Welcome to my regular Thursday feature, Turning off the TV! In this feature I recommend books similar to TV shows or films you may have enjoyed, both series and specific episodes. This is a special Horror October edition of the feature, with lots more recommendations under a general theme. Obviously, the theme is horror (surprise, surprise!), but I’ve separated the books out by the main element of the story and suggested a film for each one. Each cover leads to the Goodreads page for the book.
Haunted houses e.g. Poltergeist
Experimentation e.g. Splice
Ghosts e.g. Paranormal Activity
Werewolves e.g. The Howling
Terrifying beasts e.g. Trollhunter
Vampires e.g. Nosferatu
Do you have any recommendations to add? What are some of your favourite elements or tropes of the horror genre?
For today’s Horror October post, I wanted to share the books I’ve read this year that fit the theme – some are horror, others more thrillers, others just plain creepy!
Doctor Sleep (The Shining #2) by Stephen King
Doctor Sleep is definitely one of my highlights of the year! I’d been anticipating this sequel to The Shining ever since I first read about it, before the cover was even released. Hodder sent me a review copy earlier in the year, and it was definitely worth the wait. If you’ve already read The Shining then hurry up and read this!
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is not so much a traditional horror, it is really a thriller, but it shows just how horrific humans can be to each other. It’s hard to say much about this book without giving anything away, so I won’t! I’m looking forward to seeing the film of this one too.
My rating for Gone Girl: [simple-rating stars=”four-stars”]
The Three by Sarah Lotz
The Three by Sarah Lotz was an interesting read. It was told entirely from interviews, newspaper articles and other sources of media. Unfortunately its format meant I had no connection whatsoever to any of the characters, and the ending was just incredibly frustrating.
The Quick was also another unique novel: wonderfully Gothic and rather slow paced. I took a while to read this one for various reasons so I think it might need a re-read at some point, but I enjoyed it a lot. I also had the privilege of meeting the author, Lauren Owen, in April, and definitely made a fool of myself. Oops.
Red Moon by Benjamin Percy had me super excited – it was a werewolf novel with a twist and had such wonderful reviews. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t agree with them. The writing was wonderful but the story just felt… lacking. Also it promised me a good scare and just didn’t deliver!
Midnight Crossroad (Midnight #1) by Charlaine Harris
Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris was another disappointment. I really love her Southern Vampire Mysteries series (or the True Blood books if you prefer), even if the last few just felt like a chance to make some easy money. So I was hoping a new series would be a new start, and whilst Midnight Crossroad wasn’t bad, there was nothing special about it.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black is another one that’s had great reviews, but I just didn’t get along with. Too many vampires and falling for the bad boy, ugh… The concept of the Coldtowns was original, but vampires? So overdone right now… It does have one of the most horrific opening scenes I’ve ever read though.
Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey is hard to explain in terms of the horror genre without giving away some big plot points. I definitely wasn’t expecting the horror element when I started reading it, and it’s definitely a memorable part… I read it with my Goodreads book group and it was pretty well received!
The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co #1) by Jonathan Stroud
The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud is one of my stand-out books of the year. I wasn’t expecting to love it so much, but it pulled me right in. It may be aimed at younger readers but it is SO amazing. Think a mix of Sherlock and Supernatural, with teenage protaganists.
I carried on reading more Marvel comics, although this will probably be the last month I’m able to for a while. Alias Hook was a great start to the month – a five star book as my first read of July! I also absolutely loved Marvel 1602, I mean you can’t really go wrong with Marvel and Neil Gaiman, right? Towards the end of the month I read Smiler’s Fair by Rebecca Levene, which was kindly sent to me by Hodderscape. It’s a new epic fantasy series and WOW. Not only is the writing fantastic, but it also has a truly gorgeous cover. I also managed to fit in a re-read of Mockingjay, which I desperately wanted to do after seeing the new trailer for the film.
