Favorite urban fantasies since 2015

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings where a wide range of topics from books to blogging are discussed.

This week we’re talking about our Favorite Urban Fantasies. I don’t read as many urban fantasies as I did a few years ago, but I still have a few I’m enjoying. Since I’ve written posts about urban fantasies in the past this time I’m talking about my favorites since 2015.

One Good Dragon Deserves Another

by Rachel Aaron

Series: Heartstrikers #2

This is a self-published series and shows that an author can self-publish quality books and I hope make some money doing it.

Such a fun series! I love the dragons that Ms. Aaron has created. There are so many little touches–such as Julius’ mother, Bethesda, naming each clutch of the Heartstriker dragons with the same letter of the alphabet beginning with “A” (Amelia), “B” (Bob), “C” (Chelsea) and so on. Julius is from Bethesda’s 10th clutch and even Julius’ family–especially Julius’ family–thinks he’s a weak dragon–mostly because he’s “nice” and “good” and thinks dragons should cooperate with each other.

The characters are so much fun to read about and so unique plus the world building is well done.

Dark Alchemy

by Laura Bickle

Series: Dark Alchemy #1

Set in Wyoming near Yellowstone National Park–a unique setting for a fantasy. There’s magic and alchemy involved and the main character is a geologist working for the federal government in Yellowstone. Yellowstone is the last area Petra had heard from her father many years ago so she wants to try to find out what happened to him. Strange things seem to happen in the Yellowstone area. Lots of interesting characters and an interesting premise.

I really like the western vibe in this book. And it has a great cover!

Tainted Blood

by M.L. Brennan

Series: Generation V #3

This series has four books in it and I would have loved for it have at least four more, but apparently the publisher decided the books didn’t earn enough.

I thought the books had a fresh take on vampires and were really fun to read. Fortitude (Fort) is a great main character as is his kitsune friend Suzume. Fort’s family is scary, but they’re his family and he’s part of them and has to deal with them. With each book we learn more about vampires and what they have to do to survive. A really good series.

And I feel like the kitsune could have their own series! I wish M.L. Brennan would write some more books.

Vision in Silver

by Anne Bishop

Series: The Others #3

I’ve read a number of Anne Bishop’s earlier fantasies and really liked them.

This series is totally different from those earlier fantasies. The world building and characters are great. The Others are scary creatures–some of whom can shapeshift to human form. However, they’re not human and they are in control of the world. Some humans don’t like that and try to change the world, but they don’t really understand what some of the Others are and what they can do.

In the first book Meg finds her way to one of the Others’ compounds and they protect her because they understand what she is–a cassandra sangue or blood prophet. She and other blood prophets are used by humans for prophecy even though the cuts and blood used for prophecy eventually kills the blood prophet. However, the greedy humans who use them and make money from the cassandra sangue don’t care about that. That creates a clash between the Others and humans.

Vision in Silver really moves the action forward toward an ending we see from hints and ideas in the first two books, but there are also unexpected consequences.

In 2018 a new book about new characters set in the same world will be published!

Silence Fallen

Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson #10

I’ve read this series since these books were first published in 2006. I love them all, but this is one of my very favorites in the series. Things Mercy has come to trust and depend on fail her so she needs all her strength and cunning for what happens in this book.

Mercy is such a good character as is her husband Adam. I like that she’s a coyote shapeshifter and that Adam is a werewolf. She’s physically weaker than the werewolves, but just like coyotes she’s wily! And she’s smart and strong.

Foxglove Summer

by Ben Aaronovitch

Series: Peter Grant/Rivers of London #5

I really like this series. It’s like a police procedural urban fantasy with magic set in London! More and more keeps happening as these books move forward. Peter slowly learns about magic and wizardry and the dangers of the supernatural world. I especially like the concept of the rivers and streams–that they’re living entities.

In Foxglove Summer, Peter travels outside London to Herfordshire with Beverley Brook (remember the Rivers of London?!) Strange things are happening in Herfordshire and Peter is sent to try to straighten them out. He’s far from London and all the things he knows.

Sweep in Peace

by Ilona Andrews

Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #2

I’ve read Ilona Andrews books for years and love the Kate Daniels series.

However, this series–the Innkeeper Chronicles–originally written as a free serial on the Ilona Andrews blog is so different. The concept is really fresh. The idea of inns and innkeepers with their brooms used by aliens to come to neutral Earth to stay without any earthlings knowing they’re visiting is great.

