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Tuesday, February 2, 2021

13 Horror Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2021

It’s only February, and it’s already clear that 2021 will be loaded with horror content.

That extends to books, too.

Beyond streaming, VOD, and theatrical releases, there’s an insane plethora of spine-tingling tales of terror in book form slated for release this year. This year, there’s something for all horror tastes and preferences, from new releases by beloved favorites to novel debuts by upcoming authors. We narrowed it down to the thirteen most anticipated genre books we can’t wait to read.

What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo – February 2

Author Rose Szabo makes her debut with this dark gothic fantasy. The plot follows Eleanor Zarrin, who hasn’t seen or spoken to her family since they sent her away to boarding school. After a horrifying accident causes her to flee the school, Eleanor goes to the only place she knows- home. She struggles to fit in with monstrous relatives that prowl the woods or read fortunes from guts, but when an incident changes everything, Eleanor will have to embrace her inner darkness to help her family survive.

Later by Stephen King – March 2

Jamie Conklin was born with a unique ability that his single mother urges to keep a secret. His wish for a normal childhood goes unheeded, though, when an NYPD detective draws him into the pursuit of a serial killer who threatens that death won’t slow them down. New Stephen King reads always make for an easy choice on any most anticipated list, but Later’s shorter page count teases a straightforward, breezy story to devour.

The Lost Village by Camilla Sten – March 23

Described as The Blair Witch Project meets Midsommar, Sten’s latest follows documentary filmmaker Alice Lindstedt’s obsession with vanishing residents of an old mining town. In 1959, her grandmother’s entire family disappeared in this mysterious tragedy, and she’s been haunted ever since by the unanswered questions surrounding the only two people who were left. Alice enlists a crew to document the old village and find answers, but strange things start happening straight away. They’re not alone.

Whisper Down the Lane by Clay McLeod Chapman – April 6

Inspired by the McMartin preschool trials and the Satanic Panic of the ’80s, the author of The Remaking takes on true-crime horror. During childhood, Richard went by another name. Having just moved to a new town with his mother, he started a white lie that ignited and spread like wildfire, engulfing an entire nation. Thirty years later, someone wants to remind Richard they know what he did and that someone has to pay.

The Mary Shelley Club by Goldy Moldavsky – April 13

New girl Rachel Chavez is eager to make a fresh start at Manchester Prep but winds up making enemies instead thanks to a prank gone wrong. It attracts the attention of a secret club of students with the sole objective to come up with the scariest prank ever to induce real fear. As the antics escalate, things get cutthroat and dangerous in this YA thriller.

Lovesickness: Junji Ito Story Collection by Junji Ito – April 20

The latest by twisted horror master and manga artist Junji Ito collects ten short stories, starting with the bloody “Lovesickness.” Innocent love turns into a nightmarish hell.

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix – July 13

Hendrix’s latest barely even announced a release date before rights were snatched up and a series adaptation was put in motion. Based on the plot, which follows survivors of real-life crimes that inspired beloved slasher favorites, we’re already sold. Expect Hendrix to inject heart and horror homages while subverting slasher tropes.

The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig – July 20

A family of three moves back to their hometown, where unspeakable horrors traumatized the parents during their childhood. What happened then is happening all over again, and the family will have to fight for their souls as dark magic puts them in the middle of a good versus evil battle.

Chasing the Boogeyman by Richard Chizmar – August 17

From the author of Gwendy’s Button Box comes a true-crime horror novel described as a cross between Stephen King and Michelle McNamara. In the summer of 1988, the mutilated bodies of several missing girls begin to turn up in a small Maryland town. The grisly evidence leads police to conclude a serial killer is on the loose, but rumors start to spread that the culprit isn’t quite human. Chizmar puts himself in the story to tell a personal account of the serial killer’s reign of terror, unaware that these events will continue to haunt him.

My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones – August 31

Jade feels like she’s trapped in a slasher film as tourists go missing, and the tension between her community and the celebrity newcomers to her rural lake town reaches a fever pitch. Only her encyclopedic knowledge of horror films could have prepared her for this. This one should be a must between the author’s own slasher knowledge and last year’s thrilling The Only Good Indians.

Echo by Thomas Olde Heuvelt – October 12 

From the author of horror fave Hex, also receiving an updated release this year, comes a new tale of terror. Nick Grevers and his climbing buddy Augustin are drawn to the Maudit, a remote mountain peak in the Swiss Alps. It’s a quiet and mostly unexplored mountain, and the pair senses that they’re not alone. Then Nick wakes from a coma to learn that he’s badly maimed and his buddy is dead. He realizes it’s not just the trauma of that night that haunts him.

The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling – October 19

The author of The Luminous Dead takes on a Crimson Peak-inspired Gothic horror novel. It’ll follow a woman who makes a hasty marriage of convenience and finds herself trapped in a possibly haunted, decrepit mansion. The woman turns to ritual magic to save them both.

Nothing but Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw – October 19

An abandoned Heian-era mansion filled with remains of a bride and sacrificed girls becomes a definitive wedding destination for thrill-seekers. It turns a night of merriment into a chilling nightmare when the hungry bride wakes. Khaw’s latest is a creepy haunted house novella infused with Japanese folklore.


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