The Remaking by Clay McLeod ChapmanLegend has it: In 1931 Pilot's Creek, Virginia, Ella Louise Ford and her young daughter Jessica are burned at the stake for witchcraft, an act that will have chilling reverberations for decades to come.
What sets it apart: Based on a real urban legend, The Remaking unravels the tale of "The Witch Girl of Pilot's Creek" via a 1951 campfire story, a 1971 B-movie, its 1990s meta remake, and a present-day podcast, charting the evolution of the eerie tale as it's shaped by generations of storytellers.
The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer GiesbrechtWhat it is: a gory, vengeance-fueled dark fantasy tinged with Gothic elements and sardonic humor.
Starring: outcast sorcerer Florian, hell-bent on creating a plague to wipe out his enemies; unkillable monster Johann, whom Florian enlists to help him in his destructive endeavors.
Read it for: debut author Jennifer Giesbrecht's evocative prose and lively dialogue; the twisted romance that develops between Florian and Johann.
The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek by Rhett McLaughlin & Link Neal What it's about: In 1992 Bleak Creek, North Carolina, teens Rex and Leif investigate the creepy supernatural happenings at a local reform school after their friend Alicia is sent there.
Who it's for: Peppered with pop culture references and plenty of humor, this coming-of-age tale will appeal to Stranger Things fans and readers who prefer their horror bloodless.
About the authors: Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal are the creators and co-hosts of the YouTube comedy-talk series Good Mythical Morning and authors of the bestselling Rhett & Link’s Book of Mythicality.
Violet by Scott ThomasWhat it's about: Following her husband's tragic death, Kris Barlow retreats with her daughter to a seemingly idyllic vacation town where the two soon find themselves contending with the menacing manifestation of their grief.
Want a taste? "She imagined the road ending without warning, driving over the edge, plummeting into an infinite nothingness, until her screams became a song for the darkness."
For fans of: Sarah Pinborough, Jennifer McMahon, and atmospheric slow burns with unreliable narrators.
Books You Might Have Missed
Sealed by Naomi BoothWhat it is: a nail-biting blend of body horror, dystopian fiction, and fable "that will stay with readers long after they turn the final page" (Booklist).
The setting: a remote town in rural Australia, where Alice and her boyfriend Pete have fled to escape from a highly contagious skin-sealing epidemic called cutis.
The catch: A panicked Alice is grappling with anxiety, paranoia, and grief over her mother's death...and she's also 36 weeks pregnant.
Stoker's Wilde by Steven Hopstaken & Melissa PrusiWhat it is: a rollicking adventure in which Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde team up to fight vampires and werewolves in Victorian London.
Read it for: the prickly odd couple dynamic between Stoker and Wilde; the epistolary format that mimics Stoker's own Dracula.
For fans of: TV's Penny Dreadful and horror starring real-life historical figures, like Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker.
A People's History of the Vampire Uprising
by Raymond A. Villareal
What 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.
The Very Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan by Caitlín R. KiernanWhat's inside: Twenty previously published horror and dark fantasy stories written by two-time Bram Stoker Award winner Caitlín R. Kiernan.
Is it for you? Fans of weird fiction will find much to savor in this lyrical Lovecraftian collection.
Don't miss: "Houses Under the Sea," featuring a sinister cult that will be familiar to readers of Kiernan's The Drowning Girl; the squirm-inducing body modification tale "A Season of Broken Dolls."
Contact your librarian for more great books!
Anne Arundel County Public Library
5 Harry S. Truman Pkwy.
Annapolis, Maryland 21401