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Spooky Season Books

It’s officially October and it is now officially Spooky Season! I was planning on having my September wrap up today but I feel like that can wait. Because it’s Spooky Season! I do like Halloween, nowhere near as much as American’s seemed too (it’s just not that big of a deal in the UK). We don’t have big parties, all dress up and have a big thing about trick or treating. It’s just not really done, although if you’re a uni student it is a good excuse to get wasted in the middle of the week and not turn up for lectures the next day. Not that many uni students need a reason, but at least the lecturers kind of know they’re not going to have that many students in. Especially freshers/first years.

For me, Halloween (a month long holiday) is great because I can be my little Gothic self and not be judge. Too much. People don’t question why I’m watching a creepy films, or watching films with witches, vampires, werewolves, etc. People just don’t bat an eye during October if you want to indulge in some spooky and a little weird stuff.

I thought that I would share some spookier books to read. Some older books and some newer books. With creatures ranging from vampires, ghosts, werewolves, witches and demons. And maybe a few extra thrown in for fun.

Classics

So I’m starting this off with some Classic books. Some of the books that I think a lot, if not all, people will have heard of at one point of another in their lives.

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Yes, it’s that classic vampire story that everyone knows. It’s been adapted into countless films and TV shows, and has been reimagined in books time and again. It’s the book that Stoker’s most known for and it’s a story that’s captured countless generations.

When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries in his client’s castle. Soon afterwards, disturbing incidents unfold in England: an unmanned ship is wrecked; strange puncture marks appear on a young woman’s neck; and a lunatic asylum inmate raves about the imminent arrival of his ‘Master’. In the ensuing battle of wits between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries, Bram Stoker created a masterpiece of the horror genre, probing into questions of identity, sanity and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire.

Genres: Gothic, Classic, Fantasy, Horror

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein, the book that started a whole new genre, a science fiction classic. This one definitely fits in with the other spooky books on this list. It might not be a supernatural tale, but I would say that a person created from different body parts is pretty creepy and fits the Halloween spirit.

Obsessed with creating life itself, Victor Frankenstein plunders graveyards for the material to fashion a new being, which he shocks into life with electricity. But his botched creature, rejected by Frankenstein and denied human companionship, sets out to destroy his maker and all that he holds dear.

Genres: Science Fiction, Gothic, Classic, Horror

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde

This “shocking” and “thrilling” novella is a clever look into the duality of man, the fear of science and pushing the limits of science itself. Also, I would suggest listening to musical soundtrack. It’s really good, and if you’re on tiktok you might have heard part of the song “Confrontation”.

In seeking to discover his inner self, the brilliant Dr Jekyll discovers a monster. First published to critical acclaim in 1886, this mesmerising thriller is a terrifying study of the duality of man’s nature, and it is the book which established Stevenson’s reputation as a writer.

Genres: Classic, Science Fiction, Horror

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Another classic Gothic tale that pushes the boundaries of nature, playing with supernatural elements and devilry. It delves deep into morality and how it can deeply affect a person.

Enthralled by his own exquisite portrait, Dorian Gray exchanges his soul for eternal youth and beauty. Influenced by his friend Lord Henry Wotton, he is drawn into a corrupt double life; indulging his desires in secret while remaining a gentleman in the eyes of polite society. Only his portrait bears the traces of his decadence. The novel was a succès de scandale and the book was later used as evidence against Wilde at the Old Bailey in 1895. It has lost none of its power to fascinate and disturb.

Genres: Classic, Fantasy, Horror, LGBT

Vampires

Okay so I’ve already mentioned one vampire book but I also wanted to list a few more modern vampire tales for you to read. Vampires started off as a dangerous creature in folklore that could drain a body of blood, cause sickness, be the result of an evil spirit or a corrupted spirit trapped in this world. There are so many variations of vampires in folklore, most of it depends on where in the world the myth originates from. The “classic” vampire that we know today is mostly based off of European folklore that began to appear during the Medieval period, although blood drinking demons or spirits appear in most cultures myths and folklore around the world.

A lot of vampires are portrayed as being suave, confident, sexy and well put together. So of these books definitely have those types of vampires but some of them are… well kind of chaotic.

The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh

Small warning: the vampires take a while to show up. New Orleans is a city that has a lot of supernatural lore surrounding it, so this is definitely a great place for a vampire story to be set. If you’ve and enjoyed Renee Ahdieh’s other books you’ll likely enjoy this one too!

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

Genres: Young Adult, Historical, Romance, Fantasy

Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris

This is the book series that the TV show True Blood is based off of. And in my opinion it ends better than the show did, I think it makes a bit more sense. There are thirteen books in this series, as well as eighteen short stories and novellas. This is a vampire mystery series, with a few other supernatural creatures thrown in, and the main character is a mind reader that’s trying to solve them. And not get killed in the process.

Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She’s quiet, keeps to herself, and doesn’t get out much. Not because she’s not pretty. She is. It’s just that, well, Sookie has this sort of “disability.” She can read minds. And that doesn’t make her too dateable. And then along comes Bill. He’s tall, dark, handsome–and Sookie can’t hear a word he’s thinking. He’s exactly the type of guy she’s been waiting for all her life….

But Bill has a disability of his own: He’s a vampire with a bad reputation. He hangs with a seriously creepy crowd, all suspected of–big surprise–murder. And when one of Sookie’s coworkers is killed, she fears she’s next…

Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy, Romance, Mystery

Anno Dracula by Kim Newman

Now this is a somewhat strange book, but it presents an interesting “what if”. What would have happened if Dracula won and took over England?

It is 1888 and Queen Victoria has remarried, taking as her new consort Vlad Tepes, the Wallachian Prince infamously known as Count Dracula. Peppered with familiar characters from Victorian history and fiction, the novel follows vampire Geneviève Dieudonné and Charles Beauregard of the Diogenes Club as they strive to solve the mystery of the Ripper murders.

Genres: Adult, Historical, Science Fiction, Horror, Fantasy, Mystery

The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks

In this book vampires aren’t suave or live interesting lives. Most are kind of stuck doing the same things that they did when they were alive, just trying to get by. Except the fact that it’s only at night. They don’t even get to drink blood, not unless they want to end up staked.

You can’t get a decent haircut, you live on guinea pig blood and, even worse, most of the world’s population wants to kill you. For no good reason, Nina Harrison became a vampire in 1973 and she now spends all of her time with a bunch of vampires in a vampire therapy group.

Genres: Teen/Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Mystery

May Day by Josie Jaffrey

This is another vampire mystery story, seems to be a bit of a theme here. This one is about vampire “detectives” stopping other vampires from exposing their existence to the world and solving/stopping crime.

If the murderer you’re tracking is a vampire, then you want a vampire detective. Just maybe not this one.

It’s not that Jack Valentine is bad at her job. The youngest member of Oxford’s Seekers has an impressive track record, but she also has an impressive grudge against the local baron, Killian Drake.

When a human turns up dead on May Morning, she’s determined to pin the murder on Drake. The problem is that none of the evidence points to him. Instead, it leads Jack into a web of conspiracy involving the most powerful people in the country, people to whom Jack has no access. But she knows someone who does.

To get to the truth, Jack will have to partner up with her worst enemy. As long as she can keep her cool, Drake will point her to the ringleaders, she’ll find the murderer and no one else will have to die.

Body bags on standby.

Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy, Mystery

Honorable mentions:

  • Interview With a Vampire by Anne Rice
  • The Coldest Girl in Cold Town by Holly Black
  • Twilight by Stephanie Meyer (I couldn’t leave this one out, I’m sorry)
  • Vampire Diaries by J.L. Smith
  • Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Werewolves

Much like vampires werewolves have been around for a long, long time. Appearing in myths, legends and folklore around the world. There are multiple variations of werewolf stories but they all have a few things in common; they are a human able to shapeshift into a wolf usually during the full moon.

Now, I struggled a little more with find werewolf books than I did finding vampire books, there’s just so many of them! So this one is a little shorter.

Lobizona by Romina Garber

I think that this book is one that more people need to read and talk about! This urban fantasy explores the very real reality of what many people face in the USA being immigrants.

Some people ARE illegal.

Lobizonas do NOT exist.

Both of these statements are false.

Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who’s on the run from her father’s Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.

Until Manu’s protective bubble is shattered.

Her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past—a mysterious “Z” emblem—which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. A world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong.

As Manu uncovers her own story and traces her real heritage all the way back to a cursed city in Argentina, she learns it’s not just her U.S. residency that’s illegal. . . .it’s her entire existence.

Genres: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy

How To Flirt With a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

Okay, so this book is a little bit corny. It’s a romance story where the main love interest is a werewolf, if you hadn’t guessed from the title. It’s actually a very fun and light-hearted read.

Even in Grundy, Alaska, it’s unusual to find a naked guy with a bear trap clamped to his ankle on your porch. But when said guy turns into a wolf, recent southern transplant Mo Wenstein has no difficulty identifying the problem. Her surly neighbor Cooper Graham—who has been openly critical of Mo’s ability to adapt to life in Alaska—has trouble of his own. Werewolf trouble.

