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Recommended gothic fiction books

Gothic fiction ordinarily combines fiction, horror, death, and romance. Frankenstein, Dracula, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Melmoth the Wanderer are good examples. Elements often found in gothic fiction include a virginal maiden, and older, foolish woman, a hero, the tyrant/villain, bandits/ruffians, clergy, a setting - usually a castle, an abbey, a monastery, or some other, usually religious edifice.

1. Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
Score: 194
Our rating: 9.8 | 0 positive reader reviews
Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story.Meet Dodger, his twin. Numbers are her world, her obsession, her everything. All she understands, she does so through the power of math.Roger and [...]

2. The Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman
Score: 192
Our rating: 9.7 | 0 positive reader reviews
Set in a world of goblin wars, stag-sized battle ravens, and assassins who kill with deadly tattoos, Christopher Buehlman's The Blacktongue Thief begins a 'dazzling' (Robin Hobb) fantasy adventure unlike any other.Kinch Na Shannack owes the Takers Guild a small f [...]

3. Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake
The Gormenghast Trilogy: Book 1
Score: 185
Our rating: 9.0 | 6 positive reader reviews
Titus Groan is the Seventy Seventh Earl of Gormenghast in waiting and his birth begins this story and that of his rather eccentric family, their servants and the kingdom of Gormenghast itself. The story covers the first two years of Titus’ young life, from birth to his investiture as the se [...]

4. Idols Fall by Mike Shel
Iconoclasts #3
Score: 178
Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
“AT LONG LAST, EVEN GODS WILL KNOW REGRET…”Agnes Manteo now bears her father’s sentient Djao sword, along with a terrible revelation—the gods are charlatans, ancient sorcerers who draw their strength from the suffering of humanity. She and her Syraeic companions hav [...]

5. The Machine Stops by EM Forster
Score: 102
Our rating: 10.0 | 2 positive reader reviews
Imagine, if you can, a small room, hexagonal in shape, like the cell of a bee. It is lighted neither by window nor by lamp, yet it is filled with a soft radiance. There are no apertures for ventilation, yet the air is fresh. There are no musical instruments, and yet, at the moment that my meditat [...]

6. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Score: 97
Our rating: 9.5 | 2 positive reader reviews
Handsome Dorian Gray has found the secret of eternal youth. As those around him age, Gray remains young and beautiful. Knowing his actions have no consequences he lives a wild life of pleasure, breaking heart after heart – including that of a young actress called Sybil Vane. Gray treats her [...]

7. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy #2
Score: 96
Our rating: 9.6 | 0 positive reader reviews
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living - one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers' arms to take their turn in the killing and dying. Once, [...]

8. This Dark Endeavour by Kenneth Oppel
Score: 93
Our rating: 9.1 | 2 positive reader reviews
In this prequel to Mary Shelley's gothic classic, Frankenstein, 16-year-old Victor Frankenstein begins a dark journey that will change his life forever. Victor's twin, Konrad, has fallen ill, and no doctor is able to cure him. Unwilling to give up on his brother, Victor enlists his beauti [...]

9. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Score: 92
Our rating: 9.1 | 1 positive reader reviews
A misguided scientist seeks to instill life in a creature he has assembled from the bodies of the dead. [...]

10. White Crow by Marcus Sedgwick
Score: 92
Our rating: 9.1 | 1 positive reader reviews
Winterfold, a place of crumbling cliff paths, deserted churches and ruined graveyards, forms the backdrop for Marcus Sedgwick's latest work, White Crow, a contemporary gothic thriller for young-adults. Rebecca is an unwilling visitor to Winterfold during a long, hot, claustrophobic summer and [...]

11. The Hound of the D'Urbervilles by Kim Newman
Professor Moriarty Novels
Score: 92
Our rating: 9.2 | 0 positive reader reviews
Imagine the twisted evil twins of Holmes and Watson and you have the dangerous duo of Professor James Moriarty – wily, snake-like, fiercely intelligent, terrifyingly unpredictable – and Colonel Sebastian “Basher” Moran – violent, politically incorrect, debauched. Tog [...]

