Day 4 of Smugglivus
Who: Lisa Trevethan of Urban Fantasy Land
Lisa is one of the contributors for Urban Fantasy Land, a fantastic blog for all your Urban Fantasy needs in any format: books, comics, tv and movies. New authors, new titles, new covers, author tidbits and interviews, reviews and giveaways, you name it, they have it. Over this holiday period they had some pretty cool Urban Fantasy authors talking about their holidays. You can read the posts here.
And Lisa is offering a VERY VERY cool-generous-awesome giveaway. Read on:
I have to say that 2008 was not the most prolific of reading years for me. My job and my health cut down on my reading time considerably and where I usually read between 50-70 books per year, this year it was about 30. Not all of those were in the Urban Fantasy genre either. But, just because this year wasn’t prolific doesn’t mean I didn’t run across some real gems.
Here is a list of my fave reads of 2008 and as much as I wanted this list to be 10 instead of 9 to make it a nice even number, I would have been throwing that last book in for all of the wrong reasons.
The Outlaw Demon Wails by Kim Harrison – It’s no secret that I love Kim Harrison’s books but after the events of For a Few Demons more, I felt there was a delicate balance to walk. I think that she was spot on in the way she portrayed Rachel’s deep sense of loss and then showing how she was beginning to move her life forward. I was very pleased with how she handled the aftermath of a devastating event and showed there is hope and life goes on without it being over the top.
Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews – Ms. Andrews is a master at world-building, setting and description. If I were to teach such things, I would have students read the books first for their enjoyment and then go back and take a much closer look at the construction. Magic Burns was an action packed, dark and gritty read from start to finish with lush yet economical prose and a meticulously formulated world.
One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost – Ms. Frost is excellent at plotting and characterization. The chemistry between Cat and Bones is palpable and pretty darn combustible. One Foot in the Grave is fast-paced, tightly plotted and a real page turner. I also like how the revelations about Cat aren’t just for shock value. They move the story forward. Ms. Frost’s books are always exciting, fun reads.
Hotter Than Hell by Jackie Kessler – I have to admit, this is the first book I have read by Ms. Kessler. She has been on my To Buy list forever but I just hadn’t done it yet for real reason in particular. Well, shame on me. Ms. Kessler has a formidable writing style with a distinct gift for imagery and she stays on course with a bold storyline. Daunaun is an incubus. He acts like an incubus. The blows delivered by the plot were not softened and/or sanitized for our protection. There was no pretty bow added for the sake of an artificial HEA. I respect her immensely for sticking to the story and will definitely be reading her backlist.
Feast of Fools by Rachel Caine – While I am very familiar with Ms. Caine’s Weather Warden Series, this is the first of the Morganville Vampire Series I have read. I was not disappointed. Ms. Caine’s world and characters are well developed and highly believable. The action is fast paced and non-stop and while I hadn’t read any of the previous books, she provided enough information on previous events without it being an infodump that I had a handle on the backstory. Feast of Fools was a great read and once again, I will be reading the backlist of this series.
Host by Faith Hunter – Ms. Hunter is another author I find excels in world-building and description. No sooner do you start reading than you find you are in the center of the action in a post-apocalyptic earth almost more participant than bystander. Host is a great read that is gritty, romantic and thought provoking. This is a really interesting series written in a unique voice and I hope it continues.
Here are a few authors who were new to the genre in 2008 that I feel are ones to watch.
Stacia Kane (Personal Demons) – Ms. Kane’s tight third person POV, wonderfully descriptive writing style and wholly entertaining story are a few of the reasons I feel she is an author to watch. She incorporates humor, action, romance and frightening elements with considerable aplomb.
Mark Henry (Happy Hour of the Damned) – Mr. Henry’s voice and writing style are very unique. I thought his use of inserts and footnotes were spot on especially since the book was a socialite’s guide to the zombie life. It felt like Amanda was taking you aside and sharing her thoughts with you. I adore his wit and look forward to reading more.
Anton Strout (Dead to Me) – Dead to Me was a tongue in cheek look at the Urban Fantasy genre that I thoroughly enjoyed. Mr. Strout’s wit and imagination were standouts for me. He has taken some of the UF standards and turned them on their heads in fun and unexpected ways. I love my serious UF enough that you’d have to pry it from my cold, dead hands but Mr. Strout’s books remind us that there is still some fun to be had within the UF genre without being slapstick or insulting to the loyal UF readers.
As an incentive to try these newer authors, one lucky reader will get a signed copy of Personal Demons by Stacia Kane, a signed copy of Happy Hour of the Damned by Mark Henry and a signed ARC of the upcoming Deader Still by Anton Strout. (Just a leave a comment on this post by Jan 1st Noon Pacific Time)
Thank YOU Lisa for playing and for the generous giveaway!
Next on Smugglivus – Kmont from Lurv a La Mode