Monday, August 18, 2008

The DIK is MINE!!!

Shannon here. Sorry it has taken so long for me to post. The Internet is not my friend. I have been leery about heading out to Starbucks to use their connect, but was worried about being banned for looking at porn. Not that that has happened to anyone we know ;) So here I am at my artsy fartsy tea house using their free wi-fi and sharing the pictures of half naked menz with the gal working the counter. Man, I love this place! You all, on the other hand, will have to wait another day for the hot menz.

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 by Patricia Briggs

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.


lisabea said...

Artsy fartsy tea house? Oh that sounds just like the kind of place some folks I know would like to visit. :: WINK ::

Welcome aboard! I wondered where you were....

Shannon said...

Stupid pirated Internet. You would think I don't pay for it or something. Oh, wait...

Tracy said...

Love your books! Of course I love the could I not?

I've not read Briggs but hear good things about her and that's a nice thumbs up in her direction that she's got a book on the island!

I love Bride and the Beast. Medieros is great!

Marg said...

I am working my way through another one of Garth Nix's series, but I am planning to read that book soon after!

LesleyW said...

The Mercy Thompson series is without doubt in my top 3 of UF. I just love Patricia Briggs writing.

And you also picked my favourite Suzanne Brockmann. (I'm going to say so far, because I've read the beginning of Into the Fire and that rocks, so time will tell if my favourite remains the same.)

Carolyn Crane said...

Hey Shannon! I think these are great choices. This reminds me that I still SO have to read that Mr. Perfect.

Carolyn Crane said...

Oh, I was just in airports last week and tons of Briggs' new book were on an important front display!

JenB said...

What cool books! Moon Called is a great choice. I loved Sam Donovan in Mr. Perfect as well. Yum. Plus that book has a Shelby Mustang in it, and American muscle cars turn me on. *purrr*

I wanna check out that Sabriel book too!

Sarai said...

Hey just b/c Starbucks doesn't like "some of us" doesn't mean it won't like you *G*

I like the artsy fartsy tea house I need one here! I will have to check out some of these books I missed from the library!!! Great mini reviews!

Ana said...

I just read Mr Perfect and was in stitches when I got to that part when she saw him naked LOL.

Great choices, I still need to read the Mercy Thompson series but I read my first PB this week, Alpha and Omega and thought it was excellent!

and of course, HP and Sirius Black! I heart them.

jessewave said...

I really like Mercy Thompson and Suzanne Brockmann. Did you say artsy fartsy tea house? With Wi Fi? Wow.
I guess you know that one of us got banned from Starbucks for looking at porn. I hope that you are more discreet :)

Anonymous said...

I loved both Adam and Samuel in The Mercy books.

I haven't read SB yet, I do have all her back-cat tho, lined up and ready to go.

I think Mr Perfect mght jump to the top of the queue tho, I have seen so many great things written about this book.

Great choices. Thanks for making me spend more smoney! LOL

Shannon said...

Oh, everyone needs to read Briggs. I just reread Alpha & Omega and then dove straight into Cry Wolf. Damn, that woman is good. The only problem is that she writes too damn slowly! I need more Mercy and Anna!

Shaymless Aymless said...

My arsty fartsy coffee/tea house closed. Much sadness in that.

Hmm... gonna really have to add some of these books to be already overload TBB. Did the Harry Potter (but the who hasn't).

Stacy~ said...

Love Brockmann, and of course Mr. Perfect would totally be on my list.

Christine said...

At the time we were establishing our DIK library, I hadn't yet read the Mercy Thompson series. Now that I'm all caught up, I can totally appreciate your decision to bring Moon Called. I love this series! Mercy is one of my most favorite heroines, and I love Adam.

I've read the Abhorsen Trilogy, too. Nix is an amazing writer.

Shannon said...

Seriously, I can't say enough about Patricia Briggs' werewolf books. Isn't Mercy great?

Garth Nix has such a rich voice. His world is so incredibly complex. He just drops you in, yet you pick up the details effortlessly.

Ciara said...

I love Mercy. I should have brought her to my island hut. If I were to be a crazed fangirl, I just might get Mercy's book cover tattoos. I can't imagine it for any other author, but Mercy I might.
(don't tell Mr. Wonderful)

Sabriel is one of my very favorite books of all time too. Her hero has a funny name though. I like her cat. *mwuhahahahaha*

Shannon said...

OMG, Mogget was one of my favorite characters/plots in the book. LOVE him. I almost named my kitty after him. Thankfully I had foresight and realized that would not end well. My family is warped. They would have insisted on calling her Maggot (since they already call my dog Homer by the nickname Homo). Sometimes I hate my family.

Sarah said...

I love Briggs!

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