Saturday, June 19, 2010

Books w/Unique Character POVs

Today I thought I'd write about some of my favorite stories written from very unique POV's. Right now, I'm half way through Sandman Slim, which is what made me think about it.

Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey

This book is written first-person, present tense. Now, I have to say, I usually HATE present tense in a story...I do this, I do that...It drives me NUTS. But I heard good things about this book so I picked it up. I LOVE it. LOVE it!! Stark is such a unique character. A magician (think mage) that was sent to hell by his circle where he's been tortured, raped, and ended up a gladiator against all sorts of evil creatures for 11 years. He survives it all and comes back changed - he can't die, he has a key in his heart that allows him to move from one shadow to another through a room of doors, and he has a majorly pissed off attitude. He wants revenge. But his revenge may have to get put on hold because heaven, hell and the darkness are gearing up for a war. The descriptive writing in this book is nothing short of brilliant. And the story is just phenomenal. I'm fighting devouring it in a speed read that would make most people's heads spin, so that I can really appreciate its beauty. I think I love you, Richard Kadrey.
{And I think I need to put a little disclaimer on this one -- if you are devoutly religious and easily offended by the suggestion that angels might be complete badass dickheads in their own devout belief in God, this probably isn't the book for you.}

Undone * Unknown by Rachel Caine
This is a sister series to the Weather Warden books. Cassiel is an old world djinn who has been stripped of her powers. She's struggling to understand her human body -its functions and emotions - on top of having to deal with a powerful djinn she thought she killed. The story is from Cassiel's POV and its funny even as its sad, because she is so out of her element. I loved these books more than the Weather Warden series (which I think is fantastic) because of Cassie's struggles.

Mind Games by Carolyn Crane
This is the first in a new series. The main character is a hypochondriac who is recruited by a secret organization to fight bad guys using her fears. Its a brilliant concept and the story is fast paced with plot twists (some you'll see coming, some you won't). And seeing the world from the viewpoint of a hypochondriac just adds to the overall enjoyment of it.

The Dark Day Series (Nightwalker * Dayhunter * Dawnbreaker) by Jocelynn Drake
This is written from the POV of Mira, a vampire. A war is brewing between vampires and naturi (think bad-ass elves) and there are issues among the vampires themselves. Vampires are not portrayed as good or evil really, but they aren't exactly nice. Mira is fascinating because she is a predator, a killer and yet she cares deeply about those people she allows into her life. Awesome reading.

Elemental Assassin Series (Spider's Bite * Web of Lies) by Jennifer Estep
This is written from the POV of Gin, a sociopathic assassin with earth powers. She's a fantastic character - totally cold blooded when it comes to killing and yet she loves her 'family'. (Her real family is dead, but she was rescued by an assassin and his son.) When her mentor/handler/father figure is killed, look out! Gin is going to make people pay in the only way she knows how - violent death. I love this series.

Shadowfae * Shadowglass by Erica Hayes
I've already mentioned these in my last post about great books you've never heard of. They're written from the POV of faeries living in the human world & trying to survive. The writing in these will have you hooked from the first page. I dare you not to fall in love with them.

Hell's Belles * The Road To Hell * Hotter than Hell * Hell to Pay by Jackie Kessler
The first two books are from the POV of Jezebel, a succubus on the run from hell. She meets Paul, a cop, and falls in love. But she is a succubus and that plays out in her POV as she adapts to our world. Fair warning, there's sex in these books. It's incredibly well done & belongs there based on the story. The third book is written from the POV of Daunaun, Jez's friend (well, fuck-buddy) an incubus, who has issues of his own. Hell to Pay is currently being posted every tues. on-line at Ms. Kessler's website because of the outpouring of love for these books...

Void City series (Staked * ReVamped) by J.F. Lewis
I dare you not to laugh when you read these books. Seriously. They're written from the POV of Eric, the owner of a strip club and a master vampire. He has a bad temper and memory loss issues. AND he's just turned his girlfriend, her younger sister (a sex witch) shows up & makes moves on him, and someone wants him dead. His 'daughter' Greta is a scream. There's some grossness - like vampires produce blood instead of tears, saliva, and other body fluids - but Eric's POV with all its snark is priceless. And in the end, its a satisfyingly good story.

(now this next one may not be popular among some people but at least read my explanation)

Twilight * New Moon * Eclipse * Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer
These books remind me of books like Jane Eyre and The Taming of the Shrew (old classics with lessons) and that's why I liked them. I don't need to explain what they're about - you'd have to be dead not to know. But what I found interesting was Bella's POV. You have vampires (monsters) and werewolves (monsters) but the real monster of the story was Bella, the human. She was so self-centered in her thought process that she didn't care what her decisions meant for anyone around her. It's almost like she's dead emotionally already. The vampires and the werewolves were all struggling with their 'monsterness', but not Bella. She wanted to be one - in the end, she got her wish...but the thing was, she was already one. That's why I liked them.

Jaz Parks series (Once Bitten, Twice Shy * Another One Bites the Dust * Biting the Bullet * Bitten to Death * One More Bite * Bite Marks) by Jennifer Rardin
This is written from the POV of Jaz, an assassin for the government. She has a partner, Vayle, a vampire who she's in love with. Jaz is a seriously good assassin, with some serious emotional issues. I like these because Jaz grows as the series progresses, but she's still a cold-hearted killer. The books themselves are fast-paced with a good sense of humor and are just plain enjoyable.

Shiver * Linger by Maggie Steifvater
These are written from the POVs of the main characters & change from chapter to chapter. (I got to read an ARC of Linger because I sometimes help out my sister who is a children's librarian with reviewing books for her library.) These may be some of my favorite reads of all time. They are brilliantly written and emotionally charged. I found myself talking to the books - a really good sign if you can get me to do that. Grace and Sam will make you weep. (I won't give away anything about Linger other than to say its as tragic and as good, if not better, than Shiver.) I can't even say enough about these books except that I actually didn't want to read another book after finishing them because I wanted to just linger (pun intended) in the story after I finished.

Cal Leandros series (Nightlife * Moonshine * Madhouse * Deathwish * Roadkill) by Rob Thurman
If you haven't read these, for God's sake go get them! They're written from the POV of Cal, a human/auphe (think evil elf demon). He and his brother Niko (if he was real, I'd be all over him) are on the run from the auphe. The later books add in POV from Niko and another character. (I'm not telling - read them.) Cal is snarky, angry, a kick ass killer (but he has nothing on Niko) and he loves his brother over and above everything else. They would die for each other. This is a series I've re-read every time a new book comes out. I recommend them to strangers in the bookstore. I rearrange bookshelves so that they're prominently displayed. That's how good they are. And, in a side note, her other books are equally good. (Chimera * Trick of Light)

Night Runner by Max Turner
This is from the POV of Zack, a 17 patient in a mental hospital who learns some very interesting things about himself, escapes & goes on the run. He's a vampire. Zack has no clue how to interpret the world around him based on his upbringing. And when he gets hungry, yikes. There's one point near the end of the book where he does something so shocking I just shrieked WTF? & scared the crap out of my 15 yr. old (then read him the entire passage because I just HAD to share). He thought it was epic. Definitely worth reading.

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