September 26, 2017

Tell Me Something Tuesday: Favourite UF Books

This is my first foray into Tell Me Something Tuesday. Yes...Roberta is doing a meme.


Let me explain a couple of things before I dive into this week's topic. I think you all know by now that I'm not a meme gal, except when there's no huge pressure and the topics are good - that is, not necessarily book related, but covering a wider range instead. TMST was brought to my attention when I saw Karen @ For What It's Worth participating in it. She also was the one who sent me the question list (updated till January 16th). Among the book-related discussions, there are prompts dealing with blogging, or prompts that are indeed book-inspired but not limited to your usual book list. Also, there's no Linky, so it feels much more relaxed than your usual meme. I plan on visiting the other participants' blogs of course, but without a sign-up list, it feels less intimidating. Also, should I decide to skip a week at the very last moment because I couldn't make the time to write my post, I wouldn't need to opt out or feel guilty 😉. (Mind you, I'm not saying I'm planning to participate every single week, but I'll butt in every time a topic strikes my fancy, unless I'm pressed for time). So here goes...

I even made a banner for this, so I'm committed!
Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings, where the blog's owner Heidi discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.
Here is what is on deck this week:

FAVOURITE URBAN FANTASY BOOKS

According to Wikipedia,
Urban fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy in which the narrative has an urban setting. Works of urban fantasy are set primarily in the real world and contain aspects of fantasy, such as the arrival of alien races, the discovery of earthbound mythological creatures, coexistence or conflict between humans and paranormal beings, and other changes to city life. A contemporary setting is not strictly necessary for a work of urban fantasy: works of the genre may also take place in futuristic and historical settings, real or imagined.
Now, I have to make a premise. Yes, ANOTHER one. I'm not a fan of straight-up fantasy (sorry everyone, I know most of you are reading it these days, also because fantasy and contemporary are all the rage lately and, like, 85% of the books that are being issued fit into those genres 😉). Which might seem at odds with my penchant for old ruins medieval castles and fortresses, the kind where pretty much all that survived the centuries are bare walls, better if a little broken, and no princess ever lived 😂. I'm not a huge UF gal either, in the sense that I'm not usually drawn to creatures (vampires, werewolves, werewhat), unless the book has some particular aspect that calls to me out loud. (You might wonder what I do read at this point. Short answer: afterlife, sci-fi, supernatural, some contemporary, anything weird that isn't historical, doesn't center on romance and isn't over-populated with the aforementioned creatures). But I do have a few UF books (or better, series) that I love despite my quirks - and I hope you will be able to get me interested in more. (Please note: I narrowed down my list to three examples, because this was becoming a monster post...wait, it IS a monster post already, and I haven't gotten to the list part yet...😨). So, here's my list (all in-progress series and a standalone), from YA to Adult...

***

Riven by B.C. Johnson *YA
(the link will redirect you to my review of Book 1)

So far, only the first installment, Riven (originally titled The Bad Rescue of Devon Streeter), is available, and yes, it's an indie book. Just because publishers are too often afraid to take a chance. At its core, Riven is a UF novel, but also much, much more than that, and it breaks my heart that only a handful of people know it exists, dammit. The author loses, but believe me, you lose even more. Riven tells the tale of two worlds that have collided - Earth and an alien dimension - creating a series of portals through which all kinds of cool-but-deadly monsters poured in. Also, people who gravitated around those breaches were infected with magic, and most of them didn't make it. Those who did have been "deviated" - that is, turned into superpowered freaks, who subsequently can change the still normal people around them. In this dangerous wasteland, two childhood friends, a girl and a boy - Devon and Bloom - try to survive while helping others, but circumstances separate them, and the novel recounts their struggle to find each other again while trying to stay alive and whole. Now, let me quote from my own review, not because I'm lazy (which I actually am 😜), but because I will never be able to sing the praises of this book better...Riven is SO MANY THINGS. It has a sci-fi premise and a strong magic twist. It's a post-apocalyptic fable that asperses the gore with a poetic flavour and peppers it with humour. It's a love story in the widest, purest sense between two friends of different sexes, neither of which is gay. It's a tale of powerful individuals and ordinary heroes. It's got action, friendship, end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it, and even a little romance. And it doesn't end with a cliffhanger, which is always a plus...

***

The Sterling Wayfairer Series by GL Tomas *YA
(the link will redirect you to my review of Book 1)

[Please note:, I'm calling The Mark of Noba UF, but more precisely, it's Portal Fantasy].
GL Tomas is the pen name of my friends Guinevere and Libertad, #OwnVoices, popular #WeNeedDiverseBooks advocates on different social media and particularly active on Twitter under the alias @Dos_Twinjas (except when they're struggling with a new project, that is. And mind you, they're almost constantly writing lately 😉. Please check their Goodreads author page for more stuff, most of it NA). The Mark of Noba (Book 1 in The Sterling Wayfairer Series) was their debut book back in 2015 (first installment in a 4-book series, whose sequels are about to hit the market). And again, GL Tomas are indie authors...a deliberate choice on their part, in order to be able to to enjoy creative freedom. The Mark of Noba is a fun book that reverses stereotypes (namely, cute-new-boy-at-school-tells-girl-she's-a-chosen-one), plays with tropes and questions gender roles. Sterling, the male lead, is insecure, a bit clumsy, and doesn't excel in any sports (actually, he hardly plays any). Mind you, he's NOT a nerd by any means (his favourite reading material would be...Playboy 😂) - just a normal teen who deals with school and crushes, plus has to tend to his schizophrenic mother more often that he would like to. Enters the new (black) girl at school, Tetra, who comes from a world called Noba and is going to turn Sterling's world upside down with her revelations. Because of course, nothing is as it seems...at all.

