Recommended supernatural / angels and demons fantasy books
From Tad Williams to Lauren Kate, Laini Taylor to Tim Marquitz. If the supernatural or angels and demons are your thing then these great books should be just perfect reads for you.
- Never Knew Another by JM McDermott
Fugitive Rachel Nolander is a newcomer to the city of Dogsland, where the rich throw parties and the poor just do whatever they can to scrape by. Supported by her brother Djoss, she hides out in their squalid apartment, living in fear that someday, someone will find out that she is the child of a demon. Corporal Jona Lord Joni is a demon's child too, but instead of living in fear, he keeps his secret and goes about his life as a cocky, self-assured man of the law. The first book in the Dogsland Trilogy, Never Knew Another is the story of how these two outcasts meet.
"All in all Never Knew Another is a must read novel. It’s quick, beautiful, well written and leaves you wanting more (the author has stated that this is book one of a series). The storyline and plot is original and well thought out and beautifully executed. Lovely, dark, and graceful this story is sure to capture your imagination." Fantasy Book Review
- Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
I found this book really throws you into the deep end, leaving you guessing at the full extent of the how the world Lauren Beukes creates is different from our own. Zoo City, set in Johannesburg, invites us into the lives of the undesirables that the majority of the population like to pretend do not exist. But if they have to acknowledge them they will do so to blame them for all the world’s problems. At the same time, although you are thrown into the deep end it doesn’t mean that you’re frustrated as you’re given just enough information to keep you intrigued. Which gives you enough time to connect with the lead character Zinzi December, the so-called heroine of the novel. Zinzi is a survivor who has a talent for finding lost items for people and she ends up getting dragged into a hunt for a missing person, and that’s where her troubles begin…
"Of course – being a fantasy review site – this isn’t a gritty crime novel. Although you will not find wizards or goblins here, what you will find is an intriguing “what if?” urban fantasy story that gives a twist to the contemporary world we live in. If I forgot to mention before, this story involves animals and magic, that fits into the world of Zoo City. As well as inviting questions as to why people who are different from the norm are treated in different circumstances." Fantasy Book Review
- Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu by Mercedes M Yardley
Her mama always said she was special. His daddy called him a demon. But even monsters can fall in love. Montessa Tovar is walking home alone when she is abducted by Lu, a serial killer with unusual talents and a grudge against the world. But in time, the victim becomes the executioner as 'Apocalyptic' Montessa and her doomed lover, 'Nuclear' Lulu, crisscross the country in a bloody firestorm of revenge.
"AM&NL is a dark supernatural tale about two broken people who are fuelled by raw emotion. It is an intense story, but it is a rewarding story, and I think a lot of people will be able to connect with it. Also, it was recently voted on Reddit (r/fantasy) as the best piece of short fiction for 2013, which probably says more about how great this story is than what I can say in a few short paragraphs."
- Fellside by MR Carey
Fellside is a maximum security prison on the edge of the Yorkshire moors. It's not the kind of place you'd want to end up. But it's where Jess Moulson could be spending the rest of her life. It's a place where even the walls whisper. And one voice belongs to a little boy with a message for Jess. Will she listen?
"M. R. Carey has written a thought-provoking novel that crosses between the rational day to day running of a maximum security prison and gives some thoughts to how well these privatised prisons are run; to the unimaginable concept of the human mind and how it is linked to The Other Place."
- Iron and Magic by Ilona Andrews
Hugh d’Ambray, Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Warlord of the Builder of Towers, served only one man. Now his immortal, nearly omnipotent master has cast him aside. Hugh is a shadow of the warrior he was, but when he learns that the Iron Dogs, soldiers who would follow him anywhere, are being hunted down and murdered, he must make a choice: to fade away or to be the leader he was born to be. Hugh knows he must carve a new place for himself and his people, but they have no money, no shelter, and no food, and the necromancers are coming. Fast. Elara Harper is a creature who should not exist. Her enemies call her Abomination; her people call her White Lady. Tasked with their protection, she's trapped between the magical heavyweights about to collide and plunge the state of Kentucky into a war that humans have no power to stop. Desperate to shield her people and their simple way of life, she would accept help from the devil himself—and Hugh d’Ambray might qualify. Hugh needs a base, Elara needs soldiers. Both are infamous for betraying their allies, so how can they create a believable alliance to meet the challenge of their enemies? As the prophet says: “It is better to marry than to burn.” Hugh and Elara may do both.
"This book isn’t just for Hugh fans, there’s enough here to reveal another side to him, to offer reasons, and not simply empty justifications, for his past actions, as well as suggesting a future in which him and Kate might even, one day, be on the same side. Unthinkable, right?? Wrong. The climax certainly provides such tantalising possibilities for Magic Triumphs, out in August, as well as setting up dramatic and thrilling things for the next two Iron Covenant books. Yes, this could technically be read as a standalone trilogy, but why would you deny yourself the experience of two great linked series? Once again, Ilona and Gordon Andrews prove they are at the very top of the UF game, writing stories that you’ll want to read again and again."
