It's time to link up with the Broke and the Bookish again!
Today's topic is to list our top ten books from a particular genre. I dithered for a really long time about which genre I'd go with - some seemed far too broad (YA), and others were far too narrow (non-YA dystopian). In the end, I decided on urban fantasy.
Urban fantasy is kind of a tricky genre because it's really open to interpretation. I know people who class Terry Pratchett's Discworld books as urban fantasy because they're set in a city. I, on the other hand, would argue that to count as urban fantasy, a book has to be set in the world as we know it, but with slight differences. Like, you know, vampires. Or magic. Or witches. And obviously, it has to be set in an urban environment.
So. I hereby present my ten favourite urban fantasy books:
1. Magic Bites - Ilona Andrews
I adore the Kate Daniels series. It's pretty much the dictionary definition of urban fantasy, albeit set in a semi-dystopian Atlanta. And Kate is sassy as hell while still kicking arse on a daily basis. It's occasionally gory and gross, but still insanely enjoyable and occasionally squee-worthy. And Magic Bites is the book that starts it all.
2. Bitten - Kelley Armstrong
Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series was probably my introduction to urban fantasy. And while I love the book that first got me into the series - Dime Store Magic - I love the first book in the series just a little bit more. Unlike the others, it focuses exclusively on the werewolves and deals with Elena coming to terms with who and what she is. I've heard decidedly average things about the TV series currently airing in North America, but don't judge the book by the series. It's well worth the read.
3. Good Omens - Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
A somewhat dubious addition to an urban fantasy list, but whatever. It's hilarious and quirky from start to finish - as one would expect from its authors - and a decent chunk of it is based in urban England so I say it counts.
4. Halfway to the Grave - Jeaniene Frost
This series - like so many other vampire series (I'm looking at you, Sookie Stackhouse) - became increasingly ridiculous and cheesy as time went on. But the first book in the series was pretty bloody fantastic, and a really quick, fun read.
5. Death Most Definite - Trent Jamieson
A slightly unusual one in that it doesn't involve witches or magic or werewolves or vampires or any of the usual paranormal stuff. Instead, Steve is basically a reaper, ferrying the dead into the afterlife. Probably not for the squeamish, given that there's a lot of blood sacrifice stuff involved, but a really fascinating and unusual concept.
6. Rivers of London - Ben Aaronovich
Published in the US as Midnight Riot (really?!?!?!), this is a really great magic-meets-crime novel set in London. There's plenty of fantasy elements and a cast of awesome characters, with some added historical awesomeness.
7. The Man with the Golden Torc - Simon R. Green
I love the Secret Histories series. Eddie Drood is basically Tony Stark meets James Bond, except he's fighting magical beasties instead of aliens/insurgents/Russians/whatever. And he's helped by a sassy and extremely powerful witch. It's Simon R. Green, so it can get pretty gory, but the whole series is well worth reading.
8. The Reckoning - Kelley Armstrong
It took me a while to warm up to Armstrong's YA series, The Darkest Powers. But the final book of the trilogy, where the kids are finally coming into their powers for real? Is absolutely phenomenal.
9. Dead Witch Walking - Kim Harrison
Another series that I loved to begin with but was less taken with as the number of books increased. (It probably didn't help that I read them completely out of order, thanks to my local library) But the first one is still a great urban fantasy read.
10. Intangible - J. Meyers
A fun and fast paced story featuring a little bit of everything - suspense, action, romance, red herrings, and great dialogue. Another great YA book that falls firmly under the urban fantasy banner. Which is nice - a lot of YA books lean more towards paranormal romance!
So there you have it. My ten favourite urban fantasy books. What are yours?