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Friday, April 25, 2014

Fave Friday: Our Favorite Non-Human Species is....

I'm a fan of paranormal, so it's always fun to give some brain cells over to the task of pondering the pros and cons of my most-loved species.

Before I give my rundown, here's what some of my fellow Lady Scribes had to say:

Jennifer Lohmann: "I don't read a lot of paranormal novels, but when I do, I always root for the werewolves. Twilight, True Blood books, Anita Blake, I don't care. I always wanted the women to end up with the wolves."

Let's have a howl for Richard, Jacob, and Alcide! And insist that Jennifer check out Adam Hauptman in the Mercy Thompson novels, yes?

Kat Latham (whom I must confess is in a little critique group with me so I have forced my books on her): "I'm not a paranormal reader either, but I will read absolutely everything my fellow Lady Scribe Suzanne Johnson writes. I apparently have a thing for strong cops who shift into shaggy dogs. And that's a sentence I never thought I'd write."

And Alex Warin thanks you from the bottom of his monosyllabic, shaggy heart! I think that's a shapeshifter vote.

Samantha Grace: "I like witches best, because they can hold their own with the vamps and wolves. Plus, I like that they are most similar to humans, and I don't like that humans are usually the weaker ones in paranormal. I'd like to see regular humans kick some vampire tushie when they are attacked."

I'll consider that a vote for Rachel Morgan, my favorite twitchy witch, as her demon pal Al calls her.

My personal favorites? In ascending order....

No. 5: Witches. I'm not a big witch fan, or I wasn't until Rachel Morgan won me over, so witches get the nod purely on Rachel's strengths. Although I must say I don't think much of her fellow witches for the most part. I do love that the witches in Kim Harrison's Hollows series are both male and female, as are the wizards in the Dresden series and in my own. I very much dislike the wizards are men/witches are women dichotomy. But I do like magic-makers because the mythology is broad enough that my favorite authors can take it and twist it into new ways to make it their own.

No. 4: Werecritters and Shapeshifters. I'll lump these together because, like urban fantasy and paranormal romance, they share a lot of mythology and DNA. In my mind, the two (much like witches and wizards) are not interchangeable. A werewolf or other were-animal, for me, has shifts that are tied to the moon, exact a physical toll, and create a dual nature. Think of Adam or Alcide or Anita's Richard, who have personality traits and quirks associated with their wolves or with the moon cycles. They can make other werewolves or animals. In my books, the only were-animal, so far, is Jake Warin.
     A shapeshifter, on the other hand, can shift at will without a physical toll. He or she can take on different shapes, or might be limited to one. There's usually magic involved, not a virus or lycanthropic strain. Shifters, in my own books, are born and not made. So Rene Delachaise is a merman or aquatic shifter, while Alex is a canine shifter.

No. 3: Elves. Elves fascinate me because, like witches and wizards, the mythology is so broad that it gives authors huge leeway in developing their worlds. So you have the ethereal elves of Tolkien, the stubborn and wild elves of the Hollows, or my own elves, who are political snakes.

No. 2: Wizards. John Taylor (from Simon R Green's Nightside series) and the Harrys (Dresden and Potter) sealed that deal. If they were more sexy than clever they might have pushed the fanged ones aside, but not quite (sorry DJ) so....

No. 1: Vampires. Jean-Claude made me fall in love, and the Black Dagger Brotherhood sealed the deal. And, yeah, I'm fond of my Penton boys and girls.

 I'm only beginning to write about the fae as they enter the picture in my Sentinels world, and am having great fun with them. So maybe next time I make this list....

What's YOUR favorite species?


  1. Replies
    1. I think wolves have been done so well, it's hard to come up with a new mythology for them, Sandy. I mean, it's hard to improve on Patricia Briggs' wolves! Big cats have gotten really popular in the last few years.

  2. Vampires have always been my favorite paranormal species, ever since I watched Dark Shadows as a teenager.
    jmcgaugh (at) semo (dot) edu

    1. Barnabas Collins was kind of creepily sexy back in the day, right? Now, I see photos of the late J. Frid and go "eek." Tastes change :-), but I probably got my start with vampires there, too. (And with Anne Rice.)

  3. Replies
    1. There are definitely some sexy wolves out there. Adam Hauptman is my favorite. I liked Richard (LKH) and Alcide (Sookie) until they became total domineering jerks....which is a hazard with an alpha wolf, I guess!

  4. Although I really like the other ones on your list, my favorite would be wizards/witches.

  5. I'm a sucker for dragon stories. Anne McCaffery, Thea Harrison, Melanie Rawn, Deborah Cooke have all written great stories with dragons.

    But shapeshifters, vampires, elves are all a close second!

  6. I'm really fond of shifters ( wolves yes but not only) i guess it's one of the reason i love Kate Daniels serioes because we see so many different kind from jaguar too mangoose^^ and the big bad one isn't not always the one you thing because they all drop in front of doctor because when the bagger isn't happy, hell is near^^

    i can't really put the others in order between faes, vampires or witches they are all in a tie for second place it really depensds on my mood

  7. Dragons then werewolves! I am getting ready to reread Anne McCaffery's Pern series.

  8. Love dragons & certain unicorns. Elves, too.

  9. Vampires for sure is my top.. Lately I've been getting into angels and dragons.. Always loved werewolves,. Never read anything with Elves any suggestions?

  10. Even though I enjoy reading about all types of paranormal creatures, my favorite is the vampire.

  11. I've always loved all types but I'll have to go with shifters as my fav. :)

  12. I love the magic of wizards & witches. I think I have wand envy. Though in truth very few actually have wands.

  13. You've listed many of my favorite books! I like most non-human species, but my favorite would be grim reaper. Darynda Jones has a wonderful series, Charley Davidson, which stars the grim reaper as the main character. Kalayna Price also has a series, Alex Craft, with a grim reaper character. :)

  14. Witches and wizards get my vote!!!

  15. I like just about any paranormal / supernatural being, but my first love has always been vampires. I think I like the whole being of the night thing, since I'm a total night owl. :D My favorite vampires are Lara Adrian's, she puts such a great spin on the common mythology.