For those that love magic and the supernatural, but just get tired of all the anachronisms in most fantasy novels, urban fantasy is the way to go. Generally placed in a world similar to our own, with only the addition of some more fantastic element, urban fantasy combines the magic of your favorite fairy tale with the nitty-gritty of modern day. Below is a list of five series guaranteed to hook you on the genre.
Jim Butcher (16 books)
The only entry in the phone book under Wizard, Harry Dresden is a private detective and the current champion in urban fantasy’s king of the hill. One of the best known, best selling, and well loved, urban fantasy series on the market, with 16 books and still running, The Dresden Files gets better with every volume, if not every page. There’s never a dull moment, with even Harry’s rare day off resulting in magical chaos involving itchy werewolves chasing his cat and wannabe-Death-Eaters demanding a showdown. Jim Butcher has created a version of modern day Chicago where magic and what-bumps-in-night are as real, and as deadly, as a gun, despite what the general populace thinks.
Patricia Briggs (10 books)
A Volkswagen mechanic whose Native American heritage gives her the ability to change shape into a coyote at will, Mercy Thompson never found much use for her degree in English Literature. Surrounded by supernatural creatures werewolves, vampires, and an assortment of the fae, all much stronger than herself, Mercy uses her tricksy coyote nature to stay one step ahead. At ten books this series is going strong, but Patricia Briggs has a companion series set in the same immersive universe, with five books of its own so far.
Ben Aaronovitch (6 books)
Probationary Constable Peter Grant did not dream of becoming part of the paperwork branch of the Metropolitan Police. Luckily, finding a witness to a baffling murder that happened to be a ghost quickly changed his career path. This series follows Peter’s exploits as a police officer and apprentice wizard in a London where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals, and a faceless evil is riding a rising tide of magic to the head of the criminal underground.
Annie Bellet (8 books)
Comic book store owner and erstwhile sorceress Jade Crow uses her wits, hardcore gamer knowledge, and nerditude to outsmart the nemesis who wants literally to eat her heart: her evil ex-boyfriend. A fun and fast-paced read, Twenty-Sided Sorceress will appeal to anyone who has spent an evening gaming at a comic book shop or been part of an MMORPG raid party. Eight books in the series so far, with the first seven collected into two omnibus editions to ease the burden on your wallet, eat your heart out! Metaphorically.
Jim C. Hines (4 books)
Have you ever had the urge to just reach into a book you love and take something out of it? The hero’s sword? A raygun or tricorder? A golden cup? Maybe a necklace with an hourglass pendant? Isaac Vainio has that power as a libriomancer, someone who works magic through books, and the belief given to them by their readers. Despite (or maybe because of) this incredible gift, Isaac still finds himself in mortal jeopardy, facing down secret societies, vampires, corrupt government agents, and even the European inventor of the printed word himself, Johannes Gutenberg. This series is the ultimate in wish fulfillment for any book lover, and Jim C. Hines grants your wish for an incredibly exciting and unique series.