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Friends, you know what that means as we go towards the fall months? Reading season for horror novels. Yes, many of us read horror fiction all year round. However, horror aficionados, our season is almost here! It’s time to openly embrace all things frightful as the leaves begin to change and the weather starts to chill.
There are a lot of very fantastic horror novels coming out this month, whether you enjoy haunted homes, spooky short tales, unsettling retellings, psychological horror, dark fantasy, or all of the above. They would all be fantastic starting points for your autumn horror reading.
Where do you even start with all the excellent horror fiction coming out this month? I’ll tell you the truth. This was supposed to be a top ten list of the scariest novels coming out in September. But I couldn’t limit it to just 10, there were too many excellent ones, too many that I’m excited to read myself. In its place, you receive 12!
BY DARCY COATES
(POISONED PEN PRESS, SEPTEMBER 6)
It feels right to begin the month with a dark, ominous haunted home book. So let’s begin by reading Darcy Coates’ most recent book, Gallows Hill. The Gallows Hill Winery has been a family-owned business for many years. Although their wine is immensely popular, there are rumors that the family house is cursed. In order to bury her parents and renew her relationship with the vineyard that bears her family’s name, Margot Hull is visiting her childhood home for the first time in ten years. But Margot will be forced to confront the horrors of her past on her alone in the big, empty house.
OUR SHADOWS HAVE CLAWS
EDITED BY YAMILE SAIED MÉNDEZ AND AMPARO ORTIZ
(ALGONQUIN YOUNG READERS, SEPTEMBER 6)
This anthology, which includes some of the most intriguing Latine voices in YA literature, has all of your favorite monsters, from zombies to cannibals. Chantel Acevedo, Courtney Alameda, Julia Alvarez, Ann Dávila Cardinal, M. Garca Pea, Racquel Marie, Gabriela Martins, Yamile Saied Méndez, Maika and Maritza Moulite, Claribel A. Ortega, Amparo Ortiz, Lilliam Rivera, Jenny Torres Sanchez, Ari Tison, and Alexandra Villasante are among the authors who contributed monster tales to Our Shadows Have
THE WEIGHT OF BLOOD
BY TIFFANY D. JACKSON
(KATHERINE TEGEN BOOKS, SEPTEMBER 6)
One of the novels I’ve been most looking forward to this year is this Carrie retelling, and it’s finally here! Madison Washington, a high school student, is the focus of The Weight of Blood. Madison has consistently been the victim of bullying at small-town Georgia’s Springville High. Madison, however, is hiding a secret: she is mixed and has been posing as white at her white father Thomas Washington’s request. The students are aware that they need to improve their reputation when Madison’s secret is made public and a film showcasing prejudice at Springville goes viral. Their response? hosting the first integrated prom at the institution. But Maddy is still in for a few shocks from the pupils. Maddy will also have a major surprise for herself when she spills another one of her closely guarded secrets.
BY GEMMA AMOR
(ANGRY ROBOT, SEPTEMBER 13)
The horror/fantasy book Full Immersion is written by Bram Stoker Award-nominated author Gemma Amor. Magpie discovers a dead body half buried in a river’s mudbank just when she believes things can’t get much worse. However, this isn’t any old dead body. She owns it. She notices a man standing next to her body, but she has no idea how she is connected to him. She actually has no memory of anything. She now has to find out what really occurred, all the while being unaware that she is being watched in some odd experiment.
IT LOOKS LIKE US
BY ALISON AMES
(PAGE STREET KIDS, SEPTEMBER 13)
In this young adult horror novel, Riley Kowalski uses her winter vacation to travel to Antarctica for a study expedition with five other students, a chaperone, and an unbiased scientist. The crew wants to demonstrate that plastic contamination in the ecosystem has spread all the way to Antarctica, but they are ill-prepared for what they will find. Riley first chalks up Greta’s odd behavior to her hyperactive imagination when she first discovers it. Before crumbling, Greta snaps and tries to kill Riley. It’s obvious that something has gotten into their camp, and everyone in the group might be in risk.
THE STARS DID WANDER DARKLING
BY COLIN MELOY
(BALZER + BRAY, SEPTEMBER 13)
This middle school horror book takes place in Oregon in the 1980s. Archie Coomes may have watched too many scary movies, but it seems as though even the most routine activities in the tranquil coastal hamlet of Seaham have taken on a dark, menacing quality. Archie and his buddies must acknowledge something is severely wrong when more and more of the town’s adults begin acting suspiciously. The youngsters must stop an ancient, long-buried evil from wreaking havoc on the neighborhood before it’s too late.
