Reviews :: Book Genre :: Horror

This archive contains links to all of the Fiction Book Reviews we've written over the years. Creepy, and scary, and icky, and sticky, and the more it makes you want to squeal, the better the thing is. If you've come here looking for something in that realm, you're in luck! We just happen to have more than a few suggestions lying around the place waiting for your perusal.

If you're looking for something else, say a book in another genre or maybe just any book that we happened to think was awesome-sauce, browse around the site for a bit and check out our reviews.

Just don't forget to let us know what you thought of a book you've read or if there's a suggestion you have for something we'd like to read! We're always looking for something to scare us into last week, and we hope that you are too!

Review

The Girl in Red

Posted: December 31, 2019 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: Christina Henry, Horror, Post Apocalyptic
The Girl in Red

I have a thing for constancy. When I drive somewhere I usually take the same route. When I’m feeling down, I like to hit the used book store. Things I do on a regular basis are safe and known quantities. But I also have a thing for new stuff. Surfing YouTube for new music. Trying out some new kind of food. I may or may not really like to find new breakfast cereals, despite the fact that I know pretty much anything else would be better for me in the mornings. When it comes to books and stories, I also like to see new things. All the sequels that Disney puts out frequently annoy me. Although it seems as if Pixar can do no wrong. So when I come across a story that is a “re-telling of a classic fairy tale”, I’ll typically pass. For whatever reason, the third time I picked this book up off my EBR-TBR shelf, I decided that I’d read it. Must have been my “constancy” having a surge of strength that day or something. Whatever. I picked this one up, and boy am I glad that I did.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

Wanderers

Posted: November 26, 2019 by Writer Dan in Books We Don't Like Meta: Chuck Wendig, Horror, Science Fiction
Wanderers

Well, here I am again at the tail end of the reading experience for a book that has left me absolutely stymied. Sometimes it surprises me just how different my opinion can be from other readers, not just around the world, but from those in my own backyard as well. Finishing this book has brought me to the conclusion that I am completely oblivious when it comes to understanding the “literary” merit of a story. I just don’t get it. Like, at all. In fact, I think I can safely say that any literary aspects of a story come across as 100% transparent to me. Not only do I not understand them, I don’t even see them when I read a story. A Google search for the term “literary merit” currently brings up a 2017 article from Medium.com. It seems to do a fairly decent job of relaying the main ideas of what literary fiction is about. My take is that a literary story’s primary concern will be to try to relay a “theme” or “well-posed question” dealing with society or humanity… or something else equally boring and, for me, pointless. As such, they typically make lots of mistakes along the way when it comes to telling a story that is actually engaging and worth being told.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

The Last Astronaut

The Last Astronaut

First contact is the kind of experience that’s ripe for miscommunications and misinterpretations that can literally reshape the world.
From more traditional hard sci-fi stuff, like Clarke to Reynolds, to the more literary offerings of LeGuin or Russell (she wrote THE SPARROW), first contact is a recurring theme in speculative fiction.
While there’s a million different ways to parse and taxonomize this (sub) genre, you can trace a big divide between texts that explore first contact with aliens who share fundamental premises of existence with humans (in psychology, if not in size or number of eyes) and texts in which the aliens are really, really… alien (think “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang, which is portrayed in the movie Arrival).
David Wellington’s THE LAST ASTRONAUT belongs to the latter category. Let’s just say that there are no little green moon men here.
Sunny Stevens knows something that no one else does. There’s an object heading […]Read the rest of this review »

Review

Into the Drowning Deep

Posted: June 25, 2019 by Jane Funk in Books We Like Meta: Mira Grant, Horror
Into the Drowning Deep

INTO THE DROWNING DEEP (Amazon) is the kind of book I would normally recommend as a beach read. First, I guess I should clarify that by beach read, I don’t mean trash. A good beach read is straightforward enough that you can pick it up and put it down whenever you need to take a dip in the water or reapply that sunscreen. Ideally, beach reads also have enough forward motion that I can while away the hours with ease. INTO THE DROWNING DEEP meets those criteria–it’s engaging and fun with a good dose of horror and an embrace of the absurd.

