Hey Kids! What a month we’ve had. Between us, we read almost 20 novellas for this year’s Novella November, and we had a great time doing it! To round off the month, we thought we’d give special mention to each of our personal favourites. Not only that, but all 3 of us read everything that was sent in, and we’ve also unanimously decided to crown a winner – an ULTIMATE NOVELLA, if you will.
To be clear – this was an extremely difficult task. The standard of the novellas submitted to us was excellent, and picking just one each (plus an overall winner) was near impossible.
Without further ado, here are our tops picks!
DOWNWIND, ALICE by C.C. ADAMS
I enjoyed reading this immensely, firstly because thematically, it was unlike anything else I’ve read recently, and secondly, because it falls into one of my favourite subgenres. I think it’s well-written, exciting, and ballsy as hell. It was one of the first novellas I read for this feature, and I’ve thought about it every day since.
And… ahem… also….
THE REACH OF CHILDREN by Tim Lebbon
Just like Mark Goddard when he hosts his Bloody Good Reads podcast, I was a bastard – only I was worse, because instead of letting Jolly Goat and Angry Goat pick three books each, I told them they had to choose one. But I’m a hypocrite and I just couldn’t, and so I have two. In that regard, I’m a dick. But I really couldn’t choose between Downwind, Alice, and The Reach of Children.
The Reach of Children is just too beautiful a depiction of grief to not include in this list. I was enraptured by the writing and the plight of the protagonist, and obsessed with the creepy mystery. It’s a truly wonderful novella and I adore it.
WE HAUNT THESE WOODS by Holley Cornetto
Hey everyone! I hope you’ve had a great November, and are warm and toasty in your jammies, nursing a nice hot chocolate while you read this. Winter is coming.
We Haunt These Woods is a mysterious and intriguing horror story, with an excellent hook. I LOVE stories that use alternating time-lines, and this novella is right up there for me. ULTIMATE NOVELLA aside, this is definitely my favourite of all that were submitted to us this month (and oh heck, there were so many!). I can’t wait for my next Holley Cornetto book!
THE EATER OF GODS by Dan Franklin
Sup, fellow 9th cirlce dwellers? Goat Leader is a nobhead and made me pick a favourite book. She knows how much I dislike admitting to enjoying things, and she made me do it, regardless.
Anyway, The Eater of Gods made my mouth do that upturning thing where the corners of my lips went pointy. Since reading this, I’ve been plagued by the scary imagery and the location descriptions in this book – it’s the stuff of nightmares. I like nightmares. I’m not often impressed by much, but this novella did it for me.
NANA by Mark Towse
We don’t know what sort of demented things were going through Mark’s head as he wrote this abomination, but we’re grateful for whatever his sicko of a muse is. This story is hilariously gross and sickening, written with a general air of dark humour and tongue-in-cheek social commentary – not about what the elderly are really like…. more like a satirical exploration of the childish perception held by some (mostly kids) that the elderly are strange and alien to the rest us.
The crux of the plot is not obvious, but it’s highly entertaining. It’s laugh out loud funny in some places, and “oh my Dark Lord, this is absolutely life-ruining” in others. The horror aspects are well realised, and even before you get to the carnage, you feel uncomfortable despite how much you’re chuckling.
But the best thing about it is how unique and individual all of the characters are. Nana is….. an unusual woman.
“It really gets my goat!”
Congratulations to Mark Towse on winning THE ULTIMATE NOVELLA 2022. This title was a spur-of-the-moment decision that we made this week, for which we are currently working on a prize. Mark, if you’re reading this, we will contact you as soon as we have come up with a worthy offering to celebrate your win!
If you would like to get your hands on any of above mentioned books, you can find them all below:
DOWNWIND, ALICE – BY C.C. ADAMS
THE REACH OF CHILDREN – BY TIM LEBBON
THE EATER OF GODS – BY DAN FRANKLIN
WE HAUNT THESE WOODS – HOLLEY CORNETTO
Leave a Reply