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.
We’re often told by parents (and librarians) not to judge a book by its cover. I’m apparently a terrible librarian because I choose what to read by its cover on a regular basis. God Save the Queen is one example of a book I chose for the cover. That smirking, red haired, steampunk-wearing woman on the cover couldn’t fail to catch my eye at the very least. When I realized it was set in an alternate 2012 in England where Queen Victoria still ruled as a near-immortal vampire, I simply couldn’t resist.
Xandra Vardan is a member of the Royal Guard, the organization charged with protecting the vampires and werewolves who make up the Aristocracy in this alternate Britain. When her younger sister, Drusilla, goes missing, Xandra uses all the resources at her disposal, including going to the goblin prince for information, in order to find her. What she finds shakes her belief in the structure of British society and the right of the Aristocracy to rule and everything she thinks she knows about the people in her world.
God Save the Queen is an exciting blend of horror, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, mystery, steampunk and alternate history. With a flawed main character and conspiracies that run deep, this is a fun read for people who like urban fantasy.
The body you are wearing used to be mine.”
So begins the wonderfully imaginative debut novel The Rook by Daniel O’Malley. Myfanwy (pronounced like “Tiffany”) Thomas opens her eyes to find herself standing in a park in the rain surrounded by bodies wearing latex gloves. She finds two letters addressed to herself in her coat pockets containing instructions for how to either slide herself into the life of the old Myfanwy Thomas, the previous owner of the body, or how to run and begin a new life for herself with a new name. Myfanwy obviously chooses to stay and take up the responsibilities and life of Thomas (as she calls the old owner of the body), which turn out to be complicated and very surprising. Thomas was a “Rook,” one of eight heads of the organization known as the Checquy that protects the United Kingdom from supernatural threats. Someone was obviously trying to remove Thomas from the picture and Myfanwy is saddled not only with the challenge of quickly learning how to run a secret organization and control the supernatural powers she inherited along with her body but also with the task of sussing out the conspiracy behind her memory loss and how the increasing number of supernatural attacks since she woke up in the park is related to her existance.
This is a totally enthralling, complex, and darkly humorous debut that should appeal to readers who enjoy Jim Butcher or Neil Gaiman.
>This story was taken from the legends of old, when it was believed that children were stolen and replaced with a changeling. The poem, “The Stolen Child” by William Butler Yeats, was Keith Donahue’s inspiration for this book. The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue is told in alternating voices by the child who was stolen (Aniday) and the changeling (Henry Day) who took his place. Aniday, now a changeling, will always live in a 7 year old body. Henry Day, now a human, will have to remember to change his body as he “grows”. They both strive to live the best life they can, but both of them live with the memories that haunt them. Aniday misses his mother, father, and twin sisters. He wonders about the life he would have had in the human world. Henry Day is concerned about being convincing enough in his new life to fool his new family & friends into believing that he is indeed the real Henry Day. He has dreams in this new world about a past life somewhere far away. It is a hauntingly moving story that just may have you looking over your shoulder and keeping a closer eye on your children, especially as you near the woods.
>Chloe Hobbs doesn’t quite fit in anywhere. She lives in and owns a knitting shop in the small town of Sugar Maple, Vermont, a town populated by fairies, vampires, werewolves and the like, she is the daughter of a sorceress, but she is the only human resident of Sugar Maple. Chloe comes from a long line of sorceresses who have protected the town from prying eyes and kept the peace in town for hundreds of years. The fact that Chloe is completely human is a big problem because the protection spells on the town are starting to fade and the town’s first homicide brings scrutiny and a police officer, Luke MacKenzie, sent to investigate the crime.
Sparks start to fly between Chloe and Luke (literally) as Chloe’s powers start to appear. The arrival of her powers isn’t necessarily the welcome event she thought it would be, though. A power-hungry town resident wants the book the women of Chloe’s family pass down from mother to daughter, and she is willing to do just about anything to get it. Casting Spells will pull you in with an exciting mystery, quirky romance and unique mixture of knitting story with urban fantasy.