May 16, 2010

Unofficial Best Authors You Aren't Reading: Rob Thurman

I'm not sure Rob Thurman counts as obscure. On one hand, she's made the NYT bestseller extended list twice. On the other hand, one of her series just got canceled. This makes me very sad as she's one of the few authors I buy immediately. I would seriously consider buying her books in hardcover, like I do for Tamora Pierce.

How did I come across Rob Thurman? Borders's 3-for-4 sale.

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Back in ye olden days, Borders would let you use their coupons with their regular promotions. This made Livi a happy consumer. Like, I was buying around $50 worth of books a month happy. It was a more innocent time, when I wasn't buying my own food.

So one day I'm at Borders, in Georgia, as I am visiting my grandparents and my entire extended family knows that I enjoy going to bookstores. I've found three books that are known quantities, but I need to find a fourth for maximum savings. Suddenly, this slim volume with pretty cover art catches my eye. NIGHTLIFE. I turn to the blurb, and I'm pretty much caught from the beginning.

There are monsters among us. There always has been and there always will be. I've known that since I can remember, just like I've always known I was one...

...Well, half of one, anyway.

I took it home with me and fell in love. Cal, the narrator, has a deliciously snarky voice. I adore it when authors play with point of view (c'mon, that's part of why Megan Whalen Turner is one of today's most awesome writers). And, well, Rob . . . she pulls off some pretty fun point of view tricks. (TRICK OF THE LIGHT and DEATHWISH, definitely.)

The Cal series also features a strong brotherly relationship. Niko holds his own, for all that he's 100% human in a world full of monsters. The Cal series is also a breath of fresh air in the urban fantasy genre, which tends to be dominated by female protagonists and vampires. (Not that there aren't vampires. They just aren't the focus monster.)

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I'll admit, I was bad for Rob Thurman's ratings and bought MOONSHINE early. Hey, I wasn't quite eighteen and didn't know better. I paid for it with MADHOUSE. I tried ordering it at my closest indie, but they wouldn't since it was a mass marker paperback. Of course, they didn't tell me this until I went back several days later to check. It ended up taking me three stores in two cities to get ahold of it, by which time I was a little rabid. I learned my lesson and bought DEATHWISH and ROADKILL at my ever trusty Borders. (It may be an evil corporation, but it's done good by me. Borders has my more than earned my loyalty.)

(Also, you can read my review of DEATHWISH. For further proof of my love of this series, MADHOUSE made my Best of 2008 list, alongside Maggie Stiefvater and John Green. I first blogged about the series in my second post ever.)

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She's also got a neat werewolf story in the Charlaine Harris headlined anthology, WOLFSBANE AND MISTLETOE. While I wouldn't rec an anthology for one story, most of the stories in this one are winners even if you don't know the authors' other works.

Her other series is the Trickster novels, which do feature a female protagonist. This is the series that got cut.

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TRICK OF THE LIGHT is set in Las Vegas and features what may be the world's most subtle roaring rampage of revenge. It's a fun, gay friendly fantasy with lots of action. What more could a girl want? Well, she could want all of the planned sequels.

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THE GRIMROSE PATH will come out as planned next September, but that will be the end. (That is, unless millions of people buy it, inshallah.) I, for one, will be sad to see the characters go.

I am, however, excited about Thurman's June 1 release:

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Back cover copy:

From Rob Thurman, national bestselling author of the Cal Leandros Novels, comes a sci-fi thriller that questions what makes us human, what makes us unique . . .

. . . And what makes us kill.

Ten years ago, Stefan Korsak's younger brother was kidnapped. No one knew who took Lukas, or why. He was simply gone. But not a day has passed that Stefan hasn't thought about him. As a rising figure in the Russian mafia, he has finally found him.

But when he rescues Lukas, he must confront a terrible truth--his brother is no longer his brother. He is a killer. Trained, brainwashed, and genetically transformed into a flesh-and-blood machine with only one purpose--assassination. Now, those who created him . . . will do anything to reclaim him.

And the closer Stefan grows to his brother, the more he realizes that saving Lukas may be easier than surviving him…

If there's one genre I like better than urban fantasy, it's SF. Especially SF involving genetics. Also, I think I've mentioned my love of assassins on IBWB before. It's like CHIMERA was written to ping my buttons. Plus, I love Rob Thurman and she's proven she can do brothers.

Do you like to burst into laughter every other line? Do you enjoy character driven action? Do you like your protagonists to be just a little bit insane?

Rob Thurman is hands down, one of my favorite authors. I'll be buying CHIMERA on June 1, but you don't have to take my word for it. After all, you have weeks to pick up NIGHTLIFE or TRICK OF THE LIGHT and give her a try. (I made it easy, after all. The cover images will take you to Amazon.)

This has been an unofficial message from IBWB's Best Authors You Aren't Reading.


  1. A national best selling author - *someone* is reading her books...LOL!!

    Still...a new discovery is a new discovery and it's terrific for you to share! I remember discovering Octavia Butler many years ago - clearly she was huge but I didn't know her work. Reading her backlist was so thrilling - like you, I felt like I was Indiana Jones in the library, uncovering a very special artifact.

    Thanks for the rec~

  2. which series has been cancelled? is it trick of light?

  3. That's why I made this one unofficial!

    @Dannie: Yeah, it was TRICK OF THE LIGHT. Cal is safe.

  4. Gah, I love this feature you've got going here - it's always lovely to discover new authors. These books look really good - thanks for the tip.

    - Rebecca

  5. Never heard of Rob Thurman. I'm a bad librarian! Thanks for the recommendation.


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