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Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance v. 3.0

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Ok, this is incredibly embarrassing, but this book is like crack to me.  Can someone recommend anything like it?  Apparently I am in need of some PNR, but PNR that doesn't make me want to burn things.

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23 hours ago, Mandy said:

Yeah it is.  I couldn't get through ONE BOOK of that stuff.  I'm thinking of trying out the Ilona Andrews Hidden Legacy series.  I like the Innkeeper Chronicles and Kate Daniels series from them.  I didn't much care for the Edge, but what the hell. I will report back if I do.  

Mars, have you read Felix Castor?  I personally enjoyed the Kitty Norville series by Carrie Vaughn as well.

What is the action quotient in Kitty Norville?

And I haven't read Felix Castor.  It looked like another Dresden clone to me when I first saw it.  I might check it out, though.

And Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences is pretty fun. It's not particularly well written, but it's certainly fun.

I have to say that nothing about The Edge or Hidden Legacy looks appealing to me.  Hell, Kate Daniels is already a little too Paranormal Romance-y to me and it's pretty pure UF (with annoying but thankfully skippable badly written sex scenes).

And, ugh, Innkeeper Chronicles would look okay but then there's suggestion of a werewolf vs. vampire love triangle in the blurb of the first book.  Damn it, why?

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On 5/18/2016 at 3:47 PM, Mandy said:

ETA: But really... strong female who isn't annoying or super young or needy or whiney or dumb, who kicks ass and isn't into sparkly vampires... decent writing with some humor I don't roll my eyes at, and no Ayn Rand style page long run-on sentences describing some incorporeal crap that I don't care about...

Try The Immortals by Joanna Max Brodsky.

The blurb:

"Manhattan has many secrets. Some are older than the city itself. 
 
The city sleeps. Selene DiSilva walks her dog along the banks of the Hudson. She is alone -- just the way she likes it. She doesn't believe in friends, and she doesn't speak to her family. Most of them are simply too dangerous. 

In the predawn calm, Selene finds the body of a young woman washed ashore, gruesomely mutilated and wreathed in laurel. Her ancient rage returns. And so does the memory of a promise she made long ago -- when her name was Artemis." 

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2 hours ago, Puntificator said:

Try The Immortals by Joanna Max Brodsky.

The blurb:

"Manhattan has many secrets. Some are older than the city itself. 
 
The city sleeps. Selene DiSilva walks her dog along the banks of the Hudson. She is alone -- just the way she likes it. She doesn't believe in friends, and she doesn't speak to her family. Most of them are simply too dangerous. 

In the predawn calm, Selene finds the body of a young woman washed ashore, gruesomely mutilated and wreathed in laurel. Her ancient rage returns. And so does the memory of a promise she made long ago -- when her name was Artemis." 

This is alright, although the book opens with the protagonist swooping to save some woman in distress from her generic thug boyfriend and promptly getting her ass kicked, which was less than impressive.  Also, she's basically wading in ennui throughout the entire book, which might make sense in a way (being that she's both incredibly long lived and completely irrelevant to the modern world) but that might count as being pretty whiny.

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16 hours ago, Mars447 said:

What is the action quotient in Kitty Norville?

And I haven't read Felix Castor.  It looked like another Dresden clone to me when I first saw it.  I might check it out, though.

And Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences is pretty fun. It's not particularly well written, but it's certainly fun.

I have to say that nothing about The Edge or Hidden Legacy looks appealing to me.  Hell, Kate Daniels is already a little too Paranormal Romance-y to me and it's pretty pure UF (with annoying but thankfully skippable badly written sex scenes).

And, ugh, Innkeeper Chronicles would look okay but then there's suggestion of a werewolf vs. vampire love triangle in the blurb of the first book.  Damn it, why?

Kitty Norville is pretty action packed, IMO, but I'm not too sure. The first book lays the ground work for the rest, and Kitty comes into her own after that.

Felix Castor is extremely sarcastic and witty and I highly recommend it, especially if you are British, because I had to google search many things he was talking about.  The first few books are set in London and I've been there, but I'm not familiar with exactly where certain things are that are mentioned. I believe one book is set in Liverpool, too.  I laughed out loud several times.  Not as filled with hilarity that Pax Arcana is, but I appreciate the uniqueness of the plot and the characters. (I will say, I have tried MULTIPLE times to read several different Dresden books and was unable.  I don't like the main character at all.)

Hidden Legacy is my type of paranormal romance.  Not overly romancey and a decent plot and characters who aren't incredibly annoying.  Yes, there are definitely some tropes but I wasn't rolling my eyes.  Like crack, man.  And the titles HAVE to be a joke - Burn for Me actually refers to an anti-government magic user who is a "pyrokenetic".  But YMMV.  The Edge I didn't really enjoy, though. 

