I haven’t done a First-Sentences Friday in a while, and I have a backlog of books, so…you know what that means!
I’m a big fan of first sentences. I don’t judge a book by its first sentence–that’s too much pressure to put on a dozen or less words, after all. But I appreciate a grabber of a first sentence when I see it.
These books aren’t all first-sentence grabbers…but they’re good reads, and a big variety of reads. And I’m giving a commenter his or her choice of any five of these. Comments through midnight tonight only, so don’t dilly-dally!
So, what’s in the grab bag today….?
1–“Wellington Thornhill Books, Esquire, had never heard an explosion that close before. Considering the ringing in his ears, he would most likely never hear another one like it again.” — Phoenix Rising, by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris (steampunk)
2– “The fairies flew suspended on wires, despite their tendency to get tangled together. Beatrice Shakespeare Smith, busy assessing her reflection in the looking glass and thinking perhaps she shouldn’t have dyed her hair blue on this particular morning, turned to glare at them when they rocketed past the end of her nose for the third time in as many minutes.” — Eyes Like Stars, first in the Theatre Illuminata series, by Lisa Mantchev (YA)
3. “My name is Veldmr. I understand that in your language it is not a beautiful name, but in my ancient language, now sadly lost, it had a particular musicality to it.” —The Infinity Gate, by Sara Douglass (fantasy)
4. “It had been a long drive from Rochester. Despite the fact that Paige had made longer trips in a much crappier car, she felt every mile as if each one had knuckles to rap against her temples.” —Skinners: The Breaking, by Marcus Pelegrimas (urban fantasy)
5. “Imagine shoving a cattle prod up a rhino’s ass, shouting ‘April Fool!’ and hoping the rhino thinks it’s funny. That’s about how much fun it is hunting a vampire.” — Kill the Dead, by Richard Kadrey (and are those awesome opening sentences, or what!) (urban fantasy)
6. “Howls fill the night. The blasted hills smoked and the stench of char filled the air.” —At the Gates of Darkness, by Raymond E. Feist (fantasy)
7. “There was a naked woman on his boat. Logan Hardington shook his head and rubbed his eyes, but the picture didn’t change.” — Chance of a Lifetime, by Judi Fennell (paranormal romance)
8. “Without warning, all the candles in the room’s corners flicker and feint, as if a sudden gust has entered, but the air remains still. At the same moment, the hairs on my arms prickle and stand erect and I shudder; a cold breath descends on us, though outside the day is close.” —Prophecy, by S.J. Parris (paranormal literary fiction)
9. “I was sitting outside the Commodore’s mansion, waiting for my brother Charlie to come out with news of the job. It was threatening to snow and I was cold and for want of something to do I studied Charlie’s new horse, Nimble.” —The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick DeWitt (weird west)
10. “Mr. Dunworthy opened the door to the laboratory and his spectacles promptly steamed up. “Am I too late?” he said, yanking them off and squinting at Mary.” — Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis (time-travel sci-fi)
11. “‘Where do you want it?’ Hot vampire lips caressed my shoulder in a fall of sweaty nightblack hair, and his salty breath burned me.”–Blood Cursed, by Erica Hayes (urban fantasy)
12. “Sly Fores overheard an argument emanating from a nearby alley. His inner vigilante vampire paid attention.”–The Vampire Next Door, by Ashlyn Chase (paranormal romance)
13. “My sister Justine always believed that the best way to deal with your fear of the dark is to pretend it’s really light. Years ago, she tried to put the theory into practice as we lay in our beds, surrounded by blackness.”–Siren, by Tricia Rayburn (YA)
14. “Bree’s fingers tightened around the metal disk as she ran through the graveyard, zigzagging past leaning headstones. Her lantern swayed, throwing shadows on the crypt looming before her, its stone walls the color of bones.”–Awaken the Highland Warrior, by Anita Clenney (paranormal romance)
15. “It took the world just sixty days to end. And we were there to account for it–our omissions, our arrogance…” —The Fall, by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan (dystopian urban fantasy)
So…which five would you like to try? Post a comment with the five numbers. Note that some of these books might be ARCs (advanced review copies) and some are final copies. All are new copies, however. As always, +1 entry for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for a tweet or retweet. Start picking! Tweet