Books We Love

Books We Love is a regular feature here at Book Chick City. It’s where we discuss our favourite books; the books we absolutely adore, would recommend over and over again, and will keep forever on our bookshelves. I hope you enjoy and find some new-to-you authors and books to read.


My guest today is Abigail, who is the chick behind the fantastic blog, All Things Urban Fantasy. Abigail is a huge urban fantasy fan and her love of the genre shines through her blog, which is chock full of reviews, interviews and upcoming titles.

Abigail’s blog is one of my regular “go-to” blogs as I always find lots of new-to-me urban fantasy titles I haven’t heard of before. If you haven’t checked out her blog then do, it’s fab! You can also find Abigail twittering her favourite books too.

Find Abigail here: Blog || @Abigail_ATUF || Goodreads

Thank you Carolyn for inviting me to be a guest on your amazing blog. I feel that its only fair to warn you that I’ve only ever written one guest blog previously. But since inexperience and gross incompetence has never stopped me before…I give you my ‘Books We Love’ post.

In case the title of my site All Things Urban Fantasy didn’t tip you off, I love books that combine paranormal elements with modern characters in contemporary settings (Urban Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Paranormal YA, Contemporary Fantasy etc.)

Since Carolyn isn’t limiting me to just one book, I thought I’d share a favorite YA novel and a favorite adult novel, both paranormal of course.

SHIVER - Maggie StiefvaterSHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver is the first book in The Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy (Linger is available on July 20, 2010, and Forever will be released in July of 2011). In a sentence, it’s about a girl who falls in love with a wolf who can only resume his human shape during the summer

The deluge of Paranormal YA books that have flooded the market since Twilight came out has produced both good and bad supernatural love stories. In my opinion, Shiver was one of the few that was actually superior to Twilight. In my review, I described it this way:

“I can count on one hand the number of books that I have physically clasped to my chest upon finishing. As if by that action I could keep that feeling in my heart forever. Shiver is now one of those books.”

And I still feel that way.

Shiver is told from the alternating point of views of Sam and Grace, beginning each chapter with the temperature. I can’t tell you how that little number nearly made me cry as I watched it drop lower and lower.

Maggie Stiefvater’s werewolf mythology is very different from any you may have read before. Forget the lunar cycle and aversion to silver, in Shiver, everything depends on temperature. When Autumn fades in to Winter, Sam and the other wolves lose their human form until Spring. That would be a hardship for any relationship, but even just half a year with someone you love is something to cherish. But Sam and Grace don’t get to look forward many half year’s together, they get one. Maggie’s wolfs only change back so many times, for increasingly shorter durations, and by the time Grace meets Sam, it’s his last summer as a human.

The story is gut wrenchingly beautiful, full of tender romance, soulful characters, and lovely prose. Shiver is one of my favorite books of all time. If you haven’t read it yet, you can’t even comprehend what you’re missing. Go get it now and thank me later.

You can learn all about Sam and Grace and the lovely Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy at Maggie Stiefvater’s dedicated site.

Magic Bites US CoverMAGIC BITES (Kate Daniels, book 1) by Ilona Andrews

From poignant YA to pulse-pounding urban fantasy, it doesn’t get better then Kate Daniels. This was one of the first true urban fantasy series I read when I stumbled into this genre, and sadly I think it ruined me for most other series.

What do I look for in an urban fantasy series? A complex modern magical world, a main character with an as yet not fully realized magical potential, an alpha male counterpart who provides tons of romantic tension, and a compelling meta narrative that is strong enough to play out over several books. Why do I look for these elements? Because Ilona (aka the dynamic husband and wife writing duo Ilona & Gordon) Andrews showed me the near perfection of what the combination of those elements can look like: Magic Bites.

The alternate Atlanta where Kate lives is full of Weres, Vampires, Mages, and a host of other bizarre paranormal creatures.

One moment magic dominates, and cars stall and guns fail. The next, technology takes over and the defensive spells no longer protect your house from monsters. Here skyscrapers topple under onslaught of magic; werebears and werehyenas prowl through the ruined streets; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst of knowledge and wealth, pilot blood-crazed vampires with their minds. –From the description of MAGIC BITES

Kate Daniels works as a Knight for the Order of Merciful Aid (aka the paranormal cops). She has a semi mysterious magical heritage that plays out over the course of the series and, according to her bio, she specializes in “Killing things, with much bloodshed. Talking trash, infuriating authority. Driving Beast Lord crazy.”