For Cooper, an Alpha in self-imposed exile from his dysfunctional pack, it’s love at first sniff when it comes to Mo. But Cooper has an even more pressing concern on his mind. Several people around Grundy have been the victims of wolf attacks, and since Cooper has no memory of what he gets up to while in werewolf form, he’s worried that he might be the violent canine in question.

If a wolf cries wolf, it makes sense to listen, yet Mo is convinced that Cooper is not the culprit. Except if he’s not responsible, then who is? And when a werewolf falls head over haunches in love with you, what are you supposed to do anyway? The rules of dating just got a whole lot more complicated. . .

Genres: Adult, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright and David Leslie Johnson

You can tell from the title that this is a Red Riding Hood retelling. But it’s not the only one in this list. Red Riding Hood retellings are pretty popular in Young Adult werewolf books.

Valerie’s sister was beautiful, kind and sweet. Now she is dead. Henry, the handsome son of the blacksmith, tries to console Valerie, but her wild heart beats fast for another: the outcast woodcutter, Peter, who offers Valerie another life far from home.

After her sister’s violent death, Valerie’s world begins to spiral out of control. For generations, the Wolf has been kept at bay with a monthly sacrifice. But now no one is safe. When an expert Wolf hunter arrives, the villagers learn that the creature lives among them – it could be anyone in town.

It soon becomes clear that Valerie is the only one who can hear the voice of the creature. The Wolf says she must surrender herself before the blood moon wanes…or everyone she loves will die. 

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

The Girl in Red by Christina Henry

Yes, this is another Red Riding Hood retelling. The Girl in Red is a dystopian retelling of this classic fairytale.

It’s not safe for anyone alone in the woods. There are predators that come out at night: critters and coyotes, snakes and wolves. But the woman in the red jacket has no choice. Not since the Crisis came, decimated the population, and sent those who survived fleeing into quarantine camps that serve as breeding grounds for death, destruction, and disease. She is just a woman trying not to get killed in a world that doesn’t look anything like the one she grew up in, the one that was perfectly sane and normal and boring until three months ago.

There are worse threats in the woods than the things that stalk their prey at night. Sometimes, there are men. Men with dark desires, weak wills, and evil intents. Men in uniform with classified information, deadly secrets, and unforgiving orders. And sometimes, just sometimes, there’s something worse than all of the horrible people and vicious beasts combined.

Red doesn’t like to think of herself as a killer, but she isn’t about to let herself get eaten up just because she is a woman alone in the woods…

Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Red Sisters by Jackson Pearce

Yeah this is the third Red Riding Hood retelling on this list, this one is about hunting down werewolves and sisterly bonds.

Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris — the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She’s determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls’ bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett’s only friend — but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they’ve worked for?

Genres: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy

Ghosts

Ghost are another folklore staple. Ghost stories have been told since ancient times of spirits that returned from the dead to haunt the places and sometimes people they left behind. They have been prominent figures in folklore in cultures around the world. Most ghosts tend to be people that have died mysterious and/or violent deaths.

Tales of ghosts originally come from people believing that the spirit is separate from the body and could continue to exist after the person dies. It’s believed that it’s part of why many cultures and beliefs have elaborate burials rituals that in some way release the spirit so that they will not come back to “haunt” the world or be trapped in this world and unable to move on. [History of Ghost Stories]

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendra Blake

I think that this might have been one of the first horror books that I read, although looking back I wouldn’t say it was too scary. But it’s definitely a good spooky read for Halloween!

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas’s life.

Genres: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Horror

The Mediator series by Meg Cabot

If you want a series about a girl that can talk to the dead and solves mysteries, whilst not taking any crap from both the living and the dead, then this is series is for you. There are definitely some things in this book that are very early 2000s but it is a very fun read and I would recommend reading it.

Suze is a mediator — a liaison between the living and the dead. In other words, she sees dead people. And they won’t leave her alone until she helps them resolve their unfinished business with the living. But Jesse, the hot ghost haunting her bedroom, doesn’t seem to need her help. Which is a relief, because Suze has just moved to sunny California and plans to start fresh, with trips to the mall instead of the cemetery, and surfing instead of spectral visitations. But the very first day at her new school, Suze realizes it’s not that easy. There’s a ghost with revenge on her mind … and Suze happens to be in the way.

Genres: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Myster, Romance

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

If you want to read an atmospheric and creepy book this October then I would suggest this book. This is a middle grade book, so it is a bit different from Schwab’s young adult and adult books. But she is an amazing writer and her books are always a delight to read.

