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Monday, January 12, 2009

Fantasy Book Critic’s 2008 Review/2009 Preview — Mark Henry


When Robert asked me to recap my year in reading, I thought, “No problem, I've loved tons of crap this year. Tons!” But then . . . when I sat down to write it up, I could count on my fingers the books I've actually read. Now, I'm filled with end of the year shame and feel like I need to go out and sign up for some reading challenges, or secure the services of some reading dominatrix to monitor my literary intake. Yep. Definitely the latter. That said, I've read some pretty fantastic books this year.

I finally got around to reading “Cat’s Cradle” by
Kurt Vonnegut and now I'm a junkie. I gulped down his apocalyptic satire quicker than a 40 of Old E with a straw. Now I've got to read everything, which is a problem considering my bookcase screams from the weight of my book buying addiction. Another book on those aching shelves is Lisa Lutz'sThe Spellman Files”, a hilarious take on the standard mystery with an entire dysfunctional family in the Sam Spade role. I read this for a book club, which also seemed to sag off this year, and by far it was my favorite among the literary snobbery that's normally on the plate. Christopher Moore'sLamb” and “A Dirty Job” had me contemplating becoming an actual stalker, while Richelle Mead'sSuccubus Blues”, Ilona Andrews'Magic Bites” and Jeanne Stein'sThe Becoming” left me wishing I'd be stalked . . . by Georgina, Kate and Anna!


Oh Man is 2009 Gonna Be the Awesomeness!

So maybe my reading wasn't so prolific this year. Doesn't mean I'm not looking forward to some books hitting the shelves. In fact, here's five that I can't wait for you to get your hot and sweaty hands on…

1)Unholy Ghosts” by
Stacia Kane. I had the opportunity to preview this book earlier this year and was blown away. You'd think there'd be more ghosts in urban fantasy, but there haven't been...until now! Kane has put together a mix of sex, drugs and rock and roll that reads like Kim Harrison (White Witch, Black Curse) and Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting) had a lovechild. People are going to be talking about this book for years!

2)Boneshaker” by
Cherie Priest. Release Date: November 2009. Published by Tor. So I'm reading an early manuscript of this November 2009 release, and am about every ten pages letting the pages fall utterly pissed that I didn't think to write it myself. Oh the jealousy, it seethes. Priest is the Queen of Steampunk and if you didn't know it after reading this mélange of walled cities, zombie gas and mad scientists then you're beyond my help.

3)Red-Headed Stepchild” by
Jaye Wells. US/UK Release Date: March 31, 2009/April 2, 2009. Published by Orbit. I'm really looking forward to people's response to Wells first offering to the urban fantasy gods. She's got a truly unusual take on vampires and an acid tongue that really resonates. Snarky? Hell yes, but more than that…”Red-Headed” is a riot. You'll see.

4)The Forest of Hands and Teeth” by
Carrie Ryan. Release Date: March 10, 2009. Published by Delacorte. Oh Carrie! How I love your zombie apocalypse. It’s no hold barred horror. Its dystopian fundamentalists. If you don't do for zombies what Meyer did for YA vamps, then I'll eat a brain.

5)Street Magic” by
Caitlin Kittredge. Release Date: June 2, 2009. Published by St. Martin's Press. Kittredge gave us all a taste of Black London in her “Newlydeads” short in the My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon antho earlier this year. And this coming June, you can bet I'll be rejoining Pete and Jack for a further trip into dark magic and gritty supernatural mystery.


Road Trip of the Living Dead” will start filtering out to store shelves on February 24th, 2009 and after that, I'll be doing a wee bit of touring to promote the crap out of it. In this one, reigning snark mistress and all-around great ghoul Amanda Feral hits the road with her pals to dodge a pissed-off vamp that Gil sired-for-pay, reunite a girl and her dead brother (who happens to be a hood ornament), put the kabash on some skinhead zombie goose-stepping and stop a cross country killing spree that just might be the end of them all. Again.


Mark Henry is a recovering psychotherapist and the author of the Amanda Feral, Celebrity Ghoul series. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and three furry monsters that think they're children. He blogs incessantly and hangs out with Team Seattle, an illustrious bunch of urban fantasy authors in a
not so secret aboveground lair. For more information, please visit the author’s Official Website.

NOTE: For more author responses, please visit Fantasy Book Critic's 2008 Review/2009 Preview index



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