Spawn by Shaun Hutson
Ah Spawn. Sadly nothing to do with Todd McFarlane’s superhero and a lot to do with aborted fetuses.
I went through/am still going through a phase of reading only the pulpiest, filthiest horror I could get my hands on. Spawn is about a crazed, but loving childless doctor who rescues the miraculously surviving aborted fetuses from his hospital and raises them from what I think was a swamp to become literal little monsters.
I have this sense of regret that I never read Slugs, so I’m not sure whether there is a link beyond the font, but I hope that there was. There’s nothing I like more than a faint Stephen King-esque link between books from the same author.
The Webbed Hand by Jenny Jones
I read this while in school, and it made me want to be everything to this world. I wanted to render the cover in clay and found objects in art class. I wanted to adapt it as a screenplay (but not act it out – shudder) in English. I wanted to read it again and again and as you can see from the cover, I did just that.
I’m not sure I ever kept the screenplay though. And the clay rendering was but a pipe dream. I honestly don’t remember a thing from the actual story, despite what I’m sure was a detailed critical analysis performed prior to attempting the adaptation.
That said, I have no doubt it would ignite the same creative spark in any child now so recommend it on that basis. And the fact that through countless moves and life changes, I’ve somehow kept on to this as one of a handful of YA books from before YA existed.