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Archive for the tag “Patricia Briggs”

What Are You Going to Read?

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Yep, that’s what I asked…what are you going to read? What’s next in your To Be Read pile? Or by any chance, do you, like me, have a few extra special book treats you’ve been holding to one side to disappear into when you have some reading time that’s likely to be uninterrupted for a while? I’ve had several books that I’m DYING to read, but haven’t started on because I just didn’t want to keep getting pulled out of them by work, chores, or Life, in general. I kept telling myself to go ahead and start on them, because such a sweet stretch of uninterrupted time wasn’t likely to happen. But guess what? It IS going to happen. Sort of.

In late July–not really as far away as it sounds–I’m having foot surgery done on my left foot, involving several issues, to include putting in a steel pin, which, as it happens, means it will then match my right one. I’ll be setting off metal detectors everywhere! 🙂 The upshot of the surgery (besides ending some very significant pain) is that I will be pretty much out of commission for the better part of six weeks. Yes, I said SIX WEEKS!! The first two, I won’t be doing anything other than sitting in the Comfy  Chair with my foot propped on pillows all day long. After that, it will be a gradual transition to a wheelchair, and then to crutches.

Soooo….Reading Time, here I come!! And those extra special books I’ve been hoarding are going to be enjoyed to the max!  Things like Dean Koontz’s Saint Odd, the final installment in his wonderful Odd Thomas series. And Maggie Steifvater’s Blue Lily, Lily Blue, the third installment of her Raven Cycle series, which I adore, and which touches something in my heart to the point that I want no interruptions at all when I’m in that world. I’ve got Lee Child’s latest Jack Reacher book, Make Me, for some kick butt and take no names action, and Patricia Briggs’ newest Alpha & Omega offering, Dead Heat, for some Urban Fantasy with a power couple I thoroughly enjoy. And I’m finally going to start that massive first book of the Game of Thrones series, A Song of Ice and Fire.

Should I finish  all of those, I have dozens more, both in my TBR basket, and on my Kindle, I can move on to, so don’t feel sorry for me, stuck at home for weeks and weeks. I’ll actually be off on lots and lots of adventures, having a great time!

Do you have any special books you’ve been saving for just the right time to read?

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My Top Ten Urban Fantasy Series

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Was thinking yesterday about all the great Urban Fantasy series there are out there, and decided to make a list of my very favorites. I tried to list them in order, and then realized that they tend to shift up and down the list a bit, based on the latest book, or a current favorite plot twist, perhaps. All except one. I’m sure it’s no surprise to those of you who have been following this blog for a while. My number one all time favorite Urban Fantasy series has never changed. Why? Because none of the rest appeal to me quite as much, in spite of the fact that I love some of them like crazy. Here they are, in order from first to…everything else. 🙂

1. The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher: The best characters, good and bad, best plot lines, best adventures, best…and longest drawn out…love affair)

2. Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz: Yes, he’s a master of horror, but while the Odd Thomas books can be scary, they are so much more than that…funny, endearing, hopeful, and poised on the edge of redemption, since I haven’t read the last one yet. Been saving it for just the right moment.

3. The October Daye series by Seanan McGuire: Toby Daye’s world of the fae is filled with all the Celtic legends a person could imagine: selkies,  kelpies, mermaids and mermen, The Luidaeg or sea hag, barghests, trolls, and all the high Queens and Kings of the Fae, complete with their courts and the attendant political intrigue and discord. There are banshees and barrow wights, kitsunes and Tylwyth Teg, and best of all for a cat lover, the Cait Sidhe, led by Tybalt, King of Cats. And all set in  San Francisco! *sigh* It’s a world like no other!

4. The Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill: Talk about political intrigue…those obsessive, control freaks, the vampires, pretty much outdo every other supernatural being when it comes to mind games and power plays. I love how well it’s done in these books, but most of all, I love the liege of Cadogan House, 400-year-old vampire,  Ethan Sullivan. Best. Vampire. EVER. He and his house Sentinel, Merit, are a couple to be reckoned with, though it took them a few books to get to that point. A solidly entertaining and satisfying series.

5. The Alpha & Omega series by Patricia Briggs: This one is a spin-off of the popular Mercy Thompson series, mostly about shifters and skinwalkers, though a few other creatures pop in now and then for good measure. While I very much enjoy the Mercy books, I think the Alpha & Omega books are even better. I’m very partial to Charles and Anna, largely because angsty, somewhat frightening men are interesting (as long as they aren’t actually hurting innocent people or battering their women around, of course), and this was the first series to introduce me to the concept of an Omega wolf. It’s extremely well done and never fails to hold my interest to the last word.