Innkeeper Chronicles DOES have a vampire and a Werewolf, but I REALLY like (appreciate) that there is a unique take on their origins and don't make me want to facepalm.  The idea of the Innkeepers is awesome and I don't find the characters annoying.

For me Ilona Andrews books are the best I've come across for what I'm looking for.

Edited by Mandy

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The thing that fascinates me about the Innkeeper series is the concept of the Inns and breadth of worldbuilding they imply. Most of the action takes place in a very limited space but there are occasional excursions... I am going to spoiler the next bit

Spoiler

Andrews does something very smart by sidestepping the usual urban fantasy world and introducing science fiction fantasy instead. This allows her to twist old tropes.

Also love what she does with the main protagonist. 

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you've persuaded me to give the innkeeper series a whirl.

goddamnit people! you are not helping my addiction to buying ebooks at all. 

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3 hours ago, Mars447 said:

Alright, alright, I'll check them out.

How bad is the love triangle, at least?

Heh... well, I'd say it's not so bad.  Ilona Andrews doesn't really do swooning idiot women so much, maybe just women who are realistic enough to notice when a guy is good looking but don't necessarily have to act on it.  In fact, 

Spoiler

a "love triangle" really isn't a part of the books and even the chance is completely gone from the plot by the end of the second book, possibly even the first. It's so much NOT a plot piece that I don't remember.

3 hours ago, Chaldanya said:

you've persuaded me to give the innkeeper series a whirl.

goddamnit people! you are not helping my addiction to buying ebooks at all. 

What?!?!  How have you NOT already read these when you are on my facebook and I've mentioned them :P HOW ARE YOU NOT HANGING ON EVERY WORD I WRITE?!?!? :P 

Besides, the first few chapters are free on these.  http://innkeeper.ilona-andrews.com/2016/01/25/chapter-1/

Edited by Mandy

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On ‎18‎/‎05‎/‎2016 at 5:47 AM, Mandy said:

I'm just having a hard time finding something that sounds appealing. Maybe I'm starting to get jaded.  Starting!  hahahahaha Sigh.

ETA: But really... strong female who isn't annoying or super young or needy or whiney or dumb, who kicks ass and isn't into sparkly vampires... decent writing with some humor I don't roll my eyes at, and no Ayn Rand style page long run-on sentences describing some incorporeal crap that I don't care about...

Its a bit hard to make recommendations without knowing what you've read and what your favourites are. But if I try and mention a few that don't get a huge amount of airplay around here or are slightly older:

  • As mentioned above, the Twenty Palaces series by Harry Connolly. Just be aware there are only three of them.
  • Dante Valentine and Jill Kismet series by Lilith Saintcrow. Not everyone's tastes, and the characters are very damaged individuals, but I thoroughly enjoyed both series which are complete.
  • Morgan Kingsley exorcist series by Jenna Black. Another complete series, decent writing, slightly innovative magic system, with some good plotting and story lines. Won't knock you off your feet, but very solid, complete, and doesn't really get mentioned.
  • Downside Ghosts by Stacia Kane. A VERY good series, with again a damaged main character. The stories are very engrossing, and quite touching.
  • The greywalker books by Kat Richardson are very solid as well. Again, not talked about a huge amount around here.
  • C.E. Murphy's negotiator trilogy is quite good, and is completed. Major fantastical creature is a gargoyle, so you have some different tropes in there. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

I hope that helps. If you've tried some of the above and do/don't like them, let us know since that will help clarify any future suggestions!

On ‎24‎/‎05‎/‎2016 at 8:17 AM, Mars447 said:

What is the action quotient in Kitty Norville?

And I haven't read Felix Castor.  It looked like another Dresden clone to me when I first saw it.  I might check it out, though.

And Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences is pretty fun. It's not particularly well written, but it's certainly fun.

I have to say that nothing about The Edge or Hidden Legacy looks appealing to me.  Hell, Kate Daniels is already a little too Paranormal Romance-y to me and it's pretty pure UF (with annoying but thankfully skippable badly written sex scenes).

And, ugh, Innkeeper Chronicles would look okay but then there's suggestion of a werewolf vs. vampire love triangle in the blurb of the first book.  Damn it, why?

Felix Castor is so far from Harry Dresden its not funny. The characterisation, the atmosphere, the magic systems, they're all leagues apart. Felix Castor is not too far off horror book status, while Dresden is cheesy fun.

