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My favorite horror of 2021 (so far)

Who knew making a list of my favorite horror fiction I’ve read so far this year would be so hard.

I wanted to pick five books since it’s only half of the year and reserve a top 10 list until after the New Year, but damn, it wasn’t an easy choice. I narrowed it down to five, but there were some tough omissions that still could make my end of the year top list because they will be tough to beat.

Note, I call this my favorite books of the year not best because best is so subjective. A lot of what makes me enjoy a book is how fun they are to me. The books below are not in order of my favorite to least favorite, but in alphabetical order.

And before I get into the list, I’m giving the “Rewind or Die” series a special shout out. The series is excellent and several of the books just missed out on the top five list. I think I’m up to nine out of the 31 books and I can’t wait to finish them all.

Now, here’s the list:

The Boulevard Monster, Jeremy Hepler, 2017, 302 pages.

This was such a good story. It features a man trapped in a horrible situation that benefits everyone he cares about but is still tearing him apart. Love it.

The “Boulevard Monster,” is a title given to a suspected serial killer and the Seth Fowler is the prime suspect. He is involved, but not in the way authorities think. What he goes through from the beginning until the end as he tries to get out of an impossible situation makes for a great read.

The Festering Ones, S.H. Cooper, 2019, 133 pages.

If creepy is your thing, “The Festering Ones” is for you. It definitely has the most creep factor of any book on this list.

Mythical, evil creatures that are downright horrifying sounding, a violent cult and strong characters led by the heroine Faith York make this a top notch story. Don’t worry about how short it is, this book is a well-told story that will definitely leave you satisfied as a reader.

The Only Good Indian, Stephan Graham Jones, 2020, 320 pages.

There are just some books, when you read them you’re immediately blown away. “The Only Good Indians,” is one of those books. The biggest compliment I can give it is It was so good it made me want to seek out every other Stephen Graham Jones book I could.

The book tells the story of four American Indian men who are now in danger due to something they did years ago. The story is unique and told in a way that I don’t think many people could.

I know I harp on strong characters, but without strong characters a book isn’t worth reading and every single character in this are fully-formed and make you care for them as a reader.

Ring Shout, Clark, P. Djèlí Clark, 2020, 185 pages.

I love when a book weaves real historical characters and events into a fictional story and makes it work.

“Ring Shout,” exists in the reality where D.W. Griffith is a wizard and the Ku Klux Klan is infiltrated by monsters called “Kluxes,” that hope to make the world a living hell.

The evil is challenged by a group of fighters who know the reality and led by Maryse, who is armed with a magical sword gifted to her by a mysterious magical trio.

Yeah, I realize it sounds weird…but weird in a good way. Trust me. I know bad weird and I know good weird and bad weird and this is good weird.

Tender is the Flesh, Agustina Bazterrica, 2020, 224 pages.

I actually reviewed this before, so I’ll link to that so you can read it at your leisure.

What I will say is this book is unrelentingly dark and heavy but amazing.

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