So you think you’re a big paranormal fantasy fan, huh? The following test – which is essentially identifying bestselling and iconic paranormal fantasy sagas from the first sentence of the first book – will either validate you or let you know that you may need to catch up on a few significant series. Either way, I hope that it will be a lot of fun – I know I had a blast compiling this incredibly diverse collection of first lines.
A few are easy – but most are surprisingly difficult. Even if you’re a die-hard fan of a particular paranormal fantasy saga, you may not remember the first sentence of the very first book!
If you can correctly identify at least 10 out of the 21 series listed, you are officially a hardcore paranormal fantasy fan in my book. If you get all of them right, I will bow down before you in reverence for you have become my bibliophilic hero.
Good luck, have fun – and tell me how you did! And which first line was your favorite?
1. “I stood in the shadows on a deserted shop front across from The Blood and Brew Pub, trying not to be obvious as I tugged my black leather pants back up where they belonged.”
2. “I eyeballed the freezer, trying to decide what to cook for dinner that night.”
3. “Digging graves is hell on a manicure, but I was taught good vampires clean up after every meal.”
4. “I heard the mailman approach my office door, half an hour earlier than usual.”
5. “Willie McCoy had been a jerk before he died.”
6. “Here’s the thing. Every two-bit Tom and Dick on this glorified mudflat thought prostitution was legal in Las Vegas, but that’s never been true.”
7. “I wake up in a pile of smoldering garbage and leaves in the old Hollywood Forever cemetery behind the Paramount Studio on Melrose, though these last details don’t come to me until later.”
8. “I’d been surprised when the guy belted me.”
9. “What the hell is that thing supposed to be?”
10. “Some nights are destined to go to hell.”
11. “December had come to San Francisco in fits and starts, like a visitor who wasn’t sure he wanted to stay.”
12. “Had the man in front of her not already been dead, Chess probably would have tried to kill him.”
13. “I’d been waiting for the vampire for years when he walked into the bar.”
14. “The sweet, cloying odor of blood and honeysuckle hung in the rain-misted courtyard like rancid smoke.”
15. “My name is Gin, and I kill people.”
16. “I didn’t realize he was a werewolf at first.”
17. “There are many perks to living for twenty-one centuries, and foremost among them is bearing witness to the rare birth of genius.”
18. “Somewhere in the middle of my rant it occurred to me that I’d killed whoever it was I’d been yelling at, so arguing was no longer important.”
19. “When I was eight, my mother lost me to zombies in a one-card draw.”
20. “My name is Anna Strong. I was thirty on my last birthday, and I will be thirty when you read this.”
21. “Michaelmas daisies bloomed around Pete Caldecott's feet the day she met Jack Winter, just as they had twelve years ago on the day he died.”
6. The Taken by Vicki Pettersson (Celestial Blues)
10. Blood and Bullets by James R. Tuck (Deacon Chalk saga)
12. Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane (Downside saga)
14. A Rush of Wings by Adrian Phoenix (The Maker’s Song)
16. Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson saga)
18. Staked by J. F. Lewis (Void City saga)
20. The Becoming by Jeanne C. Stein (Anna Strong saga)
Paul Goat Allen has been a full-time book reviewer specializing in genre fiction for the last two decades and has written thousands of reviews for companies like Publishers Weekly, The Chicago Tribune, Kirkus Reviews, and BarnesandNoble.com. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. You can follow him on Twitter at @paulgoatallen and get all the latest Barnes & Noble book news from @BNBuzz.