Of course, Dina DeMille and her inn have all sorts of problems she must solve. Plus she’s trying to figure out what happened to her parents who disappeared years ago from their own inn. With each book we find out a little more about Dina, the inns, the rest of the universe, aliens and a few hints about her parents.

The Black Wolves of Boston

by Wen Spencer

Series: Black Wolves of Boston

I’ve read a lot of Wen Spencer books and really enjoy them. One of the great things about her books besides the world building and unique ideas is the way she writes engaging characters. They make you want to read more and more about them!

This book was published this year and looks like it’s the first book in a new series. It’s a great beginning and I hope Ms. Spencer writes a new book soon!

Do you read urban fantasies? Do you have favorite urban fantasies?

WWW Wednesday: July 26

This meme is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. The idea is to answer the three questions below. For more information check out the Taking on a World of Words blog.

  • What are you reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

I haven’t written a WWW Wednesday post for over a month. I haven’t done many posts in the last month, but I hope that changes soon.

Currently reading

I’m listening to the audiobook and enjoying the book and narrator though I’m not too far into the book yet.

Dark Run by Mike Brooks

Narrator: Damian Lynch

Keiko #1

Science Fiction, space opera

The Keiko is a ship of smugglers, soldiers of fortune and adventurers, travelling Earth’s colony planets searching for the next job. And nobody talks about their past.

But when a face from Captain Ichabod Drift’s former life send them on a run to Old Earth, all the rules change.

Trust will be broken, and blood will be spilled.

This is the newest book in this series and it comes out next week. I’m hoping to finish it and get it reviewed sometime next week! This is a fun series.

On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service by Rhys Bowen

Her Royal Spyness #11

Historical Mystery–1930’s Ireland, England and Italy

When royal sleuth Georgie Rannoch receives a letter from her dearest friend Belinda, who’s in an Italian villa awaiting the birth of her illegitimate baby, she yearns to run to her side. If only she could find a way to get there! But then opportunity presents itself in a most unexpected way—her cousin the queen asks her to attend a house party in the Italian Lake Country. The Prince of Wales AND the dreadful Mrs. Simpson have been invited, and Her Majesty is anxious to thwart a possible secret wedding.

What luck! A chance to see Belinda, even if it is under the guise of stopping unwanted nuptials. Only that’s as far as Georgie’s fortune takes her. She soon discovers that she attended finishing school with the hostess of the party—and the hatred they had for each other then has barely dimmed. Plus, she needs to hide Belinda’s delicate condition from the other guests. And her dashing beau, Darcy is (naturally) working undercover on a dangerous mission. Then her actress mother shows up, with a not-so-little task to perform. With all this subterfuge, it seems something is bound to go horribly wrong—and Georgie will no doubt be left to pick up the pieces when it does. 

Recently finished

I’ve read the first three books in this series in the last couple of months. I like DC Smith a lot!

Luck and Judgement by Peter Grainger

DC Smith #3

Mystery, Police Procedural

When a worker goes missing from a North Sea gas platform, there seem to be just two possible explanations – it was a tragic accident or a suicide. It does not take Smith and his detectives long, however, to discover that James Bell led a double life back onshore in Kings Lake, a life complicated enough to make him at least one dangerous enemy. Before the case can be unravelled, Smith must get a new team working together; Waters and Murray are still there but one of Wilson’s men is transferred to him, and the female detective constable from Longmarsh poses some unexpected problems for her new sergeant. Together they begin to investigate the links between the companies and the people that bring ashore the oil and gas, and they also find themselves caught up in the seamier side of life that exists beneath Lake’s everyday comings and goings. Jo Evison begins to delve more deeply into the story of the Andretti murders, and Smith himself has to face the fact that he might no longer be considered fit for duty.

It’s quite a while since I’ve read a book by Wen Spencer and I don’t know why. I always like her books–especially her characters. This was a good book and good beginning for a new series.

The Black Wolves of Boston by Wen Spencer

Black Wolves of Boston #1

Urban Fantasy

Silas Decker had his world destroyed when he was attacked by vampires outside of New Amsterdam. He rebuilt his life a dozen times in the last three hundred years—each time less and less successfully. Now he lives alone, buried under a hoarding habit, struggling to find some reason to wake up with the setting of the sun.

Eloise is a Virtue, pledged to hunting evil.  What she doesn’t know is how to live alone in a city full of strangers who know nothing about monsters.