- Dante's Journey by JC Marino
A flash of light and Detective Joe Dante steps through. No longer on the cobblestone streets of 1961 Boston, Joe finds himself in a horrifying new world-Hell itself. Joe was in hot pursuit of his family's killer, drug lord Filippo Argenti, when both were killed, and isn't about to let a little thing like death slow him down. So, with a healthy dose of New England stubbornness and the help of a mysterious guide, Virgil DiMini, Joe must evade angry demons, and search ever-lower through the rings of the original Dante's Inferno in hopes of finding justice for his wife and children. However, Joe will soon discover that behind every sin lies a secret and each secret revealed could land Joe in an eternity of hot water... VERY hot.
"This tale works on all levels, and as well as being a clever exposition of today’s society and its morals, and how far we have fallen, it also works on the level that it is action packed throughout. In the end though, it is a tale of faith and of renewed hope for the future. I often found myself pausing through this book and pondering on things in my life. It is a story which will live long in the memory and that is the highest compliment one can pay to a book. I urge you to give this first time author a try. You will not be disappointed. It is a cathartic experience. It is also a wonderful modern retelling of the classical poem, and one that deserves widespread reading. As for me I will be passing this book onto my family and friends, as well as finally giving Dante’s The Inferno a go." Fantasy Book Review
- Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
Elena Michaels is a model woman for the 21st century: self-assured, keenly intelligent, fighting fit. And like every modern woman, she has her secrets. Nothing extraordinary about that. Except that Elena really is extraordinary. In fact, she may well be the most extraordinary woman alive. She is, after all, the only female werewolf in the world... Ten years ago, against her will, Elena's lover turned her into a werewolf. Some days it feels like a gift. Most days it feels like a curse. A year ago, she decided to live as a human. Now she has to go back to New York State, her old home. Her pack is under seige by a new group of violent, psychotic werewolves that shows no respect for the old ways, and no respect for territory. Forced into helping her old friends, Elena soon slips back into the reassuring camaradarie of the pack, though she struggles against her dangerous, unpredictable desires. Hunting down her enemies, Elena prowls through territories usually barred to women. From dangerous back alleys to the dark, luscious forests of New York State, she must hunt and destroy the renegade pack before they destroy her.
"Filled with romance and supernatural intrigue, this book will remind readers of Anne Rice's sophisticated refurbishings of the vampire story' Publishers Weekly 'After the first nibble it's hard to stop ... Gory, sexy fun" SFX
"My love affair with urban fantasy started a long time ago, when I was an early teenager. I thought to myself that my literary sense had to grow up a bit and start reading things that didn’t have Harry Potter or the world of Narnia inside them. We all grow through this phase I guess, and we all eventually find those special first books that propel us from ‘young adult’ to just ‘adult’ novels that thrill, excite and satisfy us when we read them." Fantasy Book Review
- Blood and Feathers by Lou Morgan
Alice isn’t having the best of days: she got rained on, missed her bus, was late for work. When two angels arrive, claiming her life so far is a lie, it turns epic, grand scale worse. The war between the angels and the Fallen is escalating; an age-old balance is tipping, and innocent civilians are getting caught in the cross-fire. The angels must act to restore the balance – or risk the Fallen taking control. Forever. Hunted by the Fallen and guided by Mallory – a disgraced angel with a drinking problem – Alice will learn the truth about her own history… And why the angels want to send her to Hell. What do the Fallen want from her? How does Mallory know so much about her past? What is it the angels are hiding – and can she trust either side? Caught between the power plays of the angels and Lucifer himself, it isn’t just Hell’s demons that Alice will have to defeat…
"There are a lot of things going on in Blood and Feathers that I can continue for quite some time still. Like the division of hierarchy in Heaven with the Choirs and awesome powers that they have, but then this would be too lengthy. Blood and Feathers is a great start to a series having a great writing style that got me through this book in an afternoon. Next there is a cast of likeable characters bolstered by their own personalities and a dose of humour, last is the action that forces you to read this book in one sitting." Fantasy Book Review
- The Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams
Sure, he takes the occasional trip to Heaven, but his job as an advocate - arguing the fate of the recently deceased - keeps him pretty busy on Earth, and he's more than happy to spend the rest of his time propping up the bar with his fellow immortals. Until the day a soul goes missing, presumed stolen by 'the other side'. A new chapter in the war between heaven and hell is about to open. And Bobby is right in the middle of it, with only a desirable but deadly demon to aid him.
"Tad Williams has made his urban fantasy come alive with characters who are well-rounded with reason and direction, resplendent with a rich history and back story."
- Monster Republic by Ben Horton
An explosion in a nuclear power plant. Kids patched up with scavenged body parts and bionic implants. A growing army of superhuman soldiers programmed for destruction. 'No', whispered Cameron to the monster in the glass. And he watched it shaking its hideous head. 'That's not me. You're not me'.
"Monster Republic is a book with a beating heart (even if it’s a heart wired up to the electrics). Cameron’s just a normal teen and that’s what’ll stick with you until the very last page (by which time you’ll be desperate for book two... yes, did I mention... this is book one in a series!). Verdict: A fast-paced, exciting read for people who like books, people who don’t like books, people who like film, people who don’t like film, boys, girls, people who breathe oxygen... you get the idea."
- The Hollow City by Dan Wells
Michael Shipman is paranoid schizophrenic; he suffers from hallucinations, delusions, and complex fantasies of persecution and horror. That's bad enough. But what can he do if some of the monsters he sees turn out to be real? Who can you trust if you can't even trust yourself?
