This is an attempt to categorise the recommended novels into a number of common themes that are found within dark literature. It should eventually result in a reading list for each of the themes, but initially some may be better represented than others.
The story of the outsider, one who doesn't fit in with society and has a very different view of the world.
Stories taking place against an urban background, where the city is as much a character as the protagonists.
Some brave souls are willing to go back and explore a period that most survive but few would want to revisit. The emotional gap between childhood and adulthood is rife with the potential to explore dark themes.
A natural theme for dark literature, one where it explores the limits of acceptable behaviour by shining light on the less savoury aspects of society.
Bleak visions of the future, where humanity has come close to paying the ultimate price for its past sins.
Is the world always what you think it is? What happens when you start digging deeper and find all is not what it seems.
Stories where a manipulative character sits on the sidelines and guides the actions of everyone else.
Sometimes the weight of the world is placed on an individual's shoulders. They will fight an often unrecognised fight to save the majority from destruction.
Stories with a tinge of the nightmare about them, where normal events spiral out of control and leave the protagonists feeling helpless.
The usual equilibrium is undermined by a sudden invasion from outside or within.
What does it take to push someone to madness? And how does it feel when you get there? A common fear brought to life.
Gateways to otherwheres and otherwhens. Exploring altered places much like our own or finding doorways to somewhere completely different.
Fiction set in the future, long after an all but forgotten apocalypse.
Colourful stories against a intensely described backdrop, fantastical realms with an underlying theme of irony.
Stories set in the aftermath of the end of the world, survivors living against a backdrop of chaotic disintegration.
Stories that take historical characters and place them in fictional situations, or take fictional characters from other authors and treat them as being real.
What happens when a godlike being from myth or legend steps directly into your life and pushes it down a different path.
When an ancient power lies sleeping, just waiting to be awoken by someone meddling with something they don't understand.