Jan 052011
 

There are so many books in already established series’ I am looking forwards to reading this year, not to mention new ones I have yet to discover.  Here is a selection that I really can’t wait to get my paws on :

Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

January

A Hard Day’s Knight (Nightside) by Simon R. Green (Ace Books)
Kitty goes to War (Kitty Norville) by Carrie Vaughn (Gollancz)

March

River Marked (Mercy Thompson) by Patricia Briggs (Orbit)
Invincible (Chronicles of Nick 2) by Sherrilyn Kenyon (ATOM)
Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood) by J. R. Ward (Piatkus Books)

April

Ghost Story (Dresden Files 13) by Jim Butcher (Orbit)
Side Jobs: Stories from the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (Orbit)
Born of Shadows (League 4) by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Piatkus Books)

June

Hunt the Moon (Cassie Palmer) by Karen Chance (Signet Books)
Deadline (Newsflesh Trilogy) by Mira Grant (Orbit)

July

Kitty’s Big Trouble (Kitty Norville) by Carrie Vaughn (Gollancz)

August

Pale Demon by (The Hollows) Kim Harrison (Harper Voyager)
Retribution (Dark-Hunter) by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Piatkus Books)
Downpour (Greywalker) by Kat Richardson (Piatkus Books)

October

Envy (Fallen Angels) by J. R. Ward (Piatkus Books)

Fantasy

March

Land of Painted Caves (Earth’s Children Book 6) by Jean M. Auel (Hodder & Stoughton)
Twilight’s Dawn (Black Jewels) by Anne Bishop (Roc)

April

Shadow Chaser (Chronicles of Siala) by Alexey Pehov (Simon & Schuster)

Chick Lit

February

To the Moon and Back by Jill Mansell (Headline)

March

Summer of Love by Katie Fforde (Century)
Kiss and Tell by Fiona Walker (Sphere)

May

Any Man of Mine by Rachel Gibson (Corgi)

Crime

January

You Belong to Me by Karen Rose (Headline)

May

Virals by Kathy Reichs (Arrow (Young))

Feb 122010
 

Sherrilyn Kenyon is one of the pioneers of supernatural romance.  I’ve loved her work right from the first book I read and she remains one of my absolute favourite authors.  Her characterisations and stories are amazing and I have no idea how she keeps the plotline running through 19+ books but she does and and the results are outstanding.

So what do you do when you have devoured everything she has written?  Here are some recommendations for other authors in the same genre or with a similar style who I also love, and hopefully you might too!

J. R. Ward

Another author with a long running series, who has an amazing ability to bring her characters to life and into your hearts.  Features vampires, hot men and sassy women, who could ask for more?

The following authors also write supernatural romance/urban fantasy but they are not quite as epic in scope as Sherrilyn Kenyon or J. R. Ward.

Keri Arthur

Keri Arthur’s ‘Riley Jensen’ Series are a great addition to the genre, with a gutsy, sexy heroine who is half-werewolf, half-vampire.  The ‘Nikki and Michael’ vampire series has action as well as romance and the ‘Damask Circle Trilogy’ are definitely recommended reading too.

Patricia Briggs

For some werewolf love, Patricia Briggs brings the ‘Mercy Thompson’ Series to life and  is an excellent, engaging, action packed read.  Recently she has started on the ‘Alpha and Omega’ series from the same world, with two great characters who started out in a short story and are proving just as engaging.  Lighter on the romance side than Kenyon but the story makes up for it.

Karen Chance

The ‘Cassie Palmer’ clairvoyant series has a bit of mystery going on, even with the numerous supernatural elements and makes for an exciting, sometimes heated mix. In addition to the main series, Karen Chance has recently begun a spin off series featuring the daughter of one of the main cast, which is shaping up to be a good read.

Kelley Armstrong

The ‘Otherworld’ series is going from strength to strength and Kelley Armstrong has a great way of telling stories through different character’s viewpoints.  It starts with werewolves in Bitten and goes through several great characters who are witches, demons, sorcerors and necromancers.  I love how she crosses their paths with other characters and often sets up the scene for following books as minor plots in the current one.

