Hey everyone. I am an avid fantasy reader, but I have shied away from urban fantasy. I finally got around to reading the Dresden Files this summer(currently on book 4) and I absolutely love the series. Does anyone know of any other good urban fantasy series, especially ones like the Dresden Files?
Okay, I'm about to unload an epic crapton of books on you.
1. Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne 2. