Tell Me Something Tuesday: Series I started this year I will continue reading in 2020

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings where a range of topics from books to blogging are discussed.

This week we talk about the series we started this year that we plan to continue in 2020.

New Series, New Authors (at least to me)

Sparks & Bainbridge series by Allison Montclair–I read the first book in this series–The Right Sort of Man–and really liked it. This is a historical mystery series taking place in Great Britain after WWII ended.

Jazz Ramsey series by Kylie Logan–The Scent of Murder–in this contemporary mystery series was published this year. I enjoyed that book though I had hoped there would be more about dogs since the main character trains dogs. I’ll read the next book in the series and hope to read more about dogs!

The Vardeshi Saga by Meg Pechenick–I’ve read both books last summer–Ascending and Bright Shards–published so far in this series and loved them. This is a science fiction adventure series about aliens making contact with Earth.

Oxford Dogwalkers Mystery series by Annie Dalton–A cozy mystery series. In the first book, The White Shepherd, a dog walker teams up with other dog walkers to discover who killed the dead woman found by her dog.

Crow Investigations series by Sarah Painter–I read The Night Raven in September. It’s an urban fantasy and is intriguing because it’s got a few different things about it. I liked the idea of magical families in London–the Crows, the Silvers, the Pearls and the Foxes–which have had a truce for quite a long time, but now that truce may be breaking down.

DCI Dani Bevan series by Katherine Pathak–Against a Dark Sky is the first book in a police procedural mystery series. I’ve read the first two books and there are 10 more to read! Yay!

New Series from Authors I’ve Read Before

DFZ series by Rachel Aaron–This is urban fantasy series that’s a spin-off from the Heartstriker series. It has different characters, but it’s set in the same world in the Detroit Free Zone (DFZ) and some of the dragons are peripheral characters. Minimum Wage Magic is the first book. Rachel Aaron writes such good characters! So far I’ve read two books in the series.

The Time Police series by Jodi Taylor–Doing Time is the first book in this spinoff series of the Chronicles of St. Mary’s series (and both series are excellent). They are science fiction time travel books.

Two Rivers series by Ann–The Long Call is the first book in a new series by Ann Cleeves which came out in September of this year. It’s a police procedural British mystery series. Ann Cleeves writes such good mysteries and her characters are great, too.

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What new series did you start reading this year? Will you continue reading them in 2020?

Tell Me Something Tuesday: My favorite genres

My favorite genres: mysteries, science fiction, urban fantasy, dog books, women’s fiction

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings where a range of topics from books to blogging are discussed.

This week we’re talking about our favorite book genres. My reading tastes have changed throughout my life. I’m a mood reader so sometimes I quit reading a whole genre, but come back to it later. That’s what happened with mysteries. I completely stopped reading mysteries about 20 years ago and then started reading them again about five years ago.

About the same time I stopped reading mysteries I suddenly started reading romances and only read romance for about 10 years. I have trouble getting through a romance these days, but I do like to read books which have romantic elements.

This post became a lot longer than I meant it to…lol! Especially when I started adding my favorites from the genre that I’ve read so far this year. Oh, well. It was fun for me to think a little about the genres I read and how it’s changed sometimes.

Mysteries

I’ve read mysteries since I was a teenager when my favorite mystery authors were Agatha Christie, Dick Francis and Tony Hillerman. I still read these authors today. At various time throughout my life I’ve stopped reading mysteries, but right now mysteries are my favorite genre.

I don’t like to read about crimes against children or about serial killers. I don’t like really suspenseful mysteries or thrillers very much. I don’t like mysteries which dwell on the gruesome details of a murder. I don’t like to read a mystery from the murderers point-of-view.

In the past few years I read quite a few cozys, but these days I only have a couple favorite series I continue to read. To me too many cozys just seem silly or the the main character is just “Too Stupid to Live” (TSTL). The main character constantly puts themselves in danger.

I used to read a lot of books about private detectives, but read very few of these anymore since I think it’s difficult to write about private detectives who sound realistic. Private detectives need some way to get information and they usually need to have a connection with the police (which is difficult to really have).