Rachel Caine

Two excellent series so far – ‘The Weather Wardens’ and their abilities to control the elements along with the enigmatic Djinn and her Young Adult series ‘The Morganville Vampires’.  Both are excellent reads and highly recommended.

Kim Harrison

Witches, vampires, pixies oh my!  The ‘Rachel Morgan’ series is a  good solid read, inspired titles, humerous at times yet has its extremely poignant moments.  Fast paced, full of action and definitely one to read.

Karen MacInerney

‘Tales of an Urban Werewolf’ are an easy, interesting and fun series to read.  Doesn’t take itself too seriously but packs a punch when it needs to.

Carrie Vaughn

The brilliant ‘Kitty’ series (a misnomer since it’s about werewolves) just keeps getting better and Carrie Vaughn brings kick ass Kitty to life with style and panache.


If you have any other authors or books you feel would be enjoyed by people who loved Sherrilyn Kenyon, feel free to comment on this article with your recommendations.

Jun 252008
 

Rachel is again being sought after by Al the demon, her family and friends being threatened to try and make her capitulate. Struggling to deal with her grief and find some balance with Ivy amongst it all, she is begged for help from someone she wishes she could refuse. Can she evade Algaliarept, Newt and Minias, the three demons who have an interest in her while she helps Trent and achieve the desired result of keeping all she loves free from their persecution. A family secret finally comes to light and with it, a new horrifying fear for Rachel.

The first couple of books in this series were fairly light-hearted, even when dealing with the emotional side of each character. As the series has progressed, they have gotten less so – emotions have gotten deeper and the moral lines of good and evil blurring as they do what they need to, to survive. The characters have matured, had their view of the world changed time and time again and they roll with the punches because they have to. The books reflect that very well, maturing along with the main characters which, I think, is something that makes them very good. Another facet is that they can and do make mistakes like the rest of us, Rachel in particular realising that she can’t carry on as she has been, after a particular event happens.

They are so well written you can’t help but empathise with Rachel, Ivy and Jenks and caring about them deepens with each book as you learn more of their history. The pace of the plot is again good and consistent, and as always, I finish itching to read the next. Unfortunately that won’t happen until the next book is published.

Dammit!

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Kim Harrison
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Jun 182008
 

Rachel doesn’t like dealing with demons. Unfortunately, they seem to like dealing with her. Having two demons interested in her, one after her soul, would be enough for any Witch but as usual Life gut-punches Rachel when she’s called to the morgue where several unknown Were suicides have turned up. The item she fought to keep secret is threatening to come to the surface again and with it, the threat of an Inderland power struggle.

I found this book much more emotional than the previous four, the latter half engaging me on a deeper level. What had been fairly lighthearted up til now, turned more serious and at times, heart-rending. It showed that while you can struggle to keep things the same, inevitably life changes and often in a direction you don’t want. The characterisations are as strong as ever and I was hit harder than I expected to be, by the death of a loved character. This was the last book I owned and had to order the next one (Where Demons Dare – Book 6) and while I also have that same eagerness to read it that I’ve enjoyed all through this series, I also feel sad that one of them won’t be there anymore.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Kim Harrison
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Jun 162008
 

The fourth installment in this series opens three or so months on from the last book, and true to form, opens straight in to the action. Rachel is in deeper trouble with the Demons and due to her decision to keep a secret from Jenks, she and Ivy are without the little pixie and his family. Her ex-love Nick comes back into the scene and she feels obligated to help him out, along with Jenks’ son who went with Nick when he left. They have to travel beyond The Hollows and deal with the mundane world along with everything else and Rachel has to make some hard decisions.

