Several of my uber smart friends have been trying to get me to read an amazing author Kevin Hearne. He writes urban paranormal adventures. He main character is Atticus O'Sullivan, and who doesn't love a good Irish boy, and his dog Oberon.
There are oodles of places to go to find reviews and buy his books ... so I won't get into any of that. What I will say is that he is my hero.
Paranormal books are often written by people who throw everything away except their own (small) view of the world. Usually set in a fictional city. Blood, violence, sex, and vampires abound. The stories aren't complex and aren't intended to be.
Not so in the Iron Druid series. There is plenty of blood, violence, vampires, and a smattering of sex, but none of it is just because - it all exists for a reason. Atticus quotes famous poets, the Bard, and lines from great literature. The pantheons all seem to play (not so nicely) together. Each character has a unique voice and cadence and Atticus keeps up with them all. Plus he's got a sword and knows how to use it.
Because the author is so skilled, the books are richly textured, very involved, and yet flow easily into each other.
The only author I think is similar to Kevin Hearne is Jim Butcher of the Dresden files. Hearne has a much deeper story line and reminds me of good chocolate. Really expensive (read good) chocolate is to be savored slowly and each nuance enjoyed to the full. The over the counter stuff (think Hersheys) is still chocolate and still wonderful, but some of the nuance and delicate notes are missing.
Plus the stories, thus far, are set in the Valley of the Sun ... not too terribly far from my college stomping grounds and my current residence. To know that the author knows and accurately represents a location so well without making the story seem over-full of details takes amazing alacrity.
So far there are but three (just three) books in the series. The fourth is out in late April - and the wait is killing me.