6. The Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews:  This one has it all, too. Shifters and magic, horrible, totally non-sparkly OR sexy vampires, and all sorts of complex shenanigans going on. But mostly, it has Kate and her love, Curran, who just happens to be a lion when the mood strikes him. There’s a healthy dose of humor, which I love, and which Kate uses to keep; “his furriness” in line. I’ve enjoyed every single book in this series, and am always looking for the next one.

7. The Weather Wardens by  Rachel Caine: This one wrapped up a couple of years ago, but it was one of the most original concepts I’ve come across. The weather wardens keep the earth safe and spinning smoothly, controlling rain, storms, floods, fire, earthquakes, etc, to the best of their ability. They can’t eliminate these things, but they can shape them, soften them, steer them a bit, and otherwise try to blunt the trauma wrought by Mother Nature, who is always trying to scrape humanity off  the surface of the planet. And did I mention there are djinn? Oh, I love djinn. Especially David, who is the love interest in this series. It’s a fun, action-packed romp, and the 4-book spinoff series, The Outcast Season, is equally entertaining.

8. The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater: This is a YA series that is profoundly moving and beautiful. Stiefvater’s writing is second to none to my mind. Lyrical, strong, and often heart-wrenching, without being maudlin, it will suck you in and wring you out! I’ve read the first two books, and have the third lying right next to the final Odd Thomas book. I’m torturing myself with them, daily, but soooooon. Sooooooon, my precious! I WILL read them, and mourn them when I’m done. If you’ve never read Maggie Stiefvater, I recommend starting with The Scorpio Races, a book so beautiful and dark, it will speak to your heart in shivery whispers you won’t soon forget.

9. The World of the Lupi series: Eileen Wilks: Shifters with intriguing pack politics, power struggles, and romance, all done better than most, by far. Interesting secondary characters, and complex plotting make this series a solid standout, book after book.

10. Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs: Mentioned above, this is a solid series featuring Mercy, who is a coyote skin-walker, and a host of other interesting characters, including the occasional vampire and troll. Some Native American lore here and there, and enough drama to make it all very interesting, and all of it, very well done.

Ooops…did I say TEN? Surely I meant FIFTEEN? And since they are ALL tied for second place after The Dresden Files, it doesn’t matter too much, anyway.

11. The Rachel Morgan series by Kim Harrison: This one is at the top of most lists, and I admit that I enjoyed it very much, and looked forward to each book, but I can’t put it at the top of mine because there were some things…and some characters…I just didn’t like. Don’t get me wrong…the series was still worth reading every single book, but I can’t quite rate it as highly as I have some others. I’ve reviewed enough of these books that some of you already know the things that annoyed me, so I’m not going into that here. But suffice it to say, no self-respecting list of good Urban Fantasy would be without these books. And Trent Kalamack will always be a favorite character of mine, as will the demon Algaliarept, and the obnoxiously funny pixie, Jenks.

12. The Leandros Brothers by Rob Thurmon: I’m adding a caveat to this series. It was one of my very top favorites…until it wasn’t. Things happened, and I found I wasn’t enjoying the new direction the books seemed to take. So I was hesitant to mention it in this list. However, if I’m honest, I got enough enjoyment, shivers, AND snarky laughs out of the first 7 or 8 books to warrant including it, even if I won’t be reading any more. Cal Leandros was a character I truly adored for a long time, and I won’t forget the books I loved, though I’ll try to forget the ones I didn’t.

13. Tales from the Nightside series by Simon R. Green: These quirky, off-the-wall, sometimes hilarious, sometimes horrifying books are like nothing elses out there. Noir meets Poe meets King, perhaps. Just bizarre, and filled with wonderful characters like John Taylor, Private Eye…who actually HAS a private…EYE. And Dead Boy, and Suzie Shooter. Oh, there’s no way to describe all of them. You’ll just have to visit the Nightside yourself…that world beneath London, where it’s always three o’clock in the morning, the hour of the wolf, when most people die, and most babies are born. You want shivers? Head to the Nightside.

14. The Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine: Another YA series, but one with such a well-done cast of characters, and entertaining plot lines, I just couldn’t leave it out. I devoured every single book, because…hello? Town run by vampires. You can get in, but you can’t get out. And yet, the good guys never give up, and their way of making it all work is totally believable. Assuming you’re the kind who can believe in vampires at all for the duration of a book. Solid writing, unexpected twists, and a very satisfying ending to the series.

