October Takeover: Werewolf Fiction

~ Posted by Lindsay S.

It was discovered on the eighth day of our October Takeover that we didn’t have any posts planned about werewolves. I declared this deficiency a travesty and a crime against Halloween, and promised to rectify the mishap immediately. The truth is, I don’t know all that much about werewolves, but I do know you can’t have an October Takeover without at least mentioning our furry, lycanthropic compatriots.

Cover image for Lunatic CafeThe problem then becomes: what type of werewolves (and other shifty creatures) do I want to tell you about? Do we go the Laurell K. Hamilton route and discuss the sad state of lycanthropy vaccinations? If you read the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series, you’ll find that in addition to getting a bad patch of the vaccine, you might also get scratched by, bitten by, or turned into a shifty creature by unscrupulous witches (more on them in posts to come!). My favorite example of Laurell K. Hamilton werewolves is found in Lunatic Café, which, in addition to wolves, has just about every other animal you’d ever wanted to change into, and some that you really wouldn’t (rats? Really). Continue reading “October Takeover: Werewolf Fiction”

Romantic Wednesdays: Paranormal romance vs. urban fantasy

Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy are like kissing cousins. Considering all the vampires and werewolves involved, maybe that should be biting cousins.

The big difference between Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance is usually where the focus is placed in the story. It’s not that Paranormal Romances can’t include an other-than-human hero or heroine, or that the main character can’t be solve crimes in the supernatural community. Likewise, there are urban fantasy series where the hero or heroine does manage to combine crime-fighting or beast hunting with a successful love life…eventually.Click here to view Storm Front by Jim Butcher in SPL catalog

I think the poster boy for Urban Fantasy is Harry Dresden, from Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. In the first book in the series, Storm Front, Harry is the only wizard listed in the Chicago telephone directory. Harry is a private investigator, and the focus of all the stories in the series is on Harry solving whatever crime or other dastardly deed has threatened the peace of his city. Occasionally, Harry’s love life is less than awful, but it never lasts long and usually ends badly, tragically, or both. Continue reading “Romantic Wednesdays: Paranormal romance vs. urban fantasy”

Science Fiction Fridays: 5 books that prove werewolves are the new vampires

liarLiar by Justine Larbalestier
Micah is a compulsive liar who decides to come clean with a big revelation—but will she be believed? Is she telling the truth even to herself? This is a complicated and slippery novel that has one of the most unreliable narrators I’ve ever come across. Part of the fun is trying to figure our Micah’s lies and how her narration completely changes the book from chapter to chapter. Continue reading “Science Fiction Fridays: 5 books that prove werewolves are the new vampires”

Book review: Pure Blood by Caitlin Kittredge

pure-bloodWashington author Caitlin Kittredge (she lives in Olympia) takes readers on another trip to Nocturne City. In Pure Blood, the second book in her series about werewolf Luna Wilde, bodies of dead drug addicts are turning up around town. Luna knows these people are more than just victims of overdoses, and when the son of a powerful witch dies under the same mysterious circumstances, the stakes in the case are raised exponentially.

The Nocturne City series is really starting to come together in this second book. Where the first story, Night Life, had a tendency to be over-eager and a bit muddled in style, Pure Blood is fast passed, gritty and suspenseful. Even though Luna is essentially the same smart-aleck, abrasive character we’ve seen in most other urban fantasy stories, she also has enough vulnerability to make her interesting. Furthermore, she is not the most powerful creature in her magical world, and that is a refreshing change.

Fans of the Nocturne City series might also check out Nightwalker by Jocelynn Drake, as well as Kittredge’s appearance at Seattle Mystery Bookshop on March 21.

Looking for ornery fae in the Tri-Cities

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs tells the story of Mercy Thompson, an auto-mechanic in the Tri-Cities who can turn into a coyote at will. Mercy’s world is full of ornery fae, egocentric werewolves, and quirky, creepy vampires, all more supernaturally powerful than her. If Mercy can keep her head down and her mouth shut, she just might keep out of the line of fire. The problem is Mercy’s never been very good at keeping her mouth shut.

moon-calledMoon Called is a unique addition to the urban-fantasy sub-genre for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is because the main character is an interesting, curious woman whose magical peculiarity is something readers haven’t seen before. Fans of the supernatural will like Mercy and empathize with her despite her tendency to cause her own troubles.

Look for the sequels: Blood Bound, Iron Kissed, and the fourth installment, Bone Crossed, where Mercy heads to Spokane to investigate a ghost. Patricia Briggs’ website also notes that she was recently in Seattle, doing her own investigation on where werewolves would hunt, for the follow-up to Cry Wolf.