"The Hollow City is an excellent addition from Wells, a story that is not trying to exploit mental illness as a plot device, but rather tries to educate readers about what schizophrenia really is and how scary it is for people who have to live with it. If you haven’t read anything by Wells before, or if you aren’t a fan of his Young Adult works, then you should definitely give this book a try as I believe it showcases what he does best – coming up with awesome characters and torturing them psychologically."
- Ben Street: the Secret of the Lost Soul by Tobias Cooke
When the students of a famous Performing Arts School left for their outing to Stonehenge one morning in 1946, they had no idea they would witness the crash of a meteorite. Nor did they know that one of the pupils would be murdered as a result. The meteorite had brought with it the last of a species of giant 'Scarigus' flies. Ben Street, a talented twelve year old singer and dancer, arrives at the same school about sixty years later and the ghost of the murdered pupil tries to make desperate contact with him. Ben mysterously starts acquiring supernatural powers and knows he must find out why. Hilarious supernatural situations in class and in school show rehearsals are the result! Then it becomes serious as Ben is embroiled in a quest to expose the secret murderer, by fighting against the forces of a ghostly and evil protector monster. He is helped with the investigation by his friends Laura and Hittendra in a tense search for justice. But can Ben expose what no grown up has done for over sixty years? Ben must formulate a plan to out the murderer. Fail and be kicked out of school, or succeed and be a hero. That's the only choice. Meanwhile, Ben joins a team to fight for glory in the school stage show competition performed in front of top talent spotters. He has troublesome pupil Tom Cortazzi as his mentor, who competes with Ben to maintain his rising star status in the school. Suspicions fall upon several characters and a mystery talent spotter who vanishes at the end of the stage show.
"This book is a worthy debut for Tobias Cooke. It is a unique storyline using relatively easy and sometimes very fine prose maintaining a high level of interest throughout the book. It is a mystery and a thriller all in one with the added bonus that it will make you laugh too." Fantasy Book Review
- Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey
Life sucks and then you die. Or, if you’re James Stark, you spend eleven years in Hell as a hitman before finally escaping, only to land back in the hell-on-earth that is Los Angeles. Now Stark’s back, and ready for revenge. And absolution, and maybe even love. But when his first stop saddles him with an abusive talking head, Stark discovers that the road to absolution and revenge is much longer than you’d expect, and both Heaven and Hell have their own ideas for his future. Resurrection sucks. Saving the world is worse.
"Sandman is dark, funny and well written. Kadrey isn’t afraid to slap the bad guys about in inventive and descriptive ways."
- Dawn of the Exile by Mitchell Hogan
- Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig
Miriam Black knows when you will die. Still in her early twenties, she's foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, suicides, and slow deaths by cancer. But when Miriam hitches a ride with truck driver Louis Darling and shakes his hand, she sees that in thirty days Louis will be gruesomely murdered while he calls her name. Miriam has given up trying to save people; that only makes their deaths happen. But Louis will die because he met her, and she will be the next victim. No matter what she does she can't save Louis. But if she wants to stay alive, she'll have to try.
"Blackbirds is rough, it’s coarse, its full of some quite confronting scenes and is definitely not the book for people who are looking for a light hearted romp through a magical fairy land. In fact, if you have any sort of morals in your body, this book will find a way to offend at least one of them. And I really like that. Blackbirds dares you to get down and dirty, dares you to like this miscreant from the wrong side of the tracks, and by the end you will either love her or you will hate her. Blackbirds is a unique experience, you should really give it a try."
- Deadbeat - Makes You Stronger by Guy Adams
Max and Tom are old, old friends, who used to be actors. Tom now owns a jazz nightclub called Deadbeat which, as well as being their source of income, is also something of an in-joke. In a churchyard one night they see men loading a coffin into the back of a van. But, why take a full coffin away from a graveyard and, more importantly, why is the occupant still breathing? Tom and Max are on the case.
"I found Deadbeat – Makes You Stronger thoroughly entertaining and very, very funny. This has plenty of unexpected twists, nasty shocks and surprises. It is also ambitious, yet grounded, macabre, yet funny. Reading like a twenty first century Raymond Chandler novel with a supernatural twist... I cannot wait for the next one!" Fantasy Book Review
- The Year of the Ladybird by Graham Joyce
It is the summer of 1976, the hottest since records began and a young man leaves behind his student days and learns how to grow up. A first job in a holiday camp beckons. But with political and racial tensions simmering under the cloudless summer skies there is not much fun to be had. And soon there is a terrible price to be paid for his new found freedom and independence. A price that will come back to haunt him, even in the bright sunlight of summer.
"With its strong visuals, compulsive mystery and high drama I heartily recommend this. The Year of the Ladybird is much more than a ghost story."
- The Never Pages by Graham Thomas
The Never Pages is a very odd book to behold – there's no blurb on the back, no author announced on the front and it actually looks like an old journal. It tells us the story of Mr G____, a Dream Investigator who is travelling through the Never Realm in order to find his lover Lucy and answers from a mysterious man called Brekker. When you begin reading, that is all you know. Mr G____ is an Investigator, and as such approaches everything in a very methodical and detailed way, taking note of every single thing in his journal. This can, at first, be quite distancing – everything is presented in a very clinical way. Slowly details about Mr G____'s journey emerge, and as he grows as a character you begin to like him more and more, until his journey becomes your own.
