Providence Act 1 by Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows

providence

Originally published in: 2016

What it’s about: A reimagining of many of HP Lovecraft’s stories through the lens of Robert Black. Black is a journalist and would-be author living in the 1919 world of Lovecraft’s fiction. Act 1 compiles 1-4 of 12 issues in the Providence series.

What made me pick it up: I just rediscovered it on my bookshelf, it was next on my TBR list at some point last fall.

My favorite things: The art is bleak and ominous. There is an unsettling recurring theme hinting at the coming rise of Nazi power in Europe. I love the inclusion of journal entries and paraphernalia from the world Robert Black is exploring.

Who it’s great for: Devotees of Lovecraft’s stories and fans of Alan Moore’s comics and graphic novels. Readers looking for a short but captivating creepy series to become immersed in.

Abby’s rating: four-shells


Pick up a copy of this book at Amazon (affiliate link) or in your local library.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

wehavealways

Originally published in: 1962

What it’s about: Merricat, Constance, and Uncle Julian are an odd, reclusive family, ostracized by the people of their community after the rest of their family die of arsenic poisoning.

What made me pick it up: This was a deep dive into my TBR backlist, but the audiobook was available on OverDrive so I went for it.

My favorite things: This isn’t a complex story, but it is elegantly told. Merricat’s narration is simple, uncomfortably direct, and quietly unsettling. And yet – her fears and anxieties feel valid and worthy of consideration. More sinister than odd, the Blackwood family still demands pity. Jackson was a master at creating creepy but believably human characters.

Who it’s great for: I don’t know about you, but when I’m in a reading slump, or really any kind of slump, I need a creepy story or two to kick me back into gear. If that’s true for you then you should definitely grab this the next time you need a pick-me-up. Good for fans of gothic novels, horror, and mysteries.

Abby’s rating: four-and-a-half-shells

merricat


Want a copy? Find one at Amazon (affiliate link) or see if it’s available at a library near you.


Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

throughwoods

Originally published in: 2014

What it’s about: A collection of short horror stories told in a graphic novel format.

What made me pick it up: This is one of my favorite graphic novels from the past few years, so I picked up back up to help me out of a reading slump.

My favorite things: The stories are short and simple but absolutely haunting. Each time I read them I end up with goosebumps and a distinct feeling of unease. The art is beautiful and bleak, using color only sparingly and to great effect. Reading this is like experiencing some of your creepiest nightmares on the page.

Who it’s great for: Adults and teens that enjoy graphic novels and want creepy horror stories. Fans of Audrey Niffineggar’s illustrated works.

Abby’s rating: five-shells


Want a copy? Find one at Amazon (affiliate link) or see if it’s available at a library near you.


Zone One by Colson Whitehead

zoneone

Originally published in: 2011

What it’s about: Perfectly mediocre Mark Spitz is part of a small civilian zombie hunting unit tasked with clearing the dead from Long Island. (No, not the Mark Spitz. Although the reference is intentional.)

What made me pick it up: I got impatient waiting for my hold on Whitehead’s National Book Award-winning latest novel, The Underground Railroad, so I grabbed one of his earlier books. I had actually forgotten this one was about zombies.

My favorite things: Whitehead somehow wrote literary fiction about zombies. He asks a lot of interesting questions about what it really means to live in the post-apocalypse having experienced what came before. The characters are plagued by PASD (post-apocalyptic stress disorder), and Whitehead uses his dark humor to consider the emotional and mental toll taken on the zombie hunting survivors. Despite the fact that this is a book about killing zombies, it feels like its about something much more human.

Who it’s great for: Zombie aficionados looking for something a little bit different. Horror fans. Literary readers who want to ease into genre reading.

Abby’s rating: three-and-a-half-shells

The Fireman by Joe Hill


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What it’s about: It’s the near future and the apocalypse is nigh. A quickly spreading disease, known as Dragonscale, threatens the future of the human race by causing the infected to spontaneously combust.

What made me pick it up: After reading The Sunlight Pilgrims I was in the mood for a much warmer vision of the apocalypse. Actually, I put the ebook on hold a while ago and it was finally available to me.

My favorite things: The spontaneous combustion was nice spin on the pandemic story. The beginning of this book is really well done, and I was immediately hooked. The story follows Nurse Harper, an infected woman who is determined to deliver her baby healthy and free of Dragonscale. Harper is a compelling character who brings meaning and a sense of urgency to the story. Hill includes references to current public figures and pop culture that are fun to read, but make me glad that I didn’t wait to read this one. Bonus:fans of Hill’s father (Stephen King) will appreciate the subtle references to his work.

Who it’s great for: Readers looking for an apocalyptic story that doesn’t feel imminent. Fans of dark fantasy and horror.

Abby’s rating: three-shells