Okay. I managed to squeeze in that last book.
Altogether, I read 63 books this year, 30-something of which were released in 2015. Many of those were Samhain Publishing titles, many were not.
*My Top Ten list only features releases from 2015.
Let’s get right to it!
10. (Tie) THE NIGHTMARE GIRL by Jonathan Janz and THE VAMPIRE of PLAINFIELD by Kristopher Rufty
9. (Tie) GOD BOMB! by Kit Power and DREAMWALKER by Russell James
8. CONSUMPTION by Heather Herrman
7. WE ARE MONSTERS by Brian Kirk
6. GOBLINS by David Bernstein
5. LITTLE GIRLS by Ronald Malfi
4.ISLAND of the FORBIDDEN by Hunter Shea
3. HE WHO WALKS in SHADOW by Brett J. Talley
2. A HEAD FULL of GHOSTS by Paul Tremblay
- DARKNESS RISING by Brian Moreland
I cheated a little…two ties, but hey, I really loved all of these pieces more than the rest. They all brought me a tremendous amount of reading joy this year, and were definitely head and shoulders above the rest.
Regarding my choices…
Janz’s Wolf Land garnered him the most attention this year, but I found his first title of 2015, The Nightmare Girl, to be more potent. Rufty’s Vampire of Plainfield was a brave attempt to re-write history with Ed Gein and ended up being great fun. Kit Power’s debut, God Bomb!, surprised me in how well it worked. A nice debut! Two other debuts made my list: We Are Monsters by Brian Kirk and Consumption by Heather Herrman. Kirk offers us a look at man’s motivations and dares us to look within, while Herrman’s novel was complete macabre storytelling in the vein of Bentley Little. I loved them both. Russell James also released two fun novels in 2015, I went with Dreamwalker. The story of a boy who could walk in two worlds in a battle of good and evil. Oh, and there’s a nice little love story in there, too. Great stuff by James. Goblins by David Bernstein was another dark ride that surprised me with how good it was. His best that I’ve read yet! Ronald Malfi’s Little Girls delivered my needed fix of his creepy and beautiful storytelling. while Hunter Shea set me back in the saddle with two of my favorite characters of the last few years (Jessica and Eddie) in Island of the Forbidden.
My top 3…
Brett J. Talley’s He Who Walks in Shadow was a great supernatural adventure that was part Robert Langdon, part Indiana Jones, and all awesome! Not so much a horror story, but a lot of fun!
Paul Tremblay’s 2015 hit, A Head Full of Ghosts scared the bejesus out of me and had me reading at top speed! So good. There were a couple of short spots that I thought were unnecessary, but the good stuff was so good that it blew me away. Great book!
Darkness Rising by Brian Moreland just completely knocked me outta my socks! My favorite read of the year by far. So good that I am re-posting my review right here:
“…a wise man once told her, Poetry has an invisible power that transcends the soul.”
Far and away the best new piece of fiction I’ve read this year. With Darkness Rising, Brian Moreland reminded me why he’s one of my two favorite (not King, Laymon, Ketchum…etc.) authors out there (the other being Ronald Malfi). I’m a huge fan of his novel, Shadows in the Mist, but I think this novella rivals it.
Darkness Rising goes so many places, it’s hard to get across just how awesome this novella is. It is dark and gritty in places and beautiful and poetic in others. It is completely vicious in spots, but counters that with moments of uplifting magic.
I connected instantly with the main character, Marty Weaver, the same way I did with Laymon’s Ed Logan in Night in the Lonesome October (my favorite Richard Laymon book). That alone speaks volumes for me. And much like that Laymon novel, Moreland’s ability to balance the light and dark sides in a romantic waltz over a floor made from dead flesh and macabre visions is nothing short of inspiring.
Add in a soundtrack featuring the Stones, The Doors, and possibly some Alice Cooper…and you’ve got me hook, line, and sinker.
Darkness Rising is a perfect example of how amazingly good novellas can be. This is a Moreland masterpiece.
5 stars. Easy.
There were a great number of novels I didn’t hear about or have time to get to that came out this year, as well. My biggest regret was that I didn’t have time to start Kevin Lucia’s THROUGH A MIRROR, DARKLY. I will get to it soon.
WHITE KNUCKLE by Eric Red
SEEING EVIL by Jason Parent
ORPHANS of WONDERLAND by Greg Gifune
WHERE SPIDERS FEAR TO SPIN by Peter N. Dudar
THE BEAR WHO WOULDN’T LEAVE by J.H. Moncrieff
There were so many other great novels and novellas that I enjoyed.
Here’s the link to what I finished in 2015. GOODREADS CHALLENGE