Seth is the sixteen-year old Prince of Boston, ward of the Wolf King.  Now he is left in a city that desperately needs his protection with enemies gathering all around. 

Joshua believes he is a normal, college-bound high school senior.  His life is shattered when he wakes up in a field, covered with blood, and the prom committee scattered in pieces about him like broken dolls.  

These four must now come together to unravel a plot by Wickers, witches who gain power from human sacrifices and have the power to turn any human into their puppet. Four people who lost everything struggle to save Boston by saving each other.

Reading next

I read the first book in this series about a month ago. It was very good so I’m looking forward to the second book.

Called to Justice by Edith Maxwell

Quaker Midwife Mystery #2

Historical Mystery–1888 Massachusetts

When Hannah Breed confides to midwife Rose Carroll that she’s pregnant out of wedlock, Rose promises to help her through the pregnancy and figure out a way to break the news to her family. But that night, amid the noise and revelry of the Independence Day fireworks, Hannah is found shot dead.

After a former slave and fellow Quaker is accused of the murder, Rose delves into the crime, convinced of the man’s innocence. An ill-mannered mill manager, an Irish immigrant, and the victim’s young boyfriend come under suspicion even as Rose’s future with her handsome doctor suitor becomes unsure. Rose continues to deliver babies and listen to secrets, finally focusing in on the culprit only to be threatened herself.

I like science fiction, space opera and mysteries so this sounds like the perfect book for me! I’ve meant to read this for several months so I hope I get to it soon.

The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel

Central Corps #1

Science Fiction, Space Opera, Mystery

When her crewmate Danny is murdered on the colony of Volhynia, Central Corps engineer Commander Elena Shaw is shocked to learn the main suspect is her lover, Treiko Zajec. She knows Trey is innocent—he was with her when Danny was killed. So who is the real killer and why are the cops framing an innocent man?

While retracing Danny’s last hours, they discover that his death may be tied to a mystery from the past: the destruction of a Central Corps starship at a wormhole near Volhynia. For twenty-five years, Central Gov has been lying about the tragedy, even willing to go to war with the outlaw tribe PSI to protect their secrets.

With the authorities closing in, Elena and Trey head to the wormhole, certain they’ll find answers on the other side. But the truth that awaits them is far more terrifying than they ever imagined—a conspiracy deep within Central Gov that threatens all of human civilization throughout the inhabited reaches of the galaxy . . . and beyond. 

What books are you looking forward to reading? What have you read? And what are you reading now?

 

June 2013 books to look forward to

I don’t have too many books I’m thinking of buying this month, but the following books sound good! And I know as the month goes on I will find plenty of other books to buy!

June 4

Trail of Dead
by Melissa F. Olson
Series: Scarlett Bernard, book 2
Published by: 47North
Genre: Urban Fantasy
310 pages
Synopsis: As a null, Scarlett Bernard possesses a rare ability to counteract the supernatural by instantly neutralizing spells and magical forces. For years she has used her gift to scrub crime scenes of any magical traces, helping the powerful paranormal communities of Los Angeles stay hidden. But after LAPD detective Jesse Cruz discovered Scarlett’s secret, he made a bargain with her: solve a particularly grisly murder case, and he would stay silent about the city’s unearthly underworld.

Now two dead witches are found a few days before Christmas, and Scarlett is once again strong-armed into assisting the investigation. She soon finds a connection between the murders and her own former mentor, Olivia, a null who mysteriously turned into a vampire and who harbors her own sinister agenda. Now Scarlett must revisit her painful past to find Olivia—unless the blood-drenched present claims her life first.
My Thoughts: I’ve already preordered this book. I liked the first book (Dead Spots) and reviewed it in May.

Eight Million Gods
by Wen Spencer
Series: Unknown
Published by Baen Books
Genre: Fantasy
368 pages

Synopsis: A contemporary fantasy of mystery and death as American expats battle Japanese gods and monsters to retrieve an ancient artifact that can destroy the world.

On Saturday afternoon, Nikki Delany thought, “George Wilson, in the kitchen, with a blender.” By dinner, she had killed George and posted his gory murder to her blog. The next day, she put on her mourning clothes and went out to meet her best friend for lunch to discuss finding a replacement for her love interest.

