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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Newer Horror Titles Worth a Look

I have been keeping track of a few new paperback horror titles that are getting a lot of positive buzz.

Feed (Newsflesh, Book 1)The first, one I am currently reading and loving.  Feed by Mira Grant was getting starred reviews in the library press this spring, so I ordered it sight unseen. I am reading it now and will have a full review in a few weeks, but here is the basic plot. A virus was accidentally unleashed on the world in 2014. It is now 20 years later and while America society is still functioning, it is quite different. One of the key changes after the virus is that the people stopped trusting the official news sources, and bloggers became more important and universally accepted as news and entertainment outlets. Our story is narrated by a young woman, who with her team get picked to cover a candidate for President. They uncover a secret conspiracy behind the virus and fight to unleash the truth upon the world.

There is a great mix of chills and social commentary here. But again, in my review I am going to ponder and dissect whether or not is true horror. I know a lot of horror readers who would not enjoy this title as horror simply because the zombies and the fear they induce has a scientific explanation.  But more on that later. If you want a smart, fun, exciting, and chills inducing read, try Feed.

The BridgeThe Bridge by John Skipp and Craig Spector is also garnering positive attention. Originally published in 1991, it was reissued this spring and is worth a second look.  From the Dark Scribe review:
This novel is a must-read. Powerful and well-written with unforgettable characters and a terrifying premise that will haunt your dreams, The Bridge is an uncompromising nightmare ride to destruction.
Surprisingly, only the BPL picked up this $7.99 paperback reissue in our system and no one still has the original release either. I would highly suggest other libraries grab a copy before Halloween.

The Reapers Are the Angels: A NovelIn the USA Today I read this gripping review of The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell:
It's zombies meets the Southern Gothic tradition in Alden Bell's dark yet luminous novel The Reapers Are the Angels
Temple, the 15-year-old at the center of this ominous tale, was born into a world where "meatskins," the walking dead, are more prolific than the living.
Except for photos she sees in old magazines, she is a survivor who can't imagine what life must have been like 25 years ago before the zombies (Bell also refers to them as "slugs") roamed America.
Bell doesn't tell us how things came to be or whether the zombie plague has spread across the world. It doesn't matter. It's Temple's life and her immediate surroundings that fascinate us.
A loner by nature, Temple carries the weight of intolerable grief for acts she has been forced to commit so she can survive. In an attempt at atonement and redemption, she decides to help Maury, a mentally challenged man, travel across the South to Texas, where he has family who can care for him.
Along the way they are pursued by a man set on killing Temple to avenge his brother's death, a slew of zombies and a family of startlingly repulsive mutants. (Readers will be completely unnerved by their lifestyle.)
Most fascinating, Bell's zombies provoke compassion and are portrayed with a certain dignity. After all, who would choose to be zombified?
If you loved Justin Cronin's The Passage, this summer's vampire hit, you'll get a charge out of The Reapers Are the Angels. It's a literary/horror mashup that is unsettlingly good.
Well, enough said for me. I put the title on hold while on vacation and it is in my possession to begin after I finish devouring Feed.

A Gathering of CrowsSirenOn top of these buzzed about books. There are also new paperback offerings from perennial favorites John Everson and and Brian Keene.

So here is just a taste of what is out there right now in horror. I will have my full year in horror wrap up posted by mid-September to help everyone get ready for the Halloween rush, but I thought I would help you all get a head start now.


Virago said...

Between Cronin's "Passage" and Grant's "Feed" this has been an exceptional year for horror. I look forward to your conversation about whether Grant's book is actually a horror novel. It was certainly like no other zombie novel I've read before.

Becky said...

I agree. The Passage still stays with me weeks after having finished it. Here is the direct link to the review I wrote after reading it: http://raforall.blogspot.com/2010/07/what-im-reading-passage.html

Cari said...

We must be on the same wavelength--I read Passage when you did, and now I'm reading Feed! I'm on page 100 or so. I'm really enjoying it so far.