I’ve got my third installment of reviews from my 2014 reading list. The genre of the week is fantasy and horror books, just in time for some light yet terrifying Halloween reading. There is actually only one fantasy book on this list, as it’s not something I naturally gravitate towards. I don’t always read fantasy, but when I do, I choose works that are 5,000 or more pages. You’ll find more horror here (also a possible working title for my autobiography?), because it’s my favorite. I’ve read scary books since I was a kid and the only thing that’s changed is the maturity level of the self-inflicted terror. Some people jump out of planes, I read about the monsters under the bed. We both get an adrenaline rush. Oh, you didn’t know you could feel that way about a book? I’ve got a few listed below that might change your mind.
Fantasy & Horror Books (read in 2014)
All links below are affiliate
Storm of Swords (Game of Thrones Book 3) George RR Martin (Audio):
GRRM, how do I love thee, let me count the ways.
1. I love that you create beloved and human characters in a fantasy world filled with dragons and goblins and things that go bump.
2. I love that you’ve intricately woven this story with so much depth that there are books about your books. I can buy history books about the world he’s created in his novels. I’m not saying I’ve done that, but if I were really nerdy, I would totally buy the history of Westeros, the Egg and Dunk stories and a few other books that I know nothing about (except that they might be on my bookshelf).
3. I love how I still love you, even after you kill off every character you made me love. Damn you GRRM.
I’ve read all five of the books that are currently available, and this is the best of them. So much happens in this book that you’ll find it hard to put down (Book 4, not so much). If you aren’t a Game of Thrones fan, what’s wrong with you? Why are we even friends? Just kidding, but seriously, read this book.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Seth Grahame-Smith (Audio):
This book has it all. Victorian propriety, sword fights, and the sorry stricken (the proper and polite way to refer to one’s former friends who are now among the undead). I loved this book. It helps that I am a fan of all things zombie, and Pride and Prejudice (the regular version) has always been my favorite novel. I’ve always realted to Elizabeth (be real, who hasn’t?). Now she’s kicking zombie butt?!? Too good.
The film version comes out next year. This should be on your must-read list. I would also recommend Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, by the same author, and I’ve got my eye on another of his books, The Last American Vampire, which is a sort of sequel to that.
Doctor Sleep (The Shining #2) Stephen King (Hardcover):
A couple years ago I was staying at the Melrose hotel in Dallas. Here is a photo of one of the hallways:
I kept expecting to walk out of the room and see this:
After a night out on the town (no need to go into details of what we were doing, but it made us less than sober, leave it at that) we came back and made videos of ourselves running up and down yelling red rum! That was years ago (two years) and I’ve really grown up a lot since then (not). The Shining is a horror movie that people still gravitate towards. It came out in 1980, but is still just as powerful today. Doctor Sleep is the long-awaited sequel. It’s about Danny, the son, as an adult. I found this book at a vacation rental house in Puerto Rico, and read the entire 550 page beast in 2 days. If you are a fan of the original, even if you’ve only seen the movie, this is a must read. Aren’t you just a little curious about what happened next??
The author, Joe Hill, grew up with horror as a part of his everyday life. You may recognize him better by his full name, Joe Hillstrom King (yes, he’s one of those Kings). He can change his name, but there’s no denying his parentage:
This was his first book and I thought it was well done. It’s impossible to not compare to that other guy named King, and in that regard Hill would come in second place. But he kept me interested and I liked the story. The main character gets a dead man’s suit that’s haunted. It reminded me a little of a short story his dad wrote called The Road Virus Heads North (from Everything’s Eventual). If you like this genre and are looking for a new author, I’d say give this book a try.
14 Peter Clines (Audio):
This book was weird. I like weird (hello, dead man’s suit!), but this one was really out there. It starts off like a whodunit that I would compare to a grown-up scooby doo adventure, minus the adorable dog. It evolves into a multi-dimension paranormal trip to a version of hell that, yes I’ll say it again, weirded me out. I’ve seen this book compared to the tv show Lost, and based on the few episodes I’ve seen, I’d proabably agree with that. I can’t really say that it was good or bad, and am struggling with whether to make a recommendation. If you’ve read through my comments and it still sounds interesting, I’d say go for it.
Revival Stephen King (Audio):
What? Another King book on my list? How’d that get there? This, along with Doctor Sleep, are probably the best books he’s released this decade. Revival has elements that reminded me of 14. Remember 14? That’s the book I said I didn’t really like a mere few sentences ago. But Revival does it right. Although I’ve never read an H.P. Lovecraft book, I’ve seen both 14 and Revival compared to one. From the beginning you feel the electricity (see what I did there? If you read the book you will.) and excitement that something big is coming. And boy is it big. Only read this if you want to be terrified in the way that only something deeply disturbing to your core can do.
If fantasy and horror books aren’t your thing, check out my other reviews: Part 1 (Mysteries and Thrillers), or Part 2 (Dystopian Fiction)
Part 4, covering fiction and literature, will be out soon. And don’t forget to check out my virtual library on Pinterest for more reading inspiration!
Also, check back later today for Day 6 of my 31 day challenge!