I read six books towards the Avengers vs. X-Men Challenge. I managed to recruit Cyclops and Nightcrawler, as well as successfully defeat Dr. Doom, securing extra points for my team. August’s villain is the hungriest creature in the world, Galactus!
I have currently read ninety-seven books towards my Goodreads goal. I may increase it to 125 for the whole year.
Off the blog:
I went to London Film and Comic Con/Young Adult Literature Convention on 12th July, but more on that later! I also spent three days in London with my mum and sister, which was lovely. We visited the Natural History Museum, Borough Market, London Zoo, saw lots of the sights such as Westminster, Big Ben, the Globe Theatre – and we saw Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Savoy. IT WAS SO GOOD. SOOOO GOOD. My whole family absolutely love the film (can’t remember how many times I’ve watched it), and it worked so well as a musical. One word of advice – don’t buy drinks in the Savoy Theatre. £22 for three drinks? Nah.
I also saw Guardians of the Galaxy, which I’ve been wanting to watch since January or so – and IT WAS SO WORTH THE WAIT. Funniest Marvel film yet, so crazy and fun but still full of wonderfully built characters and emotions! Go watch it now.
Today I want to discuss a science fiction and fantasy publisher, who have also been kind enough to send some goodies for Sci-Fi Month: Hodderscape. Don’t forget to check out the schedule for the rest of today’s posts. You can also Tweet about the event using the hashtag #RRSciFiMonth.
Hodderscape is the science fiction, fantasy and horror imprint of the well-known publishing house, Hodder & Stoughton. They publish a wide range of authors, including Stephen King, Laini Taylor, Frank Herbert, Benjamin Percy and Jasper Fforde. You can view a full list of their authors here.
They have published books that range from Frank Herbert’s Dune, the science fiction classic, to Susan Ee’s Angelfall, an originally self-published sensation.
Here is a selection of Hodderscape’s book covers:
What’s so great about Hodderscape?
The number one thing to me is that they interact with their readers. The team has a big online presence and makes great use of social media to stay in touch with book lovers, answer any questions and offer up some great giveaways and competitions. They also have a blog where they feature weekly articles by author Adam Baker, Friday Favourites, Wednesday Wonders and Classic Covers, amongst other things. They’re more than happy to indulge in discussion with fellow fans of science fiction, fantasy and horror.
If you’d like to keep up to date with Hodderscape, you can visit their website, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.
Thanks to the lovely people at Hodderscape, I have some books to give away. The winner can choose between a signed copy of Red Moon by Benjamin Percy, or an ARC of She Who Waits by Daniel Polansky, and I’ll throw in some of the bookmarks that Hodderscape sent me along with the books. The giveaway is UK only, because of postage costs, but I’ll add another small international giveaway for some of the bookmarks in case anyone is interested.
My ‘Weekly Roundup’ is where I share the books I have received in the past week, whether bought, gifted, borrowed etc.
A Song of Stone by Iain Banks – set in an unnamed European country, this one sounds pretty interesting. It is about a lord and lady who are trapped in their own castle by a band of outlaws and has some rather mixed reviews on Goodreads. It sounds quite dark, and I’m interested to see what I’ll think of it, as I didn’t particularly enjoy The Wasp Factory. A 50p charity shop find.
Pushing Ice by Alastair Reynolds – more science fiction! I may end up reading and reviewing this one for Sci-Fi Month, but I will definitely be reviewing at least one other of Reynolds’ works. I absolutely loved House of Suns, and hope this one lives up to that.
Gracelingby Kristin Cashore – about time! I ordered this from the library a while ago and it took ages to get here. I’m so excited for this one, I’ve heard such good things. I actually own Bitterblue (brand new hardcover, found in it the charity shop for 50p!), so I thought I better read the first two books first…
A signed copy of Red Moon by Benjamin Percy, Terminus by Adam Baker, an uncorrected proof copy of She Who Waits by Daniel Polansky (which isn’t even on Goodreads yet!) and Under the Dome by Stephen King, as well as lots of bookmarks!