Dark, Dystopian, Lists, Well known books

5 Books With The Darkest Mysterious Presence To Kindle Your Imagination About Mythology

If you’re looking for something dark and mythological, lurking behind a corner… Something evil that is bigger than you, older than you and so much more immense… Then you’ve found it. I’ve got some reads for the darkest time of the year (the end of December IS known as the time of the longest and darkest nights…) So buckle up, turn all the lights in the house on and get ready to +1 that TBR wishlist.

What If I Told You Something’s Watching Over Us

The Library at Mount CharCarolyn grew up in slightly different circumstances than most people. She and 12 other kids from her neighbourhood got in the way of an assassination attempt of a… well, ageless being. And ended up being adopted by him and taught the secrets of the world. But now… Father is gone. And Carolyn and the rest must search for him, because what is to come if he doesn’t turn up might not be the end of the world, but it would surely be the end of the world as we know it. I might want to add that Carolyn is not dying to find Father, because a loving father is not something he could be called…

This book was amazing on so many levels. The incredibly dark humor. The depth of the fantasy that draws on mythologies and paints a vivid and primal world at its core, that is masquerading as our normal world to the eyes of all the rest of us. The scope of everything in this book is so huge! The ideas, the histories… I can’t possibly imagine how it all fits between the covers of a book, because this is a full universe. The Library at Mount Char remains one of the best books that I read in 2017, and I’m sure I’ll read it again. If you’ve enjoyed Neil Gaiman’s and Stephen King’s writing in the past, you will almost surely love this book – as it reads as a mixture of those two styles.

And by far the best thing about it? I’ve been had so many times by it. Never saw things coming. I bet it will feel even more so on my second reading… It’s exquisite. It’s incredibly smart, witty, dark, ironic and so very true to life, although as far from our common reality as you could possibly imagine.

I must warn though, that The Library at Mount Char contains many triggers – violence, murder, rape, animal violence, violence of animals against humans… It can be gory, although the humour certainly lifts the mood. But as a sensitive reader myself, I can tell you it’s well worth it.

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I Was Obviously Going To Go For This One

ItNo surprise, maybe? What list about ancient evils is complete without IT? (I know Cthulhu should be on the list as well, but shame on me – I haven’t read it yet…) I have to say, I am glad about the whole IT revival that has been going on this year, mostly because of the new adaptation – I read this book when I was a teen and absolutely loved it. It has all you might want – true friendship, a dark and ancient monster, humans fighting an ultimate evil for a good cause. Another thing about it is that it’s delightfully long. Although, as I’ve also heard others mention, I feel like the second part of the book could have been more developed, I know I will never forget this story, and I might read it again one day as well. I don’t feel like I should be telling you anything more, as pretty much all of you know what the story is about by now. But I might just add that nothing beats The King at writing darkness. I had to hold off from adding at least another book of his to this list, to be honest.

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A Little Bit Of Dark Dystopia

Metro 2033I have really strong feelings for Metro 2033. It was also one of the most amazing reads of the year I read it in (although the less is said about the sequel, the better.) As far as I heard, the game based on this book was also amazing. The story tells us about a post-apocalyptic world of atomic-winter survivors in the Moscow subway tunnels, and the world painted in the picture is amazing. You wouldn’t even think to say that of a confined space with all the problems that come with not actually living in a sustainable place. But it’s more than that – this book is not just your typical dystopia, and that’s what I loved best about it. The ending might have made me weep (and killed off any possible good sequels), but it was so beautiful. Yes, there is lurking evil, and it’s pretty mysterious and all-emcompassing, but it’s also similar to The Library at Mount Char in the way that you don’t really have the full picture. And you won’t know what’s going on until it basically hits you head on. This is a book I believe should be read by most of you, and I also think that you’d really enjoy it.