12. Master Artificer by Justin Call
The Silent Gods #2
Score: 91
Our rating: 9.3 | 0 positive reader reviews
Annev and his friends have survived the destruction of Chaenbalu, but greater threats await them in the capital city of Luqura.As Annev navigates the city’s perilous streets, he must also evade those who seek to possess and destroy him while seeking answers to the questions that cont [...]

13. The Scholar's Tale by Reggie Oliver
The Dracula Papers: Book 1
Score: 90
Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Bram Stoker's immortal Dracula told us about Count Dracula as an undead vampire. But how did this come to be? Who was Dracula in real life? There has always been speculation, but The Dracula Papers now offers the ultimate answer. It takes us back to the year 1576, to the wild land of Transylv [...]

14. When We Were Animals by Joshua Gaylord
Score: 90
Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
A small, quiet Midwestern town, unremarkable save for one fact: when the local teenagers reach a certain age, they run wild. When Lumen Fowler looks back on her childhood, she is surprised that she became a kind suburban wife, a devoted mother. In fact, she never thought she would escape her home [...]

15. Torment by Lauren Kate
The Fallen Series: Book 2
Score: 87
Our rating: 8.4 | 3 positive reader reviews
It took Lucinda an eternity to find her beloved angel, Daniel. But he waited for her. Now they are forced apart again, to protect Luce from the Outcasts - immortals who want her dead. During their separation, Luce learns about her mysterious past lives. But the more she discovers, the more she su [...]

16. Golgotha Falls: Genesis by George Udenkwo
Score: 86
Our rating: 8.6 | 0 positive reader reviews
Golgotha Falls: A city of carnal nightmare and monstrous appetite, nowhere in all the worlds of empire will you find its equal. Forged from dark science and steeped in ancient myth, it is a city ruled by ancient gods and policed by angels, where your every desire can be satiated and your every te [...]

17. Never The Bride by Paul Magrs
Brenda #1
Score: 85
Our rating: 8.5 | 0 positive reader reviews
Brenda has had a long and eventful life, and she has come to Whitby to run a B&B and enjoy some peace and quiet. She and her best friend Effie like nothing better than going out for tea and keeping their eyes open for mysterious goings on in town. And what with satanic beauty salons, roving p [...]

18. Harrison Squared by Daryl Gregory
Score: 84
Our rating: 8.4 | 0 positive reader reviews
Harrison is a lonely teenager, afraid of water ever since a boating accident as a toddler. And he and his mother have just moved to the worst possible place: Dunnsmouth, a Lovecraftian town on the Atlantic coast. When his mother disappears, Harrison tries to solve the mystery, putting him in conf [...]

19. Incubus by Carol Goodman
Fairwick Chronicles: Book 1
Score: 83
Our rating: 8.0 | 3 positive reader reviews
Ever since moving to Fairwick to take up a teaching post at the local college, Callie has been having vivid, erotic dreams about a man made out of moonlight and shadows. Dreams she begins to fear as well as anticipate... She learns that her home - a Victorian cottage at the edge of a wood she bou [...]

20. Such Wicked Intent by Kenneth Oppel
Score: 83
Our rating: 8.3 | 0 positive reader reviews
When does obsession become madness? Tragedy has forced sixteen-year-old Victor Frankenstein to swear off alchemy forever. He burns the Dark Library. He vows he will never dabble in the dark sciences again, just as he vows he will no longer covet Elizabeth, his brother's betrothed. If only the [...]

21. Widow's Welcome by DK Fields
Tales of Fenest: Book 1
Score: 83
Our rating: 8.5 | 0 positive reader reviews
Dead bodies aren't unusual in the alleyways of Fenest, capital of the Union of Realms. Especially not in an election year, when the streets swell with crowds from near and far. Muggings, brawls gone bad, debts collected - Detective Cora Gorderheim has seen it all. Until she finds a Wayward ma [...]

