Fallen: An Alex Verus Novel Alex Verus Book 10 Paperback | Kindle | Audiobook
By Benedict Jacka
Publisher: Ace (an imprint of Penguin Random House)
Release Date: September 24, 2019
I am a fairly new fan of Benedict Jacka‘s Alex Verus series. As a longtime reader of urban fantasy, I cannot fathom how I ever failed to pick these up until last year. But life is funny like that. I chewed through the first nine books in the series fairly quickly and was stoked beyond words when I saw that this one, Fallen, was coming out soon. I literally inhaled it when I received it. In fact, the guy who got me started on these books was so jealous that it took all I had not to tease him with some spoilers. But I persevered and he remains oblivious to the story. Sorry, Patrick. But it is better this way. Anyway, let me fill you in one some of the basics about the book without ruining the overall plot. Okay? Okay.
How do you take what is arguably the best urban fantasy book series ever written and make it better? Well, you create a comic series to help tell some of the other stories that didn’t make it into the books, that’s how! The Dresden Files: War Cry #3 marks the center of this story which takes place directly after the novel Dead Beat. And as usual, Harry Dresden is in a pickle, only this time he’s not completely to blame.
in the first two issues we see Harry and his three proteges en route to defend a group of scholars in the Midwest. Arriving on the scene a little late, they are almost immediately set upon by Red Court vampires. Hundreds of them, as a matter of fact. Harry being Harry, he notices that the scholars, the White Council’s Venatori Umbrorum allies, are adamant in their refusal to retreat. Upon searching the building, they discover why: there is a Shoggoth in the cellar. The supernatural equivalent of nuclear armament, this creature exists to feed and destroy and is outlawed on pain of death. And that’s where this issue picks up, with Harry changing his game plan just a tad.
A Hard Day’s Knight A Novel Of The Nightside
by Simon R. Green Hardcover | paperback | Kindle
Paperback Release Date: December 27, 2012
Welcome to the Nightside, the darkest part of London, where it is always three o’clock in the morning. A Hard Day’s Knight is the eleventh book in the Nightside series from Simon R. Green and it is one of his best. Magical swords, threat of another interplanary war, and lots of folks trying to kill our hero, John Taylor. But let’s be honest, someone is ALWAYS trying to kill John.
We step into this story right after the last book and for poor old John, the hits just keep on coming! Someone sent him a package and inside is nothing less than Excalibur! No Lady of the Lake for this guy, just the regular old mail. As soon as he touches it, however, all of Nightside seems to know that he has it and of course they want to take it from him.
The first novel in a planned trilogy, The Heir of Night is about a princess named Malian who is the Heir to the House of Night, and it’s her mission to fight against the Darkswarm who have been terrorizing the lands of her people for quite some time. The people thought they were banished, but it turns out they weren’t, and she has to fight against them by finding legendary artifacts that are buried across different lands. Along the way, she discovers her love for her best friend, Kalan, who is Heir to the House of Blood.
I will preface my review by saying that although The Heir of Night is marketed toward the adult fantasy market, it will appeal more to teens, especially lovers of Tamora Pierce’s books who will forge an instant connection with the teenage main character, Malian, who is the Heir of Night.
Tough chicks who kick butt. The continued popularity explosion of paranormal YA. Male wizards. Hard-boiled detective stories with fantasy settings. These were the most dominant urban fantasy trends this year, and they’ll continue well into 2011.
Standouts include J.L. Bryan’s Jenny Pox about a girl who kills people with her touch. It’s a welcome change from the emo, vegetarian vampires that populate YA novels; highly recommended reading. Brandon Sanderson and Paul Hoffman showed us the darker side of epic fantasy, while Jocelynn Drake and Kelly Meding proved that their female protagonists kick just as much butt as the boys do. Thomas Sniegoski sent us on another adventure with angel-turned-human PI, Remy Chandler, and Joe Hill gave us another compelling protagonist with Ig, a human who grows horns.
My top pick, as with 2009, goes to Kill the Dead, the second volume in the Sandman Slim series. We continued Jimmy Stark’s foray into the gritty, noir-inspired Los Angeles of Kadrey’s fashioning, and this book featured a fantastic, Gaiman-esque interpretation of Lucifer. Let’s hope that the forthcoming title, Aloha from Hell, is even better.
Here’s my picks for the Top 10 Urban Fantasy and Horror Books of 2010.