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13 hours ago, Mandy said:

What?!?!  How have you NOT already read these when you are on my facebook and I've mentioned them :P HOW ARE YOU NOT HANGING ON EVERY WORD I WRITE?!?!? :P 

Besides, the first few chapters are free on these.  http://innkeeper.ilona-andrews.com/2016/01/25/chapter-1/

I know, right?  It's because I adore the Kate Daniels series so and I think I read a couple of pages of the innkeeper and had a "not for me" thought about it.  But as you are wonderful and know my tastes, I'll give it a whirl.  I was only going to spend the money on a different ebook anyway!

N

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5 hours ago, ants said:
  • Downside Ghosts by Stacia Kane. A VERY good series, with again a damaged main character. The stories are very engrossing, and quite touching.
  • The greywalker books by Kat Richardson are very solid as well. Again, not talked about a huge amount around here.

I LOVE the Stacia Kane series. I rec it all over the place.  I think every time Mandy has asked for recs I've told her about them.  Not sure if she trusts me enough to pick them up, tho ;)

I found the greywalker books to be uninspiring.  Didn't gel with them at all but different strokes for different folks.

There's the series by Kalayna Price (Alex Craft series).  She's worth a whirl.

Another one I rec is Kelly Gay's Charlie Madigan series - unfinished at the moment altho' I do believe a publisher has been found for the fifth book.

N

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11 hours ago, ants said:

Its a bit hard to make recommendations without knowing what you've read and what your favourites are. But if I try and mention a few that don't get a huge amount of airplay around here or are slightly older:

  • As mentioned above, the Twenty Palaces series by Harry Connolly. Just be aware there are only three of them.
  • Dante Valentine and Jill Kismet series by Lilith Saintcrow. Not everyone's tastes, and the characters are very damaged individuals, but I thoroughly enjoyed both series which are complete.
  • Morgan Kingsley exorcist series by Jenna Black. Another complete series, decent writing, slightly innovative magic system, with some good plotting and story lines. Won't knock you off your feet, but very solid, complete, and doesn't really get mentioned.
  • Downside Ghosts by Stacia Kane. A VERY good series, with again a damaged main character. The stories are very engrossing, and quite touching.
  • The greywalker books by Kat Richardson are very solid as well. Again, not talked about a huge amount around here.
  • C.E. Murphy's negotiator trilogy is quite good, and is completed. Major fantastical creature is a gargoyle, so you have some different tropes in there. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

I hope that helps. If you've tried some of the above and do/don't like them, let us know since that will help clarify any future suggestions!

Felix Castor is so far from Harry Dresden its not funny. The characterisation, the atmosphere, the magic systems, they're all leagues apart. Felix Castor is not too far off horror book status, while Dresden is cheesy fun.

Harry Connolly I haven't even heard of before this thread, will add.  Same with Morgan Kingsley and Kat Richardson.  Will add :)

I read the Jill Kismet series several years ago and didn't hate it.  I think I read 4 of them.  It was entertaining.  I couldn't get into the Dante Valentine series, but I'll re-add it to my list :)  I've definitely been in the mood for certain books at different times in my life, and what I'm looking for changes from month to month.

I just read Urban Shaman in the Walker Papers series by C,E, Murphy, and while the characters were mostly enjoyable, the majority of the action being while the main character "spirit walked" I found to be rather annoying.  Will add the other series to the list, though :)

I considered Downside Ghosts several times, and for one reason or another (probably some bad Goodreads reviews or the synopsis) made me reconsider.  I'll add it :)  Thanks!

6 hours ago, Chaldanya said:

I know, right?  It's because I adore the Kate Daniels series so and I think I read a couple of pages of the innkeeper and had a "not for me" thought about it.  But as you are wonderful and know my tastes, I'll give it a whirl.  I was only going to spend the money on a different ebook anyway!

N

I'm just glad you liked Kate.  She's gotten some hate here and it's easily my favorite UF series ever.   I really am laughing SO HARD at myself for liking Hidden Legacy book one so much. Knowing that I live in the same small suburb as her has made trips to the grocery store more enjoyable as I'm always on the lookout.  Not that I'd speak to her - I'd be as starstruck as I was with Scott Lynch, for sure.

6 hours ago, Chaldanya said:

I LOVE the Stacia Kane series. I rec it all over the place.  I think every time Mandy has asked for recs I've told her about them.  Not sure if she trusts me enough to pick them up, tho ;)

I found the greywalker books to be uninspiring.  Didn't gel with them at all but different strokes for different folks.

There's the series by Kalayna Price (Alex Craft series).  She's worth a whirl.

Another one I rec is Kelly Gay's Charlie Madigan series - unfinished at the moment altho' I do believe a publisher has been found for the fifth book.

N

haha I'm adding Stacia Kane for my next read - frankly, I'll probably love it just because I love you so much.  I did read the first Alex Craft and while I did like her character and the world, the love interest grated on me.  He's a bit douchey, no?  A little more Ahole than Alphahole.  Will probably still go back to it now that it's been associated with my very own better-than-posh-spice in my mind.

