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For day 19 of the December talking meme megan_moonlightWhat is your favourite genre of books to read? What are your favourite books from this genre?</b>

I suppose my favourite genre of writing can best be described as dark fantasy. I really like works that have a fantastical edge, from urban fantasy right up to swords and sorcery stuff, but I also really like works that have a dark edge to them. I’m not too much of a fan of outright horror, but I do like things that teeter right on the edge – things that aren’t all about jump scares and gore, and are more about people reacting to horrible situations that they find themselves in.

I read a lot in this genre, to the point where I mostly read genre stuff along the fantasy lines, so these are just a few of my favourites from it. They’re not in any particular order, as I’d find it really hard to rank them, but I’d recommend all of them. I’ve also limited it to book series, just so I don’t spend ages reccing invidual books that I’ve liked from the genre. They’re all really fantastic, and generally quite easy to read!

The Demonata series – Darren Shan

This is probably my favourite book series of all time, and has been since I first read it. It takes place in a universe where demons, insane beings from another dimension, are trying to invade. It also involves magic, werewolves and a fair amount of diversions into weird space stuff. It’s a slightly rambling – 10 books! – and incoherent series, but I really love it for everything that it chooses to do. The plot is engaging, the writing is fun and the characters are very easy to get invested in. I’ve been a fan of these books for about ten years now, and I’d definitely recommend at least giving them a go if you’re interested in horrifying creatures being written in an incredibly fun way.

The Zom-B Series – Darren Shan

This is Shan’s follow up series to the Demonata, and while it’s less good I still really enjoy it. It’s a book about zombies, but with several twists and turns that always make for entertaining reading. It’s on its eleventh (I know) book now, and the next one should be the last. I’m really interested to see how it turns out, and I think that’s a compliment to the series – it’s perhaps a bit overly long, but it’s managed to keep my attention through all of it. The plot is interesting, the world Shan’s created is really involving and you end up really caring about the characters despite yourself. I’d probably recommend reading the Demonata first, just to see if you like his writing style, but if you do enjoy it this is definitely the next logical step.

Vampire Babylon – Chris Marie Green

This is objectively not the best book series, think of some of the worst bits of trashy vampire novels and you’ll basically have this, but I still really enjoy it. It’s a series about a woman who learns how to be a vampire hunter, and gains psychic powers along the way. It’s quite trashy, I’m not going to lie, but the world created is actually really compelling. The version of vampires in this is super interesting, and the world created around them is also kind of fascinating and has a lot of scope for imagination. The characters are really compelling, the plot is quite interesting and it actually contains some of the best representation that I’ve seen. The world of the books seems lived in, basically, and I’d definitely recommend braving the slightly trashy writing for how well constructed it feels.

Rivers of London – Ben Aaronovitch

This isn’t the most amazing series ever, but it’s really solid and has a lot of really good points. It involves a policeman who learns that magic exists, and follows his journey as he becomes an apprentice to another magical policeman. The world created is, again, really interesting and feels actively compelling. The characters are pretty great, and the plots are generally rather solid. It’s nothing profound, but it is a hell of a lot of fun. And I would definitely recommend it if you want something fairly light and amusing.

(Also if you want to ship things, because Peter/Nightingale is a GREAT pairing and more people should be into it.)

Guardians of Time – Marianne Curley

This is another series that isn’t objectively the best, but that I still really enjoy anyway. It follows a group of teenagers who gain superpowers, and travel through time to preserve the future with them. It’s ridiculous and makes very little sense if you actually know anything about history, but is actually really fun and very easy to read. A lot of the characters are really interesting, the plot is fairly compelling and the world is absolutely fascinating. It’s probably the shortest series that I have on here, three fairly short books, and I’d definitely recommend it if you’re looking for something fun and easy to read.

Mistborn series – Brandon Sanderson

…And from the shortest to the longest.

The Mistborn series is only three books (well, technically five. But they’re part of a different trilogy and I haven’t actually read them yet), but they’re really meaty books. They’re hugely absorbing, and create an absolutely fascinating universe that you can’t help but care about. It’s technically set in a fantasy realm, but a really well thought through one where the magic is based on using metals and there are reasons behind pretty much everything. The plot is hugely compelling, the characters are absolutely amazing and the whole thing is so well put together that I couldn’t help but love it. I’d recommend setting aside a bit of time for this one, it took me half the year to read all of them, but I’d definitely pick them up if you’re looking for something to get really involved in. They’re wonderful books, and I’m really glad I heeded P’s recommendation and read them.