We are now more than halfway through October, which means that Halloween is right around the corner. I know that a lot of readers like to read specific books for that time of the year and well, that’s also my case. Personally, I absolutely love to read historical fantasy novels in the Fall (but it’s my favourite genre, so it actually happens all year) and that’s why I wanted to recommend you some in this post. Basically, if you love The Infernal Devices trilogy… All of these books are right up your alley!
I had no choice but to start this book recommendations post with my second favourite YA trilogy (that I really need to reread and to get physical copies of), Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard. I have to admit I was put off by this book for a very long time, because I knew it involved zombies and they freak me out. Now that I’ve said this, let me go back. This book is actually more about necromancy, which means someone is raising the Dead and it’s causing all sorts of mayhem.
Something Strange and Deadly is set in 1876 Philadelphia and follows Eleanor Fitt, who has to associate with the Spirit-Hunters to try to find her brother, who might have been taken by the person raising the Dead. Something Strange and Deadly is a trilogy and every single book is set in a different place, has amazing historical details and characters, as well as steampunk elements. It talks to my very soul. I’m completely in love with it and I need more people to read this trilogy! Susan Dennard is best-known for her best-selling fantasy her Witchlands series and while I adore that one, Something Strange and Deadly has a very special spot in my heart.
To know more about these books:
A lot of readers have already read The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by the same author that came out earlier this year, and it makes me very happy that Mackenzi Lee is getting the recognition she deserves, but did you know that I LOVED her debut novel that came out in 2015? It’s a steampunk novel set in 1818 Geneva and wait for it… It’s a reimagining of Frankenstein (just writing this, I’m sold and I’ve already read it)!
This Monstrous Thing follows Alasdair, a young man who lost everything two years prior the beginning of the novel, his brother and his sweetheart. In a city where men built with clockwork parts are a reality and illegal, he brings his brother back from the dead, who returns more monster than man. Then, Frankenstein comes out and the city is doing its best to find the real doctor and its monster.
To know more about this book:
Cat Winters is quite an amazing author, because out of the three books I’ve read by her… I have never been disappointed. She writes historical fiction set at the beginning of the 20th century with supernatural elements. I could recommend you In the Shadow of Blackbirds and The Steep and Thorny Way as well, but The Cure for Dreaming was the very first of her books that I read and it absolutely made me fall in love with her books.
The Cure for Dreaming is set in 1900 Oregon and follows Olivia, a headstrong girl that her father wishes to be docile. He hires a mysterious young man named Henri Reverie to hypnotize the rebellion out of her, but he gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also being unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. It only makes Olivia willing to speak up for women’s rights even more, all the while starting to be attracted to Henri.
To know more about this book:
I reread The Diviners recently and I remembered what a perfect Halloween read this one was. It’s set in 1920s New York and follows Evie O’Neill, who has been expelled from her boring hometown to go live in New York with her uncle Will, who is obsessed with the occult. Evie has a secret of her own: she has trouble with a supernatural power and that’s why her parents shipped her off to the city (they don’t believe her, though). Soon, New York is trembling because of murders that might involve the occult. The Diviners follows s
everal other characters who seem to either have powers or secrets of their own, and all the while… something dark and evil has awakened.
I adore this series so much, even though it takes ages for a book to be published (but the third one just came out, we’re almost there!). However, it means that I can reread the books every time one is coming out. I find the 1920s and the occult absolutely fascinating, and Libba Bray is amazing at creating complex characters and gripping storylines. These books might seem a bit dense, but you won’t be able to put them down, because you’ll have to know what’s happening.
Last but not least, let’s talk about the book that actually inspired me to write this post, The Witches of New York by Ami McKay. This one is set in 1880 and follows three witches who practice their craft and work at their own tea shop. I had strong The Diviners vibes from this one, probably because it was set in New York in a society obsessed with the occult.
This novel is a very atmospheric and engrossing read. I didn’t want to get away from the book when I was reading it, because I wanted to know what would be next. I adored all the historical aspects that Ami McKay put into this book, because I’m a history nerd and loved remembering some cultural details through this book (I’ll just say: tell the bees when I’m gone). It was one of those books that was perfect for me and it screams Halloween read. I’m so happy I got around that one.
To know more about this book:
So there you have it, here are the five historical fantasy novels (well, more than that because there are two book series in the list) that you could read near Halloween, if you’re in the mood for that genre. If you have more recommendations of historical fantasy novels/books to read for Halloween, please let me know.
Lots of love,