For the record, as I mentioned previously, I still plan to review Zone One and What Fears Become before the end of the month, so they will not be included here. Also, I want to remind you all that I keep a Horror Review Index sorted by author here.
Here are the links to the horror novels with 2011 copyrights which I really enjoyed and reviewed this year. I will tackle horror collections at a later time. Click on each title for details:
- Locke and Key 4: Keys to the Kingdom by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez
- Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
- American Vampire 2 by Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque
Here are some more horror titles that I feel are among the best to have come out so far in 2011:
- Flesh Eaters by Joe McKinney. This is the third installment in McKinney's excellent series which speculates that five hurricanes in a three week time span destroy Houston. As a result of the disaster, a zombie plague infects the citizens. McKinney, who is a police officer by day, is a rising star in the genre.
- Bed Bugs by Ben Winters. Winters is also an up and coming horror author. He began his horror novel career with Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, but now he is back with an original tale of terror. I am still on the hold list for this one, but it is getting great reviews and word of mouth. Here is the set-up: the perfect NYC apartment, but it is too good to be true. The residents are being attacked by bed bugs, or so they think, until they find out the threat is much, much more sinister than they thought.
- Dust and Decay by Jonathan Maberry. This is the sequel to Maberry's YA zombie series Rot and Ruin, which I read and loved here. I am saving Dust and Decay for after Halloween when I have more time to enjoy it, but I have given it out to many patrons already and they have all loved it.
- Willy by Robert Dunbar. I really like Dunbar, and if you read this psychologically terrifying novel, you will see why. Dunbar puts the reader completely into the head of a troubled boy and follows his terrifying interaction with his friend, Willy. This is a dark and complex story. Don't be fooled by its short page count (under 300). This is a book will stay with you.
- Houdini Heart by Ki Longfellow. This book has been a surprise to horror fans. It is a haunting novel which harkens back to Poe, Lovecraft, and Shirley Jackson, but with a 21st Century feel. I don't want to give too much away here, but this story looks at one writer's descent into madness. Or is she really the victim of supernatural forces? I love these novels in which the reader is never sure if what the narrator is telling us is truly happening or if it is all in their head. Here's another book like this which I loved. Terrifying.
- Finally, here are a few debut novels that are getting a lot of buzz in the horror community. Click through to read more:
- That Which Should Not Be by Brett Talley (researcher find lost stories but in doing so opens a portal to evil)
- Verland: The Transformation by B. E. Scully (vampires)
The Armageddon Chord by Jeremy Wagner (heavy metal music, ancient evil song)
Seed by Ania Ahlborn (dark secrets, possessed child, Louisiana swamps)
Blind Hunger by Adrian Chamberlin (zombie plague that leaves only kids as survivors)
Let me know if I missed one of your favorites from the first 3/4 of 2011. Still to come, the best story collections of 2011 and the best horror on the horizon. Patience, I still have over a week of days to fill people.