Ginger Nuts of Horror
As one of the few horror websites to regularly feature YA horror we recently reviewed the novels that have been nominated for YA section of the Bram Stoker 2016 Awards. The overall winners being announced at the end of April. As the latest YA short list only features American novels this article presents an ‘alternative’ shortlist of six great YA horror which we gave great reviews on the Ginger Nuts of Horror site during 2016. We have nothing against our American horror friends and two of our six hail from the USA but were surprised their selection did not have a more international flavour. One wonders what that famous Irish writer Bram Stoker would make of the fact that an award which proudly wears his name has no British or Irish entries at all? Never fear Bram, we have an Irish author on our alternative Ginger Nuts list just for you…. So everyone raise a Guinness to Peadar O'Guilin and his fantastic ‘The Call’ novel, which is listed below
Horror really is a worldwide phenomenon, with our genre continuing to grow and thrive into an international horror community which interconnects 24/7 through social media where a chat with an author you love is often only an email away. In the horror world everybody knows everyone and we believe the Stoker Award really needs to reflect the worldwide horror market more effectively. It should look beyond the American cabbage patch. There is great YA horror everywhere and some of our favourites are below.
I have been a horror fan all my teenage and adult life and a school librarian for more than twenty of them. The bread and butter of my job is recommending the books I enjoy to my school readers and the six listed below have been picking up rave reviews from my many teenage readers. They are a mix of clever and challenging fiction which deal with different aspects of horror through fantasy, science fiction, madness and fear.
Let’s stick with fear…. Our selection provides this ingredient in spades. Sadly the official Stoker YA list does not and although there are some pretty good books, genuine scares are lacking. Think back to the horror novels you remember best as a kid and the titles which leave the greatest impression are often those which ramped up the scares. Our six books most definitely do that; from the weird timeless house the teenage girls inhabit in ‘The Woman in the Walls’ to the terrific ghost story anthology in ‘The Wrong Train’ which harks back to the classics of the early 1900s to the madness and paranoia in ‘The Creeper Man’. There is something for everyone here.
We present the ‘international alternative’ The Ginger Nuts of Horror YA horror, best of 2016...
This feature reviews all the novels featured on the YA Section of the 2016 Bram Stoker Awards Final Ballot, in which the winner is announced on 29th April along with all the other categories. We are also reviewing a couple which didn’t make the final selection. The YA category does not usually pick up a lot of attention, but since I’m probably one of a handful of horror enthusiasts to have read all the books Ginger Nuts of Horror casts its critical eye upon them. There are some top notch books here, a couple of mediocre entries and one real cracker which I have saved to the end. Sadly, what this list lacks overall is good old fashioned fear and kids really do enjoy being scared, as adult life long horror fans will all recall from their old childhoods as an ingredient key to a successful horror novel. Although there are some very accomplished books here, there really is nothing to keep your kids awake at night. I’m also always on the lookout for the next big think, or the next book I think the kids are going to love, but I doubt very much it is on this short list.
Another real weakness of this list is that it only features American authors. The Stoker is supposed to be an international award, but you wouldn’t know it from their shortlist. So we will shortly be releasing an international list of great teen horror which has been reviewed on the YA section of the Ginger Nuts of Horror ‘Young Blood’ section in 2016.
Now to the books…..