For the past two months, I have been reading a ton of Urban fantasy/ paranormal romance series. So I decided I would share with you some of my favorites.
But first, there are several underlying things that make these stories urban fantasy or paranormal. One characteristic is that they include a contemporary setting. These series are set in our world rather than a world that is created by the author. They also include some kind of magic that is used in the story or is part of the world although, in many cases, it is kept secret from the majority of the world but not always. In each of the stories, the setting takes on a character of its own which is also a characteristic that binds these stories together.
5. The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
First Book: Storm Front
The Dresden Files is the story of a wizard who advertises his magic in the phone book. While waiting for his clients to arrive (which they never seem to do when he wants them to.) he consults with the police department. What stands out about this series are the secondary characters. They are as fleshed out as Harry Dresden himself. I especially loved the characters: Thomas and Michael. And who could forget Dresden’s faithful canine companion Mouse? While this series is incredibly entertaining I would not recommend marathon reading this series, the books can start to blend together after a while, but each book is enjoyable.
4. Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs
First Book: Moon Called
As a skinwalker in a world of werewolves and fae, Mercy faces unique challenges. She believes she is the only one of her kind. Throughout the series, she has to deal with the politics of the werewolf, vampire, fae, and human communities and solve the problems that undoubtedly occur when they have to interact with each other. Throughout the series, Mercy gradually learns to depend on others instead of relying solely on herself. This series is heavily romance based so if that is not for you then I would stay away from this series. However, I really enjoyed the mythos of this series and especially what you gradually learn about Mercy’s background throughout the series.
Favorite book: Iron Kissed
3. The Iron Druid Series by Kevin Hearne
First book: Hounded
Being the last remaining Druid is quite tough for the protagonist, Atticus. Atticus has lived many lifetimes. When we meet him in the first book he is in hiding from powerful beings who would like nothing more than to destroy him. This book has quite a bit of mythology (Celtic mythology among others) which is something that I really enjoyed. If you enjoyed American Gods by Neil Gaiman than you will like this series. And who could forget Atticus’ faithful canine companion, Oberon? (Wait a second… I see a pattern here.)
Favorite book: Tricked
2. Charley Davidson Series by Darynda Jones
First Book: First Grave on the Right
This book series falls more under the realm of paranormal romance, so if that isn’t your thing, then this is probably not for you. But if you ever wondered what a grim reaper would do for a career then this is the book for you. Charley, the grim reaper runs a private detective business, which gets her into quite a bit of trouble. She is also followed by a shadowy being who protects her. This book series is filled with humor, drama and quite a bit of steamy romance which makes it quite an entertaining series. The secondary characters are also a highlight of this series.
Favorite book: Fifth Grave Past the Light
1. Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews
First Book: Magic Bites
This series is what got me reading urban fantasy and is my favorite series by far. It follows the mercenary Kate as she deals with the politics between humans, vampires, and shapeshifters in an Atlanta and world, that is rejecting technology and reverting to a magic-based society. But Kate is not quite adept at dealing with politics as she is with a blade. This series has a romance that grows over several books. (I love it)
Runner-Up: The Graveyard Queen Series by Amanda Stevens
First Book: The Restorer
In a world where ghosts drain energy from people, the people who see them are at the greatest risk. Our heroine works as cemetery restorer where she meets a police detective who is as intriguing as he is dangerous to someone like her. (But he’s hot so it’s all good). I mostly love the creepy atmosphere the author creates. This would be a great series to read during October.
Favorite book: The Restorer