Once upon a time on another bookfessional, someone commented that I should post my recommendations for individual genres. I thought that was an excellent idea, and I’ve kept it in my back pocket for a rainy day—and people, it’s pouring.
KATE DANIELS by Ilona Andrews. Duh. KATE DANIELS is urban fantasy. My only caution is that the world-building in the first book isn’t 100% clear. Almost everyone I’ve spoken with agrees that the second book is significantly better on that front, but if you hate not knowing exactly what is going on even for the handful of hours it takes you to get book 2 and more clarity, I oh-so-helpfully explain the basic concept in my review of Magic Bites on Goodreads. #yourewelcome
OCTOBER DAYE by Seanan McGuire. Again, the book 1 is a little iffy. It begins in the ‘90s, which was a huge turnoff for me, so I quit before October got turned into a fish by the Bad Guy for like fifteen years. *head desk* If you too hate books set twenty years in the past, don’t worry—once she’s no longer a fish, we’re back in the present. I especially recommend this series to anyone who shares my fondness of fae. By the third installment, you’ll wonder how you’ve existed without these books in your life.
THE WHEEL OF TIME by Robert Jordan. This is the first fantasy series I read (and loved) as an adult. It is pure epic fantasy. If you’re a detail-oriented reader of fantasy, and you aren’t daunted by loooooong-running series, you should definitely check it out.
If a trilogy is more your speed, try Juliet Marillier. My personal favorite is BLACKTHORN AND GRIM:
But her SEVENWATERS trilogy is also fantastic. Marillier’s books always have a fairytale quality about them, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself wondering if you were told some version of her stories as a child.
And speaking of fairytales, everyone who loves them (and books that feel like brand new ones) should read UPROOTED by Naomi Novik. This standalone is a strong contender for my Favorite Book. Ever.
Honestly, I don’t read tons of sci-fi. I’m more of a fantasy girl. BUT. One series I can unreservedly recommend is RED RISING by Pierce Brown. It’s def sci-fi, but it’s doesn’t get bogged down in technobabble, and it’s the first dystopian that I’ve truly enjoyed since THE HUNGER GAMES. <——there is a reason for the comparison. If you don’t do violent, don’t do this series. That being said, it isn’t needlessly violent. I hate that too.
If paranormal romance is your bag, I’m not sure how well these will work for you, but if you’re more into urban fantasy (you, like me, favor action over romance), there are two series I would suggest. The first is GUILD HUNTER by Nalini Singh:
The first few books are told from the same POV, so it feels like traditional UF. Then it begins to branch out, telling the stories of some of the other important characters. Yes, these installments are about the new POV finding their HEA. BUT. It also continues the overall plot, so it still feels like UF. And it occasionally cycles back to the primary POVs, so you don’t lose the original heroine’s viewpoint permanently.
The second series I recommend is IMMORTALS AFTER DARK by Kresley Cole, but I do so with the caveat that you MUST enjoy alphaholes to enjoy this series. If you don’t do alphaholes, I’d give this one a hard pass. If alphaholes are your thing, IAD is the most action driven PNR series I’ve found to date.
SAGA by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples.
Not for everyone. This series is graphic (HA!), and when I first started reading it, I had to consciously decide to give it the benefit of doubt . . . I’m so glad I did. SAGA embraces life as it is, warts and all, but I think that’s why it’s so compelling—despite its commitment to showing the unvarnished truth about the world, the telling of it is strangely beautiful.
And that’s it for the adult portion of this bookfessional. Check back for the YA edition, coming soon!
What about you? Do you agree with my recs? What are your own that I didn’t mention?