Looking for the Best Urban Fantasy Books to read? Urban fantasy isn’t a doubt among the most exciting genres in contemporary literature. Technically, “urban fantasy” is simply any kind of fantasy with an urban setting, regardless of the time period. An urban fantasy story can take place in our own real world with a few added werewolves for sexual tension, or it can take place in some alternate version of the past, or in some utterly imagined fantastical world (as long as there’s a city in there somewhere).
So for lovers of those things and much more: if you’re trying to find your next read, then you have come to the ideal location. Penn Book is responsible for the purchase and selection of horror, science fiction, and fantasy books for our library. Below are his suggestions for Urban Fantasy titles. Listed below are 40 highly addictive urban fantasy books to attempt a lot of which are a part of a more extensive series, and that means you’re going to have the ability to feed your addiction for several sequels to come.
Top Rated Best Urban Fantasy Novels To Read
Here is a list of the best urban fantasy books that Pennbook recommended reading:
The Dresden Files – Jim Butcher
If you’re looking at urban fantasy recommendations, you probably have noticed Dresden Files by Jim Butcher cited previously. It is a fan favorite and a few exceptionally excellent studying with plenty of attitudes. This one helped to pioneer the entire detective noir urban fantasy subgenre; he has been duplicated but not matched.
Indeed, the books are so damn entertaining to see: as of this previous publication, The Dresden Files is an ideal mixture of the puzzle, adventure, and love all wrapped in a coating of dark grittiness, but livened up with considerable amounts of amusing comedy.
It requires two or three books before Butcher hits his stride (so do not give up too early!!), but if he does, oh boy, be ready for a hell of a read. These books begin fairly light-hearted but slowly stride into darker and darker lands; there’s a vague sense of humor evinced from the protagonist.
- Butcher, Jim (Author)
Borderland – Terri Windling
It might be claimed that Borderland was the catalyst for its whole urban fantasy fad. This anthology perfectly embodies the notion of worlds colliding: every story occurs in “Bordertown,” a chaotic, dystopian city that divides the world into the mythical “Elfland’s.” And in Bordertown, things are not as they look. Neither magical nor human engineering works faithfully, and their mix can even prove fatal.
The inhabitants of this town, such as a (literally) magical musician and “half” inhabitants descended from both the human and elf blood, all share in the battle to understand the world about them… a universe which, from its very nature, defies comprehension.
American Gods – Neil Gaiman
Another head of this urban fantasy revolution was Neil Gaiman that enthralled millions with the 1996 urban fantasy series Neverwhere. When Gaiman introduced American infantry a couple of decades after, it had been a much bigger success, garnering praise and awards as among the best novels of the twenty-first century.
This publication follows ex-con Shadow Moon because he becomes the reluctant bodyguard of a guy named Mr. Wednesday – that Shadow quickly understands is Odin, the Norse god of war. Wednesday/Odin is working his way around the U.S. looking for fellow Old Rings, recruiting them to combat the American “New Gods” of press and modernity… but for what reason? As Shadow unearths more secrets about his mysterious company, he starts to find his mortal self in over his head – but this will not prevent him from attempting to put things right.
City of Bones – Cassandra Clare
Cassandra Clare is just another massive name in the metropolitan fantasy game, along with her book City of Bones, which helped bring the genre to the twenty-first-century mainstream. Within this whirlwind story, New York adolescent Clary Fray finds her individuality as a Shadowhunter, a supernatural entity with the capability to kill allies.
When her mum Jocelyn is kidnapped, Clary teams up with newfound accomplices to determine who’s taken her and why. They know shocking Truths about the world of the Shadowhunters, truths which Jocelyn always intentionally kept out of her daughter – not understanding that Clary would require that very knowledge to save her own life.
Fortunately, our heroine is determined to learn as much as she can and struggle with every ounce of her power to maintain herself and her nearest and dearest safe.
Moon Called – Patricia Briggs
Moon Called was hailed as one of the most innovative urban fantasy developments in the past several decades. It celebrates Mercedes (Mercy Thompson), a skilled mechanic, and shapeshifter that is living among werewolves, vampires, and supernatural creatures. However, though their shared residence of this “Tri-Cities” area might seem harmonious, the difficulty has been simmering just under the surface.
