Horror books, there are so many! I have read quite a few. I’m not just going to put novels, since that would leave out my favorite author HP Lovecraft. Therefore, there will also be short stories and the like. I think I’ll start with the classics.
Jewel of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker (1903)
I love this book! Of course I also have a great love for ancient Egypt. A young woman moves in with her estranged father, an Egyptologist. A sound awakens her and she goes to check on her father, he is comatose and bleeding. On his left arm, a bangle with a key to the safe he was found bleeding underneath. His room is filled with mummies and other ancient Egyptian artifacts. The pungent odor of the mummies overwhelms all who come in the room. There is a mysterious mummified cat that seems to evoke strange behavior in the cat that lives in the house. This begins the mystery that would change the young woman’s life. The story has two endings because the original ending was deemed so disturbing by publishers they insisted Stoker make it happier. This is one of those books that you could ask 20 people what it was about and get 20 different interpretations. I think that is the sign of a great book. It’s a brilliant story and one of my favorites.
The Shadow Over Innsmouth by H.P Lovecraft (1936)
This is one of Lovecraft’s famous short stories. If you go to the movie page you’ll see Dagon, which is a great movie heavily influenced by this story. It’s about a young man who decided to take a tour of New England. He was going to visit the town his mother grew up in, but the direct route was a train. He was unable to afford this, so someone suggested he take a cheap bus through a small dilapidated little town called Innsmouth. Before taking the bus he researched the town and discovered that the rest of the locals seemed to detest and fear the small town. However, it seemed to him that the more educated people he asked just felt that Innsmouth had degenerated from a bustling profitable industrial town, to a run down poor section with not many people. Once the bus finally came, he found that the bus driver moved funny and he seemed to understand how the town’s people felt repulsed by the man. Still he took the long ride into Innsmouth, as he rode past the Esoteric Order of Dagon he thought he saw something which his mind couldn’t even process. Eventually he meets a crazy drunk who tells him all kinds of things about the town’s secrets. How a sailor made a deal with the elder gods in the sea to help make the town rich. He also told of the cost of this deal. Eventually being forced to remain in a hotel for the night in Innsmouth, the young man found out just how true the storied of the crazy old drunk really were. This is an excellent story. If you’ve never read it, I suggest you do. However, be prepared Lovecraft opens your mind, and you end up having crazy dreams and nightmares.
Shadows Over Innsmouth
The Hallows Series by Kim Harrison (2004 – present)
This is a fun and addictive series. It follows a witch (or thinks she is) Rachel Morgan. The series takes place after “the turn.” A virus was created in genetically engineered tomatoes and only humans are succeptible to it, the “inderlanders” are immune. Inderlanders would be vampires, werewolves, witches, elves, etc. In the beginning of the series Rachel Morgan, a born witch that is not human, works for Inderland Security(IS). She is a trouble maker that doesn’t like to follow the rules. She gets paired with Ivy, a living vampire. Ivy quickly learns that just keeping Rachel alive is a full time job. They meet a pixy named Jenx and the three decide to go into a detective agency business together. They also decide to live together. This begins the crazy adventures of the three. The more books you read in the series, the more you get hooked. It’s the demons I love, as usual.
Al is the one that becomes her personal demon teacher. He teaches her demon magick eventually, before he becomes her teacher they have a rocky relationship. The demons live in a realm called the “everafter” where all magick comes from. They have been left back in time, thanks to a war with the elves. The elves tinkered with their dna and this is how witches were created. Demons can only be out of the everafter when called or at night. Once the sun comes up they get pulled back to the everafter. What I love about this series is that Harrison shows things from the demons perspective. The closer Rachel gets to the demons, the more you learn about them from their way of thinking.
There are demons, witches, elves, ghosts, and all kinds of other creatures in this series. There is crime, mystery, and just about anything else you could ever want in a book series.
The Hallows series by Kim Harrison
Weaveworld by Clive Barker (1987)
I’ve heard that a lot of people didn’t like this book, I don’t get it. I LOVED IT! I read it twice. It may be that the very things I love about it are why people didn’t like it. It sort of probes your brain. The story is about a rug. No that isn’t a typo. It’s no ordinary rug, this rug is another dimension. Unlike “The Hallows” in this story the non-humans are hiding from the persecution of humans by magickally hiding in this rug. They took some special places (hills, mountains, medows…along with their belongings and themselves) and spell themselves and all their stuff and places into a rug, where they wait for the world to become a safe place for them. They are guarded by an old woman who is to bring them back when it’s safe, however she dies. When her things are being moved out, a man realizes what the rug is. He and the owner’s daughter are plunged into this world of magick and decide to protect it from Immacolata, who was exiled. She is determined to destroy it and all within it. It’s an amazing story!
Weaveworld 1ST Edition
The Hounds of Tindalos by Frank Belknap Long (1929)
This was a great short story. It was a lot like a Lovecraft story, which makes sense since they worked together. This is supposed to be part of the Cthulhu Mythos, the first one ever written by someone other than Lovecraft. The story itself is brilliant. It’s about a man who finds out about an ancient drug that is supposed to help him travel into the past with the help of mathematics. Most really good stories include math and physics I think. This one does as well. He calls a friend to observe him during his experiment, he asks him to take notes. He explains what he sees and the man writes down what he says. He didn’t count on the watchers. There are those that wish humans to be ignorant, and hounds that guard the boundaries of time and space. They come through the angles, he said. When he came to, he got a bunch of plaster and asked his friend to help him get rid of all the angles (creating curves instead). They took out the furniture as well. He told his friend to go and hope the plaster holds…
The Hounds of Tindalos