Oooooh, it’s almost spooky season! Here in Sleepy Hollow, it’s a little difficult to embrace the spirits at temperatures pushing 100 degrees. Luckily, there are so many fantastic new horror books flying around!
All these books have been generously provided by the publishers via NetGalley, in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Short Story Collections
Figurehead, by Carly Holmes (Parthian Books, out now)
Figurehead was originally released in 2018 by Tartarus Press in the UK, and I’m so pleased to see it get a wider release. Holmes’ stories are magical, horrifying, and disturbing; all the things we hold near and dear to our hearts. Full review here.
What We Fed to the Manticore, by Talia Lakshmi Kolluri (Tin House, out now)
Grab your tissues, this one will break your heart. In Kolluri’s dazzling collection, all the stories are told from the perspective of animals. I don’t want to spoil all the animals in this collection, because I derived so much joy in trying to figure out each of the narrators. But you will encounter a variety of herbivores, mammals, birds, unlikely alliances, and destruction. Full review here.
Lucky Girl, How I Became A Horror Writer: A Krampus Story, by M. Rickert (Tor, released September 13th)
Yes, yes, it’s probably too early to be considering Christmas stories, but this would make an excellent stocking filler, and at 110 pages, an excellent option for Jolabokaflod. Lucky Girl is a brief, fun, festive horror novella, with a killer ending. Full review here.
Thistlefoot, by Gennarose Nethercott (Anchor Books, released September 13th)
I feel like I’ve been talking about this book forever, so I’m glad it’s finally getting out into the world. A brother and sister puppeteer team inherit Baba Yaga’s house. If that doesn’t convince you, nothing will. Full review here.
Thistlefoot on TOUR! So incredibly jealous of everyone who will get to see this.
In other Baba Yaga news, Into the Forest: Tales of the Baba Yaga, an anthology of short stories is coming in November!
Lungfish, by Meghan Gilliss (Catapult, released September 13th)
I was pleasantly surprised by Lungfish; I grabbed a copy from NetGalley on a whim, and was blown away by Gilliss’s lyrical writing. Lungfish is the story of a mother trying to raise her child on limited means, in a desperate, unforgiving situation. Definitely worth a read. Full review here.
The House in the Orchard, by Elizabeth Brooks (Tin House, released September 27th)
The House in the Orchard is a story within a story. We begin in 1945, when Peggy has inherited Orchard House from her deceased husband’s aunt Maude. Peggy visits the property with her father-in-law, Frank, who seems very keen on Peggy selling the property as quickly as possible. There is a weird vibe about the house, and an ominously bricked-up cellar.
Oooh, I love a difficult, unreliable child narrator. I also love family secrets. So this book ticked a whole lot of my boxes. Highly recommended. Full review here.
The Butcher, by Laura Kat Young (Titan, released September 20th)
I literally finished this last night, so this one is fresh. Teenager Lady Mae stands to inherit her mother’s position as Butcher in a small town. But not the kind that serves up sausages. Settlement Five has its own justice system, featuring “atonements” in the form of severed digits, limbs, etc, all of which the Butcher is expected to administer.
Loooooved this. So bleak, so compelling, so well-written. Full review here.