Any minute now the weather is going to remember that it is January and it should be snowing. What better way to bunker down for the imminent winter chill, than with a bunch of great books? When it is blustery and cold, I love to delve into a good series, only coming up momentarily for air and hot cocoa. Here are some of my favorite series that you may or may not have heard of, but definitely top my book loving charts.
The Cinder Spires
Image Credit: Jim Butcher
This is the newest series to hit my shelves, but I am already hooked. Jim Butcher is a fantastic writer who has the chops to create an amazing series. Just take a look at the Dresden Files or the Codex Alera to see what I’m talking about. The Aeronaut’s Windlass is the first of The Cinder Spires series and it spins a steam punk tale of a mist covered planet, air ships battles, and talking cats. In the past, humans have retreated from the hostile surface of their planet to giant spires stretching miles high. The story starts with several unconnected characters getting thrust together amidst a burgeoning war between two spires. The book has a swashbuckling, Victorian era feel to it and shows great promise for the rest of the series.
Detective Inspector Chen
Image credit: Night Shade Books
I haven’t met many people who know Liz Williams‘ Inspector Chen books and it is a darned shame. These novels blend Chinese mysticism and sci-fi into a buttery smooth series of detective novels that I cannot put down. A friend of mine turned me on to the series and I read all of the books back to back. The series is named after the main character Detective Inspector Chen of Singapore Three’s police department. He is what is called a Snake Agent; someone who deals with supernatural cases. He’s partnered with Seneschal Zhu Irzh, a vice agent from Hell (Yes, he’s a demon). The unlikely pair work cases ranging from illegal soul trade to power hungry Goddesses. This series is such a refreshing look at the sci-fi/fantasy genre. If you are a fan of Asian mythology and mysteries, you really need to give this series a go.
The Long Earth
Image Credit: Doubleday
Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter teamed up to write this sci-fi trilogy. Terry Pratchett was one of my favorite authors, but I had never read Stephen Baxter’s work before. Now, I feel like I have shorted myself. The Long Earth books are fantastic. They take a look at what might happen if, suddenly, everyone in the world could easily and cheaply craft a device that would allow them to jump to alternate earths that were previously untouched by humanity. With endless space and resources now at our fingertips, what does mankind do? This series runs with the idea of travelers exploring a familiar yet alien frontier of our own world and makes us take a long look at our own humanity. It is chilling, awe inspiring, and beautiful and you need to read it.
Memoirs of Lady Trent
Image Credit: Tor Books
This series by Marie Brennan is a real treat for me. I’m a sucker for natural histories and adventurers like Roy Chapman Andrews (the real Indiana Jones), so reading faux memoirs about a Victorian-era woman becoming the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist hit the spot. The first book takes you through her childhood where she first became obsessed with dragons all the way to her first expedition when things go afoul. The books are beautifully illustrated with diagrams of dragons and sketches of her travels. If going to the Museum of Natural History and imagining wings on all the dinosaurs is your jam, then you’ll really enjoy the Memoirs of Lady Trent.
Featured Image: Swantower/TOR Books
What is your favorite series? Do you prefer sci-fi or fantasy to comfort you through these chilly months? Let us know in the comments below!