This list of July 2021 horror books was originally published in our horror newsletter, The Fright Stuff. Sign up for it here to get horror news, reviews, deals, and more!
I can’t believe the year is moving so fast, but here it is just about the end of June and once again my favorite day of the month: it’s new releases day! Normally I try to run the new releases newsletter the first Monday of the month but on the 5th this year we’re observing a holiday here in the states, which means no Fright Stuff. So I thought we’d kick this mid-summer must read list off a little early!
If you’ve been keeping track of forthcoming releases for 2021, you are probably aware that these next few months in the run down to the end of the year are absolutely jammed with amazing horror titles. So many that my book budget is screaming under the strain, but I’ve been waiting an age for these titles to drop so sorry in advance to my wallet. Because these books are just too good to miss!
We Have Always Been Here by Lena Nguyen (July 6th)
By now everyone probably knows that I have a slight obsession with space horror. (It’s not slight.) So of course I’ve been counting the days until Nguyen’s We Have Always Been Here is released. Dr. Grace Park is a psychologist stationed on the survey ship Deucalion, bound for the distant planet of Eos on a colonization mission. There are thirteen crew members, not including herself, all highly trained and educated specialists, all part of a team meant to assess Eos’ potential for colonization. But Dr. Park might not have been the best choice for this mission. She’s the opposite of a people person, and prefers the company of the ship’s androids to that of her fellow human crew members, whereas the other humans can’t stand the androids and certainly don’t trust them. As you might expect, things start to deteriorate rapidly once the survey ship reaches Eos, stranding the ships occupants in a massive radiation storm amidst a sudden epidemic of paranoia and waking nightmares. After all, when is a simple colonization mission ever really a simple colonization mission?
Also, for the record, that cover is giving me terrifying Dr. Who Diamond Planet flashbacks. UPSETTING.
The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix (July 13th)
I had the chance to read The Final Girl Support Group ahead of its release, and it is absolutely fantastic. Seriously, it hits all those slasher fan sweet spots while still managing a serious critique of the subgenre and its place in the modern world. I can’t wait to get my hands on a hard copy just so I can read it in a new medium. We all know who the final girl is, most horror fans can name at least a handful without really having to think about it. She’s the one who survives. She’s the one who fights back. She’s every horror villain’s worst nightmare because her life spells their death. But what happens when the credits roll and the monster IS dead, but the final girl is still left standing? Lynnette is one of a group of former final girls who, years later, are just trying to put their lives back together. Until one by one, someone starts picking them off.
The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass (July 13th)
True I just featured this book a couple of weeks ago on one of my pride month lists, but with it’s release date right around the corner I just had to shine the spotlight once again on what promises to be a delightfully creepy YA horror. Being able to see the dead is just a part of who Jake Livingston is, just like being one of the only Black kids in his exclusive prep school, or being less popular than his well-liked older brother. But, unlike humans, the dead can at least be relied upon to be predictable. Most are just harmless fragments of lost life, stuck in a loop of their own death. Sad but safe. Until Sawyer, a powerful vengeful ghost with the ability to put Jake’s very life in danger. In life, Sawyer committed a terrible act of violence, shooting six kids at a local high school and then himself. In death he has plans, and those plans require Jake.
Immortelle by Catherine McCarthy (July 15th)
There’s a reason Off Limits Press is quickly becoming one of my go-to horror presses. They are turning out some incredible horror that you definitely do not want to miss, and that includes their July release, Immortelle, about a mother who will stop at nothing to find the truth about her daughter’s violent death. Elinor, a ceramic artist whose work is inspired by her grandmother’s interest in the supernatural, bends her craft to its own supernatural purpose when her daughter Rowena is murdered. Elinor is sure she knows who is responsible, so she crafts an immortelle out of clay in the shape of a starling to try and capture Rowena’s spirit. As word of her skill spreads, Elinor is soon overwhelmed by requests for immortelles, her power growing with each crafting. And as the dead whisper their secrets and the truth about her daughter’s murder is revealed, Elinor begins to craft her terrible revenge.
Small Favors by Erin Craig (July 27th)
This book. I have been waiting so long for Small Favors and I just know it’s going to be the dark, bee-filled book of my heart. The Blackspire Mountain range is comprised of five sharp peaks bordered by a nearly impenetrable forest. And nestled amidst the Blackspires is the little town of Amity Falls. Visitors are rare and the wood is full of devils. This is Ellerie Downing’s home, and the quiet life she’s always known. But a sudden disappearance raises fears that the monsters the villagers once fought for survival may have returned, bringing with them honeyed promises of desires fulfilled. Asking only the smallest favors in return. Which I’m sure is… totally safe and not at all a cause for concern.