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.

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Recommended titles
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

Recommended for ages: Adult

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

Recommended for ages: Young adult and up

Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu by Mercedes M Yardley

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.

Recommended for ages: Adult

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

Recommended for ages: Adult

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

Recommended for ages: Young adult and up

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

Recommended for ages: Young adult and up

The Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams

The Dirty Streets of Heaven isn’t the basic battle between Heaven and Hell. Yes, it has angels, Yes, it has demons, but there is more to it. It is a great and awesome book, totally different from the other books Tad Williams has written but he will attract an even broader audience than before due to this. The book is a light and simple read but that doesn’t take away any of the depth normally seen in his works. From its great introduction to its full-tilt gun action and great character/world building The Dirty Streets of Heaven is rock(ing)-solid! All I can say is, “How many nights do I have to tick off for book 2 to be released?”

Recommended for ages: Adult

Monster Republic by Ben Horton

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.

Recommended for ages: Young adult and up

The Hollow City by Dan Wells

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.

Recommended for ages: Adult

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

Recommended for ages: Young adult and up

Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey

Sandman is dark, funny and well written. Kadrey isn’t afraid to slap the bad guys about in inventive and descriptive ways.

Recommended for ages: Adult

Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

When the dead come back to haunt the living, Lockwood & Co. step in... For more than fifty years, the country has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts. A number of Psychic Investigations Agencies have sprung up to destroy the dangerous apparitions. Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead she finds herself joining the smallest, most ramshackle agency in the city, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood. When one of their cases goes horribly wrong, Lockwood & Co. have one last chance of redemption. Unfortunately this involves spending the night in one of the most haunted houses in England, and trying to escape alive.

"I hold The Bartimaeus Trilogy and stand-alone novel Heroes of the Valley to be amongst the finest fantasy books I have read. So when a new book from their author Jonathan Stroud arrives my expectations are very high. And I was not disappointed as Lockwood & Co - which is aimed at a slightly older audience than previous novels - proved to be another wonderfully entertaining read." Fantasy Book Review

Recommended for ages: Young adult and up

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

Recommended for ages: Adult

The Year of the Ladybird by Graham Joyce

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.

Recommended for ages: Adult

The Never Pages by Graham Thomas

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.

Recommended for ages: Young adult and up

The Clown Service by Guy Adams

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.

Recommended for ages: Adult

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.

Recommended for ages: Adult

The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff

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!

Recommended for ages: Young adult and up

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.

Recommended for ages: Adult

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

Recommended for ages: Adult

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.

Recommended for ages: Adult

Consorts of Heaven by Jaine Fenn

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.

Recommended for ages: Adult

Guardians of Paradise by Jaine Fenn

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?

Recommended for ages: Adult

Immortal City by Scott Spear

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.

Recommended for ages: Young adult and up

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

Recommended for ages: Young adult and up

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