Barnes & Noble posted their top 25 Paranormal Fantasy Novels of the Past Decade over on their blog today, and I relished reading through the list. Since I discovered the urban fantasy/paranormal fiction genres, for all intents and purposes, within that time period, I found it a fitting moment to examine which novels and/or series I might include on such a list. Most of the usual suspects make an appearance on the B&N list (some of them work for me, some of them don't), though I was a bit dismayed to find a couple rather glaring (in my mind) absences, foremost among them Robin McKinley's Sunshine and Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series. If you need a single book from the Daniels series, I'd go with Magic Strikes in a heartbeat. It, like a couple of others on my list, is a perfect book. And it fueled my passion for the genre like few other books ever have. Honestly, urban fantasy/paranormal fiction/call it what you will is very near and dear to my heart. I always return to my favorite books and heroines because they are where I want to be.
So. A list. I decided to go with 10 instead of 25, and I will say a couple or three surprised me by insisting on snagging a place on the list. Scrappy little books that they are. You guys will likely be wholly unsurprised by the books on this list (which are presented in the order in which I read them and not in order of preference). But I am curious as to what you thought of the B&N one, and whether any or all of yours appeared on it (or on mine).
Sunshine by Robin McKinley
I feel as though I have adequately addressed my love for this book in this particular forum. I am sure you agree.
Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris
This series picked me up when I was down. In a very real way. I am so happy I was able to tell Ms. Harris that in person not long ago.
A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb
Underrated and far too far under-the-radar, this literary ghost story is simply too fine to miss. A supremely touching and chilling tome.
Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs
Mercy is special. My emotions are close to the surface when it comes to this girl and her world. This one remains my favorite, though every installment is excellent.
Thin Air by Rachel Caine
I don't talk to enough people who've read Caine's Weather Warden series. I fangirled over it with Thea back in the day, and I remain very fond of it.
Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-Ready
Still one of the more unique takes on vampires I've read to date (and that's saying something). These vulnerable, obsessive-compulsive DJs make me laugh. And the story is super, too.
Underground by Kat Richardson
Noir crime series meets urban fantasy. She's a serious girl, but I like Harper just fine. This series grows and expands in very natural and compelling ways. And I do love those covers.
Prey by Rachel Vincent
DH led me to this series, and I have been a fan from the very first book. This one is my favorite for its complexities and rough edges. I have the last two sitting on my nightstand waiting for me to gather enough courage to say goodbye.
Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews
I don't think I've ever lost my crap over an urban fantasy book so fast, so hard as I did for this one. Gobsmacked is the only word that comes to mind. Kate . . . and Curran . . . and . . . my gob was so completely smacked.
Nightshifted by Cassie Alexander
The most recent addition to the list and it went down just like a tall glass of water in the desert, thank you very much. Discovering a series that works for you is such a thrill. Two books in and I can't wait to see where she goes.