Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series: books 1 through 3

I’m just going to start with the first three books since there are a lot in the series so far. I’ll try to get through them eventually.

Mercedes “Mercy” Thompson is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will. Mercy’s next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she’s fixing a bus for a vampire. This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy’s connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water…(book blurb – Goodreads)

This was probably my first kick-ass urban fantasy heroine series. I have to say that I’m really glad this was my first because I’ve tried a lot since then and with the exception of a few really good ones, they can tend to be duds. Briggs does the genre proud and thanks to her and Mercy, I’ve found a few other authors in this genre that I really like.

Mercy is a capable, interesting heroine with a huge heart and incredible courage. She’s immediately engaging. When the action really starts to happen (pretty early on) she lives up to the “kick ass” trope.

The world building is fascinating and it’s clear that Briggs put the time and effort into the little things. This is where many authors fall down. They get the broad strokes of a world, but they forget the minutia and the mundane that actually bring the world to life for the reader. This tiny little building blocks make a huge difference down the line and authors who forget them or just don’t care about them often run into trouble.

The Mercy Thompson series is populated with intriguing and fun characters that drew me in right away. And the males are hawt. Shoooo. Adam? Gimme.

But I digress. This is not a romance novel. This is urban fantasy with a romantic thread. You get hints of romantic interest in this book, but that thread is not the main concern in the story. And even though some characters have a “hotness factor” it doesn’t mean they’re cardboard cutouts. There’s depth and there’s story and world development. It all comes together to make a satisfying read.

Most of my friends have already read this series if they like urban fantasy so I’m not telling them anything new. But those who are interested should seriously jump in.

I’m giving it four beans. Why not five? Why the missing bean? Because the culmination of the mystery is kind of … “what the? … really? … he couldn’t think of any other way to accomplish that? … seriously?” It’s fairly convoluted and, ultimately, contrived. But everything up until then is so well crafted that it’s still a joy.

Rating: 30 photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg30 photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg30 photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg30 photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg

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Innkeeper Chronicles by Ilona Andrews

I bought this book when the Kate Daniels series went on sale earlier this week. It was not on sale but it’s only about $3.99, so I figured I’d grab it too. Glad I did.

Dina runs a bed and breakfast in a small Texas town. Something has been killing her neighbors’ dogs and she wants to know why the local werewolf isn’t doing something about it. After playing coy and calling her crazy, said werewolf – Sean Evans – gets involved where Dina can see him. Which is good because he’s hot when he’s not peeing on all the trees.

The villain turns out to be very nasty, Dina’s inn turns out to be very specialized, and the world is not at all what we think it is. The world building and mythology in this new series is unique and compelling and the characters are very enjoyable.

This story was presented as a freebie serial online and after it was completed the Andrews team took it down, cleaned it up, and self-published it. I deliberately waited for the published version although I know the serial was very popular. They’re working on the sequel now and I’ll wait for that one to be available in ebook form as well. But I’ll definitely buy it when it comes out because I need to know what happens next. It didn’t end on a cliffie, but there are still some things in the overall arc that aren’t tied up and may not be for a few books.

Rating: 30 photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg30 photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg30 photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg30 photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg30 photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg

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Driven, by Eve Kenin (aka Eve Silver)

In the harsh Northern Waste where human life is worth little, ice trucker Raina Bowen has learned to keep her eyes open and her knife close at hand. She’s spent her life on the run, one step ahead of the megalomaniac who hunts her. All she wants is to stay out of trouble and haul her load of grain to Gladow Station–but trouble finds her in the form of a sexy stranger called Wizard. He has the trucking pass she needs, and she has to drag him out of a brawl with the very people she’s trying to hide from in order to get it. She may have rescued him, but Raina’s not foolish enough to see Wizard as anything close to helpless. He’s hard and honed and full of secrets–secrets that may destroy them both. As they race across the Waste, trying to outrun rival truckers, ice pirates, and the powerful man bent on their destruction, Raina’s forced to admit that trouble’s found her. And this time, there’s nowhere left to run.

