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Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance v. 3.0

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8 minutes ago, Deedles said:

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

 

Glad to see you like it. Pax Arcana is in my view one of the better examples of the "noir inspired antihero" UF subgenre when it comes to character writing.  I liked not having to deal with John's bullshit like I've had to do with certain other popular UF protagonists.  Plus John acts like an adult male who has touched a breast before in his lifetime, which is nice.

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It really was a refreshing series.  Please feel free to recommend more like this.  I'm really stuck without a book series I'm excited about right now.  I've started reading some old Patricia Briggs fantasy stuff (it's just meh) that I happen to have at work and I've been watching TV at night - not my ideal, I'd rather be reading.  These and the Mike Carey Felix Castor books are probably the best male-lead UF I've read thus far.

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Trying Urban Shaman, the first book of the Walker Papers series by C.E. Murphy.  People seem to either love it or hate it on Goodreads reviews, but an old friend recommended it.

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On May 11, 2016 at 11:05 AM, Mandy said:

It really was a refreshing series.  Please feel free to recommend more like this.  I'm really stuck without a book series I'm excited about right now.  I've started reading some old Patricia Briggs fantasy stuff (it's just meh) that I happen to have at work and I've been watching TV at night - not my ideal, I'd rather be reading.  These and the Mike Carey Felix Castor books are probably the best male-lead UF I've read thus far.

I didn't find anything objectionably awful about that series, but it's been a while and I don't recall anything particularly memorable about it either.  It's not exactly action oriented like Pax Arcana or something like Kate Daniels, however, although I suppose that the protagonist acquires a modicum of competence later on in the series.  Also, the protagonist's love interest is super annoying.  He's her significantly older police commander, and he's basically a bastard mish mash of your Angry Police Chief archetype mixed with your generic female written UF/PR Asshole Love Interest archetype.  It's pretty awful.

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Well, that's disappointing to hear. I was wondering how long it would take the the "love interest" to show up, though I have to say I'm glad it's not the 63 year old widowed cab driver.

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On the Walker papers, its been a while but I can't remember the love interest being that bad. But the series is a bit up and down.

On ‎11‎/‎05‎/‎2016 at 2:05 AM, Mandy said:

It really was a refreshing series.  Please feel free to recommend more like this.  I'm really stuck without a book series I'm excited about right now.  I've started reading some old Patricia Briggs fantasy stuff (it's just meh) that I happen to have at work and I've been watching TV at night - not my ideal, I'd rather be reading.  These and the Mike Carey Felix Castor books are probably the best male-lead UF I've read thus far.

Another series with a good male protagonist is Harry Connolly's 20 palaces. Unfortunately there are only 3 books and will be no more.

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For those of you who have read C.E. Murphy's the Walker Papers series, do all the books take place in the "spirit world" or whatever in all of the books?  That was almost unbearable.  It was decent, I like the characters, but if they're all like that, I don't want to waste my money.

ETA: I went and read some reviews of the second book over at Goodreads and thought, "Well, maybe I should skip ahead to book 3." She's LYING DOWN on the cover of book 3, and the plot says most of the city can't wake up.  I'm going to go ahead and assume most of this book's action takes place in the "spirit world" while Joanne is asleep.  BFS

Edited by Mandy

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23 minutes ago, Mandy said:

For those of you who have read C.E. Murphy's the Walker Papers series, do all the books take place in the "spirit world" or whatever in all of the books?  That was almost unbearable.  It was decent, I like the characters, but if they're all like that, I don't want to waste my money.

ETA: I went and read some reviews of the second book over at Goodreads and thought, "Well, maybe I should skip ahead to book 3." She's LYING DOWN on the cover of book 3, and the plot says most of the city can't wake up.  I'm going to go ahead and assume most of this book's action takes place in the "spirit world" while Joanne is asleep.  BFS

Let's be honest here, Joanne lying down on the cover of book 3 probably has more to do with meeting the "Sexy brunette in a tank top" quota that appears to be mandatory for female written UF than any kind of desire for plot relevance.

Its been a while since I've read the series, and I don't have any particular inclination to go back to it, but from what I remember the magic system mostly involves the spirit world.  It's certainly not as action packed a series as Kate Daniels, Pax Arcana, or The Girl With Ghost Eyes, which begins with a spirit walk and ends with the heroine destroying a giant ghost construct with Kung fu.  Joanne is certainly nowhere nearly as adept with violence.

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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...

Edited by Mandy

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1 hour ago, 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...

And you're not a fan of Harmony Black.  (I've found that series improves quite a bit on rereading.  Plotting wise it's actually  quite a bit bigger and better than Schaefer's Daniel Faust series, even though they share a setting.)

Prospero's War was readable, although I found Jaye Wells' other series (something about vampires vs mages) to be pretty shit.  Wells isn't particularly great with worldbuilding, which is actually pretty hokey.

The Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep is pure popcorn. The heroine isn't particularly insightful, the worldbuilding is actually pretty poor, and the author is a white woman who uses "Po-po" with a completely straight face, but the books are nothing if not action packed and the asshole alpha male love interest doesn't last long.

