If you are anything like me, you are always on the hunt for the next best horror novel. We all know the genre favorites such as Stephen King, Clive Barker, Peter Straub, and Dean Koontz — but there are just as many other talented horror authors out there you may have never heard about. We’re hoping to change all that today.
Whether your tastes run more toward monsters and the supernatural, or you like to lose yourself in a historical novel, there is something on this list for everyone.
Take note that not all these stories are suitable for the faint of heart, and a lot of them will push you to a place of discomfort and leave you unsettled and even deeply disturbed for days to come… but isn’t that the point of horror?
So get ready, turn the lights down, curl up with a blanket, and get ready to dive headfirst into ten of the most highly-anticipated horror books of 2017.
HEARTS OF MONSTERS by Jeremy Megargee
I have been a fan of Jeremy Megargee since reading his horror book SWEET TREATS last year. Since then, I’ve devoted myself to reading anything and everything Megargee has done — most recently his werewolf-inspired gorefest OLD HOLLOW. Jeremy has a knack for making monsters — whether real or make-believe — tangible and downright horrifying. His latest work of fiction, HEARTS OF MONSTERS, takes us on a journey into the mind of a vampire, the voice of a werewolf, images within the witch’s cauldron, and visions of a haunted house through the eyes of an apparition. This house calls and provides, but the monsters who venture to it must answer a single solitary question: What’s in your heart? If you are a die-hard horror fan and in dire need of a new horror author, I can’t recommend Megargee’s books enough — so make sure you pick up HEARTS OF MONSTERS when it’s released early this year.
ARARAT by Christopher Golden
I love it when real-life events intertwine themselves into a fictional work of horror — it makes the story that much more believable, especially when it takes place in an area few have ever had the chance to explore. That’s exactly what New York Times Bestselling Author Christopher Golden does in his latest novel ARARAT, which takes his readers on a terrifying adventure. The novel centers around an earthquake that takes place in Mount Ararat, Turkey, which reveals a hidden cave housing an ancient ship which some believe to be Noah’s Ark. When a team of scholars, archaeologists and filmmakers enter to uncover the mystery, they find something unexpected — and hideous — awaiting them. When a massive blizzard hits the area, it traps all those within the cave, where an unimaginable horror is unleashed. If you enjoy novels such as Dan Simmon’s THE TERROR, I have a feeling ARARAT is going to be right up your alley when it’s released in mid-April.
THIRTEEN VIEWS OF THE SUICIDE WOODS by Bracken MacLeod
When I was researching authors with horror books coming out in 2017, multiple people referred me to Bracken MacLeod’s upcoming collection of short stories. With a title like THIRTEEN VIEWS OF THE SUICIDE WOODS, I found myself already hooked — and it conjured up visions of sordid tales and deep hidden horrors. MacLeod’s tales of terror include stories of blood, long-lost family members, the past and the future, new starts and destroyed lives, pain and sorrow, and ultimately death. In the last few years, I’ve come to appreciate the effectiveness of short stories, and I can only imagine what THIRTEEN VIEWS will bring to the table. Make sure to keep a lookout for this collection, slated for release sometime in March.
BEHIND HER EYES by Sarah Pinborough
Let’s face it — there aren’t as many well-known female horror authors out there, and that’s a damn shame. However, one who has been climbing the ranks within the horror/thriller genre recently is Sarah Pinborough. Her latest book, BEHIND HER EYES — which is set to be released at the end of January — falls more in the ranks of psychological thrillers, but still has a tinge of horror to it. The story centers around a single mom named Louise, who decides to have a rare night out, and as fate would have it, meets a man and sparks fly. The next day when arriving to work, she finds out this mysterious man is her new boss… and he happens to be married. On the surface, his marriage seems perfect — but the more Louise uncovers about him, the more she realizes that something is terribly, terribly wrong. BEHIND HER EYES seems like the type of book you would get if you combined the rawness of Gillian Flynn’s novels with the mysteriousness of Paula Hawkins’ THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN. Considering both of those books captivated me, I can’t wait to delve into this one.
