My Favorite Things: Space Marines, Magical Innkeepers, and Fairy Tales for Adults

They might not be raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens, but that doesn’t mean that we love them any less. Welcome back to My Favorite Things, a weekly column where we gab about the greatest in geek. This week, we’re all about an awesome character from SyFy’s The Expanse, and a duo of fabulous books. One is the latest in a fantasy series about a magical inn, and the other is a stand-alone perfect for fans of fairy tales for adults. Read on for more!

Whitney’s Favorite Thing is… Bobbie Draper


Bobbie Draper is my favorite thing. Bobbie Draper is always my favorite thing. She has been since the moment she appeared in Caliban’s War, the second book of The Expanse by James S.A. Corey. She’s Martian. She’s a Marine. She’s of Polynesian descent. She’s 6’5” and 220 lbs of pure muscle. And she wears power armor. Power armor. Bobbie Draper is the answer to every femme fatale waif in high heels who murders people with her unnecessary cleavage. Bobbie is both the hero women need and deserve, and I love her. So you can imagine my fear when it came time to cast her for SyFy’s adaptation of The Expanse. Would we get Bobbie? Or would Hollywood do what it usually does and whitewash her with a sexy lamppost who weighs 100 lbs soaking wet?

Enter Frankie Adams. Bobbie Draper is going to be portrayed by a 6 foot New Zealand actress of Samoan heritage. Oh, and did I mention she’s a boxer?  This perfect, amazing woman is about to be on your TV wearing power armor and kicking people’s asses. If you do not know Bobbie, you should read The Expanse and catch up on Season 1 (free to stream with Amazon Prime), and then tune in to SyFy for the premier of Season 2 on February 1st, so you can fall in love with Bobbie and adore her as much as I do.


Lane’s Favorite Thing is… The Innkeeper Books

I’m a sucker for certain kinds of books: adventure stories with magic, books about found families, romantic side-plots, and competent characters rising to insane challenges. One of my go-to authors these days is Ilona Andrews. Their Kate Daniels series is excellent; I read through the whole Edge series, happily, and enjoyed the first Hidden Legacy book.  But, my absolute favorite series from them is the one they do every year on their blog, and publish at the end of the year.  The Innkeeper books.  They’re like the perfect way to start a new year for me; a guaranteed enjoyable read.

What do I love about them?  Dina runs a magical space-spanning Inn for a very select clientele.  The clientele who can be space vampires, were-soldiers, or a cannibal/war criminal empress who has “retired” to the inn for her own safety and amusement.  A shih-tzu that’s more than he seems.  Mysterious family disappearances, wars on other planets, a meddling cop that pays too much attention to her Inn.  One of the reasons I liked Jupiter Ascending so much was that it had some of this same feel, only Dina’s not a naif like Jupiter.  Dina’s got a broom and she knows how to use it.  The Innkeeper books are often tragic in big scope, laugh-out-loud funny in small scope, and generally engaging as all get out.  Each entry gets better and bigger.  And I guess that’s the only thing I don’t like 100%. One Fell Sweep, the most recent release, left me wanting more RIGHT the heck NOW.


Carey’s Favorite thing is… The Hike!

Drew Magary’s The Hike is a dark, twisted, crazy funny adult fairy tale about Ben, your average salesman who sets off on what’s supposed to be a short hike before a dinner business meeting in the Poconos. Instead Ben ends up lost for years in an unrecognizable landscape, pursued by murderous men with dog faces, imprisoned by a thirty-foot giant woman who runs a fight club, and forced to build a castle with his bare hands for a flying demon named Voris.  But as long as Ben stays on the path, nothing truly bad can happen to him. His constant companions are a sarcastic talking crab and a Spanish soldier from the 15th century — not that either of them can help Ben make sense of the world they now inhabit. Magary riffs on fairy tale lore and gives the story a healthy dose of both plot and character: Ben goes from unreal situation to unreal situation, all while trying to solve the riddle of the path and why he’s on it, and get home to his family. The pacing’s velocity is awesome; the reader doesn’t get much time to wonder about the rules in this particular world/story — which is good, because there really aren’t any. Castles have sliding glass doors, there are convenience stores in the middle of the desert, and Ben defeats one antagonist with a vacuum cleaner. Also included: giant grasshoppers with computer brains, time loops, and a gut-punch twist ending. I already can’t wait to read this book again.

Any thoughts in the selections above? Let us know in the comments.


  • mjpichette January 23, 2017 at 9:49 am

    The Hike looks awesome! Thanks for the recommendation 🙂

    • Carey Ballard January 23, 2017 at 11:09 pm

      It was totally crazy and a lot of fun. Magary has a wicked sense of humor which shines through in the Hike. (Even if you don’t have kidlets [I do not], his parenting book “Someone Could Get Hurt” is a blast.)

  • Olya (aka Weasel of Doom) January 23, 2017 at 10:42 am

    I love Ilona Andrews’ books! They are so, so good….


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