"As you can probably tell from my gushing words, I really enjoyed this book. I wasn't sure what to expect when I began reading, and the first few chapters can take a little while to settle into if you question the what/why/how too much, but once you let go of these conventional storytelling techniques, The Never Pages can take you on a most fantastic journey."
- The Clown Service by Guy Adams
The Department: Section 37 Station Office, Wood Green. The Boss: August Shining, an ex-Cambridge, Cold War-era spy. The Mission: Charged with protecting Great Britain and its interests from paranormal terrorism. The Threat: An old enemy has returned, and with him Operation Black Earth, a Soviet plan to create the ultimate insurgents by re-animating the dead.
"Once I started to read this I just couldn’t put it down and read it straight through to the end. August and Toby are well fleshed-out and a good match for one another, and the supporting cast, which includes August’s delightful battle-axe sister called April (apparently their parents had better things to be doing than thinking up names), keep the action flowing. I always find London a great setting for books, and this is no exception with its crumbling warehouses, seething crowds and a very British way of doing things. I would highly recommend this book and look forward to the next."
- Nameless: The Darkness Comes by Mercedes M Yardley
Yardley has shown that with Nameless, she has the ability to really make waves with longer form novels. This book is not as focused as Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu, and I don't think it is going to be to everyone's tastes, but it is definitely to my taste, and I can’t wait to see what Yardley writes next.
- The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff
Alysha Gale is twenty-four, unemployed, and tired of her family meddling in her life personally and magically. So when a letter arrives from her missing grandmother, bequeathing her a junk shop on the other side of Canada, Allie jumps at the chance to escape.
"The Enchantment Emporium can be confusing at the start (but whose family isn’t?) as you try to get to grips with the numerous layers of aunties, cousins, brothers, sisters and various other family members. But once you get past the first couple of pages it gets easier to understand as the story gets going. It is the mystery of who and what the family is that makes this book such a compulsive and enjoyable read. There are family secrets that need to be shared, loves lost and found and a whole lot of dragons. This is urban fantasy at the top of its game with a strong central focus and engaging characters who really come to life. Once I had finished the book, all I wanted to know was what happens next!"
- Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris
So welcome to Midnight where nothing is what it seems and not knowing everything about your neighbours may end up getting you killed. I enjoy this kind of story, a mystery/crime/thriller/urban fantasy novel, there is something for everyone here and enough loose ends to keep you intrigued to find out what could happen next. If you have read anything by Charlaine Harris I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed. If you haven’t read anything by Charlaine Harris, then Midnight Crossroad might be the book to get you started.
- Devourer of Souls by Kevin Lucia
Welcome to Clifton Heights, an average Adirondack town. It's nice enough, really. Except after dark. Or on cold winter days when you're all alone... Sophan. An ancient game of chance and Fate. One boy's smoldering hate, another boy's need to make things right, and a father's ghosts of Vietnam past. The Man in Yellow. Tahawus is a small, isolated Adirondack town just north of Clifton Heights. A quiet place filled with simple people of an ardent faith, nothing much ever happens there... until the man in yellow comes calling. He knows your worst nightmares, and he can offer your fondest wish. All you need is faith... and a mouth from which to scream.
"Devourer of Souls by Kevin Lucia is supernatural horror very much in the vein of Stephen King. It is made up of two novella length stories set in the same town, with a frame story that loosely connects the two novellas. While I don't think the horror in this book will make you wet your pants, it does establish an atmosphere that I think will make you feel uncomfortable and, for a horror story, that is a very good thing." Ryan Lawler, Fantasy Book Review
- Occupy Me by Tricia Sullivan
Tricia Sullivan has written an extraordinary, genre defining novel that begins with the mystery of a woman who barely knows herself and ends with a discovery that transcends space and time. On the way we follow our heroine as she attempts to track down a killer in the body of another man, and the man who has been taken over, his will trapped inside the mind of the being that has taken him over. And at the centre of it all a briefcase that contains countless possible realities.
"Occupy Me is very funny and highly unusual, not least of which is having a main character who isn’t just an angel, but a middle aged, black lesbian. It’s highly imaginative, difficult to categorise, and frequently bizarre. But what it has done is inspired me to go and read Sullivan’s other work because like Lauren Beukes, her stories certainly stand out out from the pack."
- Those Above by Daniel Polansky
They enslaved humanity three thousand years ago. Tall, strong, perfect, superhuman and near immortal they rule from their glittering palaces in the eternal city in the centre of the world. They are called Those Above by their subjects. They enforce their will with fire and sword. Twenty five years ago mankind mustered an army and rose up against them, only to be slaughtered in a terrible battle. Hope died that day, but hatred survived. Whispers of another revolt are beginning to stir in the hearts of the oppressed: a woman, widowed in the war, who has dedicated her life to revenge; the general, the only man to ever defeat one of Those Above in single combat, summoned forth to raise a new legion; and a boy killer who rises from the gutter to lead an uprising in the capital.
