In best Halloween tradition I picked a whole bunch of horror novels ...
I started off with Carnival Of Fear (JG Faherty) which could be best described as heavily influenced by Waxwork - the 1988 movie, not the one with Paris Hilton, eeeek - and a touch of the goriness of Final Destination. A sort of B-movie type of book with stereotypical yet well written teen characters who try to escape from the Haunted House in a carnival from Hell (literally). If you like this sort of book, I can wholeheartedly recommend it to every horror fan, though I must say, the whole vampires not only sucking blood but also raping (!) their victims was taking it a bit too far for my taste. It's not explicit, but it disturbed me nonetheless.
Next in line was The Monster Inside (JG Faherty) a collection of creepy short stories (and a few macabre poems thrown in too) with everything after the horror fan's own heart. My personal favorites were the zombie stories though I also enjoyed pretty much the rest of the book. I guess with compilations like this you will always end up finding great stories alongside average ones, but all in all it was a scarily good read.
Now, These Hellish Happenings (Jennifer Rainey) was certainly different. There are books about vampires. Then there are books about Hell. Combine these two and throw in some wonderful snarky and wry dialogues in a job-from-hell setting (literally), and you've got this book. While I loved the authors writing style and character depiction I must admit the book was a bit of a slow read for me, so the narrative flow could use a bit of tuning.
And we're still not done. Told ya, I've been busy reading.
Another book with short stories was Ice Age (Iain Rowan) which presents a collection of very subtle horror stories. Not ax-wielding and blood-dripping ones, but stories that slowly creep up on you to chill your bones when you finally read the last sentences. Admittedly not as great as his other book Nowhere To Go, but if you already know that book and love his intricate narrative you should give that one a try too.
The last book, Future Destinies (Chris Turner) doesn't exactly qualify for horror, but speculative fiction it certainly provides. Admittedly I didn't really get into most of the short stories in this collection, despite the fact that I liked the underlying ideas for them. While the world-building was great and fascinating, the narrative didn't always work for me especially when the author was elaborating at length on eg technological details that made me wish he'd instead focused more on the story. Neither good nor bad, but worth a try for sci-fi fans.
Almost forgot ... I would have loved to declare that yet another week went by without me downloading copious amounts of free eBooks! And I really didn't ... at least not all that many ... but what can you do when the new Simon & Schuster newsletter rolls in? *sigh* So I added Dark Inside (Jeyn Roberts) and Social Q's (Philip Galanes) to my review stack. The first one has actually been on my wishlist, can you believe that? I'm one happy gal!!