I almost didn’t bother to read A DARK PLACE because I absolutely could not stand the whole Spike and the alien bugs plot line that first popped up in Season 8. I decided to give it a shot and, ugh, Spike’s still with his alien bug pals. Blah.
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Every once in awhile you come across a book that hits every sweet spot you have when it comes to fiction. THE BLUE BLAZES by Chuck Wendig is such a book. Seriously, folks, this book has everything I love. Mobsters! Monsters! Violence! Gratuitous swearing! In all honesty I’m certain that Wendig wrote this book especially for me. From page one to the very end I enjoyed every single word. Between THE BLUE BLAZES and TRICKSTER, 2013 is becoming an excellent year for gritty, awesome urban fantasy.
THE SHAMBLING GUIDE TO NEW YORK CITY has something for everybody, with brain eating action, mysterious constructs á la Frankenstein’s monster, and even a touch of very human romance. Some things didn’t exactly do it for me- zombies, for example, aren’t really up my alley- but overall, THE SHAMBLING GUIDE TO NEW YORK CITY is a lovely dive into Lafferty’s world of monsters, or as they call themselves, coterie.
The Arcadia Bell series works on two levels, both as a series with grand, sweeping plot points, and within each book, with the more intimate moments between characters. The cross series action is interesting, but not a motivating factor for me. It’s the personal bonds, the interactions between Cady and Lon and Jupe, that have me excited to go from one book to the next.
The first two books in the Jane True series were some of the very first adult Urban Fantasy I read after Sookie, and as such, I have a bit of a soft spot for Jane. However, soft spot or not, TEMPEST REBORN was an easy to read amalgamation of action and humor, with sexy and tender moments thrown in for good measure.
As a prequel to the Coveted series, readers already know where Aggie ends up, but its the journey there in BITTER DISENCHANTMENT that really fleshes her out. Aggie is tough, independent and privilege being the daughter of the alpha wolf. What I like about this series is that it shows people with problems and disorders realistically and it shows that while they don’t overcome their problems they learn to manage them eventually.
Less formula and more content than your average werewolf romance, TARNISHED is a brand of urban fantasy that I treasure. Though heavily steeped in character, the slow arc of action that Held weaves through this story and her series as a whole has a level of patience that is becoming rarer and rarer in the serialized genre. Patience to let injuries heal, patience to let obstacles stand, patience to let characters struggle without a magical panacea to sweep the slate clean every book.
There is a specific cadence to the Sookie Stackhouse series, one that is simple and straightforward, and oddly sweet, just like Sookie herself. After thirteen books, I was anxiously awaiting the happily ever after that she so richly deserved. DEAD EVER AFTER may be the book that finally puts the stake in the series, tying up loose ends, resolving relationships, and giving fans a clear vision of the future…it just isn’t the future that many fans were hoping for.
As a member of the “now what do I do with this liberal arts major” generation, like Fortitude in GENERATION V, I was curious how this sort of post-college existential crisis would play out in a book about vampires. Vampires are generally known as rather confident, sexy and definitely wealthy, and Fort was about as far from those qualities as one could be. He has a cheating girlfriend, a job in a grimy coffee shop, and about $7 to his name for 90% of the book. The result is a very relatable main character that gave me a reason to invest in GENERATION V.
PREDATORY shows the gamut that vampire mythology has run in genre fiction, containing short stories about everything from victims of maddening viruses to undead fashion designers. I picked up this book based on Dianne Duvall’s name, and her short taste of the Immortal Guardians series didn’t disappoint. If I hoped to find another series to sink my teeth into, however, PREDATORY left me empty handed.