"Those Above is an intricately woven story that never feels overwrought but brings us deeper into a rich world with a myriad of characters that feel like individuals rather than background filler. This allows us to focus on the motivations of the four characters as their chapters entwine and gain insight into the world they live in which is full of wonders and misery. "
- This Savage Song by VE Schwab
Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city, a grisly metropolis where the violence has begun to create real and deadly monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the inhabitants pay for his protection. August just wants to be human, as good-hearted as his own father but his curse is to be what the humans fear. The thin truce that keeps the Harker and Flynn families at peace is crumbling, and an assassination attempt forces Kate and August into a tenuous alliance. But how long will they survive in a city where no one is safe and monsters are real...
"This is an intriguing start to a new series, there are a lot of questions about who ultimately benefits from the truce ending, will it be humanity or the monsters?"
- Demon Squad by Tim Marquitz
Half-devil and miles from anything resembling heroic, perpetual underdog Frank "Triggaltheron" Trigg is the last man standing against Armageddon. As the favorite nephew of the Devil, Frank has led a troubled life, but he'd always had his uncle's influence to fall back on. Now, with God and Lucifer coming to terms and leaving existence to fend for itself, his once exalted status of Anti-Christ-to-be does little to endear him to the hordes of angels and demons running amok in the Godless world. With help from the members of DRAC, an organization of wizards, psychics, telepaths, and low-end supernatural beings, Frank must thwart the pro-Armageddon forces and rescue an angel in whose life rests the fate of humanity. Better luck next time, humanity.
- Consorts of Heaven by Jaine Fenn
When a naked, amnesiac stranger is found outside a remote highland village, he is taken in by Kerin, a widow whose unconventional ways are tolerated because her son Damaru is "skytouched." All skytouched are able to affect matter, and are tested by the Beloved Daughter, the living goddess who rules the world from the City of Light. If he is found worthy, Damaru will become a Consort of the skymothers, the gods themselves. Kerin and the stranger—nicknamed Sais—accompany Damaru to the City, but as Sais recovers his memory, he realizes that the world does not work the way everyone else assumes it does. As Kerin and Sais uncover the true nature of the world, they discover the unimaginable fate of the Consorts, a fate Kerin will do anything to stop her son from sharing.
"Consorts of Heaven can be read as a stand-alone novel even though it is part of the Hidden Empire series. This and Principles of Angels are tied together by Guardians of Paradise, and continued in Bringer of Light. And yes, I loved the first enough to buy the whole set."
- Guardians of Paradise by Jaine Fenn
Most people believe the Sidhe are long dead, exterminated centuries ago when the males of the race rose up and fought alongside the humans subjugated and enslaved by the female Sidhe. But Jarek Reen knows better: he's discovered, the painful way, that the Sidhe are alive and well, and still screwing over humanity.
"Again, there are more tantalizing hints of the Sidhe powers and their civilization, and the rather frightening revelation that without them, humanity might not have been able to achieve such far-reaching space travel. But it is worth the price?"
- Immortal City by Scott Spear
What if angels not only walked among us - but were our celebrities? What if they saved people for money? That's the reality in Angel City, where hot young Jackson Godspeed is the angel everyone's dying to date. Everyone except for Madison Montgomery, that is. She's too busy studying and waitressing to pay attention to the gossip blogs. Then Jackson tumbles into the diner where she works, and they forge an instant, unforgettable connection. But as Maddy is reluctantly drawn into Jackson's glamorous world, Jackson fears he's exposing her to more than just the paparazzi. A serial killer is murdering one angel at a time. Not only could Jackson be next - but it seems the killer's got sights set on Maddy...
"Scott starts out creating a Hollywood style drama where everyone admires the angels, then something happens that moves the story into a fast paced mystery where Jackson and Maddy are on the run from the real criminals. At times it is tongue-in-cheek, others serious with powerful dialogue."
- Grace Under Fire by Frog and Esther Jones
It’s the 21st Century, and magic users are outlaws. The public considers summoners evil and in league with the Devil. So when someone or something wipes out the entire Spokane Grove, police are baffled and wary. After all, what is more powerful than a group of summoners? Grace Moore is a foodie – and a mid-level Seattle summoner – sent to investigate the murders. In her search, she discovers Robert, a streetwise teenager, who inherits his summoner uncle’s diary and performs a summoning to get back at a teenage rival – and accidentally attracts a giant demonic raccoon looking to devour anyone with talent. Robert is the most powerful magic user, albeit untrained, she’s ever seen. If the demon raccoon manages to devour him, Grace is sure that the cops won’t be the least of her problems – assuming she lives. But can she keep Robert safe and solve the murder of the magic users before she can become the next item on the demon’s menu?
"An excellent debut novel and a highly recommended addition to the YA, contemporary / urban genre." Fantasy Book Review
- John Dies at the End by David Wong
On the street they call it Soy Sauce, it is a drug that promises an out-of-body experience with each hit, and lets users drift across time and dimensions. But some who come back are no longer human. Suddenly, a silent otherworldly invasion is underway, and mankind needs a hero. What it gets instead is John and David, a pair of college dropouts who can barely hold down jobs. Can these two stop the oncoming horror in time to save humanity? No. No, they can't...
