Horror is an ever-evolving genre. Unlike the ancient entities that Lovecraft imagined so long ago, it does not lurk underneath and wait for the perfect time to put humanity in shackles anymore.
No, horror terrorizes us day by day with a constant barrage of fresh voices and new ways to give us nightmares.
In recent years, we’ve seen an abundance of films that have caused us to repeat again and again, “It’s only a movie, it’s only a movie…” Names like Ari Aster, Robert Eggers, and Jordan Peele come to mind.
It’s nice to know that literature has been delivering the same volume of scares if not more. In case you’re looking for a new voice in your most loved genre, I’ve listed down five fresh voices in chills and thrills you can read to take you down the gory lane.
Gemma Amor has been getting a lot of love from the horror community lately and it’s for all the right reasons. Her books contain twisted nightmares that only the most steadfast of horror fans can survive.
She’s written two illustrated novella collections called Cruel Works of Nature and Till The Score is Paid. Both expose the grotesqueries of the natural world through storytelling and disturbing visuals.
Her Bram Stoker Awards-nominated novel Dear Laura, follows the titular character of Laura and her relationship with a penpal who claims to know the whereabouts of her missing friend, Bobby, and would share that information only in exchange for something personal.
Her latest novel White Pines follows a journalist who unravels the disappearance of a town and its 1,346 inhabitants.
After an illustrious career in film and theatre, Zoje Stage began to contribute her many talents to horror fiction. It proved to be an excellent decision on her part right from the get-go with her 2018 novel Baby Teeth.
In it, we follow Little Hannah who wants to murder her mother Suzette. Murderous children are not novelties in the genre, but Stage breathes new life into this trope through this nerve-wracking novel.
She continues to terrorize families with Wonderland, where the Bennetts must survive a malicious and unknowable entity that inhabits the woods that surround their new farmhouse. As if that wasn’t enticing enough, critics are also describing this as “if Shirley Jackson wrote The Shining.”
Lana Popović is known for her work in YA fantasy with the Hibiscus Daughter series (Wicked Like a Wildfire and Fierce Like a Firestorm) but in 2020 she comes out as a horror fiend with Blood Countess (Lady Slayers).
This historical YA novel set in the 17th-century Hungary is told through the perspective of Anna Darvulia, a chambermaid of the infamous Countess Elizabeth Bathory. It chronicles her descent into the countess’ demented world and her realization that it is too late to escape.
Aside from writing Lovecraftian horror, Premee Mohamed is also a scientist. She holds degrees in molecular genetics and environmental science which probably informed her writing.
Her debut novel Beneath the Rising is a unique and charming coming-of-age story about two friends who accidentally awaken ancient deities during their pursuit to rid the world of fossil fuels. It’s a highly intelligent story with equal amounts of spooks and heart.
Jasper Dewitt began his career in producing nightmares by crafting complex and eerie tales for the famous NoSleep subreddit. This year, he proves his mettle with a psychological thriller called The Patient.
The novel follows an arrogant young psychiatrist who believes that he can cure a patient who has driven others to insanity and suicide. It’s a classic cautionary tale told through the pen of an author who understands what it takes to scare the bejesus out of modern readers.
I don’t know about you, but I certainly feel glad knowing that I’ll be greeted with fresh literary scares each day. Close this list now and pick up one (or all) of the books listed here! Trust me, it will be worth your while.
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