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Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance v. 3.0

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I guess this is the only thread that fits, but the new Benedict Jacka "Alex Verus" book, Burned, was pretty darned good.  Stayed up until 5am reading it.  Only rarely is a book impossible to put down for me.  The weirdest part was how I started to run the futures in my head like the main character does. 

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On 4/23/2016 at 3:54 PM, HelenaExMachina said:

This is why having the kindle app on my phone is such a lifesaver. Comes to something when I have three devices with access to a reading app on me at any one time :lol: 

I'm the same with TV too actually, I go through fits and starts where I either read loads or watch TV. One of the other for me, never both balanced.

Exactly regarding the Kindle.  I have one of those jobs where I'm essentially being paid to be there in case someone needs my expertise, and to make the bosses feel like they are special enough to have staff at their beck and call, so I have a LOT of downtime. I probably have 3 or 4 full days of work a month. No joke. So... Thank GOD for books. We recently got a firmwide email asking people to "no longer watch Netflix or Hulu". I felt so cheated that I hadn't been doing it as well. People tend to have no idea if a PDF on your screen is work or a book, and thankfully kindles format is also changeable. I love it. 

I'm going to HAVE to check out the free book website though (and google does have a way to search for free books, I've just been lazy.) I can't keep spending $10+ on books every 2-3 days :-(

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On ‎24‎/‎04‎/‎2016 at 9:02 PM, Spaßvogel said:

I guess this is the only thread that fits, but the new Benedict Jacka "Alex Verus" book, Burned, was pretty darned good.  Stayed up until 5am reading it.  Only rarely is a book impossible to put down for me.  The weirdest part was how I started to run the futures in my head like the main character does. 

I thought it was very strong, and I really like the series. It will be interesting to see where it goes from here. Its been a while since I sooo wanted the next book in the series.

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I noticed I have Alex Verus on my list of book series I want to try.  I'm bummed that I only have one more Pax Arcana book left, but these are great.  Funny stuff, and the male main character isn't horrible, like the Dresden books.  Or maybe I'm just in a better mood :P

I'm browsing the blurbs for my next book series on and off, and I find I'm REAL sick of vampires, badass awesome female leads with zero personality or humor that we're just supposed to LOVE, and gross high-school-ish love triangles. If you have a suggestion, lay it on me :)

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I already read through In Shining Armor (Pax Arcana #4) once and I'm rereading it again.  It's great.  The scale of the plot and conflict is much larger than the previous three books.  While #3 was like "Hey Jim Butcher!  This is actually how you do a heist plot!", this book in particular Screams "Like Dresden Files, only better in every way".  Right down to the

protagonist's shapechanging ally who serves as his trump card in the climax, only this one actually isn't a lecherous dick.

Red Knight Falling is up next.  Harmony arguably qualifies as a "kick ass female protagonist with a personality", her main character struggle being remaining a Lawful Good heroine in a morally grey-to-black world, while she works for the SCP Foundation.

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In one week I was able to finish books 1-3 of Pax Arcana and am now half way through book 4.  I'm really impressed with the amount of humor it has been able to keep up throughout the books and also with the plots staying complex and interesting.  I roll my eyes internally when the plotline isn't an obvious priority in a book and I'm able to guess everything that will happen next.  More recs like this!  I haven't been able to get through one Butcher book despite friends' urging, and this protagonist isn't the alphahole you tend to get with male characters in UF. I've recommended this series to friends :)

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Well, Alex Versus definitely fits into your requirements.

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That one's not the one with the douchey druid who is absurdly overpowered and fucks all the goddesses.  Somehow managed to mix the two up not that long ago.

I enjoyed Red Knight Falling, save for some wonky "we are family" character beats that I felt were not totally earned.

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I'm almost done with the Red Knight Falling, and it's alright.  Better than the first, but I have to say, I have a few issues so far with this series.  First, Harmony is... really boring.  I also don't care one way or another if her "romantic interest" stays or goes.  Neither of them are really all that rounded out as characters, even with the backstory we have of them.  I'm just kind of... meh.  Jessie and April are by far more interesting characters, more real and more likeable... and yet the dialogue in these books is rather lacking.  I think maybe that's the problem.  The plot is actually good, and it keeps the pace going pretty well, but... yeah just kinda meh.

