Horror October: Week 1

 

 

 

Horror October Week 1 round-up 1st – 7th (Click on the image to view the post)

Introduction: Coming Up!
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Guest Post: Necro-nom-nom-icon…Cookbook of the Dead by Braineater Jones

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Review: Needful Things by Stephen King

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Top Ten Tuesday: Horror Books for Fans of Character Driven Novels

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Horror October: Coming Up!

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It’s time to dust up your costumes and cultivate your spiderwebs, because Horror October is back.

It’s the best time of year to read all of those books you’ve been too scared to open, and curl up on the sofa to watch you favourite scary movie, so I’m dedicating a whole month to doing just that.

However, if you’re not a fan of horror, do not fret, I’m using the term quite loosely and hope that there will be something to suit everyone (it’s not like I could go a month without reading any Children’s or YA)!

Join me!

The Books

I clearly won’t get round to all of these within the month (especially considering how long it’s taking me to read Needful Things), but I’m going to give it a bloody good try.

Click on the images to for the Goodreads page

New & Upcoming Releases


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Printer’s Devil Court
A mysterious manuscript lands on the desk of the step-son of the late Dr Hugh Meredith, a country doctor with a prosperous and peaceful practice in a small English town. From the written account he has left behind, however, we learn that Meredith was haunted by events that took place years before, during his training as a junior doctor near London’s Fleet Street, in a neighbourhood virtually unchanged since Dickens’s times.

Living then in rented digs, Meredith gets to know two other young medics, who have been carrying out audacious and terrifying research and experiments. Now they need the help of another who must be a doctor capable of total discretion and strong nerves.

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An English Ghost Story

A dysfunctional British nuclear family seek a new life away from the big city in the sleepy Somerset countryside.

At first their new home, The Hollow, seems to embrace them, creating a rare peace and harmony within the family. But when the house turns on them, it seems to know just how to hurt them the most—threatening to destroy them from the inside out.
 

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Ice Massacre
A mermaid’s supernatural beauty serves one purpose: to lure a sailor to his death.

The Massacre is supposed to bring peace to Eriana Kwai. Every year, the island sends its warriors to battle these hostile sea demons. Every year, the warriors fail to return. Desperate for survival, the island must decide on a new strategy. Now, the fate of Eriana Kwai lies in the hands of twenty battle-trained girls and their resistance to a mermaid’s allure.
 

 

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Wakening the Crow
With the looming shadow of Edgar Allan Poe falling over one family, Gregory takes the reader into a world of uncertainty and fear.

Oliver Gooch comes across a tooth, in a velvet box, with a handwritten note from 1888 to say it’s a tooth from the boy Edgar Allan Poe. He displays it in his new bookshop, and names the store Poe’s Tooth Books.

Oliver took the money from his small daughter Chloe’s accident insurance and bought a converted church to live in with his altered child and wife. Rosie hopes Chloe will came back to herself but Oliver is secretly relieved to have this new easy-to-manage child, and holds at bay the guilt that the accident was a result of his negligence. On a freezing night he and Chloe come across the crow, a raggedy skeletal wretch of a bird, and it refuses to leave. It infiltrates their lives, it alters Oliver’s relationship with Rosie, it changes Chloe. It’s a dangerous presence in the firelit, shadowy old vestry, in Poe’s Tooth Books.

Inexorably the family, the tooth, the crow, the church and their story will draw to a terrifying climax.

From the TBR Shelves

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Needful Things
Leland Gaunt opens a new shop in Castle Rock called Needful Things. Anyone who enters his store finds the object of his or her lifelong dreams and desires: a prized baseball card, a healing amulet. In addition to a token payment, Gaunt requests that each person perform a little “deed,” usually a seemingly innocent prank played on someone else from town. These practical jokes cascade out of control and soon the entire town is doing battle with itself. Only Sheriff Alan Pangborn suspects that Gaunt is behind the population’s increasingly violent behavior.

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Doll Bones
Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. They love playing with their action figure toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. But disaster strikes when, without warning, Zach’s father throws out all his toys, declaring he’s too old for them. Zach is furious, confused and embarrassed, deciding that the only way to cope is to stop playing . . . and stop being friends with Poppy and Alice. But one night the girls pay Zach a visit, and tell him about a series of mysterious occurrences. Poppy swears that she is now being haunted by a china doll – who claims that it is made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, and bury it. Otherwise the three children will be cursed for eternity . .