***

Thirst by Christopher Pike [formerly titled The Last Vampire] *YA/Adult crossover
(the link will redirect you to the Goodreads page for Book 1, since I haven't reviewed it yet)

Sita is 5,000 years old, and supposedly, the last vampire on earth. (We'll come to realise this is not entirely true, but she thinks she is when the first book starts). This series alternates between the danger she still brings to humanity - though her thirst is now much more under control than it used to be - and her will to help said humanity against even greater and more inhuman threats. The most interesting aspect of this series is its strong link with Eastern spirituality...Sita met Buddha when she was a very young vampire (we get lots of bits of her old life story and how she was turned), and the encounter and its consequences/reverberations have stayed with her all her life. Also, there are chapters of Sita's life set in the past, and Book 5 (The Sacred Veil) partly deals with the Holocaust. I'm not a history fan, but the way Pike weaves Sita's story with past events is fascinating...As far as the horror/gore factor goes (but I'd say, as far as everything goes), this series is more adult-oriented than YA...it was marketed as YA originally, but then again, the overall mood and even Sita's age (set at 21, which is how old she was when she got turned, because of course she hasn't aged anymore since then) are not your typical YA material at all - except for a couple of moments in Book 1. Oh, and Sita isn't your typical vampire either - she doesn't sleep in a coffin, she goes around in the sun, and she doesn't even sparkle 😉.

***

I don't think I should drag this post any longer, but if you're interested in UF, you might want to check these too...

Mayhem Wave by Edward Aubry [4-book series] *YA/Adult crossover
(the link will redirect you to my review of Book 1)

WVMP Radio by Jeri Smith Ready [4-book series + novella] *technically NA, but I have classified it as Adult
(the link will redirect you to my review of Book 1)

Requiem for the Devil by Jeri Smith Ready [standalone] *Adult
(the link will redirect you to its Goodreads page, since I haven't reviewed it yet)

Now tell me something...what are your favourite UF books/series? anything I should try? 😉

10 comments:

  1. oh, I absolutely LOVE the WVMP Radio series. Such great books! I don't read UF too much anymore, but I read a lot more of it during my college years - I reviewed books for Romantic Times Magazine. There are some really good ones out there that I need to try.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. Maybe there have been too many UF books out in a short span of time, and they sort of saturated the market after a while...but Jeri's series stands out, both for the writing and the different premise!

      It's so cool that you used to be a "real" reviewer :).

      Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
  2. Well, you've read my posts so need to rehash lol but we *met* through the WVMP series so that one gets bonus favorite points!

    For What It's Worth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, I meant to mention that but then I got caught in my comment. Jeri's series was like our first date LOL. We're so sentimental ;D. Really, you know, I think those are almost (?) the only books we have in common! ;D

      Delete
  3. Pike forever! I love the spiritual/historical aspects of the Thirst series too. There were always interesting forays into Sita's past, but I REALLY liked the WWII aspect of the newer books. It was nail-biting. I need to re-read them. (I've been saying that for two years, it's so hard to make time for re-reads when there are a thousand new books out there!)

    P.S. Deadgirl is totally on my October reading list this year. I can hardly wait!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've reread the whole Thirst series a few times, to tell you the truth, but then again, I don't buy many new books, so I have all the time in the world (so to speak) to do that LOL. Maybe we should schedule a buddy reread!

      And yay! I hope you like DG. It's a wonderful series and I will die campaigning for it! LOL.

      Delete
  4. I read the first six over and over growing up, but I don't think I've re-read them all since the new ones came out. Those are the ones I'm having trouble remembering details for. I'd love to do a buddy read sometime! I definitely want to before he publishes the new ones so I'm fresh going into them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CP hasn't updated his Facebook page since his mother died...who knows when the new installment will be published. Maybe we can talk about a buddy read again when we have news! It would be fun ;).

      Delete
  5. That's the update that's at the top, but there are a couple more recent ones underneath that! One is about him joining Twitter, and the other is about this podcast that reviews a lot of old 90's novels, including Pike. I've been meaning to listen to some of them, but I'm having trouble making the time. It's so much faster to read things than to listen to them in real time, which is probably why I've never been into any podcasts or Youtube channels. Sounds like a great plan! :]]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh, thanks! I didn't realise he had a pinned update.
      Now I'm following him, but I suppose he'll never really use the darn thing 😂. Even his Wattpad page just served the purpose of launching Strange Girl when it came out...😂

      Delete

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