~posted by Lindsay S.
If you like the idea of magic and fantasy, but think made-up worlds and pseudo-medieval times are weird, Urban Fantasy might just be the subgenre for you. In Urban Fantasy stories, magical and fantastical elements are plunked right down in the middle of modern day life. The results can be hilarious, terrifying, and bizarre, and are pretty much always worth reading.
For a gentle introduction to this subgenre, start with Hounded by Kevin Hearne. This first novel in the Iron Druid Chronicles introduces readers to Atticus O’Sullivan and his wise-cracking Irish Wolfhound, Oberon. The story takes place in current day Arizona but the protagonist is a two-thousand-year-old Druid whose friends include a werewolf, a vampire, and an ancient Celtic Deity.
For a story with a little more grit, try Fated by Benedict Jacka. In this story, Alex Verus runs a magic shop in modern London and is hiding from the wizards of the world, who are pretty much always evil jerks, even when they’re the good guys.
Also taking place in modern London, and unfortunately out of print, is Sixty-one Nails by Mike Shevdon. This book is this first in a wild series that takes you through the hidden courts of Feyre. Niall Petersen was living an ordinary life until one fateful event leaves him with mysterious powers. Now, he must learn to control those powers that have even the most experienced magic users running for cover.
There are a lot of other great Urban Fantasy series out there. If you have a favorite, let us know in the comments below.