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Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance v. 3.0

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8 hours ago, Spaßvogel said:

Random question:  Does anyone know when the next Pax Arcana novel is due?  Unless I was looking in the wrong place, his website hasn't been updated since 2014 and he hasn't tweeted since 2016. 

I thought the last one was the final book. 

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On 2/5/2018 at 3:18 AM, ants said:

I thought the last one was the final book. 

I certainly didn't get that impression when I'd finished it.  Hmm. 

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I've finished the five book series "Lockwood & Co".  Not bad.  The key protagonists are young teenagers, but its not written like young adult.  There is some disconnect between teenagers and adults, but that may be deliberate on the part of the authour given that the worldview you're seeing from is a childs.  

It is set in a world where 50 years ago ghosts started appearing in the UK.  The ghosts kill anyone they touch, and only children can see them.  This has led to significant changes in English society, with children returning to a working class and adults being vulnerable to ghosts.  The main protagonists are an agency where the kids are running everything themselves, going out and clearing ghosts out of properties for money.  The books have both individual cases (often a few), with a key case or issue at the heart of each book.  There is a well defined over-arching narrative that is resolved across the course of the series.  

Overall the series is a lot of fun and strong storytelling.  And, its nice to pick up a 5 book series that is finished!

On 1/22/2018 at 7:13 AM, LugaJetboyGirl-irra said:

....

I read Slouch Witch (the lazy girl's guide to magic). The main character is a super talented witch who just wants to chill out at her house, watch movies with her cat. She has no ambition beyond her current job, which is driving a cab. But the magical order's Arcane Branch wants her to actually do work for them, despite that she has no interest in actually getting up in the morning. It was cute and funny, and I would recommend it if you are looking for some fluff.

.....

I read Slouch Witch on your recommendation, and really enjoyed it.  The twist on the last page was a cracker.  I've since read the second and third books.  The second one was also strong, the third one suffered from a lot of WTF moments, where the main characters became obsessed with their own greatness (i.e. they didn't get any help in some circumstances that were crying out for it).  But it was still fun.  

Edited by ants

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Plowed through 9 of the Sandman Slim series.  That series is all over the map for me.  Sometimes I love it, sometimes I think it's really lame.  Maybe it all evens out in the end.

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On 2/19/2018 at 9:04 PM, ants said:

I read Slouch Witch on your recommendation, and really enjoyed it.  The twist on the last page was a cracker.  I've since read the second and third books.  The second one was also strong, the third one suffered from a lot of WTF moments, where the main characters became obsessed with their own greatness (i.e. they didn't get any help in some circumstances that were crying out for it).  But it was still fun.  

Glad you liked it. I thought that the main character was done well; in a field known for its 'spunky and sarcastic women', the books still managed to portray her in a cute and novel light. Or perhaps I think that because I am a lazy person who lays around eating junk food and reading books, so I could empathize with her well :) 

I read the second and thought it was well done, too, but haven't gotten around to the third.

 

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I'm trying to get out of a YA fantasy reading rut this year. I branched out to Tessa Dare/Courtney Milan which were fun reads in historical romance. Now I'm taking a stab at this UF/PR stuff. I'm about 2/3 through Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning. It's a multi-book series and I'm on the fence about continuing pastb this first book. I think I would have enjoyed it more when it first came out 12 years ago. Anyways, it's good to try new things. 

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On 3/1/2018 at 9:25 AM, kairparavel said:

I'm trying to get out of a YA fantasy reading rut this year. I branched out to Tessa Dare/Courtney Milan which were fun reads in historical romance. Now I'm taking a stab at this UF/PR stuff. I'm about 2/3 through Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning. It's a multi-book series and I'm on the fence about continuing pastb this first book. I think I would have enjoyed it more when it first came out 12 years ago. Anyways, it's good to try new things. 

I enjoyed that series, although I read it a number of years ago.  

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On ‎2‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 4:25 PM, kairparavel said:

I'm about 2/3 through Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning. It's a multi-book series and I'm on the fence about continuing pastb this first book. I think I would have enjoyed it more when it first came out 12 years ago. Anyways, it's good to try new things. 

