Friday, February 25, 2011

Read Alike: Laurell K. Hamilton

Laurell K. Hamilton

(Caution: Hamilton's writing often contains explicit sexual content and language.)

Popular with Fantasy, Horror, and Mystery readers, early novels in Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series may also intrigue Hardboiled/Noir readers. In alt-reality St. Louis, vampires possess legally recognized minority status. Special enforcers, like tough-but-vulnerable Anita, keep them in line with the law. Sexual tension and violence simmer among unusual (often quasi-human) characters.

Start with Guilty Pleasures: When innocent vampires are found murdered, the city's most powerful vampire hires Anita Blake, a vampire hunter known as "The Executioner," to investigate the crimes.

More recently, Hamilton has applied her successful 'folklore-meets-gritty-urban-reality' formula to her Merry Gentry series, whose title character is a Faery royal-turned-private-investigator in L.A. Running away from her evil aunt, fairy princess Meredith Gentry hides out in the mortal world as a private detective specializing in supernatural crimes in this thrilling and sexy series.

Start with A Kiss of Shadows: Mixed-blood Princess Meredith NicEssus, however, has fled the faerie world to pass for three years as Merry Gentry, a human with some fey blood who works in Los Angeles with a detective agency that specializes in supernatural problems and magical solutions. Suddenly outed as the missing princess and fearing that her aunt, the Queen of Air and Darkness, will kill her, she makes a desperate run aided by her detective pals.

Fans of Anita Blake and Merry Gentry may also enjoy:

Jim Butcher’s Dresden files: Butcher's dry, laconic tone tempers highly supernatural elements with earthy believability. Harry Dresden, titular protagonist of the Dresden Files series, first attracted Fantasy fans: An unshaven Wizard and Private-Eye for Hire in alt-reality Chicago where the police often need his (unofficial) help. Fast-paced action and good story-telling abounds, interlaced with humor from wry to near-slapstick. Storm Front: With rent past due and a decent meal becoming an issue of some importance, Harry needs work, and soon. A call from a distraught wife, and another from Lt Murphy of the Chicago PD Special Investigation Unit makes Harry believe things are looking up, but they are about to get worse, much worse. Someone is harnessing immense supernatural forces to commit a series of grisly murders.

Patricia Briggs' Mercy Jackson series: Briggs writing style keeps the plot racing and she seamlessly mixes romance with fantasy, mystery and adventure. The characters are engaging and will satisfy both vampire and werewolf/shapeshifter fans. Moon Called: While trying to live a so-called normal existence, mechanic Mercy Thompson, a shape shifter raised by werewolves, gets into trouble with the gremlins, witches, and vampires with whom she deals on a daily basis.

Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter Series: Kenyon is a leading writer in Paranormal Romance, offering readers an addictive blend of mythology, magic and sexy love stories in her vampire-based Dark-Hunter series. Kenyon populates her world with complex characters. These characters are never clearly good or bad, and the villain of one book can become the hero of the next. Kenyon builds her world with vivid details of the setting, often New Orleans, and the characters' homes, weapons, and relationships. Night Pleasures: A handsome immortal finds himself drawn despite himself to the prim and proper Amanda Devereaux, a smart, witty, and conservative young woman who wants nothing to do with the paranormal, in the first novel in the Dark-Hunter series.

Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Series (better known as True Blood): The Sookie Stackhouse novels feature a female protagonist living in avividly portrayed small Southern town. These Mysteries are not truly dark or disturbing. Dead Until Dark: Sookie Stackhouse is a cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana, but she keeps to herself and doesn't date much because of her "disability" to read minds. When she meets Bill, Sookie can't hear a word he's thinking. He's the type of guy she's waited for all of her life, but he has a disability, too--he's a vampire with a bad reputation. When one of Sookie's coworkers is killed, she fears she's next.

Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series: Moning writes steamy hot romances with a strong supernatural angle. Her historical romances feature rugged Scottish settings and time travel that spans centuries, while her contemporary romances feature our own familiar world alongside the world of the Fae. Elements of mystery and suspense frequently figure in her stories, which are told in a captivating, page-turning style. Strong characters, vivid descriptive details, and sizzling sex scenes will seduce readers into Moning's Urban Fantasy worlds. Darkfever: Mac is stunned to discover that her sister's murder was far more than a random act of violence and resents the awakening of a mysterious ability to sense the Fae and their talismans, a talent that sends her on a quest to find a mystical book of dark power.

Kim Harrison’s The Hollow’s Series: Readers are charmed by Kim Harrison's deft mix of human and non-human characters living in an alternate world, as they follow witch and bounty hunter Rachel Morgan on her adventures. Smart-mouthed and strong-willed Rachel lives in a small unearthly community within Cincinnati called The Hollows, in which mythical beings coexist with their human counterparts. Readers are treated to highly imaginative facts and histories of these strange creatures as Harrison creates gripping and elaborate plots and subplots to keep her readers guessing. Dead Witch Walking: Sexy bounty hunter and witch Rachel Morgan prowls the dark streets of Cincinnati, keeping tabs on the vampires and other creatures of the supernatural that prey on the city's innocent and vulnerable inhabitants.

Jeaniene Frost Night Huntress series: New York Times bestselling author combines paranormal romance with urban fantasy fiction. Her Night Huntress series combines a winning blend of humor, sex, and real emotion that will leave readers eager for more. Halfway to the Grave: Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield pursues the undead with a vengeance in the hope that one of her prey will be the father who ruined her mother's life, but her plans go awry when she is captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter.

Please stop by the Recommendations Desk on the first floor, check out NoveList Plus on the library's website, or visit W. 11th & Bluff next week for more reading suggestions. Or submit a Personal Recommendations request, and we'll create a reading list just for you!

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