Greetings fellow Book Dragons!
Three on a Theme is a monthly feature where I highlight three great backlisted books (older published works) that share similar subjects or topics. This month’s post was also a guest post for the blog A Reader’s Oasis, so please check out Stephanie’s blog as well and share some love!
With Halloween a few days away, I wanted to not only focus on spooky and creepy reads, but also on those that featured cold settings to remind us that winter is right around the corner. The temperatures may start dropping, but your TBR pile is growing! These books are great scary choices for October as well as in the next few months when you find yourself curling up with a blanket and a hot beverage to keep warm. Dark and quite menacing, you may find yourself bundling up even tighter to keep the chill out of your bones!
Here are three great horror books featuring featuring a cold, polar setting!
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
This story follows Victoria “Vic” McQueen who has a secret, unnatural gift for finding lost things. Her talent ultimately puts her right into the path of Charles Talent Manx, a man who has a unique way with children and convinces them to come with him through hidden roads to an astonishing and terrifying playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.” Vic is the only child to ever escape Charles and he has never forgotten this fact. Fast forward into the future and Charles has picked up his newest passenger, Vic’s only son.
Joe Hill, son of Stephen King, is a master of horror in his own right! This is a hefty tome, over 700 pages, but every word truly adds to the layers to the story. While on the surface, the story examines the lengths an undying man takes to kidnap children, Hill also explores how even the most flawed human beings are capable of expressing true love and presents a moving portrait of the confusing and often conflicted love experienced between parent and child.
Vic and Manx are great character studies and make this a fascinating read. You’ll feel a wide range of emotions about both the protagonist and the villain and sometimes even towards those who you might not have ordinarily given a second thought to. This book is horrifying, entertaining, painful, and hard to put down!
The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
West Hall, Vermont has always been a place of secrets, experiencing strange disappearances and mysterious deaths. This story is told from two perspectives, the past, as told by Sara in the pages of her diary as she grieves the death of her young daughter, and the present, as told by Ruthie as she tries to figure out what happened in the disappearance of her mother. Through Sara’s diary entries, the old legends surrounding the superstitions of “The Sleepers” is revealed, suggesting the lengths people will go to in order to reconnect with their dead loved ones and the consequences they face in doing so. This book offers a great balance of paranormal with an emotional human element to craft a great horror story that really makes you think about what it means to love and lose.
Snowblind by Christopher Golden
This book introduces readers to evil snow! The town of Coventry, New Hampshire has weathered hundreds of blizzards; however, the community is still reeling from a whiteout twelve years ago during which more than a dozen people wandered into the storm and vanished. Family members remain haunted by the icy figures known as “Ice Men” that they claim to have seen steal their loved ones away. The book follows a cast of characters that each brings their own individual problems, regrets, and desires to the story all while a bigger storm threatens to wreck even more havoc and devastation. The “Ice Men” remain largely in the background for much of the story, but this subtlety helps build the suspense that awaits in their terrifying and unsettling reveal.
It’s going to be difficult keeping warm with these chilling books, but curl up a little tighter, grab something warm to drink, and enjoy these wonderfully haunting and atmospheric reads!
What are some of your favorite Halloween reads or horror stories with cold settings? Let me know in the comments!