Should Human Characters to Know about the ‘Others’?

This is a question I’ve been pondering lately as I work through plot issues in future writing projects. I’ve always been a secretive girl, I guess. The humans in Penton didn’t know shifters and vampires were living among them, nor do the people of New Orleans know about–well, EVERYTHING. Especially the historical undead which, I think, would freak them out in a serious way.

And yet…it’s intriguing, isn’t it, to think how the humans might respond? (And let’s not even think about it happening in today’s polarized political climate!)

In established series, it varies. There had been a fairly uneventful transition in the Sookie Stackhouse series, although there were religious groups rising up against the evil vampires, and that played a big role in the way the series played out. In Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville series, as I recall, the “others” were out and being dealt with inefficiently (no, really?) by the U.S. government.

In Mercy Thompson’s world, the fae had taken the bullet and come out first, and then were moved onto reservations that they proceeded to manipulate in a major way; the werewolves have recently come out. In Kate Daniels, the world is in a post-apocalyptic form with alternating waves of magic and technology that make an interesting backdrop–the poor humans are just trying to survive. At least I think there are humans. LOL.

So, what do you prefer?


So Here’s What I Read in 2017, and My Favorite Was….

I rarely make New Year’s resolutions because, really, who makes it past January? But a horrible thing happened in 2016. I read one book for pleasure. One. I read some nonfiction for book research. I wrote a lot. But I wasn’t making time to read.

So my resolution in 2017 was to read some books. I shot for 25 initially, because that’s about a book every couple of weeks. A funny thing happened along the way to 25, however—I fell in love with reading again. Oh, I still have the editor’s curse of highlighting every typo (even my own, which I never see until the book hits print). I still have the author’s curse of trying to break down what does and doesn’t work in the book. But, still, I read—and finished the year with 47 books read for pleasure, and one for research. There were also eight novels whose titles I can’t divulge because I was judging them for a contest. Since most were not things I would normally have read (even though I enjoyed a couple of them very much), I won’t count them.

In no particular order, I read:

But Can I Start a Sentence with “But”? Advice from the Chicago Style Q&A. Okay, okay. Yes, I read a grammar style book for pleasure. I am a nerd. But it is the snarkiest, funniest style book ever written.

Storm Front (Dresden Files #1) by Jim Butcher. I had planned to re-read the whole series and include the six (at least) books I’m behind, but got pulled in other directions.

The Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews, books 1-9: Magic Bites, Magic Burns, Magic Strikes, Magic Bleeds, Magic Slays, Magic Rises, Magic Breaks, Magic Shifts, Magic Binds.

The Edge of Normal, by Hana Schank. This was a research book written by a woman whose daughter has albinism.

The Naturalist, by Andrew Mayne

The Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs, books 1-10. (I had previously read books 1-2): Moon Called, Blood Bound, Iron Kissed, Bone Crossed, Silver Borne, River Marked, Frost Burned, Night Broken, Fire Touched, Silence Fallen

In the Barren Ground, by Loreth Anne White

The Others series by Anne Bishop, books 1-5: Written in Red, Murder of Crows, Vision in Silver, Marked in Flesh, Etched in Bone

The Supervolcano Trilogy by Harry Turtledove: Eruption, All Fall Down, Things Fall Apart

The Mercy Kilpatrick series to date by Kendra Elliot: A Merciful Death, A Merciful Truth. (I have book three, A Merciful Secret, on preorder. It releases January 19.)

Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine (book two in this new series is in my to-read queue now)

River of Teeth by Sarah Galley. My only dnf for the year.

The Bone Secrets series by Kendra Elliot: Hidden, Chilled, Buried, Alone, Known

The Song of Ice and Fire series (to date) by George RR Martin: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, A Dance with Dragons

The North Water by Ian McGuire

Trackers by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

My favorite? Hard to decide. I had read the first two Mercy Thompson books quite a few years ago, so I already knew the players there. It’s still one of my favorite series. I really like Kendra Elliot’s new Mercy Kilpatrick series (which is suspense), set among a doomsday prepper community in the Pacific Northwest.

But the winner(s) have to be the five books of Anne Bishop’s The Others series. It is SUCH an addictive and inventive world, with characters and a building plot arc that sucked me in as a reader. Thanks to Miki for urging me to read it!

And on to 2018, where I set a high bar of 50 books and am on my second…

Did you tally your reads for 2017? Did you have a favorite book or series?