This is one of my very favorite mystery series which isn’t quite a police procedural. (Ruth Galloway is the main character and she’s a forensic archaeologist, but sometimes consults with the police):

Police Procedurals

For the past few years my favorite subgenre is the police procedural. I really like reading about police officers and the work they do–especially honorable police officers who do the job because they want to help people. I like to read about the investigative work the police do to solve crimes. I also like to read series in this subgenre where we get to know the police officers both professionally and personally and other people in the books.

Some of my favorite police procedurals I’ve read so far this year:

Science Fiction

My favorite subgenres in science fiction are space opera, time travel and military science fiction. I do read some others that I would just call “regular science fiction.” I haven’t read as many science fiction this year so I don’t have examples in all my subgenres so I’ve just listed three of my favorite science fiction from this year:

Fantasy

A few years ago I read young adult fantasy and epic fantasy as well as urban fantasy, but I got burned out. These days urban fantasy is about all I read in this genre. And not too many of those anymore.

Urban Fantasy

My favorites from this year:

Dog Books

I started reading and searching for mysteries which had dogs in them last year–mostly working dogs. That led me to other books about working dogs that might not be mysteries and then some that are women’s fiction with dogs as central characters.

I especially like reading about the working dogs (search-and-rescue dogs, bomb sniffing dogs, military dogs, seeing eye dogs) These books often have another genre description. Of the three listed below the first is also women’s fiction. The second is young adult. And the third is a police procedural.

My favorite 2019 books about dogs:

Women’s Fiction

This is another new genre for me I’m actively searching for this year. I cringe a bit when I call a book “women’s fiction,” because it feels a little like I’m belittling the book. However, these books probably do appeal mostly to women and they usually have a lot about women changing their lives as well as usually having some romance in them. However, the romance isn’t what the book is mostly about, IMO. My favorites in 2019:

……………………

What are your favorite genres? Have your favorites changed through your years of reading?

What I love about libraries

tell me something tuesdayTell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings where a range of topics from books to blogging are discussed. The subject this week is to talk about what we love about our library. I’ve changed the topic a little because I love all libraries. They’re some of my favorite places in the world!

My childhood library

Libraries have been part of my life for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories are of my mother taking me to the library. When I was a child our town didn’t have any bookstores so the library was where I found books to read. By the time I was 11 or 12 I was reading the books in the adult section of the library. I remember lots of Saturday mornings spent in the adult section slowly browsing the shelves finding authors like Agatha Christie, Dick Francis and Robert Heinlein.

deschutes county library from 1939 to 1998
My childhood library in Bend, Oregon–built in 1939 and the main library until 1998. Today it’s used for administration. It’s one of the few remaining examples of Oregon Rustic or National Park Style.

My life-long love of libraries

As an adult I’ve moved a lot, but one of the first things I always do in a new place is get a library card. However, even before I get a library card I visit the local library and see what information it has to offer about the local area so I know more about my new town and what activities are going on.

When my kids were little I would take them to the library and we’d find books for them to check out. Then I would sit them down with their books in the aisle I was looking in and spend five minutes looking for a couple of books for myself!

Current library

My current library has a beautiful main library downtown and a number of branches. I go to my branch library about once a week. Since the internet came along I don’t browse the library shelves as much as I used to. I use the computer catalog at the library website at home and search for books I’m interested in reading. If the library doesn’t have a digital copy (ebook or audiobook) I sometimes get a physical copy though my preference these days is for an ebook or an audiobook. I can reserve both physical books or digital books using the library website. If the digital copy isn’t already checked out I can immediately download it. (I love that feature!) And I don’t have to worry about overdue fines with digital books since they disappear when they’re due. (I love that feature, too!)

Research

Finding information on the internet is great, but if I’m researching a subject like gardening or genealogy I like to find a book or two about it. That’s where the library is really great. I can do my catalog search at home and can reserve the book if it’s checked out or my library branch doesn’t have it. If my branch has the book I can find it on the shelf and check it out.

Research databases

My library also has research databases on its website. There’s an online Consumer Reports database that’s free for library patrons to search. There’s the library edition of MyHeritage where I can do family history research without having to join MyHeritage and pay a fee. They have lots of other research databases, too.

Interlibrary loan

And if none of the branches have a particular book I’m interested in I can ask my library to use interlibrary loan to try to get the book from another library. That’s really great if I’m researching something and my library doesn’t have the specific book I need.

