I was turned onto the Dresden Files series about six or seven years ago now. Over the course of the series, Harry Dresden has been battered, burned and nearly killed so many times I’ve lost count. He’s made enemies and friends, and he’s gained knowledge and strength. Jim Butcher now has so many balls in the air with this series that even those of us who have read many of the books multiple times still have trouble recalling everything that’s happened.
In Cold Days, Harry finds himself in yet another predicament. He accepted the position of Winter Knight from the Queen of the Winter Court, Mab, because he needed the strength the position provides in Changes in a confrontation with a court of vampires. For his first task, Mab tells Harry he must kill an immortal. Harry has to gather up all his old friends to figure out why he needs to kill an immortal, how he’s going to accomplish it and where this fits in the bigger picture of everything that’s gone wrong in the world in the past books in the series.
This is not a series where a person can jump in and out. It really needs to be read in order, so if you’re interested, pick up Storm Front the next time you’re in the library.
And if you’re waiting for Cold Days or are finished and now awaiting the next Dresden Files book, try The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne.
After war and plague destroyed New York city, most of civilization has migrated underground. Lives are short and when Deuce turns 15, she takes on the role of huntress to provide food and protection for the group. She is paired with Fade, a teenager who lived topside as a young boy, but he is not trusted by the elders who rule the clan. On a hunting mission, Deuce and Fade discover that a neighboring clan has been brutally destroyed by the tunnel monsters–or Freaks. When they try to warn the elders, they are exiled from the clan. Fade leads the way to topside and Deuce, born in darkness, must learn to survive in sunshine–in the ruins of a city populated by dangerous gangs. Guided by Fade’s memories as a child, they face dangers unlike any they have ever known. Enclave is a tense, action-packed dystopian story, much more thriller than romance, though Aguirre teases at a future love triangle. This is the first book in projected series, and will appeal to fans of the “Hunger Games.”
by Peter Straub
Timothy Underhill and Willy Patrick had several things in common, they were both authors, they had both lost a child they loved, and they were both troubled. Willy had man trouble and was running for her life, while Timothy had email trouble. It seems he’s getting emails from people of his past, who are dead.
In the Night Room is told with alternating chapters from Willy and Timothy, until they meet. Now, Timothy’s life is also in danger and they are on the run together. Timothy knows what must be done to save Willy and himself, but he doesn’t like it.
This fast-paced and suspense-filled novel begins with an archaeological expedition to a remote area of the Amazon. Artifacts from the Kothga culture are discovered, including a representation of the evil god Mbwun–a half-man, half-reptile creature, and all are crated and shipped to the New York Museum of Natural History. But no one from the expedition lives to tell about their discoveries. Years later, the museum is set to unveil a new exhibit “Superstition”, which includes artifacts from many cultures that represent evil and superstition, including the Mbwun statue. Problems begin at the museum when gristly murders begin taking place. FBI Agent Pendergast and graduate student Margo Green each have theories about the deaths, but are ignored by museum directors. Then on the night of the exhibit opening, terror spreads through the museum. Relic is a gripping page-turner as the heroes are forced to explore remote and dark tunnels underneath the museum and as others battle to escape the monster roaming freely through the museum.
Relic is also the first book in a series of thrillers by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child that revolves around the Sherlock Holmes-like character of FBI Agent Aloysius Pendergast. Next in the series is Reliquary.
Ashes, by Ilsa J. Bick is an American Library Association 2012 Teen Top Ten Nomination. I had heard good things about the book, but hesitated to pick it up because I’m not really into zombies. However, zombies or no zombies, it gripped my interest from the first few pages. Seventeen year old Alex has had a rough life. Her parents died in an accident and shortly thereafter she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. After multiple treatments that have not worked, her case is terminal. While her body and mind are still functioning she takes one last trip into the Waucamaw Wilderness where she has camped many times with her dad. Just a few days into her trip electromagnetic pulses are set off, wiping out power and electronic devices everywhere. To make matters worse, the pulse kills off a large portion of the population and turns most young adults into crazed zombies. Alex along with fellow survivors Ellie, a young girl, and Tom, a soldier who is on leave, band together to survive. The plot continually twists and turns and kept me on the edge of my seat. I always felt like some new horror was lurking around every corner (and more often than not it was). Although some of the action sequences are quite gruesome, this part horror/part post- apocalyptic novel kept me riveted until the end. If you like books wrapped up all neat and tidy at the end this is not for you! Virtually nothing is resolved by the end, and there is a cliffhanger worthy of the Hunger Games. Luckily, book number two of this planned trilogy, Shadows, comes out September 25th!
The people of the world are scared. Zombies are everywhere, and once you’ve been bitten, there’s no way to avoid becoming a flesh eating, brainless monster yourself. George and Shaun Mason are two of the few people in the world who actually seek out contact with zombies. It’s their source of income since they film and blog about the state of the world in 2039, 25 years after the Kellis-Amberlee virus made the dead stand up and walk. They’re good at their jobs and people trust them to bring them the news and an adrenaline rush, this is why they are asked to join the presidential campaign of Senator Peter Ryman to accompany and blog about his campaign.
Feed is set in a world where using zombies as a weapon is considered an act of terrorism and still carries the death penalty. This makes the acts of sabotage that plague the campaign and infect members of Senator Ryman’s camp even more unthinkable than they would otherwise be. George and Shaun are determined to get to the bottom of the attacks, even if they don’t survive to see the end of the campaign season.
Some other science-based horror novels worth reading: Peeps by Scott Westerfeld and The Passage by Justin Cronin.
>Graveminder is the first adult novel published by Melissa Marr (author of the popular young adult Wicked Lovely series). Claysville is a world unto itself. Its residents are born there, and they must die there, though they are ignorant of what is truly going on around them and why they feel an irresistible pull to the place where they were born. In Claysville, if a body isn’t minded after death, the dead don’t stay where they’re put.
Rebekkah must unexpectedly return to Claysville upon the death of her grandmother, Maylene. When she arrives, she finds out Maylene was murdered in her home and that attacks continue to occur. Her old flame, Byron, a man who still loves her, must convince her she has to take up her grandmother’s place and as Graveminder to mind the dead and lay the Hungry Dead who have already woken to rest. He must also convince her she belongs to him and to the dead. Together they act as enforcers of a three hundred year old contract between the enigmatic ruler of the world of the dead and the town of Claysville.
This atmospheric gothic mystery pulls you in and doesn’t let you go until the end.
>There are a ridiculous number of books being published right now featuring vampires (and werewolves and zombies). The Passage by Justin Cronin happens to feature vampires. But if you’re not a Twilight fan, don’t let the vampires put you off of The Passage. These vampires don’t sparkle and don’t get involved in melodramatic love triangles. These vampires are out of the Stoker tradition, although in this wonderfully captivating novel the vampire condition is caused by a virus harvested and modified by the government to create super soldiers.
One hundred years after “virals” escape a government testing facility in Colorado, there live a group of people in a place known as “The Colony” in what was California. On a maintenance trip to the power station powering the lights that keep their settlement from being overrun by the virals, they find a girl on her own. She has a chip implanted in her neck recording her vitals that has been recording for approximately the past hundred years. They have also discovered a radio transmission repeating the message “if you found her, bring her here.” The obvious conclusion is that the transmission refers to this mystery girl.
A small group sets out to discover the source of the transmission and find out if the reason this girl is still alive after one hundred years is information that can save the rest of humanity. The lights at The Colony are failing, and there isn’t much time to find an answer.