14 Best Paranormal Books Update 05/2022

Best Paranormal Books

We are in the middle of a golden age of paranormal fantasy. The last ten years in the genre have been nothing short of landscape-changing. The days when there were strict categories (romance, fantasy, horror, etc.) are over. Today, genre-blending novels are the most popular. They are stories with almost limitless possibilities that can use elements of fantasy, romance, mystery, horror, and science fiction.

I’ve been asked to make a list of the best paranormal fantasy novels of the last decade (2003–2013), which is a near-impossible task because so many well-known series and authors have come to prominence during that time. Among them are Laurell K. Hamilton, Jim Butcher, Kim Harrison, Patricia Briggs, Richard Kadrey, Kat Richardson, Stacia Kane, Nicole Peeler, and Jaye Wells.

When I was writing this post, I realized how much paranormal fantasy has changed in just a few years. I made a similar list back in 2009. The list below includes 20 books that are not only great, but have also had a big impact on the history of the genre.

The Nymphos of Rocky Flats, by Mario Acevedo (2006)

The Nymphos of Rocky Flats, by Mario Acevedo (2006)

Acevedo’s Felix Gomez saga is the first in a series that changed the way people thought about the genre when it came out in 2006. This book is the first in the series. Those are some great first lines: “I don’t like what Operation Iraqi Freedom has done to me.” As a soldier, I went to the war. As a vampire, I came back from the war.

Pride Mates, by Jennifer Ashley (2010)

For Ashley, this was the first book in her Shifters Unbound series. It was a book that changed my life. This is still one of the most wildly sexual books I’ve ever read.

No Hero, by Jonathan Wood (2011)

This book is one of the most daring I’ve ever read. It was sadly overlooked. Arthur Wallace, a police detective in Oxford, is obsessed with Kurt Russell in the book. A ninja assassin, conjoined triples, battery-licking sorcerers, grimoires hidden in Peruvian temples, and more tentacled monsters than you can shake a sword at make this book a must-read. It’s also a lot of fun to read.

Rosemary and Rue, by Seanan McGuire (2009)

October Daye is the first book in the October Daye saga by author Stephen McGuire. This series is a dark fantasy, mythology, and hard-boiled mystery that is utterly readable. In this deeply thought-out series, there are times when there is a lot of starkness and angst, and there are times when there are breathtaking images of magic and beauty.

Moon Called, by Patricia Briggs (2006)

Moon Called, by Patricia Briggs (2006)

The first Mercy Thompson book. This series has had some ups and downs in the last few books, but for me, Moon Called has to be on this list. Mercy is a sexy, tattooed, shape-shifting auto mechanic who can change into any animal. She is one of the most memorable paranormal fantasy heroines ever written.

Already Dead, by Charlie Huston (2005)

Huston’s first book with vampire Joe Pitt was the start of a series that pushed the boundaries of paranormal fantasy. Said it was “a bloody horror and fantasy book that mixed hard-boiled noir thriller style with blood-sucking fantasy and horror.”

and Falling, Fly, by Skyler White (2010)

White’s first book was an intensely emotional, poetic, and heartbreaking piece of art. The whole book, which is about Olivia, a vampiric fallen angel, and Dominic, a neuroscientist with a “bizarre” affliction, reads like dark ethereal poetry. Unforgettable.

Four and Twenty Blackbirds, by Cherie Priest (2005)

It was Priest’s first book and the first of her Eden Moore novels. It was a haunting and poetic read that marked the first steps of a writer who has become one of the most innovative and important figures in genre fiction. This book and its two sequels aren’t very well-known.

Blue-Blooded Vamp, by Jaye Wells (2012)

Blue-Blooded Vamp, by Jaye Wells (2012)

Great book by Wells about Sabina Kane, this is how to end a series! This book has a lot of shocking plot twists and big revelations. A lot of people have said that this is one of the best paranormal fantasy stories of all time, and I agree. It’s so good.

The Taken, by Vicki Pettersson (2012)

This was a great book to read. From my review: “Yes, paranormal fantasy fans will love this book, but so will hardcore mystery and romance fans, and, most important of all, mainstream fiction fans.” This is Vicki Pettersson’s “coming out” party, and we’re all welcome to come.

A Rush of Wings, by Adrian Phoenix (2008)

Phoenix’s first book, which is also the first part of the The Maker’s Song saga, is one of the most edgy series out there. So, come on! I don’t think you can go wrong with two people who are both dead, but they’re also both attractive. It’s a hugely under-appreciated show.

Tempest Rising, by Nicole Peeler (2009)

Tempest Rising, by Nicole Peeler (2009)

Books in this series about Jane True, a half-selkie, half-halfling heroine, are some of the most popular paranormal fantasy books on the market right now. She is very different from the typical paranormal fantasy heroine in many ways. Rather than wearing stiletto heels or leather miniskirts with her jeans, Jane wears comfortable jeans and purple Converse sneakers. She’s short and not very athletic. I love this show!

Greywalker by Kat Richardson (2006)

Richardson’s first book and the start of her Greywalker saga, one of my favorite series. Harper Blaine is a Seattle-based private investigator who can see into the world of the dead in these books. They are very well written and almost perfect in their execution. This is a series that will last for a long time because it is both classy and old.

Blood Blade by Marcus Pelegrimas (2009)

The Skinners books are like a cool, supernatural-powered video game. There is nonstop action, ghastly monsters, unique weapons, interesting and well-developed characters, and plot twists at every turn. Even more than that, the series has a lot more to it than just that. Splatter-filled horror, dark fantasy, mystery and sarcastic social commentary are all mixed together in this book. It’s very addictive. The reason I’ve called Pelegrimas “the Bram Stoker of the 21st Century” is because it’s a great book!

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