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
syndeDecember 29, 2008 at 5:19 pm
hey where did everyone go??I want free books!
relliott4December 29, 2008 at 5:24 pm
Fantastic list–a couple on there I haven’t read yet. 😉
KristenDecember 29, 2008 at 5:38 pm
Perfect – I was looking for urban fantasy books to read. Thanks for the list!
SciFiGuyDecember 29, 2008 at 5:39 pm
Read everything on your list except the Faith Hunter. Great picks !
miishDecember 29, 2008 at 6:01 pm
Oh me oh my!! I’d love to win! Thanks for your list Lisa. I’m a follower of Urban Fantasy Land (=
sarabelleDecember 29, 2008 at 6:10 pm
hello, I loved this post, I really enjoying reading about new authors and books, and these sound fantastic. Please oh please enter me to win.
MeganDecember 29, 2008 at 6:36 pm
Excellent list. I haven’t yet read Feast of Fools (it’s in my TBR pile), but the prior books of the Morganville Vampire series have been among my very favorite paranormal-fantasy books, YA or adult or otherwise. I love seeing the series getting more recognition!
donnasDecember 29, 2008 at 6:40 pm
Great list. I loved The Outlaw Demon Wails, One Foot in the Grave and Feast of Fools. I havent had the chance to get any of the others. Personal Demons, Happy Hour of the Damned and Dead to Me are tops on my wishlist though. So please enter me to win so I can get to them faster.
WriteBlackDecember 29, 2008 at 6:51 pm
I secretly want that bike on the cover of One Foot in the Grave! What a great list.
QwillDecember 29, 2008 at 7:03 pm
Wonderful authors! You mentioned a couple that I’ve not read and will check them out now!
Hope next year is a more prolific reading year for you and it’s a healthy and happy year as well.
KMontDecember 29, 2008 at 7:25 pm
I am game for ze giveaway!! Great post, Lisa. 😀 I zlso got some really fabulous sounding book suggestions from your site this year, so it’s been an absolute pleasure checking Urban Fantasy Land out.
DannieDecember 29, 2008 at 7:46 pm
AHHH I NEVER WIN THESE THINGS! Please pick me 🙂 I’d love to read those but i have no money and my moms cutting me off 😛
AymlessDecember 29, 2008 at 8:17 pm
Great list. I really need to read Kim Harrison’s back list (I think I stopped after book 3). Totally loved Magic Burns! It made my top 5 for the year.
Ooohh… added Deader Still to my NEED list. Loved Dead to Me!
TiahDecember 29, 2008 at 8:21 pm
OMG what a cool giveaway! Enter me please!
KrisDecember 29, 2008 at 8:32 pm
‘Happy Hour of the Damned’ and ‘Dead to Me’ both look great. Another terrific list! Thanks Lisa.
JanicuDecember 29, 2008 at 8:44 pm
Well throw my name in the hat! Great giveaway!
M.December 29, 2008 at 9:42 pm
I’ve been going back and forth about trying out ‘happy hour’. I adore unusual, but am not much of a zombie person. Seems like this book is one people either love or loath boundlessly.
LoriDecember 29, 2008 at 10:26 pm
What a great list Lisa! Some of these titles are on my must buy list and a few I have read. I loved Jeaniene Frost’s books and Mark Henry is great.
I would definitely put Jeaniene’s books on my list and I really loved Adrian Phoenix’s A Rush of Wings.
MargDecember 30, 2008 at 2:37 am
There are a number of authors on your list that I have been meaning to get to at some point! That point never actually seems to get here, but it will!
alchemuseDecember 30, 2008 at 6:43 am
Synde – Because who can resist free books, right??
relliott4 – So many great books, aren't there. Hope you'll give the ones you haven't read yet a chance.
Kristen – You're welcome, glad I could help.
SciFiGuy – Thanks! I love FH. she has a new UF series coming out this year too.
miish & sarabelle – Thank you!
Megan – I love RC's work. Can't wait for the djinn series this year too.
WriteBlack – It is a great bike, isn't it? JF has great covers.
Qwill – Thank you and Happy New Year to you as well.
Kmont – Thank you! I love Lurv a la Mode too. One of my first checks every day.
Thank you everyone and Good luck!
WendyDecember 30, 2008 at 8:16 am
Lisa, I think we are book soulmates, lol. I have The Outlaw Demon Wails in my TBR list and once I finish up my current read, I’m so digging into it!
WendyDecember 30, 2008 at 8:17 am
And oh! I can’t wait to read Deader Still!
StacieDecember 30, 2008 at 10:52 am
tetewaDecember 30, 2008 at 11:19 am
Alot of these are on my wish list, count me in!
TisaDecember 30, 2008 at 11:36 am
Please count me in the drawing! 🙂 Always on the look out for new authors I’m not familiar with. Thanks!
jmagloro [ at] ywave.com
ellia08December 30, 2008 at 2:26 pm
great posting! Its always nice to find some new authors. 🙂
JDecember 30, 2008 at 8:04 pm
I love Kim Harrison! The Faith Hunter series was so good also. Love your blog too – I’ve found some of my most favorite authors there. Thanks!
catieDecember 30, 2008 at 10:00 pm
I *love* UF. Whether the slant is humorous, dark, romantic, futuristic, or otherwise, it is at the top of my favorite genre list. I’m just thrilled the publishing industry is cashing in on the craze ’cause it means more books for my library!