Mars, are you thinking of The Iron Druid Chronicles?  I bought the first book, Hounded, and I couldn't finish it.  It was...disappointing.

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I like Harmony, but I can't say I care all that much about her love interest.

So, what else is coming out in urban fantasy in the next few months?  Feels like everything else that's being released this year is coming out in September.

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I found this list over at Goodreads.  I know you're going to want to jump on reading the new Black Dagger Brotherhood novel #14 

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/84923.2016_Paranormal_Romance_Urban_Fantasy_January_June_

I actually did read about 4 of those. An older secretary at work had seen me reading a book with a questionable cover and gave me a bunch of them, raving about how good they were.  Changed my view of her forever - girlfriend rec'd a coworker some vampire pron!! B)  They were not terribly written and I had a few laughs at the ridiculously named characters, at least.

Would anyone recommend some of those on that list?  I am going to need some rec's :( I read too fast :( 

Edited by Mandy

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1 hour ago, Mandy said:

I found this list over at Goodreads.  I know you're going to want to jump on reading the new Black Dagger Brotherhood novel #14 

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/84923.2016_Paranormal_Romance_Urban_Fantasy_January_June_

I actually did read about 4 of those. An older secretary at work had seen me reading a book with a questionable cover and gave me a bunch of them, raving about how good they were.  Changed my view of her forever - girlfriend rec'd a coworker some vampire pron!! B)  They were not terribly written and I had a few laughs at the ridiculously named characters, at least.

Would anyone recommend some of those on that list?  I am going to need some rec's :( I read too fast :( 

Have you checked out The Girl With Ghost Eyes by MH Boroson?  A Taoist exorcist-sorcerer priestess is attacked in an attempt to get at her father and must uncover the reason why as a prelude to finding out who betrayed her and kicking his ass.

It's like Molly Tanzer's Vermillion, only set in a later time period, more historically and politically attuned, and much better written in the sense that the plot actually delivers on what it sets up.

Other series not on that list (because who are we kidding, that's a paranormal romance list with a few urban fantasy mixed in) are The Laundry series by Charles Stross (British computer geek got drafted into his country's occult intelligence service and decides to get into fieldwork, fun ensues).  The series is a little uneven but for the most part pretty decent.  And the Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep is super pulpy popcorn but not paranormal romance at least.

 

 

Edited by Mars447

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11 minutes ago, Mars447 said:

Have you checked out The Girl With Ghost Eyes by MH Boroson?  A Taoist exorcist-sorcerer priestess is attacked in an attempt to get at her father and must uncover the reason why as a prelude to finding out who betrayed her and kicking his ass.

It's like Molly Tanzer's Vermillion, only set in a later time period, more historically and politically attuned, and much better written in the sense that the plot actually delivers on what it sets up.

Other series not on that list (because who are we kidding, that's a paranormal romance list with a few urban fantasy mixed in) are The Laundry series by Charles Stross (British computer geek got drafted into his country's occult intelligence service and decides to get into fieldwork, fun ensues).  The series is a little uneven but for the most part pretty decent.  And the Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep is super pulpy popcorn but not paranormal romance at least.

 

 

Awesome.  I'll check those out!  Thanks.

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So, Sara J Maas has finally finished the follow up to "Court of Thorns and Roses" and instead of reading it, I just went and read the spoilerific review commentaries. I can only say MWAHAHAHAHA!!! We totally called that one, oh yes.

With that, I am going back to trolling for Tanith Lee and Angela Carter works instead.

Edited by Lyanna Stark

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2 hours ago, Lyanna Stark said:

So, Sara J Maas has finally finished the follow up to "Court of Thorns and Roses" and instead of reading it, I just went and read the spoilerific review commentaries. I can only say MWAHAHAHAHA!!! We totally called that one, oh yes.

With that, I am going back to trolling for Tanith Lee and Angela Carter works instead.

Context?

Also, Jesus.  I looked up the first book and apparently it's super rapey.

