The Beautiful (The Beautiful #1)
By: Renee Ahdieh
Publisher: GP Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
New Orleans? Vampires? A girl with a complicated past? A mysterious figure at the head of a shadowy court? Yes, yes, and yes again! Renee Ahdieh is always a favorite here on the blog, and her new book The Beautiful is at the top of my fall TBR pile. I can’t wait to dive into what I can only assume is an atmospheric, arresting, elegant, dark look at a romance (and stay tuned for a writeup of my latest meeting with her!)
Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All
By: Laura Ruby
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
If you recall, Laura Ruby came out of nowhere and smacked me upside the head with her debut book Bone Gap. The instant I heard about her newest book–about a lonely orphan girl and the ghost who’s very interested in her life–I had to get it. This seems like the perfect thing to read when the mist is pressing against the windows.
By: Garth Nix
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Garth Nix is probably always going to be the ultimate spooky zombie writer for me–His Abhorsen series is always going to have an honored place on my bookshelf. But when I heard he was writing a book about dark, devious angels and the people they rope into helping them–well, how could I resist?
Tunnel of Bones
By: Victoria Schwab
This is a book I can’t wait to sink my teeth into, and will as soon as my signed copy ends up in my hands. I always love Victoria Schwab’s work, I loved the first book in the Cassidy Blake Series, and I absolutely can’t wait to tear into this book. In contrast to some of the other, darker books on here, this one is meant for middle grade readers, so my guess is that it’s scary without being nightmarish.
The Starless Sea
By: Erin Morgenstern
Publisher: Doubleday Books
Ok, so this is a bit of a lie because I’ve already read this book–BUT since it’s coming out in a few weeks (I got an ARC), I thought I’d give it a plug anyways. This book is a wonderful, meandering, strange look at what makes a story a story, complete with doorways, bees, a magical quest, an evil organization, and below it all a deep, strange power. If you don’t want dark and scary so much as a slow meandering through an elaborately decorated maze, then this is the perfect fall book for you.
By: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Flatiron Books
I’m about 70 pages into this book already, and it feels like the kind of perfectly creepy fall book that might mean you don’t sleep at night. There’s ghosts with the power to hurt, secret societies intent on spilling blood, and Alex Stern, a troubled teenager who has the strange ability to see ghosts. Steven King recommended it, which is a far better endorsement than I could ever give, and really lets you know the kind of creepy, dark story you’d be getting into.
That being said, I really debated putting this book on this list. It’s adult, dark with a capital D, and I’ve heard a myriad of content warnings–violence, drug abuse, and honestly probably sexual assault/rape (someone told me to mentally prepare myself for Chapter 7, because it’s bad). But at the same time, if you’re the kind of person who likes horror, this could be the book for you. Forewarned is forearmed, and don’t say I didn’t warn you.
A Kingdom for a Stage
By: Heidi Heilig
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
I have already spent a good bit of time on this blog gushing about Heidi Heilig’s first book in this series, For a Muse of Fire. It has necromancy, colonialism, a girl who’s struggling with her own mental illnesses as much as she’s struggling with the state of her country…I highly recommend it. Which is why I’m so excited to read the second book in this series and see where my favorite chaotic bipolar necromancer takes things next.
Five Dark Fates
By: Kendare Blake
This is technically a lie…in that I haven’t read past book 2 of the series. But I think, with the last book recently out, that it might be time for me to dive back in to this creepy series about triplet princesses, each with a particular power, who have to kill each other for the throne.
Two Can Keep a Secret
By: Karen M. McManus
Publisher: Delacorte Press
As with Starless Sea, this is a book I read several weeks ago, but it’s a perfect Halloween read. For one thing, it’s set in the Halloween season and a prominent location is at a horror theme park. For another, it’s a dark, creepy mystery that’s more realistic than the other books on here, if you’re tired of ghosts. The villain here is in the shadows–a serial killer with a habit of killing the Homecoming Queens of Echo Ridge, and a girl–the niece of the first victim–who’s determined to bring the killer to justice.
The King of Crows
By: Libba Bray
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
I honestly don’t think the spooky season is complete without Libba Bray. Even though The King of Crows is releasing in February, I couldn’t in good conscience leave it off this list. If you haven’t read this series (starting with the Diviners), I really can’t emphasize enough what you’re missing out on. A darkly atmospheric 1920’s backdrop, a diverse set of characters, a really hauntingly dark paranormal plot, and an evil that feels extremely relatable, all make this an incredible fall read.
Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us.