Dark Fantasy and Paranormal Books – Free & Bargain Priced!

The Fantasy genre is one of contrasts—light and dark, good and bad–with the expectation of ultimate victory of good over the forces of evil. Fantasy is ultimately an optimistic genre. But at the other extreme of the genre are Dark Fantasy novels which, in contrast, feature a bleak outlook. These aren’t Horror stories, but they may contain elements of the horror genre, and are filtered through a dark world-view, where the stakes have become too high for levity, and the price that’s paid for victory will be severe.

What is a ‘Dark Fantasy (or Paranormal)’ Book?

Dark Fantasy fiction is a form of fantasy in which elements of horror, or anti-heroic protagonists, play a large part. The definition isn’t a strict one, and the genre is, in some ways, a drop-box for stories which sit uncomfortably on the edge of horror and fantasy, but don’t quite fit in either.

For example, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings as a classic fantasy story, with very clear lines between the good protagonists and the evil antagonists, and the Exorcist as a classic horror story with sympathetic protagonists beset by misfortunes which slowly unveil a horrific antagonist (the story developing, in many ways, like a mystery story as the true horror is revealed). So, where does Ann Rice’s Interview with the Vampire lie? A novel in which a traditional creature of horror, the vampire, is treated with consideration and empathy — Dark Fantasy would be a good place to put it.

We include the term ‘paranormal’ in this category because, in many cases, these stories are about paranormal entities or situations and include urban fantasy and much of the vampire genre.

Dark fantasy is also occasionally used to define stories which are told from a monster’s point of view, or which offer a sympathetic attitude towards monsters and supernatural beings which are usually associated with horror. Stephen King’s Dark Tower series is a good example of a Dark Fantasy Book (the first in the series is The Gunslinger). As are  Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s Saint-Germain, and Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman (comic book series) — each of which are examples of this style of dark fantasy. All of which is in contrast to the traditional horror story, which focuses instead on victims and survivors.

More generally, dark fantasy is often used to refer to supernatural horror, by which it attempts to distinguish those horror stories which contain elements of the supernatural, from stories that don’t. For example, stores about vampires or werewolves might be described as dark fantasy fiction, whilst stories about serial killers are simply horror.

Science Fiction Books - Dune by Frank Herbert

Classic Dark Fantasy Book Interview With The Vampire, by Anne Rice

Science Fiction Books - Enders Game by Orson Scott Card

A Modern Classic of the Dark Fantasy and Paranormal Genre: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

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Crime Fiction Seminar at the British Library

I enjoyed this 5 minute monologue by Neil Gaiman on the 3 books which changed his life. Briefly, it’s The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe, Michael Moorcock’s ‘Stormbringer’, and Alan Moore’s comic series ‘Swamp Thing’ — which is not really a book but Gaiman was a comic writer, too. But it’s more than just 3 books, it’s a reflection on a life of reading. Worth a watch if you like Neil Gaiman, or simply if you like books and enjoy ‘bonding’ with other booklovers, by listening to how their lives, like yours, have been affected by the books they read.

Want to find even more Bestselling books? Take a look at our other non-fiction and reference categories:

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Scar

Scar is a killing machine. Born from DNA spliced between the extinct Megalodon and modern day Great White, he has a viciousness that transcends time. His evil is reflected in his eyes, his savagery in his two-inch serrated teeth, his ruthlessness in his trail of...

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Broken Monsters

A criminal mastermind creates violent tableaus in abandoned Detroit warehouses in Lauren Beukes's genre-bending novel of suspense. Detective Gabriella Versado has seen a lot of bodies. But this one is unique even by Detroit's standards: half boy, half deer, somehow...

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We Sang in the Dark

Eighteen years ago tragedy struck The Refuge cult in northern Minnesota. Forty people committed suicide and the entire compound burned to the ground. At just thirteen, Clare was the sole survivor found wandering miles from the encampment, hands blistered, memories of...

