9 Horror Books to Read in August 2023

Can anything be more chilling than the unyielding march of time itself? As we find ourselves swiftly crossing the midpoint of 2023, the present moment offers a fitting juncture to ponder over the finest offerings in the realm of horror literature this year. What follows are the premier horror tomes that emerged during the initial half of the year, along with a tantalizing glimpse into the impending horrors that await us in the latter part.

So, how has the landscape of horror in 2023 unfolded thus far? It has bestowed upon us an array of cherished new volumes from our established horror maestros. Additionally, a wave of debuts and fresh literary voices has surged forth, igniting our anticipation. Predictably, this year has witnessed a proliferation of haunted edifices, a theme that, in my personal estimation, remains ceaselessly unnerving. Witches, too, have maintained their grip on the collective imagination throughout 2023. Notably, the year has yielded a cornucopia of exceptional collections of horror short stories.

In a random arrangement, the ensuing compilation highlights the preeminent horror literature that has delineated the course of this year’s horror narrative. Does your preferred horror opus of 2023 find its place within this assemblage? Peruse further to ascertain the answer.

Bride of The Tornado by James Kennedy

1. Bride of The Tornado by James Kennedy

Nestled in a secluded Midwestern town, a young woman confronts a recurring mystery – a covert cycle of tornadoes that ravage her community every generation. Her mission: escape before becoming their prey. Picture the eerie convergence of Stephen King’s Mist and David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, woven into a chilling tapestry of horror. Amidst whispers of the impending “Tornado Day,” our high school sophomore narrator discovers its ominous truth: sentient tornadoes are poised to wreak havoc. The town’s salvation rests on an enigmatic teen, the so-called “tornado killer.” Drawn to him, our protagonist senses an uncanny bond, while adults harbor secrets about the tornadoes’ origin and the enigma of the tornado killer’s nature. She must flee before the primeval force binding them all seeks to claim her. This audacious, existential novel defies genres, unveiling the mythic madness pulsating through American life.

Night of the Living Queers: 13 Tales Of Terror Delight Edited by Shelly Page And Alex Brown

2. Night of the Living Queers: 13 Tales Of Terror Delight Edited by Shelly Page and Alex Brown

“Night of the Living Queers” is a uniquely compelling YA horror anthology, uniting queer authors of color to reimagine classic horror elements through diverse perspectives. This collection transforms Halloween beyond its commercial facade into a night of profound transformation, where the ordinary gives way to limitless possibilities. Each story, narrated by a different BIPOC teenager, captures the essence of a Halloween night that forever changes their trajectory. With a blend of creativity, chills, and LGBTQ+ representation, this anthology injects a fresh blend of terror, emotion, and humor into the realm of young adult literature. The collaboration of editors Alex Brown and Shelly Page has brought together a stellar lineup of contributors, including Kalynn Bayron, Ryan Douglass, Sara Farizan, Maya Gittelman, Kosoko Jackson, Em Liu, Vanessa Montalban, Ayida Shonibar, Tara Sim, Trang Thanh Tran, and Rebecca Kim Wells.

I Feed Her to the Beast and The Beast is Me by Jamison Shea

3. I Feed Her to the Beast and The Beast is Me by Jamison Shea

Blood shall spill, as the Ace of Spades converges with the House of Hollow in this chilling villain’s origin. Meet Laure Mesny, an unrelenting perfectionist with a burning vendetta, overlooked in Parisian ballet’s cutthroat elite. Determined to shatter racial boundaries, she delves deep into the Catacombs, striking an eerie deal with a pulsating river of crimson. Empowered by ancient forces, Laure ascends to fame, leaving broken rivals in her wake. Yet, she’s not the sole monster, her untamed desires drawing peril. Plunging into madness, she faces a pivotal choice: self-destruction for morsels of validation or embracing her monstrous essence. Amidst an underworld’s mystique, Jamison Shea’s debut “I Feed Her to the Beast and the Beast Is Me” exposes exclusivity’s toll, a world where love remains withheld.

