Posts tagged ‘Laurell Hamilton’
Tuesday is a big ebook day for me. 3 books I’ve really been looking forward to will be released. I won’t know which one to read first.
June 6, 2011: Nightfall (Dark Age Dawning trilogy, book 1) by Ellen Connor
This is book 1 in a new series is by the writing team of Ann Aguirre and Carrie Lofty. Adjectives like “gritty” and “intense” have been used to describe it.
Ann Aguirre is an auto-buy for me. She does such a great job of balancing world-building, character development, and action.
I was lucky enough to get it and read it over the weekend, after preodering it, I have to say, all of the above is true.
In Nightfall, Jenna is kidnapped by Mason, a man who believes her father’s apocalyptic prophecies and has promised her father he would watch out for her when the predictions start to come true. Together, she and Mason have to fight the horrors that come to pass and figure out what exactly is happening to the world around them and to themselves.
June 6, 2011: Goddess with a Blade by Lauren Dane
I’ve read contemporary erotic romance, paranormal romance, and futuristic romance by Lauren Dane, but, this will be the first urban fantasy I’ve read by her. I love Lauren Dane’s writing, and am looking forward to it.
Rowan is a “physical vessel to the Celtic Goddess Brigid and raised by the leader of the Vampire Nation”. Sounds like a kick-ass heroine if there ever was one! She encounters a sexy vampire leader, and has to solve a series of vampire-related killings.
June 6, 2011: Yours to Keep (Kowalski family, book 3) by Shannon Stacey
Currently reading this!
After Angela James raved about this book at the Romantic Times blogger dinner, I had to start reading this series.
I’ve really enjoyed books 1 and 2 of the Kowalski family series, and like its predecessors, Yours to Keep has a great blend of fun, family, and chemistry between heroine Emma, and Kowalski cousin (and recent Army vet) Sean.
June 6, 2011: Bad Company by KA Mitchell
There’s something about this story that really sucked me in when I read the excerpt. (See excerpt on linked page.) It’s already pre-ordered, and I can’t wait to download it today!
Nate and Kellan were friends until Kellan outed Nate in high school. 13 years later, Kellan comes to Nate asking for a favor: pose as Kellan’s boyfriend to get back at Kellan’s homophobic father.
Why should Nate help Kellan out? And, why would Kellan ask him, when he knows that Nate hates him?
I love transgression/forgiveness stories, and am so excited to dig into this one!
June 7, 2011: Hunt the Moon (Cassie Palmer series, book 5) by Karen Chance
It’s been a long wait (2 years!) since book 4, Curse the Dawn. I really enjoy this fast-paced series, and am looking forward to see what’s in store for Cassie, Mircea, and Pritkin, especially since I’m hearing that the Pritkin/Cassie relationship might progress a bit.
I’ve read a couple reviews that indicate that this is one of the best books in the series so far, and am excited to see for myself. I’m on the library wait list for this one, so hopefully it won’t be too long before I get it.
June 7, 2011: Hit List (Anita Blake series, book 20) by Laurell K Hamilton
Yes, I’m STILL hanging in there with Anita and the gang.
I am totally invested in the characters, and really want to know how Nathaniel, Jason, Edward, and even Jean Claude are doing.
When Anita and the guys don’t get too caught up analyzing their relationships, there is usually some good supernatural action (of the non-sexy variety), and I’m hoping Hit List will deliver.
I’ve been listening to the audiobooks from the library for a while now, and always like the production on these.
June 14, 2011: The Demon’s Surrender (Demon’s Covenant trilogy, book 3) by Sarah Rees Brennan
This is one of my favorite YA series, and Alan’s on the cover of this one!
If you want a gripping, unique YA, I can’t recommend this series enough. I love the relationship between brothers Alan and Nick. They are often at odds, but when it comes to fighting the magicians who complicate their lives, they have each others’ backs.
And then there’s Jamie, his sister Mae, and the dancer Sin who round out the cast of characters. Confession time: while Nick has had considerable chemistry with both Mae and Sin, it’s his rapport with Jamie that gets me. If this were a different kind of story, I’d be hoping for a Nick and Jamie HEA.
This book is the last in the trilogy, and I can’t wait to find out how Sarah Ress Brennan will conclude it.
June 14, 2011: Come Unto these Yellow Sands by Josh Lanyon
Lanyon is another auto buy for me, and this one sounds really good!
A professor gets embroiled in a murder investigation when he tries to help one of his students. Complicating matters is the professor’s boyfriend, who happens to be the police chief.