SEFIRA AND OTHER BETRAYALS by John Langan
This is another author that people can’t seem to stop talking about, in all the right ways. Though there isn’t much info on this forthcoming book of short stories from John Langan (pictured above), the information I’ve gathered seems interesting nonetheless. SEFIRA AND OTHER BETRAYALS brings together six previously-published stories with a new novella and a new novelette, all centered around the theme of betrayal. Known for his contemporary horror stories, Langan has acquired quite a devout following, along with praise within the horror community. There is no firm date for SEFIRA’s release, but keep your eyes and ears peeled.
WENDIGO by Vaughn C. Hardacker
I’m a sucker for any book that deals with mythical creatures and monsters, and I’ve been fascinated with the legends that surround the Wendigo, whether through the written word or television/film adaptations… so I was beyond excited to hear about Vaughn C. Hardacker’s latest novel. WENDIGO centers around John Bear, who has come to believe the Algonquin legend of the Wendigo is true, after bodies are found in northern Maine with their hearts ripped out. Having grown up on the East Coast — and only a few hours’ drive from Maine — I’m definitely interested to see how the wintery landscape lends itself to this supernatural entity. If you love monsters and urban legends, then make sure to check out WENDIGO when it’s released mid-July.
THE GIRL FROM RAWBLOOD by Catriona Ward
No list would be complete without a sordid Gothic ghost story. Author Catriona Ward, who won Best Horror Novel at the British Fantasy Awards, debuts her newest historical fiction novel THE GIRL FROM RAWBLOOD in early March. The novel centers around the Villarca bloodline, one cursed with certain heartbreak and death. When our main character Iris goes against her promise to her family and falls in love, everything comes crumbling down with horrific consequences… and Iris must go back to her home in Rawblood to end everything once and for all. If you have a love for ghost stories and historical fiction, then make sure to pick this one up.
LITTLE HEAVEN by Nick Cutter
When I first read Nick Cutter’s THE TROOP, I was floored. It was gritty, unsettling and left an odd taste in my mouth — but in a way that few other books have, getting under the skin and leaving its mark deep within the recesses of the mind. The same can be said for his next novel THE DEEP, which brings the idea of claustrophobia and isolation bubbling to the surface. In Cutter’s latest novel, LITTLE HEAVEN, readers will find themselves in the backwoods of New Mexico, searching for a woman’s nephew who may have been taken against his will. However, nothing is as it seems… and there is something deadly and deceiving awaiting them in these dark woods. To conquer this evil, it’s up to the few townsfolk to find the missing nephew and fight back against this dark entity. I’m excited to see where Cutter goes with this story, and I can only hope it’s as effective as his previous work. If you’re itching to get your hands on a new horror book right now, have no fear — LITTLE HEAVEN is officially in stores.
UNDER A WATCHFUL EYE by Adam Nevill
Adam Nevill came into my life last year with his Scandinavian backwoods horror novel THE RITUAL. I enjoyed his fresh take on being lost in the wilderness, especially since whatever was lurking in the shadows of his story was horrifying and twisted. In his latest novel, UNDER A WATCHFUL EYE — also in stores now — we are thrust into the life of Seb Logan, who is being watched… but by whom or what, no one knows. Soon the discomfort of being followed turns into full-on paranoia, as parts of Logan’s past come back to haunt him from an unseen and unknown stalker. Nevill is an incredible storyteller, and knows how to draw his readers into the world he has created; just make sure to be ready for the unexpected… and don’t be surprised by the feeling of chills running down your spine.
AGENTS OF DREAMLAND by Caitlin R. Kiernan
Caitlin R. Kiernan has made quite a name for herself across the horror, fantasy and sci-fi genres; her work tends to have a more dream-like feel to it, with her own stylistic touch and unique voice. Kiernan’s latest novella, AGENTS OF DREAMLAND, intertwines stories involving a government special agent and a cult leader, which potentially starts a chain reaction that could affect contact from outer space… along with the past and future of humanity. DREAMLAND has been described as a new “Lovecraftian horror,” and that in and of itself should make you pick up this book. Luckily we won’t have long to wait, as it’s scheduled to be released at the end of February.