It’s that time of year again – award show season, and I didn’t want to be left out. With the popularity of a certain teenage vampire series (which will remain nameless due to the fact that I’m not totally in love with it, unlike the rest of the female universe), the Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy genres have exploded with new reads. It can be a daunting task to figure out where to start, so I thought I’d offer a little advice on books I’ve found to be eminently more readable than The Book That Will Not Be Named (see also this PNR bibliography). So here now, the absolutely meaningless, but hopefully still enjoyable, PNRUFies (pronounced pa-NER-fies).
Longest Series – local author, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunters at 30 books/stories. Honorable mention to Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake books at 22 and Christine Feehan’s Dark series at 20. For those REALLY long car trips, I’d suggest starting one of these.
Best Sidekick – Bob from Harry Dresden – he’s a talking skull who knows everything about everything. Seriously, what else do you need and where can I get one?
Most Cliffhangery (This category is so frustrating that I had to invent a word for it) – Fever series from Karen Marie Moning. You’ll scream. You’ll cry. You’ll throw your book across the room (unless it’s a library book, then you’ll gently set it on the nearest table, lovingly brushing off any crumbs or lint, before you turn and punch the wall). Be warned – this one’s got at least one more book to go, and it’s not supposed to come out until December ’10. Oh the humanity!
Wizard with the Biggest Hero Complex – Tie: Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden and John Pritkin from Cassie Palmer by Karen Chance. Harry’s never met a spell he wouldn’t try in the name of saving the world. Pritkin would have had something quippy to say, but he’s already saved the world four times since we asked him for a quote.
Best Living Arrangements – The church in which Rachel and Ivy reside in Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan series. A witch and a vampire living in a decommissioned church – you’d think it would be more peaceful. Honorable Mention to Jean-Claude’s underground lair in Anita Blake and the Black Dagger Brotherhood compound care of the Warden.
Craziest Relatives – Tie: “Grandpa” Eddie from Julie Kenner’s Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom series and Niall, Sookie’s fairy great-grandfather, from Charlaine Harris’s True Blood-inspiring series. One’s not related, one’s not human, but there’s still so much to love.
The Dr. Evil Award for Excellence in Villainy (I haven’t talked to Dr. Evil about this personally, but I’m sure he’d agree that these bad guys are worthy of being compared to someone who went to evil medical school) – Lilith from LA Banks’s Vampire Huntress series. I mean, come on, she’s married to the devil – that’s evil. Honorable mention to Lash and the creepy baby-powder scented Lessers from J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood.
And there you have it. The PNRUFy Class of 2010. I was really hoping to see some Weather Wardens or Werecats in the lineup, but I guess there’s always next year. Agree or disagree with the winners – but either way, these books are all pretty good reading. Happy PNRUFy-ing!