Okay, I mentioned earlier that I think it’s important to read widely. And I do. I try to venture out of my comfort zone on a regular basis. That being said, I do have my favorites, and summer is, hands-down, the best time to indulge in some awesome urban fantasy. Summer days (and summer nights) are perfect for digging into a long series and devouring paperbacks without the slightest smidge of guilt.
Not that I feel much guilt about that any other time of year.
Summer also means new releases from some of my favorite authors, so here’s a rundown of some series I love that have new installments this summer. Every single one of these books is either on my iPad, waiting to be read, or pre-ordered for a release-day delivery.
By the way, all the links below go to Powell’s, but I won’t get any affiliate dollars. I just wanted you to have a convenient place to buy if you wanted to!
The Dresden Files. Jim Butcher’s long-running series is on its fifteenth installment, so if you’re one of the few fantasy readers who hasn’t yet discovered Harry Dresden, you’re in for a binge-read of epic proportions. Luckily, Dresden inhabits a gritty, magical Chicago underworld with enough vampires, fae, werewolves, and cultists to keep the city’s only wizard-for-hire busy for a very, very long time. The most recent book in the series, Skin Game, came out on May 27.
The Iron Druid Chronicles. When this series started, Atticus O’Sullivan was the last living Druid on earth and he and his Irish wolfhound, Oberon, were running for their lives. A lot has changed over the course of seven books, and number eight, Shattered, was just released on June 17. Author Kevin Hearne’s take on Irish and Norse mythology is what makes this series for me, but if you’re an animal lover, you’ll enjoy it even more for Oberon’s dog’s-eye-view of the world.
Kate Daniels. If I had to pick my favorite UF series, let’s face it, it would be whatever I was currently reading. But if you gave me a little more time, I’d probably come around to Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels. Kate lives in an alternate-history Atlanta, where technology and magic flow in and out of influence like tides—erratic, unpredictable, random tides. While the series falls firmly on the urban fantasy side of the UF/paranormal romance divide, the relationship between Kate and her mate, Beast Lord, Curran, is what makes these books so hard to put down. Trust me, you’ll fall in love with both of them. The seventh Kate Daniels novel, Magic Breaks, will be out on July 29.
Chicagoland Vampires. What can I say? I grew up in Illinois, so Chicago-based novels have a special place in my heart. Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires are especially appealing because their story is told by Merit, a bookworm graduate student turned badass bloodsucker. If urban fantasy has offered up a more relatable undead narrator, I have yet to meet her. Throw in some scary-powerful mages, a gang of motorcycle-riding shifters, and a level of political intrigue that could only happen in Chicago, and you have a series that I will drop everything to read when the tenth installment, Blood Games, comes out on August 5.
Prospero’s War. Last but not least, the Prospero’s War series only has one book out so far, but that first one was a doozy. Take a gritty police procedural, add fantasy-weird informants, wizard gangs, and potions more addictive than drugs and that will give you a good idea of the problems facing Jaye Wells’ decaying metropolis of Babylon, Ohio. The second book, Cursed Moon, drops on August 12. It’s especially important to pre-order this one, as Wells is a Hachette author. That publisher’s well-publicized battle with Amazon could put the longevity of this series at risk, if readers don’t step up and order from other sources.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for my summer reading list, but I can’t wait for these new releases to arrive. What’s in your to-be-read pile for the next few months?