Patricia Briggs is pretty good with her website, although she’s gotten somewhat less active on it as her career has taken off.
Ilona Andrews is still very active on social media, including their own website, AND posts regular free stuff.
Robin McKinely has a decent website, although I’m generally somewhat disappointed in her. I love her early work (The Blue Sword, The Hero and the Crown, and Beauty) and feel like Sunshine was her absolute Best Book Ever! Ever since, it’s been just kind of down hill. But I still like to check up on her, periodically, to see if maybe there will be a sequel to Sunshine at some point, or if any of her more recent books look good.
Megan Whalen Turner has possibly the least active author’s website I’ve seen, and yet I still check back because, by god, if there’s going to be another book in series, I will start stalking bookstores and possibly publisher’s warehouses in the hopes of getting to it just that much sooner. (So far, no luck. I will just have to re-read the four that already exist.)
Anyway, this is all a long wind up to letting you guys know that Ilona Andrews has the first chapter of her next book up! This is book 6 is the Kate Daniels series, Magic Rises, due out on July 30, 2013. Yay! You can read the excerpt: HERE!!!
However… the chapter raises some concerns for me.
Thus: Here Be Spoilers (for both Book 5 and for Book 6).
In Book 5 of the series (they all have super-similar names, so I can never remember them by name and have to just refer to them by number, but #5 was Magic Slays), Kate winds up using a spell on her ward Julie to cure her from a fatal disease but the cure has the side effect of enslaving Julie to Kate’s command.
The book lays it out exactly:
“If you do this, Julie will never be able to disobey a direct order from you. You will be making a slave.”
“She can never know,” Curran said. “Look, I’ve been in charge of people for a long time. Trust me on this, you can’t take Julie’s free will away from her. If you do this, that’s your secret and you have to live with that. You have to be strong enough to keep that from her, and that means you’ll have to think twice before any instructions to her come out of your mouth.”
I rubbed my face. He was right. If Julie got as much as a hint that she had no choice about obeying me, I’d lose her. The most natural things like, “No, you can’t go out to the woods with Maddie in the middle of the night” now would have to become, “I would strongly prefer that you stay at home.” I had a hard enough time steering her as it was.
“I’ll deal with it,” I said. “As long as she’s alive. Everything else we’ll figure out along the way.”
In this one chapter excerpt from book 6, however, Kate is already telling Julie:
“You’ll use it in the next five seconds to keep me from impaling you.”
“Pay attention, please.”
“Don’t just sit there with your spear. You have an opening, do something about it.”
“Go do your thing.”
So there was this whole big set up for this problem in Kate and Julie’s relationship but then this book just ignores it. I suppose there’s some small wiggle room to argue that these aren’t orders, per se, but they are still structured as command statements. Julie not noticing and not being forced to obey seems to be using a really loose definition of “order”, which seems odd given the origin of the spell in question. I would have preferred it if Ilona Andrews had given this the same kind of thought that, say, Gail Carson Levine did in Ella Enchanted or that Patricia Briggs did in either Iron Kissed or Frost Burned. But, well, this is just the first chapter, so maybe there will be more explanation in the later chapters. Or less interaction between Kate and Julie.
Anyway, despite my gripe, I am still very much looking forward to Magic Rises. Things are definitely happening!