Who exactly is the Beast Lord? He’s the leader of the Atlanta Shapeshifters Pack. Self control is everything to him and it’s the one thing he can’t maintain in Kate’s presence. Did I mention he’s a werelion? His bio reveals “While Curran’s physical power is overwhelming, he rarely has to use to it. He’s observant and shrewd and tends to use diplomacy and intimidation, breaking into violence only as last resort. He moves extremely quietly and enjoys sneaking up on Kate.”

The relationship between these two is always combustible, increasingly complicated, and imminently compelling. The best part? It gets better with every book. Grab them all and get ready to ignore every aspect of your life for the next several days. You’ll love them!

You can learn all about Kate Daniels and this pre-eminent urban fantasy series at Ilona Andrew’s dedicated site.

Thanks Abigail!


Carolyn created Book Chick City in July 2009 due to her love of books. A Brit chick obsessed with zombies, kick-arse chicks and sexy heroes. She's also seriously addicted to chocolate, shopping, and coffee. Her favourite genres are Urban Fantasy, Romance and Zombie Lit... Brrraaaaiiinnnnsss!


Dwayne August 3, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Not usually a fan of Ubrnan Fantasy but am warming up to the genre! :)


Laura Summers August 3, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Ok, you've convinced me I have to read Shiver, it sounds amazing. Adding it to the must buy list now.

I'm also a Kate Daniels fan – great series :-)


Ana C. Nunes August 3, 2010 at 3:26 pm

I was already curious about "Shiver" but after reading this I just have to get it ASAP.


Angiegirl August 3, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Yay for Kate and the Magic series! I love hearing why others love it as much as I do. Great post, Abigail. :)


Claire C August 3, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Shiver doesn't appeal to me at all for some reason but more and more people are recommending it – i may just have to give in.

Totally agree about the Kate Daniels series, i compare everything to it and hardly anything measures up.


Nikki-ann August 3, 2010 at 7:16 pm

I want to read Shiver and Linger. I've read so many good things about them :)


Rebecca @ DSB August 3, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Hi Abigail – I agree with your powerhouse picks all the way, and now that I've finished LINGER, I can add the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy to my favorite series lists.


Abigail [All Things Urban Fantasy] August 3, 2010 at 9:26 pm

Carolyn – Thanks giving me the opportunity to talk about some truly excellent books!

Dwayne – A lot of fans start slowly with paranormal fiction, but as it continues to spread into other genres, more and more people get hooked without even realizing it :)

Laura – Shiver is beyond words wonderful. and lucky you, you won't have to wait to read the sequel!

Ana – Shiver is one of those rare books that is actually better that what everyone says.

Angiegirl – Kate is tops in my opinion. Basically anything Ilona Andrews writes is golden.

Claire – Try Shiver. It might surprise you. And yeah, Kate ruined me for so many UF series. If I didn't love her so much I'd have to hate her for that. Mercy Thompson is another great one.

Nikki-ann – They are both wonderful. And you should check out her Faeries series.

Rebecca – I know were both die hard Kate fans, and now you're Wolves fan too. Awesome! Did you try Lament and Ballad yet? Ballad was another real beauty from Maggie.


Book Chick City August 4, 2010 at 6:50 am

Abigail – You're welcome – thanks for taking part! I have heard a lot of great things about the Kate Daniels series so think I will bump this up the TBR list :)


Serena August 4, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Shiver has been on my wish list forever. I may just have to break down and buy it with that a high of a recommendation…even though I have a book buying ban going on!


Aleksandra August 4, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Hi, Abigail! Great post! Magic Bites is already on my tbr list, but I wasn't really planning to read Shiver, at least not soon, but now you convinced me :)


Abigail [All Things Urban Fantasy] August 5, 2010 at 1:48 am

Carolyn – You have to read the Kate books. It doesn't get better in the UF genre.

Serena – It really is worth buying. Go for it :)

Aleksandra – Lucky you! You get to start two of my all time favorites. Very different, but equally awesome.


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Carolyn (Editor)
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