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Tag: Urban Fantasy

Infestation by Garth Nix

Aliens and vampires – a combination that I never expected, thought of, or have experienced before. Yet, it is something that worked brilliantly in Infestation. Actually, I was really disappointed when this ended – I wanted to know more about the slightly weird, hippy-style main character. And I wanted to know how this epic war of aliens that left us with killing-machine vampires actually turned out. Did he win the war in the end? Did he bring back his creepy sounding captain?

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Snakeskin by Rob Thurman

I love stories about Tricksters – they are completely amoral, always entertaining and beautifully symbolic of the balance between good and evil. Plus, where they travel, chaos follows. Which is always entertaining, and provides great conflict in and of itself. The introduction to Thurman’s Trickster series is no different.

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The Arcane Art of Misdirection by Carrie Vaughn

Casinos are a great location for mystery and subterfuge – they’re all about tricking the senses and convincing people to stay and act against their will. The idea of a sorcerer using this against the system to meet their own ends worked really beautifully, as did the description of such a location as a maze to trap people into spending their money. After all, they’re designed to contain everything and anything that we could want so that we don’t want to leave. Contrasting this view of those who want to win with a woman who works for the system and finds it rather tedious and boring was a great approach in this short story.

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Snow Job by Carole Nelson Douglas

The use of the tale of Adam, Eve and Lilith was a unique way to approach of tale of paranormal fantasy. A lot of mythologies and beliefs seem to inform fantasy stories, but very few utilise the Christian faith and stories to do so. The use of Lilith, and even the name Delilah have its roots in Christianity and the use of the two sisters’ names in their characterisation was a great reminder of the importance in naming one’s characters.

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Bigfoot on Campus by Jim Butcher

I don’t know if it’s because I’m in University, or if there is something about the potential that it represents, but any story set here tends to grab my attention. This, combined with the young love between Connie and Irwin is such a nice reminder of the potential of these young years of discovery. This was also my first introduction into the Dresden Files and the writings of Jim Butcher, and a very welcome one at that.

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Last Call by Jim Butcher

I loved the humour and wit in this short story – the shenanigans and difficulties of Dresden’s journey all result from his desire for a drink. Something which he constantly laments as he pursues the cause of violence. The dry humour in the narrator’s (Dresden’s) voice made this short story flash by as he runs after felons in pursuit of justice, and a nice, cold drink. It is this sass and obvious enjoyment throughout the tale that makes it impossible to put down and ignore.

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Hogwarts: A Complete and Unreliable Guide by J.K. Rowling

It was really fun to travel through the halls of Hogwarts again. The breakdown of this story, leading you through the different aspects of the Hogwarts sorting, classes and grounds made me feel like I was opening the first page of The Philosopher’s Stone again (and closing the last of The Deathly Hallows). The rationale behind such things as the different lessons, the presence (and manifestations) of ghosts and the very way in which new students are sorted into each of the four houses provided by J.K. Rowling gave me a whole new insight into a world that will never be able to leave my head, but more importantly, my heart.

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Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies by J.K. Rowling

Admittedly, I have read most of these character biographies on the old Pottermore website. However, it was fun to read them again, and the flow with which they are put together was both interesting and organic. Again, the depth of J.K. Rowling’s back stories and the amount of thought which she has put into her characters was enviable and thrilling. The personal comments placed at the end of each tale and the reasoning behind names, diseases and hobbies gave me more and more insight into a world that I am already completely obsessed with.

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Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists by J.K. Rowling

I’ve always enjoyed the fact that throughout the Harry Potter series, some of the most evil and terrifying characters are that way due to their pursuit of power. This collection of character bios and short stories helped to drive this fact home. From Dolores Umbridge to Horace Slughorn, these characters were either inconceivably evil or just incredibly misguided in their ties to and desire for power. These tales were a great warning against an uncontrolled will to obtain power, regardless of the cost.

Read more Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists by J.K. Rowling