Category Archives: Fantasy

Dark Lord by Ed Greenwood

Title: Dark Lord

Author: Ed Greenwood

Call #  FSY / GRE

A writer and game developer is plagued by a series of dreams involving a dark fantasy world he has created for his work. Each night the dreams become more and more real. Finally, he awakes to find…they are! Pulled inside a dream world of castles and medieval imagery, he must fight to help a race of angel-like winged beings against the Dark Helms – black knights bent on destruction. He soon finds that his creative abilities have been elevated to the level of magic and that he is considered the most powerful of wizards: a Dark Lord!  

Recommended by: John

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Title: The Mists of Avalon

Author: Marion Zimmer Bradley

Call #:  FANTASY BRA

In this retelling of the story of King Arthur, Morgaine (known today as the sinister Morgan le Fay) recalls her version of the events surrounding this legendary tale.  Morgaine is descended from priestesses on the isle of Avalon, and becomes a powerful priestess in her own right.  Her aunt Vivian, who is the Lady of the Lake and skilled in the Sight, manipulates events to achieve (or circumvent?) the future she foresees, to the detriment of many of those involved.

Recommended by: Briana

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Ocean at the End of the Lane by neil GaimanTitle:  The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Author:  Neil Gaiman

Call #:  FANTASY GAIMAN

The fifty-something narrator returns to his childhood home in the English countryside. He takes a drive through the country and finds himself at the Hempstock Farm where he begins to remember things long forgotten, the haunting events that occurred there when he was seven. His friendship with a girl named Lettie Hempstock who tries to protect him from a deadly spirit who disguised herself as a housekeeper and took control of his mother, father and sister. This story has a low-key fantasy element with magic, compassion, loyalty and memories.

Recommended by:  Connie

Becky’s Best of 2013

Darkling by R. B. ChestertonTitle:  The Darkling

Author:  R.B. Chesterton

Call #:  CHESTERTON

I loved how this novel was Southern Gothic meets psychological suspense with a generous helping of horror on the side.  It is told in a flashback by Mimi, who is  telling the story of when she lived with a wealthy family just after college, serving as a governess/teacher to their three children.  This is a short, fast read where things go from uneasy, to troubling, to problematic, to terrifying rather quickly.  And the ending is fabulous!  We never know if we can trust Mimi and at the end we are left questioning everything we just read.  I closed the book and literally said aloud “Wow!”  In fact, I almost started it over again immediately.

NOS4A2 by Joe HillTitle:  NOS4A2

Author:  Joe Hill

Call #:  HILL

In this suspenseful, original and chillingly realistic horror novel, Joe Hill sets up an epic battle between our villain, Charlie Manx and a troubled Heroine, Victoria (Vic) McQueen.  Vic and Manx are among the few people out in the world who have access to the “inscape” which is a world of thought, where the science of the real world can be left behind.  This is an awesome, terrifying and thrilling story and it was just plain fun to read for this horror fan.  It is long but every detail and adventure are there for a reason.  Please, please, please read every single page, including after the acknowledgements in the “Notes on the Type.”  The story does not end until the last page with text on it.  That was one of the coolest things I ever experienced in reading a novel.

Golem and the Jinni by Helene WeckerTitle:  The Golem and the Jinni

Author:  Helene Wecker

Call #:  FANTASY WECKER

In this lyrical debut, Wecker combines fantasy and historical fiction in a cleverly told immigrant tale set in 1899 New York City.  But our protagonists are no ordinary immigrants – we have the Golem, a sentient creature made out of clay from Jewish Folklore and  a Jinni, a genie from Syrian folklore.  It is a serious look at folklore and immigrant life at the turn of the century but it is all packaged as a compelling and heartfelt story of two creatures looking for their place in a non-magical world.  This is a captivating and original story that reminded me of a combination of Forever by Pete Hamill (immigrant to NYC plus magic storyline), The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (dark fantasy with amazing world building and fluid storytelling) and People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks (Jews and Arabs working together to save something precious).

Recommended by:  Becky

Connie’s Best of 2013

Ocean at the End of the Lane by neil GaimanTitle:  The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Author:  Neil Gaiman

Call #:  FANTASY GAIMAN

The unnamed fifty-something narrator returns to his childhood home in the English countryside.  He takes a drive through the country and finds himself at the Hempstock Farm where he begins to remember things long forgotten; the haunting events that occurred there when he was seven.  His friendship with a girl named Lettie Hempstock who tries to protect him from a deadly spirit who disguised herself as a housekeeper and took control of his mother, father and sister.  This story has a low-key fantasy element with magic, compassion, loyalty and memories; where lost innocence can still be restored as long as someone is willing to pay the price.

