It’s that time of year again – the time of year where I recommend books for the season! My recommendations of autumn books of 2023! It’s the middle of October, so that means I’m gonna recommend some spooky books and/or just some books with fall vibes in general. There are a bunch of them, after all.
I also understand that, once again, it’s a bit late for this kind of post. But! I hadn’t read a couple of books on this list until the last week or so, so I wanted to actually read them before doing this post. So, sorry it’s kinda later in the month again, but I had a decent reason this time, lol.
Now, I know that I usually do these things in lists of five. The thing is though, I’ve just read too many graphic novels in the last year or so that are just too perfect for this post. So, there’s seven recs here. Deal with it, lol.
Ichabod Crane, a schoolteacher, came to Tarry Town in the glen of Sleepy Hollow to ply his trade in educating young minds. He was a gullible and excitable fellow, often so terrified by locals’ stories of ghosts that he would hurry through the woods on his way home, singing to keep from hysterics.
Until late one night, he finds that maybe they’re not just stories. What is that dark, menacing figure riding behind him on a horse? And what does it have in its hands? And why wasn’t schoolteacher Crane ever seen in Sleepy Hollow again?
I couldn’t help but to start with a classic. Sleepy Hollow has been one of my favorite spooky stories for many years. And though it’s been quite some time since I’ve last read it, I know that it still holds up even now.
If you enjoy unsettling oldies, dullahans, and just a good book for Halloween, give this one a try if you haven’t already. It’s still fantastic.
Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.
Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.
Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.
Despite some of my annoyances with this series, the Shades of Magic trilogy remains one of my favorite adult fantasy series. I love, love, love these books.
Though this trilogy might not have the strongest of fall vibes, I think the books are great for the season anyway. Cuz I read them in the fall and I was feeling the cozy, magical vibes. And if your not interested in this trilogy, I think that all of Schwab’s books have some autumnal atmospheres.
A sparkling, witchy reimagining of Pride and Prejudice, told from the perspective of the troublesome and—according to her—much-maligned youngest Bennet sister, Lydia.
In this exuberant reimagining of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Lydia Bennet puts pen to paper to relate the real events and aftermath of the classic story from her own perspective. Some facts are well known: Mrs. Bennet suffers from her nerves; Mr. Bennet suffers from Mrs. Bennet, and all five daughters suffer from an estate that is entailed only to male heirs.
But Lydia also suffers from entirely different concerns: her best-loved sister Kitty is really a barn cat, and Wickham is every bit as wicked as the world believes him to be, but what else would you expect from a demon? And if you think Mr. Darcy was uptight about dancing etiquette, wait till you see how he reacts to witchcraft. Most of all, Lydia has yet to learn that when you’re a witch, promises have power…
Full of enchantment, intrigue, danger, and boundless magic, The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch, has all the irreverent wit, strength, and romance of Pride and Prejudice—while offering a highly unexpected redemption for the wildest Bennet sister.
The first new book on this list! The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch is a novel completely drenched in fall vibes. You’d be hard pressed to find a better book to read during October, if that’s what you’re looking for.
Not only does this book appeal to those who crave that cozy autumn atmosphere, but it’s also an excellent historical fantasy novel. It’s also a magical retelling of Pride and Prejudice, so Austen fans have a huge chance of loving it too.
Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a perfectly normal boy. Well, he would be perfectly normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the world of the dead.
There are dangers and adventures for Bod in the graveyard: the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer; a gravestone entrance to a desert that leads to the city of ghouls; friendship with a witch, and so much more.
But it is in the land of the living that real danger lurks, for it is there that the man Jack lives and he has already killed Bod’s family.
A deliciously dark masterwork by bestselling author Neil Gaiman, with illustrations by award-winning Dave McKean.
Yet another book that it’s been quite some time since I’ve read. Regardless, I still adore it. Anything that Gaiman writes is wonderful in it’s own way, even if I don’t always enjoy it myself. I definitely liked this one though.
This one isn’t admittedly all that scary, as it’s targeted toward middle-grade as well, but it’s still a solid book. Yet another one I’d like to read again this year before Halloween if I can find the time. For those who like The Jungle Book, ghost stories, and found family, give this a shot.
All human beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of good and evil: and Edward Hyde, alone, in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil.
The disturbing Mr. Hyde is making his repugnant presence known in late 19th Century London. But punishment for his vile acts are always parried by the good, and well-respected, Dr. Jekyll. Soon, the secret relationship between the two men will be revealed.
A classic that continues to be referenced today, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde will forever be locked in literary history.
This is by far my absolute favorite creepy classic. Something about it – just the way it’s written – and especially the intriguing dichotomy between Jekyll and Hyde just has absolutely loving this novel.
If you’ve ever had any interest at all in this book, definitely read it. And also, if you like webcomics and graphic novels check out The Glass Scientists by S.H. Cotugno. It’s a brilliant and imaginative retelling, and I love it.
Two twins, one prophecy, and a whole lot of hijinks. From WEBTOON, the #1 digital comic platform, comes a fantastical story about twin siblings Dani and Dorian who have missed the bus to magic school and scramble to find a mentor to teach them before their parents find out. Perfect for fans of THE OKAY WITCH and the 5 Worlds series.
When Dani and Dorian missed the bus to magic school, they never thought they’d wind up declared traitors to their own kind! Now, thanks to a series of mishaps, they are being chased by powerful magic families seeking the prophesied King of Witches and royals searching for missing princes.
But they aren’t alone. With a local troublemaker, a princess, and a teacher who can see the future on their side, they might just be able to clear their names…but can they heal their torn kingdom?
Based on the beloved webcomic from WEBTOON, Hooky is in stunning print format for the first time with exclusive new content sure to please fans new and old.
