My To Be Read Pile [5 Fandom Friday]

5 Fandom Friday - My TBR pile

My TBR pile is massive and has multiple parts. If you head over to my goodreads profile you can see my many bookshelves. I even have my TBR pile divided by whether they’re available at my two local libraries. So, yeah, this prompt was a pest! Narrowing it down to just 5 books was difficult, so I decided to add a sub-category to the prompt. First I considered new releases, new authors, indie books and comics (my local library just got an awesome subscription to Comics Plus so yey access to free digital comics!). In the end, I settled for this; 5 books in ongoing series that I am desperate to read.

 

Cainsville

The next book in Kelley Armstrong’s Cainsville series, and I am desperate to get my hands on it. It’s at my local library so I just need to wait until I’m well enough to pick up books again! I’ve gobbled down every book in this series so far and can’t wait to find out what happens next. This series has been a mixture of several genres, there’s a definite supernatural/urban fantasy element but it fits into the categories of thriller and mystery too.

 

All Souls

The final book in Deborah Harkness’ All Souls trilogy, and I have mixed feelings about it, as I have with the whole series. On the one hand I absolutely love it, on the other the books are so long and complex at times that the thought of picking up the next one hurts my head. It’s not the length, it’s the way it is written which is both a blessing and a curse. I want to know what happens next, how it all ends, and yet knowing how much text there is to get to that point – if there are even any straight answers – can be a bit off putting!

 

Bloodlines

Book 4 in the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead, this series continues on from her original Vampire Academy series with some familar and some new characters. I’m quite behind in it because it took me a while to get hold of one of the books, so I’m still playing catch up. This is one of those series where I’ve loved every book, but the incoming pain and danger for characters makes me put off reading it!

 

Mercy Thompson

I completely devoured Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson series a few years ago, and the last few books I’ve hit the ‘must wait for it to be published’ wall. Gah! It’s so totally worth the wait every time, and again, health is the only thing stopping me from grabbing this from the library.

 

Magnus Chase

Occasionally I watch a film/tv series before I’ve read the books, and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series was one of those. I quickly made my way through all of those, the next series and onto his other series based on Egyptian mythology. So when I heard he was writing about Norse mythology I was super excited and loved the first Magnus Chase book! Again, I’ve had to wait for the next book to be published so I’ve yet to get my hands on the next book and can’t wait to read where the story goes next!

 

What’s on your To Be Read pile? Do you have a short, specific one, or an ever growing never ending one like me? Do you prioritise certain authors/series? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you 🙂

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

9 Urban Fantasy Novels I Love

Sharing Saturday: Urban fantasy novels I love

Urban Fantasy is my favourite book genre and has been since I was 13 when I picked up a copy of the first Night World novel as a magazine freebie. Since I have devoured as much as I can and continue to do so. I’m still catching up with a lot of series, although there are several now that I’m up-to-date with or close to completing. The great thing about older series is that you can usually binge read a lot of them as there are several books published already or available at your local library.

This is my no means the full list of urban fantasy series I am currently reading. These are the ones I love and think other people should try. I’ve also tried to keep the list to books and authors I probably haven’t mentioned previous (like in a Fandom 5 prompt).

 

cainsville

Cainsville series by Kelley Armstrong

I’ve mentioned Kelley Armstrong’s other series, Women of the Otherworld, multiple times but not this series. Cainsville is more Thriller/Mystery with urban fantasy thrown in on top, and it has me completely hooked. Here’s the synopsis for book one, Omens:

Twenty-four-year-old Olivia Taylor Jones has the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy, prominent Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education, pursues volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young tech firm CEO with political ambitions.

But Olivia’s world is shattered when she learns that she’s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers serving a life sentence. When the news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiancé, Olivia decides to find out the truth about the Larsens.

Olivia ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her efforts to uncover her birth parents’ past.

Aided by her mother’s former lawyer, Gabriel Walsh, Olivia focuses on the Larsens’ last crime, the one her birth mother swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel start investigating the case, Olivia finds herself drawing on abilities that have remained hidden since her childhood, gifts that make her both a valuable addition to Cainsville and deeply vulnerable to unknown enemies. Because there are darker secrets behind her new home and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her.

 

 

dresden

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

I originally saw the TV series before picking up the books, and even then it took me a while to get to them. When I did, I devoured 15 in two weeks and have fallen in love with the quirky bonkers wizard. Harry is one of those protagonists who will have you laughing, crying, and face-palming and yet you still love him. Some of the most ingenious scenes I’ve ever read have come from this series, it is seriously a must read. Here’s a sneak peak at the first book, Storm Front.

Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.

Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he’s the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things—and most don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a—well, whatever. There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks.

So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get interesting.

Magic – it can get a guy killed.

 

irondruid

Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne

I know I’ve mentioned this series before, and I couldn’t resist sneaking it into this list because it is so god damn awesome. This is seriously one of those books I picked up and realised I’d hit the jackpot. Atticus is the only druid left alive, he’s several thousand years old and he’s hiding out from mythological creatures (such as gods) who want to get their hands on his magical sword (no, not a pun, he has an actually sword). There are three things that make this series super amazing; the portrayal of the different pantheons, they’re unique and so funny; Oberon, Atticus’ dog who he can communicate with and discusses bacon conspiracies; and finally, the geeky comments thrown in throughout every book. Kevin Hearne is a geek and it shows, and it’s not cheesy, it’s like you’re talking to your geeky best buds. Check out the synopsis of book one, Hounded;

Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old—when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power—plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish—to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.

 

kitty

Kitty Norville series by Carrie Vaughn

Another series that took me ages to get to, and one I fell in love with immediately. Kitty is a werewolf. Yep, a werewolf called kitty. To top it off she’s also a radio DJ. What I like about this series is that Kitty doesn’t start off as a badass, or someone with a reputation, she starts at the bottom. It also plays out what would happen if the world found out what goes bump in  the night. Here’s a look at the first book in the series, Kitty and the Midnight Hour.

Kitty Norville is a midnight-shift DJ for a Denver radio station – and a werewolf in the closet. Her new late-night advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged is a raging success, but it’s Kitty who can use some help. With one sexy werewolf-hunter and a few homicidal undead on her tail, Kitty may have bitten off more than she can chew?

 

 

mercy

Merry Thompson series by Patricia Briggs

I had heard about this series for a long time, and it had been recommended by several friends. I can say that they were correct; it is fantastic. I also love the spin-off series Alpha and Omega. Mercy isn’t a werewolf, she’s able to turn into a coyote. There’s wolves, vampires, fey and so much more in this series. Highly recommended, and to get you started here’s the summary for Moon Called;

Mercedes “Mercy” Thompson is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will. Mercy’s next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she’s fixing a bus for a vampire. This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy’s connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water…

 

riley

Riley Jensen : Guardian series by Keri Arthur

This series seems to be set in a near future where the supernatural is exposed and live and work alongside humans. There’s a bunch of futuristic tech, without seeming too sci-fi and the characters and world building are great. I’ve finished the initial series, and there’s a follow on series set in the future that I’ve still to read. Read on for more about the first book, Full Moon Rising.

In this exciting debut, author Keri Arthur explodes onto the supernatural scene with a sexy, sensuous tale of intrigue and suspense set in a world where legends walk and the shady paths of the underworld are far more sinister than anyone envisioned.

A rare hybrid of vampire and werewolf, Riley Jenson and her twin brother, Rhoan, work for Melbourne’s Directorate of Other Races, an organization created to police the supernatural races–and protect humans from their depredations. While Rhoan is an exalted guardian, a.k.a. assassin, Riley is merely an office worker–until her brother goes missing on one of his missions. The timing couldn’t be worse. More werewolf than vampire, Riley is vulnerable to the moon heat, the weeklong period before the full moon, when her need to mate becomes all-consuming.…

Luckily Riley has two willing partners to satisfy her every need. But she will have to control her urges if she’s going to find her brother….Easier said than done as the city pulses with frenzied desire, and Riley is confronted with a very powerful–and delectably naked–vamp who raises her temperature like never before.

In matters carnal, Riley has met her match. But in matters criminal, she must follow her instincts not only to find her brother but to stop an unholy harvest. For someone is doing some shifty cloning in an attempt to produce the ultimate warrior–by tapping into the genome of nonhumans like Rhoan. Now Riley knows just how dangerous the world is for her kind–and just how much it needs her.

 

spellcrackers

Spellcrackers.com series by Suzanne McLeod

One of the things that drew me to this series is that it is based in the UK and written by a British author – both very rare occurrences in this genre. Thankfully it is an amazing series so I have kept reading it, enjoying the view of an alternate London (my home town). In this world magic and the fey exist, and are ‘out’ to humans. London is filled with people seeking magic and spells from witches, and vampire tourist attractions. Magic is an every day occurance, and the author has done a great job of thinking of useful every day spells. Genny works for Spellcrackers.com, a company that ‘cracks’ (aka breaks/subdues) spells, and this combined with a whole load of mythology, politics, and mystery make this series a must read. Here’s the introduction for book one, The Sweet Scent of Blood.

