Click on a "pink link" to go directly to my review for any given series. Each review post includes a chronological list of titles in the series, an overview of the world-building, and reviews of the books to date.
Click HERE to read my picks for the Top Ten Paranormal Romance Novels of 2012. Click HERE to read my picks for Best Steampunk Novels of 2012.
>>Cassie Alexander’s Nightshifted, the first novel in her EDIE SPENCE TRILOGY, the first novel in her EDIE SPENCE TRILOGY, in which a young nurse learns that vampires and werewolves really exist when she gets a job in a big-city hospital that caters to a widely diverse supernatural population. In my review, I wrote, "Edie is a strong and intelligent heroine who consistently tries to help others (frequently to her own detriment) and to deal with the extraordinary events that keep coming her way."
>>Jacqueline Carey’s Dark Currents, the first novel in her AGENT OF HEL series, in which we meet Daisy Johanssen, Hel’s liaison between the human community and the eldritch folk—the underworld community. In my review, I wrote, "The mythology is fresh and inventive, the plot is suspenseful and relatively unpredictable, and the action just keeps on coming."
>>Glen Duncan’s Talulla Rising (the sequel to his The Last Werewolf), in which we watch Jake’s lover, Talulla, as she gives birth, loses her baby to kidnappers, and tracks down the villains who took him from her. In my review, I wrote, "Yes, Talulla is a monster, but she is also refreshingly free of inhibitions and social restrictions. She has an agenda, and she's going to finish it and damn the consequences and the bystanders, innocent or not. This is motherhood in the raw—and it's definitely paranormal fiction for grown-ups."
>>Kate Griffin’s Stray Souls, the first novel in her MAGICALS ANONYMOUS series, in which Matthew Swift plays a supporting role to Sharon Li, who starts a self-help group for people/creatures who are having problems with their magical side. In my review, I wrote, "Stray Souls is definitely not your typical urban fantasy genre novel; it's a darkly humorous magical take on urban problems that we face in real life, voiced by an odd lot of fantastical, offbeat misfits whose statements and conversations are based on a chimerical version of mundane existence."
>>Stacey Jay’s Blood on the Bayou, the second novel in her ANNABELLE LEE series, in which Annabelle must deal with all three men in her life as she searches for a hidden cave that holds a laboratory that is manufacturing drugs using fairy venom. In my review, I wrote, "This is a fast-paced story with a compelling plot, lots of action, and plenty of new information added to the series story arc….The plot is full of twists and turns and….the world-building…is fresh and inventive."
>>Daniel O’Malley’s The Rook, which is currently a stand-alone novel, but may eventually become a series, in which we are introduced to a marvelous world filled with all manner of people with other-worldly talents and/or weird physical traits—all controlled by a secretive group of powerful and eccentric bureaucrats. In my review, I wrote, "This is the best paranormal fiction book I've read in a long, long time. The mythology is inventive and fresh, the world-building is unbelievably detailed, the clever humor is witty and sly, and the characters are quirky and fully developed to the nth degree."
>>Diana Rowland’s Sins of the Demon, the fourth novel in her KARA GILLIAN series, in which someone tries to frame Kara for a series of murders and a demon keeps trying to summon her to the demon world for nefarious purposes. In my review, I wrote, "This is one of my favorite UF series. Kara is a strong, tough heroine with just enough insecurity and self-flagellation to make her vulnerable and likeable—much more real and down-to-earth than the usual multi-weapon, black-leather-clad, whiny heroines that proliferate in the UF world."
>>Chuck Wendig’s Blackbirds, the first novel in his MIRIAM BLACK series, in which we meet Miriam, a tough, street-tough young woman who can touch a person and see the moment of his or her death. In my review, I wrote, "Miriam is profane, sarcastic, gritty, and gutsy. She isn't out to hurt anyone or cause any trouble, but she has learned to carry defensive weapons and she doesn't take any guff from anyone. Everything about the book is fresh and inventive, from the imaginative world-building to the cynical tone and coarse humor, to the well-developed characters, both primary and secondary."
>>Devon Monk’s ALLIE BECKSTROM, a pure urban fantasy series, in which we follow Allie as she deals the effects and the after-effects of magic in a world in which magic is available to everyone. In my review, I wrote, "These books tell the story of a magical community in which each one of the supporting characters has a back-story and a personality and faces challenges that force him or her to adapt to difficult circumstances. What makes this such a strong series is the combination of personalities who work together and support each other even though they bicker all the time and disagree frequently about the best way forward."
>>David Wellington’s LAURA CAXTON series, in which Laura relentlessly fights numerous battles against the bloodthirsty, Nosferatu-like vampires who are loose in this world. In my review, I wrote, “Wellington is inventive in the way he gathers the surviving characters in one place to set up the final confrontation and loops the key element in the story—the titular 32 fangs—directly back to Congreve, the very first vampire Laura ever met (and killed). Right down to the final moments, we can't predict what choices Laura will make as she faces down her undead enemy." (Although this series leans more towards horror than urban fantasy, I couldn't let it end without giving it the recognition that it deserves.)
>>Jaye Wells’s SABINA KANE, another pure urban fantasy series, in which Sabina tries to achieve a balance between her dual genetic heritage: vampire and mage. In my review, I wrote, “The final book is a satisfying ending for the series, as its heroine finally achieves harmony in her personal life, and the dark races live on in peace—still hidden from the human world.”