Ginger Nuts of Horror
Tony Jones continues his run down of his top fifty YA and kids horror novels. Read on to find what other books have made a lasting impression on Tony.
Ilsa Bick - Ashes Trilogy
Nail-biting fusion of science fiction and horror see most of humanity killed after an unexplained EMP strike, survivors morph into something which is no longer human. But Alex, who was suffering from a brain tumour is unaffected and has to fight to survive in this tremendous series which is just begging to be made into a great film. The author used to write Star Trek fiction, but this top notch series is a cracker. She also wrote a novel called “White Space” which confused the hell out of me.
Matt Whyman – American Savages Series
I reckon this author must be a fan of the cult 1980s horror film “Parents” as it has some similarities and is an entertaining and blackly funny look at quite a different family. Whyman is such a cool author, impossible to pigeonhole, always trying something new, and I’m a huge fan in particular of “Boy Kills Man” a gun crime thriller set in Columbia.
Cliff McNish – Breathe
The modern master of the children’s ghost story takes us into a house haunted by a family of child ghosts who are really, really looking forward to someone new moving into their house. New children to play with…. I loved it. Budding writers of ghost stories: if you want tips on how to craft a high quality ghost story, read this book. Rightfully regarded as one of the greatest modern children’s ghost stories.
EE Richardson – The Devil’s Footsteps
A few years ago this author really intrigued me, in her early twenties wrote three terrific horrors on the bounce, which started with this terrific bogeyman story, inspired by stuff like ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ and then seemed to lose her way. I still recommend “The Intruders” and “The Summoning” to younger horror fans. She’s still writing but her early novels remain my favourites.
Graham McNamee - Beyond
A girl with a nail lodged in her brain is stalked by an evil force which wants her dead and has the supernatural power to do it. Haunting and atmospheric supernatural chiller is which Jane seems to be stalked by her own shadow. One of several great horrors by this top Canadian author who often has the supernatural threaded into his work. I am also a big fan of “Bonechiller” and “Acceleration”. Goosebumps this isn’t. Feel that fear.
Andrew Fukuda - The Hunt Trilogy
Nail biting thriller where humans have been hunted to near extinction by vampire like creatures. This is a million miles away from Twilight and although it borrows ideas from The Hunger Games, has some tremendous scenes with a teenager who becomes very, very good at hiding the fact he’s human. Which is a tough ask when you have to go to school and cannot show any emotions at all otherwise you’re dogfood.
Amy Lukavics - Daughters Unto Devils
Highly original frontier novel meshing together teenage angst, superstition, cabin fever and religious fundamentalism into a terrific horror thriller debut novel. I can’t wait for Amy’s second novel, another horror, coming later in 2016.
Marcus Sedgwick - White Crow
Tale of two girls' friendship in a long, hot, summer, but it is interwoven with a 17th century tale of bizarre experiments into the afterlife. An unbelievably atmospheric horror novel which meshes reincarnation with clifftop graveyards being reclaimed by the sea and the problems of the modern teenager. Sedgwick is one of those genre bending writers which rarely puts a foot wrong and I love it when he turns his pen to horror and the supernatural, which thankfully is pretty often.
Chris Wooding - Haunting of Alaizabel Cray
Great atmospheric crossover fantasy novel about two young wych-hunters seeking for a beast that lurks in the sewers of old London. Very exciting and a genuinely creepy book which merges into Steam Punk in this very cool vision of a slightly different London. Wooding is one of those rare writers who writes equally well for kids and adults. “Silver” and “Malice” are another couple of my favourites which cross into horror and the “Retribution Falls” series for science fiction, which is an absolute must for fans of cult TV show “Fire Fly”.
Ann Halam - Don’t Open Your Eyes
Spine chilling horror novel about a boy killed in a joyriding accident in this highly recommended horror tale. Ann Halam is a pen name for Gwyneth Jones who has written many adult fantasy and SF novels. This book isn’t especially well known, but I have always had a soft-spot for it.
Scott Westerfeld - Parasite Positive & Last Days (Known as ‘Peeps’ Series in the USA)
Exciting, vaguely futuristic vampire novel, with a twist in which vampirism is seen as a disease and after Cal picks up this infection and passes it onto others he has to track down those he has infected. Westerfeld is such a cool author and this fresh twist on the vampire myth is really enjoyable. I always look forward to seeing what he’ll come up with next.
Tehereh Mafi - Shatter Me Trilogy
Really great dark dystopian thriller which strays into urban fantasy about a girl with a touch that kills. In a dangerous world that is a gift everyone wants to exploit. Juliette is a spunky heroine in an engaging series which is relatively unknown in the UK.