"If you mixed 'Ghostbusters' with 'Shaun of the Dead' and added some abnormal fantasy drugs into the mix then you’d almost be in the right genre for this story. The writer, going under the persona of the main character 'David Wong', makes clear from the start of the book that no one can be trusted; not even himself, even telling us that parts of the story have been elaborated or made up. This makes the story very clever and the reader therefore has no clear idea of what is truth and what is not when they start reading, setting them up very nicely for the question they all want to know - does John die at the end? This lack of trust, along with the weird simultaneous mix throughout of horror and humour is what makes the book truly scary."
- The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The Lovely Bones is the story of a family devastated by a gruesome murder -- a murder recounted by the teenage victim. Upsetting, you say? Remarkably, first-time novelist Alice Sebold takes this difficult material and delivers a compelling and accomplished exploration of a fractured family's need for peace and closure. The details of the crime are laid out in the first few pages: from her vantage point in heaven, Susie Salmon describes how she was confronted by the murderer one December afternoon on her way home from school. Lured into an underground hiding place, she was raped and killed. But what the reader knows, her family does not. Anxiously, we keep vigil with Susie, aching for her grieving family, desperate for the killer to be found and punished.
"The Lovely Bones was a very well-known book even before Peter Jackson adapted it for the silver screen in 2010. But its origins were modest, the book's publisher, Little, Brown and Company, would have been happy had it sold 20,000 copies. But thanks to a clever marketing campaign and the power of word-of-mouth recommendations it made the New York Time best-seller list, on which it remained for over a year."
- The Solstice Treaty by David Belltower
Welcome to the Shade. In the small town of Beaver Hollow, West Virginia, forester Mark Steele has experienced the same reoccurring vision since he was a boy - one that foreshadows a towering tree, menacing premonitions and his own suffocating demise. Tess McCoy is a former captain in the United States Army, harbours a debilitating secret and can't get far enough from her mountain roots to save her life. When a mystifying accident takes the life of Tess' younger brother, a series of preternatural events are set into motion, propelling the former lovers from the oak-lined streets of the sleepy West Virginia town to an impenetrable hidden fortress within German-occupied France to the ever-changing seasons of an aberrant land − a wondrous otherworld called the Shade. Here, within this tethered realm, they discover an ageless war between two fabled brothers and the terrifying pact made in the closing days of World War II - a pact that will ultimately bring destruction to modern day America.
"I was given a copy of David Belltower’s The Solstice Treaty to review. I settled down the other night, fired up the ol’ Kindle, and began this gripping tale. And when I say gripping, I mean that it GRIPS you like the demon on the front cover and won’t let go even after you’ve finished. I won’t lie and tell you that I wasn’t just a bit envious of the obvious amazing talent of this author. I am now his number one fan (don’t worry, I’m not carrying a hammer… yet!) and will read any and everything that this author puts out in the future."
- God's Eye by AJ Scudiere
Katharine Geryon is living the life her family name has dictated, and why not? After all, it has given her a good job in the family company and a fine life with all the things she should want. But all that changes as increasingly disturbing events begin to occur: soot stains on the carpet, glimpses of strange black animals, and cryptic messages written on her bathroom mirror. Baffled and afraid, Katharine begins to doubt her own sanity. At the same time, two charismatic men enter her life: Allistair, her new assistant at work, and Zachary, a well-heeled neighbour who just moved into her building. Katharine soon finds each of them inextricably entangled in her affairs. As her life becomes stranger and her dreams more terrifying, she realizes neither man is what he seems and that she's caught in something far beyond her own comprehension. For the first time, she must reach beyond her own boundaries.
"God’s Eye has great, well developed characters, great writing style and an even better setting, using supernatural, thriller and romantic themes to enliven the story in a nice way. But the focus, in my opinion, is not on any of these three. Instead for me you she how Katharine is struggling in her changed life and how she is tackling some off the new introduced problems, which are caused by the above mentioned themes. In the end there are a few plot twist and the last pages really marks it a nice and well rounded story. Recommended."
- License to Ensorcell by Katharine Kerr
Psychic Agent Nola O'Grady isn't sure returning to San Francisco, and living near her unusual family, is a good idea. Her job, with a psychic agency so obscure even the CIA doesn't know it exists, can be perilous, and she's afraid of the relatives getting involved. Then the Agency saddles her with Israeli secret agent Ari Nathan, and she has a bigger problem on her hands, because tact and compromise are not Ari's strong points. Their mission is to track down a serial killer obsessed with werewolves. He sees them everywhere and shoots whenever he thinks he has one in his sights. Ari assumes the man's psychotic, but in truth he's murdering actual werewolves. Nola should know. Her younger brother Pat, a lycanthrope, was the first victim. Can Nola's psychic talents and Ari's skill with guns keep them alive long enough to unravel the greater mystery behind the killings? Can they save the werewolves and the world while stopping Nola's family from running headlong into danger?
"I was so excited to find this new release that I ordered it immediately and promptly finished it cover to cover less than 24 hours after it made it to my door. I can’t say it had anywhere near the depth of her previous work and I can concede it has a bit of a ‘chick thing’ going for it, but for me, this was a fast-paced, gripping and immensely enjoyable read that gave me a warm fuzzy feeling inside. It had it’s own unique flavour, was full of witty flirtatious banter and the right amount of mystery to keep me guessing. I can’t wait to get stuck into the next one (already on it’s way)!"
- Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings
15-year-old Julie Richardson is about to learn that being the daughter of a witch isn't all it’s cracked up to be. When she and her best friend and uber-geek, Marcus, witness an elderly lady jettisoned out the front door of her home, it’s pretty obvious to Julie there’s a supernatural connection. The house is occupied by a poltergeist and in order to reclaim it, Julie’s going to have to exorcise the spirit. Of course, she’ll need her mother’s help and what teenager in their right mind wants that? Surely she can do this on her own – right? But there’s a whisper of menace behind increasing levels of poltergeist activity all over town. After a large-scale paranormal assault on Julie’s high school, her mother falls victim to Endless Night – a dark spell that rips her mom's soul from her mortal body. Now it’s a race against time to find out who is responsible or Julie won’t just lose her mother’s soul, she’ll lose her mother’s life.
"Poltergeeks is a fun coming of age story, one that feels like a cross between Sabrina The Teenage Witch, Charmed, and Ghostbusters. It is one of the more fun stories I have read this year, something that I have needed given all the serious fantasy stories I seem to have been reading of late. This is a book that should have no trouble making you smile at least once." Ryan Lawler, Fantasy Book Review
- The Fallen and Leviathan by Thomas E Sniegoski
On his eighteenth birthday, Aaron begins to hear strange voices and is convinced he is going insane. But having moved from foster home to foster home, Aaron doesn't know whom he can trust. He wants to confide in the cute girl from class, but he's afraid she'll confirm he's crazy. Then a mysterious man begins following Aaron. He knows about Aaron's troubled past and his new powers. And he has a message for Aaron: As the son of a mortal and an angel, Aaron has been chosen to redeem the Fallen. Aaron tries to dismiss the news and resists his supernatural abilities. But he must accept his newfound heritage - and quickly. For the dark powers are gaining strength, and are hell-bent on destroying him...
"The time for forgiveness has come and those who once fell shall be reunited with their creator. In this breath-taking series we are reminded that once we fall, we fall hard and fast and the price we pay for the ‘mistakes’ we’ve made are sometimes greater and longer lasting then we expected. Written in a way that is very easy to get in to, fans of young-adult fantasy, who like their novels to have a dark side, will love what they find here. Certainly recommended… but not for the delicate."
- The Rook by Daniel OMalley
The body you are wearing used to be mine. So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her. She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Chequy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain. She also discovers that she possesses a rare, potentially deadly supernatural ability of her own.
"The Rook is definitely recommended. As far as debuts go, this is an amazingly rich and well though-out story. Having an amnesiac as the main protagonist who has to rediscover herself from scratch was an excellent idea. Additionally, there is the weird and wonderful set of characters from both from the Chequy and the Grafters that make this story even richer. The Rook brings a new and refreshing story to urban fantasy." Fantasy Book Review
- The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig
Meet Mookie Pearl. Criminal underworld? He runs it. Supernatural underworld? He hunts in it. Nothing stops Mookie when he’s on the job. But when his daughter takes up arms and opposes him, something’s gotta give...
"Chuck Wendig's style is not for everyone - he doesn't hold any punches, he makes use of some amazingly graphic similes, his books are bloody and violent, and his characters don’t shy away from the foul language. The Blue Blazes is an in-your-face book, one that will take you on a rollercoaster ride, making sure you feel every punch and kick along the way. I definitely recommend that you give it a try and see if it’s the type of book for you."
- The Weight of Souls by Bryony Pearce
Sixteen year old Taylor Oh is cursed: if she is touched by the ghost of a murder victim then they pass a mark beneath her skin. She has three weeks to find their murderer and pass the mark to them – letting justice take place and sending them into the Darkness. And if she doesn’t make it in time? The Darkness will come for her... She spends her life trying to avoid ghosts, make it through school where she’s bullied by popular Justin and his cronies, keep her one remaining friend, and persuade her father that this is real and that she’s not going crazy. But then Justin is murdered and everything gets a whole lot worse. Justin doesn’t know who killed him, so there’s no obvious person for Taylor to go after. The clues she has lead her to the V Club, a vicious secret society at her school where no one is allowed to leave… and where Justin was dared to do the stunt which led to his death. Can she find out who was responsible for his murder before the Darkness comes for her? Can she put aside her hatred for her former bully to truly help him? And what happens if she starts to fall for him?
"Strange Chemistry continues to prove that they are leading the way in the field of YA Science Fiction and Fantasy, and they have fast become a publisher whose books I will trust sight unseen. The Weight of Souls was a fun and easy read, and even easier to recommend. I can’t wait to see what happens next."
- A Stir of Echoes by Richard Matheson
Tom Wallace lived an ordinary life, until a chance event awakened psychic abilities he never knew he possessed. Now he's hearing the private thoughts of the people around him-and learning shocking secrets he never wanted to know. But as Tom's existence becomes a waking nightmare, even greater jolts are in store as he becomes the unwilling recipient of a compelling message from beyond the grave!
"Although not on a par with I Am Legend (which few books are), A Stir of Echoes is still a powerful and, coming in at just over 200 pages, quick read."
