Anne Sowards, Editor, Gives 2008 Urban Fantasy Preview
Sarah of SmartBitches wondered if you can follow an editor like you would an author, or maybe I can take that a bit further, and ask whether you can follow an editor like another reader who you trust. I initially thought that there was no correlation between an editor’s output and reader taste, but I have noticed that Anne Sowards edits several of my favorite urban fantasy cross over authors (Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews and Ann Aguirre, to name a few).
So I asked her what ACE/ROC had in the hopper that might appeal to those readers, like me, who were urban fantasy junkies. Her response was so fulsome and interesting I asked if I could post it to the blog. She provided me with the following list of authors and books she has edited from the ACE, ROC, Berkley lines.
GRIMSPACE by Ann Aguirre (Ace) – I loved this one and am looking forward to the sequel.
MADHOUSE by Rob Thurman (Roc) – Jia read and reviewed this book. It features a male protag and his brother and I admit that it is keeping me from reading the series. It’s interesting that in the science fiction fantasy realm there is a pro male bias where pen names like Rob Thurman are likely to get more attention from male readers. Conversely, in romance and I think to a great deal, the urban fantasy crossover crowd, the male name is more of a hindrance than a help. That’s a topic that would make for an interesting article some day.
TANGLED WEBS by Anne Bishop (Roc) – I enjoyed it but more for the glimpses of Janelle and Daemon than anything else.
BELLADONNA by Anne Bishop (Roc reprint of hardcover) – skipped
MAGIC BURNS by Ilona Andrews (Ace) – Loved it.
EMBRACE THE NIGHT by Karen Chance (Roc) – I think this is a series in which it helps to start at the beginning.
SMALL FAVOR by Jim Butcher (Roc)
DAGGER-STAR by Elizabeth Vaughan – Disappointing.
ARMED & MAGICAL by Lisa Shearin (Ace) – I liked it, but it had a YA feel to it.
ROMANCING THE DEAD by Tate Hallaway (Berkley) – Jayne enjoyed her first few books. It’s a lot more substantive than the initial covers might convey.
THE COLD MINDS by Kristin Landon (Ace)
* This is the second book in the series (first is THE HIDDEN WORLDS). It’s science fiction with romantic elements, and the premise of the series is that centuries ago humanity fled the machine intelligences known as the Cold Minds and colonized planets far from earth. But now the Cold Minds have found humanity again, and it’s up to Linnea Kiaho, a young woman from a backwater planet, and Iain sen Paolo, one of the Pilot Masters, a hereditary guild of jump pilots, to save the day.
CRY WOLF by Patricia Briggs (Ace) – mmmhmmm.
* This is the first in Patty’s new spin-off series about Charles Cornick (a secondary character in MOON CALLED) and Anna Latham (a werewolf introduced in Patty’s novella for ON THE PROWL).
GALE FORCE by Rachel Caine (Roc)
UNDERGROUND by Kat Richardson (Roc)
WANDERLUST by Ann Aguirre (Ace)
MIDNIGHT’S DAUGHTER by Karen Chance (onyx)
* This is a spin-off from Karen Chance’s Cassie Palmer series,
featuring Dorina (aka Dory), the half-human, half-vampire daughter of Lord Mircea (a character in the Cassie books). In MIDNIGHT’S DAUGHTER, Dory teams up with Master Vampire Louis-Cesare (mentioned in TOUCH THE DARK) to take on Dracula, her uncle.
MAGIC TO THE BONE by Devon Monk (Roc)
*This is the first in a brand new urban fantasy series, from a new author who’s written a lot of short fiction. It’s got a compelling heroine, terrific writing, and a dark, sexy magical world unlike any I’ve ever read before. The heroine, Allie Beckstrom, and her strong voice immediately drew me into her story. In Allie’s world, Portland, Oregon is a city where magic is another energy source, like electricity, except the price you pay for using it doesn’t come from your checking account, but your body and soul. It’s a place where buildings stink of old magic-‘and casting a spell might give you a three-day migraine, or take away the memory of your first kiss.
HEIR TO SEVENWATERS by Juliet Marillier (Roc) – I’ve read the trilogy that precedes this book and it is beautiful, particularly the first book. I asked Anne to elaborate on this story.
*The new Juliet Marillier, HEIR TO SEVENWATERS, is indeed a return to Juliet’s Sevenwaters series. The main character is one of the daughters of Sean (Sorcha’s brother, if I’m remembering correctly) and Aisling. I thought it was beautifully written and wonderfully romantic–a very satisfying return to the world.
THE DEMON KING AND I by Candace Havens (trade- Berkley)
*It’s paranormal women’s fiction, very light and frothy. First in a series about 4 sisters who are heiresses and party girls (and have a secret life protecting the world from paranormal creatures from other dimensions). In this book, the main relationship is between the oldest sister and the demon king–hence, the title.
If you like this kind of information, let me know what other houses/editors you would like to hear from.