I'm taking a look at Demon's Daughter by Amy Braun.  The reviews are decent and the main character is apparently badass, but 25% of the way through the Amazon preview and the narrative abruptly grinds to a halt to give us a description of the appearance of the protagonist and the little sister she's trying to protect.  It's a huge bad writing alert, but maybe things will get better.

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I'm trying Aisling Grey, Guardian series, "You Slay Me" by Katie Macalister.  I don't know why I chose this one, I think I was browsing around and saw it had some good reviews.  We'll see.

I don't DISLIKE Harmony Black, she's just a little too lawful good for my usual wants.  I've had a lot of recommendations for the Elemental Assassin series.  I'm sure I'll check it out soon :)

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oh, I HATED the elemental assassin series. I didn't get through the first book before metaphorically throwing it at the wall (read: deleting it from my ebook).iirc the heroine and everyone around her needed a good slap and it was full of the worst UF tropes.

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Yeah I'm not gonna lie, I have been rec'd several series' lately and went to read the first couple pages on amazon and said NOPE! I'm pretty sure that happened with that one.  Sigh.  

It doesn't help that I've been VERY moody lately.  I've essentially been sitting in front of a computer screen hating everyone and everything with a distasteful smirk on my face, either laughing mockingly or rolling my eyes. So if there's something I can hate about a book, I'll find it right now.

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In my defense, I said it was "action packed", not that it was "good".

I've run out of good UF as well, so in between rereading Pax Arcana for like the third time in as many months I've also been following old rereads of early Dresden books.  Dear god, the writing in Storm Front is fucking awful, nevermind the Harry's neckbeard-and-fedora attitudes towards women and that damn love potion.

Edited by Mars447

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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.

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Is the second part of Ilona Andrews' Hidden Legacy out yet? The first one had some pretty awful romance tropes (the whole kidnap shenanigans felt kinda meh tbh) and felt closer to their Edge series than Kate Daniels.

Have you tried Viola Carr's Gothic/Steampunk London novels? Two out so far and even though I prefer the first one, they are alright.

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3 hours ago, Lyanna Stark said:

Is the second part of Ilona Andrews' Hidden Legacy out yet? The first one had some pretty awful romance tropes (the whole kidnap shenanigans felt kinda meh tbh) and felt closer to their Edge series than Kate Daniels.

Have you tried Viola Carr's Gothic/Steampunk London novels? Two out so far and even though I prefer the first one, they are alright.

I don't think Hidden Legacy 2 is coming out before 2017. I didn't like it as much as Innkeeper or Kate Daniels but its still better than most other books in the genre 

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4 minutes ago, Andorion said:

I don't think Hidden Legacy 2 is coming out before 2017. I didn't like it as much as Innkeeper or Kate Daniels but its still better than most other books in the genre 

You mean Paranormal Romance? If you mean modern setting, then perhaps, but if you include historical or more fantastical settings, then I think there are lots better than Hidden Legacy, imho. Both Viola Carr's and BecMcMaster's stuff are less annoying and less rapetastic, for instance. As are Callihan's Darkest London (even tho I have a lot of other issues with this one), Draven's "Master of Crows" and Foxe's Steampunk romance stuff. (The latter three are still annoying in various degrees.)

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11 minutes ago, Lyanna Stark said:

You mean Paranormal Romance? If you mean modern setting, then perhaps, but if you include historical or more fantastical settings, then I think there are lots better than Hidden Legacy, imho. Both Viola Carr's and BecMcMaster's stuff are less annoying and less rapetastic, for instance. As are Callihan's Darkest London (even tho I have a lot of other issues with this one), Draven's "Master of Crows" and Foxe's Steampunk romance stuff. (The latter three are still annoying in various degrees.)

Oh I can't say anything about the Victorian books as I haven't touched that entire area at all. I was talking in context of the modern were/vamp/angel(?) style books. I know there are a lot of Victorian UF/PNR books and some of them are pretty good but I have never gotten around to reading them. Too many non UF/PNRs on my TBR I guess^_^

The one Victorian I did read was Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences 1 by Pip Ballantine. It was quite good and more UF than PNR. 

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Yeah, unfortunately it looks like the second book isn't out yet :( So it turns out these aren't SO bad.  I like her writing and yeah there are definitely some tropes, but something about their books doesn't make me cringe and roll my eyes the way I have been doing with SO MANY of the books that were supposed to be urban fantasy.  She writes a good Alphahole whereas a lot of the other male romantic interests end up being straight up a$$holes. And honestly, I don't want to read about women going after dudes like that.  It's gross and pathetic and I want to burn something.

What I really like about Ilona Andrews is the worldbuilding is decent, even in the paranormal romance books.  I didn't care so much for the Edge books but they were still not too shabby.  I'd even say they were just as good as almost ALL of the books I've read this year excepting the Pax Arcana books and the Kelly Gay novels.  I can't stomach another hot vampire book, and the plots are usually a little more unique than that.

Edited by Mandy

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