Being the spawn of two infamous occultists (and alleged murderers) isn’t easy, but freewheeling magician Arcadia “Cady” Bell knows how to make the best of a crummy situation. After hiding out for seven years, she’s carved an incognito niche for herself slinging drinks at the demon-friendly…
Paranormal novelist Charlaine Harris will be closing the coffin on her Southern Vampire series. Harris told PopcornBiz that she intends to end Sookie Stackhouse‘s story on book thirteen.
Harris explained: “I think it’ll be total closure. I don’t go back to things once I’ve finished them. That’s kind of what I do. I don’t want to write Sookie after I get stale. Yeah, I’ll miss them, I’m sure, because I have lived with them for quite a long time – 12 years now. And it did take two years to sell the first book. But I think writers like to do different things. At least this writer does.”
With two more books to go and HBO’s True Blood series, fans don’t have to say goodbye to Sookie just yet.
Harris is currently working on the twelfth book of the series and the Cemetery Girl graphic novel with writer Christopher Golden. Golden has written original novels for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television franchise and several of his own original titles. Harris has also released a comic book adaptation of the first book in the Harper Connelly series, Grave Sight.
The Urban Fantasy genre has really had a boom in the last couple of years. Urban Fantasy was first thought of as a sub-genre in the 1980s, with works by authors such as Charles DeLint and Emma Bull. One of my new favorite authors, Seanan McGuire, opined that Fairy Tales were the Urban Fantasy of their day, so the genre has been around quite awhile. Still, it is most definitely on the upswing at the moment, and I am more than okay with that!
One of the main, accepted elements of Urban Fantasy is that it’s a fantasy set in a city, though there are certainly urban fantasies set in rural towns (Sookie Stackhouse, anyone?). It’s more a flavor of modernism, city or not, rather than fantasy set in a more medieval-esque setting. Magic and the supernatural meet the modern world, and hi-jinks ensue. Some Urban Fantasy leans more toward the horror genre, some towards mystery, some more humorous, some with strong links to the myths of Faerie or other pantheons, some with an emphasis on romance and some are even a little (or a lot) naughty (the latter often falling more under the heading of Paranormal Romance). I myself enjoy Urban Fantasy that incorporates a strong sense of place, some humor, some suspense, and maybe a fine romance if it suits the story.
There are, of course, too many books to for even a voracious reader to keep up with, so here are my current top 3 favorite Urban Fantasy series:
First on my list is Greywalker, by Kat Richardson. Part of my enjoyment was the setting in Seattle, as I was somewhat familiar with some of the places mentioned. Harper is a Private Investigator, who in the first gripping chapter, is beaten and actually dies for two minutes. This leads to her being able to see “The Grey”, a sort of spirit world not visible to most people. This first book does have a lot of set-up, and the main character, Harper, is disoriented a lot, as she tries to come to terms with her new-found abilities, but I found that perfectly reasonable given the circumstances. The book has a strong element of mystery, as Harper tries to figure out who killed her, and why she is seeing strange things. I don’t want to give any more away, but I found the premise and setting quite intriguing. I enjoy seeing characters grow and learn, and this series is a great example. I’m now up to book 5, and still really enjoying them!
Second, I would like to call your attention to Urban Shaman by C.E. Murphy. This series is also set in Seattle and the surrounding areas. JoAnn Walker (aka Siobhan Walkingstick) is a police officer more comfortable fixing cars than dealing with people. She is quite put out when a run in with an ancient god calls forth her dormant powers and leaves her a reluctant hero. Her magic is based on a mix of Native American and Celtic origins due to her parents, which I found very interesting. I love her sense of humor, and her mixture of “why me” and “with great power comes great responsibility”. This is another series where you really see the growth of the main character, and I am looking forward to reading book 6.
Third but certainly not least is Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire. This is my favorite Urban Fantasy find so far this year, and I eagerly devoured all of the books in print! October “Toby” Daye is a changeling, part human and part Faerie, living in San Francisco. She is also a private eye, and definitely has that mix of humor and determination I find so fun. The setting also lent itself well to the book, and made me want to visit San Francisco again! I greatly enjoyed the elements of Faerie, and how the mythology (and the mystery) is revealed bit by bit throughout the books. Another thing I appreciated about this book, besides the kick-butt story telling and great characters, was the attention to detail. I really felt like the author had done her homework, and she even took the time to put together a glossary of the denizens of Faery and their main traits and how to pronounce their names (which often looks nothing like the Celtic spelling!). Book five is due out in September, and I’m practically counting the days!
Fantastic, fabulous freshness right here! I haven’t been this enamored or energized by a book in a while and (as usual with new series) my only complaint is that I can’t find any information anywhere on when we can expect book two.
Dead on the Delta by Stacey Jay is the first adult UF this author has done, although she seems to be quite prolific in the YA section. I can imagine some of her YA readers will experience culture-shock if they graduate to this book with its raw subject matter.
Dead on the Delta introduces an incredible world of poisonous fairies and murder set in the Deep South where "Once upon a time, fairies were the stuff of bedtime stories and sweet dreams. Then came the mutations, and the dreams became nightmares. Mosquito-size fairies now indulge their taste for human blood—and for most humans, a fairy bite means insanity or death. Luckily, Annabelle Lee isn’t most humans. The hard-drinking, smart-mouthed, bicycle-riding redhead is immune to fairy venom, and able to do the dirty work most humans can’t."
Annabelle is a beautifully flawed character, with just the right balance of real and super-real to make you fall head over heels in like with her. She’s so human it hurts. Ms Jay keeps the tension high in this tale, both in Annabelle’s personal life and the murder she’s trying to solve, despite really only being trained to scoop up fairy crap for analysis. Going with Annabelle as she develops her potential despite her best efforts at avoiding change and challenge makes for an amazing read.
It wouldn’t be a good UF book without a delectable love interest and in this case we get two. The love triangle is a tried and true hook, but this is probably one of the best ones I’ve ever come across. Both her men are deliciously written and I can see Ms Jay will have us all on tenterhooks in the future. I could go on at length here but I won’t spoil it for you.
I’m so glad I stumbled on this thanks to a random post somewhere. Hope I find some more this year just like this.