15. Monster Hunters International by Larry Correia: Non-stop action from page one right through the series. This is serious, kick-butt and take no names stuff. A manly kinda supernatural series, with plenty of things that go bang and boom and give off a lot of smoke. Manly, yes, but I like it, too! 😉 Fun. That’s it in a nutshell.

And there you have it, folks. Fifteen terrific Urban Fantasy series, with something to please just about everyone. Hope there are one or two in the list you haven’t yet tried. Check ’em out! Tell ’em Marcia sent ya!

😀

Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas Cover

Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs

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My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Shifting Shadows is an anothology that includes every short story set in Mercy Thompson’s world from older collections, plus four brand new stories, two of which are actually novellas. For me, the new stories alone were worth the price of admission, but I also like having all of these stories in one very nice collection.

I enjoyed revisiting some of the older tales that I had forgotten about, and I like all of the new ones, but my favorite of all is “Silver,” a novella that goes hundreds of years back in time to tell the story of Bran and Samuel, and the witch who made them werewolves. It was sad and dark, but beautifully done, and I will look at each of those characters a bit differently in future books.

If you are a Patricia Briggs fan and already familiar with Mercy Thompson and friends, Shifting Shadows should be part of your library. Yeah, another cover I don’t like, but that’s an issue for some other time. I can overlook that in favor of the solid writing inside, and a chance to spend an afternoon with old friends, and new. Check it out. I don’t think you’ll be sorry.

Shifting Shadows

If you decide to place an order with amazon, clicking through from my links will give me credit. If you are enjoying my reviews on Bookin It, its a great way to let me know! Thanks!

Eight Day Wonders!

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For those who never notice my Countdown widgets, the next couple of months are going to be a lot of fun for fans of several great series. And in eight days, on September 2, four new books hit at once that I’m particularly excited about, to wit: Read more…

Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

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My Rating: 3-1/2 out of 5

Let me start by saying that I think Patricia Briggs is a fine Urban Fantasy writer. I have enjoyed the Mercy Thompson series very much over the years, and the spin-off Alpha and Omega series even more. So I am sorry to have to give what would have been Read more…

New Releases!

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Just Released!

For those not following my New Release Widgets in the sidebar, just a heads up.  Several of my favorite series have just released new books, as follows:

Seanan McGuire’s second book in the Incryptid series, Midnight Blue-Light Special, was released yesterday.  The first book, Discount Armageddon was terrific.  Can’t wait to see how the sequel goes.

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Slashback, the newest Rob Thurman book in the Leandros Brothers series is out.  I’m really eager to receive my pre-order on this one.  I’ve been crazy about this series since the very first book, though the last one troubled me greatly. I’m hoping Slashback will leave me feeling better about the changes Caliban is going through.  

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And last, but by no means least, Frost Burned, the new Patricia Briggs book in the Mercy Thompson series is now out.  I really can’t say enough good things about Patricia Briggs. Her Mercy books, as well as her Alpha & Omega series, are among my very favorite Urban Fantasy reads. 

If you’ve been following any of these series, you’ll want to check out these new books ASAP. I have high expectations for all of them.

Midnight Blue-Light Special: An Incryptid Novel

Slashback: A Cal Leandros Novel (Cal and Niko)

Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson, Book 7)

If you decide to place an order with amazon, clicking through from my links will give me credit.  If you are enjoying  my reviews on Bookin’ It, it’s a great way to let me know!  Thanks!

Fair Game by Patricia Briggs

Patricia Briggs' Fair Game Cover

MY RATING: 5 of 5 Stars

I have to confess, I’ve had Fair Game since the day it came out, sitting in my To Be Read basket, unopened. For weeks, I’ve walked by it and mentally whispered, “Sooooon, My Precious!” (I like to torture myself that way when I have a new book that I KNOW I’m going to love. Kind of like saving the best thing on the dinner plate for last!) Finally, I let myself sink into the pleasure of another visit to the world as created by Patricia Briggs, and I’m so glad I didn’t prolong the agony another day!

I’ve been following the Mercy Thompson books since the first one was released, and of course, I went straight into the Alpha & Omega series as soon as they were released, as well. I had hoped this second series would be just as good, Read more…

Quote #1 – Patricia Briggs

“Some people are like Slinkies.They aren’t really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.”
    ― Mercy Thompson,  Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson)

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