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Witchless in Seattle Mysteries

Dive into the wacky, paranormal world of ex-witch Stevie Cartwright, her ex-spy ghost Winterbottom, and beloved bat familiar, Belfry as they solve crimes in small town Ebenezer Falls, Washington! This collection includes: Witch Slapped, Quit Your Witchin', Dewitched...

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The Devil and the Deep

WINNER OF THE 2018 BRAM STOKER AWARD FOR BEST ANTHOLOGY Stranded on a desert island, a young man yearns for objects from his past. A local from a small coastal town in England is found dead as the tide goes out. A Norwegian whaling ship is stranded in the Arctic, its...

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The Wise Friend

“An absolute master of modern horror. And a damn fine writer at that” - Guillermo del Toro Featured in Booklist's Top SF/Fantasy & Horror of 2020. Patrick Torrington’s aunt Thelma was a successful artist whose late work turned towards the...

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Better Watch Out

He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake.Some kids are scared of the dark, others of monsters living under their beds. Some are even afraid of clowns.None of those things scare Sara. But she is terrified of one man, who comes to her house every...

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Awakened

*** #1 The Sunday Times bestseller*** Publishers Weekly bestseller"This book is no joke. Get ready to not sleep tonight. Awakened does exactly what it advertises. Scary amazing fun." -- Brad Meltzer, bestselling author of The Escape...

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Chill of Fear

Bestselling author Kay Hooper turns up the heat even as she chills readers to the bone with a suspense novel that distills the essence of fear itself. In this relentless thriller, two psychics put more than their lives on the line to stop a killer darker and more evil...

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The Mission

As a pilot recruited for a government agency, Amber hides a secret. Twenty years ago, she left her small southern town without looking back. To complete her training, she’ll face her worst fear. No one else remembers that night or sees the ghost who calls her name…

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Dreams and Shadows

Screenwriter and acclaimed film critic C. Robert Cargill makes his fiction debut with Dreams and Shadows, taking beloved fantasy tropes, giving them a twist, and turning out a wonderful, witty, and wry take on clash between the fairy world and our own.Something is...

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Dark Voyage

In 1914, fear and paranoia rule the high seas. Young Iain Cosgrove sets sail for a research trip aboard Lady Balgay, the last of Dundee’s once-grand sealing fleet.Fueled by rum and the crew's eerie tales, they obsess over ancient superstitions, which Iain...

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My Soul to Keep

"An eerie epic. I loved this novel." -- Stephen KingThe award-winning master of horror, acclaimed author, screenwriter, and scholar Tananarive Due’s classic African Immortals series starts with an electrifying piece of dark fantasy, My Soul to Keep....

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Spirelli Paranormal Investigations

A human investigator in a magical world...what could possibly go wrong? Jack Spirelli, paranormal investigator, public debunker of supernatural frauds, and private fixer for the magic-using community has opened his doors. Between exposing paranormal hoaxes and...

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The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard

Here are Robert E. Howard’s greatest horror tales, all in their original, definitive versions. Some of Howard’s best-known characters—Solomon Kane, Bran Mak Morn, and sailor Steve Costigan among them—roam the forbidding locales of the...

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Tell Me Lies

You'd think with a guardian who's a ghost, she'd see everything coming. But nope, that's not how it works. That's not how any of this works. Private investigator Lexie Smith has a mostly perfect—okay, satisfying life. A successful, if not super lucrative...

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Resident Evil: Nemesis

Zombies, mutant animals, bioengineered weapons and surgically enhanced monsters: after all she’s been through, Jill Valentine is ready to leave Raccoon City for ever. But the Umbrella Corporation isn’t finished with Raccoon City. Under cover of night, mercenary teams...

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Swan Song

New York Times Bestseller: A young girl’s visions offer the last hope in a postapocalyptic wasteland in this “grand and disturbing adventure” (Dean Koontz). A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick   Swan is a nine-year-old Idaho girl following...

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Supernatural: The Unholy Cause

A Supernatural novel that reveals a previously unseen adventure for the Winchester brothers, from the hit CW series!Way back in April 1862, Confederate Captain Jubal Beauchamp leads a charge across a Georgia battleground… Fast forward to 2009 and a civil war...