Found this book because of Book Bub’s sale alerts and thought the blurb looked pretty good. So, so happy that happened!

Raina Bowen drives a high-tech big rig through the post-apocalyptic Siberian wastelands. The New Government Order is supposed to secure a safe and peaceful existence even in this crummy, frozen region, but cronyism has actually secured a ridiculous amount of power to one man. The man who wants to torture Raina to death.

Raina meets Wizard when she “saves” him from her nemesis’s ugly minions. She’d been there to meet him anyway for some finagled documentation, but the actual meet includes a rescue and confused intent. And thus our adventure begins.

Eve Silver AKA Eve Kenin says in the author’s note at the end of the book that the show Firefly was a big inspiration for this world. Considering I’d thought that many times while reading, she did a good job of harnessing the same feel of the characters and the place. Being a big Firefly fan, that’s a huge plus for me as a reader. And they’re truckers! That’s a new one for me, but it works splendidly.

Raina is beautiful and Wizard is hot. They’re both damaged and a bit strange and their chemistry is clearly not something either of them has ever experienced before. It’s totally believable in the story as well as refreshingly different from the typical romance path.

I’m already starting on the next book thanks to my inability to avoid sample chapters at the end of books. There’s also a deleted scene included at the end of the main text that’s pretty darn smokin’.

I don’t know if it’s on sale anymore, but it’s definitely worth the read. My one actual story complaint is that the villain is A Very Bad Man. Meaning, he’s just crazy, evil bad. He has one basic motive, but one doesn’t have to be so Terribly, Terribly Bad and Evil to accomplish it.

I definitely liked this one for a new-to-me Romance/UF series.

 
ETA: Oooops! I forgot to add the bean rating. I’ve been away a long time, bear with me. I give this one:  photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg

The Martian — The Movie and the Book

I absolutely loved the book, The Martian, by Andy Weir.

 photo 45a9ab2e-e780-4491-bbae-599aea6e3ffd_zpshfmkuv76.pngI read it in two days, barely able to put it down. The whole time I was reading it I kept thinking, “this would make a great movie”. Of course, a movie was already in the works.
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And of course everyone already knows — since the movie’s out and all — that they cast Matt Damon as Mark Watney. *sighs* I’m going to see the movie because I loved the story so much and from what I’ve heard the film tracks well with the book. But even knowing that Matt Damon is an excellent actor, I just don’t think I’ll be able to buy him in this part. It’s like Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher. The character becomes subsumed by the movie star. No matter how well they may act the part it is always THEM, not the character.
I guess I feel a little protective of Watney. Who couldn’t after that story? I’m sure that if the character were real, he’d be completely pumped to have Matt Damon playing him in the movie. Still … as a reader … I’m disappointed.

~~30 photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg~~

The Martian, by Andy Weir
A Review

I had seen this book positively referenced by some of my fellow fantasy/science fiction fans so when it came up in an ad on Goodreads, I clicked over to Amazon and bought the ebook. I wasn’t sure if I’d like it because I’m honestly NOT an actual science fiction fan. I usually find the genre rather cold and lacking in humanity (I realize that depends on the author, but it’s usually pretty far down on the list of genres I go for). But I read the blurb for The Martian and it was intriguing. Even though I don’t like science fiction all that much (so far), I do love stories of human spaceflight and exploration. That’s exactly what this is.

The story is told mostly through Mark Watney’s POV. He’s been left for dead on Mars and he’s got to figure out how to survive long enough to be rescued. The reality of a Mars rescue is explored in depth and it seems completely impossible. Weir digs into all the possibilities and finds ways to work through problem after problem.

In a Q&A at the end of the book, he talks about how he wanted to make science drive the story. No meteors crashing into Watney, no advanced lifeforms, just the actual challenges that might occur in this situation. They are NOT mundane trials by any means, they’re just realistic.

The POV shifts at different parts of the book and that works well to keep the action moving. Weir, for a first time novelist, does an amazing job of building suspense while also constructing a story of hope. It could have gotten bogged down in the science, which is explored in minute detail, but it doesn’t. Watney’s humor and personable take on things is refreshing and the material becomes anything but dry. No, I couldn’t pass a test on the science in this book, but I can say I didn’t feel lost. I knew what he needed to happen, I knew what he was going to do to make it happen, and then I understood why it did or didn’t happen in the end. It’s masterful in its simplicity. Other authors who write about their beloved hobbies should take note.

