During last night’s extremely fun Live AMA to celebrate Boundary Born (which you can still watch, by the way), I was asked about my book recommendations in the urban fantasy genre. I listed a few favorites off the top of my head, but I also promised to share a larger list here on the blog. This is me, sharing. What I would really love is for you to comment on this post with YOUR recommendations — I’ve definitely never pretended to know all the great UF books!
Here are the urban fantasy series that I personally have read and recommend to others (at some point I may do another post with my To-Read pile). In the interest of time, I am NOT going to include descriptions and links to each book, since that would take forever, and I trust all of you to Google successfully on your own. (Pro tip: when you’re trying to figure out the right books to read in what order, the fastest way is often Wikipedia, which can be simpler to navigate than most author sites or going through Amazon.) I’m just going to list the author name, the series name, and the first book, and allow you to explore them on your own. You’ll notice that although these books are wildly different in many ways, the urban fantasy plotline always comes before any romance plotline, and if there’s sex, it’s written in because it’s important to the characterization. In other words, these books are urban fantasy, as opposed to paranormal romance, just because that’s my personal preference. In movie ratings, in terms of just sexual content, these would all be PG-13 except for Kelley Armstrong.
One other caveat: with a few of these, I have not read all the way through the book series because of time constraints, or because the books got a little repetitious at the end. But if the series is appearing here, at least the first few books are worthy of your time. Starred titles are the ones mentioned during the video.
Series I Read, in no particular order:
*Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files — the first book is Storm Front, but I suggest starting with book 2, Fool Moon.
*Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson — Moon Called
*Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville — Kitty and the Midnight Hour
Annie Bellet’s 20-Sided Sorceress — Justice Calling
Ben Aaronovitch’s Peter Grant — Midnight Riot (US Title)/ Rivers of London (UK Title)
Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim — Sandman Slim
*Rob Thurman’s Leandros Bros — Nightlife
*Mike Carey’s Felix Castor — The Devil You Know
Seanan McGuire’s October Daye — Rosemary and Rue is the first book; the series doesn’t hit its stride until Late Eclipses or One Salt Sea
Seanan McGuire’s InCryptid — Discount Armageddon
Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock — Skinwalker
Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International —Monster Hunter International
Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles — Hounded
Matt Wallace’s Sin du Jour (novellas) — Envy of Angels
Chris Farnsworth’s Nathanial Cade — Blood Oath
Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld — Bitten is book one, I suggest starting with book two, Stolen
Jennifer Rardin’s Jaz Parks — Once Bitten Twice Shy
Paul Cornell’s Shadow Police — London Falling
Stephen Blackmoore’s Eric Carter —Dead Things
Charlie Holmberg’s Paper Magician — The Paper Magician (Probably the only historical novel on this list, but fantastic)