That difficulty stems when Mercy is approached for work with a distressed teenage werewolf, which shows he has just escaped his destiny for a laboratory rat (or laboratory wolf, in this instance ). Whoever soon realizes that her new acquaintance isn’t an isolated coincident should set out to save all of the werewolves she understands before it is too late.
Kitty and the Midnight Hour – Carrie Vaughn
Ginger Snaps meets Good Morning, Vietnam well, maybe not precisely. However, Kitty and the Midnight Hour solve a young werewolf, ironically called Kitty, who hosts a favorite late-night radio series in Denver. It is an excellent gig for Kitty, but there is a catch: her series is a continuous quest of supernatural folklore. It is becoming harder and harder to conceal her true identity from her crowd.
After many attempts on her life, Kitty knows she’s to reel back her radio existence but how can she, when her loyal listeners could be determined by her to rescue them? Imaginative and extremely engaging, not due to Kitty’s witty on-the-air comment, this book will force you to see ” the midnight hour” in an entirely new light. This is one of the best urban fantasy series for reading!
- Carrie Vaughn (Author)
Fire & Heist – Sarah Beth Durst
Fire & Heist is an area fantasy’s response to the Ocean’s franchise to invoke cinematic comparisons. Sky Hawkins has ever known it is her fate to pull a heist: not just do nimble fingers run in her loved ones, but does heritage. The Hawkinses prove themselves via appropriations, and Sky is excited about her chance in the gold (or should we say gold-pilfering) crown.
The simple fact that she is a wyvern a person who will transform into a dragon can also be a blessing. However, when Sky depended upon a dark secret in preparing her heist, she begins thinking her familial roots are not all they’re cracked up to be.
Magic Bites – Ilona Andrews
Gritty Magic series by Ilona Andrews has been among the very prominent in an urban fantasy over the last couple of decades, and it kicked off with Magic Bites. Within this universe, a “magical apocalypse” has abandoned all systems completely unpredictable neither technologies nor magical acts as it should, and if one operates, another inevitably fails (not as in the Borderland world, but to a much greater extent).
Input Kate Daniels, a young girl, is living in Atlanta, one of the witches, were-creatures, and power-hungry necromancers. Kate has magic in her blood and remains hidden not to become a goal; to ward off danger, she depends on her sharp sword and sharper tongue. When a problem occurs to her from an unexpected source, Kate must make a snap decision flight or fight? Sword in hand, she becomes a vicious mercenary, prepared to generate all her enemy’s cover.
Midnight Riot – Ben Aaronovitch
From Publisher’s Weekly: “During this fast-paced paranormal police procedural, Aaronovitch presents Peter Grant, a rookie cop who can see ghosts. This unusual gift saves him by a prospective lifetime of workplace work when Chief Insp. Thomas Nightingale sends him for magician training. Britain’s police force has long known of the supernatural. Grant will help Nightingale solve several of London’s magic problems, most primarily, the mysterious series of violent attacks that generally end with the perpetrator’s face falling off.
Since the severe outbreak evolves, Grant should race to complete his magical lessons and resolve an ages-long dispute involving Britain’s seas. Although the book sometimes feels a bit too jam-packed with plot points and experiences, it is witty, enjoyable, and filled with colorful characters. The plot twists will remain even experienced mystery fans imagining.
Dead Things – Stephen Blackmoore
From Publisher’s Weekly: “two years following necromancer Eric Carter finally saw his younger sister Lucy, he was devastated to find out some “thing” ripped her apart from her property. Despite their previous estrangement,” Carter drops to research; however, what he finds raises his feelings of guilt: that the killer left a hidden message which he can read, which makes it crystal clear that Lucy was only a convenient path to Carter.
Blackmoore employs Chandleresque prose (“The Port of Los Angeles sits on the border of an industrial pit named Wilmington that stinks of petrol, burned oil, and dead fantasies”) to easily incorporate a hard-boiled feeling of urban grief into a paranormal storyline.
Together with occasional leavening provided by smart-aleck comedy. Urban fantasy readers will love the polished, guaranteed hope, and writing to get a bevy of all sequels.”
