From vampires and werewolves to witches, magic and haunting ghost stories; there’s something for everyone in this year’s paranormal picks. Happy Halloween reading!
Rooms by Lauren Oliver (Hodder, September 2014)
A haunting adult fiction debut from this bestselling children’s and young adult author. Look out for my interview with Lauren tomorrow!
Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family—bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna—have arrived for their inheritance.
But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. Jostling for space, memory, and supremacy, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself—in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb.
The living and dead are each haunted by painful truths that will soon surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide—with cataclysmic results.
Otherworld Nights by Kelley Armstrong (Orbit, October 2014)
I read one of Kelly Armstrong’s young adult books earlier this year and was intrigued to dip into this collection of short stories and novellas featuring characters from the Otherworld series. I loved the way Kelley brings the paranormal into our world and was so impressed that I’ve ordered the first book in the series!
A suspenseful, new collection of stories and novellas, both original and curated by the author from her short fiction.
Sunday Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong captivated readers with her Women of the Otherworld series of supernatural thrillers. In this new anthology, favourite characters return in stories of drama, danger and desire. Legendary werewolf partners Elena and Clay stalk the pages of this book, along with vampires, witches, half-demons and sorcerers.
Filled with fan favourites and rarities, Otherworld Nights concludes with a brand-new novella, ‘Vanishing Act’. This thrilling longer story is set after series finale 13, and features much-loved characters Savannah and Adam as they begin a new life – and a mysterious new case – together.
The Keepers: Declan by Rae Rivers (HarperImpulse, June 2014)
Gripping paranormal romance from Rae Rivers – one of my favourite paranormal romance series of recent years. You can read the prequel to this series:,The Keepers: Sienna for free!
Declan Bennett has zero tolerance for thieves. He and his brothers, the Keepers, are fiercely protective of their witch, Sienna, and their privacy.
So when Kate Carrigan breaks into their estate, he’ll be damned if he lets the little wildcat get away with it – especially after she seduced him three months ago, leaving him buck-naked in a New Orleans hotel. Declan wants payback – and some answers.
Before she was murdered, Kate’s mother ingrained it in her not to trust anyone. Kate’s magical powers make her a pawn in the war between good and evil, a war she’s always avoided. Declan is everything she’s been taught to fear, even if she can’t forget the memory of his touch that one night…
Trouble is brewing as the powers of evil regroup – bolder and hungrier than ever – and Kate is forced to choose a side.
The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness (Headline, July 2014)
The brilliant final part of the trilogy. I can’t recommend these books highly enough!
A world of witches, daemons and vampires. A manuscript which holds the secrets of their past and the key to their future. Diana and Matthew – the forbidden love at the heart of it.
After travelling through time in SHADOW OF NIGHT, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home in France they reunite with their families – with one heart-breaking exception. But the real threat to their future is yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for the elusive manuscript Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on a terrifying urgency. Using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the palaces of Venice and beyond, Diana and Matthew will finally learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.
Banished by Liz de Jager (Tor, February 2014)
Feisty Kit Blackheart is a match for anyone in this excellent debut – you’ve just got time to read it before the second novel in the trilogy, Vowed is released next week!
Kit is proud to be a Blackhart, now she’s living with her unorthodox cousins and sharing their strange lives. Especially since their home-schooling includes spells, fighting enemy fae and using ancient weapons.
But it’s not until she rescues a rather handsome fae prince, fighting for his life on the edge of Blackhart Manor, that her training really kicks in. With her family away on various missions, Kit must protect Prince Thorn, rely on new friends and use her own unfamiliar magic to stay ahead of Thorn’s enemies.
As things go from bad to apocalyptic, fae battle fae in a war that threatens to spill into the human world. Then Kit pits herself against the Elder Gods themselves – it’s that or lose everyone she’s learnt to love.
My So Called Afterlife by Tamsyn Murray (May 2014)
Released with this fab new cover, earlier in the year, My So Called Afterlife is in turns wickedly funny and hauntingly heartbreaking. I love the way Tamsyn writes!
Imagine setting off for home one dark New Year’s Eve and never reaching your front door. Imagine losing everything you’ve ever known in one horrific moment. Imagine knowing you’ll never hug your mum or dad again. And imagine having to spend eternity in the most horrific, awful place you can think of… For fifteen year old Lucy Shaw, that’s reality. Stuck in the men’s toilets on Carnaby Street, she’s trying to come to terms with her own death, the bone-crushing loneliness and a floor that’s swimming with pee. Until the unlikeliest of saviours walks into her afterlife, that is – a twenty-seven year old lighting engineer called Jeremy, the only person who’s ever known she was there. Together, they find a way to get Lucy out of the loo and discover there’s a whole afterlife of mates, parties and boys just waiting to be discovered. But the shadow of Lucy’s murderer is looming again and it’s only a matter of time before someone else gets hurt. Is Lucy about to lose everything she loves again?
The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Magic by Emily Croy Barker (Penguin, July 2014)
A detailed and impressively imagined magical debut novel with elements of time travel, fantasy and romance in turns glittering and dark!
When Nora Fischer stumbles, quite literally, into a magical world where everyone is glamorous and life is one long party, she’s immediately captivated.
What she doesn’t realise, because everything is such fun, is that there’s a darker side to her new friends. In fact, it’s only after she agrees to marry the charismatic, masterful Raclin that she discovers she’s a prisoner in this new world.
If Nora is to escape, then she has just one hope: the magician Aruendiel. And if she can also persuade him to teach her the art of real magic, then she might just be able to return home.
Is that what she wants, though? Aruendiel has a biting tongue, a shrouded past and no patience, so there’s no way Nora could be falling for him… Is there?
The Winter Ghosts Kate Mosse (Orion, October 2014)
I’ve enjoyed a number of Kate Mosse’s novels and am looking forward to reading this book soon – I love this newly released cover.
The Great War took much more than lives. It robbed a generation of friends, lovers and futures. In Freddie Watson’s case, it took his beloved brother and, at times, his peace of mind. Unable to cope with his grief, Freddie has spent much of the time since in a sanatorium.
In the winter of 1928, still seeking resolution, Freddie is travelling through the French Pyrenees – another region that has seen too much bloodshed over the years. During a snowstorm, his car spins off the mountain road. Shaken, he stumbles into the woods, emerging by a tiny village. There he meets Fabrissa, a beautiful local woman, also mourning a lost generation. Over the course of one night, Fabrissa and Freddie share their stories of remembrance and loss. By the time dawn breaks, he will have stumbled across a tragic mystery that goes back through the centuries.
By turns thrilling, poignant and haunting, this is a story of two lives touched by war and transformed by courage.