Vampires of El Norte by Isabel Cañas

4. Vampires of El Norte by Isabel Cañas

On the Texas-Mexico border, an otherworldly showdown unfolds between vampires and vaqueros in this supernatural western by the author of The Hacienda. Nena, the daughter of an 1840s Mexican rancher, is well-acquainted with threats from Anglo settlers, but a more sinister presence drains men’s blood near her ranch. Nena, once attacked by this force, crosses paths with Néstor, who’s been haunted by her apparent death. As the US attacks Mexico in 1846, they reunite amid a road to war, Nena a healing curandera and Néstor a vaquero. Yet, their reunion is eclipsed by a terrifying nightmare-turned-reality. Only by reconciling their past and facing the future together can they hope to survive.

Mister Magic by Kiersten White

5. Mister Magic by Kiersten White

Who is Mister Magic? In this chilling supernatural thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Hide, former child stars reunite after three decades to unearth the tragic end of their show and uncover the enigma surrounding its mysterious host. As the Circle of Friends, the surviving cast members, strive to recapture the happiness and protection they once felt, they are drawn back together by fate at a remote desert filming compound, where the secrets of their past converge. With no surviving show footage, director, or producer records, they hold the sole memories of the circle and the enigmatic figure cloaked in darkness. As they piece together their past, they confront a haunting question: Are they here by choice, or is there a sinister allure that has trapped them? After all, the taste of magic never fades from the bonds of friendship…

Black Vault: A Short Story by Alma Katsu

6. Black Vault: A Short Story by Alma Katsu

From the acclaimed author of “Red London” and “Red Widow” comes a pulse-pounding thriller centered around a disillusioned spy. When CIA officer Craig Norton witnesses an unexplainable object in Mongolia’s sky, he reports it despite doubts. Fifteen years later, still scarred by the fallout from that report, Craig is drawn back into action as the navy confirms unexplained aerial phenomena. Assigned to a CIA task force, he unravels a mystery that could strain global relations and uncover an international cover-up, potentially offering him redemption or entangling him in a dangerous conspiracy.

Fever House by Keith Rosson

7. Fever House by Keith Rosson

In a nexus of characters—a small-time criminal, a washed-up rockstar, a secretive government agency, and a malevolent severed hand—a chilling sequence of events unfolds. Leg-breaker Hutch Holtz’s routine debt collection in Portland takes a nightmarish turn when he stumbles upon a severed hand in a client’s fridge—a hand that ignites uncontrollable violence in its proximity. As chaos erupts, shadowy government agents pursue Hutch, while singer Katherine Moriarty, suffering from agoraphobia, and her son Nick, entangled with Hutch’s employer, get caught in the crossfire. A global struggle ensues, unearthing buried family secrets and pushing humanity’s fate to the brink. Can anyone resist the sinister allure of the hand? A preview of the next Fever House installment awaits at the story’s end.

Bad Moon Rising by Luisa Colón

8. Bad Moon Rising by Luisa Colón

In the heart of Gravesend, Brooklyn, Elodia, a lonely sixteen-year-old, feels like an outcast at school and yearns for her mysteriously vanished mother, her relationship with her father strained. Concurrently, miles away in upstate New York, Gabriel, a young man, fills his time with sparrow hunting and a quest to find his birth parents, his once-good intentions turning to vengeful thoughts after a brutal betrayal. Both Elodia and Gabriel, marked by deep emotional scars, ache for the restoration of their pasts and future dreams, their wounds seeming unalterable, yet the question lingers—can they truly never heal?

Peril at Price Manor by Laura Parnum

9. Peril at Price Manor by Laura Parnum

Step into a captivating standalone creature feature novel perfect for fans of Ghost Squad. Join Halle, an aspiring tween horror actress, as she teams up with the twin children of her favorite director, Maximus Price, to confront zombifying octopus-like creatures at Price Manor. Halle’s dream of becoming a scream queen leads her to the eerie manor, where real-life horrors await. With quirky humor and poignant moments, this debut middle-grade novel offers young readers a charming entry into the horror genre, as the trio must use their unique talents to defeat the monsters and perhaps save the world. “Price Manor is perfectly mysterious. With just the right amount of chills and thrills, I was hooked from page one!”—Lindsay Currie, author of Scritch Scratch and The Girl in White. “It’s Alien in a spooky mansion. Nonstop action, tentacles, and slime. So much fun.”—J.W. Ocker, author of The Smashed Man of Dread End.

Which of these hoor books would you pick in August 2023? Share in the comments section below!