dark fantasy

10/14/2016 - 12:38am
If you like The Shining by Stephen King

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading  recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

The Shining by Stephen King
Jack Torrance's new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he'll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote--and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old. (catalog summary)

If you like Stephen King, read some of his other popular horror novels:


Carrie by Stephen King
Carrie White may have been unfashionable and unpopular, but she had a gift. Carrie could make things move by concentrating on them. A candle would fall. A door would lock. This was her power and her sin. Then, an act of kindness, as spontaneous as the vicious taunts of her classmates, offered Carrie a chance to be a normal and go to her senior prom. But another act--of ferocious cruelty--turned her gift into a weapon of horror and destruction that her classmates would never forget. (catalog summary)



Cujo By Stephen King
It happens innocently enough, but doesn't it always. A big, friendly dog chases a rabbit into a hidden underground cave--and stirs a sleeping evil crueler than death itself. A terrified four-year-old boy sees his bedroom closet door swing open untouched by human hands, and screams at the unholy red eyes gleaming in the darkness. The little Maine town of Castle Rock is about to be invaded by the most hideous menace ever to savage the flesh and devour the mind. (catalog summary)


08/11/2016 - 10:33am
If you like the Mortal Instrument series by Cassandra Clare

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you.  Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (Book #1 in the Mortal Instruments series)
Suddenly able to see demons and the Darkhunters who are dedicated to returning them to their own dimension, fifteen-year-old Clary Fray is drawn into this bizzare world when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a monster.

If you like City of Bones you'll want to read the rest of the Mortal Instruments series: City of AshesCity of GlassCity of Fallen AngelsCity of Lost Souls and City of Heavenly Fire.


If you are an adult, and you like the Mortal Insturment series, try these titles as well:


13 Bullets by David Wellington (The other book in the series: 99 Coffins)
The first in a bloodcurdling trilogy, the terrifying novel that became an Internet sensation is finally available in print. Featuring Laura Caxton and Jameson Arkeley's fight against a fast, furious, and truly vicious foe, this novel reignites the vampire genre for a new generation. (catalog summary)


Blood Kiss: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward
Paradise, blooded daughter of the king's First Advisor, is ready to break free from the restrictive life of an aristocratic female. Her strategy? Join the Black Dagger Brotherhood's training center program and learn to fight for herself, think for herself...be herself. It's a good plan, until everything goes wrong. The schooling is unfathomably difficult, the other recruits feel more like enemies than allies, and it's very clear that the Brother in charge, Butch O'Neal, a.k.a. the Dhestroyer , is having serious problems in his own life. And that's before she falls in love with a fellow classmate. Craeg, a common civilian, is nothing her father would ever want for her, but everything she could ask for in a male. As an act of violence threatens to tear apart the entire program, and the erotic pull between them grows irresistible, Paradise is tested in ways she never anticipated--and left wondering whether she's strong enough to claim her own power...on the field, and off. (catalog summary)


07/28/2016 - 11:03am
If you like The Sandman Vol. 1 by Neil Gaiman

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form, and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids.You can browse the book matches here.

The Sandman, written by Neil Gaiman, was a 75 issue comic book series that ran from 1989 to 1996 with several spinoffs. The series, published by DC Comics under their Vertigo imprint, was collected in ten trade paperbacks, four Absolute editions (with a 5th containing associated stories) and two omnibuses. An annotated black and white series is in progress.

The Sandman: Vol. 1, Preludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman
The first volume collecting Neil Gaiman's seminal horror series is available in a new edition featuring the improved production values and coloring from the Absolute Edition. In Preludes & Nocturnes, collecting issues #1-8, an occultist attempting to capture Death to bargain for eternal life traps Death's younger brother Dream instead. After his 70-year imprisonment and eventual escape, Morpheus goes on a quest for his lost objects of power. On his arduous journey Morpheus encounters Lucifer, John Constantine and, an all-powerful madman. This book also includes the story "The Sound of Her Wings" which introduces the pragmatic, perky Death.