Mostly though I just like to know I have a library to go to. I can find a book to read, look at the magazines and maybe check one out and I can look at the new books to see if there’s something that looks interesting. I especially love that the library has ebooks and audiobooks. They don’t have everything I search for, but they do have enough that I can usually find something that’s on my list of books to read.

What about you? Do you go to your library and check out books? What do you like about your library?

Books I want to read during fall 2018

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings where a range of topics from books to blogging are discussed.

This week we’re talking about Books I want to read during fall 2018The books I’ve listed are mostly ones already published and I that already own. I also list a few that publish in October that I’m especially excited about.

Head On by John Scalzi, Lock In #2

The Salaryman’s Wife by Sujata Massey, Rei Shimura #1

The Cat Who Walked a Thousand Miles by Kij Johnson, a fantasy short story

No Time Like the Past by Jodi Taylor, The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #5

The First Eagle by Tony Hillerman, Leaphorn & Chee #13

Mercy Falls by William Kent Kreuger, Cork O’Connor #5

Plague Ship by Andre Norton, Solar Queen #2

Binti by Nnedi Okorato, Binti #1

Last Dragon Standing by Rachel Aaron, Heartrikers #5

Planetside by Michael Mammay

Rogue Protocol & Exit Strategy by Martha Wells, The Murderbot Diaries #3 & 4 — #3 came out in August & #4 comes out in October

Back Stabbers by Julie Mulhern, The Country Club Murders #8, comes out in October

Burning Ridge by Margaret Mizushima, Timber Creek K-9 Mystery #4, comes out in October

What books do you want to read this fall?

How I choose what to read next

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings where a range of topics from books to blogging are discussed.

This week we’re talking about: The things we’re drawn to when choosing our next reads. I’m very much a mood reader so at any one time I have lots of books I’m thinking about reading. However, a book may sit on my Kindle for months (maybe a few years) before I finally decide to read it. Sometimes I forget about it and sometimes I’m just not wanting to read that author or that particular book anymore. So how do I choose what to read next?

Here are the things I consider:

  1. Other people’s reviews and recommendations–I get a lot of recommendations from other bloggers. I love reading other bloggers’ reviews plus sometimes bloggers recommend a specific book to me either on my blog or on Goodreads.
  2. The author–If I’ve read other things by an author and liked them I might decide to get another book by the author.
  3. The next book in a series I love–When I can get the next book in a series that I love I usually like to read the book soon.
  4. The synopsis–I don’t usually read the whole synopsis since I don’t want to spoil the book, but I do read a little so I have an idea whether it’s the type of book I want to read.
  5. Books on sale, inexpensive or found at the library–I can’t afford to pay $10 for ebooks (which seems to be the price point these days for a lot ebooks.) (Probably 99% of my books are ebooks or audiobooks these days because it’s easier for me to read and listen to them.) If I can’t find a digital copy at the library or it doesn’t go on sale sometimes I don’t ever read the book.
  6. Books with exotic settings–Sometimes I like to read books set in places other than the United States (or in a different part of the States than I live). Most of the fantasy and science fiction I read also count as an exotic setting.
  7. The genre–Sometimes I’m in the mood for a mystery and sometimes a science fiction or fantasy. Occasionally I will read a different genre, but right now I’m reading mostly those three genres.
  8. Reading challenges–I like to join book challenges each year and sometimes I wouldn’t have found a book that I read except that it fits one of the challenges.
  9. The cover–Sometimes I’m browsing on Goodreads or Kirkus or another site and I see a great cover which encourages me to find out more about the book. However, I have to confess that I’ve never read a book just because I liked the cover.

Since I was looking for a book to read yesterday I decided to show the books I’m considering reading next & why:

Shadow Dancing by Julie Mulhern–The next book in one of my favorite mystery series.

The Salaryman’s Wife by Sujata Massey–I read a book by this author a few months ago plus this one is set in Japan.

Murder at Cape Three Points by Kwei Quartey–It’s a mystery set in Ghana and the ebook was on sale (but it’s the third in the series)

The Cat Who Walked a Thousand Miles by Kij Johnson–a fantasy short story about a cat and has a great looking cover.