I love the titles of this series, I really do! As I’ve read each book in the series, I keep expecting the quality of writing and plot to start dropping and it just hasn’t, if anything it has gotten better. Jenks’ absence in the beginning is like a huge void and you realise just how well the three main characters work together, as dysfunctional as they can be. The plot runs very smoothly, each event happening in good time rather than feeling overly rushed or too slow and again you get tidbits of history about each of the main cast that rounds them out even more. One of the things I’ve liked about Rachel’s character is how she started looking at things very black and white – white is good and black is evil. To survive, she’s slowly learned that things just aren’t as cut and dried as she thought and that some of the choices she’s had to make may not be ‘good’ but don’t make her ‘evil’.

I know I’ve said it before but I couldn’t help but pick up the fifth book straight away once I was finished with this one. I’m not sure what I will do afterwards as it is the last one I own and there is only one more that has been published at the moment!

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Kim Harrison
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Jun 162008
 

Picking up right where The Good, The Bad, and the Undead finished, book three gets off to a promising start, and never lets up. In between Rachel’s problems with a demon, Ivy resuming her blood drinking ways but still trying to stay on the right side of everyone and Jenks being his usual endearingly grumpy self, you would think they had enough problems. If only! Dealing with the outfall of their actions in Book two, the three partners in Vampiric Charms (NOT an escort agency!), try to do their ‘day’ jobs, diffuse the war that is threatening The Hollows after Rachel put away the former head of the Vampire faction and try to stay true to themselves.

The characters develop further still, it seems a little piece of important history of each character is released in each book which is something that keeps you reading to find out. The main characters are very ‘human’ in their actions and it’s something you can identify with – you don’t always agree with their actions but you can understand how they came to make them. Rachel, Ivy and Jenks are so fundamentally different as well, their interactions are always amusing or heartfelt and I enjoy them a lot. The secondary characters are just as entertaining and I was pleased to see some of the less known characters becoming stronger and more integral to the plot. Again I was eager to pick up book four as soon as I’d finished book three which is a real treat!

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Kim Harrison
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Jun 162008
 

I sometimes find that when I’ve really enjoyed a first book in a series, the second can be a bit lacking. I’m happy to say that wasn’t the case here!

The book picks up a couple of months after the end of the first, bursting back into action right from the first page. You learn more history about the characters, making them more rounded and easier to empathise with. The main characters can be a little irritating at times but in all honesty it is part of their charm. They can make bad decisions in moments of stress and do what they think is right, even if it is at odds with their ‘good’ natures. The interactions between Rachel, Ivy and Jenks often produce laugh out loud moments which is always nice.

The plot moves along nicely, with entertaining new characters being introduced of which a few of them you hope will become regulars. I enjoyed this second book as much as the first (Dead Witch Walking) and when I finished, I was eager, again, to dive right back in to number 3.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Jun 132008
 

Rachel Morgan is a witch. A witch who is under a death threat for daring to leave her employer, rooms with a still living vampire, shares her garden with a pixie family and is a bounty hunter of the supernatural, keeping the normal world safe from the creatures that would prey on them. Welcome to The Hollows in Cincinnati.

I actually picked up the third book first and when I found it hard to follow what had happened before, I put it away again until I could get this first book. I’m glad I did as so much became clear. I liked the history about how the world came to be what it is today, humans and the supernatural Inderlanders co-existing in a world that is vastly different yet so similar to our own. The main characters are flawed yet eminently likeable and you very quickly come to care about what happens to them.

The story centres around Rachel and her desire to be her own boss which becomes her struggle to stay alive. Her friend and room-mate Ivy is a still living vampire, who refuses to give in to the desire for blood. As she is still living, it’s a craving rather than the necessity it would be if she had died. Then there is Jenks, the six inch high Pixie, who helps Rachel and Ivy in their bounty hunting. He and his wife and fifty four kids live in a tree stump in the garden.

The story flows very well, even when filling in history and the action is fast paced, often leaving you tense along with it. It’s written in first person which is good as there are a lot of characters coming in and out and I think third would have been too chaotic. I liked being in Rachel’s head.

By the end I was eager to pick up the second book straight away and plunge right back into it and I was very happy to find there were five books so far!

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Kim Harrison
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)