The first thing I want to do is give you a look at what kind of books I like so you know if this is the place for you.
I love stories about people in everyday situations who are thrown into paranormal experiences. It's been my thing ever since I was a kid. I remember going to the beach with my family and friends when I was five and convincing the other kids that I was a mermaid and could control the waves in the ocean. I've always wanted to have magical powers - but since I haven't figured out how to acquire them just yet, I get to read about them, and even better - write about them.
Why paranormal fantasy? The way I see it, the world is a serious place. It's good to have a magical escape every now and then.
I hate being cliche and obvious and some of the books on this list might be just that, but let's start with some common ground and then we'll go a little deeper into my lists of favorites.
What you'll also notice is that I sometimes like to think about what makes characters tick. I've been interested in psychology and spirituality for many years and will often look through those lenses when I read. If I'm thinking that deeply about a story or character, I know it's because it's really touched me, and that's exciting.
Okay, here's my first set of books to get us going:
· The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, by CS Lewis. This could be the series that started it all for me - my first chapter books at age 5. I fell in love with Lucy and Mr. Tumnus and developed a craving Turkish Delight.
· The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldon - a wonderful blend of historical fiction with a time travel element, plus incredibly developed characters, plot twists...a must read.
· Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer - Vampire mythology, totally reinvented. I know, I know, it might feel a little worn thin by over exposure, but it was a great concept that inspired a whole genre of paranormal teen lit.
· The Mortal Instruments Series, by Cassandra Clare - Vampires, Nephilim, Werewolves, Faeries - she's got them all, and has mastered character and the complexity of having these beings interact.
· Fallen - by Lauren Kate. Wonderful story with an interestingly developed mystery in the relationship between Luce and Daniel, in a well crafted world of fallen angels. This is being made into a movie - definitely check out the books, they're a lot of fun.
· Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling. I hate to be obvious, but it was so much fun to imagine an orphan being given magical powers - I only wish they had come out when I was a child.
One thing you'll notice is that most of these books are young adult, middle grade or children's. I've perused adult oriented fantasy and I find it sometimes too complex to be relaxing. I have trouble tracking multiple new species and cultures in a parallel world, with different languages, relationships and sub plots. I find the YA category to have plots that are more accessible to the busy, overstimulated reader (ahem, at least in my case).
If you have recommendations for good books (preferably series) with more grown up themes/characters, please chime in! I'm up for discovery.
If this list got your interest, stay tuned. My plan is to talk more about these and other books, their themes and other related bits. By all means, if you've read and enjoyed these, share your experiences below!
Brandy (aka BL Whitney)