Its been a while since this “Literature” tab got used and I thought it was high time to change that. For whatever reason, I’ve been having trouble finishing books, even books that I am really into. However, I would like to change that. Today we’re dusting off an old series with Issue #3 of 3 Book Recommendations For The Horror Fan.

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1) High Moor

Year
2011

Author
Graeme Reynolds

Summary

In 1986, John Simpson survived a werewolf attack in his hometown of High Moor. Now, almost twenty years later, a vicious animal attack rocks his hometown yet again. A killing spree is about to begin and only John knows the truth of it. However, returning to High Moor has dredged up old demons in more ways than one. John must face his past and master his own killer instincts before the next full moon or find his town consumed by the horrors of a hungry wolf.

Notes

A moonstruck werewolf is a savage beast, incapable of rational thought.

Reynolds, Graeme. High Moor (p. 167). Horrific Tales Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Once upon a time, werewolves used to rip and rend and tear things apart rather than romance vampire-obsessed teenagers in middle-of-nowhere towns. It’s a real shame that a story utilizing werewolves as monsters you don’t want to fuck with should be labeled as refreshing, but here we are. While werewolves are still being gentrified, especially in other mediums, it’s nice to read a werewolf novel that still has some bite to it.

This novel has mystery, horror, and is surprisingly heavy on the action. I really love the rules Reynolds introduces with his vision of werewolf hierarchy and there are elements of his story structure reminiscent of Stephen King’s IT. If werewolves are your jam or you want a well-rounded story with some kick-ass action, give this book a try. This is also the first book in a three novel series. I own the second one, haven’t read it yet, but if you complete this one and enjoyed it enough, maybe check out the rest.

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2) The Dark Servant

Year
2017

Author
Matt Manochio

Summary

Long relegated to European folklore, a demonic entity is snatching the “innocent” high schoolers of one New Jersey town under the cover of a monstrous blizzard. Seventeen-year-old, Billy Schweitzer, must solve the mystery behind the beast’s origins if he wants any chance to save his family and friends from its hellish wrath.

Notes

Besides the beast’s howls, the last bit Travis remembered before losing consciousness was the smell that started the nightmare: the odor of a malevolent force that invaded New Jersey twenty days before Christmas.

Manochio, Matt. The Dark Servant (Kindle Locations 85-86). Samhain Publishing, Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

I have lived in Europe and had the privilege of observing many old customs most Americans don’t know anything about(through no real fault of their own). One such custom is the Krampuslauf, although I had no clue what it was when I saw it. If you know nothing about it and plan on reading this book, don’t look it up. Let yourself be surprised. I certainly was. After finishing this novel, I did some research and was finally able to connect what I saw all those years ago to the antagonist of this book.

On paper, the concept may sound absurd, especially from a modern standpoint, but Manochio finds a way to make his antagonist work, although it easily could have come off as silly instead of scary. I especially love when authors pluck pieces of folklore and use them to give their novels a fresh take, despite being rooted in antiquity. It works and it’s something different. Check it out, especially with the holidays on the horizon.

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3) Evangeline

Year
2013

Author
E.A. Gottschalk

Summary

Angeline Gottschalk is a teenage girl whose life has taken a turn for the worst. She’s bullied, lives in an abusive home, her mother is sick, and to top it all off, she’s blacking out for extended periods of time. What Angeline doesn’t know is that she’s moonlighting as a serial killer, avenging the wrongs against Angeline and enabling her darkest dreams. When Angeline goes away, Evangeline comes out to play…

Notes

Evangeline explores the tried and true Jekyll and Hyde dichotomy while also exploring the dark complexities of mental illness. The author chooses to narrate the story from the eyes of Angeline’s homicidal alter ego, Evangeline, making for an… interesting experience. The book is framed as an excerpt from Evangeline’s memoir. This book will not be for everyone. It contains graphic language, extremely graphic violence, and sexual situations that will make your skin crawl. The following is how the book begins and if you can’t handle it, stay clear of this book.

CHAPTER ONE

Dear friends… I’m going to share with you my earliest memory– and I only tell you this because, however grotesque, it’s important you understand where I’m coming from.  So here it is… I’m eleven years old.  I’m kneeling in dirt.  And there’s a cock up my ass.  You heard right.  That was my welcome to the world.

Gottschalk, E.A.. Evangeline . Seven Crows Press. Kindle Edition.

One thing that really took me by surprise, given the disturbing nature of many of the situations, was the number of times I found myself chuckling. Evangeline narrates with her own brand of black humor. This dry wit is yet another way Evangeline protects Angeline from the disgusting aspects of her world. Or maybe I’m just broken inside and should seek my own mental guidance. Either way, I came away from the book really enjoying the experience despite all the ugliness it threw my way. If hard-hitting gore and fucked-up sexual imagery don’t phase you, this might be a book worth checking out.