Monday, October 15, 2012

2012 Halloween Reads: Steampunk/PNR/LGBT Spec Fic/Horror

October means Halloween! So it is time vampires, zombies, evil-doers, the strange and the weird to give us chills and thrills. For the past month I've been in the mood for the chills, thrills and the strange, so I've been reading and accumulating recommendations for you -- both recent releases and back list books. Here are some of my favorite reads:

STEAMPUNK & PNR: (Click on titles to read reviews)

Riveted (Iron Seas #3) by Meljean Brook (Steampunk/Adventure/Romance)
If you like romance with great world building and amazing steampunk details that do not get in the way of the story, then Riveted is for you. This third book is the latest release in Meljean Brook's Iron Seas series and it was a favorite for me because of the sweet romance between the main characters, as well as for all those great details I mentioned above. 
New Amsterdam Series by Elizabeth Bear (Fantasy/Mystery/Steampunk)
The New Amsterdam series by Elizabeth Bear is not a new release, as a matter of fact the first book was released in 2007 and the last in the trilogy in 2010. But this wonderful series with its excellent writing, vampire detective and a forensic female sorcerer as central characters, alternate world, unique format, and subtle steampunk details is worth reading. My favorite two pieces of the trilogy were New Amsterdam and The White City, but believe me... Seven For A Secret is no slouch either. A moody, atmospheric and different kind of mystery solving read. 
Hearts of Darkness: A Deadglass Novel by Kira Brady (Paranormal Romance) 
Of the paranormal romances I've read recently, Hearts of Darkness by Kira Brady is the darkest one, and the one I recommend be read during this time of the year. It has vampires, dragons, werewolves and other pretty unique beings, but I think what I loved the most about this novel was the way that Brady fused the dark, moody atmosphere usually found in an urban fantasy book with the romance found in PNR. There's a combination of dark and light that I enjoyed about this book, so yes... I recommend it.

LGBT SPECULATIVE FICTION & HORROR:(Click on titles to read reviews)

Green Thumb by Tom Cardamone (Queer Speculative Fiction) 
When it comes to speculative fiction if you're going to read one book this year, I recommend that you pick up Tom Cardamone's Green Thumb. If you are a spec fic fan, you'll appreciate the amazing characters, the atmosphere and worldbuilding, and most of all the creative twists and turns Cardamone uses to take this story from beautiful beginning to amazing end. 
Wilde Stories 2012: The Best Gay Speculative Fiction edited by Steve Berman (Gay Speculative Fiction
I recommended last year's edition Wilde Stories 2011 because I loved it. This year's edition is also recommended. There are excellent speculative fiction stories and wonderful variety in this anthology with themes to please tastes all around. It's filled with quality stories and excellent writers. Some of my favorite LGBT writers are included, but there are new great writers in there whose stories are not to be missed.
Torn by Lee Thomas (Horror/Speculative Fiction)
I read a few straight up horror books, but of those only one had all the ingredients that worked for me, Torn by Lee Thomas. This novella was relentless in action, kept me at the edge of my seat from beginning to end, and gave me all the chills and thrills that I expect from horror. Lee Thomas' skills are in full display in this novella and I highly recommend it to horror fans.

I didn't list any romance suspense reads or straight mysteries in this list. I just read a wonderful book from my TBR that I really enjoyed, Anne Stuart's 2005 romantic suspense thriller, "Black Ice." Are there any books in those categories that you would recommend? What books have you read lately that you would recommend as a great Halloween/October read?  


  1. I've been reading through Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series and really enjoying it. Highly addictive!

    1. Sounds like fun, Leslie. I've been doing a lot of that lately, reading books in a series or more than one book by an author. I just read Black Ice and On Thin Ice by Anne Stuart and liked making comparisons between the first and last books in the Ice series. Anyway, I'm in a suspense/thriller/PNR/horror/spec fic kind of mood and have been taking advantage. I've read quite a few books from my TBR and am having fun doing it. :)

  2. I love it when you do this kind of posts Hils! Although most of the books, I've read or don't plan to read LOL. I'll most probably be picking up the Kira Brady though.

    Oh and I totally second Leslie's suggestion!!

    1. Nath, I'm glad you enjoyed my post even if you've read some of them and don't plan to read most of the others. LOL! I DO think you'll enjoy Hearts of Darkness by Brady. Don't you have that book already? I thought you did!

      I know you want me to read Kelly Armstrong! You know I will at some point... and then I'll be sorry I waited so long. *g*

  3. Great post idea, Hils! All of these would make great picks for the R.I.P. event... which you totally should have done. I've been in a thriller/mystery/eerie book zone myself. It's the perfect time of year to focus on these types of stories. :)

    I LOVE the cover to the Wilde Stories. Just gorgeous.

    Will you do a Christmas/Holiday suggestion list, too?

    1. Christine, I SHOULD have joined the R.I.P. event! I've read and am reading some pretty dark books. Plus, I have some good ones in my TBR too. I've enjoyed it more than usual this year. :)

      And I agree with you! The cover to Wilde Stories 2012 is absolutely gorgeous! You should see the print copy. The colors are dazzling... I LOVE IT!!

      And yes... I hope to put up a Christmas/Holiday suggestion list too. But, I have to get going on my Holiday reading. *g*


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