When did the third one come out? Damnit, I need to read that immediately.
For my own part, I’ve been interspersing stories out of Laird Barron’s Imago Sequence collection (which are good but I can’t really take more than one in a row) with various urban fantasy type things. For example, the latest October Daye book by Seanan McGuire, which was enjoyable but felt kind of toothless. At this point Toby’s nearly indestructible and I wasn’t really able to seriously envision her closest loved ones being in serious danger of death either, and the villain’s plot didn’t seem quite as momentous as in recent entries. But hey, I still like the characters and setting a lot.
Also, Lila Bowen’s Wake of Vultures, a weird west tale of a young half-black, half-native child raised by a pair of pretty awful human beings who inadvertently kills a strange man who attempts to attack her one night and finds that she can now see monsters (and the monsters don’t like that). She gets hired on as a cowboy due to her skills with horses and uncomplaining attitude but as she runs afoul of more monsters, it becomes clear her destiny lies as a monster hunter. And so it goes. Very vivid writing and an unusual take on the formula (plus the mix of monsters and western is less common than the modern day variety).
And the first couple of books of Chuck Wendig’s YA Heartland trilogy before I realized I’d failed to load the third book onto my Kindle (fixed now but I’ll have to circle back around to it). Some of Wendig’s usual tropes about cranky misanthropes and a world that rather drives that sort of personality, but the setting’s a fairly original take on the YA dystopia, with an oppressed underclass living in monitored, poor communities processing an aggressive and incredibly prolific genetically engineered breed of corn that covers much of the surface in order to supply the resulting materials to an overclass living in sky cities, the Empyrean. The corn causes horrible pollen storms, has pretty much killed other agriculture, is basically inedible and has toxins that cause all sorts of mutations and internal damage over enough time and exposure. And processing it is very dangerous as well. And then there’s the Blight, where your body starts being taken over by a semi-sentient plant…
Finally, there’s Mira Grant’s Newsflesh series. I picked up Feed some time ago because it was getting a lot of praise and I bounced off it hard. The opening scene felt like some sort of ridiculous extreme sports thing to me and the concept of bloggers as this dominant societal force was hard to take seriously. But later I discovered Mira Grant was a pen name of Seanan McGuire and since I’ve really enjoyed her other stuff I went ahead and queued it for another go, which I am finally getting around to. This time it stuck. Oh, I still find the blogger conceit a bit tough to take seriously, but I am willing to roll with it, and I dig the characters and all the little extrapolated details of the series’ particular take on zombies. And there’s a really chilling moment late in the book that I did not expect the narrative to have the guts to follow through with. Well, it did. And how. Now working on Deadline.