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Fear As A Child Is Not The Same As Fear As An Adult

The Ocean at the End of the LaneAgain, I had to fight myself not to include two books by Neil Gaiman on this list, cause it just works. But one will have to suffice. If you loved Neverwhere, you are sure to love this one as well – it contains similar themes of darkness and mystery, but it also has this one element I felt that Neverwhere did not have – it’s horror described through the eyes of the child. But it isn’t really horror – not in the horror movie sense. This book deals in the primordial fear, the fear you have in your darkest dream of something consuming your soul rather than your body. A fear of things that are bigger, older and stronger than you. But also a belief in kindness, light, in beings that may protect you just because you are alive and that’s enough for them. What I loved the most about The Ocean at the End of the Lane is that Gaiman has written a child’s fear and narrative so well. I’ve had scarring experiences as a child, and I have to say, his depiction of childhood trauma is incredibly accurate, at least as much as I can compare real-life fear with fear of something primordial, dark and magical. This book absolutely blew my mind away… It was amazing.

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And What Is Mars Doing Here?

The Martian ChroniclesI’m pretty sure you thought this list would be space-free. But you know, this book still fits the theme incredibly well! So yeah, it’s about Martians. But what kind or martians… This is a classical and well known collection of stories about humans’ (quite failed…) collonization of Mars, and it’s just as dark as it is imaginative. The stories feature old and forgotten landscapes and ruins, with things that lurk in them, be they ghosts or things still living… Things we humans have enchoarched upon, things that don’t want us there. Needless to say, none of the colonists really fare well in this book. But you kind of want to side with the Martians, sometimes. What makes it perfect for this theme for me is the secretive feel of the stories, because it’s about a place that you know nothing about – so you can but guess at what’s going to happen, or why. Bradbudy writes the eeriness and the vastness of an unknown landscape, as well as culture, incredibly well. And even aside from dark and eerie feel, this book is so incredibly imaginative that you will scarcely be able to believe the magic of Mars that Bradbury has conjured. I remember that was one of the most captivating things for me in this reading experience.

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Have you read any of the the books on this list? Will you be adding them to your TBR? And do you have ideas for additions to this list?

I’m Evelina and I try to blog about books that matter, with a bit of fun there too! Disability and equality will be topics you see a lot, but there’s also a lot of scifi, fantasy and… GIFs. I’m also the proud founder of #ARCsAnonymous.

36 thoughts on “5 Books With The Darkest Mysterious Presence To Kindle Your Imagination About Mythology

  1. I have The Library at Mount Char on my shelf sitting unread. To be honest I completely forgot that I had it (I bought it during one of my many giant Bookoutlet hauls last year) but you have brought it back on my radar and I can’t wait to read it!

  2. YOU READ METRO 2033! Another persone that read it! I’m so happy. I really loved that books. It’s so complicated and sick and incedible and many other things. I cannot wait to read Fu.Ture, the other book written by the author

    1. Of course I read Metro 2033 😀 it was amazing. Please read Roadside Picnic – if you loved Metro, that book will just completely win your heart. Although I have heard the English translation is not so good and loses a lot of the cultural aspects. Maybe you can find it in your own language?

      I tried reading Fu.Ture. NOPE. DNFed… It was… nope. A huge disappointment :/ but then, I also hated 2034.

  3. I loved Ocean at the End of the Lane. My only complaint with it would be that it was too brief. And Gaiman is so busy now we barely ever get a book out of him so I like them to last.

    Also, sounds like I need to try out Metro 2033.

    1. Oh yeah, I absolutely agree 🙂 it WAS too brief. And you haven’t read 2033 yet?? You totally have to! It might be less enjoyable because you really kind of have to know Russian culture to enjoy it more, but I think you’ll still love it a great deal. It’s incredibly atmospheric!

  4. Amazing list, Evelina! 🙂
    And couldn’t agree more on The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Gaiman is a master storyteller but not only that, he seems to be able to write any person, of any age and background, and make it sound credible.
    This book in particular (and also Coraline) made me realize how stories seen through the eyes of children can be just as scary as ones about adults, if not more so! Maybe something to do with their innocence and imagination?
    TOATEOTL made me terrified, but in a great way. And like you said, it depicted trauma at its core. Just perfect!

    1. I actually haven’t read Coraline yet, but I first saw the movie, so that’s why I’m not rushing 🙂 I hope I can forget some more of the plot before I read it eventually xD haha

      To me, what was interesting, was how differently children see events though. Scary – yes, but they take things at face value so much more differently than adults! While an adult would just start thinking “oh this isn’t real” a child just goes with it. And it’s totally the way it would be. So I feel like Gaiman really does have such a good grasp of human psychology!

