Compulsory Games by Robert AickmanWhat it is: a dreamlike collection of 15 short stories -- including four previously unpublished -- by English author Robert Aickman (1914-1981), a "forefather of horror" whose tense, disarming prose rivals that of H.P. Lovecraft.
Featuring: vengeful humans, sinister schemes, carnivorous cows, and a graveyard haunted by the living dead.
Want a taste? "One's broken heart, if it can be mended at all, can be mended in only one way...to kill the man who has broken it."
Awakened by James S. Murray with Darren WearmouthWhat it's about: The first train on New York City's newest subway line arrives at the station blood-soaked and devoid of passengers, prompting speculation of terrorism. With methane filling the tunnels (making defensive gunfire impossible), crowds scramble for safety...but are soon stopped by the subterranean things responsible for the attack.
Who it's for: With a television adaptation in the works, Awakened is a briskly paced, action-packed ride sure to have wide appeal for horror, thriller, and science fiction readers.
The Anomaly by Michael RutgerWhat it's about: When minor YouTube personality and paranormal investigator Nolan Moore receives sponsorship for a filmed expedition to a mysterious cavern, he jumps at the chance for a shot at stardom, realizing all too late that the fate of his show -- and the fate of his team -- hangs in the balance.
What sets it apart: This claustrophobic and engrossing adventure counts famed horror author R.L. Stine among its early fans and is being touted by its publisher as "Indiana Jones meets The X-Files."
The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul TremblayWhat it's about: Eric and Andrew are enjoying a well-earned vacation with their seven-year-old daughter, Wen, until a quartet of weapon-wielding strangers appears, warning that the apocalypse is imminent...unless one of the family members sacrifices another.
About the author: Paul Tremblay is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of A Head Full of Ghosts.
Why you might like it: Reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy's The Road, this thought-provoking home invasion thriller wrestles with questions of morality in the face of survival.
A People's History of the Vampire Uprising by Raymond A. VillarealWhat it is: Think World War Z...but with vampires! This densely plotted and disturbing oral history chronicles the outbreak and aftermath of a global vampire epidemic.
Read it for: the satirical tone and political subtext (post-outbreak, vampires begin demanding equal rights); the surprise ending.
Don't miss: appearances from famous humans -- Taylor Swift and the pope, among others -- jockeying for elite vampire status.
By Blood We Live by Glen DuncanWhat it is: a climactic showdown between vampires and werewolves that's complicated by an unexpected love story.
Series alert: Newcomers to The Last Werewolf trilogy will want to read The Last Werewolf and Talulla Rising before sinking their teeth into this violent and sexy conclusion.
Reviewers say: "Duncan's a gorgeous, daring writer even those horrified of horror can love" (Library Journal).
Werewolf Cop by Andrew KlavanWhat it's about: On the hunt for a crime boss in possession of a demonically powered dagger, Houston cop Zach "Cowboy" Adams is brutally attacked and transformed into a werewolf. Adjusting to his newfound abilities, Adams ponders if he should use them in the pursuit of justice.
Why you might like it: Featuring complex characters and a gritty, page-turning narrative, Werewolf Cop combines elements of mystery and horror to deliver a tale of bestial vengeance.
Hemlock Grove by Brian McGreevyWhat it it's about: In screenwriter Brian McGreevy's engaging and angsty debut, rumored teenage werewolf Peter Rumancek, the initial suspect in the murders of multiple young girls, investigates the murders alongside mysterious classmate Roman Godfrey, who may be hiding secrets of his own.
What's inside: Gothic influences pepper concise, unnerving chapters populated by myriad creatures, mad doctors, grave robbers, and enough twists and turns to rival a soap opera.
Red Moon by Benjamin PercyWhat it is: an ambitious, intricately plotted parable of the long-running yet uneasy alliance between humans and lycans -- until an act of terrorism changes everything.
What set it apart: Drawing parallels to the post-9/11 sociopolitical climate, Red Moon's resonant alternate history offers a humanizing, empathetic portrait of its stigmatized shapeshifters.
For fans of: Justin Cronin's The Passage series.
The Wolf Gift by Anne RiceStarring: reporter Reuben Golding, the "Man Wolf" who combs through San Francisco using his supernatural powers to rescue those in peril and evade the authorities.
Series alert: The Wolf Gift kicks off The Wolf Gift Chronicles, followed by The Wolves of Midwinter.
Reviewers say: "will surely please fans and newcomers alike" (Publishers Weekly).
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