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Author Topic: Urban Fantasy Novels  (Read 1133 times)

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Offline SabbyTopic starter

Urban Fantasy Novels
« on: July 29, 2014, 07:59:38 AM »
Has anyone read any good Urban Fantasy? I typically dislike high concept fantasy and sci fi like Star Wars and War craft. I prefer the familiarity and the creativity by more restrained stories. I tend to call them Modern Day+, as they all seem to take place in the real world, just with one fantastical element to it.

Dresden Files, Nekropolis, Working for the Devil, The Felix Castor Trilogy, any thing like these, really.

Offline Dovel

Re: Urban Fantasy Novels
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2014, 10:20:58 AM »
You may enjoy, Dark Cities Underground by Lisa Goldstein.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Urban Fantasy Novels
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2014, 10:46:42 AM »
Hmmmm.

Charles de Lint might be worth a look

Offline dubheasa

Re: Urban Fantasy Novels
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2014, 01:22:33 PM »
maybe ill be stoned... but the sookie stackhouse novels

Offline Lilias

Re: Urban Fantasy Novels
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2014, 02:19:41 PM »
Some of the best urban fantasy is found on the YA shelves. I'm particularly fond of Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines Quartet and Fever Crumb series (all published in the US as The Hungry City Chronicles; not sure which edition you'd get in Oz).

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: Urban Fantasy Novels
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2014, 02:33:48 PM »
I'm very fond of the Secret Histories books by Simon R Green, but they're probably a bit more over the top than what you're looking for.

Look up Snake Agent (Detective Inspector Chen series, Liz Williams), it might interest you. It's set in a futuristic Singapore, so a bit different to the usual US / European settings you mostly tend to see.

The early Anita Blake novels were decent enough, and may fit the setting style you want.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Urban Fantasy Novels
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2014, 02:36:10 PM »
Thought I posted here about deLint - Greenmantle involves the Fae courts going up against the Italian Mafia.  Also recommended would be Moonheart, Yarrow, and Jack of Kinrowan (also released as the separate books 'Drink Down the Moon' and 'Jack the Giant-Killer')

Another good one is Raymond Feist's Faerie Tale.

For the darker side, I've recently discovered author CJ Henderson, who writes in both the Lovecraft universe, and the universe of Kolchak the Night Stalker, both with full blessings of the controlling estates.  (I've also met the guy at Zenkaikon, and he makes a really good connection with readers.)

Offline Zekromnomnom

Re: Urban Fantasy Novels
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2014, 07:41:14 AM »
I had one that I was going to suggest but then I lost it. But I'm gonna bookmark this thread. It's a genre I would like to get into a little more.

Would The Magicians by Lev Grossman count?

Offline Oniya

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Re: Urban Fantasy Novels
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2014, 09:05:47 AM »
The first book might, but the sequels kind of depart the 'urban' environment. 


Offline Zekromnomnom

Re: Urban Fantasy Novels
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2014, 09:17:02 AM »
I had heard as much but I can't bring myself to read the next ones yet. I swear I had one in mind, but I just completely forgot what it was.

Offline Shjade

Re: Urban Fantasy Novels
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2014, 12:30:17 PM »
The early Anita Blake novels were decent enough, and may fit the setting style you want.

I was considering suggesting these myself.

If you're unfamiliar with the series, Sabby, "early" basically means from Guilty Pleasures up to Obsidian Butterfly, more or less. A couple of the books leading up to Obsidian start edging toward where the series ends up, and after that book they start sliding downhill into "misguided smut attempt" pretty fast. :|

Offline Kazyth

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Re: Urban Fantasy Novels
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2014, 08:34:34 PM »
This is possibly my favorite genre of books now.  So let me get going on my list.

Simon R Green's "Secret Histories" books are fairly decent, but I've always much preferred his Nightside books.  Gritty but good reads.  Not heavy books, but quite entertaining.

Seanan McGuire's "October Daye" series is a favorite of mine.  Hidden Fae in the mortal world, slowly losing their grip.  A little bit of romance without turning into smut, a lot of mystery, an underpowered protagonist.  Good times.

Kim Harrison's "Hollows" series is another good one I have enjoyed for some time.  I have a thing for kick-ass heroines.  Especially ones that aren't Mary Sue.

Kevin Hearne's "Iron Druid" chronicles are fun.  A little silly at times, but also dark and bloody at times.  Unapologetic about it, at that.

Faith Hunter's "Jane Yellowrock" books have an interesting take on vampires, magic, and shapeshifters.

Patricia Briggs "Mercy (Mercedes) Thompson" books also have an interesting and fun take on urban fantasy tropes.  Again, with an underpowered protagonist, a little bit of romance, and some fun/bloody dark points.

Up until the last one or two, I quite enjoyed Jennifer Estep's "Elemental Assassin" books.  Cool take on magic and how it might integrate with every day society.  A bit of sex, plenty of blood and violence.  Good times.

Rob Thurman's "Cal Leandros" series is another solid series.  Dark at times, if you are noticing a theme here, and bloody.  A lot of what you would expect to happen does not.  Turns some tropes on themselves in a way I have enjoyed.

And finally for now, C. E. Murphy's "Walker Papers" series.  A bit hit or miss at times for me, but hit more than it missed by far.

If you enjoy Alternate Earth-style Urban Fantasy, Illona Andrews "Kate Daniels" books are one of my all time favorite series to read.  A world where technology was pushed too far, and brought magic back into sway.  Great worldbuilding, great storytelling... if I could suggest any of them, this would be the series.

