determinism; if you’ve ever questioned whether your “free” will was actually your own… This could be a tough one for you.
9. Blindness by José Saramago
An entire city is turned upside down by a plague of blindness that leaves no one unscathed. The blind are sent to an abandoned mental hospital where chaos takes hold and criminals take charge of the general population. As the plague begins to spread and society begins to crumble, violence and hatred appear to reign supreme.
8. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
Halloween comes early when a magical circus rolls into a small, sleepy town in Illinois. The allure of this circus has nothing to do with hotdogs, cotton candy, or the carousel ride itself—the allure stems from what this carousel can do. It possesses the power to change your physical age: children who yearn for adulthood find themselves ageing; older men and women who feel the sting of their lost youth regress into their younger selves. But, as life’s natural order is destroyed, what at first seems like a gift is soon revealed to be more of a curse.
7. The Good House by Tananarive Due
I’m a huge fan of good old-fashioned haunted house stories and this one’s got it all: small town, malicious entity, family secrets, and, of course, possibly the most important character of all: The House. While The Good House may be a bit of a slow burn compared to other horror stories, it takes its time to develop thought-provoking and well-rounded characters—something which is often lacking in the horror story sphere.
6. The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo
I listed Yangsze Choo’s The Night Tiger as one of my “10 Books I Couldn’t Put Down” and I can’t wait to dive into The Ghost Bride. This author has a very unique voice and an eloquently seamless way of infusing her work with adventure, Malay history, as well as Chinese folklore and ancient ghost stories. In this book, Li Lan is offered the position of ghost bride for the powerful Lim family. Having lost their only son, the Lim family wants to give him a living bride, hoping that, in so doing, they will be able to quell his restless spirit. Quickly, Li Lan becomes torn between the land of the living (and a flesh-and-blood man who inhabits it) and the Lim’s son, who is fully rooted in the realm of the dead.
On a side note, this has to be one of the prettiest covers I’ve seen in a long time!
5. The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
This book is a reimagining of H.P. Lovecraft’s tale “The Horror at Red Hook.” It follows Charles Thomas Tester who, disguised as a street musician, secretly sells magical items to those who can afford them. But, when he is tasked with delivering a dangerous occult book to a recluse in the middle of Queens, he soon finds himself well in over his head.
What are some books you’d like to see in part two?