I write a lot and every day.
I write a lot of different genres though my preferred styles are flash fiction, satire, and non-fiction humour writing. I love to write romance, crime fiction, poetry, and weird short stories. I journal and blog (obviously) and write little plot points and ideas on dozens of Post-Its that end up floating around my purse only to surface awkwardly when I am searching for my keys or my wallet and embarrass me desperately. (Inevitably it’s always romance quotes that wind up on the Starbucks counter, beginnings of stories where I use my own name in the place of the heroine for no other reason than because I can. Oh! Woe is me! Such dramatic dialogue!)
I write for myself and since I am quite narcissistic and think everything I do is amazing and delightful obviously I like what I write. (Is it possible to be narcissistically insecure? I think that’s probably the most apt description of me ever.)
But my greatest failure? My biggest disappointment as a writer?
I cannot write Urban Fantasy to save my life. (Really, I assume I can’t write any fantasy, but in the interest of full disclosure I have only ever tried Urban Fantasy. You know, aside from my Harry Potter and Final Fantasy FanFiction days, but let’s just pretend those don’t exist, OK? OK!)
No matter what I do or how many ideas I have it always seems like I am ripping off one of my favourite stories and doing a really terrible job of it. Like a bad internet dubbing of an overseas gameshow, it’s hilarious but for all of the wrong reasons.
Urban Fantasy is my favourite genre to read. Sure, I have a great respect for all types of fantasy (I am a massive Lord of the Rings fans and while I haven’t read the books yet, I really like Game of Thrones as a TV show though I could do with a bit less blood splatter) but Urban Fantasy is the genre I covet.
It’s that sense of intrigue that comes from reading a book about a world that is so much like your own but fantastical. Urban Fantasy doesn’t seem to get a lot of respect from the purists, but in the words of that one comedian I loathed at the comedy night at Hecklers a year ago: “Snarfy Snarf!” Hate all you want, bitches, these books are the bomb!
Now, I know True Blood put a spotlight on the genre and books like “Twilight” can occasionally be thrown in the Urban Fantasy section (which is wrong, wrong, wrong) but there are so many brilliant series out there and I feel the need to shine a light on them.
Those who can’t do teach and in this instance I plan to educate you, dear reader, on the Urban Fantasy series you should be reading.
So, without further ado, I bring to you my list of Top Five Urban Fantasy Series:
“Mercy Thompson Series” by Patricia Briggs: Beginning with ‘Moon Called’, Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series is a brilliant collection of page turners that is now on its ninth book (and I am desperately awaiting the 10th). Not once have any of the books felt stale or recycled.
Honourable Mention: The Alpha and Omega Series, set in the same world as the Mercy Thompson books but featuring different characters.
“Kate Daniels Series” by Ilona Andrews: Ilona Andrews is actually a husband and wife duo that writes these amazing books about a “post shift world” where magic and technology fight for dominance. It’s pretty kick ass. I love the characters and the politics of the world they have created.
“Cassie Palmer Series” by Karen Chance: These books are so chock-a-block filled with details and awesomeness that they are not for skimmers but it’s the attention to detail that makes them so special. They are definitely books that require your full attention and are ones I never get tired of rereading.
Honourable Mention: The Dorina Basarab Series is also really, really good, though I highly recommend reading the Cassie Palmer books first.
Honourable Mention Part Deux: Karen Chance has a lot of free short stories available both on her website and as ebooks (Kobo.ca is where I got mine). They are definitely worth checking out!
“The Hollows Series (Rachel Morgan)” by Kim Harrison: Definitely one of the best Urban Fantasy series of all time, the Hollows series recently released its thirteenth and final book. Set in a world where the witches and supernatural beings of the world were forced to reveal themselves after a large percentage of the human population died from a plague caused by genetically modified tomatoes (trust me, Kim Harrison explains it much, much better), these books are brilliant and funny and definitely worth checking out.
“The Walker Papers (Joanne Walker)” by CE Murphy: Another series that recently released its final book, this one is a classic good versus evil series that explores a lot of Celtic and Native American Mythology. It’s a great series and now that I’ve fully digested the final book I can’t wait to reread them.
So go forth, my dear readers, and read something new! Also, if any of you have any recommendations for Urban Fantasy novels (or any novels, really) please share them in the comments. I am always looking for something new to read.