This is one of the things I read recently. Review incoming – very soon. Hooky was such a cute, Ghibli-esque, Halloween themed story. I love the art, the characters, and the setting and story. It’s all so wonderful.
For fans of cozy Halloween and graphic novels, this is one for you. If you just like good art in general though, and are looking for autumn vibes, then also check this out.
A story of love and demons, family and witchcraft.
Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers’ bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town.
One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home.
Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.
There’s nothing more cozy than Mooncakes. It is the ultimate cottage core, fall graphic novel. With baking. And books. And witches and werewolves.
This is a sweet little story that tugged at my heart while I read it. And it has gorgeous artwork! And good queer rep if you’re into that. Definitely look into it regardless.
What books have you been reading this fall? Have any of them had any autumn or spooky vibes? Do we share any of the same favorites?
And if course, thank you to everyone so much for reading, and I hope that you have an awesome day/night!
GENRES: Fantasy, Historical, Graphic Novel, YA, Fiction
RELEASE DATE: 3 October 2023
The gothic worlds of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Frankenstein, and more collide in this graphic novel series about buried secrets, mad science, and misunderstood monsters. For fans of stylish reimaginings like Lore Olympus and gaslamp fantasies like The Night Circus!
London isn’t the safest place for mad scientists these days. After that whole ordeal with Frankenstein, angry mobs have gotten awfully good at hunting down monsters and wiping out anything they don’t understand. In fact, if it weren’t for one extraordinary young man, every out-of-the-box thinker would have been locked up . . . or worse.
That young man is none other than Dr. Henry Jekyll. He believes mad scientists would thrive if they could just fix their public image, which is why he founded the Society for Arcane Sciences, a place where like-minded eccentrics could come together to defy the laws of nature in peace.
But everything changes when a mysterious stranger arrives, bent on taking the Society in a radical new direction. With everyone turning against him, Jekyll’s life starts to spiral out of control, shattering all his carefully laid plans and threatening to expose his darkest secret—one that could destroy everything he has built from the inside out.
Volume One collects Chapters 1-7 of this thrilling, humorous, beloved webcomic, which is available in print for the first time ever. It also features a brand-new side story, a behind-the-scenes look at artwork, and more exclusive bonus content!
“I am Dr. Henry Jekyll. At your service.”
I’m not going to mince words: I love this comic. I discovered it a couple of months ago via some text interview online somewhere (I can’t remember where), and immediately fell in love.
I’ve always loved Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ever since I first read it a few years ago, and to see it reimagined in such a colorful and fantastic way was beautiful. Sage Cotugno does such a wonderful job retelling this tale, and you can tell how much they love the source material, and how much love they put into the comic.
The characters ▼
Dr. Henry Jekyll is, of course, our protagonist. He’s kind and polite, and the idealized gentleman. But of course, he’s hiding a dark secret.
Mr. Edward Hyde is that secret. He’s everything that Jekyll wants to hide (*cough*) about himself – everything that he’s ashamed of. So, Hyde is rude, unashamed, and a free spirit who likes to go out and do debauchery nightly.
There are other characters here too, of course, but seeing as I love basically all of them, this post skins never end if I talked about them. I will say that I loved Cotugno’s interpretation of Robert Lanyon, and their new characters of Rachel Pidgely and Jasper Kaylock. They’re all very good characters.
The story ▼
The skeleton of the comic is the original Strange Case, but all the embellishments and additional characters and plot is new. I love all the changes and stuff that has mostly stayed the same, and just Cotugno’s interpretation in general.
I also really like the setting. It’s pretty much the same kind of setting as in the novella, but the vibrant and varied colors of the art and designs really make the gaslamp fantasy aesthetic pop.
The art ▼
The art is gorgeous, but that’s usually to be expected with a comic. I personally just really like Sage Cotugno’s art style. It really appealed to me. I love the character designs, and the 19th century London aesthetic.
The colors were all vibrant and beautiful. They were awesome in the original webcomic, and they translated really well to the physical version. They’re just as bright and striking as they are digitally.
The waiting game ▼
I pretty much absolutely love this webcomic, and this bound book version of the first third of the story. Because of this, it’s really hard to think of something I don’t like about it.
The only thing that I can think of that is even mildly irritating about this webcomic, is that it only releases weekly. As such, it’s gonna take a few more years until it’s finished. And we’re all going to have to wait to see how the rest of the story unfolds. But yeah, that’s honestly the only thing that I can think of that bothers me about The Glass Scientists.
Before I close off this post, I just want to let everyone know that this is just the first of three physical releases of an ongoing webcomic. So if you end up liking The Glass Scientists: Volume One, or you’re interested in it but not sure if you want to commit monetarily yet, you can check out the webcomic here.
Anyway, I’ve already gushed about this graphic novel more than enough. It’s very obvious that I really enjoyed it. I definitely recommend it to people who like fantasy and sci-fi and graphic novels, but also to those who really like the original Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Anyway, as always, thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have an amazing day/night!
I actually managed to do this post on the correct day this month. Hooray!
It’s probably obvious from my featured image, but the post is Spell the Month in Books. Spell the Month in Books is a monthly post created and hosted by Jana @ Reviews from the Stacks. I started participating in it a few months ago.
Anyway, let’s spell October with book titles! This month, seeing as it’s spooky season, I decided to pick books that are creepy or unsettling to some degree. Or have vampires 🦇 or werewolves 🐺 or witches 🧹 (and probably also happen to be a supernatural romance). And I’ve actually read all of these! (I like scary stories. 😱 And ghost stories. 👻 And supernatural stories. 🎃)
What books did you choose to spell September with? Did we choose any of the same ones? Have you read any of the books I chose?
As always, thank you to anyone who read and enjoyed my post. I hope anyone and everyone has a really good day/night!