Having read almost 80 books so far this year, coming up with a top 5 list is – well – difficult at best. I’m constantly discovering new authors and checking out the latest releases from my favourites. After careful consideration and a lot of backspacing whilst putting this list together, here are my top 5 horror reads of 2015.
5. A Head Full of Knives by Luke Smitherd
This may be the most original story I had the pleasure of reading this year. The characters in this book are unique, well fleshed out and completely believable. It deals with questions like “What happens when I die?” and “Do Heaven and Hell really exist?” For some, A Head Full of Knives will take you completely out of your comfort zone and for others, it may provide the comfort you’ve always sought. Although not strictly horror, A Head Full of Knives combines elements of horror with sci-fi weirdness and made me a Luke Smitherd fan. I look forward to checking out his other books.
4. Monster by Matt Shaw and Michael Bray
Released in early 2015, Monster is the first collaboration between Matt Shaw and Michael Bray since Art back in 2014. Anyone who knows me or has read my reviews for the past year knows that I love extreme horror so this one showing up on the list shouldn’t surprise anyone. Monster is gory, heartbreaking and intense, and deals with things that happen all too often in real life. Beware: this is not for the faint of heart so be sure to heed the warning on the cover.
3. The Last Plague by Rich Hawkins
Four friends head to a bachelor party at a remote cottage. All they want to do is drink and have a good time but when the party’s over, they quickly discover something is very wrong with the world. They have no communication with their loved ones – or anyone else for that matter, and those who are still alive are violent and very different from the people they’re used to. For the record, this is not a zombie novel. It is far different from any apocalyptic novel I have ever read and you’d never know you were reading a debut novel. Hawkins does a brilliant job of adding the right amount of tension to every page and the interactions between the characters really made this a great read.
2. High Moor 3: Blood Moon by Graeme Reynolds
In the thrilling conclusion to the High Moor series, Graeme Reynolds shows the world how a final novel should be done. Often, I read the final book in a series and am either left wanting more or have more questions than answers, but this was not the case with High Moor 3. I read this one in one sitting (about 8 hours) and was completely satisfied with how Reynolds ended the series. It was sad, poignant, and even offered a little humour at the end. If you love werewolves and haven’t checked out the High Moor trilogy, you are missing out on something fantastic. Hint: Read the first two books before starting this one.
1. GodBomb! by Kit Power
GodBomb! is the debut novel by Kit Power that does not read anything like a first novel. Set in North Devon, England in 1995, GodBomb! is the story of a confused young man who wants God to speak to him. If God doesn’t speak, he’ll set off the bomb he has strapped to his chest. He’s more than willing to end his own life and the lives of 70 other people to answer the question that is on everyone’s mind at one time or another, “Does God really exist?” GodBomb! is filled with tension, emotion, believable characters and sometimes brutal violence. Power’s storytelling shows he knows how to build tension and he combines that tension with real human emotion to make this my favourite book of the year.