Another year of the pandemic and its effects on all of our lives, another year of craving escapism. Fortunately, 2021 brought us many new and unique horror novels to enjoy. Below, I have listed my favorites I had the pleasure of reading this year:
The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke
I had to do some work to secure a copy to read, and it was worth it. The story builds up a little slowly at first, but when it comes together, I was not prepared for the greatness.
A Dowry of Blood by S.T. Gibson
Dracula by Bram Stoker is one of my favorite books of all time. When I saw someone had written a novel from the perspective of one of his vampire brides, I leapt on that right away. This novel is beautifully written, engaging, and visceral. I am already planning on reading it again next year.
The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix
I have read several novels by Grady Hendrix over the past couple of years, and this one is by far my favorite! I did not have the highest expectations for this one, but it showed me. There have been a few “final girl” narratives over the past few years, and I think this story has done it best.
My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones
Stephen Graham Jones has quickly become one of my favorite horror writers. This novel showcases a love of horror films that most of us can appreciate, even though the protagonist takes that love a bit too far.
Later by Stephen King
This one is more of a crime novel than a traditional horror novel, admittedly. Regardless, Stephen King brings the supernatural thrills like no one else can.
The Mary Shelley Club by Goldy Moldavsky
As a lifelong fan of Mary Shelley and horror in general, I added this book to my reading list as soon as I saw it advertised on Goodreads. This novel features lovable characters, a great storyline, and a treasure trove of horror references.
The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling
I wrote about this novel not long ago, and I just had to include it in this list. It is a perfect example of everything I love about Gothic literature. Check out my full book review here.
House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland
House of Hollow is hands-down one of my favorite reads of the year. The characters, particularly the three sisters, are so real and complex. The writing is strong, beautiful, and often grotesque. It pushed boundaries in artful ways that made it nearly impossible to put down.
Also, prominently feature flowers and other pretty things in a horror story, and I am on board.
The Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor
If you enjoy horror with a pinch of historical fiction, The Burning Girls may be just what you’re looking for. Filled with surprises and deep-seated scares, it is one of the most unique horror novels I have read in a while.
To join in on my reading excursions, feel free to add me on Goodreads (link in the Social tab)!
Until next time,