Hi everyone, I'm the Beta Reader, and I am writing today about a subject very dear to me. Since I am eagerly awaiting the final draft of the new Haunted Series novel The Old House, I thought I could help pass the time by recommending some other novels I enjoy. I do have a passion for reading, and while I read most every genre of book, I decided to focus my attentions on subjects akin to Alexie Aaron's works. This brief list will focus on paranormal stories, written by female authors, that feature a strong female protagonist. I've read more than fifty books just in the past two months alone, so I picked a very specific topic in order to narrow the list down a bit. And so, here are some of my favorite recent reads with the themes of Witches, Sorcery, and Magic.
I'm including links to the authors' amazon pages, so you can look over their novels and the synopses for each. Under these links, I will tell you my brief thoughts about each one.
I really enjoyed Harkness' All Souls Trilogy of novels. Spanning over 300 years, these books read like historical fiction. Though it's not history as we know it. This series follows Diana, an academic (and perhaps a bit more) and her discovery of a long-lost manuscript. The book also features the growing relationship between Diana and Matthew, a vampire. I am not drawn to vampire books, but this series was so good that I was accepting of Harkness' fanged character. The word count on these books is immense, but you are so drawn in that the pages seem to fly by.
The Twenty-Sided Sorceress Series is a modern story centering on a Native American woman hiding out from her former boyfriend. Some men will break your heart, but Jade's ex... Well, he wants to eat it. She sets up shop (comics and gaming) in a town full of supernatural types. Jade, herself, is not just a gamer girl. She's a sorceress. As the name implies, there is a tabletop gaming aspect to the books that I didn't have any real experience with, but it didn't stop me from enjoying the ride. These stories are addictive, but it must be mentioned that they are short. The sixth book will be available soon, so you may want to wait for that if you want to marathon the series.
Deborah Blake's Baba Yaga Series have become my second most anticipated books aside from Alexie Aaron's. Blake draws from Slavic folklore the mysterious and unpredictable character of the Baba Yaga. She puts a fresh spin on this old tale with her character Barbara Yaeger, whom you probably already guessed is a Baba Yaga. Although her type has a scary reputation - parents use threats of calling the Baba Yaga if their children misbehave - she is called upon for her help. The Baba Yaga in these novels is something altogether different than the trickster type of lore, and Barbara is just one of a sisterhood of legendary witches who kick ass and protect the innocent.
Alex Craft is a witch and a consultant for the police. Magic certainly seems like it would be a good tool to have to solve crimes, and Alex's magic is of the dark kind. She communicates with the "shades" of the dead. Alex is brought in to an investigation, by homicide detective Falin Andrews, to catch a magic-wielding killer. This series is one you can't put down, and I really enjoy the inclusion of one particular character: Death himself. The Alex Craft series is good Urban Fantasy, well worth checking out.
These are just a few of the books I've read in the last couple of months. I love to read, so being The Beta Reader is a perfect job for me. I am right there with all of you in my eager anticipation of Alexie's next Haunted Series novel. For my part, I promise that, when it reaches my hands, I drop everything and get right to reading. Mostly, it's just because I really want to know what Alexie has in store for her characters, but also, so I can sign off that the book is ready to publish.
Thank you for reading, and let me know in the comments if you have read any of these authors' books before or just have some recommendations of your own. I am always looking for a good read after all. Till next time, this is The Beta Reader signing off.