Be somewhat glad you didn't read them when they first came out...waiting between cliffhangers was sheer torture.  Especially the extended delayed wait for Shadowfever.  I did find the 5 book original series arc to be incredibly satisfying.  Much time was spent speculating over how the series would end (along with endless discussions) and pretty much no one guessed correctly.  Which was refreshing.  Plus I can't remember a series where pretty much every question was answered satisfactorily.  The series has been somewhat ruined for me, however, with the series being continued.  It really should have ended with Shadowfever.  I read the next one - Iced - and hated it so much, I've given the series up.  But I do think Darkfever - Shadowfever are worth reading.  The series really opened up Fantasy (and Urban Fantasy) novels to a lot of Romance readers.  And I think influenced a lot of YA authors too such as Maas who is a huge fan of the series.  (Kair, I think you might recognize a few things Maas borrowed upon if you read the rest of the Fever series.)  

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@lady narcissa  The two main characters *really* annoyed me and the currently side-character V'lane and his super powers had me rolling my eyes so much. BUT the final introduction of the bad guy towards the end coupled with some Googling about Jericho has me interested enough to carry on to book two. I don't know how much more pink nail polish I can take though. 

I can totally see Maas loving this and liberally borrowing from it. Rowan especially. 

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Read the available Matthew Swift novels, which take "Urban Fantasy" quite literally.  Not always in a bad way, but sometimes any hint of plot or characterization that occurs is buried underneath paragraphs and paragraphs of flavor text.  All of the series that I read based in London tend to use the same landmarks.  This series takes all the usuals and adds to them with...every other place in London.  Sometimes it's poetic, and sometimes it's distracting.  In five books, the character of Matthew Swift/Electric Blue Angels, hasn't really changed all that much and instead of a villain of the week, we have the city-destroying force of the week.  Some really interesting ideas in these novels, but they are sometimes hard to find beneath the waves and waves of flavor text.  I'm a pretty patient person when I read, but even I was starting to get itchy and skim paragraphs of description looking for action or dialogue.

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On 3/15/2018 at 2:28 AM, AncalagonTheBlack said:

Ben Aaronovitch’s brand new Rivers of London novel, Lies Sleeping, will be available on the 6th November 2018.

Woo hoo!

Off to Amazon to preorder. 

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On 2/28/2018 at 5:25 PM, kairparavel said:

I'm about 2/3 through Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning. It's a multi-book series and I'm on the fence about continuing past this first book. I think I would have enjoyed it more when it first came out 12 years ago. Anyways, it's good to try new things. 

I'm now into the third book for reasons I can't explain. I'm not loving this series or the characters aside from maybe Jericho Barrons. But the mystery of who he is along with the overall evil baddie plot seems to be enough to keep me into it.

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12 hours ago, kairparavel said:

I'm now into the third book for reasons I can't explain. I'm not loving this series or the characters aside from maybe Jericho Barrons. But the mystery of who he is along with the overall evil baddie plot seems to be enough to keep me into it.

Ha ha ha!  I would have had to seriously reexamine our book twinness if you didn't find Jericho somewhat intriguing.  I did like Mac as well, however.

Well I had not read anything remotely Urban Fantasy in quite some time but this past month I read three.  Anne Bishop's new Others novel came out at the beginning of the month - Lake Silence.  It takes place in the same world as the previous 5 books but moves away to a different location and different characters.  I still love the world Bishop has created in this series but I really didn't like the main character in this one.  So I would say if you enjoy the world, its worth reading for the expansion of that.  But otherwise, no.

I also read two by Jennifer Harlow - What's A Witch To Do and Werewolf Sings The Blues.  These were enjoyable.  The first was a witch and a werewolf in a small town.  The second was a road trip and a woman and a werewolf and then a pack.  Both were a bit more relationship heavy than world building.  So perhaps more like Patricia Briggs Alpha/Omega series.  And both were set within the same world as her FREAKs series so there are slight references to that.

