I'm starting this new year off with a list of recommendations -- my favorite new fantasy and paranormal releases for January. Unfortunately, due to my lack of time (and money), this doesn't necessarily mean that I will read every one of the books I've picked. I'm merely posting them here because the plots look very interesting!
It seems that I'm getting more and more into the YA genre. This started with The Twilight Saga. I used to look down my nose at this genre, I must confess. Well, the Twilight books changed all that! I suddenly realized that this particular reading category offers very compelling plots and fascinating characters. Also, it does deal with adult themes, although it examines those themes from the point of view of "an emerging adult", to coin a phrase. This is the case, for example, with the Harry Potter series, which becomes increasingly "adult" as one progresses through the books.
Here are the January releases I would LOVE to read:
One can't really go wrong with L.J. Smith. Her books are usually GREAT! This is an interesting reversal -- the Stefan's diaries books are based on the TV series which is based on the novels originally written by Smith. These latest books present the events in the previous books from Stefan's point of view. This one reveals the truth about how the love triangle of Stefan, Damon, and Katherine developed, back in Renaissance Italy.
My first thought on seeing this one was that once again, we have a high school being associated with teen vamps, since this is, after all, a YA novel. However, the plot does go beyond the by-now familiar stereotype. The school in the title is a vampire-slaying academy, which is a nice twist. Located in the Swiss Alps, it's the hiding place of the McDonald twins, two girls who have just discovered their Fae heritage. Then their lives become endangered, and they have no way to contact their vampire boyfriends... This is the newest installment in the series.
Here is yet another romance between a supernatural and a mortal, and yes, there's a school involved. However, the heroine, Clara, is a Quarterius, which means that she's a quarter angel. and she has visions that puzzle her. Her mother, who is a half-angel herself, helps Clara to unravel them, thereby revealing that Clara has a mision to complete on earth. Then she meets Christian, the boy in one of her visions, and befriends two very different girls. One of their brothers, Tucker, complicates the plot, which includes a surprise trip to hell....
The heroine of this novel, Quincie P. Morris, is a neophyte vampire, and, incredibly enough, owns a restaurant! As if this weren't wacky enough, her chef, Bradly Sanguini (this last name is obviously a derivative of the Latin word for "blood"), is the vampire who turned her! So far, not so good. Except that Quincie's boyfriend, Kieren, is a hybrid werewolf who has been accused of murder. Another interesting twist! Then there's the gorgeous Zachary, an angel, who brandishes a flaming sword... Smith unites the characters of her two previous novels, Tantalize and Eternal.
This is a debut novel, and I'm sure it will eventually spawn a sequel, and then a series. I will be totally thrilled when it does! The heroine, Tessa, doesn't believe in magic, but is forced to change her mind when a very unusual tapestry comes into her possession. It's a very old unicorn tapestry, and it brings strange dreams to Tessa, dreams of a past in which she herself participated. Then she accidentally pulls a thread from this tapestry, thus unleashing a terrible curse.. She also meets William De Chaucy, who is a 16th-century nobleman. Ah, romance!
This one is not in the YA genre. It still attracts me though, because I find the whole idea of angels and humans having a love relationship just as compelling as that of vampires and humans! In this novel, Elena Deveraux's boyfriend is no other than the archangel Raphael. Wow. As if that weren't enough, his irate mother -- and she's obviously no angel -- arrives on the scene to reclaim her son. Of course, she wasn't counting on Elena, who happens to be a vampire hunter, and not to be messed with!
Lilah's mind-reading powers mark her as a member of the Kyndred, a group of genetically-enhanced humans. They also make her vulnerable to a ruthless biotech company intent on stealing her superhuman DNA. Murder is not a problem for them. Meanwhile, Lilah will also have to contend with an unexpected threat from her fellow Kyndred... This is an adult novel.
This is another very, very interesting series that I really want to read! This book continues the story of Meghan and Ash after their exile. Meghan has to fight the false Iron King; she has grown as a character, relying more upon herself than on others, while Puck and Ash have also come into their own.
According to some of the Goodreads reviews, this is one of the best fantasy books yet, with lots of action, realistically-drawn characters, and a very vivid fantasy world. Sounds absolutely awesome to me!!
Dana Hathaway is a very talented girl -- she's a Faeriewalker, one who can travel unhindered from the real world into Faerie. She is a rare link between both worlds. Now the Faerie Queen wants her dead. The Erlking is after her, too, with his private, murderous army, known as The Wild Hunt. They have entered Avalon, the one place on earth where humans and Fae have long lived in peace together, thus breaking the uneasy treaty between him and the Faerie Queen. And what exactly are the Eerlking's intentions toward Dana?
Well, here they are -- the books I like the most, and would dearly love to read, from this new crop of fantasy and paranormal releases for January, 2011. I hope that at least some of you will be able to enjoy them!