I don’t always participate in Top Ten Tuesday (usually run out of time or can’t think of an answer to the question), but I enjoy the topics. This week the Top Ten Tuesday meme which is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish blog lets each of us choose the ten favorite books with whatever type of setting we choose. I chose the Urban Fantasy setting.
According to Wikipedia–Urban fantasy is a sub-genre of fantasy defined by place; the fantastic narrative has an urban setting. Many urban fantasies are set in contemporary times and contain supernatural elements. However, the stories can take place in historical, modern, or futuristic periods, as well as fictional settings. The prerequisite is that they must be primarily set in a city.
My personal definition is similar…an urban setting, one main character (not a paranormal romance with a couple; romance elements may be present, but they aren’t the main point of the story) and there are supernatural elements in a world of humans who may or may not be aware of the supernatural. Most of the books have a mystery of some sort to solve and often the main character is a detective. I feel they should be set in a contemporary setting which is my biggest divergence from the Wikipedia definition.
The following books are almost all part of a series. And I only came up with nine books! These are not in any particular order.
- by Jim Butcher
- Harry Dresden series, book 4
- Setting: Chicago
- Harry is a private detective and a wizard. A very good series. In this book vampires are trying to kill Harry and have started a war with the wizards because of Harry’s past actions. However, this book is mostly about the fae. I like both the characters and the world building Jim Butcher does in these books.
An Artificial Night
- by Seanan McGuire
- October Daye series, book 3
- Setting: San Francisco
- October (Toby) is a changeling (half human/half fae), a knight for a duke and is often asked to by her duke or others to solve problems happening to the fae in San Francisco. In this book a number of children are missing and Toby has to find them. Very good book.
- by Ilona Andrews
- Kate Daniels series, book 1
- Setting: Atlanta
- Kate is a mercenary in this first book and helps solve magical problems. Magic is in ascendency in Atlanta, but tech and magic come in unpredictable waves. During times when tech arrives cars and phones still work; during magic times people walk, use a horse or have a car powered by magic. Weres and vampires as well as other supernatural creatures are often seen in this series. I like Kate’s first encounter with Curran in this book!
- by Patricia Briggs
- Mercy Thompson series, book 3
- Setting: Spokane, Washington
- Mercy is a car mechanic, but also a coyote shifter. She’s closely allied with the local werewolf pack and gets involved with their problems as well as vampire and fae problems and politics. In this book there’s some romance (a love triangle) and Mercy finally makes her choice between the two. This book also prominently features the fae…and they’re quite fascinating in this series.
War for the Oaks
- by Emma Bull
- Series? No
- Setting: Minneapolis, Minnesota
- One of my all-time favorite books, published in 1987 and is now seen as one of the first urban fantasy books. This book isn’t quite like the urban fantasy published today, but it’s excellent. I love the use of music and the way the fae are shown.
- by Karen Marie Moning
- Fever series, book 1
- Setting; Dublin
- I’m still reading this series and enjoying it so much. MacKayla Lane comes to Dublin to try to find out who murdered her sister. She soon discovers she is one of the few humans who can see fae. Her life completely changes after this as she discovers fae are increasingly coming to Dublin and humans are unaware they are often targeted and killed by the fae. A very good, but dark urban fantasy.
- by Cassie Alexander
- Edie Spence series, book 1
- Setting: County Hospital in a large city (I don’t remember the books saying the name of the city)
- I enjoy these books which start with Edie Spence, a nurse on a floor below the regular county hospital where supernatural characters are treated.
Dead Until Dark
- by Charlaine Harris
- Sookie Stackhouse series, book 1
- Setting: Bon Tomps, Louisiana
- The Sookie Stackhouse series is a series of books which I started about 15 years ago…one of my first urban fantasies. I like this first book which introduces Bill the Vampire and Sookie the waitress in a bar. In this series vampires have come out to human society because they have bottled blood available and supposedly no longer feed on humans.
- by Laurell K. Hamilton
- Anita Blake series, book 1
- Setting: St. Louis
- I loved this first book about Anita Blake and the introduction of Jean Claude the Vampire Master in St. Louis. This was one of the first urban fantasy books I read in the late 1990’s.
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What about you? Do you have favorite urban fantasies I didn’t list here? If you participated in Top Ten Tuesday what was your topic? Leave a comment and I will respond as well as visit your blog. Thanks!