Nikki is a horror novelist. Her choice of career is dictated by an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that forces her to write stories of death and destruction. She can’t control it, doesn’t understand it, but can use it to make money anywhere in the world. Currently “anywhere” is in Japan, hiding from her mother who sees Nikki’s OCD as proof she’s mentally unstable. Nikki’s fragile peace starts to fall apart when the police arrest her for the murder of an American expatriate. Someone killed him with a blender.

Reality starts to unravel around Nikki. She’s attacked by a raccoon in a business suit. After a series of blackouts, she’s accompanied by a boy that no one else can see, a boy who claims to be a god. Is she really being pursued by Japanese myths—or is she simply going insane?

What Nikki does know for sure is that the bodies are piling up, her mother has arrived in Japan to lock her up for the rest of her life—and her novels always end with everyone dead.  
My thoughts: I like Wen Spencer’s writing and have enjoyed so many of her books, but I think I will wait to see reviews of this book since it’s expensive. The synopsis sounds good though!

Gameboard of the Gods
by Richelle Mead
Series: Age of X, book 1
Published by: Dutton Adult
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
462 pages
Synopsis: A brilliant but bitter exile, plagued with an addictive personality and a troubled past.  A beautiful super soldier whose true nature holds more danger than anyone realizes.  In a futuristic country that’s turned its back on religion, these two unlikely partners find that a series of ritualistic murders are just the beginning of supernatural forces slowly attempting to reclaim the world…
My thoughts: This is another book which sounds good, but is expensive so I’m going to wait to hear what other reviews say.

Shapeshifted
by Cassie Alexander
Series: Edie Spencer series, book 3
Published by: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Genre: Urban Fantasy
321 pages
Synopsis: Nurse Edie Spence is once again called upon to save a life…and this time, it’s personal. Can her new community of zombies, vampires, and shapeshifters come to her rescue when she needs them most?

When Edie was fired from her paranormal nursing job at County Hospital, her whole world came crashing down. Now she’s is once again shaken to her core. Her mother is deathly ill and there’s only one thing that will save her: vampire blood. But with the paranormal community shunning Edie, where can she obtain it…without losing her own life in the process?  
My thoughts: I’ve preordered this book. I’ve read the previous books in this series and it has quickly become one of my favorite series.

What new June books are on your list for this month?

My Top Ten Urban Fantasy of the Last Decade

The Angieville blog posted about a list of the Top 20 Paranormal Fantasies of the Last Decade at the Barnes and Noble Book Blog.

(As an aside, the article on the B&N blog is written by Paul Goat Allen. I read his articles years ago when B&N put out a paper science fiction and fantasy newsletter each month. That brought me into their store at least once a month and I found so many new authors that way. He introduced me to Laurell K. Hamilton and her Anita Blake books. I loved those early books by her. They were the first vampire books I read. I didn’t realize Allen still wrote for B&N. I will have to check that out.)

Anyway, as Angie did in her blog I’m going to post my top ten fantasy/urban fantasy books (not in any particular order):

Carousel Tides by Sharon Lee
I enjoyed this book so much. It’s about an amusement park in a tourist town on the coast in Maine. I read this book after our family had a family reunion in Maine and we visited an amusement park at the beach! That made the book so much fun to read, but I would like it regardless. One of my favorite books! Sharon Lee also writes science fiction favorites of mine with her husband Steve Miller.

Sunshine by Robin McKinley
I was so sorry when I finished this book and then find out it’s a standalone book. This was my introduction to Robin McKinley.

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
I love this series. Just finished Frost Burned and it was as good or better than the first!

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
This is the other series I love. They are my co-favorites right now!

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
This has been a great series, too. Hard to believe the last book is in May. I started reading at the beginning of the series and it lead me to the True Blood series on HBO which is also a favorite.

Tinker by Wen Spencer
I’ve read a lot of Wen Spencer’s books, but this is my favorite. She built a great world in this book.

Nightshifted by Cassie Alexander
A new author and series I found at the end of 2012. Really looking forward to the next book.

Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch
Another new author I read at the end of last year. Good series. I like the lore about the rivers of London.

Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
October Daye is such a great character.

God Save the Queen by Kate Locke
Another new author and series. I started this one in January and quickly read the next book when it arrived in February.

Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
I’m fudging a little with this book. It was written in 2001, but I do like it a lot!

Most of the books which are part of series I used the first book in the series. I admit I’ve liked some books more than others in some of the series, but I can’t choose a favorite in each series so quickly!

What are your favorite books in this genre?