Urban Fantasy Summer

While at Bookshop Santa Cruz I ran the Science Fiction/ Fantasy section where I expounded on the merits of titles like The Unkindness of Ghosts, A Darker Shade of Magic, and The Fifth Season. However, the area where I really cut my teeth on the genre, was urban fantasy. We don’t see it as much anymore. I don’t know if it’s because UF had a habit of upping its hero’s skills to unbelievable levels or just because publishing is cylindrical and it’s time was done, but while there are some series that live on, on the whole UF is a thing of the past. One of the series that lives on, is Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series (as well as her Incryptid series). I decided since for the time being I don’t have to live by Pub Dates and Indie Next submission deadlines, I’d revisit Toby and the gang. Then I thought about it. Why not spend this summer going back to the books that made me fall in love with SFF?

October Daye is a changeling in San Francisco who is a Knight errant and all around badass. Snark and violence at its finest. And at 13 books in, we have quite the world building to traverse through. The first few books run a little slow, but by book 4 she hits her stride and it’s a fun journey. The series starts with Rosemary and Rue (did I mention all the titles are Shakespeare references?). Toby has some great growth as a character and it’s amazing.

Also on the list is going to be Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series. Kelley is still writing, but her books are closer to the mystery genre these days. The Women of the Otherworld swaps narrators is very few books which I completely enjoyed. We start off in Bitten with Elena, who is the only female werewolf, then there’s Paige, a witch learning about being a parent to an orphaned witch while navigating the world of magic, as well as a cast of other powerful ladies. PSA: Warlock Lucas is totes my book boyfriend.

At the same time that TWotO was a hit, there was also The Hollows series by Kim Harrison. Starting with Dead Witch Walking we are following a witch bounty hunter slash detective named Rachel through magical Cincinnati with her pals, a bisexual living vampire named Ivy and a foul mouthed pixie named Jinks. Rachel is a hot mess of a character which I wholly appreciated because it’s boring when the main character knows all the answers.

Remember that snark and violence I mentioned? One of the best examples is Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles. In Hounded Atticus is the last known Druid who is in hiding from a very angry Celtic god in Arizona. Oh did I mention that Atticus, while appearing 21, is actually 21 centuries. So you know. Like you do. You will love his pal, a talking Irish Wolfhound named Oberon.

Last but not least, is Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires. The first book is Some Girls Bite where we meet Merit who is changed to a vampire without her consent. I love Merit. I love her best friend Mallory. Spanning 13 books (which seems to be the magic number in ending UF series) we see her kick ass, take names and eat all the junk food. And good news, there’s a spin-off called Heirs of Chicagoland so the fun continues.

There are tons of Urban Fantasy series out there and everyone has their favorites. These were just a few that I really enjoyed and plan on revisiting. Do you have a favorite UF series? Tell me about it in the comments or on social media!

Bookseller Hiatus

According to my history it’s been over 2 years since I’ve updated. Apparently it’s hard to keep a blog going when your job is to sell books. If I wasn’t at work, handselling or running a register, I was writing reviews for Indie Next or the store’s newsletter. So why am I back, you’re asking? Because at the current moment of my life, I’m not a bookseller. Husband got a job in Pittsburgh and just like that, we are onto the next chapter of our lives. I’m currently in a hotel room in San Jose whole he finishes his last two days of work at the previous job. Spawn are in Southern California, visiting their grandparents while we make the transition. I’m hanging out with the newest additions to the family, Poppet and Widget of the French bulldog persuasion (yep they’re named for the twins in The Night Circus as they are litter mates).

It seems it’s hard to get me out of the book world though. I had serious plans to just read, no work, but I can’t stop myself. And if that wasn’t enough, I did a poll on Instagram and everyone said I should. I think that’s legally binding.

I can’t promise the blog will be regular at the moment. I can’t even guarantee the formatting will make sense. For at least the foreseeable future I’ll be in the car, as we are road tripping from NorCal to Pittsburgh in the next week so updates will probably come from my phone. I don’t even know what kind of blogging I’ll be doing or if I’ll be using any of the same things I did on the blog previously. What I can say is that I will write about books, the pups, and anything that I find mildly amusing.

I can’t seem to break my frontlist habit, but atm I’m currently rereading the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire so I’m on Book 4 Late Eclipses. If you haven’t read this series I highly recommend. It’s heavy world building in the first 3, but I think Book 4 is where she hits her stride. It’s fun as a reread because I can see what she was setting up at the beginning that she didn’t reveal until way later in the series.

The road trip is guaranteed to have some bookish moments so stay tuned.