Those wonderful paranormals

Much has been written lately about paranormals, but today I want to pay homage to those paranormal books and heroes that I really admire and enjoy and I hope that you will add your books to the list. There are many stories in this genre that I either haven’t read (so many books, so little time) or have missed in this post, which is OK because if I mentioned all the books, what would you write about in your comments? 🙂 In addition, there’s only so much I can say without boring the crap out of you.

Why is it that so many of us are such huge fans of paranormal books and characters? Usually the protagonists in these books are either werewolf, vampire,  dragon, angel, demon, incubus, elf, or half were/half vampire. These beings are only limited by the authors’ imaginations and we’re hardly likely to meet them on the street, which is probably a good thing and a major part of the attraction.

One of the most controversial series, which has a huge fan base, may be Soul Mates by Jourdan Lane. So far there are four books with vamps, weres, demons, incubi, and half breeds and the author is probably not going to stop there in terms of different beings. 🙂  The latest book, Soul Mates: Secrets, was written in October 2008 and so far there’s no release date for book 5, Soul Mates: Ascension. When Peter, a human, met Lucien, a vampire, in a bar in Soul Mates: Bound by Blood  (which in my opinion is still the best book in this series) his life changed drastically and I haven’t decided whether this change is for the better or worse. I have linked two of the reviews in case you’re interested in reading them – reviews on the other books are also on the site. This series smashed every concept I had about paranormals.  Here’s part of what I said in my review of BBB:

Do I say that this book destroyed all my preconceived notions about vampires and other paranormals?
That the author approached this book on a scale I have not experienced before?
That the story is like a wrecking crew that never lets up?
I was totally blown away as the author gives it to the reader with both barrels right between the eyes.

If I were to rate the paranormal series that I love the most I would be hard pressed to do so because PsyCop, The Draegan Lords, Channeling Morpheus/Sweet Oblivion (the last two, technically speaking, are the same series), and Soul Mates, are all on my keeper list as are many others.

J.L. Langley’s With and Without series, With Caution and Without Reservations are also huge favourites of mine. The upcoming book, With Abandon, is tentatively scheduled for release late in 2010. Who can forget Chay and Keaton in Without Reservations reviewed here where J.L. does a switcheroo with the characters and sweet, small, blond, effeminate Keaton becomes the alpha in the relationship in wolf form? Remi and bad boy Jake in With Caution reviewed here try to protect Remi’s brother Sterling from their brutal and abusive father but the first thing that Jake had to do was turn Remi into a werewolf to save his life. Not a good way to start a romantic relationship! I think I liked WC more because the story was much more complex and the characters are richer. Adding in a murder investigation and parental abuse made this a very intense story. With Love, the first book in this series, was part of an anthology Hearts from the Ashes that contains stories by Ally Blue and Willa Okati and it’s about two werewolves, Devlin and Laine. After rescuing Laine and falling in love with him Dev had to fight the pack Alpha who was determined to do anything to take Laine away, including kidnapping and possibly murder. Very exciting!


 
Like many of you, the books that made me a big fan of this genre were Jordan Castillo Price’s PsyCop series. Jordan is the queen of the paranormal and she doesn’t  have to depend on vampires, weres or otherworldly beings to make things interesting. The protagonists are human but one of them, Victor Bayne, has a small quirk (you might call it an advantage in his job) – he is a medium and he sees and talks to dead people who appear at will and are sometimes helpful in solving homicide cases, for a price. Victor and his  partner, hot Detective Jacob Marks, are sex on a stick who scratch their itch for each other everywhere they can, and it doesn’t have to be on a bed. In their first encounter they hook up in a bathroom in the middle of a retirement party. One of my favourite scenes is in PsyCop: Body and Soul where Jacob and Victor are having mind blowing sex in the hallway of Vic’s apartment just after a session with a ghost, and Jacob suggests a menage with Crash, his ex. If you haven’t met Crash you should read Striking Sparks where he’s laid out in all his glory. His apartment is the stuff of nightmares!

Jordan is working on  book 6 in the PsyCop series but so far there is no release date. I can’t wait for Vic’s and Jacob’s latest adventure into the supernatural.

Jordan’s Wild Bill in Channeling Morpheus and Sweet Oblivion is a vampire to die for. I love, love, love Wild Bill and this is one character that I want to read more stories about even though he already has two series. 

M.L. Rhodes’ Draegan Lords is supposed to end with Circle of Ariend but I’m not so sure. This is another series that is hard to put down because the world building is awesome, the characters are incredibly complex and alien, and I was hooked from  the first book True of Heart. When Gaige Rizik, captain of the Sorcerer’s High Guard in Velensperia meets Keiran Hareldson, leader of a race of half humans, half dragons called draegans, instead of spying on the draegans as he was supposed to do he falls in love with Keiran and defects. The characters are brutally tortured and kidnapped over the course of the series as they try to save the draegan race. Who knows what other adventures await them? Their creator is currently writing the newest adventures in this wonderful series where the best part is the love between Keiran and Gaige, which somehow manages to survive all of the terrible trials that they have to endure before they get their HEA.

Other paranormal books that are in my ‘keeper’ file include Fire Season by Lex Valentine reviewed here with two memorable dragon shifters – black dragon Holden Antaeus and green dragon Garret Renquist. Not only are they the hottest dragons around, but Holden is straight and Garret is bi, and to Holden’s consternation they are destined to be mates. I don’t know how many times I have re-read this book. Dragon fire is something to be experienced and when they spread those huge wings they’re awesome creatures.