‘My name is Genny Taylor. I work for Spellcrackers.com. It’s a great job, pays the rent, lets me do the thing I’m good at – finding magic and cracking it – and the bonus is it’s run by witches, which stops the vamps from taking a bite out of me.

Not that vampires are the big bad any more, not since they launched a slick PR campaign – ­ oh, and they brought the goblins on board. Now the vamps are sought-after celebrities, and Getting Fanged and taking the Gift are the new height of all things cool.

But only if you’re human.

And I’m not.

I’m Sidhe fae.

And I know firsthand just how deadly a vampire can be.’

When Mr October, a sexy calendar pin-up vamp, is accused of murdering his girlfriend, an old debt is called in and Genny is forced to help prove his innocence, risking her job and the protection it offers – and threatening to expose her own dark secrets. Searching for the killer plunges Genny deep into the hidden heart of vampire society. It’s not long before she realises that she and Mr October are both unwitting pawns in a centuries-old power struggle between London’s non-human communities . . . and it’s not just her own neck that’s at stake, but the lives of all London’s supernaturals.

 

stray

Shifters series by Rachel Vincent

There are so many werewolf novels out there that it is refreshing to have something different, and this series delivers it. Faythe is a female werecat which makes her very rare indeed. As a tabby she’s in high demand, and often restrictive by the idea that tabbies exist to keep the species alive. There is a lot of action in this series, and so much happens as it progresses. I’ve not yet finished it and so much has happened. Here’s the synopsis for the first book Stray;

There are only eight breeding female werecats left…

And I’m one of them.

I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds.

Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked.

I’d been warned about Strays — werecats without a Pride, constantly on the lookout for someone like me: attractive, female, and fertile. I fought him off, but then learned two of my fellow tabbies had disappeared.

This brush with danger was all my Pride needed to summon me back… for my own protection. Yeah, right. But I’m no meek kitty. I’ll take on whatever — and whoever — I have to in order to find my friends. Watch out, Strays — ’cause I got claws, and I’m not afraid to use them…

 

succu

Georgina Kincaid series by Richelle Mead

And last but not least is this series by Richelle Mead, best known for her Vampire Academy YA series. There’s nothing YA about this series; Georgina is a succubus, she steals souls through sex for hell. The whole network of heaven and hell is very intriguing, and as the series progresses it really does get more interesting. If you enjoyed Vampire Academy and like adult urban fantasy then you’ll enjoy this. Richelle delivers again with more twists, turns and heart-wrenching dilemmas. And here’s the summary for the first book, Succubus Blues;

When it comes to jobs in hell, being a succubus seems pretty glamorous. A girl can be anything she wants, the wardrobe is killer, and mortal men will do anything just for a touch. Granted, they often pay with their souls, but why get technical?

But Seattle succubus Georgina Kincaid’s life is far less exotic. At least there’s her day job at a local bookstore–free books; all the white chocolate mochas she can drink; and easy access to bestselling, sexy writer, Seth Mortensen, aka He Whom She Would Give Anything to Touch but Can’t.

But dreaming about Seth will have to wait. Something wicked is at work in Seattle’s demon underground. And for once, all of her hot charms and drop-dead one-liners won’t help because Georgina’s about to discover there are some creatures out there that both heaven and hell want to deny. . .

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Womances Redux [5 Fandom Friday]

5 Fandom Friday - Womances Redux

5fandomfridaySo, it turns out that I screwed up this Fandom 5 and as this weeks is a make-up one (aka do one you missed previously) I decided to redo this one. I didn’t realise womance was the equivalent of bromance and therefore pertained to friendship not actual romance. So here are my top 5 female friendships.

Eve/Jaime

jaimeeveJaime: “It keeps me toned.”

Eve: “So does kickboxing. And it’s a damned sight more practical too. Some guy jumps you in an alley, what are you going to do? Assume the lotus position?”

I absolutely love this series of novels by Kelley Armstrong, but the one womance that stands out is Eve and Jaime. I don’t want to give any spoilers, so all I’m going to say is that these two are forced together through a set of circumstances and aren’t anything alike. There’s no way they’d have become friends otherwise. But their friendship? It is so strong and it is hilarious at so many points.