Anyway, that's what I have for now.  I know that's not everything that I've read, by far, but I think I've buried the thread enough for tonight.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Urban Fantasy Novels
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2014, 08:38:06 PM »
I have Jane Yellowrock, but I'll look into Kate Daniels as well. I'm more likely to pick books up if they have a decent audiobook adaption.

What I'm finding with this genre is there is an awful lot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer knock offs. Every 3rd cover I see is a serious looking young woman in athletic urban clothing and a long sword with some kind of demonic love interest.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Urban Fantasy Novels
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2014, 09:07:44 PM »
The first book might, but the sequels kind of depart the 'urban' environment.
Is it a fantasy story set in a modern setting?  Yes?  Then it's 'Urban Fantasy'.  If not, then it's not.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Urban Fantasy Novels
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2014, 09:22:37 PM »
In the second and third books, the action takes place almost exclusively in a parallel, magical realm.  If your definition includes things like the Doomfollowers of Coramonde, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, then it does.  Mine doesn't quite bend that far.

Offline SapphireStar

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Re: Urban Fantasy Novels
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2014, 12:49:59 AM »
Chloe Neill's Chicagoland Vampire series is pretty good. Action, humor, intrigue and romance.

Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series. Particularly like the stories featuring Elena and the werewolves.



Offline Kuje

Re: Urban Fantasy Novels
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2014, 12:56:49 AM »
Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series. Particularly like the stories featuring Elena and the werewolves.

They also turned this into a T.V series called Bitten. Although I dislike the actress that plays Elena. She's way to boney in her cheeks and the wolves in the show look more like dogs or some other type of canine, not wolves.

Offline Jaded

Re: Urban Fantasy Novels
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2014, 02:06:08 AM »
I enjoyed Tanya Huff's 'Blood' series, at least the first couple of books in it (more than the Dresden books at least, don't get me started on those books  :P ).  Though also know people who hated them, so YMMV. 
« Last Edit: August 19, 2014, 02:07:16 AM by Jaded »

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Urban Fantasy Novels
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2014, 02:13:12 AM »
Awww, you don't like Chicagos best Wizard? D=

Offline Jaded

Re: Urban Fantasy Novels
« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2014, 02:20:55 AM »
I enjoyed the first couple of books, but was getting annoyed by the third or fourth I think, especially when I could see the clichéd ending (that I knew would annoy me) coming after the first few chapters.  There were also other issues (the women, the random inclusion of a character, etc.) that jarred/annoyed me. 

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Urban Fantasy Novels
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2014, 02:25:54 AM »
Oh geez, if that's what did it for ya, I'd avoid the later books like they were ebola. Sharks aren't so much jumped, just bridges are slowly built over them.

Offline Top Cat

Re: Urban Fantasy Novels
« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2014, 01:35:21 PM »
The SERRAted Edge novels from Mercedes Lackey and Mark Shepherd, as well as the other book series set in the same universe (Bedlam's Bard, especially), are all good reads, but they're moderately old - the first book, Born To Run, was published in 1991. Like many softcover books, you can probably get them from Amazon for a penny plus shipping...

The quality of the books varies, but I'd say that on a scale of 1 to 10, they range from 6 to 9. Elves racing high-end race cars, and the engineering (and magic) involved? Creative ways to use modern engineering to defend against ancient Dark Fae? Absolutely worth reading if that appeals to you.

Offline Elandra

Re: Urban Fantasy Novels
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2014, 03:52:40 PM »
Like many here, this is my favorite genre. I am in full agreement with Kazyth's recommendations, here are a few others:

Seanan McGuire's "October Daye" series. It is a mix of pulp mystery and the Fae world.

Jacqueline Carey's "Agent of Hel" series. This is the Jacqueline Carey of Kushiel's fame and she had step into the urban fantasy foray with this series, where a female half-demon is the protagonist. She also has another series "Santa Olivia" and "Santa Astray" which has some elements of urban fantasy.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Urban Fantasy Novels
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2014, 06:05:16 PM »
The Alex Verus novels are a pretty good offering to urban fantasy, if anyone's heard of them. It's a fun take on how divination/seeing the future would actually be of use (or not, in this case) in a fight or investigation situation., and Verus himself has some of the snark/world-weariness that makes Harry Dresden so entertaining without the exponential power curve creep.

Offline Sasquatch421

Re: Urban Fantasy Novels
« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2014, 08:50:06 PM »
I too do support some of Kazyth's recommendations...

The Hollow's series by Kim Harrison are some of my favorite to read... I just finished The Undead Pool and still love the main character. I also love how many of the book titles come from Clint Eastwood movie titles...

I also read the Elemental Assassin series, just started the latest actually... They are good to read and Gin does think, though she gets outmatched at times.

Still waiting for the newest Kate Daniels novel to come out....

The Otherworld series by Yasmeen Galenorn are not too bad even if they like to put them in Paranormal Romance... They still deal with fantasy in a modern setting and each book comes from a viewpoint of three different sisters. One book will focus on Camille and then the next from Delilah and the next from Menolly's point of view. Each sister has different skillsets and weaknesses since they are half fey and half human. Delilah is still my favorite though...

Galenorn's Indigo Court series just finished as well and it's only like 5 books long, but still a good read.

Lastly I would recommend the Dark Angel series from Keri Arthur...

Oh wait I guess I have one more I have recently gotten into... The Blood Singer series by Cat Adams... It brings forth a different kind of main character who is half vampire and half Siren. I have enjoyed what I read so far...

As far as Anita Blake books go I think I'm the only person in the world that likes them all... I'm big on character building and she does that even if the books in the middle of the series turn into a kid finding out they can write sex scene's all the time. If you pay attention to what happens to her you the reason for this makes sense... The latest books "Kiss the Dead" and "Affliction" are pulling back towards earlier Blake novels.