- Soul Mates by LA Weatherly
How can you miss someone you've never met? This is the premise of Soul Mates, a paranormal romance from the author of the best-selling Angel series, L. A. Weatherly.
- The Collector by Chris F Holm
Meet Sam Thornton. He collects souls. Sam’s job is to collect the souls of the damned, and ensure they are dispatched to the appropriate destination. But when he’s sent to collect the soul of a young woman he believes to be innocent of the horrific crime that’s doomed her to Hell, he says something no Collector has ever said before. “No.”
"This is a fun book full of cool concepts and big action sequences. Mysteries are posed, answers that make sense are found, and characters are fundamentally changed in the process. Holm has created a fantastic world and I can’t wait to see what happens next." Ryan Lawler, Fantasy Book Review
- Night After Night by Phil Rickman
Leo Defford doesn't believe in ghosts. But, as the head of an independent production company, he does believe in high-impact TV. Defford hires journalist Grayle Underhill to research the history of Knap Hall, a one-time Tudor farmhouse that became the ultimate luxury guest house...until tragedy put it back on the market. Its recent history isn't conducive to a quick sale, but Defford isn't interested in keeping Knap Hall for longer than it takes to make a reality TV show that will run night after night...A house isolated by its rural situation and its dark reputation. Seven people, nationally known, but strangers to one another, locked inside. But this time, Big Brother may not be in control.
"With Halloween this is obviously an excellent time of year for a scary story, but Night After Night is also very well written and, best of all, doesn’t give away all of the answers." Cat Fitzpatrick
- Eyes Deep by Tim Marquitz
No one trusts a doppelganger, and for good reason. Behind every stolen identity lies murder. For Theodor Crane, his latest crime comes with a new family, a new job, a new set of troubles, yet there’s no escaping his past lives. On the precipice of war between humans and supernaturals, Theo is thrust in the middle, charged with maintaining the balance while keeping his true identity a secret. Conspiracies and old hatreds lurk just below the surface, creeping to a head as the veil between the two worlds slowly crumbles. Failure means reigniting an age old conflict. Success means living a lie for the rest of his days. Either way, Theo loses.
"Eyes Deep is a solid introduction to a new world that has left me intrigued and wanting to know more. The recurring message in this review is that what we were given is not enough, and while I was left satisfied at the end, I wonder what this could have been had Marquitz gone for a full novel length story. I'm definitely invested, and I will be back to see where this story goes next." Ryan Lawler
- Medusa's Web by Tim Powers
In the wake of their Aunt Amity’s suicide, Scott and Madeline Madden are summoned to Caveat, the eerie, decaying mansion in the Hollywood hills in which they were raised. But their decadent and reclusive cousins, the malicious wheelchair-bound Claimayne and his sister, Ariel, do not welcome Scott and Madeline’s return to the childhood home they once shared… Decorated by bits salvaged from old hotels and movie sets, Caveat hides a dark family secret that stretches back to the golden days of Rudolph Valentino and the silent film stars… As Madeline falls more completely under Caveat’s spell, Scott discovers that to protect her, he must unravel the mystery of the Madden family’s past and finally free them...
"The story concerns itself more with mystery and intrigue than out and out horror, but I really enjoyed reading as Scott and Madeline unravel more layers of Caveat's history. Fans of Powers will be thrilled. He is definitely on top of his game for this one. My only criticism is it could have been trimmed down a little here and there, but this is once again proof that Powers deserves his place at the top of fantasy authors today."
Mercenary Kate Daniels must risk all to protect everything she holds dear in this epic, can't-miss entry in the thrilling #1 New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series.Kate has come a long way from her origins as a loner taking care of paranormal problems in post-Shift Atlanta. She's made friends and enemies. S...
Recommended reads by sub-genre
Select a sub-genre below to see which books we highly recommend.
Fantasy set in an alternative, fictional world
Fantasy with epic characters, themes, and plot
Heroic / Sword and Sorcery
Fantasy with heroic adventures
Fantasy narrative with an urban setting
Historical fantasy / fiction
Historical fiction with fantasy elements
Fantasy set in parallel worlds
Science / Speculative
Draws elements from both science fiction and fantasy
Fantasy for ages up to 12
Fantasy for ages 12+
Fantasy for ages 18+
Dystopian / Post-Apocalyptic
Fiction set in dark, nightmarish worlds
Monarchy / Empire
Fantasy books with empires at their core
Fiction with elements of fear, horror, death, gloom and romance
Fiction with vampiric characters
Fiction with werewolf characters
Fiction with steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology
Fiction with the legendary, scaled, fire-breathing creatures
Wizards / Magicians
Fantasy with wizards, witches, magicians, sorceresses...
Lore, Legend and Mythology
Inspired by ancient folklore and mythology
Fantasy books focusing on mailtary life
Roman historical fiction
Explore the ancient Roman Empire
Books exploring the galaxy of the ever-popular franchise
Animal fantasy books
Fantasy with sentient animals
The Thief / Assassin
Fantasy books starring the thief or the assassin
Fiction exploring beyond the laws of nature
Japanese comic books and graphic novels
Liked to be scared? These books will do that...
For the reader who loves to laugh
Inspired by Tolkien
Love Lord of the Rings? Now try these...
The best science fiction and fantasy anthlogies