Obviously I’m a bit biased here. I will FULLY admit that I write urban fantasy novels, I love creating characters and worlds within the genre, and I love reading it. But the thing is, when people ask me what I write and I say “Urban Fantasy”, I often get a blank look and an “Oh, that’s nice, dear.” So let me do my best to not only tell you exactly what urban fantasy is, but somehow convince you to give it a try.
“I love a strong female lead and we were delivered that in spades with Larkspur . . . This story is fast paced and exciting right from the start. I can’t wait to see what comes next!”
Urban Fantasy is at its core set in the real world, either a city (hence the urban) or a rural setting where the magic or supernatural abound. Think of it like an alternate universe, the world IF magic were to be a part of it. Usually there is some romance involved, but not necessarily. If the romance gets too heavy, then you’re getting into Paranormal Romance which is a whole other article.
So that’s the definition, but why should you try it out?
WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?
Did you love “The Chronicles of Narnia” when you were growing up? Or maybe you loved “Harry Potter” and his adventures. Maybe as a child you believed that if you opened that closet door, or stepped onto a train at a certain platform you’d be swept away into another world. A magical world where your favorite characters waited. That feeling? You can find it as an adult in urban fantasy. The thought that we live side by side with the monsters and the magic, that if we look hard enough or the right way that it DOES exist. It’s pretty cool to have that as an adult, especially when we are faced every day with the reality of life.
LIVING THE DREAM: Did you love The Chronicles of Narnia when you were growing up? Or maybe you loved Harry Potter and his adventures. Maybe as a child you believed that if you opened that closet door, or stepped onto a train at a certain platform you’d be swept away into another world. A magical world where your favorite characters waited. That feeling? You can find it as an adult in urban fantasy. The thought that we live side by side with the monsters and the magic, that if we look hard enough or the right way that it DOES exist. It’s pretty cool to have that as an adult, especially when we are faced every day with the reality of life.
IT AIN’T EPIC: What does this mean? That you aren’t going to find a 900 page urban fantasy novel. (Okay, maybe one or two but it isn’t common). Most urban fantasy books can be picked up on a Friday after work and finished by Sunday. They aren’t going to take you two weeks to finish (unlike something like Robert Jordan or Brandon Sanderson, both of whom I adore, but you have to set aside a good chunk of time for those boys and their words).
CHASE SCENES AND POTTY MOUTHS: Yeah, get ready for chase scenes, fight scenes, and a pace that will often leave you breathless with the action.
Seriously, if you want a good heart pounding that doesn’t involve running up and down ten flights of stairs, go grab an urban fantasy novel. And if you’re tired of the young adult fantasy where the worst word that pops out of their mouth is a single usage of the cuss word “shit” then you need an urban fantasy. Because they are more adult in context, you’re going to get adult language. Which for me is a good thing.
MONSTERS AND MAGIC!: Oh man, if you want monsters that aren’t JUST vampires and werewolves, then you’ve got to dive into this. Don’t think about sparkling vampires, don’t think about brooding werewolves. Urban fantasy is so much more than that. Think harpies, elementals, griffins, gargoyles, demons, goblins and unicorns. Trust me, it’s so worth it to find yourself riding with a character by dragon back! And the magic? Get ready to watch the best spells get flung at the bad guys, things you’d never believe possible if you hadn’t just read about it.
HEROINES: The majority of urban fantasy is written from a female heroines perspective. With all the books out there written from a man’s point of view, urban fantasy is close to 90% from a female perspective. Strong, powerful women who are out there saving the day, changing the world, being bad ass.
SERIES ANYONE?: That’s right, most urban fantasy is written as a series. The longer the better in a lot of cases. It isn’t uncommon to find an urban fantasy series running ten books or more. Which for a voracious reader is a blessing. Especially once you are invested in the story, the characters . . . why would you want it to end?
Really, you’ve got nothing to lose. And to show you I mean well, here’s a list of some of my favorite urban fantasy reads. Yes, a couple of my own books are in here too, seeing as I do write urban fantasy….