The Paranormal Bibliophile











{November 23, 2012}   Maker’s Song

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The Maker’s Song series mixes urban, punk, goth and paranormal genres. Who can resist a story about a half vampire, half-fallen youth with the potentials if a God? The hero, Agent Heather Wallace, gets an A+ for her kick-butt, strength of character and her heart!

Adrian Pheonix’s Blog

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{November 21, 2012}   Bloodhound Files

I’ve been deliberating for a while now about the next book to add to my list of must reads.  In all honesty, it’s a tough call.  This next series is a little different for my female paranormal junkies out there.  The main character fits all of my criteria and yet, she’s a little bit other.  D. D. Barant’s first book, Dying Bites, introduces us to a young FBI profiler named Jace Valcheck.  Jace is a tough, no nonsense women used to playing with the big boys.  Jace’s reality is torn asunder when she is ripped from her universe where people are human and the laws of physics are necessary into an alternate realm where humans are all but extinct.

My warning to female readers:  This is not chick lit.  This is a series that a guy could easily get involved in.  While there are a few touchy-feely, romantic interludes, the book is equal parts mystery, humor, adventure, and science fiction.  Each book tends to add a new and interesting twist on your understanding of the occult.  The first book is OK, but they definitely get better as the characters develop throughout the series.  There are currently 5 books written.



{November 14, 2012}   Kitty Norville Series

Carrie Vaughn‘s hero would fit my criteria to a T.  She is a woman with a backbone and a heart.  The protagonist, Kitty Norville, is a closet werewolf that decides to run a tongue-in cheek late-night radio show about the occult.  This is a great series for anyone that enjoys the writings of Laurel K. Hamilton or Kim Harrison.  I have but one complaint; the titles of each book are beyond ghastly:

1.  Kitty and The Midnight Hour

2.  Kitty Goes To Washington

3.  Kitty Takes A Holiday

4. Kitty and The Silver Bullet

and on and on and on…

The first time I bought a Carrie Vaughn book, I hid it in a pile of other books so no one would see the title.  Thank God for ereaders!  So, I add this caveat, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t judge a book by it’s title!  😉



Cover of "Good Omens"

Cover of Good Omens

Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (or Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman) deliver with this outrageous book about the apocalypse. What happens if the Anti-Christ gets misplaced, is raised by the wrong parents, and the angel and demon meant to bring about the end of days decide they actually like living on Earth?  This is a tale guaranteed to keep you rolling your eyes, roaring in laughter and turning pages.  After all, nobody’s perfect!



{November 8, 2012}   Rachel Morgan Series
dead witch walking

dead witch walking (Photo credit: cdrummbks)

In this series about a witch who works for the non-human version of the FBI, Kim Harrison delivers a delightful tale in which humans humans co-exist with all sorts of paranormal living creatures.  The lead character, Rachel Morgan, works with her vampire partner to chase down all sorts of nasty paranormal criminals.  In betwixt this crime fighting, Rachel struggles to come to terms with her own sense of self and morality.  The characters are well developed and deal with issues of loyalty, morality, friendship and love.  Interspersed within Kim Harrison’s great story-telling is a sense of humor that can’t be beat.  Her characters witty verbal repartee challenges the reader not to grin and chuckle while reading each passage.  Currently, there are 10 books in the series with a likelihood of more to come.   Dead Witch Walking is Book #1.



{November 7, 2012}   Odd Thomas
Odd Thomas (novel)

Odd Thomas (novel) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dean Koontz writes this series about an unlikely young protagonist who receives clues from the dead in order to prevent catastrophe.  On the surface, Odd Thomas seems like an unremarkable individual with a dead-end job flipping burgers with no aspirations.  He speaks to the reader as the quintessential definition of average, except for his ability to see the dead.  Koontz’s deliberate portrayal of Odd Thomas as ordinary in the beginning of the series is an amusing and flippant contrast to his title of the series.  In addition, it allows the reader to empathize with Thomas as he has quite reasonable responses dilemmas throughout the story.  The best parts of the series are Odd Thomas’ personal reflections, which are quite humorous, and the surprising dead people he meets along his journeys.  Here is another great hero that is loyal to his friends and never fails to place himself in harms way to protect them.  There are five books in the series so far, with Odd Thomas as book #1.



{November 6, 2012}   Anita Blake Vampire Hunter

Laurell K. Hamilton delivers an intriguing mix of characters in the wildly popular, fast-paced series.  The main character, Anita Blake, is a biracial/Latino American woman who may be short in stature but definitely isn’t short on spunk.  She kicks butt, literally and figuratively.  Anita’s character grows and develops with the story throughout the series as does her circle of friends and enemies, and the books’ plots and mysteries.  This series isn’t for the faint of heart or for young readers; it’s quite racy and more than steamy.  The series also satisfies all of my criteria; while Anita confronts vampires, werewolves, zombies, etc…, she also knows when to find humor in the absurdity of her situation and she never gives up.  There are 21 books in the series, with Guilty Pleasures starting off the journey.



Cover of "Darkfever (Fever Series, Book 1...

Cover of Darkfever (Fever Series, Book 1)

This series is very unique in it’s writing and perspective on paranormal fiction.  Some readers may find it difficult to begin with, but I promise that if you stick to the end of Book 1: Dark Fever, you’ll be hooked.  MacKayla Lane is the main hero.  She is a strong female character with a bit of a gutsy, humorous, sarcastic streak.  She doesn’t take “no” for an answer, even when it gets her into trouble.  MacKayla is paired with a mysterious leading male character,  Jericho Barrons.   As MacKayla travels to Ireland to uncover the truth about her sister’s murder, she meets Mr. Barrons and uncovers more questions than answers.  This is a well written book with complex twists and turns bound to keep readers on their toes.  A bit of warning, though.  This isn’t a fluffy popcorn book.  You just might learn a few new vocabulary words and a little folklore mixed in with the fiction.  There are 5 books in the series to complete the tale of Mac.  In addition, the author recently released a spin-off series that tells the story of a character from the Fever Series: The Dani O’Malley Series.



{November 1, 2012}   The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
Cover of "Storm Front (The Dresden Files,...

Cover of Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book 1)

Jim Butcher delivers a delicious tale of mystery, murder, and mayhem in this series about a wizard/private detective named Harry Dresden.  Published in 2000, this series quickly became a hit that spawned a short-lived series on the sci-fi channel.  Harry is the definition of a great 3-dimensional character with his whit, loyalty, and perseverance in the face of certain defeat.  With 10 books in the series, this is popcorn reading!

A note of warning, while Jim Butcher delivers with the Dresden Files, you may be disappointed by his Codex Alera Series.  The characters don’t have the same vibrancy.

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{November 1, 2012}   Next stop adventure!

I have one true passion in life: books.  I read many genres and am often asked for recommendations on a variety of subjects.  With the current paranormal crush—Vampires and Werewolves and Demons, oh my!—well, it can be hard to figure out which authors are worth their salt.  So, I am starting this blog and I will begin posting authors you can count on for a great paranormal read.  I’ll tell you what my criteria is and if you disagree, you can check elsewhere.  I look for books with a strong central male or female character that doesn’t give up.  If the central character is male, he has to have a good sense of humor and he must be able to laugh at himself.  If the central character is female, she has to be strong and independent, but still have the ability to love and cherish humanity.  In my experience, characters lacking these traits end up appearing one dimensional and bland.  They don’t do enough to encourage your willing suspension of disbelief.  I hope you will find my recommendations helpful.  Please feel free to share your own recommendations if you believe they fit my criteria.



et cetera