If you like reading fantasy but have not tried any urban fantasy books by now, then it’s time you do!
A sub-genre of fantasy books, urban fantasy books are fantasy books whose plot is set in an urban setting.
Urban fantasy books are stories that exist in our real world but contain all the elements of fantasy i.e. all magic and paranormal elements.
I have already discussed the art of writing fantasy books in a separate article. Here I will be telling you about some of the best urban fantasy books out there in the market.
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Neverwhere is the story of an ordinary man, Richard Mayhew, whose life turned upside down when he decided to help a bleeding girl, named Door, on the sidewalk . She pushes him into the world of Neverwhere- a London of angels, demons, monsters and saints. The only way for Richard to return to his old life is to join Door, who is on a quest to find out the dark agent that slaughtered her family. While chaperoning Door to destroy the underworld kingdom, Richard should find himself a means to survive.
Neil Gaiman is a classic read and should be called the father of urban fantasy literature. He has spearheaded the twenty first century urban fantasy book’s revolution. We would talk about all the three urban fantasy books that made him one of the most highly acclaimed authors in the world of urban fantasy books.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Ex-con Shadow Moon, is hired to be the protector of Odin, the Norse god of war who is disguised as Mr. Wednesday. Odin is on the lookout for fellow “old gods” who can help him overcome the “new gods” of technology and modernity. As the cat is let of the bag, Shadow finds himself too much inside of the chase to step back. He finally decides to be there for Odin and go through the travails.
Like Neverwhere, the American Gods, was an epic in the list of urban fantasy books of all times.
Both the Neil Gaiman stories have been adapted into television series which were as successful as Gaiman’s books.
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Young Tristran Thorn of the Town of Wall has lost his heart to the adorable Victoria Forester and has promised to bring her a fallen star but the impetuous decision sends him to the dangerous and unknown world of the ancient wall. He finds out that the fallen star is actually a young woman named Yvaine.
On his return Tristran discovers that Victoria is getting engaged to someone else. At the end, Yvaine and Tristran fall in love and Tristran discovers a secret about his own family that was kept hidden from him.
If you believe in the beauty of stars and sweet romance, then stardust is too good a book to miss.
Borderland by Terri Windling
The story of the city, Borderland, where the human world and the elf world collide, it is a hothouse laboratory for the return of magic to the real world. The endearing town’s inhabitants descend from both, the human and the elf blood and struggle to understand their chaotic world.
A book meant for teenagers, it was the book that opened the world of urban fantasy for booklovers. Neil Gaimen himself agrees and affirms, “Bordertown is one of the most important places where Urban Fantasy began.” A classic urban fantasy, the anthology is a must read for newbies to urban fantasy books.
War for the oaks by Emma Bull
Rock musician of Minneapolis, Eddi McCandry finds herself being chased by shapeshifting prankster, phouka who drafts Eddie to be the linchpin in the ongoing battle between faerie’s good Seelie and the evil Unseelie court. The evil forces fall on her back, and her initial repugnance of phouka transforms into gratitude, for saving her from evil forces, first and then into love.
A classic in the genre, this is one of the first books that jaded lovers of urban fantasy books will identify themselves with.
Moon called by Patricia Briggs
I haven’t read the ‘Moon called’ personally but it is a recent addition to the list of urban fantasy books that is trending,
This is a summary of the book that I found on goodreads,
Mercedes Thompson, aka Mercy, is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will. Mercy’s next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she’s fixing a bus for a vampire. This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy’s connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water…
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
If you loved the Borderland universe, then you may fall for magic bites too.
Technological advancement has taken over magic and the world is suffering from a magical apocalypse. But neither is functioning as it should be. When magic works, planes drop from the sky, cars don’t start, guns don’t work and so on. And when guns work and cars race, magic spells and incantations fail. Young Kate Danniels, has magic in her blood too but is dormant amidst the chaos to dodge any danger. But when trouble befalls on her, she is forced to take action. As Ilona herself says, “hiding is easy, but the right choice is rarely easy.”
Storm Front by Jim Butcher
Professional wizard Harry Dresden finds himself between the devil and the sea when he is asked to investigate amateur missing magician, Victor’s case because the P.D. starts suspecting him for murder. As tension boils, Harry has to untangle the puzzle and expose what he thinks is Victor’s appalling role in the mysterious case.
Though a bit shallow in its description and story development, the story is one of the best written ones in the corpus of urban fantasy books.
Did I miss some of your favorite urban fantasy books ? Let me know in the comment section below and I will add it to my list!
Hope you enjoyed reading this blog:)