Cassidy Blake’s parents are The Inspecters, a (somewhat inept) ghost-hunting team. But Cass herself can REALLY see ghosts. In fact, her best friend, Jacob, just happens to be one.

When The Inspecters head to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, Scotland, for their new TV show, Cass—and Jacob—come along. In Scotland, Cass is surrounded by ghosts, not all of them friendly. Then she meets Lara, a girl who can also see the dead. But Lara tells Cassidy that as an In-betweener, their job is to send ghosts permanently beyond the Veil. Cass isn’t sure about her new mission, but she does know the sinister Red Raven haunting the city doesn’t belong in her world. Cassidy’s powers will draw her into an epic fight that stretches through the worlds of the living and the dead, in order to save herself.

Genres: Middle Grade, Urban Fantasy

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

This is a short book, usually less than 200 pages depending on the edition, and it’s written in the style of a traditional Gothic novel. So if you like Gothic literature then this might be the one for you. This is a ghost that is psychologically terrifying and deliciously eerie.

Arthur Kipps is an up-and-coming London solicitor who is sent to Crythin Gifford—a faraway town in the windswept salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway—to attend the funeral and settle the affairs of a client, Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. Mrs. Drablow’s house stands at the end of the causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but Kipps is unaware of the tragic secrets that lie hidden behind its sheltered windows. The routine business trip he anticipated quickly takes a horrifying turn when he finds himself haunted by a series of mysterious sounds and images—a rocking chair in a deserted nursery, the eerie sound of a pony and trap, a child’s scream in the fog, and, most terrifying of all, a ghostly woman dressed all in black.

Genres: Adult, Horror, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal

Cemetary Boys by Aiden Thomas

Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.

When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true 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 off 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.

Genres: Young Adult, LGBT+, Urban Fantasy, Romance

Witches and Wizards

Witchcraft has been spoken of since ancient times, appearing in different religions across the globe. Some seeing it as good, others bad and some a little bit of both. Being a witch could sometimes be dangerous, especially in Europe where an estimate 200,000+ people died from being accused of a witch. But that’s only of the ones that were actually put on trial and we have a record of. Here are a few resources [Witches in Britain, Witch trials in the early modern period, Woodcuts and Witches]

There have been many different interpretation of witchcraft/sorcery over the centuries, and I’m glad to say that more modern interpretations and views are much, much better than what they used to be. Although witch hunts still do happen in some countries.

Now, this wouldn’t be a Spooky Season book list without any books with witches and/or wizards. There are many, many books out there with witches and wizards and I sadly can’t list them all. So this is just a small selection of books.

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

What would you do if you met the girl you’ve been dreaming about for month but have never met?

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Genres: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Romance

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.

Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy, Romance

Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron

This is a richly written and an amazing high fantasy. It’s a dark fantasy book that is full of magic and demons.

Magic has a price—if you’re willing to pay.

Born into a family of powerful witchdoctors, Arrah yearns for magic of her own. But each year she fails to call forth her ancestral powers, while her ambitious mother watches with growing disapproval.

There’s only one thing Arrah hasn’t tried, a deadly last resort: trading years of her own life for scraps of magic. Until the Kingdom’s children begin to disappear, and Arrah is desperate to find the culprit.

She uncovers something worse. The long-imprisoned Demon King is stirring. And if he rises, his hunger for souls will bring the world to its knees… unless Arrah pays the price for the magic to stop him.

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

Who didn’t want to find out they had magic when they were a kid and that there was a hidden magical world hidden inside our own? This is a very humorous story about a girl discovering that she has magic and gets swept into a dangerous plot with a skeleton detective.

Stephanie’s uncle Gordon is a writer of horror fiction. But when he dies and leaves her his estate, Stephanie learns that while he may have written horror, it certainly wasn’t fiction. Pursued by evil forces intent on recovering a mysterious key, Stephanie finds help from an unusual source – the wisecracking skeleton of a dead wizard.

Genres: Middle Grade/Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Adventure, Mystery, Humour

The Year of the Witchling

A young woman living in a rigid, puritanical society discovers dark powers within herself in this stunning, feminist fantasy debut.

In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet’s word is law, Immanuelle Moore’s very existence is blasphemy. Her mother’s union with an outsider of a different race cast her once-proud family into disgrace, so Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol, and lead a life of submission, devotion, and absolute conformity, like all the other women in the settlement.

But a mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood surrounding Bethel, where the first prophet once chased and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still lurking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the journal of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.

Fascinated by the secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realizes the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And she starts to understand that if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her.

Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Horror

Honorable mentions:

  • The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston
  • A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
  • Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
  • Sepent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
  • The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Demons

Demons appear in so many cultures around the world, possibly all of them but I’m not sure. There are so many different types, they have appeared in art countless times over the centuries. I have to say that I really love a lot of the modern takes and imaginings of demons in literature and other media. There are so many fun stories out there with demons in them.

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story.

As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison.

Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming…human or demon. Princess or monster.

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT+

Spin the Dawn duology by Elizabeth Lim

This is a beautifully written retelling of Mulan, mixed with a Project Runway-like competition to become the next imperial tailor. This duology is great, I loved it, and I would recommend reading it!

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Two witty and hilarious authors came together in this book to bring a comedic tale of the apocalypse, and how an angel and a demon save the world.

‘Armageddon only happens once, you know. They don’t let you go around again until you get it right.’

People have been predicting the end of the world almost from its very beginning, so it’s only natural to be sceptical when a new date is set for Judgement Day. But what if, for once, the predictions are right, and the apocalypse really is due to arrive next Saturday, just after tea?

You could spend the time left drowning your sorrows, giving away all your possessions in preparation for the rapture, or laughing it off as (hopefully) just another hoax. Or you could just try to do something about it.

It’s a predicament that Aziraphale, a somewhat fussy angel, and Crowley, a fast-living demon now finds themselves in. They’ve been living amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and, truth be told, have grown rather fond of the lifestyle and, in all honesty, are not actually looking forward to the coming Apocalypse.

And then there’s the small matter that someone appears to have misplaced the Antichrist…

Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

Multiples

Now, I’m calling this section “multiples” because these books don’t just fit into one section. (And yes I know that some of the books above don’t either.) The books in this section are ones that could fit in two or more sections, for example; witches and ghosts, demons, vampires and werewolves, etc.

Venators series by Devri Wells

As I mentioned these book fit into multiple sections on this list and this book fits into: Witches, Werewolves, and Vampires. I really love this series, there’s three books out so far, and I would recommend it to anyone that likes fantasy (especially if you want a series like TMI with characters battling monsters and saving the world). It’s a really good series and each book just keeps getting better.

Six years ago, Grey Malteer was attacked by creatures he thought couldn’t possibly exist. They repeated a word, calling him a name he’d never heard before…Venator. Since then, his life has been a hellhole of secrecy—hiding old pain alongside strange new abilities.

Rune Jenkins has an itch, as she calls it, but it’s more than that. It’s an anger that builds up like the inside of a boiler whenever she’s around anything remotely supernatural. The pressure is growing steadily worse and she can’t understand why. All she knows is—her control is slipping.

By order of an unknown council Grey and Rune are pulled through a portal in the St. Louis arch, landing them in an alternate dimension where creatures of myth and legend exist. A realm that calls them, Venators.

Made up of centuries old fae, vampires, werewolves, elves and succubi the council’s corrupt nature becomes obvious as they seek to wield the newly returned Venators as weapons. Wedged in an impossible position, Grey and Rune must decide their fate—do they go against the council’s wishes and help the innocents of this unforgiving land, or face the possibility of execution by the council.

Genres: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy and Fantasy

The Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare

Sections this book goes into: Vampires, Demons, Witches and Wizards.

Honestly, I wasn’t really sure which one of the books to put here. Because City of Bones was the first book that was published in this world but Clockwork Angel takes place first (time wise). So I’ve put both here for you to look at.

In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…


When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

Here is a link to all of the books on Cassandra Clare’s website.

Genres: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Adventure, Historical Fiction (some of the books)

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stievfater

This book includes: Witches and Wizards and Ghosts.

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Genres: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Mystery

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City) by Sarah J Maas

This book goes in: Demons, Vampires, Werewolves, Ghosts, and Witches and Wizards. There’s also angels and fae in this book. As well as just normal humans.

This is Maas’ first adult book, and it’s great. Sure it’s a chunky book, it’s about 800 pages, but it’s a great read.

Bound by blood.
Tempted by desire.
Unleashed by destiny.

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.

Genres: Adult, Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Romance


Wow, that took a lot longer than I thought it would to write this list. Which might not be a surprise as it’s quite a long list. I had a lot of fun writing this list and find different books for this list. It was also fun to do a little bit of research for each of the sections too. Some of these books are actually on my TBR for October this year because I want to read a few spooky and atmospheric books for October.

Now here are some questions for you:

Have you read any of these books?

Do you want to read any of these books?

Are you reading any spooky books this month?

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and until next time stay safe and keep on reading! 😃

6 thoughts on “Spooky Season Books

  1. Wow great list! I do love Halloween! We are reading Dracul the prequel to Dracula for book club this month! 🧛

    Like

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