Book Reviews & Suggested Reading
Charlaine Harris (born November 25, 1951 in Tunica, Mississippi) is a New York Times bestselling author who has been writing for over twenty years. She was raised in the Mississippi River Delta area.
Though her early works consisted largely of poems about ghosts and, later, teenage angst, she wrote plays when she attended Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. She began to write books a few years later.
After publishing two stand-alone mysteries, Harris launched a lighthearted series "starring" Georgia librarian Aurora Teagarden, with Real Murders, a Best Novel nominee for the 1990 Agatha Awards. Harris wrote eight Aurora titles. In 1996, she released the first of the much darker Shakespeare mysteries, featuring the amateur sleuth Lily Bard, a karate student who makes her living cleaning houses. Shakespeare's Counselor, the fifth--and last-- was printed in fall 2001.
After Shakespeare, Harris created The Sookie Stackhouse urban fantasy series about a telepathic waitress who works in a bar in the fictional Northern Louisiana town of Bon Temps. The first of these, Dead Until Dark, won the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Mystery in 2001. Each book follows Sookie as she tries to solve mysteries involving vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures. The series, which now numbers nine titles, has been released worldwide.
Sookie Stackhouse proved to be so popular that Alan Ball, creator of Six Feet Under, announced he would undertake the production of a new show for HBO based upon the books. He wrote and directed the pilot episode for that series, True Blood, which premiered in September of 2008. It was an instant success and was quickly picked up for a second season.
In October 2005, Harris's new mystery series about a young woman named Harper Connelly debuted with the release of Grave Sight. Harper has the ability to determine the cause of death of any body. There are now three Harper titles (GRAVE SIGHT, GRAVE SURPRISE, AN ICE COLD GRAVE) with a 4th (GRAVE SECRET)
Harris has also co-edited three very popular anthologies with her friend Toni L.P. Kelner. The anthologies feature stories with an element of the supernatural, and the submissions come from a rare mixture of mystery and urban fantasy writers.
Professionally, Harris is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and the American Crime Writers League. She is a member of the board of Sisters in Crime, and alternates with Joan Hess as president of the Arkansas Mystery Writers Alliance. Personally, Harris is married and the mother of three. She lives in a small town in Southern Arkansas and when she is not writing her own books, she reads omnivorously!
Kim Harrison is a nom de plume of American author Dawn Cook. Under the name of Harrison, she is best known for her Rachel Morgan urban fantasy series set in an alternate history where a worldwide pandemic caused by genetically modified tomatoes led to the death of a large portion of the world's human population. Under the name of Dawn Cook, she is best known for her Decoy Princess and Truth series, published in the first few years of the 21st century.
Patricia Briggs (born 1965) is an American author, well-known for the Mercy Thompson urban fantasy series. Briggs was born in Butte, Montana, and lived in various cities in the Pacific Northwest. She now resides in Washington state.
Briggs began writing in 1990, and published her first novel Masques in 1993.
Sales on her first book were poor. She was eventually able to sell her next book Steal the Dragon which garnered better sales and editorial reviews.
Briggs began writing multi-book stories. Dragon Bones and Dragon Blood share both the same world and the same characters, though both are complete stories. Raven's Shadow and Raven's Strike are an honest duology, with a single story line spanning both novels. Briggs then announced there will be at least seven novels in her "Mercy Thompson" series. One hallmark of Briggs' books is that each book is a stand-alone story, and the reader is never left with a cliffhanger ending waiting for the next novel to figure out what happened.
Her editor then to asked if she would write an urban fantasy. The genre was showing promising growth, and the publisher wanted to expand their offerings. She accepted, signing a contract for three books, and penned Moon Called, which sold far better than her previous novels, making it to the USA Today bestseller lists. The second book in the series, Blood Bound hit the New York Times bestseller list, much to the surprise of both the author and her publishers. The third book, Iron Kissed was a number one New York Times bestseller.
She then was contracted for four more "Mercy Thompson" books, and has started a spin-off series based on the characters in Alpha and Omega.
A new comic book about Mercy Thompson has recently been released. The first issue of Patricia Briggs's Mercy Thompson: Homecoming was released on November 12, 2008.
A slightly edited version of her first novel, Masques, has been republished, along with a previously unpublished sequel.
Caitlin Kittredge is the author of the Nocturne City and Black London series, as well as several short stories. She started writing novels at age 13, and after a few years writing screenplays, comic books and fan-fiction, she wrote Night Life, her debut novel. She is the proud owner of an English degree, two cats, a morbid imagination, a taste for black clothing, punk rock, and comic books. She’s lucky enough to write full time and watches far too many trashy horror movies. She lives in Olympia, Washington.
Ilona Andrews is the pen name used by urban fantasy novelist Ilona Gordon with her spouse Andrew Gordon, also known as Gordon.