If you like Preludes & Nocturnes, you will enjoy the rest of The Sandman graphic novels:






07/28/2016 - 11:08am
If you like The Dark Tower series by Stephen King

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

In 1978, Stephen King introduced the world to the last Gunslinger, Roland of Gilead. Nothing has been the same since. Over twenty years later, the quest for the Dark Tower continues to take readers on a wildly epic ride. Through parallel worlds and across time, Roland must brave desolate wastelands and endless deserts, drifting into the unimaginable and the familiar as the road to the Dark Tower extends beyond its own pages. A classic tale of colossal scope--crossing over terrain from The Stand, The Eyes of the Dragon, Insomnia, The Talisman, Black House, Hearts in Atlantis, 'Salem's Lot and other familiar King haunts--the adventure takes hold with the turn of each page. (catalog summary)

The Gunslinger by Stephen King (Book #1 of The Dark Tower series)
The story centers upon Roland Deschain, the last gunslinger, who has been chasing after his adversary, "the man in black," for many years. The novel follows Roland's trek through a vast desert and beyond in search of the man in black. Roland meets several people along his journey, including a boy named Jake Chambers who travels with him part of the way. (Wikipedia)

If you like The Gunslinger, read the rest of the books in the epic series:

12/17/2012 - 7:43am
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

What Lyra enjoyed most was scrambling across the rooftops of Oxford, committed to the serious fun of war that raged amongst the children of all the colleges and the townies in between. There were pummelings with armfuls of rock-hard plums, mud fights, and even the occasional kidnapping. Yet for all of her wild behavior, Lyra was not an ordinary child. She was a lonely, genius child with aristocratic blood in her veins, and every so often some unfortunate young Scholar would be dispatched by the Master of the College to round her up for a hot bath and tedious lessons at the start of The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman.

04/03/2014 - 1:43pm
Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr cover

Welcome to The City in the realm of the daimons. At the heart of The City is the Carnival of Souls where both murder and pleasure are for sale. The Carnival is also the site of a deadly competition where, once each generation, daimons can fight to the death for a chance to join the ruling class. Melissa Marr’s new book, Carnival of Souls, will draw you into a dark, violent world where daimons and witches are mortal enemies and the main characters are swept up in a deadly struggle for power.

08/29/2012 - 4:31pm
Feast of Souls by C.S. Friedman

C.S. Friedman has long been one of my favorite fantasy writers or, really, writers in general. Having written two trilogies and four stand-alone novels in the past two decades, she's not the most prolific writer in the fantasy world, but when she chooses to publish, her work is always brilliant. I was first introduced to her stories in high school by a friend who was in the middle of reading her Coldfire Trilogy. I've always been loathe to accept recommendations from friends who say, "You've gotta read this book!" but I'm glad I did. And now with her second series, the Magister Trilogy, I've just finished and thoroughly enjoyed Feast of Souls.  

This first book takes place in a world that is practically medieval, with tales of small, squalid villages, deeply-forested trails, and grand, opulent capital cities and castles. Friedman takes great care to emphasize the disparity between the peasants--dirty, uneducated, and willing to sell themselves and their families to stay afloat--while the rich go about their lives oblivious to those "below" them. There are three main categories of persons in this book: the morati, regular mortal people, no matter their walk of life; the witches, natural magicians who must draw upon their own life-force to perform their work and who, consequently, are rather short-lived; and the magisters, mysterious sorcerers who act as political counselors and power brokers who do not die. The secret to magisters' immortality is known only to them.  

03/06/2012 - 2:19pm
ThisDark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel

Kenneth Oppel introduces us to young Victor Frankenstein in his new book, This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein. Victor is sixteen years old and very curious about alchemy. He lives with his twin brother Konrad and his cousin Elizabeth. They are victims of typical teen curiosity and idle times. As they explore their extensive chateau in Geneva, they discover the previously unknown Dark Library. Clearly, this is a forbidden area to explore. They discover books about alchemy and ancient remedies. Their foray into the off-limits room is discovered by Victor and Konrad's father. He is incensed and instructs them to never go into the room again and to certainly never explore the writings.

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