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io9.com has released its 2013 list of the best SF and Fantasy books. As always, there is some spirited debate and more offerings in the comments. There are definitely lots of good reading suggestions to be found. Here are some highlights from our collection.
The shining girls / Lauren Beukes
The purity of vengeance : a Department Q novel / Jussi Adler-Olsen
Season 4 starts January 5th! Here are some things to read or watch while you wait for the next episode.
High school student Zoey Redbird lives in a world that has vampyres. She was marked by a vampire tracker by her school locker one day. When marked the person begins to change into a vampyre. If the marked person’s body rejects the change the person will usually die within a year.
Zoey’s parents try keep her at home and get a church to help her. Zoey visits her Cherokee grandmother who brings her to the House of Night four year boarding school for fledgling vampyres.
She is assigned a roommate and attends classes to learn how to become an adult vampire. They attend worship services to the goddess Nyx who instills them with strength and power. They practice getting used to drinking blood. They use a pentagram symbol during their services that is used in conjunction with the five elements – air, fire, earth, water and spirit.
Zoey has a nemesis called Aphrodite. Zoey becomes the high priestess of a student group called the Dark Daughters and Sons.
There is jealousy, rivalry, sex, competition for attention, and boyfriend/girlfriend relationships among the students. Zoey is able to make friends. There is an unsolved mystery at the end of this novel involving recently dead students.
According to Zoey’s adult vampyre adult mentor Neferet vampyres can choose to be humane. Vampyres are not stereotypically thought of as evil in this world although there can be good and bad in every group. Zoey is considered to be on the “good” side.
It is interesting to see how the students struggle to achieve the change into becoming vampryes and what will happen next.
I would recommend this series to teens 16 and older due to its mature nature.
Markedis the first in the House of Night series which include: 2. Betrayed (2007) 3.Chosen (2008) 4.Untamed (2008) 5. Hunted (2009) 6. Tempted (2009) 7. Burned (2010) 8. Awakened (2011) 9. Destined (2011) 10. Hidden (2012) 11. Revealed (2013) and Redeemed (2014).
This story reminded me of the Planet of the Apes movie.
A virus has infected the humans on earth killing so many that few are left. As a result vampires who had always been present now control the earth. They use humans as sources of blood and use them for servants.
Allie is turned into a vampire. She is a reluctant one. She works to protect humans against other vampires and rabid people and animals that resulted from past experiments in trying to find a cure for the virus.
Allie has a human boyfriend. She is fighting her urge for human blood while trying to hold onto her humanity. She however must satisfy her basic needs to survive.
There is a lot of blood and violence and life and death struggles to survive in this world.
After Allie helps a group of humans find a safe haven in the Great Lakes area she goes off to find her vampire master in another part of the country. Thus begins the second book in the series.
The author writes in such a personal and matter of fact way that you may easily identify with Allie and fantasize that her story is real. It is interesting to see Allie, a so called monster, try to be civilized, social and do good deeds while putting others’ needs before her own. Allie does her best with what she has to work with to do the right thing for humans.
The Immortal Rulesby Julie Kagawa is the first in the Blood of Eden Urban fantasy fiction series. It is recommended for 8th Grade and older by School Library Journal. The series is currently as follows: 1. The Immortal Rules (2012) 2. The Eternity Cure(2013) and 3. The Forever Song (2014).
Fifteen year old Clary discovers that she is not an ordinary human but a Shadowhunter. She can see other Shadowhunters including werewolfs, vampires, fairies, and demons. Humans cannot see them. Shadowhunters fight demons from hell that are trying to control the world.
Clary hangs out at the Institute – a place where other Shadowhunters in Manhattan stay. Clary learns about her true family history, parents, grandparents, and siblings. Romantic interests and friendship relationships occur and are talked about among the teen characters.
There are scenes where the characters engage in a lot of bloody gory fighting using various weapons while yelling a lot of vindictive fighting words. Since there is a large amount of sarcastic and argumentative dialog and bloody descriptive fighting and death I would recommend this book for fifteen year olds and older.
City of Bones is book one in The Mortal Instruments Urban fantasy fiction series by Cassandra Clare. The other titles in the series currently include: 2. City of Ashes 3. City of Glass 4. City of Fallen Angels and 5. City of Lost Souls.
Starry night : a Christmas novel / Debbie Macomber
Opposites attract when journalist Carrie Slayton is assigned to interview a reclusive author. Get in the mood for the Holidays with Debbie’s sweet Christmas romance.