Monday, October 27, 2014

Something Wicked Strikes: Guest Post by Mihir from Fantasy Book Critic + INT Giveaway

Hello, my lovelies! *cue evil laugh*

Something Wicked has always been about promoting authors we love and support, but this time around I wanted to do something different as well. In a blaze of inspiration (that's something that happens to me a lot, thank you very much), I decided to invite one of my favorite bloggers and hands down one of the smartest, kindest people I know, Mihir W. from Fantasy Book Critic. I've had more than a few conversations with Mihir since we've met, and I always took away something from them, be it knowledge, inspiration, or just an excellent recommendation. 

So today, I couldn't leave you guys in better hands. Enjoy!

My thanks to Maja for inviting me to be a part of this wonderful event. It’s always intriguing to read about what scares or terrifies people; in a way it gives a peek into their mental state. Writers often tend to exploit this factor, however it’s quite difficult to scare people with the written word. Take for example how easy it is terrify people with films; the visual build up with sound effects is the easy route. Now imagine building the same amount of tension within a page and managing to scare the reader in a similar way or even more. That’s the power of the written word for you & here are my top 5 scary reads (in random order):

Bad Men by John Connolly – This is a book about bad men as the title suggests but with any John Connolly book, there’s much more to be had than the just the titular characters. What’s so scary about this book well primarily the plot is about this island called Sanctuary wherein a massacre occurred centuries ago. The island however remembers it all even if human minds don’t and when men with similar murderous impulses come. What happens next is what you will have to read and find out but be warned that this tale is not for those easily scared.
Heaven’s Needle by Liane Merciel – This book is the second in the Ithelas series however it’s so different from its predecessor that it can be read as a standalone. What differentiates it from the earlier title, which was simply epic fantasy, is the rich vein of horror running through this tale. The author simply fuses a rescue tale with an ancient abandoned fortress and the horrors that lie within it. I was simultaneously fascinated and horrified by the story’s dark turns and creatures that were present in the story. I’m hoping the author does write the third volume in this series and we get to see more of her horror skills.

NOS4R2/NOS4A2 by Joe Hill – This was my first Joe Hill book based on my friend Will’s recommendation. Safe to say I was completely blown over by the story and the creepy characters within. The plot deals with Charlie Manx who likes to take young children to Christmasland in his Rolls Royce but there’s no fun to be had expect for Charlie. This creepy tale has more than a single villain and even horrifying stuff in to make you wonder at the author’s imagination. Very highly recommended if you are looking for a new horror author to follow.

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes – This book isn’t straightforward horror but it is most definitely a scary read thanks to the effectively creepy characterization of Harper Curtis. When you can so effectively describe a batshit character and yet make him intriguing for the reader to follow their story. That’s what makes Lauren Beukes a writer to watch out for IMHO and The Shining Girls is a superb mix of time travel, psychological horror and a SF thriller. 
Carrie by Stephen King – Let’s face it any list of scary reads is often considered incomplete without atleast one title from the King of horror. I’m not too big of a King fan but there are certain books of his which fascinate me to no end. Carrie being his first book is often said to be a very raw book as compared to his later works but as far as scary reads go, this story about a telekinetic teenager is simply freaking great. We all can identify with Carrie who is a painfully shy teenager stuck with a crazy mother and bullied incessantly at school. What King does with the story and yet manages to make her a sympathetic figure makes this book such a standout for me.

So which books are your favorite scary reads? Feel free to tell Maja & me in the comments below.

I'll be honest with you here, Carrie is the only book on Mihir's list I've read so far, and it scared the living daylights out of me. I still have traumas. I'm very interested in The Shining Girls though and I'm pretty sure that's what I'll go with this Halloween.

Thank you so much, Mihir. Please visit Mihir at and follow his Twitter account @FantasyBookCrit

As always, thanks also to the wonderful Feri from Le Non Design for our gorgeous banners. Visit her at

Win one of the books on Mihir's list (your choice!) from The Book Depository. The giveaway is, of course, international. Anyone can enter. I've made it easy for you guys. Good luck!


  1. An interesting list for sure. I love the Kings. I have read almost everything by King, and I am half way through NOS4a2. I think the Shining Girls sounds interesting. Thanks for the recommendations.

  2. Great recommendations, I haven't read any of them but NOS4R2/NOS4A2 by Joe Hill has been on my wishlist for a while. But The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes sounds really goo too.

  3. Scary books are too scary for me ;) But I did read some creepy Connolly shorts ones

  4. These books all look good, thank you for recommending!

    -Amber Terry-

  5. Oh I have a Hill book on my tbr but it isn't NOS4R2/NOS4A2. I've been curious about that one. I'm a chicken but have been getting more into horror.

  6. I haven't read any of these *blushes* I do want to check out Bad Men, though! I'm not usually a reader of scary stories, because they usually bore me. In college, a friend watched The Shining with me - my first time seeing it. He couldn't understand why it didn't freak me out. When I know something's fiction, it doesn't do much for me. When it's a real life story, that's when I get nervous.

  7. These all sound really interesting! Thanks for the great guest post and giveaway Maja!

  8. Thanks for the guest post Maja, I'm hoping you give John Connolly a try as well. He's one of my favorite authors when it comes to prose & characterization.

  9. Mary DeBorde
    Thank you for that suggested reading list - The Shining Girls sounds pretty good!!

  10. Never heard of these titles before except for Carrie. I'm very intrigued by Joe Hill's book though, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for this one. thank you.

  11. Shining Girls sounds interesting. I read Carrie a long time ago and wasn't frightened at all.

  12. Great list! I really want to read The Shining Girls. I've heard it's really good, but I can't seem to find it in my library. Guess I'll have to buy it eventually (not enough library shelves at home!!). Also, the Joe Hill book sounds interesting. I read Horns and liked it a lot!

  13. great list!!!! thanks for the giveaway!!

  14. Well I'll have to check them all out as I haven't read a single one book from the list :/ Thank you for the giveaway :)

  15. I've read Carrie and the Joe Hill book. I'd love to win Shining Girls, it's been on my list.

  16. Haven't read any of these book yet.. :( The Shining Girls look great!

  17. I'm a Stephen King fan and still haven't read Carrie ... that would be the one I'd choose.

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