Mother Horror's Most Loved Books of 2018
2018 was a great year for horror. It was also the year that will forever stand alone for me because of some personal milestones: I moved from my hometown/birthplace of Grass Valley, California to our new home in Tacoma, Washington. 2018 is the first year I only read books from the genre of horror. I was invited to write reviews for SCREAM magazine and Cemetery Dance. I exceeded my Goodreads goal of reading 100 books and I read 113 (so far! At the time of this writing, the year isn’t over!) and I started a business with a good (and local) friend with a huge emphasis on reading, review and promoting horror. It’s been a damn good year. I’m sitting in my living room and it’s still dark outside. The sun won’t come up for another hour or so. I’m typing on my laptop with only the Christmas tree lights casting a pink glow and my dog snoring beside me. I made my 2018 Top Ten list! I was having a really difficult time until I decided to make two categories- “Novels” and “Novellas & Collections”. Just like the annual Academy Awards, there’s a need to make some categories and so call it cheating the rules if you want but this is the only way I could make sense of my favorites.
This was my introduction to Robert McCammon, if you can believe that. Cemetery Dance was kind enough to send me a review copy and I’m so thankful. Truly one of the very best writers of our time that is still working today. I hope I get to meet him at StokerCon next year! This is an original story that grabs your attention and holds it there until the end. My favorite protagonist for the whole year, Curtis Mayhew. I will forever love him and now I’m crying. Thanks a lot.
What an impressive debut! This book is everything horror lovers show up for with its perfect “horror-movie-like” set up and its descent into madness during the final chapters. This is one of those books where I looked forward to going to bed every night just so I could devour more of this story. It was over much too quickly.
Paul Tremblay is the author that proves time and time again that horror is so much more than cheap thrills and chills. This home-invasion story ripped my guts out while inciting a panic attack at the same time. Masterful character development and tension building.
I had no idea what to expect with this one. Paul Tremblay did a push for it on his Twitter, I asked for review copies for the Night Worms and then it blew my mind. A complicated, expertly told story with characters I fell in love with and a story that captivated every last nerve of my being. I loved it so hard.
This was the book I had been waiting for from King. The story was compelling and mysterious. The characters were well developed and I loved that King can write a supernatural thriller! Who would have thought? (me.)
The minute I started reading the first page, my readers’ heart settled in and cozied up to the narrative. Jonathan Janz has the ease and comfortability with his audience that feels like a warm blanket. I love the way The Siren and the Specter was both brutal and beautiful. It was a romantic ghost story wrapped in the folds of a something far more insidious. I loved it.
This is one of those books that can so easily be spoiled that I fear saying anything about the plot other than, I just recommend you go into this one totally blind and you prepare yourself to settle in with the unique way Reid tells his stories. He truly sits apart from everyone else in that his narrative, his characters, his plots are far and away the most original. Nobody does it like Iain Reid. Nobody.
This book. Craig Davidson writes coming of age like one of the best. I knew it when I read the first act of his novel Cataract City. I could read this book straight through and then turn around and do it again. I mourned the loss of its newness the second it was over--I could live in this story forever.
Damn you Hunter Shea. How dare you take a great horror story and inject it with so much gut churning emotion! I will never forget this story. Harrowing and beautiful, I painfully and lovingly immersed myself in this tale. Standing ovation and a big thank you for sharing this obviously personal story with the world.
I’m hoping this book launches David’s horror writing career into the stratosphere so that we can enjoy reading stories like this for a long, long time. Truly one of the most fun reading I had all year. This book is funny, gross, scary and everything I want from horror. MORE PLEASE!!!
Novellas and Collections*
*Broken Shells was written and published by Michael Patrick Hicks, founder of the High Fever Books blog, and was chosen for inclusion solely by Sadie as one of her best novellas of 2018 with no input or influence from the author and editor of this website.