Right off the top I want say that my Top 5 Horror Books of 2016 is only based on my opinion and the books I read this year. There are no doubt many excellent books left off of this list since many great authors had releases this year that I never got around to reading. Also, I’ve included anything from novelette length to novel length. Not all of these books are reviewed here on Real Dead Review as they were read before the establishment of the site. Well…on with it then, here’s my short list:
Best Horror Books of 2016
Mongrels reinvents the werewolf novel and might just be the greatest werewolf novel of all time. Stephen Graham Jones has a history of creating great reads and this is no exception. Mongrels could just as easily been named “New Rules for Werewolves” because the novel creates a new mythos for werewolves. When you are do reading this book you’ll think “Werewolves are people too”.
Ronald Malfi is quickly becoming one of the masters of horror, in my eyes. Night Parade isn’t just another book viral outbreak book, it is THEE viral outbreak book of the year and one of the best “outbreak” books I’ve read. Night Parade reads a little like The Stand by Stephen King and The Road by Cormac McCarthy, just that feeling of dread. Might be it is playing on the fact that I’m a father and I’m getting soft as I get older but the father-child dynamic go me good.
Fungoid by William Meikle , like Night Parade, isn’t just another apocalyptic tale. It’s about a FREAKING Fungus ending the world.! Meikle had me at “fungus” and kept it rolling throughout the novel. Again, like many of the books on my list for this year, it’s a new spin on an old theme and it just kicks ass. Seemingly helpless situation, but there’s hope. Thanks to this book I get a little nervous when it rains.
Tim Curran is one of those guys that’s been kicking around the horror genre for quite a while and I don’t think he gets the recognition he deserves. The Corpse rider is another awesome , weird and creepy read from Tim Curran. One of the things I like about Curran is that he has a distinct style and rarely a a rehashed story. This novella is tops of my list in that category for 2016.
The Fireman is a hard one for me to place on this list. I just love Joe Hill‘s prose so much he could write add copy for toilet paper and I’d probably love it. However, there are some glaring plot issues with this book and the pacing is a tad slower than I’d have liked. The setting, imagery and and prose are all top notch and the book lies in a weird fantastical horror space that is unique.
The Complex is somewhat a return to form for Brian Keene after having some (self admitted) difficulties in the quality of his output in previous years. If you want to read something that is breakneck fast, brutal and gory, The Complex will not disappoint. If you listen to Brian’s podcast you will recognize somethings going on in the story and some of the characters and it will enrich the experience.