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Paranormal Romance > Favorite Paranormal "Special Effects"

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message 1: by Anita (new)

Anita (AnitaW) | 146 comments One of the things that keeps me coming back to paranormal literature is the surprise of discovering new creatures and their novel abilities. I love when an author impresses me with an unusual and imaginative take on a paranormal creature.

So, my question for you is, which authors/books have impressed you with a very creative take on a paranormal creature?

I'll volunteer Jacqueline Frank's Nightwalker series for her version of lycanthropes. I love that she made their hair a tensile appendage. They can touch and grab with it, and it bleeds when cut. To change forms, it extends to envelope their bodies, initiating the transformation.

message 2: by Yz the Whyz (last edited Aug 16, 2008 08:40AM) (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 1020 comments Mod
I just started a new book by Nina Bangs called Eternal Pleasure, considered the 1st of a series called Gods of the Night.

She has a new take where the main male characters have dinosaur soul forms. It totally caught me off guard, and so far, the book has me hooked. I'll tell more when I finished reading the book.

message 3: by Lori (last edited Aug 16, 2008 09:31AM) (new)

Lori  (ModeratrixLori) I really like the Shadowhunters, Nephilim that are half angel, half human, in the Mortal Instruments books. Their magic is based on an elaborate system of tattooed runes which they apply when they need them. They then fade leaving behind faint scars.

These books are YA and classified as urban fantasy but a love story is somewhat central to the story and creates a great deal of angst and tension through out the books. I liked these as well, if not better, then the Twlight books. I can't wait for the third one to come next spring. The first book is City of Bones in case you're not familiar with the series.

Jael ~ *~ Syhren ~* ~ (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejael) I like Viehl's Darkyn vamps with floral/fruit scents that each one poses. They use them on the humans to subdue them. I also like the different powers they posses. Each one is very unique and different from the others. ex. Gabriel can call on bugs and use them as guides/weapons. Lucan has the power to break glass(when angry mostly) as well as his touch is literally death( he wears gloves)

message 5: by new_user (last edited Aug 17, 2008 09:39PM) (new)

new_user | 1389 comments Oh, good topic, Anita. I like to read those too. (I think I may give Franks and Bangs another chance after all, lol.) Viehl was definitely creative with hers.

Another one is Shana Abe's drakon. They're dragon shapeshifters who can also take the form of smoke and hear the gems in the earth. Neat. :D

message 6: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (Jen421) | 201 comments Great topic once again Anita! I enjoy all the different takes on vampires that different authors use. I especially like the vampire creation/origin myths that different authors come up with. Lynsay Sands has them as decendants from long lost Atlantis, and Ward made up her own society/mythology. I especially like Viehl's vampires as former Knights Templar.

This isn't a "special effect", but a supernatural species that is grossly underused in PNR. The valkerie. I have only seen them in Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series, but I love them!! They have quickly become one of my favorite supernatural beings. (I still have a soft spot for vampires...) There are tons of books about vampires, and lots of stories about demons, werewolves, shape-shifters, and witches, but next to nothing about valkerie or creatures from other legends. There are probably a lot of unused Norse legends, as well as legends from other cultures.

message 7: by new_user (last edited Aug 26, 2008 09:48AM) (new)

new_user | 1389 comments Viehl was quite ingenious with her origin myth. I like the legends/folklore too, Jennifer. There are a lot of books with demons, werewolves, and shapeshifters, but the trouble is there aren't a lot of good ones, lol. Slowly, the market's branching out from vamp though.

message 8: by Teresa (new)

Teresa (TeresaDAmario) | 95 comments I dont' know, I find tons of werewolves/shapeshifters and demon books that I love. I love Larissa Ione and Jaci Burton's demons, as well as Kresley Cole's new demon turn. For Shapeshifters, well, there are alot of those out there that are good, though most are still ebooks. I can tell you I like the cat ones especially by CT Adams and Cathy Clamp. I also love Nalini Singh's shifters. Talk about awesome! There's also some great shifter authors at Tease Publishing, Samhain and Freya's bower. Are there some I wouldn't read there? Yes, probably. The one that finally pushed me into writing shifters was Seeing Eye Mate, by AnnMarie McKenna. Though I see she is now leaning more toward Contemporary now. But her shifter series was hot. I Hear Lauren Dane is good (And is on my TBR list). And don't forget my fellow shapeshifter romance blog authors! We at SSR find that there IS a huge market for shifters, and not just the wolves!