I always have high expectations of Lanyon’s books, and am rarely disappointed. I will be pre-ordering it soon!
That’s a lot of books for just a 2 week period! Luckily, 3 of them will be library reads, but even so, my poor bank account is taking a big hit this week!
What are you looking forward to in June?
Blame it on the holiday, but it didn’t click with me until this evening (Tuesday) that book release day was today! Luckily, this post was mostly done. So, here are the books that are due out today and next week.
June 1, 2010: Chimera by Rob Thurman
Here is a book description:
Ten years ago, Stefan Korsak’s younger brother was kidnapped. No one knew who took Lukas, or why. He was simply gone. But not a day has passed that Stefan hasn’t thought about him. As a rising figure in the Russian mafia, he has finally found him.
But when he rescues Lukas, he must confront a terrible truth—his brother is no longer his brother. He is a killer. Trained, brainwashed, and genetically transformed into a flesh-and-blood machine with only one purpose—assassination. Now, those who created him…will do anything to reclaim him.
And the closer Stefan grows to his brother, the more he realizes that saving Lukas may be easier than surviving him…
June 1, 2010: Bullet (Anita Blake series, book 19) by Laurell Hamilton.
Anita Blake is back in St. Louis and trying to live a normal life—as normal as possible for someone who is a legal vampire executioner and a U. S. Marshal. There are lovers, friends and their children, school programs to attend. In the midst of all the ordinary happiness a vampire from Anita’s past reaches out. She was supposed to be dead, killed in an explosion, but the Mother of All Darkness is the first vampire, their dark creator. It’s hard to kill a god. This dark goddess has reached out to her here—in St. Louis, home of everyone Anita loves most. The Mother of All Darkness has decided she has to act now or never, to control Anita, and all the vampires in America.
The Mother of All Darkness believes that the triumvirate created by master vampire Jean-Claude with Anita and the werewolf Richard Zeeman has enough power for her to regain a body and to immigrate to the New World. But the body she wants to possess is already taken. Anita is about to learn a whole new meaning to sharing her body, one that has nothing to do with the bedroom. And if the Mother of All Darkness can’t succeed in taking over Anita’s body for herself, she means to see that no one else has the use of it, ever again. Even Belle Morte, not always a friend to Anita, has sent word: “Run if you can…”
June 1, 2010: Demon Hunts (The Walker Papers, book 5) by CE Murphy
Here is the description from the author’s site:
June 1, 2010: Skin Tight (Skin series, book 2) by Ava Gray
Here is the description from the publisher’s site:
June 1, 2010: Lightborn (Darkborn trilogy, book 2) by Alison Sinclair
June 8, 2010: Dragonsoul (Havemercy series, book 3) by Jaida Jones & Danielle Bennett
Here is a book description:
June 8, 2010: Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Here is a book description:
Cover award for the month has to go to the absolutely beautiful Lightborn cover. I also really loved the cover on the first book in the series, Darkborn. (The story was really good, as well. ) Can’t wait to see the final cover in the trilogy! My library has Lightborn on order, but for some goofy reason, I can’t request it yet.
However, I do have Bullet and Raised by Wolves on request at the library. I’m behind on The Walker Papers, but hope to catch up soon, probably on audio. Chimera, Skin Tight, and Dragon Soul will probably be purchases, unless the library gets them in really soon! Because I’m just impatient like that.
Did I miss any books coming out this month that you’re looking forward to?
To see what other books were released in June, check out my June 2010 Releases, part 2 post.
For information on other future releases, check out my Upcoming Releases page.
For information about other previously released books, check out my Released in 2010 page.
First off, big congratulations to Carolyn Crane for today’s release of her first novel, Mind Games (The Disillusionists trilogy, book 1). I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I won it over at DIK, and it should be winging it’s way to me right now. I’m really excited to see Carolyn’s wit, writerly talent, and quirky sense of humor that is so fun to read at The Thrillionth Page, translated into this urban fantasy series.
Another book I’ve been eagerly awaiting is Julia Spencer-Fleming’s One Was a Soldier (Rev. Clare Fergusson and Russ VanAlstyne series, book 7). Her site (which is out of date) has said for months that it would be released “fall ’09 or winter ’10″. However, neither cover nor release date has been forthcoming. Last week in her email newsletter, JS-F gave readers an update on when we can get more of Clare and Russ.
Here’s what she says:
First Amazon posted its publication date as “February 2012,” then sent out a notice it was going to be on sale a month from now! I was deluged by readers wanting to know which was true, and what the story was?