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Cursed

Twenty curses, old and new, from bestselling fantasy authors such as Neil Gaiman, Karen Joy Fowler, Christina Henry, M.R. Carey and Charlie Jane Anders.ALL THE BETTER TO READ YOU WITHIt's a prick of blood, the bite of an apple, the evil eye, a wedding ring or a pair...

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Vengeance and Vampires

This digital box set includes all four books in the Vengeance and Vampires series by USA Today bestselling author Alicia Rades. I'm Rachel Collins, low witch and raven shifter in hiding. I spend my days tending the cash register at a local magic shop and my nights...

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Creature

‘It’s much more than most creature features, it has heart and thought, and a superb, head-on horror conclusion. The best Hunter Shea I’ve read so far and by more than a little.’ - Eddie Generous (Unnerving Magazine) The monsters live inside...

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Flesh and Blood

For fans of Twilight and The Vampire Diaries comes a new addiction impossible to put down. She's in love with her best friend. A family grudge could tear them apart. And a supernatural secret could get them killed…Robyn can't picture life without her childhood best...

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Helminth

Rei would do anything for those she loves. As her best friend, Abby, struggles to cope with the sudden loss of her husband, Rei and her closest girlfriends take her to a beautiful lakeside house nestled in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, hoping that a weekend of...

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Frankenstein in Baghdad

*Man Booker International Prize finalist* “Brave and ingenious.” —The New York Times “Gripping, darkly humorous . . . profound.” —Phil Klay, bestselling author and National Book Award winner for Redeployment...

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Dead on Arrival

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before Two bodies walk out of a morgue … Harper Matthews is a Death Dealer. Not that she knows it. Her magic is dud; medicated out of her. At least she hopes so. In her world, she’s a 25-year-old-girl whose life is...

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Called

From Million-Selling Author Robert J. Crane...A demon hunter without a home. A cop without a cause. A seemingly unstoppable evil rising in a small town...WARNING: Contains violence, coarse language and sexual situations.Archibald "Arch" Stan was a local cop in Midian,...

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The House on Fisher Street

One house on Fisher Street is different to all the others. Protected by a state-of-the-art security system, this particular house is clearly owned by someone who has a lot of money. Somebody definitely lives there, yet he never leaves the property. He lives all alone,...

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People of the Lake

An enthralling, historically rich, small-town mystery in which a teen works with her deceased sister to solve an assumed murder. Sixteen-year-old Clara Morris is facing an awkward summer with her father in the tiny upstate town of Redmarch Lake. Clara’s...

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Rock-a-bye Baby

A horrifying psychological thriller. If you like American Psycho you’ll love this novella.Lisa Rasmussen just had a baby and everything in her life seems perfect at this point. Only she wishes that everyone else around her would be as flawless as she is and stop...

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Moon Child

The Craft meets The Shining in this slow-burn Florida gothic horror. 18-year-old Cuban-American Valentina Callejas was raised to do what her Catholic grandparents say to do. But Valentina feels a different pull--an affinity with nature, a desire to read tarot cards...

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Storm Front

In the first novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling Dresden Files series, Harry Dresden’s investigation of a grisly double murder pulls him into the darkest depths of magical Chicago… As a professional wizard, Harry Dresden knows firsthand that the “everyday”...

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Fevre Dream

A THRILLING REINVENTION OF THE VAMPIRE NOVEL BY THE MASTER OF MODERN FANTASY, GEORGE R. R. MARTIN   Abner Marsh, a struggling riverboat captain, suspects that something’s amiss when he is approached by a wealthy aristocrat with a lucrative offer. The hauntingly pale,...

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Unlovely

The safest and most dangerous place to be is in your own head… After escaping her abusive parents, eighteen-year-old Cora, who suffers from body dysmorphia, rents an isolated cottage in a backward town to live the rest of her life in peace. But just as...

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The Horror on the Links

Today the names of H. P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, August Derleth, and Clark Ashton Smith, all regular contributors to the pulp magazine Weird Tales during the first half of the twentieth century, are recognizable even to casual readers of the bizarre and...

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