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Dark Satanic Mills
Set in a near-future Britain, Dark Satanic Mills tracks a young girl’s journey from the flooded landmarks of London to the vast, scorched and abandoned hills of the north. Framed for a murder she did not commit, the innocent and beautiful Christie has no other choice but to run for her life. Both a cautionary tale and a rip-roaring road trip, Dark Satanic Mills is altogether an intelligent, captivating and thrilling ride – The Wizard of Oz for a new generation, told in exhilarating shades of light and dark.

 
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Killer Spiders
It is 2005 in Great Britain, and an invasion of venomous spiders has hit the country. Hitchhiking’ in imported food, the spiders are able to thrive in the changing climate. At first, coverage of the attack is overlooked in favour of world events, but soon the spiders begin to take over. They cover everything they come across in gigantic webs and kill everything in sight. Their favourite food? Humans. Immune to insecticides and pesticides, the spiders multiply and take over towns and villages, spreading outwards from the London sewers. Dire consequences ensue for many residents of Great Britain as they fight to keep the killer spider epidemic under control…

Ghostly Guest Posts /Features

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I have some great features and guest posts lined up – here is but a taster (in other words the ones I can remember off the top of my head/the ones that are finished and ready to go).

Necro-nom-nom-icon: Cookbook of the Dead by Braineater Jones

Ever wondered how to feed your pet zombie? Braineater Jones himself stops by to give us some tips on how to keep the undead happy.#Cheerstobraineaterjones

Revisiting Point Horror

I take a look at some of my favourite Point Horror books and see how reading them today compares.

When the 90’s Come Back to Haunt You

Kimberly G. Giarratano, author of Grunge, Gods, and Graveyards takes us back to the 90’s with a haunting Halloween playlist.

You’ve Been Here Before

Think horror, and you can’t help but think of Stephen King. I have a gander at some of the most King-esque non-King things there is. Try saying that when you’re drunk.

Forgotten Fangers

You might have missed these Vampire Movies. Shame on you!

WWW Wednesday 01.10.14

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

It may be hump day again, but it’s also October – and you know what that means – it’s Horror October time!

Look out for my intro post a little later today, but in the mean time, here’s what I’ve been up to this past week.

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Currently Reading:
I’m reading Needful Things by Stephen King which I’m struggling with to be honest, but I will persevere!

Recently Finished:
I just finished Rush of Shadows by Catherine Bell which was really good, if not slightly depressing. My review will be part of the blog tour stopping here on the 14th. More info on the side bar.

Up Next:
My next Horror October read will be Doll Bones by Holly Black.

TTT: Top Ten Halloween Reads/Covers

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (Click the image to visit them). This week the theme is Top Ten Halloween Reads or Scary covers.

I’m going to cheat a little bit this week because I have had ZERO time to plan or write any posts. Boo. So that’s why most of these books have already featured here during Horror October. They are all books that I think are great Halloween reads AND have scary/awesome covers though.

Click the Images to view them on Goodreads.

books 0211. Point Horror books are great for those of you that don’t really like scary books, and I totally love the covers.

914538 2. This is kind of the opposite to what I said about Point Horror. Adults only!

181618663. I haven’t actually read this but dolls freak me the hell out so I had to include it.

47482214. The only thing worse than dolls are clowns!

3802345. This is one of my favourite vampire books. The cover is creepy too!

1561526. I really want this version of the collection of Poe’s work.

161305497. I loved this, and I love this cover.

128136308. This has been my favourite read from Horror October so far, and the cover is stunning!

60173679. Creepy house, creepy babies, creepy cover!

304000410. This is one of my favourite books full stop.

Favourites Friday #16 (Horror October Edition): Exquisite Corpse by Poppy Z. Brite

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I first read this book when I was maybe about 15, and I’d never read, or imagined I would read anything quite like it. There’s gay sex (shock horror!), cannibalism, necrophilia and a whole lot of gore & death. But there’s something of substance here too.

Brite has this great way of vividly encapsulating a certain time and place. Exquisite Corpse deals with the aftermath of the AIDS breakout and the hopelessness felt by the young gay community in New Orleans. Brite writes for a generation, and it’s stayed with me the same way as my own teenage years have.

