Last fall, I wrote about young adult horror for School Library Journal, hitting a wide variety of subcategories within the genre, as well as offering up a significant reading list. It’s still one of my favorite pieces I’ve written, and since it came out, I’ve been thinking a lot more about horror and keeping an eye on what’s coming up in the genre. I thought it might be worthwhile to do a roundup of forthcoming 2014 (and a couple of 2015) titles, since I know I’ve been feeling some of these out in my own reading and for building my own to-read pile.
One of the trends I’m particularly fascinated with (and love seeing) is how many of these titles are being written by females. It looks like this is a pretty strong year especially for the more literary-leaning horror titles, like Amity, Fiendish, and The Fall.
I know I’m going to miss some stuff, so feel free to chime in with other forthcoming horror titles that should be included. All descriptions come from WorldCat, unless otherwise noted. I’ve indicated when a title is part of a series, since some of these are sequels or installments on longer-running series.
Amity by Micol Ostow (August 26): Two teens narrate the terrifying days and nights they spend living in a house of horrors.
Creed by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie (November 8): Three went in. Three came out. None even a shadow of who they once were. When their car breaks down, Dee, her boyfriend Luke, and his brother Mike walk through a winter storm to take refuge in a nearby town called Purity Springs. When they arrive, the emergency sirens are blaring and the small farming town seems abandoned. With no other shelter, they spend the night in an empty house. But they soon discover that not everything in Purity Springs is as it seems. When the town’s inhabitants suddenly appear the next morning, Dee, Luke, and Mike find themselves at the mercy of the charismatic leader, Elijah Hawkins, who plans to make Dee his new wife. Elijah’s son, Joseph, offers to help them escape . . . but the price of his help may be more than Dee and her friends can bear. (Description via Goodreads).
Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff (August 14): Clementine DeVore, seventeen, is determined to learn what happened ten years ago that led to her magical imprisonment and problems in her town, but a dangerous attraction to Fisher, the boy who freed her, town politics, and the terrifying Hollow get in the way.
Of Monsters and Madness by Jessica Verday (September 9): In 1820s Philadelphia, a girl finds herself in the midst of a rash of gruesome murders in which her father and his alluring assistant might be implicated.
Between the Spark and the Burn by April Genevieve Tucholke (August 14, sequel to Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea): Seventeen-year-old Violet is looking for the boy she fell in love with last summer, the charismatic liar River West Redding, but as she scours the country for him, she begins to wonder who she’s really chasing–and who she really loves.
Silver by Chris Wooding (already available as of March 25): When the students at Mortingham Boarding Academy find a group of strange, silvery beetles on school grounds they are excited, but when the beetles attack them and a mysterious virus starts spreading, a group of mismatched students must work together to survive.
Blood of My Blood by Barry Lyga (September 9, conclusion to the “I Hunt Killers” trilogy): Jazz Dent, who has been shot and left to die in New York City, his girlfriend, Connie, who is in the clutches of Jazz’s serial killer father, Billy, and his best friend, Howie, who is bleeding to death on the floor of Jazz’s own home in tiny Lobo’s Nod, must all rise above the horrors their lives have become and find a way to come together in pursuit of Billy.
Servants of the Storm by Delilah Dawson (August 5): After her best friend dies in a hurricane, high schooler Dovey discovers something even more devastating–demons in her hometown of Savannah.
The Fall by Bethany Griffin (October 7): Madeline Usher is doomed. She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin. Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house. In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down?The Fall is a literary psychological thriller, reimagining Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher. (Description via Goodreads).
Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz (July 22): Seven super fans have won the trip of a lifetime to meet the master of horror, legendary film director Justin Blake. But things quickly go from delightfully dark to dangerously deadly, when Ivy, Parker, Shayla, Natalie, Frankie, and Garth find themselves trapped in an abandoned amusement park. To earn a ticket out, they must face their darkest demons one ride at a time
Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen (September 9): When Cynthia Rothschild’s best friend, Annie, falls head over heels for the new high-school librarian, Cyn can totally see why. He’s really young and super cute and thinks Annie would make an excellent library monitor. But after meeting Mr. Gabriel, Cyn realizes something isn’t quite right. Maybe it’s the creepy look in the librarian’s eyes, or the weird feeling Cyn gets whenever she’s around him. Before long Cyn realizes that Mr. Gabriel is, in fact…a demon. Now, in addition to saving the school musical from technical disaster and trying not to make a fool of herself with her own hopeless crush, Cyn has to save her best friend from the clutches of the evil librarian, who also seems to be slowly sucking the life force out of the entire student body! From best-selling author Michelle Knudsen, here is the perfect novel for teens who like their horror served up with a bit of romance, plenty of humor, and some pretty hot guys (of both the good and evil variety). (Description via Edelweiss).
The Fallen by Charlie Higson (June 10, fifth book in “The Enemy” series): The sickness destroyed everyone over the age of fourteen. All across London diseased adults are waiting, hungry predators with rotten flesh and ravaged minds. The fifth terrifying part of Charlie Higson’s bestselling Enemy series. The Enemy is closer than you think.
Last year, I wrote about Scholastic’s reboot of Point Horror, and these two titles are this year’s additions to the line. I read one of the titles last year on a flight and it was fun. I would call these more along the lines of campy horror than scary horror, but reader mileage will vary.
Followers by Anna Davies (June 24): When Briana loses out on a starring role in the school’s production of Hamlet, she reluctantly agrees to be the drama department’s “social media director” and starts tweeting half-hearted updates. But then a body IS discovered in the theater: Briana’s rival. Suddenly, what seemed like a prank turns deadly serious. With the school in chaos and the police unable to find the culprit, it’s up to Briana to unmask the psycho-tweeter before the carnage reaches Shakespearian proportions . . . or she becomes the next victim.
Wickedpedia by Chris Van Etten (June 24): Cole and Greg love playing practical jokes through Wikipedia. They edit key articles and watch their classmates crash and burn giving oral reports on historical figures like Genghis Khan, the first female astronaut on Jupiter. So after the star soccer player steals Cole’s girlfriend, the boys take their revenge by creating a Wikipedia page for him, an entry full of outlandish information including details about his bizarre death on the soccer field. It’s all in good fun, until the soccer player is killed in a freak accident . . . just as Cole and Greg predicted. The uneasy boys vow to leave Wikipedia alone but someone continues to edit articles about classmates dying in gruesome ways . . . and those entries start to come true as well. To his horror, Cole soon discovers that someone has created a Wikipedia page for him, and included a date of death. He has one week to figure out who’s behind the murders, or else he’s set to meet a pretty grisly end. (Description via Goodreads).
Black Knight by Christopher Pike (second book in the “Witch World” series, available December 2): New dangers await Jesse, who possesses extraordinary powers and the ability to exist in both the real world and an alternate one known as witch world. Worth noting that the first book in the series was titled Witch World in hardcover, then it was changed to Red Queen in paperback. The Red Queen paperback will be available in August.
Party Games by R. L. Stine (September 30, first in the reboot of Pike’s “Fear Street” series): It’s about girl named Rachel, who Brendan Fear invites along with a bunch of other people to the Fear’s summer house on Fear Island, in the middle of a lake. They’re 17, in high school. It’s Halloween time, and they’re reopening the summerhouse just for this party. Brendan invents games, he loves games, and one by one the guests start getting murdered—every murder is attached to a game. One girl is found all folded up and there’s a note that says, ‘Twister, anyone?’ They’re trapped on an island, and there’s a killer there who wants to kill everyone. (Description via Goodreads).
Mary: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan (September 2): Teens Jess, Shauna, Kitty, and Anna follow all the rules, but when their summoning circle is broken the vengeful spirit of Bloody Mary slips through, and as the girls struggle to escape Mary’s wrath, loyalties are questioned, friendships torn apart, and lives changed forever.
Trollhunters by Daniel Kraus and Guillermo del Toro (March 24, 2015): This new 320-page horror novel written by Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus is about monsters that move in unseen places and the resurgence of a 45-year-old mystery that threatens the seemingly sleepy city of San Bernardino, CA. (Description via Goodreads).