Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Reading Outside the Box
I have a confession to make: I'm a boring reader.
I read three kinds of books - science fiction, epic fantasy, and urban fantasy. I sometimes will pick up a paranormal romance, but it's generally more toward the UF side of the house than the romance side of the house. Sci-fi romance often leaves me cold. (And actually, maybe a little pissed off. Like, you went to all that trouble and world building just to be a backdrop to some banging? *shakes an angry fist* What about the galactic alliance? What about the AI that helped the protagonist? Grrr.)
Recently, however, there's an influx of genre-benders that have shaken me out of my rut. Now it's sort of like Pokemon - I've gotta read 'em all.
The union of noir and urban fantasy is a happier one for me. For example, City of the Lost by Stephen Blackmoore is freakin' awesome. If Tarantino did a zombie movie, it would have a protagonist like Joe Sunday. It's dark, violent, and sometimes wickedly funny. I enjoyed it from start to finish and I hope there's more. (My review of it can be found here.) This book also convinced me that I need to start reading crime fiction. Of course, where the hell do you even start with that? Fortunately, this blog post by Kristin Centorcelli gave me five great places to begin.
I've also heard that romance thrillers are a big thing. I haven't picked up one of those yet, but I did pick up some research reading. I got The MacKenzie Brothers anthology from the awesome Liliana Hart for the romance part, and Rupture by A. Scott Pearson for the thriller part. I'm loving them both, so I'm going to have a high bar for a romance thriller when I get to that.
These genre-bending novels have given me the best homework ever. I can spot a 'good' military fantasy because I know military sci-fi and I know fantasy. I want to be able to spot the good noir urban fantasies and the good romance thrillers, too. (Plus, I'll have the added bonus of being able to snark the crappy ones.) I feel like I can only benefit by getting outside of my comfort zone and reading stuff I never thought of as relevant to me before. I highly recommend it.