You’ve probably heard that this love story about two cannibalistic serial killers (loosely modeled after Dennis Nilsen and Jeffrey Dahmer) is over the top. You’ve been warned about the lovingly meticulous descriptions of murder and necrophilia. But the novel also features a keen look at the AIDS plague, in a setting almost worth dying for: Brite’s doomed aesthetes dance in a sweet, heady New Orleans of milky coffee and beignets, alligators, Billy Holiday tunes, scented candles, pirate radio, swamp French, andouille sausage and one bar for every 175 people. And the structure is the tightest of Brite’s books so far”. (From Goodreads)

Full Synopsis:

To serial slayer Andrew Compton, murder is an art, the most intimate art. After feigning his own death to escape from prison, Compton makes his way to the United States with the sole ambition of bringing his “art” to new heights. Tortured by his own perverse desires, and drawn to possess and destroy young boys, Compton inadvertently joins forces with Jay Byrne, a dissolute playboy who has pushed his “art” to limits even Compton hadn’t previously imagined. Together, Compton and Byrne set their sights on an exquisite young Vietnamese-American runaway, Tran, whom they deem to be the perfect victim.

Swiftly moving from the grimy streets of London’s Piccadilly Circus to the decadence of the New Orleans French Quarter, and punctuated by rants from radio talk show host Lush Rimbaud, a.k.a. Luke Ransom, Tran’s ex-lover, who is dying of AIDS and who intends to wreak ultimate havoc before leaving this world, Exquisite Corpse unfolds into a labyrinth of murder and love. Ultimately all four characters converge on a singular bloody night after which their lives will be irrevocably changed — or terminated.

Oh, and I’m still totally in love with Tran!

Horror October: Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes

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17234765 Human Remains is a deeply disturbing and powerful psychological thriller that will have you checking the locks on your doors and windows.

When Annabel, a police analyst, discovers her neighbour’s decomposing body in the house next door, she’s appalled to think that no one, including herself, noticed that anything was wrong.

Back at work, she feels compelled to investigate, despite her colleagues’ lack of interest, and finds data showing that such cases are common – too common – in her home town. As she’s drawn deeper into the mystery and becomes convinced she’s on the trail of a killer, she also must face her own demons and her own mortality. Would anyone notice if she just disappeared?

So, this is one of those books that’s really hard to review without giving away the whole shebang, so I’ll keep it brief.

I absolutely loved Haynes’ first book Into the Darkest Corner but somehow managed to miss the release of her second one. When I saw the synopsis for Human Remains (her 3rd) though I knew I had to read it, especially considering I was doing this Horror October thing.

I have to say, I started off being bit disappointed. The novel is written from the perspectives of Annabel, a woman who has somehow managed to isolate herself from everyone apart from her elderly mum and her cat, and Colin, an intelligent but clearly unhinged individual. I think the main reason that this started off so slowly for me was that it was clear from the start that Colin was going to be ‘the killer’.

At first, I thought it was just an obvious plot-line but as soon as it became clear that we’re supposed to know who he is I felt I was really able to get into it. There was one moment when something just clicked, the inciting incident if you want to be poncy about it, and from then on I was hooked. It just wished it had happened sooner.

Human Remains reminded me a little of the likes of the film Se7en, and to some extent the Hannibal books. Mainly because of Colin’s character. He’s intelligent, articulate and lives a somewhat normal life on the surface, but underneath he’s completely psychotic. And that’s the thing I love about these kind of thrillers. I’m totally fascinated by how serious criminals and serial killers’ minds work.

Colin was a great baddy, even if he didn’t feel that original to me. I guess certain things he did were though. The creepiest part wasn’t even his obsession with the bodies, it was his complete lack of remorse. There was no remorse, because he didn’t feel like he was doing anything wrong, and therefore he felt invincible.

I wish we learned more about ‘his method’ too, I was really intrigued by that – such a scary thought. If you weren’t wary of the likes of Derren Brown before, you will be after reading this!

Disclosure: None, I bought it!
Details: Paperback, 368 pages. Published February 14th 2013 by MYRIAD EDITIONS
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Unicorns
Is it a keeper? Probably, but only because I’ve kept Into the Darkest Corner.
If you liked this try: American Psycho