Urban Fantasy – Long Goodbyes and New Beginnings
The book that got me back into reading in my teens was Kim Harrison’s Dead Witch Walking. I had been an epic fantasy reader for years, and when I read Dead Witch Walking I was blown away by the contemporary fantasy setting. I was so excited, not knowing that there were tons more of this kind of books. Next I started Anita Blake (Laurell K. Hamilton), and Sookie Stackhouse (Charlaine Harris), and discovered entire new genres through them.
Urban fantasy, simply put, is fantasy in an urban setting. It usually revolves around the premise that there are more beasties in the world next to humans. Vampires, werewolves, and various kinds of magic casters are most common. The supernaturals can be “out”, or living in secret seclusion. More often than not, urban fantasy is also connected with a sort of “feel” – urban fantasy books tend to be long series revolving around one character, with each instalment having a separate mystery. They are action-oriented, tend to involve fighting, and can have a romantic sub-plot, but the romance is not the focus.
In 2014 a few of the extremely long-going urban fantasy series ended. Most notably are the Rachel Morgan series (Kim Harrison) and the Women of the Otherworld series (Kelley Armstrong), which have both spanned thirteen books. Other urban fantasy series that ended are the Night Huntress series (Jeanine Frost), Greywalker (Kat Richardson) and Celestial Blues (Vicki Petterson). Many, many others are still going.
It saddens me that I now barely read in such a fun genre, one that is responsible for where I am now as a reader, blogger, and writer. As part of my resolution to read more finished series, and in my continual search for fun books, I’m going to try to read more urban fantasy books in 2015. Here are some series I’m very excited about:
- The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne – I read Hounded on my Kindle a while ago and I loved the light-hearted tone and exciting mythology. I’m hoping to continue with this series this year
- Monster Haven by R.L. Naquin – This series is even more lighthearted than the Iron Druid one. The premise is fabulous, and it has hilarious side characters. It’s is almost chicklit urban fantasy
- Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews – Kate is a fan favourite, and I read the first book Magic Bites two years ago. I recently got a big chunk of the series as a present, so I should get reading those!
- Rachel Morgan/The Hollows by Kim Harrison – This is going to be a part reread, part new read for me. I read up to around book seven at my first read-through, but never progressed beyond that. Now the series is finished, there is no reason not to find out what happens to my favourite characters