Book Recommendations

On my previous post Helene asked for additional recommendations, seems we have similar tastes, at least to some degree, and she wants more.  I’m going to try to stick to urban fantasy for this, though no promises as I read anything that’ll stand still…..

Now this is going to be a long post, so I’m going to toss the rest below the fold for those of you who don’t want to scroll through it all.

So.  First off, as I mentioned previously, I highly recommend Patricia Briggs‘s Mercedes (Mercy) Thompson series, and its off-shoot Alpha and Omega:

Mercy was raised by wolves…..werewolves that is.  Her father was killed in a car accident before he knew her mother was pregnant, her mother barely knew her father.  When she realized she was pregnant she decided she WAS going to raise this child….till one day she stepped into the nursery, and found a coyote cub in place of her infant. In a world where magic, the fey, and other such creatures of the night are unknown to the general public Mercy’s mother still managed to track down someone who would be able to raise a child who could turn into a coyote….the Alpha of the werewolves.  Fast forward 25yrs, the fey have exposed themselves to the world, choosing to do so in a method under their control instead of being forced there by technology.  Some humans are enamored, some hate, but all acknowledge their existence.  What most humans don’t know is that there’s more than just the fey hiding in the shadows of life!  The werewolves are next to have to decide how to share their existence with the world, and somehow Mercy’s caught up in the middle.

The Alpha and Omega take up the story plot where it diverges in the first Mercy book, Moon Called, and tell the other half of the story you only hear about.  I highly recommend reading at least a couple of the Mercy books before reading any of the Alpha and Omega books as you’ll want the background.  Also, when you’re looking up Alpha and Omega books, be advised the first “book” was actually a short story published in an anthology titled On the Prowl.  It was later republished as a stand alone for the folks who wanted it.  Both series have some romance touches, but only enough to make their main characters human.  Its by no means the point of the stories.

Also as mentioned Jim Butcher‘s Dresden series.  If you like urban fantasy, mysteries, and things that get a bit dark you’ll love this set. Jim’s philosophy is to see how bad he can screw things up for Harry this time!

Lets see… up: Kelley Armstrong‘s Women of the Otherworld series isn’t bad, more romance than I prefer, and I got bored about book 5, but its got the requisite werewolves and vampires, and magic, and she does keep it different.

Gail Carriger‘s Parasol Protectorate series is a much lighter read than any of the so far mentioned books, but adds some interesting touches to the vampire/werewolf mythos that I’d not seen elsewhere.  Worth looking at anyway, so far there’s (I think?) only 3 books in the series, though a 4th is due shortly.

For a technically young adult read I suggest Diane Duane‘s So You Want to be a Wizard series, and its companion set Cat Wizards Trio.  They follow the life of a preteen as she discovers magic, and what it can, and can’t do!  Cat Wizards is just that, same world, but all those hints about how smart your pet is…..yah, turns out they’ve got nothing on reality!

Jennifer Estep has a new series titled the Elemental Assassin series.  Only 4 books so far, but a few short stories are floating around too.  Bit more romancy, but not bad.

Mark Del Franco‘s Conner Grey series isn’t bad either, a druid, who’s lost his powers, appears to be the only one who can save the world!  Not steller, but one I keep an eye out for to read when I’m bored.

Laura Anne Gilman‘s Retriever series is another totally worth the read.  Six books in the series, plus a couple shorts, and a side set with another two books and at least one short.  Retrievers are thieves, except they use magic to get what they want.  Its not all fun and games though, using to much magic makes you crazy!

CE Murphy‘s Urban Shaman series is worth picking up too: Joanne has grown up stubbornly ignoring her genetic heritage, half Native American, half Irish, and wanting nothing of either, she became a mechanic.  But when her mother contacts her out of nowhere, advising her to come to Ireland to her deathbed, she returns to the good’ole USA and finds things aren’t quite how she left them.  She may not have wanted her heritage, but its not letting her go!

Hmmm, that’s all that’s jumping out at me for Urban Fantasy, at least for the moment.  I might have to do this again for general fantasy and scifi though!

On a related side note, I got to meet Jim Butcher and Patty Briggs (and spouses) at a con a couple years ago, they’re all very nice people, and I got a bunch of stuff signed, so cool!