Ah, 2019, a fresh year to set my Goodreads reading goal and buy even more books that will not fit in my tiny apartment. In 2018 I read 98 books so this year I’m going for 100!
Today on Horror Bound I’m sharing my Top Ten Most Anticipated Reads of 2019. The list is in no particular order because ya’ll know I don’t play favorites. And honestly, I’m just really excited for all of them. I’ve got three YA and seven adult horror novels for you. So, let’s dive right in:
The Familiars by Stacey Halls
Releasing on February 7th, this will be Halls first published novel. It will tell the tale of Fleetwood Shuttleworth who is 17 years old and pregnant for the fourth time. But unfortunately for Fleetwood and her husband, none of her children have lived. So, they’re desperate for this one which leads to them going to desperate circumstances. Fleetwood finds Alice Gray, a midwife, who promises to help her give birth to a healthy baby.
But Alice is drawn into witchcraft accusations and Fleetwood is risking everything to help her and have this baby! Also, Alice might actually be a witch.
Honestly, I’m really excited for this – two women forming a deep bond, possible witchcraft, and a beautiful cover. What more do you want?!
Skidding Into Oblivion by Brian Hodge
Brian Hodge has been writing forever and has a pretty eclectic back log including lots of comics. Skidding Into Oblivion will be his latest addition, releasing on February 19th, this will be a collection of short stories.
Here’s just a few examples of the stories we’re in store for:
After the death of their grandmother, two cousins return to their family’s rural homestead to find a community rotting from the soul outward, and a secret nobody dreamed their matriarch had been keeping.
The survivors of the 1929 raid on H.P. Lovecraft’s town of Innsmouth hold the key to an anomalous new event in the ocean, if only someone could communicate with them.
The ultimate snow day turns into the ultimate nightmare when it just doesn’t stop. (Reminds me of the time I lived in Newfoundland)
As history repeats itself and the world shivers through a volcanic winter, a group gathers around the shore of a mountain lake to once again invoke the magic that created the world’s most famous monster.
I’m SUPER EXCITED YOU GUYS! Sounds like a lot of madness and a lot of creatures and a lot of horror.
Will Haunt You by Brian Kirk
This one sounds like it’s going to be suuuuuper weird. And sometimes that works! And sometimes it totally doesn’t. So I’m hesitant over this one but excited nonetheless. Releasing on March 14th, Will Haunt You claims “you don’t read the book. It reads you.”
Floating around the deep corners of the internet are rumors of a deadly book where a strange figure preys on those who’ve read it. Jesse, a former guitarist of a heavy metal group, has a horrible past and so this book doesn’t scare him. But perhaps it should. Unfortunately for us readers though, by reading the book ourselves we will be participating in the author’s horrifying game and the real horror doesn’t begin until we finish it.
Brian Kirk is a Bram Stoker Award nominated artist and his debut novel, We Are Monsters, debuted in 2015. I really want to read that one too and might delve in before picking up this one.
Growing Things by Paul Tremblay
Horror’s new favorite it boy! And well deserved at that. Growing Things will be a new collection of short stories that will be published July 2nd. This will have 19 stories including “The Teacher” which was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award. A student is forced to watch a disturbing video that will haunt her and her classmates.
We also have “The Getaway” where four men rob a pawn shop. “Swim Wants to Know if it’s as Bad as Swim Thinks”, a mouthful, about a meth addict who kidnaps her daughter while their town may or may not be terrorized by a monster….because meth.
There will also be stories that are linked to Tremblay’s previous novels including a novella called “Notes from the Dog Walkers”. There will also be “The Thirteenth Temple” which follows a character from A Head Full of Ghosts. Though I’m sure you’ll be able to enjoy these without reading his previous works, I do recommend reading your way through his backlog as it’s terrifying and enjoyable!
The Toll by Cherie Priest
Cherie has written over a dozen novels, most of which are steampunk adventures, so I’m really curious to see what this is going to end up like. Releasing on July 9th, The Toll follows a state road between Fargo and Okefenokee. There will be six bridges along this road that you must cross. And if you take it from west to east, you might find a seventh bridge. Though, you really don’t want to.
Titus and Davina are on their second honeymoon when they come upon a rickety bridge that only has room for one car. Much later when a tow-truck arrives, only Titus is found lying in the middle of the road. Davina is nowhere to be found.
WHAAATTT??!?!?! How can you not be intrigued by that plot? I’m so excited to find out what horrifying things happen on that bridge and where exactly it comes from! Something from another plane? A terrifying creature below? GHOSTS?! WHO KNOWS?!
