When it comes to the fantastical, it’s easy to imagine our dreams coming to vivid life. The world can be endless when you add a little magic, creating the wild and impossible from the mundane and ordinary.
But through a different lens, the same dreamscapes can turn into dark nightmares, where monsters lurk and creatures bite. It’s not just horror, where the monsters are real, but worse, because anything can be a monster—including the shadows of your own mind. And that’s what makes horror fantasy so addictive. There are no limits, no boundaries to what can frighten and terrify. Anything can happen.
From the haunting to the grotesque, to the visceral and the macabre, here are twelve horror fantasy books guaranteed to keep you up all night long.
A Bed of Earth
In a parallel universe, two rival families fight for space on the Isle of the Dead, the crowded burial ground home to generations of Venetian nobility. Their struggle escalates until fourteen-year-old Meralda della Scorpia disappears. As the years go by, it seems the parties guilty of her tragic fate are going to get away with it. Until, one by one, they begin to die under shocking circumstances. It’s clear whatever is hunting the families isn’t human. And only the humble gravedigger’s apprentice with his own buried secrets to discover can stop it.
Sunglasses After Dark
While partying at a nightclub, London heiress Denise Thorne disappears. No one ever sees or hears from her again. That same night, Sonja Blue, is born. Thanks to modern medicine, she’s a living vampire with her soul intact. And she isn’t willing to let her humanity die. Now, she hunts blood-sucking creatures in search of the one who brutally attacked her. Only, there’s a far more inhuman threat inside Sonja battling for dominion over her body. When a ruthless televangelist exploits Denise Thorne’s parents, Sonja steps in. Between the human adversary and the demon wrestling for control, Sonja is in for the fight of her life.
A Book of Tongues
The Civil War is over, but violence in the West is just getting started. To counter the growing threat of hexslingers, Pinkerton agent Ed Morrow is deep undercover with some of the West’s most dangerous outlaws. He’s tasked with getting close enough to Reverend Asher Rook to map his power and bring it back so they can unlock magic’s secrets. Soon Morrow is in over his head, with Rook’s lieutenant and lover, Chess, as his only prayer for survival. Rook plans on shattering the natural laws of magic. And to stop him, Chess and Morror will have to ride through Hell—literally—to save not just themselves, but the entire world.
A Taste for Monsters
After Evelyn is disfigured in a matchstick factory, she finds herself working in the London Hospital as maid to the Elephant Man. She’d rather be locked away and ignored by the world, much like her charge, but surprisingly, she finds a gentle companion who understands her pain. But her sanctuary doesn’t remain quiet for long. When Jack the Ripper begins murdering women in the streets, Evelyn is haunted by their spirits. And if she ever wants to find peace again, she has to face her fears and uncover humanity’s worst nightmare.
Sixteen-year-old Mikey Childress is different. And in rural Auburn in the 1990s, all being different gets you is bullied. Mikey has been a target since he was a kid, only finding friendship and solace in Wroxy, a girl almost as alone as he is. But Mikey’s bullies might think twice if they knew the secrets Mikey had. And when they finally push him too far, Mikey finally turns to the dark forces whispering vengeance in his ear. Now, a doorway has been opened and a pact has been made, unleashing a curse that should have never, ever been released.
The Book of the Damned
The city of Paradys is known by other names. Paradise. Paradis. But that’s because they’re all different. Tied in similarity, they’re all luxurious and rotten, filled with twisted love and terrifying magic. These are the stories of each city, venturing into the morbid and unsettling, where identity, gender, and sexuality intersect.
A Vietnam vet can’t escape the battlefield of his own memories. An old-time movie hero searches for a serial killer. And a special town celebrates Halloween but the rules of trick-or-treat are written in blood. In this collection of terrifying short stories, a wrong turn in the wrong town can lead to a nest of evil and not even priests are safe from the life-or-death fight against temptation.
The Green Man Tales from the Mythic Forest
In the darkest depths of the murky forests, the Green Man exists. The most universal myth told through the ages, it’s the wild and untamed form of Nature. In this collection of stories, over thirty authors and poets have brought the magic spirits to life. Accompanied by vivid illustrations and an introduction that explores the symbolism and myth, this anthology is a must-read for anyone who delights in the wonder of nature and they mysteries of the wild.
Charlotte “Lit” Moylan is ready to move away from her famous family and enter adulthood on her own terms. After one last party, of course. And not just any party, but one where her legendary director grandfather opens his fabulous mansion to the entire town. Everyone is invited, including some strange and disturbing guests that hover on the edges of the forest and the margins of the night. Because this isn’t just one last party for one young girl. But an ancient confrontation centuries in the making.
Roses & Rot
Imogen grew up on fairy tales. With a cruel mother of her own, she couldn’t imagine a wicked stepmother being worse. When Imogen and her sister Marin are both accepted to a prestigious artist retreat, they think they’ve finally escaped their mother’s cruelty once and for all. Now, Imogen feels like she’s finally living the fairy tale she always dreamed of. But there’s more to this program than meets the eye. Because fairy tales require sacrifice. It’s only a question of how much Imogen is willing to give up to have everything she’s ever wanted.
Ninth House (Ninth House Series Book 1)
Galaxy “Alex” Stern shouldn’t be one of Yale’s incoming freshmen. She dropped out of school and is surrounded by drug dealers and criminals. But when she’s the only survivor of a horrific massacre, she’s offered a second chance. Part of her acceptance is working for her mysterious benefactors by watching Yale’s secret societies. What should be an easy gig turns out to be far more dangerous than Alex first thought. Because someone is using these societies for more than the usual power plays of the rich and famous. And it’s far more sinister than anyone ever imagined.
All Apollo Kagwa’s father left him before he disappeared was a box of books marked IMPROBABLIA and strange recurring dreams. Both are forgotten as Apollo grows, except now as a new father, anxiety and exhaustion bring them back. Even worse, his wife Emma is exhibiting signs of post-partum depression that escalate into the unthinkable. And then she disappears. When a stranger claims to have information about Emma and where she went, Apollo discovers that the world he knows is nothing like he imagined, and neither are his wife and son.
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