Ilona was born in Russia and came to the United States as a teenager. She attended Western Carolina University, where she majored in biochemistry and met her husband Gordon, who helped her write and submit her first novel, Magic Bites. Its sequel, Magic Burns, reached #32 on the New York Times extended bestseller list in April 2008. Her husband, Gordon, co-authors her books. Ilona and Gordon currently live in Texas.
Lisa Jane Smith, known professionally as L.J. Smith, is an American author of young-adult literature. Her books, which combine elements of the genres of supernatural, horror, science fiction/fantasy, and romance, are populated with young and apparently young human and supernatural characters locked in dark vs. light, good vs. evil conflict. A dark antagonist typically attempts to seduce a heroine into the darkness, and in some cases is instead reborn into the light. The popular Night World series adds a recurring reality-altering conspiracy theme, enlivened with "romantic soulmate scenarios.
So the marvelous Charlaine has swept through our world with this new chapter of life at Bon Temps and our favourite telepathic heroine, Sookie. Our last adventure ended with Eric's master and "I guess brother" biting the dust. Bill hooked up with a former flame, Sookie's family grew a bit larger as she reluctantly embraced her abandoned Fey bretheren. Things were looking on the up and up, and I personally had no complaints.
Now, everything has been flushed down the toilet with a grenade in tow. Honestly, thank-you Miss Harris. Not going to get into any details, but let's just say our lovely heroine is on the outs with nearly every ally she had left, in possession of a mystical artifact that may bring unprecedented hope, "but in Sooks' hand, probably not". Happily ever after with the Viking seducer Eric has been derailed, "probably for good - no tears from me on that one" and Mr. Compton - Bill, is back on the market doing what he does best - saving Sookie's pretty, plump rump.
But with this whilwind of trauma and excitment, what has got to get you the most, is the end of Sook's and Amelia's friendship. I do see Sook's side in all of it but with her lifestyle, losing such a power-hitter as a friend may be her biggest mistake yet. And with such secrets revealed - the true origin of her telepathic gifts, the whole story about Grams and her fairy lover, not to mention where Sookie might fit into the grand scheme of things, Sook's world is about to enter what can only be described as World War 3.
In truth, Dead Reckoning felt more like a primer for something large and absolutely delicious coming in the near future. As much as what got revealed, even deeper and darker questions arised. It makes for an exciting read but also a whole lot of fustration as there's no peace in Sookie's world. Sookie just can't seem to win out in the end.
All and All, I'd still have to give this one a 5 star rating. Plots were deepened and mystery is forever afoot. You'll definitely be waiting with bated breath for the next installment. Plus, the feel that you've entered a new chapter in the world of Sookie Stackhouse, really leaves you with a smile on your face.
Squeel... lol. I read the Rachel Morgan series religiously and Pale Demon has got to be one of the best epics thus far. True, had that thief, (he who's name shall never be spoken on this blog) had made an appearence, only to meet a violent and horrific end, this book would have been golden. Instead we get Rachel and Trent on a roadtrip, whereby much of the story revolves more on our favourite trio coming to terms that this is really the end of their time together. I don't see Ivy and Jenks not being a part of the next generation of the Hollows novels, which only makes me more curious as to how Kim, is going to treat us in the future.
But times are a changing, Rachel is growing up, finally accepting that she's basically a demon, (no way to deny that now) and everyone has different paths to follow. Pale Demon will feel like an ending for the series. And in truth it is. The old plot lines were pretty decently tied up and at the end of the novel you get that satiated feeling. It's the end of an era and if I've read between the lines correctly, the begining of a new chapter that's seriously looking to be very dark. Just my cup of tea.
Rachel has had to come to terms with the fact that she really doesn't need her partners any more. It's a sad realization but a true one. She's very powerful, possibly the most powerful being on the planet, and her friends are more likely to get in her way than be of any kind of aide to her. We get some clarity on the whole Demon witch dynamic which is good. Rachel and Trent are no longer at each others throats, which is good, I guess, and a new Demon is on the scene.
Kim, has always given us clear definitions on the magical landscape in the Hollows, something that I greatly appreciate, but with this last novel something else popped up in mind for me. "Is this it?" Earth magic, leyline magic and demon magic, plus some fey magic throw in on the fringes. I really want to get into the less notable arts out there now, and even though Rachel is only now really exploring demon magic, I'd like to see her have other options. There was a mention of celtic/god/goddess/ magic a few books back that's summed up as unreliable and dangerous, and personally I'd like to hear more about it. Rachel's world has in my opinion become a bit myopic as the lens in which we view this story really narrows down to the barest bones. But like I've said, this chapter in Rachel's life really does close off.
So what's next? I'm honestly not sure but one thing I do know, is that the next installment better rock our world. Kim has put herself in the position that The Hollows series is ready and needs to evolve into a whole new level. It's a daunting task, at least but if anyone can pull it off it's definitely Kim Harrison.
Review Coming Soon...
Review Coming Soon...
Review Coming Soon...
Review Coming Soon...