March/April 2018: The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey, c2015

The Girl With All the Gifts

something’s-gone-wrong world
she’s a special child with bite
unclear loyalties

high-voltage survival trek
suspenseful & surprising


February 2018: Truthers (YA) by Geoffrey Girard, c2017

Truthers (YA)
by Geoffrey Girard

dad’s unraveling
forces her to verify
muddied, muddled facts

thought-provoking mystery
takes nothing at face value


January 2018: The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz, c2017

The Silent Corner
by Dean Koontz

staying off the grid
she’s kickass rogue FBI
rooting out evil

compelling, realistic
nanotech terror unleashed


March/April 2017: Jackaby (YA) by William Ritter, c2014


Holmes-style, oddball detective
killer on the loose

paranormal mystery
sure to please the finicky


February 2017: The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle (JF) by Janet Fox, c2016

The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle

old castle-turned-school
their classmates are vanishing
ancient evil lives

ghostly, fast-paced adventure
jeweled with creepy nuance


January 2017: Brightwood (JuvFic) by Tania Unsworth, c2016


secluded mansion
she’s all alone to face a
sinister stranger

middle-grade read with intrigue
& a good dose of scary


December 2016: The Last One by Alexandra Oliva, c2016

The Last One

television show
pushed to the limit, alone
a contest gone wrong

gripping survival story
in a blurred reality


October/November 2016: Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica, c2016

Don’t You Cry

a missing best friend
linked by their digging for clues
obsessions collide

psychological thriller
keeps you guessing ’til the end


September 2016: And the Trees Crept In (YA) by Dawn Kurtagich, c2016

And the Trees Crept In

cursed, decayed manor
hiding from the Creeper Man
spiral to madness

a modern gothic horror
terrifyingly eerie


August 2016: The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone, c2016

The Hatching

modern day world-wide
plague of man-eating spiders
multiplied outlooks

fun scariness in need of
a sequel. Could not put down!


July 2016: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder, c2005

Poison Study

kingdom divided
choose: quick death or slow poison
Rebels, spies, intrique

richly detailed fantasy
of daring & dirty deeds


June 2016: Abarat (YA) by Clive Barker, c2002


epic adventures
archipelago of time
where dark forces stir

splendidly strange fantasy
an all-time marve favorite


May 2016: Watchers by Dean Koontz, c1987


genetic research
hybrid dog and vicious beasts
true, pure redemption

thrilling chase that does not stop
edge-of-your-seat powerful


April 2016: Variant (YA) by Robison Wells, c2011


school with no adults
his future hopes turn into
a fight for his life

quickly paced sci-fi thriller
topped with a crazy-good twist


March 2016: If I Run by Terri Blackstock, c2016

If I Run

bad cops & good cops
she must prove her innocence
against corruption

many mysteries in one
heart-racing, cliff-hanging end


February 2016: The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon, c2014

The Word Exchange

when logophiles wane
gadget dependence ascends
unseaming language

brainy dystopia with
secret clubs & deadly tech


January 2016: Vengeance Road (YA) by Erin Bowman, c2015

Vengeance Road

endless dust and heat
her father murdered for clues
in madness of gold

Spaghetti Western in print
captures the Wild West spirit


December 2015: NEED (YA) by Joelle Charbonneau, c2015


one small town high school
social media gone bad
no one can stop it

young adult take on Stephen
King's Needful Things. Creepy good!


November 2015: Nightfall (YA) by Jake Halpern & Peter Kujawinski, c2015


distant day island
turns dark . . . three teens left behind
to escape the Night

eerie survival story
with terrifying creatures


October 2015: The Haunting of Gabriel Ashe (YA) by Dan Poblocki, c2013

The Haunting of Gabriel Ashe

dark fantasy game
mutated humanoid beast
evil in the woods

horror story with a shock
set in creepy atmosphere


September 2015: The Night Gardener (JF) by Jonathan Auxier, c2014

The Night Gardener

creepy manor house
two Irish orphans entrapped
evil enchantments

good old-fashioned spooky tale
best read under the covers!


August 2015: The Martian by Andy Weir, c2014

The Martian

left behind on Mars
clever humor, brilliant mind
must fend for himself

expertly read audio-
book not to be missed.  Awesome!


July 2015: Uglies (YA) by Scott Westerfeld, c2005


extreme surgery:
to conform or to challenge
one's identity

perfect beauty, betrayal,
action, hoverboards, & more!


