Hey there horror fans, I’m Jessica Avery and I’ll be delivering your weekly brief of all that’s ghastly and grim in the world of Horror. Whether you’re looking for a backlist book that will give you the willies, a terrifying new release, or the latest in horror community news, you’ll find it here in The Fright Stuff.
Someone pinch me, it cannot really be the last week of March already. This was a really fun month for The Fright Stuff, but I honestly don’t know where the time went. My poor TBR stack for Women in Horror month is only half finished. Woe to my good intentions. That being said, spring is finally around the corner for the Northern Hemisphere and I am so ready to get out of the house and take my reading with me! So— lest I let Women in Horror Month slip away from me entirely— I thought we’d celebrate the warming weather with some exciting new horror books by women set to be released in the coming spring and summer months.
Get those readings lists ready!
The Fervor by Alma Katsu (April 26)
Alma Katsu is back with what promises to be another enthralling historical horror novel. The Fervor is set in a Japanese-American internment camp in Idaho during WWII, where Meiko Briggs and her daughter Aiko are being held. Though Meiko’s husband is an enlisted pilot, she and her daughter were still forced out of their home and into the camp as potential threats to the American government. But more than human evil is at work in the camp, as a mysterious disease begins spreading among the prisoners and brings with it a team of suspicious doctors who may do more harm than good. And there’s a demon. A creature from Meiko’s childhood, and if she hopes to save her daughter’s life, as well as her own, Meiko will have to join forces with other inhabitants of the camp in a stand against the evil that threatens them all.
Siren Queen by Nghi Vo (May 10)
First of all, I am obsessed with that cover. In an Old Hollywood powered by dark magic and fateful bargains, Luli Wei is a young actress desperate to come out on top of the heap. And she won’t be cornered into the sidelined characters and stereotyped parts usually reserved for Chinese American actresses. The price of fame is dear, and it may cost Luli everything, from her identity to the woman she loves. But if she can navigate this treacherous landscape of ancient magics and blood sealed bargains, and avoid the fate of the luckless starlets who came before her, Luli could see her dream’s realized. She could be a star— whatever the cost.
This Wicked Fate by Kalynn Bayron (June 2)
As someone who recently fell madly in love with Bayron’s This Poison Heart, I am so so excited for the sequel to to come out this summer. I mean, that ending! I need resolutions! Delightfully queer and darkly magical, this series is a must read for those who prefer their horror Gothic, overgrown, and full of secrets. Following the dramatic conclusion of the first novel, in This Wicked Fate Briseis is on the hunt for the last piece of the deadly Absyrtus Heart— her only chance at saving her mother. But doing so means relying on blood relatives who are little more than strangers to her, and navigating a whole new world of secret power and hidden enemies. And speaking or beautiful covers, I mean we can just bask for a second in the glow of that gorgeously neon bit of perfection?
The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (July 19)
As you might expect, I am beyond excited about the new Silvia Moreno-Garcia book. Obviously I was a huge fan of Mexican Gothic, and I’m picking up so many of the same(ish) vibes from the synopsis of The Daughter of Doctor Moreau. Carlota Moreau lives a safe but sheltered life. Her whole world is the isolated confines of her father’s estate. But beneath that idyllic surface lies the reality of her mad/genius father’s work, funded by the unknown whims of his rich patrons, the Lizaldes. When their son, Eduardo Lizaldes, suddenly appears at Moreau’s gates, his presence proves the unknown variable that threatens to upend Carlota’s tranquil life, and bring the only world she’s know crashing down around her.
The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean (August 2)
I love the whole premise of The Book Eaters. The idea that you could magically retain all a books knowledge by eating it just resonates with something deep in my bookworm heart. To the book eaters, books are fine cuisine, and each genre and form has its own unique flavor. But the ability to ingest a book’s knowledge by eating loses its shine somewhat when there are limits on what knowledge you are allowed to obtain. Devon, a member of an old and reclusive clan know as The Family, is not allowed to eat the same tales of adventure and daring do as her brothers. Instead, like other book eater women, she’s only permitted to dine on fairy and cautionary tales, leaving her caught off guard when the real world proves to have sour endings and her son is born not with a hunger for books but with a rare and dark appetite for human minds.
Fresh From the Skeleton’s Mouth
Over at Book Riot, Nusrah Javed is your guide to the subgenre of social horror.
The Nightfire blog has you covered with February’s best horror short fiction and poetry, Medieval horror books for those of you who need a break from dying in Elden Ring, and an interview with author India Hill Brown about the ghosts of segregation in horror fiction.
And can I get a drumroll for this last piece of news, please, because if you haven’t heard: V. CASTRO IS WRITING AN ALIEN BOOK!!! Castro will be bringing Alien loving hearts everywhere the background of fan favorite Aliens character Jenette Vasquez in Aliens: Vasquez, out October 25th.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I must return to screaming.
As always, you can catch me on twitter at @JtheBookworm, where I try to keep up on all that’s new and frightening.