Urban fantasy

Charles DeLint
I recall being introduced to Charles DeLint in the late 1980s and early 1990s through Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling’s Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. DeLint always appeared in the year end books.

While DeLint doesn’t write a series, he DOES write about a fictional town in Canada called Newford.  I’ve read several of his Newford books and each one is better than the last one.  DeLint has populated his town with a set of characters and the feature I enjoy in this series is that in each book a different set of characters take precedence.  Yet all the townspeople show up in each book.  The Newford Series in chronological order are:

Dreams Underfoot
The Dreaming Place
A Whisper To A Scream
I’ll Be Watching You
Memory And Dream
The Ivory And The Horn
Trader
Someplace To Be Flying
Moonlight And Vines
Forests Of The Heart
Tapping the Dream Tree
The Onion Girl

Spirits in the Wires
Medicine Road
The Blue Girl
Widdershins
Make a Joyful Noise
The Hour Before Dawn
Old Man Crow
Little (Grrl) Lost
Promises to Keep
Dingo
Muse and Reverie

I haven’t read ALL in the series, but those I have read have kept me in rapt attention and I can highly recommend them.  Mr. DeLint also writes stand alone books and I’ve read several of those as well.

DeLint Standouts:
The Blue Girl
Dingo
Spirits in the Wires

Stephen King
The Dark Tower Series

One of my favorite opening lines to a book appeared in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower Series:
The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.

While I sometimes find King to drone on and on, never quite knowing when enough is enough, there are notable exceptions.  The Dark Tower series is one such exception. In fact I’d go so far as saying (in my opinion only,) the first four books in the series are perhaps the best books he has written during his illustrious career.  I read the first four in about six weeks, finishing one and immediately picking up the next one.  I don’t think I’ve ever read a series that quickly before or since.  I simply couldn’t stop reading.  They were that addictingly powerful.  From that first sentence in the first book, I was hooked, sucked in, trapped.  And I didn’t want the ride to end.  I think for those who have avoided Stephen King for whatever reason if you made an effort to pick up The Gunslinger you’ll find yourself just as glued to the series as I was.  Trust me!

You won’t be disappointed and you won’t be able to stop reading this amazing escapist series.

Okay.

I’m cheating a bit today:
Since Charles DeLint’s Newford series and Stephen King’s Dark Tower series encompases so many volumes, I’m only going to suggest these two series for my last reader advisory column for 2013.

I’m also taking a hiatus until January 7, 2014.   Have a Happy Holiday Season and we will see you in January.

Until next time…

Turn the page.

Chris

Urban fantasy

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