The other day on Twitter someone said she’d just finished all the Walker Papers, and now what was she going to read! So I made some suggestions, and not only she but several other people were delighted. So I thought maybe I’d try to make Recommended Reads a regular blog feature (in so far as anything is a regular blog features these days @.@), separate from the Recent Reads I generally try to do.
I figure the point of this isn’t just to list names—I could do that for weeks—but to give a few more in-depth reasons as to why I’m recommending these particular writers. So I’ll start with the three I recommended on Twitter the other day, and we’ll go from there!
Faith Hunter: I specifically recommended Faith to this reader because she’d just finished the Walker Papers and I figured if she liked one 6′ tall, Cherokee-heritage urban fantasy female lead she’d probably like another. It’s shooting close to the mark, and if you’re recommending books to people it’s nice to have one pretty sure fire hit in the list.
I obviously like Faith’s work very much: so much, in fact, that we ended up writing a crossover novella, EASY PICKINGS, which features both Joanne and Faith’s main character Jane. Faith is insanely good at sensory detail—I invariably get hungry for Cajun food reading her books—and she’s got that knack for romance that plays at a level both intriguing and not embarrassing.
Chrysoula Tzavelas: I specifically recommended Soula to this reader because it’s staying within the urban fantasy realm, but straying a little farther away from the Walker Papers: her protagonists are younger, so her books skirt the YA field. She shifts points of view from book to book, making her Senyaza series a much more ensemble cast than the Walker Papers, although it shares some of the more metaphysical qualities (the 3rd book, for example, takes place almost entirely in what Joanne would call the Lower World, although it’s nothing at all like Jo’s Lower World).
Chrysoula uses analogy, metaphor and description beautifully, like, to the level that I was recently enthusing at her about us maybe doing a crossover and then I read some astonishingly beautiful bit of writing in WOLF INTERVAL and was like “except if we do a crossover you will totally show me up as a fake and a charlatan…” :) She also writes terrific stories of female friendship, which is practically unheard of.
Kari Sperring: Kari writes epic fantasy, so I was shooting wider of the mark by recommending her to this reader, but I feel pretty confident that if a reader likes the lyricism of Chrysoula’s writing they’re going to find something to love about Kari’s. I can do, to some degree or another, what Soula and Faith do. Kari’s writing is outside my skill set, and that’s part of why I love it so much.
The pacing of Kari’s writing is very different from the above two writers. Urban fantasy tends to be pretty ruthlessly action-oriented with no space for breathers, but what Kari does is set the reader into a slow current that runs very deep. These aren’t books that throw the stories at you: they unfold the story with beautiful, inexorable strength, and it’s a wonderful journey.