It’s been over a month now since Lost Girl's wacky gang of misfit Fae (as well as an awesome human or two) have delighted us with their banter, fighting bad guys, and just generally entertaining us with the twists and turns of life on the less-than-normal side of things. If you haven’t started watching the series from the beginning again and maybe need a suggestion or two of what to read in the meantime, look no further!
Over the three seasons of Lost Girl, we’ve seen all manner of Fae on the small screen. From Baba Yaga to Bacchus, from Sirens (Hale!) to the fearsome Garuda, the creators have brought us world myths and blended them into the lives of the unaligned Succubus and her cohorts. With season four on the horizon, we know there will be a lot more in store for us, but other than our suspicions about Odin, there is definitely still plenty of room for more mythological surprises yet to come. Here are a few more suggestions that can compare in their expansive content of supernatural beings:
What to Read
Charlaine Harris’s Dead Until Dark (et al). Harriss’ insanely popular Sookie Stackhouse series has recently come to a close. For me, this is the best time to start a series, when you know there is a definitive end, plus you don’t have to wait for the next book to release. Harris has taken lots of flack about how she ended the series, but as readers, what we should take from these books is the sheer entertainment value they offer and just go with it.
Sookie Stackhouse is a waitress in Bon Temps, Louisiana. She seems pretty content with her life, except that supernatural occurrences keep falling in her path, leaving her a very unsettled woman throughout the series. In these books, Harris give us not only vampires, but ghosts, fairies, and were-....well, everything. While Sookie struggles to get back to her favourite activities of waitressing and sunbathing, readers can enjoy a little southern charm in the backwoods of Louisiana. If you haven’t read any of these books yet, now’s the time to grab a pitcher of lemonade, a copy of the book(s), and find yourself a porch swing.
From Dead Until Dark:
I’d been waiting for the vampire for years when he walked into the bar.
Ever since vampires came out of the coffin (as they laughingly put it) four years ago, I’d hoped one would come to Bon Temps. We had all other minorities in our little town - why not the newest, the legally recognized undead? But rural northern Louisiana wasn’t too tempting to vampires, apparently; on the other hand, New Orleans was a real center for them - the whole Anne Rice thing, right?
It’s not that long a drive from Bon Temps to New Orleans, and everyone who came into the bar said that if you threw a rock on a street corner you’d hit one.
hough you better not.
But I’d been waiting for my own vampire.
Jim Butcher’s Storm Front (et al). I’ve got four words for you: Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. Harry (and his creator, Butcher) have been much maligned about the character’s tendencies towards sexism. If one can look beyond this small flaw (and understand it's more about a need to be chivalrous than anything else), it’s easier to see the beauty in the writing. Butcher can set a scene so well, you feel like you’re part of it. Through the story, you’ll find rival vampire courts, trolls, fairy queens, and so much more.
Harry Dresden is a pretty honest man. He doesn’t try to pretend he is something other than what he is and even goes so far as to advertise it in the yellow pages. For the only wizard in Chicago with such an ad, you’d think business would be booming, right? But this wizard-for-hire is always bordering on being broke. Despite this, he is one busy man, trying to keep the less desirable elements, not to mention a gangster or two, from wreaking havoc on the city streets.
Quote from Storm Front:
The mailman walked towards my office door, half an hour earlier than usual. He didn’t sound right. His footsteps fell more heavily, jauntily, and he whistled. A new guy. He whistled his way to my office door and the fell silent for a moment. Then he laughed.
Then he knocked.
I winced. My mail comes through the mail slot unless it’s registered. I get a really limited selection of registered mail, and it’s never good news. I got up out of my office chair and opened the door.
The new mailman looked like a basketball with arms and legs and a sunburned, balding head, and he stood chuckling and reading the sign on the door glass. He glanced at me and hooked a thumb towards the office glass. “You’re kidding, right?”
I read the sign (people change it occasionally), and shook my head. “No, I’m serious. Can I have my mail please?”
“So, uh. Like parties, shows, stuff like that?” He looked past me, as though he expected to see a white tiger, or possibly some skimpily clad assistants prancing around my one-room office.
I sighed, not in the mood to get mocked again, and reached for the mail he held in his hand. “No, not like that. I don’t do parties.”
He held on to it, his head tilted curiously. “So what? Some kinda fortuneteller? Cards and crystal balls and things?”
“No,” I told him. “I’m not a psychic.” I tugged at the mail.
He held onto it. “What are you then?”
“What’s the sign on the door say?”
“It says ‘Harry Dresden. Wizard.”
“That’s me,” I confirmed.
Kevin Hearne’s Hounded (et al). Trust a teacher (Hearne) to take some of the things we learned in school and turn them into major plot points in a series of books. That’s exactly what much of The Iron Druid Chronicles are, though with an impish twist throughout. The stories journey through Celtic lore, the Old Norse landscape, and elements of Native American tales that are sometimes funny, sometimes creepier than all heck.
Hearne’s Atticus O’Sullivan is a Druid (and part of the reason I was so excited to see Massimo show up on Lost Girl this season.) He comes across as a contemporary health nut, running a specialty bookstore and creating herbal remedies for his patrons. But he is an old soul, to say the least, and with that has left a trail of ticked off enemies along the way. Now though, it seems that they are all looking for payback, starting with Aengus Og of the Tuatha Dé Danann.
A separate mention is necessary here for Atticus’s companion, his Irish wolfhound, Oberon. This pooch is not only fiercely loyal to his master but has, at times, a peculiar worldview and some serious issues with delusions of grandeur. And the ability to speak. In the audio version, this character really steals the show, adding to the generous amount of humour infuse into its pages.
Quote from Hounded:
There are many perks to living for twenty-one centuries, and foremost among them is bearing witness to the rare birth of genius. It invariably goes like this: Someone shrugs off the weight of his cultural traditions, ignores the baleful stares of authority, and does something his countrymen think to be completely batshit insane. Of those, Galileo was my personal favourite. Van Gogh comes in second, but he really was batshit insane.
Thank the Goddess I don’t look like a guy who met Galileo—or who saw Shakespeare’s plays when they first debuted or rode with the hordes of Genghis Khan. When people ask how old I am, I just tell them twenty-one, and if they assume I mean years instead of decades or centuries, then that can’t be my fault, can it? I still get carded, in fact, which any senior citizen will tell you is immensely flattering.
(N.B. Luke Daniels reads for the audiobook version; he does a wonderful job of capturing the tone needed for the many varying characters. Jim Butcher’s Dresden series also has great audiobooks, read by James Marsters. It’s definitely a series that improves both in the overall storyline and in Marster’s interpretation of it.)
What to Watch
Supernatural: Brothers Sam and Dean Winchester travel the country, searching for, and battling with, all kinds of, you guessed it, Supernatural entities. The storylines are sourced in urban legend, which always makes for a certain amount of spookiness. In the few episodes I’ve personally seen, I don’t think there is a good and bad aspect for the supes, as there is in all of the books mentioned above. The show is heading into its ninth season, so if it’s one you haven’t seen, there’s a lot to catch up on. It’s airs on the CW.
Of course, an alternate option is HBO’s True Blood. It’s set to start airing season 6 on June 16th in both the U.S. and Canada.
Jackie Lester imagines a day when she can make a living as a writer. Until then, she reviews eclectic books at My Ever Expanding Library and lives in small-town Ontario with her daughter.