Speculative Fiction: the YA edition
The Darkest Powers Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong
Ann Aguirre is one of those authors who can make me cry like a baby, keep me on tenter-hooks during an action sequence, and make me drink coffee at 4 am so that I can keep reading. […] Everything I love about science fiction is in this book. The familiar-yet-different worlds, species with bizarre cultures taking the lead – it’s like Star Trek meets Firefly meets, well, Ann Aguirre. This woman can write action and drama and romance, all while developing a stunning universe for her characters to play in.
Grimspace is filled with non-stop twist and turns. Space battles, crazy alien planets and new enemies at every port – kicking ass and running like hell. I am in love with the verse. I’m also in love with Aguirre’s writing style. She managed to turn the whole tale around half a dozen times without making the book bi-polar. In retrospect, it was one of the most coherent novels I’ve read – although it seemed out of control (in a “Dude, that’s crazy awesome” sort of way) while I was reading it.
Dystopian/kinda-zombie!apocalypse books of AWESOME: Razorland Trilogy by Ann Aguirre
I absolutely adore Jaye Wells. Her writing, her characters, her blog – everything. She writes snarky-but-serious urban fantasy that is violent but amusing. It is a flawless combination that can hook even the most skeptical of UF fans. Honest to God, if I could only read one urban fantasy author for the rest of my life – it would be this one.
Above all, it’s the humour that makes this series stand out. Jaye Wells is as snarky and flat-out hysterical as she’s ever been – mocking Twilight, making some kick-ass Star Trek references, giving a brief glimpse at a funny-yet-crazy-disturbing orgy, and giving demon!cat! Giguhl some lines that you will want to draw hearts over.
Teen Paranormal books with actual character development: The Soul Screamers Series by Rachel Vincent
What makes the Mercy series so amazing is Mercy herself. Unlike a lot of protagonists – both male and female – she shows a fair amount of common sense. She doesn’t run in looking for trouble, errs on the side of caution, and refuses to sit around whining about her problems. Not to mention she has a work ethic I would pay good money for. Just because she was almost killed the night before is no excuse for not turning up to work the next day! Seriously.
Mercy is one of the few characters whose judgement I trust implicitly.
This book has confirmed what I long thought to be true: Patricia Briggs is incapable of writing books I don’t like. I was in a real reading slump when I picked up River Marked. Almost every book I picked up left me with a desire to send letter bombs in the mail – and there seemed to be no cure in sight. I thought: “If Briggs can’t get me out of this funk, no one can.” And sure enough, she did.
Under-rated Sci-Fi (albeit with a romance cover): Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund
I found myself thinking about this book whenever I wasn’t reading it. Imagining what the characters were getting up to, and dreaming of their future endeavors. It was a rare pleasure.
If you’re looking for detailed fantasy/alternative-history novel, Novik is a must. If you’re looking for a fantastic novel about dragons, Novik is a must. If you’re literate, Novik is a must.