I think part of the problem with shifters is MOST (though not all) of the shifter authors who are really good start out as ebook authors, and don't have the patience to push out into print, or else NY is very slow to let them push out in print?

Teresa D'Amario
Tigress By the Tail
SheWolf for buy links.
The tension is unmistakable, the action exciting, and the book will stay in your mind and on your shelf for a long time to come. ~Romance At Heart - Come join us where the natural authors of romance, er... shapeshifters hang!

message 9: by Virginia (new)

Virginia Count me as a fan of Nalini Singh's shifters! I'm really looking forward to reading her new one.

message 10: by rebecca j (new)

rebecca j (technophobe) | 124 comments Yz
I read Eternal Pleasure, and I loved the dinosaur soul shapes! But I can't wait to find out what the older incarnation was - I'm thinking something like demons or angels!

I loved the dragon/man in Yasmine Galenorn's series, as well as the fox shifter. The dragon's hair is under his control just like extra appendages.

I also like paranormal where humans have extra powers, like the Drake sisters and Ghostwalker series by Feehan.

And one of the most unusual descriptions of the fae has to be the ones in Rob Thurman's Nightlife.
Never thought of elves as a sort of demonic grendel!

Unapologetic_Bookaholic Yes. I agree. I love fantasy and PNR has opened a whole new whole for me. I only started reading this genre about 2 years ago. I really love the world that Sunny has created using the Monere race (they are originally from the moon), but mainly are shifters, some with amazing abilities I've never heard of. Basking is how they have to survive and live without giving away to much. There was an author I heard that was writing about a snake shifter! I wanted to read that book b/c I never heard of tha before.

I don't think any other genre, as great as authors are, can be as creative as paranormal stories.
PS I loved reading through the posts and hearing about the other authors. Most of who I have heard of but not read. Sounds interesting.

message 12: by Gina (new)

Gina (GinRobi) | 137 comments Anita, I totally agree with your comment on JF's Nightwalker series. It was definitely a switch from the norm and it's a switch I liked very much.

Gotta add Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files series. Harry isn't like any other character I've read. Plus, the different backgrounds on the vampires ie: White Court, Red Court and Black Court; their differences within their 'species' is an excellent twist. I adore that series and was crushed when the TV series was canceled. I've got season one on DVD!

message 13: by new_user (last edited Sep 26, 2008 07:05PM) (new)

new_user | 1389 comments Teresa, you were totally right about Larissa Ione. I'm so glad I read Pleasure Unbound. I'm looking forward to the next one in the series (2009 *grumbles*).

She created a detailed, catalogued underworld of demons, of all varieties, which is very cool. For example, the books focus on the incubi, and a lot of the authors that I've read have incubi as normal Joes who happen to sleep around, lol. I thought Ione wrote the incubi very well. Their nature leads them to be very sensuous creatures and among the incubi's weapons is the power to change demon species in order to accomodate whatever female. They go through stages of maturity, and since they don't care if the female's attached, the males of other demon species hate on them. It's all very logical, lol.

message 14: by Teresa (new)

Teresa (TeresaDAmario) | 95 comments lol

You're right, it's a long wait between books, but you wont' be disappointed. I've seen a little bit of a teaser for that 2nd book. Can you say HOT HOT HOT?

I can't wait to read the whole thing.

Teresa D'Amario
Tigress By the Tail
SheWolf for buy links.
The tension is unmistakable, the action exciting, and the book will stay in your mind and on your shelf for a long time to come. ~Romance At Heart - Come join us where the natural authors of romance, er... shapeshifters hang!

message 15: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (Jen421) | 201 comments Okay, this isn't a favorite, but a complaint.... Does it annoy anyone else when the description of a character, who is a vampire, includes "bronzed", "golden-skinned", "sun kissed", or some other euphamism for tanned? Hello?!?! They're vampires!!! They should be pale because they can't go out in the sunlight!!! J.R. Ward does this all the time, and it bugs me. If a dude hasn't seen the sun in three hundred years, he isn't going to be tan. Call me crazy. There are other authors who do this as well, she was just the one who popped into my head first.

