The Urban Fantasy Zodiac – What’s Your Sign?

So I was sitting here thinking about how I’ve seen a lot lately about the Chinese zodiac and how it’s the Year of the Dragon. And I think that’s cool and everything (I’m a Monkey), but the whole concept could be improved upon. So, without further adieu, allow me to introduce you to…

The Urban Fantasy Zodiac

Created by Waiting for Fairies.com

I only did these 30 years, because I didn’t want to get ridiculous with the chart, and I sincerely doubt that I have any readers under 13. However, if you don’t fit in the chart, just go look up a Chinese Zodiac Chart, find the corresponding year that matches your sign that is listed here and I’m sure you can figure it out. I’ve followed the same basic format as the Chinese version, except I’ve gone January through December simply for the sake of my sanity. ***Disclaimer: This chart is simply for fun only. I make no claims to being psychic (psycho – maybe)  or of having any sort of expertise that would allow me to make such a chart in seriousness. Except for having read a lot of urban fantasy. A lot. 

Now that we’ve established that, I bet you want to know what your sign says about you, don’t you? Okay, let’s go.

Sign of the…

Zombie

You are tenacious and like a challenge. You’ve been beaten down in the past and have no problems getting right back up again. You’ve got guts, but more than that – you’ve got braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaains!

Fairy/Fae

You’re elusive and magical, and you know how to double-speak. You have a way with words and with people. But it’s probably best if people don’t let you babysit…

Dragon

Dragons are the King of the Urban Fantasy Zodiac! No one knows a lot about you, but everyone wants to be you. You’re strong and powerful, and you love shiny things. You’re favorite things are ones that are crunchy and that taste good with ketchup.

Ghost

People have a tendency to overlook you, and they shouldn’t because, while you seem gentle, you can have a terrible temper. You have trouble letting go. You love to savor experiences instead of “possessions”.

Griffin

You are strong as a lion and fierce as an eagle. You have no trouble soaring above the world’s troubles. Just don’t lose sight of the ground and lose your way.

Demon

You’re a free spirit who gets a bad rap because you don’t think the way others do. It’s not that you like to cause trouble, it’s just that you love keeping things interesting! Try not to get too hot under the collar when others call you on your mischievous ways.

Dryad

You love nature and being out in it. You’re nurturing and friendly, but playful too. Just don’t lose sight of the big picture – sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees!

Shape-shifter

You love change and get bored easily. You have a hot temper – be sure to watch it so you don’t lose control! You don’t make friends easily, but when you do there couldn’t be anyone more loyal.

Selkie

Your personality is like quick-silver – you can’t decide whether you’re coming in or going out! When you love someone, you keep your feelings way down deep. When you make a decision, you’re as inexorable as the tide.

Incubus/Succubus

Hot mama! You’re a saucy little number who adores indulging all your senses. Your attention burns bright, but brief, and then you’re on to the next best thing. You’re not fickle, you’re just flexible.

Druid

You’re an old soul who loves learning more than anything else. You’re as wise as oak and as deep as stone. Just don’t forget that there’s more to the world than the mystical. Sometimes a rock is just a rock.

Vampire

You’re a consumer – whether it’s buying the latest gadget or having a “drink” with a hot young thing. You can be greedy, but it’s only because you want to have every experience possible. It’s okay to want to have everything, but remember – nothing lasts forever!

I hope you’ve enjoyed finding out about this newly-discovered-but-absolutely-ancient (honest!) (okay, maybe not) art of the Urban Fantasy Zodiac! I’d love it if you posted a comment below with your UF Zodiac sign! Feel free to share and link to this post. Tell your friends! (Just try to give me the courtesy of a link if you post the image elsewhere. Deal?)

Review: Right Hand Magic by Nancy A Collins

Right Hand Magic

Golgotham #1

Written: Nancy A. Collins

Published: December 7, 2010

Publisher: Roc

ISBN: 0451463668

Obtained via: Purchase (e-book)

Blurb:

Like most Manhattanites, aspiring artist Tate can’t resist a good rental deal-even if it’s in the city’s strangest neighborhood, Golgotham, where for centuries werewolves, centaurs, and countless other creatures have roamed the streets.

