As we head out of October, you may notice the darkness encroaching earlier and the misty weather becoming more frequent. This is my favorite season and it reflects the kind of dark stories that are on my list for fall. Grab your hot cocoa and a cozy blanket and settle in for some creepy stories with female protagonists.
Taking place in the 1930s in a deadly Sydney neighborhood, Justine Larbalestier’s novel Razorhurst ventures into a world of organized crime and ghosts. A young girl, Kelpie, has survived here partly because she can see ghosts and communicate with them. When she meets Dymphna, famous for her ties to the mob, Kelpie doesn’t know that the older woman can also hear ghosts. Together they try to escape the dangers that await them amongst dead as well as the living.
In a remote castle in Tudor England, Kate Sutton has been exiled by Queen Mary Tudor and drawn into a world of fairy folk. Living in the underground, the fairy customs are ancient and even sinister when it comes to human sacrifice. Journey with Kate in The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope as she unravels the mysterious events that have led her to this world, but be careful, she may not be able to escape.
If modern faerie stories are more your speed, check out Tithe by Holly Black. Sixteen year old Kaye has traveled her entire life, following her mom from punk show to punk show with her various boyfriends and bandmates. When she is dropped back into the small town she grew up in, her imaginary faerie friends from childhood reappear and ask for her help.
The 19th century was a time of rapid technological advancement, the world moving forward from the strict class structure of the previous centuries, but where do monsters fit in? Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George takes us from industrial New York City to Romania where two debutante sisters must travel to learn about the family secrets linking them for centuries to the royal, and dangerous, Dracula family.
Our last book by Kendare Blake is Three Dark Crowns. The queen is chosen by the Goddess and only reigns until the birth of her triplets. These triplet queens are separated at a young age and raised by the communities that share their gift. Poisoners, elementals, and naturalists raise their queen so that she may be the one to defeat her sisters as they battle to the death for the crown.