Leave This Place— Spike Black–7.5/10
This was a pretty creepy book about a couple who go to a cabin somewhere, in England I’m pretty sure. There is a haunted history about the house, of course, and a rocking chair in their room that the couple keep seeing a man sitting in at night, watching them sleep. And on the wall, right behind the chair, is a picture… of the same man in the rocking chair, 20 years ago, where he was found dead. But is he dead?
This book was good, and the writing is simple and easy-to-read. I liked the concept, and the characters were just real enough to make it enjoyable. The ending was somewhat predictable, but a good book nonetheless.
The Girl on the Train— Paula Hawkins–9/10
This book is one of the best of the year, despite the movie adaption being… different. It’s about a girl who takes the train to work every morning, seeing this perfect couple in a house nearby. She dreams about them, and wishes she could be like that woman: in a solid relationship, with a nice house, and a perfect life. But when that same woman goes missing and the girl on the train realizes their lives are intertwined, everything changes and the truth becomes a lot less perfect.
While the writing was just about perfect and I loved this book, the last two or three chapters were a let down. The big confrontation was lame, to put it bluntly, but if you ignore the ending it’s one of the best stories and one of the best buildups I’ve read.
Don’t Look Inside— Spike Black–8.5/10
When a book turns up with the words “Don’t Look Inside” scratched on the cover, it seems everybody who comes in contact with it can’t help but sneak a peek inside. They find, on the pages, a story… about them. Each person finds a new, rhyming poem that predicts their death, which promptly happens in terribly scary ways. After the police realize what’s going on, one detective goes on the hunt for this terrible book before it can find its way back to her.
This book, yet another one by Spike Black, is even better than the first. The storyline is interesting, and while the plot jumps around a bit and there are some holes the writing is good enough to hold it together. The characters are intriguing, fun to read about, and most importantly I didn’t see the ending coming.
1984— George Orwell–8/10
A book about the future, or what the future was supposed to be like way back in the 40s or 50s. Big Brother is in charge of one of three nations that have dominated the world, but unlike most apocalyptic books this one is written by a normal, in fact the most normal of them. And the ending isn’t anything like you’d expect! If you’re into futuristic books and like literature that makes you think, this is a must-read.
Of course, the writing is hard to understand at parts, and the 20 pages taken up by a book inside the book are a bit odd, but overall it’s enjoyable read and one that you’re not likely to forget.
The Venus Trap– Louise Voss–8.5/10
Louise Voss, along with Mark Edwards, might be the best horror authors that nobody talks about. This book, which takes place almost entirely within one house, is ridiculously entertaining, to the point where I read it all in a week. The plot centers around a woman who has been kidnapped by a man she met online, but the sick and twisted way of that man are slowly revealed to her.
This ending was shocking and I don’t know how I didn’t see it coming, but I definitely did not. It’s entertaining, emotional, and the writing is perfect. Not to mention, it pulls off all this with a very limited setting, something I’ve always found extremely difficult.
Killing Cupid— Louise Voss and Mark Edwards–9/10
Hey, it’s Louise Voss again. And she’s back, with Mark Edwards, in what is one of the most entertaining books that nobody talks about. This book is about a woman teaching a writing class at a college, and one of the students has an… unhealthy attraction for her. This plays out in many different fashions, and of course it doesn’t end well. But people dieing? That’s too far for this woman, who takes things into her own hands.
With a main character that’s easy to root for, this book hinges on you feeling frightened with and for the writing instruction. She has her own personal problems, of course, but there are some parts in this book that I picture in movies and it’s terrifying. Also, the main character is an author, so #empathy.
Hikers: Part One— Lauren Alego–8.5/10
This is a book that literally nobody knows, and yet that’s entirely unfair because the thought put into this book is crazy. The plot centers around these demon-like creatures called “hikers” that infest people when they are at their weakest points, and force them to do things like rape, murder, and suicide. The “possessed” person always dies. But those who survive, or who are saved from it, can sense these hikers afterwards. One man takes action, and with the help of a former teenage prostitute he saved they work together to take these terrible creatures. The ending is touching, and there’s a sequel!
The writing is great, and the plot is one of the best I’ve read. However this author came up with the concept, she’s a genius and I highly recommend this book.