Here’s the good news: One Was A Soldier will be coming out a lot sooner than 2012.
Here’s the less-good news: You won’t be able to read it this year. Publication is set for April, 2011.
The manuscript was so late, I missed my production slot–the date my publisher had reserved for the book to be sold-in, printed, bound, etc. There are a multitude of steps readers never see that go into the proper publication of a book. And yes, with today’s technology a publisher can “crash” a book and skip a lot of correct practices but the folks at Minotaur don’t want my series to suffer. They want to do it right — and so do I. I promise you, it will be worth the wait. I’m extremely excited about getting One Was A Soldier into your hands.
She goes on to say that she plans to do some “character sketches, vignettes, or short stories” for her mail list subscribers if she is able.
As disappointed as I am to have to wait another year for One Was a Soldier, I’m glad that the high quality of this series won’t be compromised.
On a personal front, things have settled down a bit. My little great-nephew is home now with my niece. It was wonderful to introduce him to my son, who is thrilled he finally has another boy cousin. (The last few were girls, and he’s been dying for another boy in the family.)
Here is a picture of him getting to know his new little cousin (with my help):
He was a little nervous to hold him or even touch him at first, but by the end of the afternoon, he didn’t want to let go of his cousin’s tiny hand.
The 3rd annual DABWAHA (Dear Author Bitchery Writing Award for Hellagood Authors) Tournament (a romance oriented NCAA March Madness style tournament) has just concluded the 2nd round. I’m really excited to currently be in 5th place. I know the tides change quickly with each set of voting, so I may not be where I’m at once the next round concludes, but it’s been fun to check in after voting in each set, and see where I’m at.
On the book front, I’ve been really loving the audiobook of A Local Habitation (October Daye series, book 2). Rosemary and Rue (book 1 in the series) was one of my favorite UF series debuts last year, and Toby’s further adventures are just as enjoyable. It also is translating well into audio format and Mary Robinette Kowal is doing a great job with the narration.
I’m also reading Flirt by Laurell K Hamilton, which I have a feeling won’t be one of my favorites in the series. It’s one of her shorter books (158 pgs) leaving little time for plot, and the “flirting” theme isn’t really doing it for me. However, I will persevere for continuity sake and hope for better things with Bullet (a regular length novel) which will come out in June. I enjoyed the last Anita Blake novel, Skin Trade, more than any of the last 5 or 6 that I read and will continue to be optimistic about the future of this series.
This week I’m hoping to finally get to Linnea Sinclair’s Games of Command and Madeleine Brent’s Tregaron’s Daughter, my March Re-read Challenge book. I’ve been totally flaking out on my challenges this year, reading the books but not reviewing them. Ideally, I’ll be turning that around this month!
So, that’s what’s going on around here. What’s happening with you? Read any good books lately?
A while back, when plans for a televised version of her Anita Black series fell through, Laurell Hamilton reiterated her controversial observation that, “It has been frustrating watching other shows in the genre I pioneered go on the air while we didn’t, but in the end I believe most things happen for a reason.” (The above link goes to a cached version of her blog post, since I was unable to find the original.)
Now, let me first off say that I am a Laurell Hamilton fan. While I have often been frustrated with the Anita Blake series, it was an early series (though not the first) in the urban fantasy genre that I had read. I think that her latest, Skin Trade was closer to the AB series that I fell in love with than any book since Obsidian Butterfly. And, while not perfect, Skin Trade gave me much hope that the procedurals I love will once again be joined with some of my favorite characters in the urban fantasy genre. (Nathaniel, anyone? How about Edward?)
Secondly, I’m not clear in her comments which (sub)genre she meant when she made these comments. Vampire fiction? (With book turned tv series/movies: True Blood, Blood Ties, Twilight) Urban fantasy? (Dresden Files, along with the previously mentioned series/movie) Regardless, she undoubtedly is incredibly influential in either of these subgenres.
However, it’s equally clear that any way this comment is taken, there are many other authors that are at least as important and many came along before Guilty Pleasures was published.
Now, this post is not a bash on LKH. But, I’ve come back to her comments in my mind over the last few weeks, and for me, the upshot is that there are a number of really great urban fantasy “pioneers”, Laurell Hamilton, among them—though she is not the first. (I decided to focus on uf, because that’s the genre that’s closest to my heart.)
These authors are not ones that I see mentioned very often, and some aren’t even currently writing urban fantasy. However, without them I don’t think that the genre would be what it is today. Also, for perspective, I’ve added LKH in there chronologically.
