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Get Rec'd with Alma Katsu: five horror-adjacent novels for FANGRRLS
While we cover many different aspects of sci-fi and fantasy here at SYFY FANGRRLS, we also love everything horror. That's why we're so excited to have book recommendations for you today by renowned author Alma Katsu. Her previous book, The Hunger, a supernatural take on the historical events surrounding the Donner Party, was widely praised by everyone from Stephen King to The New York Times Book Review.
Her new novel The Deep is a horror story about the tragedy on the Titanic, featuring a survivor of the shipwreck who must contend with those events on the ill-fated voyage of its sister ship, the Britannic. It arrives in U.S. stores on March 10.
We asked Alma to recommend some of her favorite recent novels to SYFY FANGRRLS readers, and she gave us a rundown of female-authored horror and horror-adjacent novels she's loved.
The Ancestor by Danielle Trussoni
"The bestselling author of Angelology is back with a new novel that combines history, horror, and science in a thoroughly entertaining and unexpected way. It seems that Alberta 'Bert' Monte’s prayers are being answered when she finds out she's the last of a wealthy European noble family. In order to receive her inheritance, however, she has to visit the family estate in a remote mountaintop in the Alps. In short order, Bert finds she's trapped and has no choice but to figure out what secrets her family has been keeping. It's from this point that the novel goes in a completely unexpected and daring direction. You'll never look at genealogy in the same way."
The Return by Rachel Harrison
"Elise is positive that her friend Julie, who has been missing for two years, will return. Everyone else has moved on — even Julie's husband — but Elise cannot. So, when Elise returns with no memory of what happened to her, Elise is overjoyed — or is she? Because there is no denying there's something very, very wrong with Julie. What I liked most about this novel is how it captures the sometimes claustrophobic nature of female relationships: is dangerously close the new normal? And then there's the premise: if you love puzzle boxes, this one is impossible to resist."
Soon by Lois Murphy
"The Australian town of Nebulah has been beset by a strange phenomenon: it's taken over at night by a mist that torments the inhabitants with visions of the departed. Anyone who ventures out at night is either never seen again or found dead. After a year, everyone has moved away except for six people with nowhere to go. It's a bit like Josh Malerman's Bird Box in that the horror is fait accompli and the story is, really, all about the characters."
A Witch in Time by Constance Sayers
"If it has 'witch' in the title, does that qualify as horror? Another case of horror adjacent, this novel is for fans of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander, Deborah Harkness' A Discovery of Witches, or (dare I say?) my own debut The Taker. A witch and a demon are star-crossed lovers who meet and are torn apart time and again, until one of them figures out a way to break the curse. Elements of romance, fantasy, history and time travel make for a dazzling debut."
Diabhal by Kathleen Kaufman
"A young woman raised in a matriarchal cult in 1980s Los Angeles ends up in foster care, and by living through that hell, finds her dark magical abilities. A gritty story that feels completely real and fantastical at the same time. No sugar-coated bedtime story here! Written by the celebrated author of Hag."