T5W: Gateway Books to Your Favorite Genre

Greetings Fellow Book Dragons!

This is a weekly meme within the book community that was created by Lainey of GingerReadsLainey, but is now hosted by Sam of Thoughts on Tomes.  If you’re interested in participating, find out more on the Goodreads group!

This week’s topic is Gateway Books to Your Favorite Genre!  These are the books that I think would be great introductions into the genres that I love, which include mystery/thriller and fantasy.  In no particular order, here are my selections.

1.  Written in Red by Anne Bishop

This is the first in a series following a young woman caught in the middle between a world inhabited by The Others (vampires, werewolves, shape shifters, etc) who rule the Earth while humans are considered prey.  The story is highly imaginative with great world building and well defined and developed characters.  There’s a little bit of everything that makes it a great introduction to fantasy.  And while there’s a lot going on, the tension and pacing is great, making it almost read like a mystery or thriller.  

2.  Now You See Me by Sharon Bolton

This one is great for those wanting to dip their feet into more gritty, psychological thrillers.  This series follows Lacey Flint, a detective constable in London, as she trys to solve the case of a copy cat Jack the Ripper serial killer.  While the descriptions of the murders can be graphic, the author doesn’t dwell on them to make you uncomfortable.  The horror is there for a reason and comes with the territory of reading a police procedural.  

3.  A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Do yourself a favor and get the second book in this series, A Court of Mist and Fury, at the same time you pick this one up.  Trust me!  When you reach the end, you’ll want to immediately start the second book only to be left with the biggest book hangover when you finish that one because the series isn’t finished!  It has the perfect balance of fantasy and action, while providing a great introduction to more mature romance.  This first book follows Feyre in a Beauty and the Beast retelling set in the faerie world.   As her feelings for her captor, Tamlin, shift from loathing to lust, she begins to realize that she may be able to play a role in stopping the evil that threatens to destroy the dangerous and beautiful world of the Fae.  

4.  The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

This is also a great introduction into psychological thrillers and the only standalone on this list!  Also in my humble opinion, the most underrated book that calls back classic thrillers like Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, Agatha Christie, or watching a Hitchcock film.  The story follows Ted who on a flight back to Boston from London meets Lily.  As the two strangers begin to talk, they casually reveal intimate details about their lives.  Ted admits that his marriage has gone stale, that he caught his wife in a betrayal, and wants to kill her.  Lily surprises him by saying she wants to help.  What follows is a reading experience with twists and turns that will have you guessing until the very end.  

5.  Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Harry Dresden is a professional wizard who consults with the Chicago police on a murder that seems to involve black magic.  The supernatural elements are imposed on this modern world in a compelling way so as to make this a fascinating mystery set in a rich alternate reality universe.  Harry’s sense of humor, his attitude, and his deeply held personal code of honor constantly put him at dangerous odds with both the paranormal forces preying on the city and the authorities trying to protect it.  There are currently 15 books in the series, so while it is a investment, it’s an immensely fun commitment!

So those are the gateway books into my favorite genre.  Do you have any?  Let me know in the comments.

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