Wednesday, June 26, 2013
I just noticed that my bookshelf in the Kindle app on my iPad is pretty telling regarding the kind of books that I read, i.e., almost exclusively urban fantasy. Also, I just counted, and I have 196 books in that app that contain the word "Dead" in some fashion, also telling.
Current favorite series': oh, there are just too many! But the absolute best things I've read lately are "Wicked As They Come" and "Wicked As She Wants," by Delilah Dawson. I somehow ran across the first one on the publisher's site, where it could be read online for free for a few days. I didn't think it was really something I wanted to read, because 1) the cover looked too "romance-y", and 2) it sounded kind of steampunk, which I don't normally do, but I tried it since it was free, and was immediately charmed by it, enough so that I went ahead and bought the Kindle version so I wouldn't have to hurry through reading it.
The story begins with Tish Everett, a hospice nurse, rummaging through the estate sale of her last patient. She finds an old locket that looks interesting and, when she is suddenly paged for an emergency, she absentmindedly sticks it in her pocket.
Once she gets home and is able to open the locket, she finds that when she falls asleep she is transported to another world--the land of Sang, which is populated mostly by "Bludmen," or vampires. The particular Bludman that she runs across first is the ringmaster of a traveling carnival who, it turns out, had cast a spell to bring the perfect woman to him, and voila, there she is!
The world-building is great, the most inventive and interesting that I've run across in a long time. The second book, "Wicked As She Wants," is loosely based on the story of the Russian Tsars, and the upcoming third one, "Wicked After Midnight" (January 2014) is to be set in the Paris cabarets.
There are also a couple of novellas set in the same world, "The Peculiar Pets of Miss Pleasance," and "The Mysterious Madame Morpho," as well as a short story, "The Three Lives of Lydia," included in "Carniepunk," an anthology of carnival-themed urban fantasy.