Witching Hour: Haunting SELF-e Reads | SELF-esteem

Halloween is quickly approaching, giving way to pumpkin spice, carefully chosen costumes, and a healthy dose of all things spooky. Whether you’re in the mood for full-on terror or just a sprinkling of the supernatural, these titles, available via LJ’s SELF-e platform, have got you covered for some late-night chills and thrills.

forsakenBarker, J.D. Forsaken. Hampton Creek. (Shadow Cove Saga, Bk. 1). 2014. 390p. ebk. ISBN N/A. HORROR
Horror author Thad McAlister thought he was only writing the terror he imagined. Having found inspiration in the Salem witch trials, his latest book, Rise of the Witch, came to him so easily. Still, Thad can’t quite shake the  dread that edges his senses when he thinks about the history responsible for his stroke of literary genius—in particular, the journal that started it all. Meanwhile, his pregnant wife, Rachael, is haunted by the same diary and involved in a mysterious deal. The voice in her dreams tells her that she has three days before payment—Rachael’s child—is due. There’s more fact than fiction to this story, and Thad’s words have unleashed a terrible evil hell bent on destroying the McAlister family. VERDICT Barker knows how to evoke chilling imagery and will have readers anxiously looking over their shoulders with each terrifying “clickity, click, click.”

sinistersentimentsFinn, K.C. Sinister Sentiments: A Horror Collection. CreateSpace: Amazon. 2014. 234p. ebk. ISBN N/A. HORROR
From steampunk to historical to contemporary to postapocalyptic, Finn’s latest delves into all variations of creepy in this collection of stories. In one tale, a student desperate to hand in a photography assignment is baffled when his chosen subject doesn’t show up on film, and another finds the spirit of Gray Lady Grey rising from the misty river outside her former home. Finn’s inventive concepts are an instant draw, and some readers will be wishing that these bite-sized pieces lived in full-length novels. To that end, Finn also gives a taste of her longer works with sizable previews of The S Word and The Day the World Ended. VERDICT Every story is brief—only a few pages each—providing quick scares for those who like their horror short and not so sweet.

restfallsawayGleason, Colleen. The Rest Falls Away. Avid. (Gardella Vampire Hunters, Bk. 1). 2014. 298p. ebk. ISBN N/A. FANTASY
Vampires have long since been a staple of horror fiction, and here Gleason offsets some of their scariness with a dash of Regency-era romance. The Gardellas have an extensive and antagonistic history with the blood-sucking creatures. Every generation, a family member is chosen to take on the mantle of vampire hunter to help temper the havoc and death caused by the immortal beings. Victoria Gardella Grantworth is looking forward to her first London season, sure that her greatest concerns will be filling up dance cards and picking out pretty gowns. That’s before Aunt Eustacia tells her that her destiny is to see to the family legacy. Now those gowns will have to come equipped with wooden stakes and holy water. Victoria’s journey is cleverly traced, juxtaposing her coming out as an eligible lady in society with the maturity—and break from gender norms—that come with her new responsibilities. VERDICT Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans will rejoice in finding this historical counterpart.

Kate DiGirolomo About Kate DiGirolomo

Kate DiGirolomo is the SELF-e Community Coordinator at Library Journal. She received her Master's degree in Library and Information Science at Pratt Institute. Follow her on Twitter @KateDiGirolomo.