Fevre Dream – George R.R. Martin
The one vampire book to rule them all there are many to lead nowadays with the urban fantasy subgenre fully packed with vampire romance books. When there’s just one “vampire” book out there you ought to read, Fevre Dream is it. The atmosphere is exotic, the characters complex, and the book richly plotted. If you’re interested in an outstanding and distinctive vampire book, this one takes the cake, cookies, and donuts.
- Martin, George R. R. (Author)
The Axe and the Throne – M. D. Ireman
Having a Martin-esque storyline and Jim Butcher’s pace, The Axe and the Throne are finite “should read” for the pickiest fantasy lovers.
In his magnificent introduction, Ironman has assembled the world vivid and engaging that leaving it, in conclusion, is agony. Regardless of leaning toward grimdark, where writers often enshroud each scene in gloomy darkness, there isn’t any deficiency of cheerful minutes of vibrant scenery. Nevertheless, the pangs of near-instant nostalgia that come once you put a book similar to this have much less to do with all the inspired setting and much more to do with individuals who occupy it.
From vicious, unremorseful heroes to deep, introspective villains, the story’s cast is composed of characters capable of unthinkable actions. And it’s these figures the ones that you want you can share a drink or wind up needing to kill – which forge the relationship between reality and fantasy. Keethro, Titon, Ethel, Annora. All these are names you’ll never forget, and each belongs to a man or woman just as exceptional as they are unforgettable.
No publication would be complete with no its fair share of jealousy, but there’s no absence of it. Every chapter leaves you wanting more, and Ireman’s masterful use of misdirection contributes to a wealth of “oh shit” moments. Don’t be duped (or perform – maybe that is part of the pleasure ) by storylines that will seem trope-ish initially. That is no fairytale.
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell – Susanna Clarke
This takes the entrance for “period” urban fantasy since the atmosphere is that the Napoleon Regency era concentrated on the gentry English countryside. It is a slow, ponderous novel that slowly builds up the strain. Readers fall into two groups here: individuals who plow through the first few hundred pages to get into the center of the narrative, and people who stop before reaching the stage at which things become interesting.
Do not be among the latter Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is an intriguing book abundant with Language lore, baroque terminology, along with a whole alternative English mythology that seeps pm every webpage. For people who adore reading for reading’s sake, you are going to appreciate this publication.
The Southern Vampire Mysteries – Charlaine Harris
Also referred to as the Sookie Stackhouse books and the authentic Blood collection, if you have walked the fantasy shelves in a bookstore or library, you have encountered a book in this sequence. It is a fixture in the urban fantasy genre and has also been the foundation for the critically acclaimed HBO series Authentic Blood.
The show is filled to the brim with witches, shapeshifters, faeries (oh my) that can be put in a little city in Louisiana. There are 13 books in the urban fantasy series, finishing with Dead After publpublishing2013. The first publication in this urban fantasy series, Dead Until Dark, won an Anthony Award for Best Paperback Mystery in 2001.
Bone Street Rumba Series – Daniel José Older
Composed by a New York Times best-selling author, Bone Street Rumba is a trilogy with a varied cast in a noir urban fantasy setting hefty with all the undead. The protagonist Carlos Delacruz is an in-betweener, half alive and half dead, and functions for New York’s Council of the Dead. These novels are steeped in Latinx civilization and undead folklore since Delacruz and his companions struggle against ghosts and ghouls to keep the town secure. The very first book in the trilogy is Half-Resurrection Blues.
Arcadia Project Series – Mishell Baker
Together with the very first publication, Borderline being a Nebula award nominee, along with a Tiptree Award honor book, the Arcadia Project series starts strong. The trilogy facilities Millie, who’s disabled and has a borderline personality disorder. She is recruited by a secret organization that retains the line between fact and faerie from becoming overly blurred and war from breaking out between the two.
This is an urban fantasy series I suggest picking up, mainly because the writer has a borderline personality disorder.
