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I’ve long enjoyed reading Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series. So long that I barely remembered what happened in the first book, Dead Until Dark. Instead of rereading it, I decided to listen to the audio. I’m glad I did.
The narrator, Johanna Parker, captures the essence of Sookie in all her different moods – perky, angry, scared, nervous, ecstatic, and so on. It was a treat to hear Sookie come alive.
Lori Shepherd knows everything about the town of Finch, the small English village where she lives. Recently, the big news is that recluse Hector Huggins has passed away, and everyone in the village attends the funeral. A stranger arrives at the funeral who, it happens, is Hector's nephew, Jack MacBride from Australia, who is in Finch to finish his uncle's affairs.
"Paranormal," Volk reminds us in the introduction, is a word that means "experiences or events that cannot be explained by science." Volk takes pains to carefully point out that this may mean "paranormal events" actually have a scientific explanation that we have not found yet, either by chance or because it is beyond our current scientific capabilities. Or it could mean that paranormal events actually have a supernatural cause. Human beings, Volk accurately writes, do not sit well with not knowing.
The main character in Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series is a type of heroine I like to call “the flawed hero who can’t stop herself from helping those in trouble even if it gets her into trouble; sometimes potentially fatal trouble.” There are a number of supernatural series that feature this type of character - Harry Dresden from Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, Rachel Morgan from Kim Harrison’s Hollows, Sookie Stackhouse from Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse, the women in Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld.
Some readers like their fictional friends kept safe, never truly in harm’s way, despite immediate apparent dangers; you just know they’ll make out just fine in the end. I am not one of those readers—I like it when happy endings are not guaranteed, and the protagonist gets knocked around a bit.
A stealth-action with RPG elements. About vampires. This game should be amazing.
It isn't. Oh, how it isn't.
Jonathan Stroud’s latest book is a thrilling fantasy set in England in which ghosts roam the nights. Only the very young can see, hear, or otherwise sense spirits. As children near puberty, abilities to see or hear spirits surface, and they are thereby trained and employed by businesses whose sole purpose is to identify and detain or destroy the spirits.
After years of living in the shadows, being glorified as sparkly lovers and dangerous enemies and on TV, vampires have revealed themselves to humans. After a nasty outbreak of vampirism, thanks to a misplaced act of mercy, the world cannot ignore the lore. Infected cities are walled off from the public, called Coldtowns, these places are exquisite prisons for vampires. Humans, enthralled with the beauty and horror of vampires flock to the Coldtowns to offer their sweet red blood for the chance of being turned.
If you’re in the mood for a long book and like family histories with a supernatural twist, try The Witching Hour by Anne Rice. While the story is set in the same world as her vampire series, there are no vampires in this book. Instead, the tale of the Mayfair witches is told from their beginning several hundred years ago to the present.