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?

The characters I would want on a deserted island …

toptentuesday2Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme which I take part in occasionally. It’s a great meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish blog. Every week a new topic is presented. It’s not only fun to think about my list, but to read what other people come up with!

The topic this week is the characters I would want with me on a deserted island. At first I was thinking “desert” island and so I thought of characters who live in deserts! My first thought was of the book Dune by Frank Herbert which I read many years ago, but which sticks with me. Then I realized it was a deserted island so I had to rethink things!

By the time all these characters are on my deserted island it wouldn’t be deserted any longer!

1. Cassandra (Cass) from the Touchstone trilogy by Andrea K. Höst. Cass is transported to a deserted planet (except for animals) and manages to survive. She would be very useful!

2. Devi Morris from from the Paradox trilogy by Rachel Bach. Devi is very resourceful as well as irreverent. She would keep up our spirits as well as have anyNice Dragons Finish Last weapons necessary to protect us!

3. Julius from Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron. I just finished this book and it’s great! Julius is a dragon–very useful to have around–and since he’s a pretty nice dragon he wouldn’t eat us!

4. Jarra from the Earth Girl series by Janet Edwards. Jarra is brave, resourceful, knows a lot about history so she might be able to help us figure out where we are and how to get back home!

5. Ensign Andrew Dahl from Redshirts by John Scalzi. He would know not to volunteer to go on an away mission and remind us of the same thing!

6. Graham Keith in The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley. So I could listen to his Scots accent!

7. Suzume from the Generation V series by M. L. Brennan. I wouldn’t pick Fortitude Scott, because he’s becoming a better vampire…not what you need on a deserted island! Suzume, on the other hand, is a kitsune…a very resourceful fox.

8. Shai from The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson. She is a forger–able to copy and recreate anything by rewriting its history with magic. That would be a magic-slaysgreat skill to have to help us get off the island.

9. & 10. Curran and Kate from the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. We would need a very good leader and both these characters are great leaders. They’re very resourceful both with magic and when there is no magic.

Sorry I’m late getting this posted…by the time we got home last night I was too tired to finish this and get it read for today…and same problem this morning!

I chose all books I read this year. Not really intentional–they are all characters who would be great on a deserted island! What about you? What characters would you choose?

 

My favorite books so far this year…

toptentuesday2I haven’t participated in a Top Ten Tuesday meme for quite a while. Several weeks I’ve meant to, but things have always come up! Anyway, this topic–Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far This Year–is one I’ve been thinking about because I’ve read a lot of good books already! The Broke and the Bookish blog hosts Top Ten Tuesday.

In no particular order…

Caszandra by Andrea K. Host (science fiction/fantasy, Grade: A)–this was the first book I read this year and is the last book in the Touchstone series. I like this series very much.

Pivot Point by Kasie West (young adult fantasy, Grade: B+)–this isn’t a perfect book (what is?!!), but it has stuck with me because of the premise of the book. The main character is able to look at two different futures to see which she wants to choose. I always wonder about the choices we make in our lives and what that does to change us.

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear (audiobook, historical mystery–WWWI flashbacks and 1920’s; Grade: A-)–a very powerful and emotional read for me because of the flashbacks to WWWI. The narration is excellent in this book.

Cold Magic by Kate Elliott (fantasy, Grade: A-)–This is a very good fantasy. Cat is such a strong character and the story is so good.

Letters to Nowhere by Julie Cross (young adult contemporary, Grade: A-)–This book has stuck with me since I read it. How Karen learns to cope with the death of her parents is very powerful. Reading about the world of elite gymnastics is also fascinating.

Redshirts by John Scalzi (science fiction/space opera, Grade: B+)–A very funny and fun science fiction, but also made me think about what reality is. This is one of the reasons I like science fiction. I like the ideas and questions science fiction often presents.

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley (audiobook, historical/contemporary/fantasy, Grade: A)–Such a wonderful book. The language is lush, the story is poignant, the Scotland setting is wonderful and the narration–especially the Scots accent–is just excellent!

Night Broken by Patricia Briggs (urban fantasy, Grade: B+)–I continue to love this series!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor –Not Yet Reviewed (audiobook, fantasy, Grade: B+)–The narration is wonderful and Karou is a great character.

Earth Girl by Janet Edwards–Not Yet Reviewed (YA science fiction, Grade: B+)–I just finished this book and I loved it. The main character is so much fun and so honest (even when she’s lying!) Plus the far future setting is fascinating.

Honorable Mention

Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop–I love Meg Corbyn and the Others.

In for a Penny by Rose Lerner–This was a re-read for me and I loved it the second time around, too. The characters are what make this book memorable.

Generation V by M. L. Brennan–I love this new series. I just wish there was more about the kitsune,

Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch–This series gets better and better.

 

What books are your favorites so far this year?