Her new landlord is a sorcerer name Hexe, who is determined to build his reputation without using dark, left-hand magic. As Tate is drawn into Hexe’s fascinating world, they both find that the right hand does not always know what the left hand is doing-and avoiding darkness is no easy trick…

My Review:

This book was the first one I bought after I received my NookColor. I think it was a great candidate for that, because, while I enjoyed Collins’ Sonja Blue stories, they were very much on the dark side and I wasn’t sure about this new one. I’m thrilled to say that this series is much lighter than Sonja Blue, and that I really enjoyed the world and the city-within-a-city feel of Golgotham. The story doesn’t have a ton of depth, but it’s a perfect cotton-candy piece.

Tate is a little on the annoying side, as a trust-fund baby with a fairly large chip on her shoulder. Her parents suck and would rather she hang out at the country club and work on an eating disorder than get an art showing for her very large junkyard-reject metal sculptures. She does come off a bit juvenile, and she’s OBVIOUSLY out of her depth after she moves into Golgotham, but the setting is so complex and fascinating that I’m willing to forgive that for a book or two. After all, if the main character was perfect in the very first book there wouldn’t be much room for the character to grow.

I will say that I’m VERY tired of the rote romance elements in a lot of urban fantasy novels. Yes, Tate’s new landlord Hexe is a sorcerer-with-a-heart-of-gold and extremely hot, even with his funny hair and six-fingered hands. But c’mon, authors, do we have to be SO predictable? With maddened werewolf attacks, giant shapeshifting cat-dragons, a wicked uncle, and a world so fully realized that a reader could actually step into it, do we HAVE to have that old, tired, “he-helped-her-out-so-of-course-she-falls-in-love-with-him” plot point?

Despite its flaws, I genuinely liked this book. I think it’s a great start to a new series and I’m looking forward to future installments. This book is an absolute perfect, lazy weekend read. It’s a little cheesy in places, but every diet needs a bit of cheese – and the world-building is worth any price.

[xrr rating=3/5 imageset=default]

Why I Read Urban Fantasy

I’ve always enjoyed the supernatural, in both movies and in books. I love watching stuff like Shaun of the Dead (zombies), Idle Hands (demons), or Cursed (werewolves). But stuff like Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Friday the 13th was never for me. It’s not that I find the latter scary, exactly. I just never preferred them.You may have noticed that the former are all horror-comedies. Cursed has the funniest werewolf scene ever. Idle Hands has Devon Sawa and Seth Green. I don’t think you need to be told anything further. And Shaun of the Dead cracks me up all the way through. But I especially love the singing-zombie scene:

(You’re welcome. No, really. You are. And that’s probably the only time you’ll ever see me link to YouTube, unless it’s a book trailer.)

I always joked that I didn’t watch slasher flicks because they were too real. Except I wasn’t really joking.

Sure, I’ll watch every episode of NCIS ever filmed, but I don’t watch true crime stories. They don’t hold my interest. Why? Because they ARE too real. We’re reminded every day in the news of the sorts of things one person can do to another. I don’t really need to seek it out.

What’s the difference then? Honestly, I think it’s the humor. Even morbid humor is better than the stiff seriousness they use on Unsolved Mysteries and the like. I believe in tempering the worst of human nature (murder & death) with the best that life has to offer (humor, laughter, human resilience).

So what’s the point of this post?

I realized yesterday that this is the one point that makes or breaks an urban fantasy read for me. The murder, kill, death has to be alleviated with some laughter or I just end up depressed. I’ve been reading a lot of depressing urban fantasy lately: Brenna Yovanoff’s The Replacement (review forthcoming), Carrie Vaughn’s Discord’s Apple. While it’s not exactly UF in genre, I’ve also been listening to the audio of Justin Cronin’s The Passage. All three are excellent reads in their own way – I find the sociological aspect of the cultural changes in The Passage particularly fascinating – but none of them are happy books.

And I didn’t fall in love with any of them the way I have some others. Others like: Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden series; Rob Thurman’s Cal Leandros series; Devon Monk’s Allie Beckstrom series; or Kim Harrison’s The Hollows. The common thread? Humor. Laughter. Even sarcasm. Especially in the face of disaster, death, and the end of the world.

The kind of books you enjoy can tell you a lot about yourself. What does your choice of book say about you? Share your suggestions and thoughts in the comments.