No Time Like the Past by Jodi Taylor–the next book in a time travel series (exotic setting).  (Originally recommended by Li @ Me and My Books).

Drifters’ Alliance, Book 1 by Elle Casey–reviewed by Sarah @ Brainfluff.

………………..

And the book I chose? Shadow Dancing by Julie Mulhern

What about you? How do you choose the next book to read?

My favorite times to read

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings where a range of topics from books to blogging are discussed.

This week we’re talking about our favorite times to read.

Early morning

I often wake up early in the morning and I love to get up and read at that time. That’s my very favorite time to read. My husband usually sleeps a little later, but I’m usually up anywhere from 5:00 to 6:00 a.m. The house is quiet. I feed my cats. And then get a cup of coffee, a cat or two on my lap and try to get some really good reading time!

If I get to bed late and don’t wake up so early–especially if my husband gets up with me I sometimes feel out-of-sorts all day long if I can’t carve out some other quiet time to read.

Audiobooks and cards

I wrote a post a few weeks ago about listening to audiobooks while I create cards. I love that I can listen to books and create at the same time. That’s about the only time I listen to audiobooks except when I’m about to finish an audiobook!

In the den with sunlight or snow

Another time that sometimes works for me is to sit in my den and read–especially if the sun is shining in or it’s snowing outside and I’m snug and warm inside. It’s a great place to read. However, I don’t find the time (or make the time) to do that since it’s later in the day and it seems like I always have something else I feel I should be doing.

In the car

My husband likes to drive and I like to read so when we go on a trip somewhere he drives and listens to the radio. I read. Sometimes we talk! I can get a lot of reading done during a road trip somewhere–even if I look at the scenery or talk to my husband now and then. Years ago I even read Dune by Frank Herbert (a 600 page book) out loud to my husband during a three-day car trip!

What about you? When is your favorite time to read? Do you have more than one favorite time?

Books I’ve read recently that made me feel good

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings where a range of topics from books to blogging are discussed.

This week’s topic: Some light, fluffy feel good books I’ve read lately. I don’t really read many light, fluffy feel good books. Not because my books are serious, weighty books dealing with “serious” topics. These are the books which made me feel good about reading…happy that I chose that book to read. I’ve read these books within the last six months or so. Lots going on in the world that makes this the perfect time to read light, fluffy feel good books.

Starman Jones by Robert Heinlein

Starman Jones is one of my favorite types of science fiction–a space opera. A space opera book that makes me feel good at the end of the book is a fun adventure with characters I’m rooting for. If it’s part of a series I don’t want it to end on a cliffhanger. I want a satisfying ending with room for future books. If it’s stand-alone I want the “good guys” to win! This fit those parameters. Max Jones in a naive, but honorable young man at the beginning of the book. By the end of the book he’s not as naive, but he’s still honorable and he’s had quite an adventure.

All Systems Red by Martha Wells (The Murderbot Diaries #1)

First in a new science fiction series by Martha Wells (who also writes one of my favorite series–Books of the Raksura). These books are novellas (this one is 144 pages) and two more are scheduled for publication in 2018. The Murderbot is a self-aware security android. Others don’t know she’s self-aware and she hasn’t told them she calls herself “Murderbot.” I love this story and am really looking forward to reading the next in the series.

Garden of Lamentations by Deborah Crombie (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #17)

Deborah Crombie is one of my favorite authors. She writes a police procedural series set in Great Britain. I love reading about Gemma and Duncan’s relationship, their growing family and their increasingly dangerous police work. I love the series as much for the relationships as for the mysteries in the books. After 17 books everything has changed a lot for them.

Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

I listened to the audio version of this short book and it was delightful. Tolkien wrote letters to his children at Christmastime as though he were Father Christmas. They are fun and imaginative. This book is a light, feel good book.

Cold as Ice by Julie Mulhern (The Country Club Mysteries #6)

This historical mystery series (1970’s Kansas City) keeps getting better and better. I love the way Ellison grows in this mystery series. And the way she shows her daughter that she’s a strong woman and that strong women don’t need a man to save them–while also showing that a strong woman can also have male friends. I also love Ellison’s humor and I like Ellison’s relationship with her teenage daughter–not always easy, but honest.

