Gwendy's Magic Feather by Richard Chizmar; foreword by Stephen KingWhat it's about: Years after a sinister gift-giving box wreaked havoc on her childhood, 37-year-old Gwendy finds it in her possession again.
What happens next: Returning to her hometown of Castle Rock for the holidays, Gwendy contemplates harnessing the box's power to cure her mother's cancer and solve a rash of local disappearances.
Series alert: This unsettling 2nd entry in the Gwendy series follows the novella Gwendy's Button Box, co-written with Stephen King.
NVK by Temple DrakeShanghai, 2012: Married businessman Zhang Guo Xing begins an all-consuming affair with the mysterious Naemi Vieno Kuusela.
Why you might like it: This steamy supernatural thriller ramps up the tension as readers become privy to the secrets the characters are keeping from each other.
Read it for: a twist on vampire stories; an ending that begs for a sequel.
Chokehold by David MoodySeries alert: Set in the world of David Moody's Hater novels, Chokehold is the gory 3rd entry in the Final War series.
What it's about: In postapocalyptic Britain, Unchanged human Matthew Dunne and his fellow survivors face off against the blood-thirsty Haters and enter an uneasy alliance with Estelle, a woman from Matthew's past with ambitious plans to eradicate the Haters once and for all.
For fans of: World War Z and 28 Days Later.
The Pursuit of William Abbey by Claire NorthWhat it's about: Decades after he failed to save a young Zulu boy from a lynching, guilt-ridden English doctor William Abbey recounts his experiences in 1880s Colonial South Africa and the (figurative and literal) shadow that has followed him since that fateful day.
Is it for you? Readers interested in big-picture issues like the legacy of colonialism and the nature of guilt and culpability will want to check out this thought-provoking novel; period-authentic racist language may be off-putting for some readers.
A Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman, Rafael Albuquerque, and Rafael Scavone; illustrated by Rafael Albuquerque and Dave StewartWhat it is: an inventive mashup of Sherlock Holmes and Cthulhu Mythos set in an alternate Victorian London.
Why you might like it: Neil Gaiman's graphic novel adaptation of his Hugo Award-winning short story concludes with a shocking twist.
Art alert: Eisner Award-winning artist Rafael Albuquerque's detailed illustrations evocatively depict the novel's creepy otherworldly entities.
Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery": The Authorized Graphic Adaptation by Miles HymanWhat it is: a haunting adaptation of Shirley Jackson's classic 1948 short story "The Lottery," illustrated by her grandson.
Art alert: Escalating dread is conveyed through the Norman Rockwell-esque illustrations' changing colors, panel sizes, and perspectives.
Reviewers say: "One of the strongest graphic adaptations of a classic work to come along in some time" (Booklist).
Infidel by Pornsak Pichetshote; illustrated by Aaron Campbell; with José Villarrubia and Jeff PowellThe premise: After she moves into a new apartment, Muslim woman Aisha finds herself preyed upon by monstrous manifestations of her fellow tenants' xenophobia.
Art alert: The human characters are as realistic as the monstrous ones are twisted in this striking work NPR named one of their "100 Favorite Horror Stories of All Time."
Try this next: For another metaphor-rich graphic novel set in a haunted apartment building, check out Bttm Fdrs by Ezra Claytan Daniels and Ben Passmore.
Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann; illustrated by KerascoëtWhat happens: Elfin Princess Aurora and her companions' whimsical adventures take a sinister turn when they leave the rotting corpse they've been living in and step into a woodland sanctum that is anything but.
Art alert: Bright, lush watercolors underscore this macabre tale's eerie and disturbing tone.
Who it's for: readers who appreciate fractured fairy tales and the cutthroat intrigue of Lord of the Flies.
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