Unapologetic_Bookaholic Jennifer: An explaintion for this "condition" is when a vamp is mature they can withstand the sun for small amounts of time, which over time can lead to a tan. If this isn't explained in the novel then I don't know if it applies in that author's world. This was explained in Keri Arthur's Riley Jenson Guardian series.

Otherwise a pale vamp is something that is to 20th century to me. I think that every generation has it's own version of everything. Now-a-days, from the few books I've read most vamps aren't described as being pale.

message 17: by new_user (last edited Oct 01, 2008 04:34PM) (new)

new_user | 1389 comments Jennifer, it's all entirely myth anyway, so it seems to me that it doesn't make much sense for authors to restrict themselves to the limitations created by another author. Bram Stoker's vampires are entirely a figment of his imagination, lol. To clone him again and again would pretty much cripple any creativity or new ideas in the genre (Stoker x1000), and who wants to read the same tired old tale, right? ;) Before the boom, it was expected that vampires would be pale, but it's authors who took a risk and began writing their characters as "tanned" and whatnot who set a new standard. Now it's no longer expected. The ones I've read involving darker vampires explain them as a species, rather than the walking dead. I liked that spin.

It allows more latitude too, I think, because many cultures have legends close to the vampire, and they are not necessarily so pale. Not-so-reflective vamps can blend into society better that way too, which makes it even more interesting. I was really happy to hear that vampires no longer had to wear gothic clothing. Whew, that was a relief, lol.

message 18: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (Jen421) | 201 comments No, those are interesting opinions, but not what I am referring to. We're talking, within the world the author has built, the vamps will fry to a crisp if sunlight touches them, and yet they're tanned... This does not fit. If they can go out in the sunlight, then it would be okay. I just want consistency in world building. If the vamps become crispy critters in sunlight, then they should not be tanned. It's as simple as that.

message 19: by new_user (new)

new_user | 1389 comments Oh, I see. You mean literally tanned and not a natural skin color?

message 20: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (Jen421) | 201 comments The way that its described, yes. If they were supposed to be hispanic or of some other dark skinned nationality, I would be okay with that too, but from the way characters are described... we're talking normal caucasians here. Ones who haven't seen the sun in a couple hundred years, give or take. I know it's a minor thing, but it bugs me.

message 21: by Teresa (new)

Teresa (TeresaDAmario) | 95 comments Hey, can you say SUNLAMP??? seriously, can Vamps use them??? LOL. I know, I'm wierd, but I just can't resist today. Maybe that's why I don't write vampires. LOL.

DarkHeart "Vehngeance" (DarkHeart) | 737 comments Furthering my crusade to convert the world to Adrian Phoenix fans, I have to say I love the world she's created. Nightkind are a fairly straightforward, but the Fallen bring an interesting new dimension, as does Dante himself as a creawdor (I'm undoubtedly spelling that wrong, but I don't have the book in front of me) giving him the ability to create and destroy things on a molecular level.

In Lara Adrian's Midnight Breeds series, I like the twist on her vampires in that they are all descendants of an ancient alien race.

And finally Gena Showalter's Lords of the Underworld series is an interesting premise with their various demons leaving with abilities/curses ranging from death, disease, promiscuity and the like.

message 23: by new_user (new)

new_user | 1389 comments DH, that Phoenix book does sound pretty good. :)

message 24: by Jess (new)

Jess | 173 comments I have the first Adrian Phoenix book added to my list, that looks pretty good!

message 25: by Teresa (new)

Teresa (TeresaDAmario) | 95 comments are Adrian Phoenix's books UF or Romance?

DarkHeart "Vehngeance" (DarkHeart) | 737 comments Adrian's books are definitely UF, but they do have some romance as well.

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Books mentioned in this topic

Pleasure Unbound (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Keri Arthur (other topics)
Adrian Phoenix (other topics)
Gena Showalter (other topics)
Lara Adrian (other topics)