In his short story collection Night Shift, Stephen King wrote, “The thing under my bed waiting to grab my ankle isn’t real. I know that, and I also know that if I’m careful to keep my foot under the covers, it will never be able to grab my ankle.” Here are some newer horror fiction picks to help you remember to keep your feet tucked up safely under the blankets this Halloween:
If you’re a fan of Stephen King’s The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, try
Ashes (Ashes Trilogy #1), by Ilsa J. Bick: Seventeen-year-old Alex is an orphan dying of brain cancer when an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) wipes out most of the population. Most of those who are not killed outright become zombies. Alex teams up with Tom, a soldier, and Ellie, a middle-schooler in this horrific survival story.
If you’re a fan of Stephen King’s The Stand, try
The Twelve, by Justin Cronin: The Twelve is the sequel to The Passage. In The Passage, the American military injected twelve death row inmates with a virus and (inadvertently) unleashed ultraviolent vampires on the world. Surprisingly, The Twelve returns us to the beginning of the outbreak with memorable new characters: Kitteridge, Guilder, Lila and Grey. Characters from the first work reappear and are given new depth. The Passage and The Twelve present an absorbing new world as full of beauty as it is of desolation. *I received a promotional copy of The Twelve via NetGalley.
If you’re a fan of Stephen King’s Dolores Claiborne, try
Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn: This year everyone is talking about Flynn’s thrilling Gone Girl, but her debut novel is equally disturbing. Camille Parker has spent her adult life trying to forget her childhood. She’s drawn back to her hometown and into the life of her loveless mother when she’s assigned to report on the gruesome murder of two girls. If you like realistic characters with haunted pasts and horror that sort of sneaks up on you, look no further.
If you’re a fan of Stephen King’s The Dead Zone or 11/22/63, try
The Newsflesh Trilogy, by Mira Grant: Horror +politics can make for a very absorbing read. In Feed, the first book of the Newsflesh Trilogy, the world has been decimated by a zombie plague. Twins Georgia and Shaun Mason blog about politics at the end of the world; they are on the hunt for information about the conspiracy behind the infections. A well-written and fresh take on zombie fiction.
If you’re a fan of Stephen King’s The Shining, try
The Haunted, by Bentley Little: The Perry family buys their perfect house and, almost immediately, there are small strange occurrences. As the weirdness escalates, the Perrys gradually lose control over their average everyday lives.
“I hope you liked them, Reader; that they did for you what any good story should do–make you forget the real stuff weighing on your mind for a little while and take you away to a place you’ve never been. It’s the most amiable sort of magic I know.” Yep. You guessed it, another quote from Stephen King.
Happy Halloween reading!
(Image courtesy of: http://www.ghosthuntingtheories.com/2011/09/horror-movie-themed-jack-o-lanterns.html)