Today is the last day of Latinx Heritage Month. I hope you’ve enjoyed these posts and that they’ve inspired you to pick up books by Latinx authors beyond this month. Since it is October and Halloween is just around the corner, I thought I would use this final Latinx Heritage Month post to spotlight horror (and I’m using that loosely) books by Latinx authors. Also, I am always in the lookout for more, so if you know any, please share them in the comments. Covers linked to Goodreads.
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Previous posts in this series you might have missed:
Today is the last day to enter my Twitter giveaway for Latinx Heritage Month. You can win any book by a Latinx author: see tweet here.
Horror Books by Latinx Authors:
It will come as no surprise that Mexican Gothic is on this list. Crossing my fingers that publisher’s take notice of its success and publish more horror by Latinx authors and that Latinx authors in turn are inspired to write more of the genre.
“An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic aristocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. . .
From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes a novel set in glamorous 1950s Mexico.
After receiving a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find – her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.
Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.
Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.
And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.”
I know you’ve heard me talk about my love for Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda. It actually combines two things that I would like to see more of: Latinx characters in horror books and Latinx characters in space.
“Lost to time, Tuck Morgan and his crew have slept in stasis aboard the USS John Muir for centuries. Their ship harbors a chunk of Earth, which unbeknownst to them, is the last hope for the failing human race.
Laura Cruz is a shipraider searching the galaxy for the history that was scattered to the stars. Once her family locates the John Muir and its precious cargo, they are certain human civilization is saved.
When Tuck’s and Laura’s worlds collide―literally―the two teens must outwit their enemies, evade brutal monsters that kill with sound, and work together to save the John Muir . . . and the whole human race.”
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado is my favorite short-story collection. It is deliciously eerie as it explores violence against women and female autonomy. My personal favorite is “The Husband Stitch” which years later I still think about on the regular.
“In Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado blithely demolishes the arbitrary borders between psychological realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism. While her work has earned her comparisons to Karen Russell and Kelly Link, she has a voice that is all her own. In this electric and provocative debut, Machado bends genre to shape startling narratives that map the realities of women’s lives and the violence visited upon their bodies.
A wife refuses her husband’s entreaties to remove the green ribbon from around her neck. A woman recounts her sexual encounters as a plague slowly consumes humanity. A salesclerk in a mall makes a horrifying discovery within the seams of the store’s prom dresses. One woman’s surgery-induced weight loss results in an unwanted houseguest. And in the bravura novella Especially Heinous, Machado reimagines every episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a show we naively assumed had shown it all, generating a phantasmagoric police procedural full of doppelgangers, ghosts, and girls with bells for eyes.
Earthy and otherworldly, antic and sexy, queer and caustic, comic and deadly serious, Her Body and Other Parties swings from horrific violence to the most exquisite sentiment. In their explosive originality, these stories enlarge the possibilities of contemporary fiction.”
This one is currently out of print, but you will only have to wait until May when it is rereleased. With Certain Dark Things, Moreno-Garcia flushes out the vampire trope with some of the best world-building I’ve ever come across.
“From the New York Times bestselling author of Mexican Gothic comes a pulse-pounding neo-noir that reimagines vampire lore.
Welcome to Mexico City, an oasis in a sea of vampires. Domingo, a lonely garbage-collecting street kid, is just trying to survive its heavily policed streets when a jaded vampire on the run swoops into his life. Atl, the descendant of Aztec blood drinkers, is smart, beautiful, and dangerous. Domingo is mesmerized.
Atl needs to quickly escape the city, far from the rival narco-vampire clan relentlessly pursuing her. Her plan doesn’t include Domingo, but little by little, Atl finds herself warming up to the scrappy young man and his undeniable charm. As the trail of corpses stretches behind her, local cops and crime bosses both start closing in.
Vampires, humans, cops, and criminals collide in the dark streets of Mexico City. Do Atl and Domingo even stand a chance of making it out alive? Or will the city devour them all?”
Technically more of a paranormal read, but I absolutely have to highlight Aiden Thomas’s debut Cemetery Boys. There’s a cemetery setting, both friendly and malevolent spirits, and a brujx community. It is the perfect read for this month.
“Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.
When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.
However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.”
If you aren’t sure about picking up creepy books, Claribel A. Ortega’s Ghost Squad has the perfect amount of humor to balance out its darker elements. Buy it for yourself or a kid in your life.
“Coco meets Stranger Things with a hint of Ghostbusters in this action-packed supernatural fantasy.
For Lucely Luna, ghosts are more than just the family business.
Shortly before Halloween, Lucely and her best friend, Syd, cast a spell that accidentally awakens malicious spirits, wreaking havoc throughout St. Augustine. Together, they must join forces with Syd’s witch grandmother, Babette, and her tubby tabby, Chunk, to fight the haunting head-on and reverse the curse to save the town and Lucely’s firefly spirits before it’s too late.
With the family dynamics of Coco and action-packed adventure of Ghostbusters, Claribel A. Ortega delivers both a thrillingly spooky and delightfully sweet debut novel.”
Horror by Latinx authors on my TBR:
(all titles are either backlist or being released this year)
1. Coyote Songs by Gabriel Iglesias
2. Tender Is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica
3. Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor
4. Santa Muerte by Cynthia Pelayo
5. Maria the Wanted and the Legacy of Keepers by V. Castro
6. Latinx Screams edited by V. Castro and Cina Pelayo
7. The Low, Low Woods by Carmen Maria Machado and DaNi
8. White Fox by Sara Faring
9. Category Five by Ann Dávila Cardinal
10. Monstrosity by Laura Diaz de Arce
Have you read any horror novels by Latinx authors? Which are on your TBR? Also if anyone knows any horror novels by Afro-Latinx authors, please let me know!