Flash by Donna Ball (Dogleg Island Mystery #1)

I like to read books about dogs–especially smart dogs. I must have read this at the right time, because Flash is an especially smart dog–quite self-aware in his thinking while still motivated by food! I don’t usually like books about animals who are too smart to be realistic (unless it’s science fiction or fantasy!)–and this book was right on the edge and over sometimes. I may not read another book in the series, but this book did make me feel good. I was smiling while I read it.

Hunting Hour by Margaret Mizushima (Timber Creek K-9 Mystery #3)

Another series with a smart dog in the book. In this case, Robo is a K-9 dog in a police department in a Colorado mountain town. Mattie is his police partner and I love the bond between them. Robo is much more realistic even though he’s very much a character in these mysteries. K-9 dogs do fantastic things everyday in both police work and in the military and they’re true heroes.

What about you? Are you reading lots of light, fluffy feel good books? What are your feel good books?

Favorite surprise books of the year

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings where a range of topics from books to blogging are discussed.

This week we’re talking about the books that surprised us this year. My surprises all either turned out more interesting or slightly different than I expected. They’re usually but not always a new series I started.

City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong–this was the most surprising book of the year–very unexpected

I have read some of Kelley Armstrong’s fantasy so even though I read that this was a mystery I kept expecting some fantasy element. Surprises–the setting in northern Canada and the creepiness factor. I really like that setting and the mystery . . . and the fact I liked the creepiness!

Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine

Arabella is such a fun protagonist. She’s heroic with lots of integrity, humor and honor. I love the steampunk, alternate history setting and there are so many interesting characters. Great world building.

Linesman by S.K. Dunstall

The protagonist is unaware of how special he is. For years he’s been told what a loser he is. When someone sees his potential he doesn’t really believe it. However, he gives his loyalty and hard work to his new employer even though he doesn’t believe he’s very important.

I read books 1 and 2 of this series within a week. (I’ve saved book 3, because I think these three books are all the books the author has written. I hope the author writes more books either in this world or in a completely different world soon.) This is a science fiction space opera–one of my favorite genres.

Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

I loved the latest book in the Mercy Thompson series. Mercy is on her own and though the pack is looking for her she has to save herself–communications are cut off between her and the pack. I love what a strong and smart person she is. This book does such a good job of showing that.

Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

What a good find this series is. Li from Me and My Books blog gives me so many great recommendations. I’m always glad when I read a book she recommends!

The places the characters visit, St. Mary’s and all the different plot twists in the books create a great series and big surprises. This time travel science fiction series has quite a few in the series and I’m loving each one.

An Accidental Death by Peter Grainger

This British police procedural series is so good. D.C. Smith is a great character. His superiors don’t always like him, because he’s so unpredictable. He’s after the truth–and the more political superiors sometimes want the easy or political solution. I’ve read several of these mysteries and each is quite different from the one before, but each has a very satisfying mystery.

Iron Lake by William Kent Kreuger

I love the setting of these books (the northern Minnesota lake country). The main character is part Irish and part Anishinaabe Indian. He’s the former sheriff–voted out of office when he made a mistake before the beginning of this book. It cost him dearly. He’s no longer sheriff and he lives apart from his wife and children now. In this book he has to confront both his own demons and enemies.

The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson

Walt Longmire is such a good character. And I love his best friend–Henry Standing Bear–who always gives Walt great advice as well as giving dating advice! I’ve watched some of the TV series so I see Robert Blake in my minds-eye as the sheriff and Katee Sackhoff as Deputy Victoria Moretti even though she’s described differently in the books. (Katee Sackhoff isn’t Italian.) I also really like the audio narrator (George Guidall) of these books. This book is the first in the series and surprised me in so many ways. I have had to keep myself from reading all the books in a couple of weeks!

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

The narrator of this book calls herself “Murderbot.” She has such a distinct voice and is so different. She doesn’t like humans much and though she’s self-aware she has to hide it. All sh really wants to do is watch soap operas. I love the world building and the “Murderbot.”

What are your most surprising books of the year? Have you read any of these books? How did you like?

Books I hope to read this winter

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings where a wide range of topics from books to blogging are discussed.

