Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that currently resides at The Artsy Reader Girl and features bloggers sharing lists on various book topics. In this latest edition of Top Ten Tuesday, readers get a Halloween Freebie, meaning that they can list whatever topic they want, although a horror or Halloween theme is encouraged. So, with that in mind, I thought I would take this opportunity to update a previous list where I highlighted my favourite horror novels of all time.
Back in 2020 for Halloween, I came up with a list where I looked at my top ten favourite horror novels. While horror is not my favourite genre, I ended up producing a rather interesting list with some unique entries that I was pretty happy with. This list got a bit of interest, and I decided I would make a bit of effort to come back to update this list every Halloween, especially if I had some new horror novels to add to it. I did an update last year with several awesome novels, and I have decided to come back to it again in 2022, especially as I have had the opportunity to check out some excellent and intense horror reads.
To sort out this update, I took a critical look at the previous version of the list and made some hard decisions about whether any of the horror novels I read in the last year might fit in better. I ended up making a few changes, with new entries replacing some of the existing books (all new entries in red). While I was sad to see some of the previously featured novels removed, I honestly felt that the new entries are better horror novels. This resulted in a fun new version of this list, and I am pretty happy with how it turned out.
I had to include the audiobook version of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman here, as it has some great horror elements to it. While more of a fantasy/comic story than a pure horror comic, The Sandman did have some amazing horror sequences in it, which are really enhanced in the full-cast audiobook. The Sandman features several great horror scenes, but the most disturbing would have to be the infamous diner scene. Contained within the sixth chapter/issues, 24 Hours, this epic extended sequence shows a group of customers in a diner slowly driven insane and then brutally killed by the villainous Doctor Destiny using Dream’s stolen ruby. This entire chapter is masterfully portrayed and you cannot help but shudder at every atrocity the innocent patrons experience during the worst 24 hours of their lives. This trippy diner sequence was recently adapted in the recent The Sandman television series, and while that was good, especially with David Thewlis playing Doctor Destiny, I felt that the version in the comics was even darker and creepier. This, and a several other dark scenes, ensure The Sandman an honourable mention on this list and this comic and its audiobook adaptation are highly recommended for all horror fans.
Another entry that is not a full horror book, but which features amazing horror elements is the recent novel by James Patterson and J. D. Barker, Death of the Black Widow. Following a young cop who becomes obsessed with a mysterious woman he encounters on his first day on the job, Death of Black Widow is a twisty and intriguing read that takes the protagonist on a dangerous journey to the edge of sanity. Initially portrayed as a compelling thriller story, this book eventually develops some excellent horror elements, which led me to include it as an honourable mention. Extremely addictive, I loved this thriller/horror blend and I look forward to reading more books from this excellent team of writers.
Top Ten List (unranked):
One of the more recent horror books I had the pleasure of reading was The Bookkeeper’s Skull by Justin D. Hill. Part of the intriguing Warhammer Horror subseries, The Bookkeeper’s Skull is a haunting and brilliant tale that makes full use of the grim Warhammer 40,000 setting. The book follows a planetary enforcer as he investigates a mysterious and cursed agricultural community plagued by a series of gruesome murders. Hill creates a spooky and malevolent atmosphere, and you are constantly left wondering who is going to end up dead next. Tightly paced and featuring some brilliantly dark examinations of the Warhammer 40,000 universe, The Bookkeeper’s Skull was an amazing read and I look forward to exploring more Warhammer Horror books in the future.
After years of hearing how awesome it was, I finally got around to enjoying the iconic zombie novel, World War Z by Max Brooks. One of the more unique zombie books out there, World War Z recounts the history a devastating, world-wide zombie apocalypse and the various people it impacts. Told through a brilliant chronicle method where multiple interesting characters recount their distinctive personal stories, you get an impressive, multifaceted narrative that covers the beginning, middle and end of the zombie wars. Epic in its scope and filled with some great stories and characters, it honestly does not take long to get extremely addicted to World War Z. While the focus is more on exploring the impacts a zombie apocalypse would have on the world, World War Z does have some pretty creepy moment. The darker tales of underwater zombies, massacres of modern armies, and the mental turmoil suffered by zombie survivors, are excellent horror material that makes this an easy book to include here. An epic and outstanding book that lived up to all the hype surrounding it.
That’s the end of this latest Top Ten Tuesday list. I think that the new horror novels were great additions to the list, and I think this new version of the list turned out really well. Each of the above novels, both new inclusions and existing ones, are outstanding reads that come highly recommended to all horror fans. I look forward to seeing how this list evolves once again this time next year, especially as I am sure some amazing and spinetingling horror books are likely to come out in the next 12 months.