Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly challenge/meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
Today’s challenge is:
Halloween related freebie: ten scary books, favorite horror novels, non-scary books to get you in the Halloween/fall mood, bookish halloween costumes, scariest covers), scary books on my TBR, etc.
I will include both books that I’ve read, but also some that I know they’re scary/horror/creepy, but I haven’t read them yet: 5 read, 5 want to read. The order will be a bit random. That being said, I present to you :
1. Shadows by John Saul
They call it the Academy. A secluded, cliff-top mansion overlooking the rugged Pacific coast. A school for children gifted — or cursed — with extraordinary minds. Children soon to come under the influence of an intelligence even more brilliant than their own — and unspeakably evil. For within this mind a dark plan is taking form. A plan so horrifying, no one will believe it. No one but the children. And for them it is already too late. Too late, unless one young student can resist the seductive invitation that will lead… into the Shadows.
I read this book around 10 years ago. I remember it pretty well. I know I found it really creepy, but at the same time I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t read it in English, I read it in my native tongue. Personally, I found it pretty scary, especially since what happened is not that far fetched from reality – experiments on children and animals.
It reminds me of the creepy experiments that went on in the XX century. For example, a certain scientist actually managed to keep alive decapitated heads! Actually, that’s how artificial life machines started out. I will post about the footage and some information about this later on today, or tomorrow.
Not all scenes are graphic, and even the ones that are, they’re quite moderate – in my opinion.
One thing to keep in mind is that this book was written in the early 90s. Therefore, the technology was different.Also, John Saul is not the best writer out there, but his stories are quite interesting.
2. Creature by John Saul
A powerful high-tech company. A postcard-pretty company town. Families. Children. Sunshine. Happiness. A high school football team that never-ever loses. And something else. Something horrible … Now, there is a new family in town. A shy, nature-loving teenager. A new hometown. A new set of bullies. Maybe the team’s sports clinic can help him. Rebuild him. They won’t hurt him again. They won’t dare.
Another John Saul novel. I also read it 10 years ago; I think in the same year I also read Shadows. Another creepy book, less graphic than Shadows, thou. I liked it. Another book about experiments on humans.
3. Goosebumps Series by R.L. Stine
Goosebumps is a series of children’s horror fiction novellas created and authored by R.L. Stine. Sixty-two books were published under the Goosebumps umbrella title from 1992 to 1997, the first being Welcome to Dead House, and the last being Monster Blood IV.
There are a lot of books in this series, but they can be read as stand-alone novels. They’re not connected. I haven’t read all of them, but I did read around 6-7 of them.
As the series’ description says, these books are for children mostly – middle school, I would say . Therefore, they’re not the most scariest books out there. However, they’re a fun and easy read. They are around 100-150 pages each, with few chapters. Still, there are a lot creepy things in there. I think they would be perfect if you like children books, or if you want to read something creepy, but not too horror.
4. The Ruins by Scott Bechtel Smith
In the wild interior of the Yucatan, far from the lazy beaches of Cancun, two young couples and some new-found friends venture to the site of an ancient Mayan temple, in pursuit of another in their group. What started out as a day trip spirals into a nightmare when they reach the ruins … and discover the terrifying presence that lurks there.
This novel is not very gory, but it dose have some dark scenes in it. People being cursed, and put into quarantine; breaking bones, amputation, some supernatural elements. It is quite interesting. There is also a film based on this novel, with the same name. Here’s the thriller:
5. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.
Yet she spares Cas’s life.
This novel has more elements, it’s not simply just horror. It has ghosts, romance, horror, mystery. Also, the main character is a guy – a good characterization and narrative voice, since Cas is quite clearly a young man, not a women.
I read this a while ago. I didn’t read the sequel; not yet. I think I will re-read this one.
6. Horns by Joe Hill
Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with a thunderous hangover, a raging headache . . . and a pair of horns growing from his temples.
At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real.
Once the righteous Ig had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more—he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.
But Merrin’s death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters. Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is, but the devil inside.
I’ve heard a lot about this book, and I really want to give it a try. The blurb sounds really interesting, and the authors is Stephen King’s son, so . . .
Have you read this book? Did you like it?
7. Carrie by Stephen King
Carrie knew she should not use the terrifying power she possessed… But one night at her senior prom, Carrie was scorned and humiliated just one time too many, and in a fit of uncontrollable fury she turned her clandestine game into a weapon of horror and destruction…
I really, really want to read this book. And I think I will read it this month, since it’s quite shot – 253 pages. I watched the films – yes, all the adaptations. The first one is still my favorite. It was quite scary for me, maybe also because I was quite young when I watched it. I think it’s one of my favorite horror films. I also understood that in the book Carrie does more damage than in the film, so I can’t wait to read it.
Have you read Carrie? What did you think of it?
8. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.
A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
Well, this novel and series is not really horror, just a little bit creepy – that’s the vibe I get from the blurb and from the reviews I’ve read. However, the film’s thriller looks more fantasy than creepy, but we’ll see.
9. It by Stephen King
To the children, the town was their whole world. To the adults, knowing better, Derry, Maine was just their home town: familiar, well-ordered for the most part. A good place to live.
It was the children who saw – and felt – what made Derry so horribly different. In the storm drains, in the sewers, IT lurked, taking on the shape of every nightmare, each one’s deepest dread. Sometimes IT reached up, seizing, tearing, killing . . .
The adults, knowing better, knew nothing.
Time passed and the children grew up, moved away. The horror of IT was deep-buried, wrapped in forgetfulness. Until they were called back, once more to confront IT as IT stirred and coiled in the sullen depths of their memories, reaching up again to make their past nightmares a terrible present reality.
I think everybody knows about this book.
I wanted to read this book for so long. The only thing stopping me is it’s lengths – it’s over 1000 pages, and I don’t do well with thick books. I might go the audio-book route.
Did you manage to read this book? Was it spectacular?
10. A Taste for Monsters by Matthew J. Kirby
IT’S LONDON 1888, and Jack the Ripper is terrorizing the people of the city. Evelyn, a young woman disfigured by her dangerous work in a matchstick factory, who has nowhere to go, does not know what to make of her new position as a maid to the Elephant Man in the London Hospital. Evelyn wants to be locked away from the world, like he is, shut in from the filth and dangers of the streets. But in Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man, she finds a gentle kindred who does not recoil from her and who understands her pain. When the murders begin, however, Joseph and Evelyn are haunted nightly by the ghosts of the Ripper’s dead, setting Evelyn on a path to facing her fears and uncovering humanity’s worst nightmares.
A Taste for Monsters is a terrifying and haunting tale of the monstrosity of men and the salvation one may find in the unlikeliest places, from Edgar Award–winning author Matthew J. Kirby.
This one is a new discovery for me. Well, it was published in September 2016, so it’s quite new. I really like the blurb and I think it can be a good horror novel.
That’s it for this week. The next week’s topic is about book clubs 😀
What about you? Do you have a top 10 scary books? If you did this challenge, post the link so I can check you it out. If not, tell me your favorite horror books in the comments below.