Every time winter hedges into spring, this incredible and inexplicable urge to binge read consumes my every thought, targets my resistance with all the power of a hive of bees swarming an intruder. Nothing I do, unless directly related to soothing this craving, holds any meaning. This leaves me backed in a corner, but I'm only half-reluctant. There's another part of me, the well-buried (or not) masochistic half, that is all but bouncing with glee over the idea of investing myself in a new world, a new set of characters. But not just any novel will do to quench this very specific thirst, no.
I must read a long-spanning series. Nothing else will do.
The unfortunate side effect of this decision is that my lust to begin a new series doesn't exclude the perilously ongoing ones. Which very often leads to a lot of heartache and personal frustration which, funnily enough, I cannot usually afford during Februarytime for one reason or another.
And yet every year, I can anticipate this event the way I do Thanksgiving or Christmas. I must admit, half the fun is rifling and rooting through my TBR for the perfect choice, a selection that embodies equal parts deeply entrenched curiosity and a match to my current mood.
This year's choice felt somewhat random, but I couldn't imagine myself coming to any other conclusion. The Mercy Thompson series had always sort of lurked in the back of my mind, its fans taunting me with their enthusiasm and keen anticipation for each installment. Plus it hits many of my soft spots--supernatural abundance, an urban setting, a little sci-fi fantasy action topped off by a very SHIP-worthy paranormal romance. That an upcoming sequel was due out less than a month than when I wanted to begin was just the perfect sign.
And while I wouldn't say it's one of my absolute favorite series, it's super enjoyable and well-worth the time I spent indulging in such a yummy pageturner.
Essentially the series is about a woman living in a city ripe with catastrophe in the supernatural community to which she, incidentally, is a member. Within each sequel, the chinks in some aspect of that community--whether it be among the vampires, werewolves, or the fey who technically started this whole mess--are mercilessly and oftentimes unexpectedly exploited. This woman, Mercedes Thompson, walker raised by werewolves, grumpy mechanic, has an expansive circle of friends and allies, all of whom reluctantly recruit her against some foe or other as they slowly recognize her strengths among foolishly perceived weaknesses.
And that's ultimately why I enjoy these books so much. She's not so high up on the pecking order of supernatural creatures and so consistently underestimated that it's a sincere pleasure to watch her systematically squash the doubts aimed against her. She's a badass, another of my soft spots, without being inconsistent with it or grossly arrogant. It's that solid belief in herself and her vast capabilities that keeps me chained to the sidelines, cheering for all my fangirly heart is worth.
So, yeah. I'm counting the hours down 'til March 11th, when I'll be reunited with my latest girl-crush and crew.
Speaking of reunions, I recently got my trembling hands on the latest In Death novel. Trembling because I am an addict when it comes to this series--I've hardly made a secret of it. In fact, the In Death series had been last year's binge-fest--all, what was it? Thirty-four or so books at the time? Something like that. I spent every day of February and well into March reading all the available books and hooked since then doesn't even BEGIN to cover all the bases.
It felt so wonderful to be transported back to homey surroundings--futuristic New York and all it's foul glory, Castle Roarke where our cherished primary cast live, NYPSD headquarters, and so much more. And out of all areas the murder mysteries of each plot can fall into, this time was steeped in the sad end of the spectrum.
There is always a kind of thrill, for it can't be called fun when you're dealing with murder crimes so real it hurts, that goes along with unraveling the mystery alongside Eve Dallas, main character, primary investigator, homocide lieutenant. Concealed In Death was no different. It was a painful, thrilling, suspenseful, heartwarming ride that I hope I never have to get off of as we move forward.
Argh. September of 2014 seems like a long time to wonder and wait...
Upcoming: A look into Remnants by Lisa T. Bergren, a wrap-up for what was dubbed Fantasy February and perhaps a TBR if I'm still so inclined, and a comparison of Game of Thrones in TV and in the book. Get some sleep so you can stay tuned.