It’s that time again. Time to shine a spotlight on my favourite books of the year! I really get a kick out of doing this post at the beginning of each year because, A) I’m a book nerd, and any chance to talk books is a good thing; and B) because I think the books I’m gonna talk about were super rad and deserve your attention.
*Note: None of these books were actually released in 2018, but were new to me.
To kick things off, I’m gonna start with a dynamite book by Adam Nevill. I love me a good cult story, and thankfully (just to please me, I assume) Adam Nevill wrote one.
The story follows a documentary crew making a film about a sinister cult which seemingly has been dead and gone for like, forty years. Of course, that turns out to be false, and bad shit starts to happen.
One of the things I really dug about Last Days was that it almost has a ‘found footage’ vibe to it (found footage, another thing I love). The pacing is great and the horror is palpable.
Adam Nevill is quickly becoming ‘must-read’ for me, so I won’t be surprised if he’s back on this list next year.
A Head Full of Ghosts
Speaking of a ‘found footage’ vibe, A head Full of Ghosts is all kinds of that.
Now, I usually like to go into books knowing as little of the plot as possible. I don’t even read the entire back cover synopsis most times. And because of this, I had some very different ideas as to what this book was about before cracking it open. As always, my ignorance paid off, as I was happily surprised by what I read.
Although Tremblay’s writing isn’t as memorable as some of the other authors on this list, his writing is perfectly suited for this type of story. The plot flows at a great pace and the twists were fantastic.
Speaking of memorable writing lol. Lost Girls, the first novel from Andrew Pyper is a lyrical stroll through some very dark places.
I’ve read a number of Pyper’s books and I am always left in a somewhat depressed state afterward. As a writer, there is nothing better than reading a book and thinking to yourself, hell, I could do that! Well, that doesn’t happen after reading Pyper. Instead, I’m usually thinking, with writers like Pyper out there, why am I wasting my time.
Besides my own personal issues, Lost Girls is a great descent into small town Ontario. And boy, that writing!
I know, I know, you’re all saying, “But Christian, this isn’t even a horror novel” And I would look you in the face and say, “I don’t give a crap what Annihilation is classified as, this is a God damn horror novel if ever there was one!”
Bleak. Harrowing. Depressing. Terrifying. All these perfectly describe VanderMeer’s Annihilation.
Now, full discloser, I had seen the (amazing!) movie before reading the book, and that may have tainted my overall opinion. Even if that is the case, I still loved this book. The ever-deepening mystery of Area X kept me flipping pages like crazy. I haven’t read the following books in the trilogy, but I certainly will.
And that brings us to the what I consider the best book I read this year…
I’ve been a fan of Joe Hill since reading his short story collection 20th Century Ghosts, but have always felt like something was missing from his books. That all changed with his horror epic N0S4A2!
This time spanning novel is a masterpiece. As much as I’m sure he hates it, I can’t help but to compare Hill to his dad (a small indie author named…Stephen King!). And if I am going to make comparisons between their work, then I would call N0S4A2 Joe Hill’s It.
There is apparently a television show in the works adapting this fantastic novel, but I would highly recommend reading the book.
So, that’s what I liked last year, how about you??