Top Ten 2014 Releases I'd Hoped to Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This post contains affiliate links.


"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the
oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."

This statement was true when H. P. Lovecraft first wrote it at the beginning of the twentieth century, and it remains true at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The only thing that has changed is what is unknown.

With each passing year, science, technology, and the march of time shine light into the craggy corners of the universe, making the fears of an earlier generation seem quaint. But this "light" creates its own shadows. The Best Horror of the Year, edited by Ellen Datlow, chronicles these shifting shadows. It is a catalog of terror, fear, and unpleasantness, as articulated by today's most challenging and exciting writers.

The best horror writers of today do the same thing that horror writers of a hundred years ago did. They tell good stories--stories that scare us. And when these writers tell really good stories that really scare us, Ellen Datlow notices. She's been noticing for more than a quarter century. For twenty-one years, she coedited The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, and for the last six years, she's edited this series. In addition to this monumental cataloging of the best, she has edited hundreds of other horror anthologies and won numerous awards, including the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy awards.

More than any other editor or critic, Ellen Datlow has charted the shadowy abyss of horror fiction. Join her on this journey into the dark parts of the human heart . . . either for the first time . . . or once again.


Kenny Manzetti was the new kid in town. His family moved back in to an old house to help take care of his grandfather. Everyone in his new neighborhood is obsessed with zombies--even Grandpa Mo. But then a new family moves in next door and there choice in furniture is... interesting. 

Kenny is convinced that there is something strange about the new neighbors but his parents won't listen to him. So Kenny and his friends go in for a closer look. A bad idea on any day but definitely the wrong choice around Halloween. Will Kenny survive long enough to go trick or treating?


No matter your expectations, the dark is full of the unknown: grim futures, distorted pasts, invasions of the uncanny, paranormal fancies, weird dreams, unnerving nightmares, baffling enigmas, revelatory excursions, desperate adventures, spectral journeys, mundane terrors, and supernatural visions. You may stumble into obsession - or find redemption. Often disturbing, occasionally delightful, let The Year's Best Dark Fantasy and Horror be your annual guide through the mysteries and wonders of dark fiction.


Magic is BAD.

As in fake. Cheesy. Unreal. At least, that's what Clay, who has seen one magic show too many, thinks.

When words from his journal appear mysteriously on his school wall as graffiti, he never imagines that magic might be to blame. And when the same graffiti lands him at Earth Ranch, a camp for "troubled" kids on a remote volcanic island, magic is the last thing he expects to find there.

But at Earth Ranch, there is one strange surprise after another, until Clay no longer knows what to expect. Is he really talking to a llama? Did he really see a ghost? What is the scary secret hidden in the abandoned library? The only thing he knows for sure is that behind the clouds of vog (volcanic smog), nothing is as it seems. Can he solve the riddle of Earth Ranch before trouble erupts?


It's November, and there's a new mystery to solve. 'The twins' new neighbors are up to something! It's Thanksgiving, and a mysterious couple has moved in next door. Bradley, Brian, Nate, and Lucy must work out the clues: The neighbors have built a tall wooden fence. They've bought some strange parts for making . . . something. They've even put up a suspicious tent in their backyard, with a big, scary dog to guard it. What could they possibly be hiding?


In the twelfth book of the Calendar Mysteries- an early chapter book mystery series -Bradley, Brian, Nate, and Lucy find a lost puppy on Christmas Eve. The poor dog was meant to be a present for someone. It has a ribbon with a tag around its neck, but the tag is ripped. Can the kids find out who bought the puppy or who was supposed to receive it?


Her friends warn her not to go to Brendan Fear's birthday party at his family's estate on mysterious Fear Island. But Rachel Martin has a crush on Brendan and is excited to be invited. Brendan has a lot of party games planned. But one game no one planned intrudes on his party the game of murder. As the guests start dying one by one, Rachel realizes to her horror that she and the other teenagers are trapped on the tiny island with someone who may want to kill them all. How to escape this deadly game? Rachel doesn't know whom she can trust. She should have realized that nothing is as it seems on Fear Island.


Is Lemony Snicket a detective or a smoke detector?

Do you smell smoke? Young apprentice Lemony Snicket is investigating a case of arson but soon finds himself enveloped in the ever-increasing mystery that haunts the town of Stain'd-by-the-Sea. Who is setting the fires? What secrets are hidden in the Department of Education? Why are so many schoolchildren in danger? Is it all the work of the notorious villain Hangfire? How could you even ask that? What kind of education have you had?

Maybe you should be in school?


Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen-all of them-and they're stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood-the blood of Olympus-in order to wake. 

The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it might be able to stop a war between the two camps.

The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea's army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.


In this adventure, Annabeth encounters more oddities in the subway than usual, including a two-headed monster and a younger blond girl who reminds her a little of herself. This is the story fans have asked for, in which Annabeth Chase teams up with Sadie Kane. The demigod daughter of Athena and the young magician from Brooklyn House take on a larger-than-life foe from the ancient world. Perhaps even more disturbing than the power-hungry god they encounter is the revelation that he is being controlled by someone—someone all too familiar to Sadie.

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