Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Rachel Morgan v. Anita Blake

Lately I've been devouring paranormal mysteries in obscene amounts. I don't envision representing more than a few clients in this genre, but its something I really enjoy to read in my spare time. I love the limitless story lines, the creativity of the different worlds, and the moral complexity that fantasy characters can bring to a book just by their paranormal nature.

Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files is far and away my favorite series, but I'm also a fan of Kim Harrison and Laurell K. Hamilton. I've been debating which I like more, but after a bit of thought I realized that Harrison wins. The writing is superb in both series, and Rachel Morgan and Anita Blake are both awesome characters, but ultimately, I just love Harrison's world a little more. How could I not when it was a genetically tampered tomato that led to the spread of a disease that wiped out half the human population? I've always been suspicious of tomatoes (at least in their raw form).


Anonymous said...


I haven't read much from the genre myself, but I heard that Hamilton's stuff changed drastically as the books progressed and became something entirely different (the general consensus was it went from thriller to sort-of erotica). Of course, uh, that's just what I've heard. Haven't read them myself.

Liz said...

I too enjoy both Harrison and Hamilton. Anon is correct, the early Anita books focused more on the mystery and less on what was happening between the sheets.

I also enjoy Carrie Vaughn's Kitty series. Karen Chance's series and always purchase the latest from Charlaine Harris.

Jonathan Lyons said...

I've only read the first three Anita books, but I've read the four in the Harrison series, and I have to say its become more sexual in tone with each book too. I wonder if this is maybe inevitable when you're dealing with vampires?

Liz said...

I've read all of Hamilton's books, the Anita stories as well as the Merry stories. Read all of Harrison's books too.

I think the difference lies in how the authors choose to explore their characters' internal conflicts and motivations versus the same external issues. The increased sexual tone seems to be a direct result of that.

The sexual relationships serve as the catalyst for the book's conflict and not solving a crime or dealing with external problems.

Now, the latest Anita book, strikes a better balance between Anita's many relationships and her role as a federal marshal.

Of course, this is all just my opinion and I may be totally off base:)

Anonymous said...


I guess so. Vampires and sex always seems to go together, and i've never understood why. I know why it would appeal to some people but the idea of biting a person's neck and sucking blood out is far more life threatening than sexy.


Anonymous said...

This is a pleasant surprise--I wasn't aware you repped paranormals. :)

I notice that agentquery lists you as consdiering both SF and Fantasy, which I wouldn't have thought based on the client list at your agency's homepage (which is where I looked because the submission guidlines didn't seem to include genres...?) Care to shed some light?


Jonathan Lyons said...

I'm only interested in urban fantasy (paranormal mysteries in particular), or near future science fiction, and it absolutely must be set on earth. Otherwise it's not for me.

Maya Reynolds said...

Jonathan: First of all, thanks for the link to my blog. I appreciate it enormously. Your blog is one of my regular stops.

Second, we're in agreement on Butcher for first place and on Anita Blake in third place. However, the jury is still out for me on second place. I think, right now, Merry Gentry still has a slight edge on Rachel Morgan. Fourth place goes to Sookie Stackhouse (Charlaine Harris).

I ordered the new Harry Potter from Amazon and needed to spend $7 more to get free shipping. On the recommendation of a friend, I took a look at "Moon Called" by Patricia Briggs. I wasn't too thrilled by the werewolf cover, but she won me over on the first page with a protagonist who is a woman garage owner putting a rebuilt transmission into a Jetta. To paraphrase someone I know, "How could she not?"

Jonathan Lyons said...

Sounds cool, I'll definitely pick up a copy. Thanks Maya!

Bernita said...

"I'm only interested in urban fantasy (paranormal mysteries in particular), or near future science fiction, and it absolutely must be set on earth. Otherwise it's not for me."

You're on my "A" list - as soon as I finish and fuss the WIP.