 

 

Bo/Kenzi

bo-and-kenzi

Tamsin: What’s so great about Kenzi, anyway?
Bo: She’s, uh… She’s Kenzi. She’s smart and honest and kind. And she makes me feel normal. And special- all at the same time.
Tamsin: Oh.
Bo: She is my heart, Tamsin.

Kenzi is with Bo from the start of the show, throughout the whole omg-I’m-not-human-I-can-kill-people-with-a-kiss revelation. They’d only just met and Kenzi could have quite easily ran a mile. Instead they formed a bond, a true friendship that transcended the human-fae boundary. Most of the fae considered Kenzi to be Bo’s pet, something that annoyed both of them, but Kenzi continued to excel in her sidekick duties and went beyond the call of duty (I’ve yet to watch Season 5, so no spoilers please!). The best thing about their friendship is how down to earth and utterly ridiculously hilarious it is at times. They banter, they mock one another, they gossip and share the same thoughts – just like real best friends do.

 

Willow/Buffy

Buffy-Willow-season-4-buffy-the-vampire-slayer-1272084-1859-2560

Willow: The other night, y’know being captured and all, facing off with Faith… Things just – kinda got clear. I mean, you’ve been fighting evil here for three years and I’ve helped some. And now we’re supposed to decide what we want to do with our lives. And I just realized that’s what I want to do. Fight evil, help people. I mean, I-I think it’s worth doing. And I don’t think you do it because you have to. It’s a good fight, Buffy, and I want in.

Picking a quote for this one was super hard (and made me want to watch Buffy for the millionth time!) but I chose this one in the end because super smart Willow chose to stay in Sunnydale and help her best friend fight. Knowing that Buffy, as a slayer, would be fighting until the day she died, not to mention that slayers have a very short life span. There are people out there that would have fun a mile at the prospect of their friend dying, or them dying as a result of being involved in the life of a slayer. Not Willow, instead she signs up for full time scooby gang membership. In the show Buffy’s long reign as a slayer is attributed to her having friends and family to support her. Willow is a big part of that, and it’s one of the things that makes Willow’s turn to the dark side even more tragic for me; she knows Buffy will fight her because that is what she does, she makes the hard decisions. But her agony over Tara’s death is just too much to bear, too much for anyone to bear, including her best friends. Willow is just one aspect of the scooby gang, but she’s Buffy’s closest female friend and when they head off to college you especially notice just how important having that girl pal is for young women as they grow into adulthood.

These guys are strong, been through hell several times, saved the world more times than you can count and are still goofy with one another. I learned so much from this show and so many Buffy/Willow quotes live with me as I go through life, none more so than Willow’s “love makes you do the whacky” – which honestly, I think every young woman needs to be told by their best friend at least once.

 

Lois/Chloe

chloelois

Chloe Sullivan: Look, and Lois even made her world famous rum cake for you.
Lois Lane: From scratch.
Clark Kent: (looks at the slanted cake) Oh. I never would’ve guessed.
Chloe Sullivan: You should’ve seen the first two.

It has been a while since I watched Smallville but straight away these two cousins popped up. They had to go on this list. However, it has been so long and with 10 seasons of it, finding a quote took me ages. There’s probably better ones out there but I ran out of time to find one. Anyway, to this day Smallville’s Lois Lane is my favourite version, and her relationship with Chloe is so great. They’re more like sisters than cousins and that means they’re not afraid to tell the other one when they’re being an idiot. They know each other inside out and have an incredibly strong bond.

 

 

Hetty/Nell

hettynell

Nell: I analyzed him the best that I could, but… yeah, I was wrong.
Hetty: Well, Intelligence only takes us so far.
Nell: Why is that?
Hetty: We’re human. We’re too mercurial to ever really be known.
Nell: Hm. Hettie, as an intelligence analyst, not exactly encouraging.
Hetty: Well, I’m not suggesting that it is. It’s a reminder. Our work is never done.

If you’ve never watched NCIS: Los Angeles then the first thing I need to tell you is Hetty is described by one of the other characters as probably being “the master of the universe”. She has her fingers in every pie, even the ones no one knows exists and nothing gets past her. She frequently takes people under her wing, and Nell is no exception. But unlike the other characters, such as Callen and Kensi, Nell is shaping up as Hetty’s protege and at times it is scary how much they think alike. Nell has a relationship with Hetty unlike anyone else and she has her respect despite being so much younger and less experienced.

 

Honorable Mentions

Bones – Angela/Brennan

Castle – Kate/Lanie

Crossing Jordan – Jordan/Lily

World of Warcraft – Tyrande/Shandris

Save