A few years ago I was asked by a friend of mine “What five books (excluding the Bible) do you think everyone should read?” I decided to give the question a spin and a few of my blogging buddies are giving me their five reads in their favorite genres. Up today is Berls @ Fantasy is more fun and her favorite genre Urban Fantasy.
A huge thanks to Lillian for inviting me to talk about one of my favorite genres today – Urban Fantasy! She asked me if I could name my five books that I think everyone should read in the genre. That’s not an easy task… of all my shelves on Goodreads, Urban Fantasy has the most (beside the to-read pile, of course!). So, I’m giving this my own little spin (of course!) and telling you the first five Urban Fantasy series I read. I figure, if they hooked me into the series so completely they’re the first five everyone should read!
And because I like suspense, I’m doing this in backwards order hehehe…
The Five Urban Fantasy Series Everyone Should Read, according to Berls
#5: Riley Jenson Guardian Series by Keri Arthur
I stumbled upon this series shortly after I started really reading again. I list it as number five because it’s the only series out of the five that I haven’t reread at all. It’s a lot sexier than the other books on my list – some would probably put it in an erotic category. Having read some hard-core erotica I don’t. But it’s definitely hot and steamy!
I loved the characters, the action, and the unique blending of fantasy creatures with sci-fi elements. The main character, Riley, is a dhampire with a cool mix of vampire and werewolf abilities. She works for the “good guys” and even though her job isn’t supposed to be so action packed when the series starts, from the first page it’s an action packed ride. Lots of great supporting characters round the series out to a satisfying conclusion. Check it out, starting with book 1: Full Moon Rising
#4: Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning
I almost didn’t put this series on my list, but it’s greatness shouldn’t be destroyed by the recent drama sourrounding it. All I will say is… do NOT buy the audio. If you don’t know the drama, no need to go looking. If you do, then you understand.
That being said, Karen Marie Moning really did create a fantastic world with this series and I was quickly sucked in. I lay awake late late at night – despite being in grad school and really NEEDING to sleep – mesmerized by her relationship with the extremely alpha Jerhico Barrons and drawn in by the world of fae around her. Until this book I didn’t really know anything about the fae and now fae are easily one of the BIGGEST draws to me for a book. And this is the series that started that allure for me. It has great mystery, fantastic characters, intensity, and action. Check it out, starting with book 1: Darkfever
#3: The Hollows Series by Kim Harrison
I’ve recently re-lived the greatness of this series through the eyes of someone else reading it for the first time. And yeah, it’s effing awesome. I own it in audio, in ebook, and as much as I can in signed hardcover. Yes, I love this series!
Part of what makes it great is how intricate it is. You’ve got so many different supernatural characters – witches, vampires, demons, weres, pixies, fairies, gargoyles, and elves – all written living together in a very complex world alongside humans. The relationships are the icing on this beautiful cake, though. They’re so real. They love, they hate, they fight, they make up, they make real mistakes and at the end of the day they’re the truest of friends and enemies. I lost myself completely in this series because of how real it feels. I will give you the same warning I give everyone I recommend this series to… you have to start with book 1, but the first 50% of book 1 is really rough. It took Harrison a bit to find her way. But she does and it’s worth that little bit of awkwardness. Don’t give up on it! Start with book 1 (good in audio or print): Dead Witch Walking
#2: Cassandra Palmer Series by Karen Chance
I honestly can’t remember which series I read first, this one or #1 on my list. I was loaned both from a friend at work and devoured the books I was given so quickly and then headed to the book store to find more. I own them all and am ashamed to say I haven’t read the most recent in either of their series. Shame! But this is where my love of Urban Fantasy started. In Cassie Palmer we have a young girl running from her childhood and, as it turns out, her destiny. She can see and talk to ghosts – little does she know that rare ability has her destined for greater things. I think what I’ve always loved most about this series is that realistic way that Cassie blunders. Nothing comes easy for her. She hurts herself, destroys her clothes, and just in general screws up. As anyone would in her situation. But she keeps a sense of humor about it and is creative. I think she and Buffy would get along – they both have some great one-liners. As the series has progressed some really amazing developments have come along the way. Oh and there is a really good sister-series that you absolutley MUST read alongside it about Dorina a dhampir (nothing like Riley Jenson, btw). Oh and series plays with time! Cassie travels back and forth through time and Karen Chance does a fantastic job of keeping it from getting confusing. Unless of course, Cassie’s confused, which is always great 🙂 Start with book 1: Touch the Dark
#1: Mercedes Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs
And last, but certainly not least, from the queen of Urban Fantasy herself – the Mercy Thompson series. Geez. I devoured these books. I found the humour perfect. The antagonism between Mercy (Mercedes the VW mechanic LOL!) and Adam was perfect. Her VW driving vampire bestie was a perfect blend of loyal friendship and creepiness. I loved that she was a coyote – a shifter, but not a werewolf. The frienships, the relationships, the mystery, and the action were just… perfect. And having had the privilege of meeting both Patti and her husband in person, I have to say the author behind the books is equally great. I think “knowing” them makes me love these books all the more. And as much as I love Mercy – as she was literally my first UF love – Patti Briggs has written a great sister series you must read along side this one, called Alpha and Omega. I have sometimes preferred it to Mercy Thompson, though I feel guilty for saying so. Start with book 1: Moon Called
So there you have it… my top 5 Urban Fantasy series. Yes, there are others that I love. But these are the five that got me started. If you’ve been thinking about giving the genre a try and haven’t yet, try one of these. You’ll be hooked. I was!!
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She’s a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it’s no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge.
Thank you Berls! I have a few books to add to my TBR shelf now ? What’s your favorite Urban Fantasy read?