Go Ahead and Hit Me

Go Ahead and Hit Me

Tuesday I was stuck at the courthouse all day, waiting to see if I would serve on a jury. To insulate myself from boredom and also humans, I took a couple books. Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal, to practice my Spanish, the Da Vinci Code because I’ve been meaning to see just how Dan Brown hooks a reader, and Storm Front by Jim Butcher because I’ve been meaning to read it forever.

Waiting was noisy and tedious, two things that make concentration hard. So I brushed past the “good for me” books and went straight for the entertainment.

Boy was I entertained! Holy HADES, did I love Storm Front! Enough that I’ve already loaned it out, and turned the city of Tucson upside down and shaken to lay hands upon the second book.

Alas, it is nowhere to be found. The used bookstore has none. The library’s copies are all out or on hold. Barnes and Noble has every other book, but not Fool Moon.


In my desperation as I roamed library shelves, I kept turning to other urban fantasy books. You know the ones–gorgeous, scantily clad girl on the cover looking badass, and the back blurb talks about her stunning werewolf mate or her demon lover? Yeah, no. Not for me. (That whole alpha business isn’t even true, guys!)

It’s not that I hate romance (anymore) I told my friend. I just…want more. Want most, actually–unless I am in the middle of an extremely rare romance-kick, I want most of the book to NOT be about love. I have nothing against love or characters falling in it, but it’s not what I’m there for. My friend understood what I was trying to say. She said I wanted to avoid the squishy.

YES. That.

It hit me, though, when I realized I was looking for male author or male main character names, that I too have fallen victim to the cannibalistic llama narrative. I don’t like to read about women. Except…

My favorite character in the Wheel of Time series is probably Nynaeve. It’s Eilonwy in the Chronicles of Prydain. Éowyn is not my favorite in LOTR, but she probably would be if she were in it more. I do know my favorite scene in the trilogy is when she takes off her helmet on the Pelennor. Then there’s Honor Harrington, Karrin Murphy from the Dresden Files…I could most certainly go on.

Okay, so maybe I only like women as written by men?

Nope, that’s not it either. I love Cordelia Vorkosigan, and Ekaterin, and–well, there’s not a LMB female character I can think of who ISN’T well-written and awesome. Cavilo? Magnificent. I adore Amelia Peabody with all my soul. Anna Pigeon, Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr, Hermione Granger, Molly Weasley, Minerva McGonagall, Beka Cooper, Laura Ingalls, Bet Yeager, Lessa, Meg Murry, V.I. Warshawski, Kinsey Milhone, Agnes from Agnes and the Hitman–all women written by women and I LOVE THEM.

I love good books written by and about women! Who knew?

The problem is, I get tired. I get lazy. When I’m not familiar with an author, I judge by covers and back cover blurbs, knowing that they are not generally reliable. But what else do I have, when I’m standing there in the library?

This or this? I know which one is more likely to suit my tastes. (A question–Who ARE these books being marketed to?)

So I went looking for a copy of Fool Moon online, and unsurprisingly landed on Amazon. Which had suggestions, if I like the Dresden Files.

Those books with the awful covers I don’t think I could stand to be seen in public with? Some of them sound pretty damned good.

So hit me. What books am I going to be sorry I missed just because some marketing whiz stuck an anatomically-impossible a-brisk-wind-could-blow-her-over-let-alone-a-vampire on the cover?

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Writer, mom, widow. Anything else is transitory.

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6 comments on “Go Ahead and Hit Me
  1. Deborah says:

    LOL..The old saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” comes to mind. Or maybe someone needs to go into making better covers for books?

  2. gnarlycat says:

    Well, if you don’t mind YA, I really enjoyed the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage, although I thought the covers were pretty stupid looking. I wouldn’t have read them if they weren’t recommended to me by someone else first. For adult books, my favorite thing I’ve read this year is ‘The Magicians’ by Lev Grossman, although that book has a perfectly fine cover that I don’t think would particularly off-put anyone.

    • KD says:

      I do NOT mind YA–sounds good. And I’m not actually looking for bad covers, so I’ll check out The Magicians too. Thanks!

  3. Siri Paulson says:

    Okay, I am not so much into urban fantasy (though I do need to get Fool Moon at some point). Exception: I am so into Neil Gaiman. But I LOVED that article you linked about the cannibalistic llamas.

    General SF&F I’ve recently liked that is by and about women:

    – just about anything Elizabeth Bear writes has a strong FMC. My fave is the trilogy that starts with Hammered. But come to think of it, Blood and Iron is contemporary fantasy…with two Faerie courts to boot.
    – The Steel Seraglio – Mike Carey, Linda Carey, and Louise Carey (hey, 2/3 ain’t bad). Fantasy. Notable because almost all the characters are women – see my review at TSR for more.

    YA SF&F ditto:

    – The Way We Fall – Megan Crewe. Apocalyptic influenza pandemic sweeps through an island community, and they’re cut off from the mainland and must struggle to survive. But despite that summary, it’s character-focused on the FMC.
    – Half World – Hiromi Goto. YA portal fantasy, but the protag is a Japanese-Canadian girl, overweight and poor and not at all sure of herself, and what she’s being asked to do is rescue her mother from a nightmare world.
    – So You Want to Be a Wizard (and lots of sequels) – Diane Duane. Girl + boy MCs, but they’re just friends.

    Not that I really answered your question… >_>

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