Friday, February 20, 2009

Your Favorite Debut?

Whew! What a full blog week this was. Thank you, Mulluane, for all your help. It wouldn't have happened without you

Today, I'm going to take a little break and ask you to step in by answering a question. Or two. If you're like me, first novels often stand out as something special in your mind.

What is your favorite debut, ever? And did you learn about it on this blog?

I'll start in the comments. The answer is not what it would have been a month ago.


Tia Nevitt said...

A month ago, I would have said The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss was my favorite fantasy debut. This has not held up over time. My former favorite (not counting non-fantasies), The Deed of Paksenarrion has edged its way back to the top of the list.

Why? Paksenarrion is simply a more unforgettable character than Kvothe. She is far more likable. This might change after I read subsequent books in Rothfuss's Kingkiller chronicles. But unless Kvothe can make me cry like Paks did, she will keep the honors. I can never start Book Three without tearing up. And this is after multiple rereadings. (Of course the end of Book Three left a bit to be desired, but I have ranted about that elsewhere.) When you can make a character that unforgettable, it is very difficult to top.

Of course, the writing in The Name of the Wind is far superior to the writing in The Deed. Elizabeth Moon has really grown as an author since then. A more recent novel of hers, The Speed of Dark is awesome.

Hagelrat said...

A lot of my favourite novels aren't debuts and a lot of times I don't star with the authors first book. One of my fave first books would be Greywalker by Kat Richardson. I knew I had to read more by this author straight away and am firmly hooked.

TK42ONE said...

My answer is skewed due to my lack of knowledge. Meaning, I never paid much attention to debut books until Rothfuss' Name of the Wind.

Which means, that's my favorite so far. However, since reading Name of the Wind, I've had several other favorites that get pretty close to Rothfuss. Anton Strout's Dead to Me. Joe Abercrombie's The Blade Itself. Taylor Anderson's Into the Storm. But I think each of these fall into a slightly different genre and thus aren't exactly the same apple to compare to.

And, like Tia said, my opinion may or may not change when Rothfuss gets his second book out.

cedunkley said...

This is a tough one to answer. If I go with recent books, it would have to be Joe Abercrombie's The Blade Itself.

All time favorite debut is probably Stephen R. Donaldson's Lord Foul's Bane.

By the way, Elizabeth Moon is currently working on new Paksenarrion books. I believe Paks herself is less prominently featured, but the books pick up where the current trilogy ends, if I recall correctly.

Elizabeth Moon has a website and a blog dedicated just to this writing project:

Maria said...

Oh, this is a difficult one, isn't it?

I'd have to say "When Demons Walk" by Patricia Briggs--still my all-time favorite book. Just has everything--fantasy, thieves and rogues, a bit of romance, danger, adventure.

It's held up over time as something that I've even read more than once and this is extremely rare for me (probably 4 books in my life and one of those was an accident!)

More current publications, I'd have to say it is Dog Days by John Levitt. Will it hold up? Who knows? It has some unique characters (A dog that isn't...quite...a dog) and great mystery angles. I really enjoyed Dog Days and the second in the series, New Tricks, even more.

The other series that comes to mind is Mercedes Lackey's Diane Tregard series--Urban fantasy before it had a name. This is a book I think I could read a second time and enjoy--strong female protag, magic, adventure and mystery.

Renee said...

My favorite debut I read recently is Havemercy by Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennet. I still love the idea of the magic-fueled metal dragons, and the world building was really interesting.

Others would be: Naomi Novik's Temeraire and Kelley Armstrong's Bitten.

ediFanoB said...

In former times I didn't pay attention whether a book was debut or not. It changed in 2008. There are some fantasy debuts which I like:
- The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
- The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
- The Way Of Shadows by Brent Weeks

Tia Nevitt said...

I'm seeing a lot of the same books! I really need to read The Blade Itself one of these days--it came out just before I started this blog, if I recall correctly. And Maria--you have mentioned Patricia Brigg's first novel before, I believe. And ooh! Magic-wielding metal dragons? Sounds like steampunk fantasy!

Thanks, cedunkley, for the tip about Paksworld. I knew Elizabeth Moon was planning more Paks novels, but I didn't know she had a website devoted to it.

Kimber An said...

PRINCES OF THE GOLDEN CAGE by Nathalie Mallet and, you know, I think I did find out about it here. I listed it as one of my Top Ten for 2008 at Enduring Romance. If I'd listed a #1, that would have been it. Had everything I love about a novel and held me in suspense to the very end. Stunning world-building. Just awesome. Can't wait for my ARC for her next novel to get here!

Memory said...

If horror counts, then there's no contest: INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE by Anne Rice. I expected to hate it, and it blew me straight out of the water.

Fantasy-wise... well, that's a lot more difficult. All my very favourite fantasies were published further along in their respective authors' careers. The two debuts that did leap instantly to mind were SWORDSPOINT by Ellen Kushner and MELUSINE by Sarah Monette, but I have yet to reread either of them. I hope I won't think any less of them the second time through, but it's always a possibility.

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin said...

I really don't know. I've thought aobut it, and I'm just not aware of which books are debuts. When I'm not sure which books qualify, it's pretty hard to pick a favorite. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Tia Nevitt said...

I tried Interview, but I admit to losing interest shortly after they recruited the little girl. It rubbed me the wrong way and I never went back to it.

I tried Anne Rice again with Christ the King, but I never finished that one either.

Raven said...

I've read a number of good debuts lately, so it's hard to pick a favorite. Also, before I started reading this blog I didn't pay much attention to which books I liked were debuts, so I can't really pinpoint any of my older favorites.

I think the honors will have to go to One for Sorrow by Christopher Barzak. I can't remember where I heard about it. Second place goes to Truancy by Isamu Fukui, which I definitely heard about here.

However, I haven't done a second read of either of these books, so it remains to be seen how well they hold up.

Hannah Powell-Smith said...

Sarah Monette's Melusine stands out for me, too. Its narrative voices are stunning. Aaand, another flag-wave for Havemercy and Temeraire from this corner!