Before I started blogging, before I even knew there was a whole bookish community, I was a paranormal junkie. I got my footing in high school when I would borrow books from my best friend, who was the ultimate bookworm and had very liberal parents. She had all kinds of urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Nowadays, those aren’t my top genre picks, but I still run across a gem every now and then. Here are my and Lyn’s picks of the best underrated paranormal books out there.
1. Slide by Jill Hathaway. I thought this was an awesome read. I love murder mysteries anyway, but the paranormal aspects of this novel were completely original. The main character can ‘slide’ into other peoples’ heads and see what they’re doing. It was a blessing and a curse. The sequel to this one was just a good.
2. Tithe by Holly Black. Holly Black has ruined me for other fae series because her fae books are amazing. Her YA books in general have a gritty, dark, underbelly sort of feeling to them and this is no exception. This was my intro to urban fantasy and so it sets a pretty high standard for any other books like it. I loved the characters and the descriptions of the Unseelie court.
3. Tides by Betsy Cornwell. Gods, this book is beautiful. It is just exceptionally written. And it touches on lore we don’t really get to see, particularly Irish lore and selkies. I love the mixture of selkie life and real life and the characters are wonderfully diverse.
4. Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama. So I love mermaids. I love mermaids movies and art and books and just mermaids everywhere. Monstrous Beauty mixes historical and contemporary and mystery and paranormal to whole new levels. There’s a love story and a revenge story and gajhgskjgfsjgfs the atmosphere of this book. Just read it. Just read it.
5. Sweep Series by Cate Tiernan. So this series is made up of a TON of tiny books and I love them. Tiernan blends the reality of the Wicca religion with some paranormal elements and her own made up mythology and history. The world building is exquisite. The main character starts out weak and naive but she grows into this fierce witchy warrior. I love her!
1. Vampire Empire series by Clay and Susan Griffith – I will never stop plugging this series until every person on the planet picks it up. Gareth>Edward. Adele>Bella. A man who loves cats. An awesome wedding scene. A bad-ass girl who pulls her own weight.
2. Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore – This book ventures closer to the lighter side of paranormal fiction. However, it is still a wonderful and quirky read. The reference to Texan culture staples also endeared the book to my heart.
3. The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle – I love the coming-of-age, damn the man attitude of the main character along side the paranormal plot. Also, the story spooked the ever-loving hellfire out of me. This one is a must read for paranormal lovers.
4. A Curse as Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce – A very detailed, fairytale-turned-paranormal story that tends to get overlooked. I enjoyed this book because it veers away from the girl-hot guy-paranormal plot formula and ventured more into a Sense and Sensibility atmosphere. The author dabbled in historical fiction, making this book a triple play.
5. The Year of Shadows by Claire Legrand – Legrand’s seemingly overlooked piece, yet it is her best one. I loved the family dynamics and the zany characters, but don’t be fooled by the description. This story turns very heavy and the back story is heartbreaking. This is top tier middle grade fiction!