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I just finished the Rachel Morgan series, is it just me or did the author either have no idea where this series was going in the beginning or changed her mind part way through the series? The first books in this series I really liked, and while it wasn’t terrible enough for me to stop reading (like Anita Blake), it really changed and not in a good way.

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On 4/9/2018 at 1:26 PM, Dornite said:

I just finished the Rachel Morgan series, is it just me or did the author either have no idea where this series was going in the beginning or changed her mind part way through the series? The first books in this series I really liked, and while it wasn’t terrible enough for me to stop reading (like Anita Blake), it really changed and not in a good way.

I've not reread them as a block, but only as they came out, and re-reads of the most recent ones at the time.  On that basis, I thought it was fine although obviously some of the ways it turned out were quite surprising.  There was also one particular book which came as a shock where there were a number of deaths to reasonably important characters.  But overall, I really loved the series.  I probably should go back and do a re-read of it from the start to end, but I know it would take a lot of time. 

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On 3/21/2018 at 11:23 PM, lady narcissa said:

Ha ha ha!  I would have had to seriously reexamine our book twinness if you didn't find Jericho somewhat intriguing.  I did like Mac as well, however.

I finished book 5 earlier today and I have to admit I liked it. Each book became more enjoyable so I'm glad I stuck with it. And I am a confirmed member of The Jericho Z. Barrons Appreciation Society.

I might pick up the other books at some point but for now I'm going to move through some of my TBR.

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Just finished the final Iron Druid book "Scourged" by Kevin Hearne.  This book was possibly the shortest one in the series and it felt like one extended epilogue that I didn't find very satisfying.  Still trying to organize my thoughts about the series as a whole.  Rarely to book series start off strong and get weaker as they progress (at least the ones I've read) but this is one of those exceptions that proves the rule.  I was dazzled by the first couple books and eventually was hit with diminishing returns, taking a hard turn for the worse when the book expanded to three POVs.  Atticus became a side-character in his own series and Ragnarok wasn't solved by any cleverness on the part of any of the POVs.  I never felt characters were in danger from Ragnarok, and really there was much more danger in the actual "epilogue" chapters.

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On 9.4.2018 at 5:26 AM, Dornite said:

I just finished the Rachel Morgan series, is it just me or did the author either have no idea where this series was going in the beginning or changed her mind part way through the series? The first books in this series I really liked, and while it wasn’t terrible enough for me to stop reading (like Anita Blake), it really changed and not in a good way.

Yea, I dropped it after "The Pale Demon", IIRC, where stuff like side-lining and fridging of the other female characters as well as de-powering and dumbing down of the heroine so that the abruptly and massively beefed up current love interest (whom I presume to be The One for the HEA) could repeatedly save and "take care of her" assumed the completely infuriating proportions, IMHO. And, incidentally, destroyed the interesting dynamic that used to exist between them in favor of shallow  tropes.

Anyway, this series was one of the first "modern" urban fantasy that I picked up and I really enjoyed it for the first... 6 installments, I think? Before I realised that it was all about Rachel's romantic relationships, or at least sexual tension and that all the interesting implications of the world-building, previous plots, characterization, etc. would be neglected and ignored in favor of show-casting the current flame/ objects of sexual tension. I still kept trudging a bit, vainly hoping that things which interested me would still get some development, but alas. I am fairly certain that the author didn't have an overarching plot for the series in mind, even though she may have known whom she wanted to be the romantic end-game for the HEA. So much wasted potential. Sigh.

In fact, that's my quibble with most of the urban fantasy that I used to follow - none of the authors seem to have an overall plan for their series, it is just more of the same after a certain point and I lose interest.

Edited by Maia

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On ‎4‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 7:49 PM, kairparavel said:

I finished book 5 earlier today and I have to admit I liked it. Each book became more enjoyable so I'm glad I stuck with it. And I am a confirmed member of The Jericho Z. Barrons Appreciation Society.

I might pick up the other books at some point but for now I'm going to move through some of my TBR.

Yay! I'm glad you ended up enjoying the series!  (Did the Unseelie Princes remind you of anything in the Throne of Glass series???)

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