Since today is my first day in control of the DIK blog I will share with you all my reasons for choosing my six books. Terribly unique, I know, but there ya go. I jumped on the DIK ship after the first gals started it up. I was a castaway. This actually worked in my favor. You ladies who had chosen before me had made some damn fine choices. This meant that those books were already on the island and since we were sharing I would get to read them. I was able to fill in the blanks, so to speak. I tried to pick a variety of books from different genre. I do notice now looking at the list that most have action or suspense of some sort. I don't like to be scared, but give an edge of your seat actiony plot line and I am hooked.
Moon Called is the first book in a series centered around Mercy Thompson, a skin walker VW mechanic. She is smart, funny, tough, and a bit of a loner. She can kick butt if she has to, but would really rather be left alone. She does not have to be the hero or the center of attention. She would prefer if all the politics of the supernatural world would just leave her the heck alone!Briggs has created in Mercy the holy grail, a character that readers connect to, who they feel they could know in real life, who they would love to be friends with. She is a normal person who just happens to be able to turn into a coyote at will. The world that Briggs has created is believable: current day in Washington state where werewolves, vampires, and fae live secretly along side humans. The characters and their relationships make this book fantastic. Mercy and Adam. Mercy and Samuel. Mercy and Zee. Adam and his daughter. Bran and everyone. The interactions between Adam and Mercy (the teasing, the banter, the taunting) reveals a fabulous dynamic with loads of potential. Their relationship is not the center of the book, but an underlying thread woven throughout not just Moon Called, but future books, as well. This book and the ones that follow give you huge helpings of character development, action, tension, world building, a great voice, supernatural fun and just damn good reading. This is a great book (and series) to bring a romance reader into the Urban Fantasy world.
Over the Edge by Suzanne Brockmann
I am a Brockmann fangirl. I heart the Troubleshooter. Seriously! I can't talk about her or the books without squeeing at least a little bit. I knew when I hopped on the DIK train that I would have to include on of her books. All of the books (of which there are many) feature Alpha heroes of the first order. It was a difficult choice, but Over the Edge made the final cut. Why? Well, let me tell you. Brockmann has a knack for building characters and even relationship over the course of a number of books. Without reading those previous books, you miss out a bit on what makes the hero or couple so special. Readers have already committed to him/them. OtE is almost self-contained in that there is little to no "pre-building" to Stan and Terri's relationship. It all happens between the covers of the book. Secondly, there is Stan. Oh, Stan. He is Alpha, yet not. He is the best sort of Alpha: a hero who would lay down his life for the woman he loves, yet is strong enough to step back and let her be her own person. Stan is strong, a little quiet, sensitive, completely and utterly devoted, sexy, compelling, and yet totally unaware of how amazing he is. I love a good Alpha hero, but will admit that if I met most of them in real life I would not want them. They are great fantasies. Stan is the kind of Alpha man you would want in real life. Then we have Terri who is the perfect partner for Stan. She is strong, courageous, head over heals for Stan. She can't understand why he is unable to see how wonderful he is. As if that all weren't enough, this book gives you the best installment of the Sam/Alyssa story arch (not counting their own book.) We get to see just how much Sam loves her. We get to see just how torn Alyssa is about her attraction to him. We get the chocolate syrup scene. Oh, and how could I forget that this book introduces us to the Max/Gina story arch. ::sigh:: God, I love this book!
Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard
As I said, I am a sucker for the Alpha hero and Linda Howard sure gives us a good one. If Sam were a real man I would make sure to buy the house next door to him. I think he may be my Mr. Perfect. I just can't say enough about this hero. You all must read the book. If I start squeeing here I may not stop. He hits all the right buttons: Alpha, smart ass sense of humor, cop, does his own home improvements, sexy, gorgeous, protective, proud of his woman when she sticks up for herself, willing to commit. Jaine is the one heroine that I read and often think "That's me!" Her smart ass responses and her friends just seem to hit the bulls eye with me. I didn't think of it when we answered our questions in the beginning of this blog, but Jaine is definitely the heroine I am most like. (Which makes me think that the real life Sam needs to find me RIGHT NOW.) This book is classic early LH. Is ranks up there with After the Night. You get action and romance along side each other. Suspense, humor, romance, smexin, and friendship all balance each other for a very satisfying read.
The Bride and the Beast by Teresa Medeiors
One thing I am a sucker for is the Beauty and the Beast plot line. The tortured soul of the beast (he can be unattractive or handsome if the author is good.) The inner beauty of the heroine who can see beyond the surface. This book combines this tried and true plot device with the Ugly Duckling scenario. I am not a huge fan of historicals, but this is one I turn to again and again. Bernard is draw to Gwendolyn even though he knows he should leave her alone. Despite the vicious facade, she want to reach out to this hurting, shadowy figure. Her goodness soothes him. He nurtures in her an inner strength and confidence she had previously lacked. There is intrigue and secrets, including his true identity. I know there are better written books with more original plots, but there is just something that draws me back to this book repeatedly. So sweet.
Sabriel by Garth Nix
Australian author Garth Nix did not write this book with the young adult audience in mind, but the age of the protagonist (late teens) has landed it in the YA section of book stores in America. Nix has the most amazing capacity for world building. Dark, dangerous, lush, barren, full of magic and monsters. He develops the world with language that is neither too sparse nor overly flowery. Sabriel, the main character, is a necromancer. She is able to cross over into the land of the dead and call people up to question them. She works mainly to return the dead to where they belong. This is classic fantasy. She is a hero(ine) on an epic journey and mission. It has been a number of years since I have read the book, but I can still bring to my mind images and places described in the book. The writing is among the best I have read in YA fiction. I wish I could tell all of my students to read this book and the other two in the trilogy, but the material could be considered objectionable to some of their parents (raising the dead is not something some parents want their children reading.) So instead I tell all of my adult friends to read these books. So consider yourself told!
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
OK, I figured we needed at least one HP book on the island. Of all the books PoA is still one of my favorites. It brings us my favorite secondary characters: Lupin and Sirius. The relationship between Harry and Lupin, and what Lupin teaches him, sets Harry on the path towards his destiny. This was a strong installment in the series with fun twists and turns.
Man, I wrote way more than I though I would. Such a blabber mouth. I will stop... for now. I should probably start working on tomorrow's post. If so, it might actually get up on the blog before dinner time.