• Jonathan Wheatley Writer

Top classic Horror books to buy this Christmas 


Continuing our countdown of classic horror novels to buy this Christmas, today I will check out a classic horror novel for the ‘books don’t really scare me,’ reader.


For anyone craving some historical fact with their scares, then look no further than ‘The Terror’ by Dan Simmons. When I first read this book, it jumped straight into my top five reads and has stayed there ever since.


It is a beast of a book, so be prepared to lose a good part of your life to it, however, the payback is incredible. Just thinking about the book, is enough to send me back to the icy setting that Simmons so cleverly and spectacularly creates. I can even feel the icy-chill in my veins.


Ignore the TV series for now and go straight to the book. Released in 2007, it is the account of Captain Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror to the Arctic. He based most of the characters on real-life members of the crew onboard these famous ships.

Simmons builds the tension, whether it be supernatural or the constant threat of illness, starvation or mutiny to such a crescendo that upon finishing the novel, just by closing your eyes, you feel you were actually there.


Without giving too much plot away, both ships get stuck in the ice for over a year, and we follow, through several characters eyes, their fight for survival, not just from the cold, but from the mysterious creature stalking them across the ice.


As you will see when my novel, the Priory is released in 2020, I love multiple character narration (including switching up first and third person) and Simmons uses the style to wonderful effect.


The ability to take a real-life mystery such as the disappearance of both ships and turn it into one of the best horror novels of the 21st century is no easy feat, but in Dan Simmons hands he does it perfectly. I have to admit that to me, as good as this novel is, some of his other works don’t stand up to the same quality of storytelling, however, that is just my opinion.


If you want a haunting, terrifying horror story to get lost in this winter curled up in front of a fire, then look no further than ‘The Terror,’ by Dan Simmons, and when springtime comes, keep an eye out for my debut British horror novel, ‘The Priory.’


Keep up to date with pre-release special offers and free chapters here…

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