Or at least, I really dig sarcasm with my paranormal adventures. If you’re looking for snarky, smart-ass dialogue combined with uncompromising ethics, well… there are fewer great picks out there than one might hope. However! Here are a few to tide us over as we wait for the next Dresden Files book to show up on the hold shelf. I’m pretty sure they all use the term asshat at least once. They also all pick up an obnoxious pet at some point in the series, and where would Dresden be without Mouse?*
Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch
Peter Grant is a rookie police officer in London who is headed for a career at the bottom of the pile. However, his talent for seeing ghosts manages to balance out his colossal ability for screwing up when he’s recruited to be an apprentice wizard. This book has the kind of place-specific grit that Butcher carries off so well, and the irreverent attitude to match. Puts the urban into urban fantasy, and portrays London the way Butcher portrays Chicago – as a somewhat belligerent accessory to crime.
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
Sam is your typical skateboarding, burger-flipping, dropout Seattle teen who has no idea what to do with his life, until suddenly he’s attacked by a territorial Necromancer who senses Sam’s underlying phenomenal cosmic powers. Sam is sarcastically silly in the best of all possible ways, and has a fundamental integrity that makes him a character you want to root for. He’s a vegetarian necromancer, wrap your head around that. Also, the sequel to this book is called Necromancing the Stone, which I think should win awards on the title alone, and is just as great as the first one.
Hounded by Kevin Hearne
I read the phrase “Iron Druid” and thought, really? And then Atticus O’Sullivan and his wolf-hound companion Oberon stepped onto the page. This series is hilarious. Fast-paced. Mythologically interesting and non-stop entertainment. Why don’t you go read the first chapter, here, and see what you think… ‘cause really, I don’t need to sell it once you clap eyes on it.
Magic Bites by Illona Andrews
Kate Daniels is a sword wielding mercenary in the slowly crumbling city of Atlanta after magic returns. She’s more than that, of course, but let’s concentrate on her ability to kick ass and cause trouble for now, mmmmkay? I have to admit that part of what draws me to this series is the complete reimagining of that city (read utter destruction). As a former Atlanta commuter, I relish the chaos inherent in these books, and truly enjoy Kate’s mouthy attitude.
*No, Mister doesn’t count as an obnoxious pet. Mister is a cat.