22. The Stitcher and the Mute by DK Fields
Tales of Fenest: Book 2
Score: 83
Our rating: 8.5 | 0 positive reader reviews
Detective Cora Gorderheim has found the man who strangled the Wayward storyteller. But he was just a small part of a much bigger tale. Someone powerful ordered a murder on Cora's patch. That someone still lurks in the shadows. But as she continues her investigations, Cora is warned not to pry [...]

23. Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest
Eden Moore series: Book 1
Score: 82
Our rating: 8.2 | 0 positive reader reviews
What Eden Moore digs up in the roots of her diseased family tree takes her across the South, from the ruins of the Pine Breeze sanitarium in Tennessee to a corpse-filled swamp in Florida, and back in time to the Civil War, when the taint in her family bloodline sets in motion events building only [...]

24. Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling by Michael Boccacino
Score: 81
Our rating: 8.1 | 0 positive reader reviews
When the nanny to the young Darrow boys is found murdered on the outskirts of Blackfield, Charlotte Markham, the recently hired governess, steps in to take over their care. During an outing in the forest, they find themselves crossing over into The Ending, the place for the Things That Cannot Die [...]

25. Hide Me Among the Graves by Tim Powers
Score: 80
Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
London, 1862. A city of over three million souls, of stinking fog and dark, winding streets. Through these streets walks the poet Christina Rossetti, haunted and tormented by the ghost of her uncle, John Polidori. Without him, she cannot write, but her relationship with him threatens to shake Lon [...]

26. The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr Spencer Black by EB Hudspeth
Score: 80
Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Philadelphia, the late 1870s. A city of gas lamps, cobblestone streets, and horse-drawn carriages - and home to the controversial surgeon Dr. Spencer Black. The son of a grave robber, young Dr. Black studies at Philadelphia’s esteemed Academy of Medicine, where he develops an unconventional [...]

27. Managing Death by Trent Jamieson
Death Works Trilogy #2
Score: 80
Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Steven has a new job, with an important-sounding job title: Australia’s Regional Death. On a good day he thinks it has quite a ring to it, but on a bad day (that’s most of them) it’s more of a toll. He’s recently averted a Regional Apocalypse, but a huge national death cou [...]

28. Winter's Reach by Craig Schaefer
The Revanche Cycle #1
Score: 80
Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Pope Benignus is dying, and the man who takes his throne will hold the reins of an empire. Conspiracies swirl like shadows around Livia, the pope's daughter, who refuses to be anyone's pawn: chasing the whispers of a deadly coup, she vows to expose the truth and save her church from disas [...]

29. A Dark Inheritance by Todd Herzman
Hollow Fate Book 1
Score: 78
Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
It’s a dark path to power.When Ruben is bound by blood magic and hauled across the sea to where the God King reigns, he has only one goal: escape.As he tries to resist his master’s pull, he discovers a secret—the reason he was taken from his family—Ruben is a [...]

30. Cabal by Clive Barker
Score: 75
Our rating: 7.5 | 0 positive reader reviews
A fabulous journey through the mind of the master of dark imaginative fiction, Clive Barker.The nightmare had begun….Boone knew that there was no place on this earth for him now; no happiness here, not even with Lori. He would let Hell claim him, let Death take him there. [...]

31. Death Most Definite by Trent Jamieson
Death Works Trilogy #1
Score: 75
Our rating: 7.5 | 0 positive reader reviews
Steve knew something was wrong as soon as he saw the dead girl in the Wintergarden food court. Nothing new - he saw dead people all the time - but this one was about to save his life... Steve is a necromancer in the family firm, tasked with easing spirits from this dimension to the next after dea [...]

32. A Pretty Mouth by Molly Tanzer
Score: 70
Our rating: 7.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Henry Milliner thinks his days of being the school pariah are over forever when he attracts the attention of Wadham College's coolest Fellow Commoner, St John Clement, the Lord Calipash. St John is everything Henry isn't: Brilliant, graceful, rich, universally respected. And as if that wa [...]

33. Danse Macabre by Laura M Hughes
Score: 70
Our rating: 7.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
The dead beckon and the little girl obeys. Night after night she answers the graveyard’s call, though she dreads her encounters with the creature that dwells there. But she’ll soon come to learn that memories are much more dangerous than monsters... [...]