BY CATHERINE YU
(PAGE STREET KIDS, SEPTEMBER 20)
A gothic horror book from the 1990s. The grownups in Aja’s lovely suburban village are still in denial that anything nefarious is happening despite a series of bizarre occurrences. Then Fiona, Aja’s sister, vanishes. And then more teenagers began to vanish. Aja knows she shouldn’t trust Padraic when she first meets him since he is the vampire in charge of all the unusual events. But he gives Aja all the information she requests. And the only way to find Fiona could be to follow him into the woods.
BY LAMAR GILES
(SCHOLASTIC PRESS, SEPTEMBER 20)
In The Getaway, Jay is in Karloff Country, one of the most well-known resorts in the world, living the good life. He enjoys working after school at the major theme park on the site. He also has wonderful friends, a loving family, and a job he enjoys. Although the world may be in disarray outside, people can find solace within the resort. But there are sinister secrets hidden behind this ideal utopia. The resort’s staff learns that shares in an oasis at the end of the earth have been sold when the wealthiest and most influential family arrive and refuse to go. The most powerful individuals will be secure even if the world ends. Whether they like it or not, they will now be looked after by Jay and the other resort staff members.
BY CLAY MCLEOD CHAPMAN
(QUIRK BOOKS, SEPTEMBER 20)
A thrilling new horror book by Clay McLeod Chapman. For years, Erin and Silas have had a troubled, on-again, off-again relationship. Erin resolves to end her connection with Silas permanently since she is aware of how poisonous it is. Erin finds that Silas overdosed and died after their split. Additionally, Silas had found a substance that would enable him to view the dead. Erin doesn’t believe in ghosts, but she consents to a pill-popping “séance” because of her sadness and guilt over leaving Silas. But the effects of the drug are extremely real, and even when Erin tries to leave her images of the dead behind, they won’t allow her. The drug’s side effects might be causing the graphic images, but it’s also possible that something far more hazardous is taking place.
HOUSE OF HUNGER
BY ALEXIS HENDERSON
(ACE, SEPTEMBER 27)
Marion Shaw, who was reared in poverty, longs to leave the hardships of the city. Yet she cannot see a way out. That is, until she stumbles upon a peculiar newspaper advertisement: “WANTED – Bloodmaid with exquisite taste. A high predisposition for life’s better joys is required. Girls of weak will not be considered.” Despite knowing little about the post or the far north to which she must travel, she submits her application in the hopes that this will be the chance for change she has been seeking. At the renowned House of Hunger, where Countess Lisavet rules over a hedonistic court, Marion soon becomes the newest bloodmaid. Marion is eager to impress her fascinating and dreadful mistress. However, Marion learns she needs to get familiar with House of Hunger’s regulations when her fellow bloodmaids start going missing. Otherwise, her own life would soon be in danger.
BY IAIN REID
(GALLERY/SCOUT PRESS, SEPTEMBER 27)
Artist Penny has been in the same flat for many years. Now that her longtime boyfriend has passed away, taking care of herself by herself at home is getting increasingly difficult. Fortunately—or perhaps not so fortunately—arrangements have already been made without her knowledge. Penny is then sent to an assisted living facility, where things first appear to be going well. In little time at all, she finds a home in the small town and even resumes her painting. However, something seems strange. Penny begins to feel unsure of everything (and everyone) around her as the days begin to blend. Is she suffering from the damaging consequences of age, or is there a more disturbing situation at the facility?
BY LAURA KAT YOUNG
(PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE, SEPTEMBER 27)
According to some descriptions, The Butcher is West World mixed with Never Let Me Go and Shirley Jackson. Quite an odd pairing, yet it works! When Lady Mae becomes 18, she will take over her mother’s position as the Butcher, dismembering the citizens of Settlement Five who commit misdemeanors. However, one Lady Mae’s mother is asked to butcher a 6-year-old kid, and when she declines, she is killed for defying her obligations. Lady Mae must step in for her mother now that she is all alone in the world.
If you’re seeking for more horror literature, I’m right there with you—you can never have too much on your TBR shelf! Are you a fan of horror? Let me know.