It’s that time of year again to talk about the best (and worst) of the year! This episode we talk about what books made a lasting impression, what movies we liked and what we want to read more of in 2018.
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Best 2017 Release
Stephanie: Little Heaven by Nick Cutter
“..a trio of mismatched mercenaries is hired by a young woman for a simple task: check in on her nephew, who may have been taken against his will to a remote New Mexico backwoods settlement called Little Heaven. Shortly after they arrive, things begin to turn ominous. Stirrings in the woods and over the treetops. Paranoia and distrust grips the settlement. The escape routes are gradually cut off as events spiral towards madness. Hell—or the closest thing to it—invades Little Heaven. The remaining occupants are forced to take a stand and fight back, but whatever has cast its dark eye on Little Heaven is now marshaling its powers…and it wants them all.”
Rachel: Beneath by Kristi DeMeester
This novel is about a reporter named Cora who is assigned to a cover story about an evangelical snake handling church. She is reluctant to go to the church because, as a child, she was sexually abused by a pastor, and has since turned away from organized religion. Yet she begrudgingly agrees to the assignment and begins an investigation the secrets lurking this in community.
The story is also told from the perspective of the pastor at this snake handling church who has terrible, lustful thoughts towards a young teenage girl who is about to be initiated into the church by performing her first snake handling experience. Things go wrong when the young girl is bitten by one of the snakes. What transpires is a supernatural story of desire as ancient slithering creatures begin to awaken.
Favorite Backlist Novel
Rachel: Come Closer by Sara Gran
This is a story about a young woman, Amanda who has a seemingly normal life. She is happily married with a good career and is generally happy and well adjusted. Until, one day, she realizes that something is not quite right in her life. At first, it’s the little things… weird sounds in her apartment… she finds vulgar notes in her hand-writing and starts having strange dreams.
The situation worsen as Amanda starts to have strange urges and thinks that she starts hearing a new voice in her head. Slowly she begins to wonder if she is going crazy or possibly possessed by a demon
Stephanie: Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a 17th century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters your homes at will. She stands next to your bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened.
The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting, but in so doing send the town spiraling into the dark, medieval practices of the past.
Favorite Short Story
Rachel: “Deep Into the Skin” by Matthew M Bartlett from Tales of a Talking Board
Stephanie: “The Yattering and Jack” from Clive Barker’s the Books of Blood
“The Moraine” by Simon Bestwick from Best Horror of the Year Volume 4 edited by Ellen Datlow
Favorite Non-Horror Books
Stephanie: Broken Harbor by Tana French and The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
Rachel: Pefect Days by Raphael Montes and I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid
Most Disappointing Horror Novel
Stephanie: Revival by Stephen King
Rachel: It by Stephen King
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