Written by: Matt Molgaard
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Samhain. They’ve been putting out a number of quality novels and novellas over the last few years, and genre fans should be taking notice. With an eclectic lineup of tales, there’s little time to find yourself tangling with boredom. You’ve just got to know precisely what stories to seek out!
Greg F. Gifune – A View from the Lake: Excellent visualizing from Gifune helps elevate a tale that already boasts amazing atmosphere and a great – even if not entirely original – concept. A View from the Lake will give you the chills
Eric Red – It Waits Below: A great exploration of the terrors that lurk deep beneath the surface, It Waits Below is actually a diverse story. There’s a little bit of ramance, some claustrophobia, underwater terror and a terrorist attack. Just a wild, wild ride.
Jonathan Janz – Castle of Sorrows: Janz goes grandiose on us here, incorporating elements of the supernatural, subterranean catacombs and even ventures into the world of the ghastly creature. For my buck, this is the Janz book that cannot be put down.
Hunter Shea – Hell Hole: This western themed creature tale is brilliant. It’s got everything a many man wants. Spurs, tetas, creatures in the night, swigs of liquor, a war far beyond human grasp, and – get ready for it – Teddy Roosevelt. Genius.
Catherine Cavendish – Saving Grace Devine: In some weird way, Saving Grace Devine reminds me of Rosemary’s Baby. The stories aren’t similar in the slightest bit, but there’s something in the tone of the book that really summons that comparison. It’s a fantastic murder mystery with some very dark moments. This won’t be the last Cavendish novel I read.
Brian Moreland – The Girl from the Blood Coven: This isn’t one of Moreland’s longer works (really recommend Shadows in the Mist and Dead of Winter), but it is one that stabs right in the heart, all the while conjuring an interesting feeling of nostalgia. In the same sense that Saving Grace Devine brought forth memories of Rosemary’s Baby, The Girl from the Blood Covern brings forth memories of Evil Dead. It’s a wicked, albeit brief tale that takes terror into the depths of the woods, where you may not escape.
Tony Richards – Under the Ice: Tony Richards won a fan over instantly. Under the Ice is brilliant. There are a few moments that feel a little Lovecraftian in the sense of wandering in quiet, dark, foggy streets, but that’s not all that is amazing about this tale. The characters are fantastic, and the finale ranks amongst the best in the Samhain library.
Frazer Lee – Lamplighters: Lamplighters gets a nod on this list simply due to the fact that the premise is absolutely stunning. You don’t read stories of this nature every day, and you sure as hell don’t read novels that push the action at a breakneck pace. Great, original tale right here!
Bryan Smith – The Late Night Horror Show: I don’t necessarily think Smith is the greatest author to walk the planet. I do however, feel he has an awesome grasp of what it means to have fun, and throw readers back into a long lost era, when horror movies and books alike were just a magnificant blast! Reminiscent of the underrated slasher, Midnight Movie, The Late Night Horror Show is a stellar substitute.
David Bernstein – Witch Island: I wasn’t overly impressed with Witch Island the first time I read it. I found it too safe and predictable. I own up to that, and I apologize. I just read it a second time while out in Nevada and completely changed my mind! No, it isn’t perfect, but it’s so faithful to 80s cinematic horror fare that it’s unbelievable. My suggestion: Don’t read this with an analytical mind, read this when you just want to have a nostalgic blast of terror. Great way for the mind to blend fiction on paper and fiction on film. That’s the only way I can accurately sum this piece up.
John Everson – The Family Tree: John is a silly, super sexually minded gent who just so happens to be able to write his ass off. I’ve read a number of killer books from Everson, my favorite however, must be The Family Tree. It’s a book written for man, as there are loads of sexual encounters glorified, horrific mutations and downright absurdity. Seriously, this one flies by like it’s no one’s business!
Ramsey Campbell – The Nameless: The Nameless is the kind of story designed to tug at the heart strongs of parents. It’s told by a modern day master of fiction, which makes the story all the better… or worse. The novel taps a nerve, and if you’re a sensitive sort, you may just want to steer clear.
Russell James – Sacrifice: Sacrifice is another novel that wriggled its way into my heart after a second reading. The time jumps are great, the mystery is very engaging and the climax makes every question become a super clear answer. If you’re a fan of Stephen King’s It, read Sacrifice!
Got a favorite we didn’t mention? Let us know – we may have (gasp) not read it yet!!