We’ll find out in July.
Inspection by Josh Malerman
I adore Josh Malerman and he’s quickly become a “must read” for me whenever he puts out a new book. He’s such a fresh and unique voice in horror and I’m so incredibly excited for his new story. Also, this story is releasing April 23rd, two days after my 30th birthday! Thanks Josh, I know you obviously did this for my delusional self.
Malerman is the author of one of my favorite books of all time – Birdbox. And has also written a book that fucked with my head so hard, Black Mad Wheel. You can read my review here.
So, what’s next? Inspection.
J is a student at a school deep in a forest and is only one of twenty-six male students. They all treat the school’s founder as their father. CULT?!?! The students are all being trained to be prodigies and are not allowed to leave the school. But J thinks there’s something out there in the woods and begins asking questions.
Meanwhile, on the other side of this mysterious forest, is a school very similar for girls and in this school a girl named K is asking the same questions.
WHAT’S IN THE WOODS?! I’m getting real The Village vibes from this and I’m super excited for it.
The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson
Davidson has published A LOT of books, because he also writes under the name Nick Cutter. I personally do not like Nick Cutter’s books at all. They’re just not for me. But I am intrigued about this book and I hope it will finally be a book I enjoy by this guy. Everyone speaks very highly of his books but I just don’t like them. I want to see what I’m missing!
This story is released on August 14th and follows Jake Breaker and the summer he turned 12. His uncle Calvin invites him to join the Saturday Night Ghost Club to investigate some of the city’s urban myths. Apparently, this was a life altering summer for Jake. And in the current day he’s a neurosurgeon. That’s really all I know.
But I’m interested because I love coming of age stories in horror and I love urban myths. So I’m hoping this will be my chance to break in to this author’s works.
The Wicked King by Holly Black
Okay, I will admit, this one is a stretch for horror. It’s a young adult fantasy story. A second in the series. BUT….BUT….BUT…it has fae. And I fucking love fae. And these fae are cruel and dark. The first novel, The Cruel Prince, was violent and scary and so much freakin’ fun. I am SO excited for the sequel.
The Wicked King will be released on January 8th. I won’t spoil this series at all but just know that we jump back into the world as we follow Jude, a human stuck in the fae world, who is now juggling all the political alliances of this world. She has to protect herself, her younger brother, and deal with the terrifying King.
I’ll be re-reading The Cruel Prince before picking up The Wicked King because the story lines are quite intense, there’s a lot of characters, and some magic lore that you need to get your head around. So, come join me this month as we read The Cruel Prince! Then let’s read The Wicked King and freak out together.
Slayer by Kiersten White
Another YA addition to the list, coming January 8th, Slayer is set in the Buffy The Vampire Slayer Universe. “Into every generation, a slayer is born…” Nina and her twin, Artemis have grown up at the Watcher’s Academy being trained to be guides for Slayers. But Nina doesn’t like the violent side of being a Watcher and instead wants to heal. But unfortunately for her….fate has other things in mind.
Nina’s father was Buffy’s watcher and he died protecting her. That means (somehow) Nina is now the Slayer. I’m assuming somewhere in the novel they’re explain how and why and wtf.
This won’t be for everyone. I read a lot of YA, so this will be right up my alley, but for those of you who don’t touch YA….maybe don’t touch this one? But I’m super excited to be able to go back into the Buffy universe and meet Nina and read about fighting demons.
Suspicious Minds by Gwenda Bond
Speaking of TV universes, Suspicious Minds will take us into the Stranger Things universe. That’s right…we’re getting YA novels set in the FREAKIN STRANGER THINGS UNIVERSEEEE. Releasing February 7th Gwenda Bond will take us back in time to learn all about Eleven’s Mom!
This will be a prequel obviously and is set in 1969. Terry is a student in Indiana and is seeing all over the news the horror of Vietnam and the rage of the protests in Washington. But Terry isn’t content to sit on the sidelines and watch the world change without her.
When she hears about a government experiment going on in the small town of Hawkins, she signs on as a test subject. The project is MKUltra. Terry is determined to uncover exactly what’s going on. With the help of her fellow tests subjects, they find a huge conspiracy theory and a young girl with superhuman powers and a number instead of a name.
I am so freakin’ excited!!
And that’s it for my top ten list! What horror novels are you excited for this year? And don’t forget to follow me on Goodreads so you can see what I’m reading, and what I’m excited about reading in the future!