I recommend reading the book before seeing the movie so you can read it with fresh eyes. But since the movie came out this past weekend, that’s kind of a tall order.

And, yes, I bought the dead tree version at Target when I saw they only had two left with the old cover and all the rest were Matt Damon. I may never actually crack that book, but I had to get it just in case. I’m kind of OCD like that.
Rating: five beans 30 photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg30 photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg30 photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg30 photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg30 photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

A Series Review

I started reading this series just after the tenth book – Small Favor — was released. Of course I was starting at book one, but it didn’t take me long to gobble my way through the first nine and get to that tenth story before I wanted to. Then I had to wait … not so patiently … for the eleventh. So, I guess I could say that I became an addict very quickly.

Jim Butcher has achieved so much with this series. The world-building is top notch, the character development is excellent and the emotional impact of each book is powerful. The stories are told from the point-of-view of a modern day wizard named Harry Dresden. He advertises that he is a wizard but he’s licensed as a PI. He also consults with the police department which is what brings us into the story in the first book.

The series now has fifteen titles plus many short stories that are compiled in a release called, “Side Jobs”.

Here are my ratings and flash reviews for each installment:

Storm Front: this is a fairly good introduction to the series. It’s a little clunky, as most first books are but it’s funny and entertaining. We get to know Harry as the protagonist who tells the story (first person POV) and some of the characters that surround him. It’s funny and exciting.

Rating: four beans  photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg

Fool Moon: arguably the weakest book in the series. Harry continues to be funny, the featured characters are strong, but the story telling is a bit weaker here. Far too many chapters end with a dramatic tag like: “and I knew I was going to die.” And then he doesn’t die, of course. Harry’s romantic life takes some focus.

Rating: two beans  photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg

Grave Peril: this is the book that really puts The Dresden Files on the map. An important character is introduced and a shocking twist that affects the entire series going forward is put into play. This is epic story telling. Heartbreaking and thought provoking as well as exciting. Debate continues in the fandom over this book and the events that stem from it.

Rating: five beans  photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg

Summer Knight: the first time I read this book I didn’t like it. I probably should have set the series aside for a book or two before I jumped into this one. Grave Peril was such a shock to the system. This book deals with the Fae courts in much more detail than the previous books and it can be a bit mind-numbing in parts. But it’s an important book in the series and really does have some amazing scenes.

Rating: four beans  photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg

Death Masks: the return of a particular character and the introduction of some seriously freaky villains make this book one of my favorites. The story telling is tight, the events resonate throughout the rest of the series and the character growth and story impact are key to the rest of the series. In my opinion, this book starts the strongest five-book run of the series story wise.

Rating: five beans  photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg

Blood Rites: some reveals that would be surprising if I hadn’t read the back-of-the book blurb first. Beware! They pretty much spoil you there. Again, an exciting and thought-provoking book with the fandom’s favorite opening line: “The building was on fire, and it wasn’t my fault.”

Rating: five beans  photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg

Dead Beat: this book has pretty much everything in it and I really don’t want to get specific because each surprise unfolds so beautifully it would be a shame to be spoiled beforehand. More new characters are introduced and some old ones are brought back to bother Harry. This book has huge implications for future events and remains a goldmine for fan speculation.

Rating: five beans  photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg

Proven Guilty: Butcher incorporates a horror movie/pop culture convention in this story and he does it beautifully. There are more surprises, some heartbreaking, and tons of suspense. Huge foreshadowing for future events too. An excellent book with action and heart.

Rating: five beans  photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg

White Night: one of the best books of the entire series, in my opinion. We’re back with the White Court vampires and dealing with their intrigue. As always there is a B story that brings in several surprises and some pathos. I absolutely love the intricate, clever and brazen way that Harry gets himself (and others) out of impossible situations.