The Jill Kismet Series – Lilith Saintcrow
An Amazon bestseller and composed by a New York Times best-selling writer, the Jill Kismet show is just another one you might have come across from the fantasy aisles. Beginning with Night Shift, the exhibition spans six books plus a few short stories after Jill Kismet, a demon slayer who’s merely trying to remain alive and keep the city safe-but; of course, that won’t ever happen.
This show is set in precisely the same world as Saintcrow’s Dante Valentine series, which has five novels, which means you’ve got a fantastic weekend before you by studying either or both of these sets.
Witchmark – C.L. Polk
Miles Singer was magical marked because he had been a baby. He had been meant for a lifetime of anguish, doomed to be a servant to his family’s requirements or to be put out for good in a witches’ asylum. Thus Miles Singer has determined to fake his death and reinvent himself as a physician. Still, it is not easy to escape a magical mark, and Miles soon discovers he must choose between keeping his identity a secret and getting to the base of a patient’s murder.
Bitten – Kelley Armstrong
Elena Michaels is a werewolf, and she is over it. She is tired of spending her entire life in hiding, with violence and threats to hunting down rogue werewolves. She is tired of being mad all of the time. And first and foremost, she is tired of being the world’s only female werewolf. So she is leaving it all behind and going to Toronto to begin life as a typical human woman.
Naturally, when she discovers a pleasant, mellow experience along with a friendly, handsome guy, her previous pack includes calling, searching for Elena to finish one final wolfish mission.
Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman
Underneath the streets of London is just another world altogether. It is a world of angels and creatures, by which unspeakable beasts stem the train crews, and people may create doors from thin air. When Richard Mayhew ceases to assist a distressed lady on the road, he sees himself jerked abruptly out of his humdrum life for a busy businessman catapulted to the chaotic magic of London Below inside this urban fantasy classic.
The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act – Kieron Gillen
Every 90 decades, 12 gods come to Earth to live as individual beings. They’re adored and feared after which, after two decades as mortals, they perish. The Wicked + The Divine is a gorgeously illustrated, totally bizarre picture book in a universe where pop stars are literal gods, and in which immortals have to come to terms with their limited time on Earth.
- Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critically thermonuclear floor-fillers Young Avengers and Phonogram reunite to start a new, ongoing, superhero fantasy with a beautiful, oversized issue.
Angels’ Blood – Nalini Singh
I mean, is it an urban fantasy book in case you don’t possess a minimum of one steamy love involving a kick-ass lady vampire hunter and a hot angel? Queen of dark fantasy and paranormal romance Nalini Singh brings us precisely that in Angels’ Blood, as seasoned vamp hunter Elena Deveraux attempts a new gig on for size: monitoring an archangel gone rogue.
Undead Girl Gang – Lily Anderson
BFFs Mila and Riley have dabbled in amateur witchcraft (there is nothing else to do in their sleepy little hometown). When Riley and two colleagues mean women die under abnormal conditions, a horrified Mila knows precisely what she’s to do: catch some lip gloss and a spellbook and deliver her very best friend back from beyond the grave.
Darkfever – Karen Marie Moning
Mac can see in the world of the Fae. It is a gift (or perhaps a curse?) That she has only just confessed. However, with her sister’s unexpected death, Mac abruptly does not have any option but to take her own odd magic. Explore a grisly murder and track down the elusive Dark Novel before somebody else grabs the individual’s hands and the Fae realms of fact.
Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas
In the vein of The Hunger Games, Maas’s Throne of Glass facilitates a ferocious to-the-death contest – its participants are not randomly picked civilians, but professionally trained killers, competing to serve their king.
Eighteen-year-old unlawful assassin Celaena Sardothien throws into the ring by Prince Dorian, who claims she will be pardoned out of her offenses if she triumphs. As you may anticipate, the prince has a professional interest in Celaena, as does her struggle trainer Westfall. However, Celaena does not have an opportunity to consider love when her fellow contestants begin turning up dead before the competition has already started. It is up to her to determine what’s happening, lest she becomes another victim.
Some Girls Bite – Chloe Neill
Another time around the Chicago p.d block, but with vampires this moment! Some Women Bite is the inaugural narrative of Caroline Evelyn Merit, a 28-year-old graduate student rescued from a campus assault by Ethan Sullivan a vampire who turns her into one of his very own. Now confronted with a lifetime (or instead, un-death) entirely different from the one she anticipated, Merit naturally experiences several growing pains.