T.A. Chase’s dragon series is another fan favourite starting with Here Be Dragons starring Kael Hammerson and his boss Hugh Price who fight for their love, their lives and that of all mankind when dragons return to earth and wreak havoc, and the destruction of everything we know seems imminent. Dreaming of Dragons tells the love story of George St. Albans and Mordred a beautiful elf who had lived together for hundreds of years in the Realm of Dreams before the barrier between Earth and the rest of the world was compromised. The goddess Gaia tries to screw things up for our lovers while they were in the middle of trying to save earth from the dragons. The latest book in the series Fighting Dragons  is a love story between two humans rather than a battle with the dragons, but it’s just as well written as the others. I can’t wait to see whose story T.A. will write next. I’ve linked the review for Fighting Dragons and hope to review the other books in the series soon.

Many of you love A.M. Riley’s vampires and my first experience with her writing was What to Buy for the Vamp who has Everything which was a different kind of vampire story. How can the reader take a vamp seriously who uses condoms because he wants to be safe, even if he’s dead? It’s not as if he’ll die if he catches something. 🙂 Then there is Immortality is the Suck when Adam became one of the undead and has a different relationship with Peter, his sometimes f**kbuddy, than when he was alive. The latest is No Rest for the Wicked which is just as incredible as the other books in the series and I can’t wait to see Peter and Adam in a new adventure.

Back when I was still reading het, I read a series called Dragon Riders and I thought the first book Bonded Hearts was  wonderfully imaginative. It’s the story of a female dragon who lives with her male rider to whom she is bonded for life. Then a time traveller from another world, Earth, shows up and throws everything into chaos because he’s from the future and it turns out that he’s bonded to the pair. I loved the concept, the world building and the characters and if you’re interested in stories about dragon shifters I’ve linked the review here. This book is M/M/F and I can’t believe that I’m actually recommending a menage with a female, but the fact that she’s a dragon made a difference in this one instance. 🙂

There are many great paranormal books that I’ve missed. What are your favourite paranormal books and which creatures do you love best? I think mine are dragons because they are huge and powerful  and dragon sex is totally awesome – WOW! 🙂

Author

I live in Canada and I love big dogs, music, movies, reading and sports – especially baseball

88 comments

  • The PsyCop novels are a fave of mine, for the imagination, the strong characters and writing, plus the fact that I don’t feel I’ve already read 10 or 20 books just like them. Hemovore, also by JC Price, surprised me by saying something new about vampires, so I liked it. Mostly I don’t read the vampires any more, because usually they feel way too been there, read that. (The Body and Soul books are like that for me — a chore to get through. Apologies to the many fans.) And mostly the shapeshifter books just don’t work for me, because I can’t suspend my disbelief about the laws of physics and whatnot for most of them.

    One book I enjoyed that I didn’t see above is The Vampire Fred, by Vaughn Demont. I didn’t feel like I was just reading the same old stuff about vampires. It has one of the best first lines ever: “I didn’t start hating Scooby Doo until after I died.” I was hooked from there. 🙂

    Also, Touching Evil, by Rob Knight, which I thought was very well done, both in plot and characters. It’s a psychic trying to help cops track down a murderer type of story.

    Skin Deep, by Drew Zachary, is another favorite paranormal story, with a compelling romance and an interesting take on paranormals as a kind of oppressed minority.

    • Ack! My error. Meant to say it’s the SoulMates series I can’t get into, rather than Body andSoul. Just goes to show, shouldn’t waste anyone’s time saying what I don’t like. Where there are so many fans, I figure it’s just my own peculiarity that I don’t enjoy a book series, and nothing wrong with the series.

      • Cary
        I think the Soul Mates series has almost as many detractors as fans because it’s quite different – lots and lots of sex, and everyone sleeps with everyone else. 🙂 Many readers don’t like what they consider to be cheating. I guess they don’t consider the fact that these are paranormals and they don’t need an excuse for sleeping around – demons, incubi, half were/half vamp. etc. 🙂

        Funny you should mention Rob Knight’s Touching Evil because it’s on my review list. I haven’t read Skin Deep by Drew Zachary – I’ll be getting that one because I love their books.

        • Wave – You make a good point about the Soul Mates series. I hadn’t thought about it in those terms. To me, the plot lines seem arbitrary and there aren’t any strong relationships or characters to bond to, and that is definitely related to the characters sleeping around, as you point out. I do scratch my head over why others love the books so much — or why I don’t. 🙂 Of course, every reader has that experience with certain authors.

          I hope you enjoy Touching Evil. I read it quite a while ago, and I still go looking to see what else Rob Knight has written, because that book made such an impression on me.

  • There’s one book which isn’t exactly shifters, but I think it fits into this theme, “A Companion to Wolves” by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear. A story situated in Northern Mythology where men are bonded to wolves; there are only male human mates, but female wolves, so the humans bonded to females have to have sex with other men. It has paranormal elements out of the Northern Mythology as well like the mountain trolls and the smiths which are something like a mixture between elves and dwarves. A different book, and a difficult one for several reasons, but I loved it very much.

    • Feliz
      I’ve never heard of “A Companion to Wolves” which is quite an interesting concept. I’ll definitely be looking into that one.

  • Hi Clovermax
    We are always willing to help you spend your money. Books are a better investment than poker and trains. You have them forever.

    Now I’ll have to check out the Dark Calling series. )

  • My fabulous other half spends his money on poker and trains- me books lots of books. I think- no I know most of the books currently reside in my library- aka hard drive. My first m/m was by Elizabeth Jewel the Dark Calling series. and that was the beginning or end of that- and I agree with all the different recommendations and those I haven’t read…. well looks like I will be out finding them. yay for your site and lists.

    • Hi John
      I was under the impression that State of Mind was science fiction rather than a paranormal story. The protagonists had been given “powers” but that was as a result of an experiment. Maybe it’s a bit of both. 🙂

      • No, these powers were from birth. I think it was random throughout the population.

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