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Horror fans, I know how you’re feeling. All year, you’ve been anticipating the build up to Halloween. When October finally comes, it feels like Christmas. Everyone is championing ghosts, zombies, skeletons, vampires, and all things creepy. The world is finally catching up to your speed when it comes to horror content. And oh, your horror TBR is off the charts.
Then November 1st hits. The Halloween displays are being taken down and, yeah, holiday music is playing in all of the stores. You’re starting to feel that yearly existential dread all of us horror fans start to feel in the final months of the year. Do you really have to wait a full 364 days to feel joy again? Will horror hit the same in November and December? Does anyone even care about scary stuff anymore? What’s going on?
Well, I’m here with good news. October may be over, but that doesn’t mean the time for horror is through. No, the real ones know we celebrate spooky season year-round, which means there’s still plenty of horror left on our TBR for the remainder of the year. And November’s got a lot of promising titles you won’t want to miss.
White Horse by Erika T. Wurth (Flatiron Books, November 1)
35 year old Kari James is an Indigenous woman living in Denver, CO. She’s spent most of her life willfully ignorant of her past. But everything changes when Kari’s cousin Debby finds an old family bracelet that once belonged to Kari’s mother. The bracelet calls up the ghost of Kari’s dead mother, but that’s not all. Something else more sinister and monstrous is awakened as well. Now Kari must dig up her past to discover what happened to her mother all those years ago, even if no one else is able (or willing) to help her.
Aliens: Vasquez by V. Castro (Titan Books, November 8)
The Alien movies have always scared the heck out of me, and now, for the first time ever, we’re getting the story of Jenette Vasquez and her children, written by Latina horror author V. Castro. Jenette Vasquez’s children Ramon and Leticia were raised by Jenette’s sister. As adults, Leticia followed in her mother’s footsteps and joined the military. Ramon joined the corporate hierarchy of Weyland-Yutani. But their stories converge when both Ramon and Leticia arrive on an unnamed planet.
Breakable Things by Cassandra Khaw (Undertow Publications, November 8)
Cassandra Khaw, author of last year’s hit horror novella Nothing But Blackened Teeth, is back with a horror short story collection. In the stories, Khaw uses elements of body horror, supernatural horror, and psychological horror to explore the complexities of love, loss, and grief. These 23 bite-sized horror stories might be short, but they’ll stick with you.
The Hollows by Daniel Church (Angry Robot, November 8)
In the middle of a snowstorm in a small village, Constable Ellie Cheetham finds the body of a local man, frozen to death. But the details aren’t adding up. It appears as if the man had been hiding from someone when he died. And he’s clutching a knife in his hand. And then there’s the strange mark that’s been etched into the stone beside his body. Then two more people are found dead, and as the storm rises, the body count just grows. And the power has just gone out.
Into the Forest: Tales of the Baba Yaga, edited by Lindy Ryan (Black Spot Books, November 8)
Don’t you just love this cover? It’s like everything you thought you liked about the Baba Yaga. But better. And that’s how all of the stories in this anthology are. Featuring some of the most exciting women horror authors, Gwendolyn Kiste, Stephanie M. Wytovich, Mercedes M. Yardley, Monique Snyman, Donna Lynch, Lisa Quigley, and R. J. Joseph, these stories reimagine the woman, the witch, Baba Yaga.
Strega by Johanne Lykke Holm (Riverhead Books, November 15)
This modern gothic story is set in the Olympic Hotel in the small village of Strega. Rafa joins eight other young women here to work and live in a dorm together. And yet while their bosses are very demanding, there are hardly ever any guests there. When the guests do finally arrive, there is a wild party, and following the party, one of the young women has disappeared.
Rootwork by Tracy Cross (Dark Hart Books, November 15)
Rootwork is set in a small parish in Louisiana in 1889. When school lets out, sisters Betty, Ann, and Pee Wee go to stay with their Hoodoo-practiciing aunt Theodora for the summer. Theodora teaches the girls the ways of her magic, and they revel in their new powers…until disaster strikes. A tragic event involving the malicious town sheriff changes the girls’ lives forever.
Wayward by Chuck Wendig (Del Ray Books, November 15)
If you loved Chuck Wendig’s Wanderers, then you’ll be excited to know the sequel is almost here! And it’ll be coming out this month! Fifteen years ago, a strange illness struck people across the country that forced them to sleepwalk to a secret destination. They were followed on their quest by the shepherds, friends and family who gave up everything to protect them. Now, survivors, sleepwalkers and shepherds have a dream of rebuilding human society in their new home. But there are threats surrounding them, and people with their own visions of a new world.
Wicked Little Things by Justin Arnold (Tiny Ghost Press, November 15)
What would the month be without a new queer YA horror novel to be excited about? When his cousin is murdered, 16 year old Dane Craven is forced to return to his small hometown of Jasper Hollow. While on the hunt for his cousin’s killer, life isn’t too bad. There’s just his fiery powers that he has little control over. And the fact that he thinks he might be responsible for his cousin’s death. Oh, and a coven of fashion-forward witches has adopted him as their gay best friend, and they’re desperate to give him a makeover.
House of Yesterday by Deeba Zargarpur (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, November 29)
House of Yesterday is a paranormal fantasy/YA horror novel that takes inspiration from the author’s own Afghan Uzbek heritage. Fifteen year old Sara hopes that focusing on her mom’s latest home renovation project will provide a distraction from her parents’ divorce, her grandmother’s failing health, and the world falling apart all around her. But the house holds dark truths about her family’s histories that rise in the form of ghosts.
Wondering what horror you’ve missed out on this year? Check out the must-read horror novels from October and September. And just wait til you see what horror is coming in December and in 2023! It’s going to be good. Watch this space.