When the Black-Eyed Children Knock and other short stories— Ben Sobieck–7.5/10
This is a book by another author I know, although he’s more well-known for his blog about guns in fiction than he is for his horror writing. That, too, is a great area for him. The first story in this collection holds up the rest, and if you just read that one story it’s enough for the money’s worth. It deals with a new couple, a new baby, and the perils and threats to every marriage. There’s a deeper meaning in the story besides the obvious scariness, and that’s what makes it best.
While the other stories aren’t that great, they do their part to make this a collection worth reading. And it’s only 99 cents anyways, or free on Wattpad. The writing is good, and each story is unique from anything I’ve ever read.
Because She Loves Me— Mark Edwards–8.5/10
This is one of Mark Edwards’ lesser-known books, but as you can tell from his reappearances on this list he’s quite good in everything he writes. This story, as always, was centered around a newly-formed relationship, although this particular one was secretive and the woman isn’t always what you think. Which is exactly the premise of a book, which centers around a man asking himself one question: Is the girl he loves trying to kill him?
The writing is great, as always with this guy, and the plot captures my attention. It really is crazy how every single book he churns out has the same, engaging plot and the scary, exhilarating pace.
Magpies— Mark Edwards–8.5/10
The book that really made Mark Edwards a star, this one is full of secretive neighbors. Or is the house haunting them? Or is it something completely unrelated? If you read any of the books on this list, this one is by far the best. It’s scary at all the good parts, terribly sad at times, and my favorite book that I’ve read, at least in the horror genre.
The pacing is perfect, and the big surprise at the end will make you cringe at night. Let me just say, you will never feel safe in your own home again. Watch our for those neighbors!
Her Final Breath— Robert Dugoni–8.6/10
This was the second in a series of books, and was definitely the best. It was better than the first because it had a disturbing, intriguing storyline and made me captivated as I flipped through the pages. It’s about a detective Crosswhite that chases down a killer who kills women in brutal ways. While he usually hunts on the poor and unknown women of society, his newest target is Tracy Crosswhite.
This book builds up the tension like no other, and the ending is a twist that I never saw coming. Who the murderer actually is will shock you, and leave you sleeping with the lights on for weeks.
Scarlet Letter— Nathaniel Hawthorne–6.5/10
This is a book about a woman who commits adultery and has to wear a scarlet A on her chest ever after. There is a deeper meaning to everything in this book, and a frightening storyline begins to grow from the second chapter onwards. In this book, there is always the hint of threat in the air and mysteries that are not resolved until the very end.
I enjoyed parts of this book, and the storyline was overall very good. While I think the tension could have been dragged on farther, if you enjoy classical books then this one is certainly for you.
Forward Slash— Mark Edwards and Louise Voss–8/10
The newest book I’ve read from these two authors is just as vivid and frightening as the previous ones. This one, however, focuses on internet dating, a topic everybody seems to have an opinion about. This, of course, shows the darker side of that. It shows us all the gruesome secrets and pasts that are on the internet… and that we very well could meet.
Keeping in stride with their past books, Edwards and Voss fire off a book-changing twist in the last two chapters. I love the sudden turn in the storyline, and without that I would not have thought of this book so highly. The buildup is great, and this had one of the best endings I’ve ever read.
I Hate the Romans— Vivienne Sang–7/10
This is a book I read for a friend of mine, and the most interesting part of it is the historical details and how accurate they are. The story takes place in Europe in the time of the Roman empire, and centers on a young boy who is taken away from his hometown and seeks revenge in many ways. The last half of the book, especially, picks up the pace and got my interest at the highest point.
This book is definitely entertaining, and full of unique characters and names. It really felt like I was back in that time period, and from the descriptions given I can’t say that would be a pleasant thing! The book was fun to read and I enjoyed it.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts 1 and 2— Jack Thorne, J.K. Rowling–7.5/10
This is the newest and eighth book in the Harry Potter Series. It doesn’t have quite the same feel as the previous seven, but having J.K. Rowling on board for the production at least helped. The dialogue, especially, is lacking in that Potterish feel. The story is good, and has a twist towards the end. It’s a good book overall, and if not for the high expectations would have been great.
The book itself is written in the format for a play, so that does make it unique. I enjoyed reading about the characters and learning what was happening now in the wizarding world. Overall, it was a good read and one i would recommend to any Harry Potter fans.