The final month of the year is upon us and winter has settled in. Winter is the best time to sit back with a book and travel to another world while the snow is falling outside and the world is held in the season’s icy grip.
DarkFuse has thrills and scares aplenty in December with two novellas and a novel. “Facial” by Jeff Strand is a novella written in Strand’s uniquely terrifying and bizarre style about a man who finds a face in the floor of his basement under the corpse of a lion. The man soon finds himself enthralled to a growing legion of faces as he sinks further into insanity along with his brother. “Oasis of the Damned” by Greg F. Gifune is another great story from one of the best authors in the horror genre about a man and a woman stranded in an old fortress built upon an oasis in the middle of the desert that holds the secret of an ancient evil that is hell bent on destroying them. The featured novel, “Angel of the Abyss” by Ed Kurtz, is a noir novel about one man’s search to discover the mystery of a lost silent film and stop the mystery’s dark secret before it destroys everything he holds dear. All three of these books are outstanding, as is to be expected from DarkFuse, and are sure to thrill anyone who is brave enough to read them.
ChiZine Publications only has one new novel listed on their website for release in December and it sounds like an interesting dark fantasy. In “Cold Hillside” by Nancy Baker, the Euskalans must pay tribute to the Fairy Queen to survive in the harsh mountain landscape. When the tribute demanded is changed, the advisor of the mortal queen finds herself trapped in the Fairy Court in which her every decision could lead to disaster not only for herself but for her people.
Samhain Publishing will check in with four horror books in December. “A Clockwork Victim” by Quinn Langston is the second installment in this series. This novella finds Lord Sebastian Hawthorne having to hunt down a new vampire who is killing prominent citizens before the world of humans learns that vampires walk among them. “Legacy” by JG Faherty is a short Lovecraftian novella about a teenage boy who begins to dream about monsters after a storm sweeps through his town. “Exponential” by Adam Cesare is a novel about a janitor at a top-secret government facility who rescues a lab mouse that he has befriended to keep it safe from experimentation. When the mouse begins to grow, he soon finds that this is not ordinary mouse and he must stop it from destroying the town. Lastly, “Evil Unleashed” by Mick Ridgewell is the tale of Malchai Adams, an ancient vampire, who is awakened once more by the blood of a virgin and is hell bent on reshaping the world in his image.
December is very light for the larger publishers. December brings Mark Greaney’s new Tom Clancy novel, “Full Force and Effect,” continuing the adventures of Jack Ryan. The new “Witch and Wizard” series novel by James Patterson and Emily Raymond, the fifth in the series entitled “The Lost,” hits bookstores on December 16. Another James Patterson novel, “NYPD Red 2” co-written with Marshall Karp, is scheduled to be released on December 23. December 30 brings a couple books to close out 2014 with W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV bringing the second installment of the “Clandestine Operations” series with “The Assassination Option.” Tess Gerritsen’s “Die Again” is the eleventh novel featuring Rizzoli and Isles and is also scheduled for release on December 30.
That is it for closing out 2014. My pick for the one book to read if you can only read on in December is “Oasis of the Damned” by Greg F. Gifune. “Angel of the Abyss” would be a very close second but “Oasis of the Damned” is a scary novella with enough excitement and substance to satisfy any reader.