Lastly, this list isn’t complete by any means. It lists some of the authors/books/series that I’ve read or I’ve always meant to read that I think of when I think about “classic urban fantasy”.
War for the Oaks by Emma Bull (1987)
Eddi McCandry sings rock and roll. But her boyfriend just dumped her, her band just broke up, and life could hardly be worse. Then, walking home through downtown Minneapolis on a dark night, she finds herself drafted into an invisible war between the faerie folk. Now, more than her own survival is at risk—and her own preferences, musical and personal, are very much beside the point.
What I love about this book is its firm foot in it’s setting: the music scene in Minneapolis in the 1980′s, and how Emma Bull weaves the faerie world into the “real” world. And, while some of it seems dated, I think it’s due to the really detailed setting more than any lack on the story’s part. (Also, I’m an 80′s girl at heart.)
It’s a great blend of faerie war, romance, and rock ‘n’ roll story. It’s hard not to read War for the Oaks’ modern-day faerie tale and not see it as the precursor to Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series, Holly Black’s Modern Tale of Faerie, and (dare I say it) Laurell Hamilton’s Merry Gentry series.
The Dreaming Place (The Newford series) by Charles de Lint (1990)
A young woman locked in rage yet seeking magic, Ash is drawn into a wondrous Otherworld of totems and dryads, living tarots and mystic charms. At the same time, Ash’s cousin Nina is stalked by an Otherworld demon-a manitou who can force her mind and soul into the bodies of beasts. Ash must find the strength to overcome her own anger, learn the full power of magic, and save Nina before she becomes the manitou’s weapon, turning the faerie realm into an arctic wasteland.
There is some confusion on my part as to the first book by Charles de Lint set in the fictional North American city of Newford. (ISFDB, Newford Wiki, Charles de Lint Wiki and Fantastic Fiction all list different books/short fiction as the “first” Newford story.) However, as far as I can tell, The Dreaming Place (1990) and Memory and Dream (1994) seem to be the earliest Newford novels, and I’ve had this series on my TBB list for ages. (I’ve read de Lint’s juvenile fiction Little Grrl Lost, which is a more recent Newford book, and it was wonderful.)
I love the idea of a series where the individual stories aren’t necessarily connected, but together they create a world, like individual pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Also, Charles de Lint is one of those authors that other authors cite as influential, and since writers also tend to be avid readers, I pay attention when a name keeps popping up the way his does.
Blood Price (Victoria Nelson/Blood series) by Tanya Huff (1991)
Vicki Nelson, formerly of Toronto’s homicide unit and now a private detective, witnesses the first of many vicious attacks that are now plaguing the city of Toronto. As death follows unspeakable death, Vicki is forced to renew her tempestuous relationship with her former partner, Mike Celluci, to stop these forces of dark magic—along with another, unexpected ally…
Henry Fitzroy, the illegitimate son of King Henry VIII, has learned over the course of his long life how to blend with humans, how to deny the call for blood in his veins. Without him, Vicki and Mike would not survive the ancient force of chaos that has been unleashed upon the world—but in doing so, his identity may be exposed, and his life forfeit.
This is one of my earliest urban fantasy reads. This series really feels like it bridges the genre gap between horror and urban fantasy. I love this series (which was later turned into the tv series Blood Ties) and it’s equally wonderful spin-off the Smoke series. (Actually, Tony, the eventual protagonist in the Smoke series is one of my favorite characters in both series.)
Tanya Huff comes out of a fantasy writing tradition, and shows in the series’ extremely detailed world and complex plots. She also doesn’t string the reader along with the never-ending love triangle, bringing the Vicki-Mike-Henry relationship —and the series— to a really interesting conclusion. (And, no, it’s not a menage.)
Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series) by Laurell Hamilton (1993)
“My name is Anita Blake. Vampires call me “The Executioner”. What I call them isn’t repeatable.
Ever since the Supreme Court granted the undead equal rights, most people think vampires are just ordinary folks with fangs. I know better. I’ve seen their victims. I carry the scars…
But now a serial killer is murdering vampires—and the most powerful bloodsucker in town wants me to find the killer… “
Well, here it is! The early installments in the Anita Blake series are such great paranormal procedurals, owing as much to the police procedural as to the horror novel. I love it when a fantasy novel has the feel that it’s world is made from “whole cloth”, and not just window dressing. And, that is surely the case with this series. History and culture have depth from the very beginning.
One of my favorite things about Laurell Hamilton’s writing is how she makes her characters come to life and makes me, as a reader really care about them.
