Thursday, May 14, 2009

Great Reads Thursday

I have what my friends down here in the South call a "gracious plenty" of great reads to talk about in my first GRT! And many of them are friends, which makes it even more fun.

First off, the lovely and talented Jennifer St. Giles has two new releases for your reading pleasure: KISS OF DARKNESS and BRIDE OF THE WOLF. Her Shadowmen series is growing deeper and richer with every book.

And speaking of lovely and talented, my friend S.J. Day has begun a back to back release schedule of kick-ass urban fantasy!! I was lucky enough to read EVE OF DARKNESS in ARC format and loved it - now I'm holding my breath for book 2 (also on June 2nd, yet another release buddy). If you like urban fantasy, you should give the Eve series a try.

For tried and true, two of my favorite urban fantasy series had new releases lately - Charlaine Harris's DEAD AND GONE and Jim Butcher's TURN COAT. Both are long-running series, and it was interesting to me that both books gave their respective protagonists a kind of new beginning by culling some of the long-running characters and forcing Sookie and Harry to stand alone. Some interesting parallels there and both are great examples of how to keep a series fresh and exciting. Charlaine took Sookie to a very dark place and to a realization of just how very alone she is, even though she stands at an intersection of so many supernatural races. Fascinating stuff.

In the Dresden Files book, Harry has to stand for an implacable enemy, both for personal reasons and also just because, under his unique code of honor, it's the right thing to do. Personal relationships are destroyed for him, too, and lives are ended.

It's something I have to say when responding to reader mail, sometimes. If the stakes are high enough, sometimes characters will die. It's unreasonable to expect that only the bad guys will ever die in a battle to save the world. If every "good" character had a "get out of harm free" card, then there would be no real danger or suspense. The story has to control where the characters go, and sometimes, no matter how much I may love them, bad things happen to them.

But I always ALWAYS promise a happy ending for my heroes and heroines. After the torture I put them through, I think they deserve it, don't you?

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