June 2015: Fallout (YA) by Todd Strasser, c2013


alternate 'sixties
too many people in one
crowded bomb shelter

realistic, disturbing
excellent use of flashbacks


May 2015: Bird Box (YA) by Josh Malerman, c2014

Bird Box

eyes must be closed tight
seeing brings insanity
survival horror

brilliantly creepy, taut with
tension, expertly crafted


April 2015: Goodhouse by Peyton Marshall, c2014


startling, grim future
set of genetic markers
eugenic control

dystopia for adults
based partly on true events


March 2015: The Testing (YA) by Joelle Charbonneau, c2013

The Testing

rising body count
teens pushed to the breaking point
trust no one to pass

harsh, intense exams become
gruesome as threats mount. Gripping.


February 2015: The Paladin Prophecy (YA) by Mark Frost, c2012

The Paladin Prophecy

exclusive prep school
finds superhuman talents
an ancient struggle

fun, intense non-stop action
battling Never-Was monsters


January 2015: This Dark Endeavor (YA) by Kenneth Oppel, c2011

This Dark Endeavor

gothic Swiss chateau
mad genius in the making
pushing boundaries

forbidden, dangerous quest
marvelously intense take


December 2014: In the After (YA) by Demitria Lunetta, c2013

In the After

life destroyed by Them
the target on her back grows
dangerous creatures

fast-paced, thrilling whirlwind of
twists & turns to consume you


November 2014: The Road by Cormac McCarthy, c2006

The Road

decimated land
nameless man & his young son
moving through ashes

frightening novel explores
the best & the worst in us


October 2014: The Circle by Dave Eggers, c2013

The Circle

digital future
ubiquitous company
becoming public

satirical remonstrance
stealthy, sneaky scariness


September 2014: Don't Turn Around (YA) by Michelle Gagnon, c2012

Don't Turn Around

runaways' rough world
woke up with chest cut open
running off the grid

hackers' dangerous mission
must be prepared to read more


August 2014: Maggot Moon (YA) by Sally Gardner, c2012

Maggot Moon

everything's hopeless
people struggling to exist
ruthless regime's plot

told in brutal, brief chapters
dark, haunting, packs a wallop


July 2014: A Matter of Days (YA) by Amber Kizer, c2013

A Matter of Days

Blustar pandemic
survivors or statistics?
trek across country

lawlessness and destruction
humanity on the line


June 2014: Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, c1949

Nineteen Eighty-Four

thought-controlled future
life in a glass paperweight
evil runs amok

pure creepiness since it is
already happening now


May 2014: Outlaw (YA) by Stephen Davies, c2011


Saharan desert
kidnapped brother and sister
who is the bad guy?

fascinating survival
tricks and power plays abound


April 2014: Legend (YA) by Marie Lu, c2011


vicious government
pitted against each other:
vengeance, survival

action gathers momentum
hard-hitting intensity


March 2014: Cinder (YA) by Marissa Meyer, c2012


plague-ridden future
Lunars & Earthlings collide
wickedness unmasked

the evilest evil queen
and a cyborg steal the show


February 2014: Archetype by M.D. Waters, c2014


where females are rare
her dream-like memories war
the master of souls

science fiction and romance
rolled into one great novel


January 2014: The 5th Wave (YA) by Rick Yancey, c2013

The Fifth Wave

aliens invade
humanity ripped apart
to run or to face

hold-your-breath adventure with
tightly plotted twists and turns


December 2013: The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly, c2006

The Book of Lost Things

where books whisper truths
grieving alone through the grim
his innocence ends

poetic story for all
dark and deep and powerful


November 2013: The Great Wide Sea (YA) by M. H. Herlong, c2008

The Great Wide Sea

year on a sailboat
three young brothers lost at sea
stranded, abandoned

sailing survival story
destined to be a classic


October 2013: The Dog Stars by Peter Heller, c2012

The Dog Stars

wake of disaster
forced symbiosis post-flu
in search of a voice

emotional, sensitive
dystopian for adults


September 2013: Insignia (YA) by S.J. Kincaid, c2012


virtual war waged
teen combatants controlled by
neural transmitters

futuristic; funny too
Is this the path we're heading?


August 2013: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, c2011

Ready Player One

virtual space hunt
following fiendish riddles
death, wealth, and power

wildly imaginative
adrenaline-charged . . . Game on!


July 2013: Unwind (YA) by Neal Shusterman, c2007


cross-country escape
three teen runaways to be
salvaged body parts

peel away layers to find
a queasy proposition


June 2013: Glass House 51 by John Hampel, c2013

Glass House 51

digital bullies;
merely stored magnetic fields;
privacy extinct.

fascinating ideas;
social control reckoning


May 2013: The Passage by Justin Cronin, c2010

The Passage

future ruled by fear
a one-hundred-year-old child
chilling mutations

well-written epic thriller;
readers will be riveted


April 2013: Revolver (YA) by Marcus Sedgwick, c2009


a lonely cabin
a terrifying stranger
an old loaded Colt

compelling, intense, and harsh
as the Alaskan frontier


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