I like Jeanne Stein’s urban fantasy series, but she writes too fast. I’ve only finished book two and I just put book five on the pile. Richard Morgan’s premise and world in Altered Carbon sucked me in, but I ended up confused regarding the schemes and motivations of the villain. It’s difficult to confuse me and usually I eat up Byzantine intrigue (but I’ll give the author the benefit of a doubt, because I could have missed crucial points). Daniel Abraham’s series starts out wonderfully with A Shadow in Summer; I liked the world, magic, and politics. Terry Pratchet is one of my favorite authors, so what can I say about Night Watch? Well, it does have the best "fantastical" explanation of quantum physics I’ve ever heard.
China Miéville is a world-building wizard and I’m in awe of his talents. That said, Perdido Station was too much of a good thing for me; it had a complex world, but I needed to like the characters more. I also admit that I just wanted the story to end differently. The City and the City is an easier read, because Miéville’s style is sparer and tighter. I liked the premise, but the darn characters didn’t engage me (again). In fact, they didn’t seem to even matter toward the end, and during those last chapters my husband asked: "Why in the world are you grunting while you read?" My answer: "I’m trying to make the plot go."