Rating: five beans  photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg

Small Favor: one of my least favorite books. I should probably reread it, because I’m not sure why I disliked it. It’s possible I was on too much of a high from the previous book and this one could only fail. It’s also possible – probable – that jamming through ten books back-to-back in a series is a terrible idea. So I’m ambivalent about this book and I admit my initial reaction and continued attitude toward it might be unfair.

Rating: three beans  photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg

Turn Coat: definitely in the top five installments of this series for me. The story unfolded with finesse, the characters were at the top of their games, the long term impact was obvious. This one has what I consider to be one of the strongest story arcs while maintaining multiple threads of the series.

Rating: five beans  photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg

Changes: Butcher deviates from his title tradition (two words, the same number of letters in each word) with this installment. The name says it all and I’m not sure how he could have called it anything else. I both love and hate this book. It got the highest ratings from me but I’ll also admit it may have jumped the shark. It took several books to get the mojo back and I’m not sure it’s entirely returned. The story has some glitches and convenient events but as I said, the emotional impact is stronger than most books I’ve ever read. It stuck with me for a long time.

Rating: five beans  photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg

Ghost Story: an important book. Can’t say it was as entertaining as a typical TDF, but it was important. And it wasn’t entirely bad, it was just a totally different feel. Harry’s in the position of having to learn a completely new set of rules and that takes up a lot of time. As a reader I felt frustrated, but not in a good way.

Rating: three beans  photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg

Side Jobs: This is a compilation of short stories written by Butcher for The Dresden Files. Most are from Harry’s POV but three are not. Butcher is particularly good at writing short stories so this is an enjoyable — as well as handy — element for the TDF fan to own.

Rating: four beans  photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg

Cold Days: while this book returned to the more typical TDF story arc, there was a lot of business to get through. Unfortunately a lot of things didn’t happen that readers/fans thought were important to see. That’s where the consideration of “shark jumping” comes into play. The events of Changes were big enough that they haunt (drag down?) every story following. While this story was exciting and fun, there was still a jarring sense of “not right” with the whole thing. Maybe that’s good, maybe bad. Some books down the road I may be able to look back and see that effect was important to the whole.

Rating: three and a half beans  photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo c78a2393-2a31-455f-9f0e-4ceee4bb548c_zpsziavl2h2.jpg

Skin Game: definitely a step up from the previous book. A caper-style tale that incorporates some of my favorite characters and brings shocking changes for some of them. Very well put together, very well told. There’s one moment that haunts me, however, and my concern is that Butcher is trying to “retcon” an event that was probably the biggest, most soul-changing action in Harry’s life. That leaves a bad taste in my mouth because it was something that didn’t have to happen as it did in the first place. The author chose that sequence of events rather than a simpler path, he can’t just pretend the simpler path happened at this point. It’s got to be dealt with. I could go on for hours about that part, so I’ll stop. But, yes, the story telling is back on track here (aside from that otherwise beautiful scene where doubt was formed in my mind as to Butcher’s intentions).

Rating: four beans  photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg

The next book in the series will be called Peace Talks and no release date has been set. Butcher appears to be a little burnt out on the Dresden Files and the books are coming slower. I guess it happens after fifteen books from the same protagonist.

Overall series rating: five happy beans  photo d29c1cc4-c064-4c77-a13d-c4eb4bb55603_zpsxyqt7mxa.jpg photo d29c1cc4-c064-4c77-a13d-c4eb4bb55603_zpsxyqt7mxa.jpg photo d29c1cc4-c064-4c77-a13d-c4eb4bb55603_zpsxyqt7mxa.jpg photo d29c1cc4-c064-4c77-a13d-c4eb4bb55603_zpsxyqt7mxa.jpg photo d29c1cc4-c064-4c77-a13d-c4eb4bb55603_zpsxyqt7mxa.jpg

Jim Butcher also has an epic fantasy series called, “Codex Alera” that I’ve read and it’s quite good. He’s starting a steam punk series called, “Cinder Spires” the first book of which is called, “The Aeronaut’s Windlass” and is scheduled to be released on September 29, 2015 (finally!).