Naturaly the teenaged girls that are the author's target audience would love that shit.

Edited by Mars447

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11 hours ago, Mars447 said:

Context?

Also, Jesus.  I looked up the first book and apparently it's super rapey.

Naturaly the teenaged girls that are the author's target audience would love that shit.

Eh? Nah, it's actually not particularly rapey at all. It has some things it definitely does wrong, and some things it does right. COTAR is more Hunger Games meets Fae paranormal romance, kind of thing. It's very uneven, and features a love triangle, which is about as uncommon as seagulls at a beach, but it also has a heroine that's at least partially different and interesting, in the same vein as Katniss, i.e. she's pretty murderous, harsh and doesn't come from a super happy home, and this shows. She also needs to cheat in order to win, and partially that is her own fault.

I also think you are being really harsh on teenage girls. It's like it's one uniform group of Beliebers. Instead, I find it interesting to ponder what teenage girls are taught to like, how the world shapes what they should like and how they interact with the books they read. We don't live in a cultural vacuum and there are many reasons for why stuff like "Twilight" is popular. It has a hook that even if I could see it coming still could agree was effective. It's blunt, totally unsubtle and it panders to a lowest common denominator, but it is still efficient. The question should by why it is, not that people find it so.

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17 hours ago, Lyanna Stark said:

So, Sara J Maas has finally finished the follow up to "Court of Thorns and Roses" and instead of reading it, I just went and read the spoilerific review commentaries. I can only say MWAHAHAHAHA!!! We totally called that one, oh yes.

I'm about 30% in and I suspect I know said spoiler. 

So far, the writing is better. Also,  I don't think love triangle is accurate. I think she is with T because of how she was/what she needed at that point and this book is about her growing into who she is now and what she needs in a relationship, so R. I *hope* that doesn't lead to a back and forth. But who knows. So far, I'm liking it more than the first one. 

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I'm checking out the Alex Craft series.  I started Grave Witch and I'm on Chapter 9, which means it's not too terrible.  It hasn't made me want to vomit yet, although I'm betting the overbearing, dick detective is supposed to be her future love interest, which doesn't really bode well.  I'm trying to keep my mind open, though.

ETA: Ok, I finished it.  Aaaand she slept with him. I think maybe I just need to go read some scifi or something.

Edited by Mandy

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On ‎5‎/‎5‎/‎2016 at 1:36 PM, Lyanna Stark said:

So, Sara J Maas has finally finished the follow up to "Court of Thorns and Roses" and instead of reading it, I just went and read the spoilerific review commentaries. I can only say MWAHAHAHAHA!!! We totally called that one, oh yes.

 MMMmmm, I've got to say I just finished A Court of Mist and Fury and its not at all what I expected.  Yes, we did call one aspect of it but it absolutely was not the story I was expecting to read.  I was surprised.  The beginning of the book was a bit redundant and boring but then it sort of fits with the heroine's own state of mind.  Then what we sort of predicted happens but I was disappointed that what I was really looking forward to happening did not end up happening.  But somewhere around the middle it all came together and worked for me.

As to these books being rapey?  Yeah, not at all.  There are relationships and sex in them but its consensual.  And it doesn't go on for pages on end, in fact there is more flirting and sexual tension in the second book than the actual act.  And while these books are marketed and sold as YA, that is the publisher's decision, not the author's.  Maas has stated these books were intended for a more mature audience, not YA.  Can teenagers read and enjoy then?  Absolutely.  But these books are not about teenagers.

One aspect of Maas's books that seems to enrage some is that the heroine doesn't always stay with the person the reader expects or wants.  With YA and romance novels there has been this built in expectation created that the first person the heroine kisses has to be *the one and only* person the heroine will ever kiss and they will be her ONE TRUE LOVE.  But that isn't the way the world works.  Very few people end up or want to end up with the first person they have a relationship with.  People grow and change.  What works for you at 20 doesn't necessarily work for you at 25.  Maas's books reflect that.

 

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Thanks for the Pax Arcana rec guys. I've been home with a dodgy tummy and these have been ideal. Tore through the first two in three days and in the middle of the third now

 

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