Hey there horror fans, I’m Jessica Avery and I’ll be delivering your weekly brief of all that’s ghastly and grim in the world of Horror. Whether you’re looking for a backlist book that will give you the willies, a terrifying new release, or the latest in horror community news, you’ll find it here in The Fright Stuff.
Welcome to week two of “horror books that Jessica became obsessed with in 2022!” I’m pouring over all the amazing horror that came out this year and highlighting some of my favorites.
Goosebumps Beanie by StatementStitchesUK
I don’t know about you, but I probably wouldn’t be a horror reader today if it weren’t for R.L. Stine and the Goosebumps books. So the next time you head out into the cold, pull on this embroidered beanie and spread some love for one of the most successful and beloved middle grade horror series in the genre.
Decimated Dreams by Brennan LaFaro
The second book of Brennan LaFaro’s Slattery Falls series is out this week! Five years after the events of the first book, Elsie and Travis are still haunted by their time in the Weeks house. But they have still managed to find some degree of peace, living a quiet life with their daughter April. Until, that is, April starts telling them about a sinister, green-eyed man who comes to her window at night. When April suddenly disappears, Elsie and Travis know it has to be the work of Robert Weeks, leaving them with no choice but to return to Slattery Falls so they can rescue their daughter and put their vengeful enemy back in his grave.
For a more comprehensive list, check out our New Books newsletter!
The Shadow Glass by Josh Winning
If, like me, you grew up rabidly consuming ’80s fantasy films like Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal, you need to read The Shadow Glass. Jack used to love his father Bob Corman’s critical flop turned cult puppet fantasy film The Shadow Glass. That is, until his relationship with the film, and his father, soured. Estranged from his father for years, it’s only after Bob’s death that Jack, reluctantly, returns to his childhood home and the memories he buried there. When the creatures that populated his father’s film and Jack’s childhood adventures suddenly come to life, and insist that they need Jack’s help in saving their world, he finds himself catapulted into an impossible adventure to save both the fictional world of Iri and our world from certain destruction.
Aliens: Vasquez by V. Castro
I have loved every single Alien book that I have thus far picked up with my greedy little hands, and Castro’s Aliens: Vasquez is definitely no exception. Jenette Vasquez was a secondary but unforgettable character in Aliens, and I can’t think of anyone who could have done her life story better justice than Castro. But Aliens: Vasquez isn’t just about Jenette and how she came to be on the ill-fated Hadley’s Hope mission. It’s also about her two children, now grown, who — though their lives have now gone in drastically different directions — also find themselves on a distant planet facing down the same chitinous nightmare creatures their mother did battle with so many years ago.
You’ve Lost a Lot of Blood by Eric LaRocca
The hard part of this list wasn’t deciding “if” to include an Eric LaRocca book so much as “which one,” given that he’s had three amazing books published in 2022. But going back through my notes from this year, I realized I’ve yet to sing the praises of You’ve Lost a Lot of Blood on The Fright Stuff, and that’s not an opportunity I want to miss. This was the first of LaRocca’s books I ever read, and I’m so glad I started here. There’s a strange, Gothic-y, gloomy but gorgeous, dreamlike quality to this novella within a novella that instantly fascinated me, and I’ve been auto-buying ever since. To say anymore would be to give too much away! You’ll have to go see for yourself.
Burn Down, Rise Up by Vincent Tirado
Gosh I love this book. I know the phrase “unputdownable” is overused, but I honestly was glued to my copy the whole time. Burn Down, Rise up is an unforgettable, action-packed rush of a horror book, where history and urban legend collide with deadly force. Fifteen year old Raquel’s life has just been upended by a violent attack that left her mother in a coma and infected by some unidentifiable mold-like substance that is slowly killing her. At the same time, Cisco — the cousin of Raquel’s crush Charlize — has disappeared and eye witnesses have identified him as the person who attacked and infected Raquel’s mother. Together, along with two other teens, Raquel and Charlize must venture into a world of ghosts and brutal histories, chasing an urban legend that may hold the key to saving their loved ones. But only if the girls can survive the Echo Game.
Fresh From the Skeleton’s Mouth
2022 isn’t quite over yet, so be sure to check out Nightfire’s list of horror books coming out in December!
If you need more gift ideas (for someone else or for yourself!) you can also have a look at Cosmopolitan’s picks for the 50 Best Horror Books of All Time.
The Poe Museum is hosting a fantastic event in January as part of its Centennial Celebration in 2023! R.L. Stine (of Goosebumps fame) and Nnedi Okorafor (Binti) will be taking the stage to honor the legend himself, Edgar Allan Poe.
2023 will be the ninth year of Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge! To find the list of 24 tasks and subscribe to our newsletter for tips and recommendations, visit Read Harder 2023.