Monday, 27 August 2012

Why I love Urban Fantasy...+ GIVEAWAY

As part of my two-year blogging anniversary I want to highlight some of genres I love reading the most. I like a lot of different genres which I have to mix up regularly to stop myself (and hopefully you!) getting bored, but a brief look at my quick links shows one genre that crops up most frequently...Urban Fantasy. Any regular reader of my blog knows I love the genre. While there are many different definitions, I like to stick to simplicity. For me Urban Fantasy is magic and supernatural in a modern setting – whether that setting is on the city, in the country or in the suburbs doesn’t matter to me. My definition of modern can also include the near future or slightly alternate worlds – so it can be quite a big genre!

The first Urban Fantasy book I read that is now considered traditional Urban Fantasy was Kelley Armstrong’s Bitten, the first in the Otherworld series. It had been recommended to me by Amazon based on the fact that I loved Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. It introduced me to werewolves and a strong heroine who was struggling to come to terms with who she was and what had happened to her.  Since then I’ve numerous other UF and one element I love in all in the extraordinary in a normal world. Whether the supernaturals are out and proud as they are in Sookie Stackhouse and Mercy Thompson books, or still in hiding such as the Otherworld and Corrine Solomon I love the conflict between the normal and the paranormal. I love the strong heroines and heroes who do the right thing no matter what it costs them and I love the morally ambiguous characters who live in shades of grey. I also adore that in most cases Urban Fantasy is written as an ongoing series and pretty much every UF series has gotten stronger the more books you read. If there is a spark or any potential you see in the first book, then carry on with the series because the chances are the best books are still to come!  
This isn’t a literature paper on Urban Fantasy so I’m going to list some of my favourite UF tropes and some I’m not so keen on...
I love UF because...
  • There are kick-ass strong women who can hold their own in a fight and they have a brain!
  • There are some truly hot men who let women be themselves
  • Vampire! Werewolves! Shifters! Mental Powers! Magic powers are real...
  • Not all ‘bad’ people are evil, and not all ‘good’ people do the right thing
  • Characters change and evolve over series – and often so does the world
  • The world is recognisable with mobile phones, internet and fast cars
  • The heroes  & heroines never give up!
  • Snarky humour is so much fun!
  • The surrounding characters are just as real and fun as the main characters
 I’m bored of UF with...
  • Women who are surrounded by men all the time and never meet or interact with other women (Come on! That’s just not normal!)
  • All the men fall for one woman
  • The mysterious stranger who may or may not be trusted ends up being trustworthy...
  • The heroine/hero manages to defeat the big bad despite having been shot/burned/seriously injured two pages earlier
What do you love about Urban Fantasy? Do you disagree with me in either list?
In order to celebrate I’m offering one person their choice of Urban Fantasy book from my list of favourite series starring strong women:

Just fill in the form below before 8th September 2012! Open Internationally...
And don’t forget to check out my first Bloggoversarygiveaway here – open until 30th August


  1. I think Bitten was the book that got me hooked on urban fantasy.

  2. I got hooked reading Ilona Andrews. The Kate Daniels series included some mythological tropes as well so it was doubly interesting. I agree with your lists - especially the negative one. There is nothing worse than when all male characters fall for one woman even though she is hardly the nicest/prettiest/sexiest around. Also those strange duels when the hero wins even if he has no hands/no head/no brain are something that can put me off effectively. Or sudden resurrections.

  3. Ahh, a lot of these books are on my wishlist. So many books and so little time!

    I love UF because I love the character development. You just can't compare getting to know a character over eight UF books vs one PNR book.

    I read a definition of UF that explains it perfectly: It's paranormal romance without the mush :D

  4. It's funny when I read your bad things I immediatly thought of Anita Blake. YOu're right and I totally agree with you but I don't often have a problem with UF books. Really I just love them, I love to discover new authors and new ideas. Well who couldn't want a kick ass heroine? not possible!

  5. Oh I love UF!! I agree with those things on your list, especially the like list! :) Snark! What's not to like? LOL

  6. Hihi I have read all of those books ;D

    I love UF cos of kick-ass heroines and awesome heroes. Sure I like romance but most of all I want a story so that is why I like UF

  7. Guilty Pleasures got me hooked up on UF, but Bitten was one of the first UF books I've read. Great list, Mel! :)

  8. Congrats on your blogoversary! And I think I've got the first books or read the series (or parts of it) already, except for two here! :D Great list!!

  9. I recommend this book its Urban Fantasy, you can buy it on kindle, since I have the version right now

  10. I have read so many great UF books, but couldn't possibly say which book got me started. I agree with many of the things on your like/dislike list. Your choice of UF books is top-notch! :)

  11. ^^ i love UF and i got some of these on my wishlist so choising wasn't easy

    thank you a lot