Shelter by Harlan CobenTitle:  Shelter

Author:  Harlan Coben

Call #:  YA COB

After the death of his father, and his mother in rehab, Mickey Bolitar is now living with his estranged uncle Myron.  While adjusting to a new high school, he makes friends with Emma and Spoon (the odd ones) and the cool girl, Ashley is his girlfriend.  Ashley suddenly disappears and strange things begin to happen.  Mickey, with the help of his new friends, is determined to find her.  What he finds is everything he knew about Ashley was false and thus he begins to learn the secrets of those closest to him.  Action filled with interesting, likable characters.  This is the first book in the series.

The Obituary Writer by Ann HoodTitle:  The Obituary Writer

Author:  Ann Hood

Call #: HOOD

In 1919, Vivien Lowe, an obituary writer, is searching for her missing lover who disappeared in the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906.  In her grief she imagines him having amnesia because she cannot accept that he may be dead.  In 1960, Claire, an unhappy wife and mother (with one on the way), is obsessed with the glamor of Jackie O. and struggles to stay in a loveless marriage or leave with the man she loves.  This novel blends two stories that merge secrets of the past and the truths of the present with an emotional ending.

Recommended by  :  Connie

Tara’s Best of 2013

Beauty Queens by Libba BrayTitle:  Beauty Queens

Author:  Libba Bray

Call #:  YA BRAY

Oh no!  The contestants of the Miss Teen Dream beauty pageant have crashed on a deserted island!  But are they truly alone?  In this hysterically funny young adult novel, the girls find a way to survive in the wild and discover their individual strengths as they unravel the mystery of the island.

Ready Player One by Ernest ClineTitle:  Ready Player One

Author:  Ernest Cline

Call #:  CLINE

A wealthy and eccentric game designer has left his entire fortune to the first player to find the “Easter Egg” he left within his game – the all-consuming virtual-reality Oasis.  Will the egg be found by one of the independent egg hunters or the evil uber-corporation determined to exploit and ruin the Oasis for all?  Futuristic and dystopian, riveting and full of adventure.  There are elements of mystery, romance, fantasy, humor, action and drama.  There is truly something for every reader to be found within this book.

Feast for Crows by George R.R. MartinTitle:  A Feast for Crows

Author:  George R.R. Martin

Call #:  FSY MAR

Book 4 in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series is just as compelling as the first three.  Despite the length of the novels and the gruesome, gritty death of ALL my favorite characters, I keep coming back to this epic fantasy.  Martin has painted a far-reaching and intricate landscape of intrigue, power-plays, and double crossing in which there is no clear “good guy” or guiltless party.

Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienTitle:  The Hobbit

Author:  J.R.R. Tolkien

Call #:  FSY TOL

Tolkien’s classic has long been a favorite of mine.  Bilbo is a perfect “anti-hero”.  He is a coward who wants no part of any dreadful adventure, thank you very much.  He’d much prefer to stay home with his pantry full of food and a cup of tea.  However, with the help of 13 bumbling dwarves, Bilbo finds himself plunked right in the middle of misadventure after misadventure.  Yet, from giant spiders to shape-shifting bears to elvish imprisonment, he always emerges relatively unscathed and manages to save his dwarves, mostly due to pure luck and the possession of a magic ring.

Recommended by:  Tara

Betty’s Best of 2013

Bellman and Black by Diane SetterfieldTitle:  Bellman & Black:  A Ghost Story

Author:  Diane Setterfield

Call #:  SETTERFIELD

A thoughtless act, committed as a nine-year-old, influences a man’s whole life.  The “ghost story” part of this story isn’t particularly scary; it’s more of a cautionary tale.  Actions (past, present, intentional, unintentional) do come with a price.

Art Forger by Barbara ShapiroTitle:  The Art Forger

Author:  Barbara Shapiro

Call #:  SHAPIRO

This book actually educated me about the techniques used by old masters.  It is also about ambition and what a person will do to fulfill it.  I finished this in two days because I had to know the outcome of the mystery at the heart of this story.

Ocean at the End of the Lane by neil GaimanTitle:  The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Author:  Neil Gaiman

Call #:  FANTASY GAIMAN

An amazing allegory for childhood (monsters and all).  A middle-aged man visits his childhood home and his unremembered past comes flooding in.  Our childhood experience has more power over us than we realize.

Recommended by:  Betty