These include (but aren’t restricted to): hiding her new identity from her roommate; getting together with all the other vampires of Cadogan House; coping with her growing attraction to Ethan is now her imperious master, and infuriatingly ambiguous about his feelings for her.
- Neill, Chloe (Author)
The Blue Girl – Charles de Lint
Charles de Lint is one of the creators of this Urban Fantasy motion – his powerful functions have helped form the whole genre. And as one of the progenitors, how could he not be said? He writes beautifully, actually having a good grasp on the best way to write decent, excellent prose. Charles de Lint has written lots of books, but The Blue Girl might be his most delicate and is a fantastic Segway to his larger Newford stories as a whole.
The narrative itself departs somewhat from the typical young adult narrative of angst, fitting, and discovering who you are. Charles de Lint throws a couple of wrenches into the usual adolescent angst story’s cogs by casting a ghost story to the mixture. It is an intriguing departure. One which works makes Charles De Lint’s books so clear that a supernatural coating to the worth world affects matters under those universal truths we identify with. It provides a kind of air to his readers.
Harry Potter – J. K. Rowling
There is not much want to talk about Harry Potter a substantial proportion of the planet has read the novels. I’d explain this as an epic, urban fantasy. Harry Potter occurs in the actual world; however, the magic world is a world which most individuals do not know exists. For the most part, you forget about the modern setting of these cookbooks and concentrate on the magic world gift around the college out of Harry’s school holidays to the actual world; you can completely forget about the metropolitan setting. But it is current and a significant part of the narrative.
Sookie Stackhouse series – Charlaine Harris
A considerable section of the Urban Fantasy scene consists of novels that feature a hot woman who is a genuine critical witch/vampire/druid/fanatic and fights contrary to the supernatural forces which try to control the planet in the shadows.
If we need to throw these urban fantasy series on record, my choice goes into the Sookie Stackhouse series, which occupies a bit (just a little, mind you) of fresh air to the genre.
If we’re going to have a romantic vampire show with this listing, then my nod could go to the Sookie Stackhouse. A mix of small-town southern America combined with the dark, macabre vampire universe it is an intriguing premise and one that has gripped the public imagination (as seen from the authentic Blood collection, depending on the novels ). Hands down better than Twilight and the majority of the other vampire love on the market.
War for the Oaks – Emma Bull
Eddi McCandry sings rock and roll. However, her boyfriend dumped her and just awakened, and life could be worse. Subsequently, walking home through downtown Minneapolis on a night, she finds herself drafted to an invisible war involving the faerie folk. Today, over her success is in danger -her tastes, personal and musical, are exceptionally much beside the point.
By turns rough and lyrical, magnificent and down-to-earth, War for the Oaks is a fantasy book about the planet as about another one. It is about real love and devotion, about actual musicians and music, about false charm and authentic art.
Spider’s Bite – Jennifer Estep
Following Gin’s family was killed by a Fire elemental when she was thirteen, she dwelt on the streets and finally became an assassin to live. Now Gin is delegated to kickstart an Ashland business, but it ends up being a snare. Following Gin’s handler is brutally murdered, she teams up with all the hot detectives investigating the situation to work out that double-crossed why. Just one thing is for sure Gin does not have any qualms about murdering her way into the peak of the conspiracy.
- Pocket Books
Wicked Lovely – Melissa Marr
Aislinn has ever seen faeries. Strong and reckless, they walk concealed them mortally. Aislinn anxieties their cruelty-particularly if they know of her Sight-and wishes she had been blind to their existence as other teenagers.
Today faeries are stalking her. Among these, Keenan, who’s equal parts frightening and sexy, is hoping to speak to her, asking questions Aislinn is frightened to reply.
Nevertheless, it’s too late. Keenan is the summertime King and has hunted his queen for two centuries. Without her, summertime will perish. He’s decided that Aislinn will develop into the Summer Queen at any price -no matter her plans or wants.
Suddenly none of the principles which have maintained Aislinn secure are functioning, and what’s online: her liberty, her very best buddy Seth, her entire life.