This week we’re talking about the books we want to read this Winter. All but one of these books are books on my TBR list that are already published. Most of them I already own. A few I will borrow from the library.

Updated to add:

Winter means December through February to me. Spring is March through May, Summer–June through August–etc. I say this because I didn’t include the books from March (by Briggs and Bishop) which I would include in a list of books I want to read for the entire year of 2018!

In This Bright Future

by Peter Grainger

Series: DC Smith #5

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

This is one of my favorite police procedurals and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. It’s already waiting for me on my Kindle.

Hell is Empty

by Craig Johnson

Series: Walt Longmire #7

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

I’m loving reading and/or listening to this series. The narrator for the audiobooks is excellent. The plots are good and I love the characters.

Blood Hollow

by William Kreuger Kent

Series: Cork O’Connor #4

Genre: Mystery

Cork O’Connor is the former Sheriff so these books are very similar to police procedurals since many in the town still call him “Sheriff.” This series and the Walt Longmire series have some similarities–the settings are both near Indian reservations, for example–so there’s a lot of interaction with Native Americans. I’m loving listening to the audio versions of these books.

Under Cold Stone

by Vicky Delany

Series: Constable Molly Smith #8

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

Another of my favorite series. Takes place in the mountains of British Columbia. I really like the portrayal of Molly Smith. She’s a young, but ambitious police constable. She still has a lot to learn and she makes mistakes, but she grows and matures during these books.

The Ghost Fields

by Elly Griffiths

Series: Ruth Galloway #7

Genre: Mystery

I only let myself read one of the books in this series every few months since I don’t have too many books before I catch up! This series has a bit of a police procedural vibe since one of the major characters is a policeman. Ruth Galloway is a forensic archaeologist and is either finding bodies or helping the police determine how old bones are.

The Dark Lake

by Sarah Bailey

Series: Gemma Woodstock #1

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

A new author and series for me. This book came out this year and I’m always on the lookout for new books so I hope to read it and discover a new series I will like.

This Side of Murder

by Anna Lee Huber

Series: Verity Kent #1

Genre: Historical Mystery, 1919

Another new author and series for me. I like reading about that time period so I really hope this series works for me.

This Fallen Prey

by Kelley Armstrong

Series: Casey Duncan #3

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

Publication Date: February 6, 2018

I’ve read the first two books in this series this fall and they are so good. Very different mysteries than any other I’ve read recently.

Penric and the Shaman

Lois McMaster Bujold

Series: Penric and Desdemona

Genre: Fantasy Novella

I read the first in this series a few days ago and I loved it. I want to read more in the series very soon!

Magic Binds

by Ilona Andrews

Series: Kate Daniels #

Genre: Urban Fantasy

This book came out in 2016 and I bought it then somehow forgot I had it. I need to read it soon since the next book in the series comes out in 2018.

Confluence

S.K. Dunstall

Series: Linesman #3

Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera

I read books 1 and 2 in this series last spring then decided to save the third book after which it disappeared into by TBR stack on my Kindle. Books 1 and 2 were really good so I need to read the last book soon!

A Dragon of a Different Color

by Rachel Aaron

Series: Heartstrikers #4

Genre: Urban Fantasy

I love this series about dragons and magic and other strange things. I have the book–it came out last summer and I’ve saved it, but this winter it’s time to read it!

What books do you hope to read this winter?

Favorite urban fantasies since 2015

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings where a wide range of topics from books to blogging are discussed.

This week we’re talking about our Favorite Urban Fantasies. I don’t read as many urban fantasies as I did a few years ago, but I still have a few I’m enjoying. Since I’ve written posts about urban fantasies in the past this time I’m talking about my favorites since 2015.

One Good Dragon Deserves Another

by Rachel Aaron

Series: Heartstrikers #2

This is a self-published series and shows that an author can self-publish quality books and I hope make some money doing it.

Such a fun series! I love the dragons that Ms. Aaron has created. There are so many little touches–such as Julius’ mother, Bethesda, naming each clutch of the Heartstriker dragons with the same letter of the alphabet beginning with “A” (Amelia), “B” (Bob), “C” (Chelsea) and so on. Julius is from Bethesda’s 10th clutch and even Julius’ family–especially Julius’ family–thinks he’s a weak dragon–mostly because he’s “nice” and “good” and thinks dragons should cooperate with each other.

