Halloween is just around the corner, and what better way to get into the spirit than by reading some paranormal books? Whether you're looking for spooky thrillers or light-hearted ghost stories, we've got you covered. Here are our top 10 picks to get you into the Halloween mood!
Best paranormal romance
Mercy Thompson makes the top of my list because Moon Called is one of those life changing books, or at least, it was for me. Patricia Briggs stands out as an impressive author in both her first installment, Moon Called, and the following books, too. Basically: in a world of werewolves, be a coyote shapeshifter, instead. Or at least, that's what Mercy struggles with.
The Moon Called series definitely falls into a dark fantasy category, with sometimes graphic descriptions of violence, sex scenes, and more.
For paranormal romance, this book is actually pretty light on the romance. But it's such a solid book and series all over for building an urban fantasy magical world that I have to give this top spot to Briggs.
What to watch out for
I do remember pretty graphic descriptions of sexual violence in these books, and of course – there are vampires. So if you're shopping for a teen, be sure to preview the text and make sure it's appropriate.
Get your copy of Moon Called right here.
Best literary fiction with paranormal themes
This literary fiction definitely veers over into the paranormal horror niche, but hang out here just a second. It's a novella written in 1842, where strange events start happening after villagers back out on a deal with a god. It's written in the 1800s, so you'll definitely feel fancy as you parse the pages of this literary fiction.
Is this the book you're looking for? It's called The Black Spider, and was written by Jeremias Gotthelf.
Best paranormal fantasy books
Since we already talked about Briggs' masterpiece, let's turn to Jim Butcher. Butcher has a lot of fans and a LOT of haters. To be fair, his first novel in the Dresden Files series reads a little elementarily. It follows a paranormal investigator as he checks out reports of supernatural creatures and, most often, gets in trouble because of his offputting nature.
But this series has everything you need and love. Vampires? Check. Ghosts? Check. Sworn enemies? Definitely check. Give Jim Butcher a try if you're looking for a fun read that is solidly within the paranormal fantasy genre.
Get the first Dresden Files book here and get lost in the story.
Most intriguing supernatural creatures
Octavia Butler has quickly become one of my favorite authors in the sci-fi and paranormal space. While all of her books are worthy, Fledgling is a vampire story, through and through. Of course, as it her way, her supernatural abilities as an author are to point out the dark fantasy of race, belonging, and real life. I really, REALLY love how Butler always weaves a scientific explanation into her literature – and this novel is no exception.
Enjoy Fledgling right here.
Must-read paranormal fantasy series
Kim Harrison is an author of paranormal books with a romance twist. They're a light weight, fun series of strange events that follows a young woman through encountering different magical creatures. The usual assortment can be found: warring factions, vampires, werewolves, and even a splash of lesbian flavored paranormal romance.
Check out The Hollows series from Kim Harrison right here.
Most of the great paranormal books out there are tinged with mystery. For this choice, though, I'll have to go with Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch. Think Harry Potter, but mystery and also for adults. This is a great little read and firmly within the mystery / police procedural genre.
Get Midnight Riot now.