Saints and Shadows (The Shadow Saga) by Christopher Golden (1994)
A secret sect of the Catholic Church, armed with an ancient book of the undead called The Gospel of Shadows, has been slowly destroying vampires for centuries. Now the book has been stolen, and the sect races to retrieve it before their purpose is discovered: a final purge of all vampires. As the line between saints and shadows grows ominously faint, private eye Peter Octavian is drawn into the search. And he’ll do anything to find the book . . . for Peter Octavian is also a vampire.
I’m more familiar with Christopher Golden’s Menagerie series that he co-writes with Thomas Sniegoski. However, I came across this (older) series of his, which I found especially interesting for the fact that this first book was published the same year as Guilty Pleasures.
This series is currently being re-issued in anticipation of the 2011 release of the 3rd book in the series. I’m really intrigued by it, given the paranormal DaVinci Code style plotline.
In the course of writing this post, I had to look up a number of series which, to my mind were “early” examples of urban fantasy. However, while they may have been books that I read when I was first beginning to read uf, they weren’t necessarily early on in the genre. These include: Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files (2000) (which I would consider the first uf series I read), Kim Harrison’s Hollows series (2004), Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire series (2001), Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series (2002), and my current Re-read Challenge book, Robin McKinley’s Sunshine (2003).
Now, all this being said, I think it’s also fair to say that it’s not only the “pioneers” that are of value to any given genre. So many incredibly talented authors have more recently contributed to making the urban fantasy genre one with diverse, high quality books.
Where do you weigh in on this issue? Do you have some urban fantasy “pioneers” to add to my list? Does this value put on being a “pioneer” matter to you as a reader?
Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva at A Striped Armchair and Marg at Reading Adventures that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post—feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries! This weeks Mr Linky will be at Eva’s.
My blogging energy has been a little low over the last week, and while I have a ton of half done posts sitting in my drafts folder, none has been sparking my interest. However, I’ve been seeing the Library Loot event around blogland, and have been intrigued. Today, Christine’s Library Loot post inspired me to give it a try.
I visit my local libraries (county and municipal) at least once a week, and get at least half my reading from them.
The books below are ones I’m picking up this afternoon. Most of the books I get from the library are requests. (My local county library is a tiny one-room affair in a strip mall, but Los Angeles County’s resources are enormous.) On Wednesdays, if my son has a good day at school, his reward is getting to go to the library, do his homework there, play on their computer, and check out a book. He actually looks forward to this more than other kind of treats! (If he doesn’t have a good day at school, we just pick up my books, return the due ones, and come home.)
So, here’s what’s waiting for me at the library today:
Skin Trade (Anita Blake series, book 17) by Laurell Hamilton
Yes. I’m still reading this series. As much as I get frustrated with where this series has gone, I continue to read. Why? Because despite my aggravation with some of the sexual scenes that last for days, and the emo fall out of these activities (with which I think I have a harder time), I feel incredibly invested in these characters. Despite it all, LKH has developed a rich world with interesting characters I’ve come to care about.
Also, I’m an optimist, and continue to hope that the compelling paranormal procedurals that first attracted me to this series will return. I’ve heard that this book, while not back to the days of Obsidian Butterfly or The Laughing Corpse, is more plot driven. ::fingers crossed!::
Dreamfever (Fever series, book 4) by Karen Marie Moning
The previous book in the series, Faefever, ended on such a cliffhanger that I was in shock as I listened to the last scene.
I can’t wait to see what happens to Mac, and am so excited that we’re going to get Barrons pov in this book. I listen to the audiobooks for this series, and narrator Natalie Ross is a great Mac. (The books are told in 1st person.) I’m interested to see how the addition of Phil Gigante (as Barrons, for his pov) will work. Phil Gigante also narrated KMM’s Highlander series audiobooks.
Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
I really enjoy Jennifer Crusie’s romantic comedies. I always feel Meg Ryan or Kate Hudson should be starring as one of her smart, quirky heroines.
I’ve heard such great things about this book, in particular, so I’m looking forward to picking it up this afternoon.
By the way, all of these books are in audiobook format. I had gotten such a backlog of print library books sitting on my tbr shelves that I’ve been having to return them unread. As many of the books I request are new releases, and there is usually a waiting list for them, and it’s unpredictable as to when they’ll come in. It always seems like books won’t come in for ages, and then all come in at once. Consequently, I’ve been mostly requesting audiobooks lately until I catch up on my print reading. (I can always load the audiobooks onto my iTunes, return the CDs to the library, and listen at my convenience.)