I saw this over at Maddalena’s earlier this year and have been saving it for Spooktastic Reads because now is absolutely the right time to be talking about unearthly creatures that lurk in the shadows. And as it’s that time of year I’ve tried to choose the scariest books I’ve read for these prompts.
So without further ado, let’s get to it…
Hide Me Among the Graves by Tim Powers definitely put vampires on my radar in a way that Twilight never managed (which, to be clear, I have not read because reading about romantic and/or sexy vampires bores me silly). The Polidori vampire that haunts Christina Rossetti is as terrifyingly unearthly as I could hope for. This book is what I want when I say I want vampires.
This one’s tough as I’ve not read many books containing werewolves, so I’ll pick something from my tbr list. Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones sounds pretty interesting, in light of some of his later books like Night of the Mannequins and The Only Good Indians (both also on the tbr list).
And on my physical to-be-read pile: Dread Nation by Justina Ireland. *hangs head in shame* Because, again, zombies aren’t something I’ve deliberately sought out. I feel like there’s something to be unpacked from this, but a tag is definitely not the time to do it.
Ghosts, on the other hand, have been ten-a-penny throughout my reading life, (I think there might be something in this). The scariest I can think of right now (that’s not Susan Hill’s Woman in Black, who will terrify me until the day I die … my eventual death possibly being after seeing her across a sunlit park), is Naughty John in The Diviners by Libba Bray. *squeak*
The Master of Mordew by Alex Pheby is a dangerous man to become involved with, let alone go up against. Not someone to be written off too soon. Be warned, be warned!
This can only be the disturbing-come-horrifying Pepper-Man in You Let Me In by Camilla Bruce. *shudder* (And yes, I know I keep mentioning this book, but it really did a number on me!)
She’s not exactly a demon, but she’s scary enough that I couldn’t get up to pee while she was on the page (I actually waited for Thumbs to get home because I didn’t want to leave the safety of the sofa). And while she may have stepped out of a fairy story, she’s definitely not a fairy, so I’m going with it: Twice-Killed-Katherine and her canary in The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert.
Asmodeus, from The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard was a brooding, threatening dark cloud throughout this book. I understand that I’ll get to know him better in The House of Binding Thorns and maybe he’ll become one of my bestest buddies, but my take-away from Shattered Wings is that he’s got teeth. (I mean, yes, he has teeth, but also he has metaphorical teeth, as in do not poke! Will bite!)
I immediately pictured Scylla from Matt Ruff’s Lovecraft Country for this prompt.
Scylla lives in my head now. *screams silently*
Ordinary people are the scariest of all.
Although not a genre read, I feel the need to put Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss here. It’s a novella-length story of a small group of people trying to live like Iron Age Britons for a couple of weeks, and Silvie’s dad permeates the book with his mundane menace. A deeply unsettling read.
So those are my choices. Now it’s your turn! Tell me the scariest characters/creatures you’ve read about so I can grow my TBR!