Thursday, May 10, 2012

SM Johnson ~Thursday Morning Coffee

Good morning, darlings, and happy Thursday!

We're a little late on the coffee today, mostly because I had a long coffee and hedonism morning with my husband.

Oh, what shall we talk about today? How about all-time favorite series books?

This week has been such a treat - I mentioned on Monday that I had the opportunity to be an early reader for my favorite author, JC Andrijeski, and read book 5 of her Allie's War series. So I've pretty much been doing that. I finished the book last night, with one of those sighs of contentment where a book has felt so real and perfect that reaching the end is like starting to grieve.
Pern series

I have been a voracious reader all of my life. I have loved Anne McCaffery's Dragons of Pern series, and Madeline L'Engle's Austin and Murry families, and The Chronicles of Narnia will most surely always live in my heart.

Anne Rice's vampire's turned me on my head, and I can't resist an Anita Blake installment. I couldn't stop reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy to save my life (once I slogged through the first 200 pages of book 1).

I enjoyed The Hunger Games as well as Fifty Shades of Grey.

Wolves of Mercy Falls
The adventures of Lee Child's character, Jack Reacher, are always satisfying. Reading a Spenser book by Robert B. Parker is as melt-in-my-mouth enjoyable as cotton candy. Maggie Steifvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy blew me away with its prose that was often as beautiful as poetry.

The first truth is, I love books. I have always loved books. And I especially series with well-written characters who change and grow and evolve. Where page one feels like greeting old friends.

The second truth is that the Allie's War series has made my list of lifetime favorites.

It still continues to baffle me that the Allie's War books haven't rocked the readership of the world. I feel very keenly, however, that this series will eventually explode into public view.

I urge my readers to be some of the first in the know - by visiting JC's page at Amazon and purchasing Rook: Allie's War Book One. Just start there. Is it worth five bucks for a reading experience that will lodge in your heart, encapsulate your dreams, and make you wonder how you ever lived happily without knowing these people? I think it is.

Allie's War collection
Or maybe you're willing to double your risk and spend ten bucks for a collection of books One through Four (That's what I'd do. It's a no-brainer, considering I'm one of JC's biggest fans.) In fact, there are parts of these stories that I want to re-visit over and over, so I'm eventually going to buy the paperbacks. I love my e-reader, but true book-love, for me as a reader, will always show in the form of needing to hold that paperback in my hands.

I can't compare Allie's War to 50 Shades of Grey - they are totally different animals - BDSM romance versus sci-fi/fantasy/apocalyptic adventure People seem to love Christian Grey's fifty shades of fucked up (myself included), but when I revisited Revik and Allie (Allie's War characters), I realized that Grey was just a stand-in for me while I waited for Revik to come into my life again.

I don't think I've met a more complex and damaged character, one who struggles more with how the pain of his past has been instrumental to creating the person he is today. He is a military leader, a lover, a fighter, a strategist, and a person who is so accustomed to living in gray areas that he sometimes really can't tell the difference between wrong and right.

JC's world-building is incredibly comprehensive. It starts slowly in book one, as we learn alongside Allie about the intricacies of seer culture, and how the world is evolving, including who Revik is, and who Allie is expected to become. Mythical beings, prophesied by seer culture, manifested in these physical bodies, destined to lead humans to the next level of evolution.

By book five, this world is fully familiar to us, and we can immerse ourselves in OMG, what's happening next?

JC warned me that book five is very long.

Yeah, whatever. It felt like a minute, or certainly not longer than it feels to watching a really absorbing movie. Couldn't even hazard a guess about how many pages or words it was, but it was perfect. And now beings my vigil for book six.

I do wish you all would catch up to me and join me in my vigil.

If you feel like leaving a comment, I would love to know about the books that dug into your heart and maybe even changed you a little from the inside out. Is there a character you read who feels like an old and beloved friend? An author who's next book you wait for and wait for, then devour so quickly that you wished you'd slowed down to savor the book more slowly?

Do tell, darlings.

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