  5. I had the exact same thoughts about Ocean at the End of the Lane! Gaiman (and Bradbury, which OatEotL reminded me of) captures what it felt like to be a kid so vividly. And you’ve sold me on The Library at Mount Char- onto my TBR pile it goes!

    1. I’m glad you felt the same 🙂 oh and yes, if you liked the other ones, you’re sure to like The Library on Mount Char! Can’t wait for your thoughts. When you get to read it, please link the review to me!! I’d looooove to see it. That book is SO good, I swear!

  6. That’s so weird! I just read The Martian Chronicles recently, although I didn’t review it on my blog. I try to read a classic (or neo-classic) at least every two months but refrain from reviewing them. I loved The Martian Chronicles!

    1. I loved The Martian Chronicles as well 🙂 I love the incredibly eerie feel that it had! It must have been one of the most imaginative novels I’ve ever read. Certainly didn’t expect that when I picked it up 🙂

  7. I am generally not into dark and creepy… I remember The Martian Chronicles as being weird and sometimes quirkily creepy, but at the time (in my teens) I enjoyed them. I haven’t read any of the others, but The Ocean at the End of the Lane is on my TBR list. I might have to rethink that!
    Lark @ The Bookwyrm’s Hoard recently posted…Three Fates by Nora RobertsMy Profile

    1. I loved that about The Martian Chronicles 🙂 one of the most unique books I’ve read, you can’t really replicate that feel, can you?

      The Ocean at the End of the Lane is incredibly good, I’m sure you’d love it 🙂 it isn’t scary per se.. Just dark.

  8. I don’t generally read Horror books but “It” was definitely in my TBR. I haven’t watched the movie yet in hope that I would read the book first. But now, after checking the size of the book, I guess I should watch the movie 😛 I am afraid of big books 😛

    But your post title and specially the description of first book scared me, lol 😀
    Sim @ Flipping Through the Pages recently posted…Austenistan by Laaleen Sukhera | Jane Austen travelling Pakistan!My Profile

  9. I love The Ocean at the End of the Lane 🙂 I’m bias though, Gaiman is one of my favourite authors (actually, he probably IS my favourite lol) I just love how atmospheric his novels are.

    The Library at Mount Char sounds pretty cool, I might have to check that one out.
    Wattle recently posted…Sunday Post #13My Profile

    1. I am totally biased here too xD Gaiman is one of my favorites too. Not that I’ve read all his novels yet, of course, but that’s just cause I don’t want to run out 😀 if you like Gaiman, you might really love The Library at Mount Char as well 🙂

    1. From NetGalley! I didn’t think it was that new? Wow. It’s really REALLY worth your attention though! It’s an amazing, brilliant, WONDERFUL book. Please pick it up! And link drop your review. I really want to know what you thought!

      1. I’m ashamed to say it’s NOT that new. This is one of those books I got from NetGalley but then never actually read—something scared me off around release time—I don’t even remember what right now (I think maybe I read some reviews that said it was slow and I was already in a bit of a rut at the time so slow scared me?). At any rate, since then, I’ve seen several people saying the book is wonderful, so I have a renewed energy to read it—now I just have to figure out when I’ll have time!!
        Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted…Bollywood Books 1, 2 & 3 by Sonali Dev: Bite-Sized ReviewsMy Profile

        1. The book IS wonderful! 🙂 but I understand. I’ve had wonderful ARCs lying on my shelf for ages for no good reason as well. I think to some extent, this happens to us all 🙂

  10. For some strange reason, even though I do like my dark and creepy reads I haven’t really read too many of them? I really like the sound of a lot of these. I have been eyeing It ever since the movie came out (I haven’t watched it yet) but it’s just so BIG that is slightly scary to dive into. I also have read and enjoyed some Neil Gaiman in the past so this one looks good to me.
    Olivia Roach recently posted…18 Goals for 2018!My Profile

    1. I know what you mean, I also sometimes find that I like a genre or a theme a lot, but I just don’t read books in those topics too often xD maybe they’re just not on my radar much. I sure hope you get to read one of two of these 🙂 they’re all great. As for IT, maybe it’s not the first book of King’s you should read.. It’s wonderful, but it IS very big. And scary xD but Gaiman is definitely worth a read, and this one is quite short too (somewhat regrettably! Wish it didn’t end so soon!)

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