The Charlie Madigan series really picked up around book 2 and am waiting for the next book!!

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On 24/05/2016 at 11:17 PM, Mars447 said:

And I haven't read Felix Castor.  It looked like another Dresden clone to me when I first saw it.  I might check it out, though.

The Felix Castor books are excellent, if I had to pick my favourite Urban Fantasy series I think they're probably what I'd go with. I'd agree with Ants as well, they really aren't much like the Dresden books if that's what you're worried about.

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Reading Bec McMaster's Steampunk series at the moment.  It's very definitely paranormal romance and not Urban Fantasy.  And I have thoughts:

  • The vampire mythology is interesting and I always like a bit of steampunkery
  • The five books are incredibly formulaic but enjoyable (to varying degrees) nonetheless. However, (and it's a biggie), all of the books have a the main characters keeping secrets from each other and in some cases it works.  BUT the fourth book makes me want to KILL the heroine.
  • As the series go on the underlying political subplot becomes less sub and this is to the benefit of the books.

Overall I'd give the series a solid 3/5 but after I've read the 5th one I don't think the series will make my must complete list.

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2 hours ago, Chaldanya said:

Reading Bec McMaster's Steampunk series at the moment.  It's very definitely paranormal romance and not Urban Fantasy.  And I have thoughts:

  • The vampire mythology is interesting and I always like a bit of steampunkery
  • The five books are incredibly formulaic but enjoyable (to varying degrees) nonetheless. However, (and it's a biggie), all of the books have a the main characters keeping secrets from each other and in some cases it works.  BUT the fourth book makes me want to KILL the heroine.
  • As the series go on the underlying political subplot becomes less sub and this is to the benefit of the books.

Overall I'd give the series a solid 3/5 but after I've read the 5th one I don't think the series will make my must complete list.

So far there are only five, and I agree, no 4 and 5 are substantially weaker than the previous installments, which is a shame. It could have been the other way around since the political stakes actually increase, but it doesn't feel that way.

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I'm also reading this series, since Lyanna and Chaldanya recommended them.  I'm reading derisively, but enjoying so far :) 

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I finished the 5th book.  The series is now sitting at a dismal 2/5.  OMFG what an infuriating book.  For a book that has lots of action and important shit occurring it is very very boring. AND to add insult to injury the romance has severe rapey/Stockholm Syndrome and I'm not sure if I hate the hero or heroine more. Add into that random sex in weird places at weird times (ok, the city is about to be attacked lets fuck like bunnies).

You can bet your arse I won't be picking up the 6th book in this series.

@Mandy - I seem to remember you read Lisa Shearin. Was she any good? 

I've picked up the Felix Castor books and am looking forward to reading those.

Edited by Chaldanya

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14 hours ago, Chaldanya said:

I finished the 5th book.  The series is now sitting at a dismal 2/5.  OMFG what an infuriating book.  For a book that has lots of action and important shit occurring it is very very boring. AND to add insult to injury the romance has severe rapey/Stockholm Syndrome and I'm not sure if I hate the hero or heroine more. Add into that random sex in weird places at weird times (ok, the city is about to be attacked lets fuck like bunnies).

You can bet your arse I won't be picking up the 6th book in this series.

@Mandy - I seem to remember you read Lisa Shearin. Was she any good? 

I've picked up the Felix Castor books and am looking forward to reading those.

I have a suggestion. :P

@Chaldanya Already looking forward to reading your review of that one!!

 

Regarding the 5th McMaster, yep, what is worse, it seems Barrons get an almost complete personality transplant from the previous novels, which is bewildering to say the least. He's non-rapey in the previous novels and it's just bizarre. It feels like it's just rushed and poorly put together. Take out the romance and the political action is interesting, the romance elements just slows it down. Not to mention that it suffers from some really poor editing, in that we know the blue bloods are cool to the touch, yet here Barrons is described as "warm" at least once. It feels really sloppy. It annoyed me before that there is no consistency with trousers/breechers/pants and they are used randomly and interchangeably, but in the latter installments this sort of randomness gets worse, and more sloppy. It adds to the feeling of it being a poorly done rush job where the romance is tacked on and doesn't really work.

Edited by Lyanna Stark

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2 hours ago, Lyanna Stark said:

I have a suggestion. :P

@Chaldanya Already looking forward to reading your review of that one!!.

I love myself so I won't be reading that.

(although I see from 63 reviews it has an Amazon rating of 4.5 stars!)

Reading Felix Castor now.  If I knew his office was in my manor - I'd have read it long before now.

N

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