It’s also about killer mermaids.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

Every Dead Thing

Posted: June 18, 2019 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: John Connolly, Horror, Supernatural Thriller
Every Dead Thing

I forget when or how I first came across this book, and I’ve been wanting to read it again for quite some time now so that I could write up a coherent review of it. Just never got around to it. Well, the 17th book in the series that grew from the roots of this book was recently released in the UK (US release coming mid-October), and so I figured this was as good a time as any to dive back into this one, and find out if it would be just as good this time around as I remembered it being the first time.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

The Empty Grave

Posted: November 22, 2018 by Vanessa in Books We Love Meta: Johnathan Stroud, Horror, Middle Grade
The Empty Grave

Arriving at the final book of the Lockwood & Co series, THE EMPTY GRAVE, leaves me with mixed emotions: so happy to see our gang of heroes find the answers they’re looking for, but also sad to see this fantastic series come to an end. Over this series we’ve watched as Lockwood, Lucy, and George have navigated the dangerous and mystifying world of ghosts and ghost hunting. They may only be kids, but this small and independent company has uncovered secrets small and large, fought dangerous ghosts, and dealt with the frustrating politics of being the little guy in a big industry.

Now we get to see the fruition of all their hard work. THE EMPTY GRAVE ends the series in a way that won’t let you down.Read the rest of this review »

Review

Mockingbird

Posted: July 26, 2018 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: Chuck Wendig, Horror
Mockingbird

I’ve been waffling for a long time over whether to read these books or not. I don’t know why. You see, there’s this moment when you’re reading a review–even when it’s a review from the very site that you write for–that you just know you’re going to read the book. That happened to me when our illustrious reviewer, Nickolas, reviewed BLACKBIRDS by Chuck Wendig (EBR Review). Because, you see, I go in pretty hard for a good character. Especially a good tortured character, and once you’ve read Nick’s review and the actual book, you can almost see the torture spread across that skein of words. They rend you and twist you, and after you leave those pages behind, they haunt you with the understanding that not only is Ms. Miriam Black a real person under all of that grime and grit, but she also might as well be you, or me, or anyone else for all the good it does her. Because Miriam’s life is like none you’ve ever seen, and anyone, given her life, might have understandably made the same choices as she.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

Terror Is Our Business

Posted: June 26, 2018 by Vanessa in Books We Love Meta: Joe R. Lansdale, Kasey Lansdale, Horror
Terror Is Our Business

I have a confession to make. I’ve never read any Lansdale before. I know, I know. Withhold the tomatoes. I blame Steve for always taking them when I was a newbie here at EBR. Now I realize what I was missing and will quickly remedy this failing.

Because if you love horror, mysteries, thrillers…. heck, anything well written, you should be reading Lansdale.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

The Creeping Shadow

Posted: October 24, 2017 by Vanessa in Books We Love Meta: Johnathan Stroud, Horror, Middle Grade
The Creeping Shadow

I suppose I should be embarrassed for the squees involved in a series meant for middle grade readers. Certainly I am an Elitist, but that doesn’t mean I won’t give recognition where it is due. And Johnathan Stroud is due recognition for a smart, well-written, engaging horror series known as Lockwood & Co.

In THE HOLLOW BOY Lucy’s ability to talk to ghosts changes everything, and she learns that if she stays with the company her presence may be the result of Lockwood’s death. So, out of loyalty and love for her friend and co-worker, she leaves to become a freelancer. In the opening of THE CREEPING SHADOW we see how Lucy is handling her new life–and learning the hard way how much more competent Lockwood and Co. is than other ghost hunting groups. Sure she misses her old team, but is determined to never go back.

She sticks to her plan until the day Lockwood shows up at her little apartment to hire her for a job that the famed Penelope Fittes wants them to do–and it requires Lucy’s special listening skills. How can she say no?
Read the rest of this review »

Review

Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror

Posted: September 28, 2017 by Writer Dan in Books We Like Meta: Ellen Datlow (Ed), Horror, Short Fiction
Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror

Horror is a genre that I really don’t feel like I’ve been able to fully sink my teeth into yet. I’m really a fantasy guy at heart, with a science-fed brain at the helm, and a soul that can’t help but love a good story. So while I don’t typically go out searching for new horror, I love coming across a new piece of horrific something that just hits my emotional buttons the right way. Of the several anthologies that we received via Ellen Datlow recently, this was the one I was initially most excited to read, even though I recognized the fewest number of names among the authorial inclusions. Someday I’m going to get my name (or pseudonym) in one of these things. Can’t wait for the day. Until then, I’m sure there’ll be a steady stream of them coming from the likes of Datlow and others. Each of them trying to lead its readers down a path that they might otherwise not necessarily want to visit, but are overwhelmingly compelled to, nonetheless. Some will succeed in fabulous fashion. Others, not so much. Depends on which buttons you like to have pushed and how hard. This anthology had a handful of those for me. Not as many as I might have liked, true. But enough that I really enjoyed what I found.
Read the rest of this review »