Sandman Slim – Richard Kadrey
Life sucks, and then you die. Or, if you are James Stark, you spend twenty-five years in Hell as a hitman before eventually escaping, to land in the hell-on-earth that’s Los Angeles.
Today Stark’s back and ready for revenge. And absolution, and perhaps even love. But when his initial quit saddles him with an abusive speaking head, Stark finds the path to retribution and revenge is a lot more than you would expect, and both Heaven and Hell have their ideas for his future.
Resurrection sucks. Saving the planet is worse.
Storm Front – Jim Butcher
First in the Dresden Files.
In the first novel in a #1 New York Times bestselling Dresden Files series, Harry Dresden is on call to protect Chicago p.d from supernatural dangers. When he meets two victims of brutal murder and discovers that one has been turned into an undead bloodthirsty monster—it’s up to him as the “professional wizard” with strange things at his disposal (and lots of experience integrating them) who better than himself?
In “The Dresden Files,” professional wizard-turned-private detective Harry Dresden’s investigation leads him face to a deadly fanged creature willing to make easy prey out human beings unless he can stop it before grim death arrives.
Kate Daniels Series – Ilona Andrews
Best Completed Urban Fantasy Series
Kate Daniels is a clever, sword-wielding mercenary set shortly, where technology and magic are constantly at play. The series has ten books, as well as several novellas that are interspersed through the timeline. In the same universe, there are many more novels. The story of Kate Daniels is a bestseller worldwide and a #1 New York Times bestseller. The first book in the series is Magic Bites, and a start to a very long marathon read.
Mercy Thompson Series – Patricia Briggs
Patricia Briggs is another major name in urban fantasy. Her Mercy Thompson series starts with Moon Called and spans 12 books, #12 having just been released. After their publication years, books #5 (Silver Borne), #6(River Marked), and #8 (Night Broken) were all nominated to the Endeavor Awards. These books include the holy trinity of urban fantasy: vampires, werewolves, and faeries. There are also some witches, shifters, and other folklore. Mercy Thompson is not a mechanic, but she can still be entangled in the politics and machinations of urban fantasy creatures. Patricia Briggs also writes the Alpha and Omega series in the same universe, starting with Cry Wolf.
Rivers of London – Ben Aaronovitch
This is the story of Peter Grant, an English constable recruited to the London Metropolitan Police’s shadowy magic division. (It’s too bad that he didn’t know Harry Dresden, entry #8, huh?
Charming – Elliott James
First in the Pax Arcana series.
Library Journal: “John Charming was a former member of the Knights Templar. He swore to protect mortals against supernatural threats until he became infected by a werewolf. Now, Charming manages a bar in a small Virginia village under an assumed name. He is confronted by his true nature and his destiny when a beautiful blonde and a vampire who wants to create havoc in his bar join him on the same night.
VERDICT This debut features a self-deprecating and wisecracking hero. He can stand up against established protagonists like Harry Dresden from Jim Butcher and October Daye from Seanan McGuire. This series opens with action and romance, but the emphasis is on the action. It’s a great new series for fans of urban fantasy.
October Daye Series – Seanan Mcguire
Best Ongoing Urban Fantasy Series
This series is huge in the world of urban fantasy. This series has been nominated twice in the Hugo Awards and Seanan McGuire’s urban fantasy series InCryptid. There are many books on it. There are 14 books published. A Killing Frost just came out September 1, 2020, and books 15-17 are planned out and scheduled for 2021, 2022, and 2023. You can create a calendar for Seanan’s publications. It is accurate and contains all the creative licenses necessary.
If you decide to pick up the series, you will have at least one week planned. And Toby Daye, changeling PI/knight errant, will tell you that she would prefer a quiet week. This series is worth a five-page essay, but I won’t. It is a great series, and I recommend it highly.
The Brimstone Deception – Lisa Shearin
A supernatural detective agency? You should check. Check. New York City is full of vampires, werewolves, and other unimaginable creatures. You can check. Brimstone is a terrifying new drug that allows people to see themselves. It’s made from the pits in hell. You can check that too. If you are interested, add The Brimstone DeceitAdd to your reading list.
Last update on 2021-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API