The characters are so much fun to read about and so unique plus the world building is well done.

Dark Alchemy

by Laura Bickle

Series: Dark Alchemy #1

Set in Wyoming near Yellowstone National Park–a unique setting for a fantasy. There’s magic and alchemy involved and the main character is a geologist working for the federal government in Yellowstone. Yellowstone is the last area Petra had heard from her father many years ago so she wants to try to find out what happened to him. Strange things seem to happen in the Yellowstone area. Lots of interesting characters and an interesting premise.

I really like the western vibe in this book. And it has a great cover!

Tainted Blood

by M.L. Brennan

Series: Generation V #3

This series has four books in it and I would have loved for it have at least four more, but apparently the publisher decided the books didn’t earn enough.

I thought the books had a fresh take on vampires and were really fun to read. Fortitude (Fort) is a great main character as is his kitsune friend Suzume. Fort’s family is scary, but they’re his family and he’s part of them and has to deal with them. With each book we learn more about vampires and what they have to do to survive. A really good series.

And I feel like the kitsune could have their own series! I wish M.L. Brennan would write some more books.

Vision in Silver

by Anne Bishop

Series: The Others #3

I’ve read a number of Anne Bishop’s earlier fantasies and really liked them.

This series is totally different from those earlier fantasies. The world building and characters are great. The Others are scary creatures–some of whom can shapeshift to human form. However, they’re not human and they are in control of the world. Some humans don’t like that and try to change the world, but they don’t really understand what some of the Others are and what they can do.

In the first book Meg finds her way to one of the Others’ compounds and they protect her because they understand what she is–a cassandra sangue or blood prophet. She and other blood prophets are used by humans for prophecy even though the cuts and blood used for prophecy eventually kills the blood prophet. However, the greedy humans who use them and make money from the cassandra sangue don’t care about that. That creates a clash between the Others and humans.

Vision in Silver really moves the action forward toward an ending we see from hints and ideas in the first two books, but there are also unexpected consequences.

In 2018 a new book about new characters set in the same world will be published!

Silence Fallen

Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson #10

I’ve read this series since these books were first published in 2006. I love them all, but this is one of my very favorites in the series. Things Mercy has come to trust and depend on fail her so she needs all her strength and cunning for what happens in this book.

Mercy is such a good character as is her husband Adam. I like that she’s a coyote shapeshifter and that Adam is a werewolf. She’s physically weaker than the werewolves, but just like coyotes she’s wily! And she’s smart and strong.

Foxglove Summer

by Ben Aaronovitch

Series: Peter Grant/Rivers of London #5

I really like this series. It’s like a police procedural urban fantasy with magic set in London! More and more keeps happening as these books move forward. Peter slowly learns about magic and wizardry and the dangers of the supernatural world. I especially like the concept of the rivers and streams–that they’re living entities.

In Foxglove Summer, Peter travels outside London to Herfordshire with Beverley Brook (remember the Rivers of London?!) Strange things are happening in Herfordshire and Peter is sent to try to straighten them out. He’s far from London and all the things he knows.

Sweep in Peace

by Ilona Andrews

Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #2

I’ve read Ilona Andrews books for years and love the Kate Daniels series.

However, this series–the Innkeeper Chronicles–originally written as a free serial on the Ilona Andrews blog is so different. The concept is really fresh. The idea of inns and innkeepers with their brooms used by aliens to come to neutral Earth to stay without any earthlings knowing they’re visiting is great.

Of course, Dina DeMille and her inn have all sorts of problems she must solve. Plus she’s trying to figure out what happened to her parents who disappeared years ago from their own inn. With each book we find out a little more about Dina, the inns, the rest of the universe, aliens and a few hints about her parents.

The Black Wolves of Boston

by Wen Spencer

Series: Black Wolves of Boston

I’ve read a lot of Wen Spencer books and really enjoy them. One of the great things about her books besides the world building and unique ideas is the way she writes engaging characters. They make you want to read more and more about them!

This book was published this year and looks like it’s the first book in a new series. It’s a great beginning and I hope Ms. Spencer writes a new book soon!

Do you read urban fantasies? Do you have favorite urban fantasies?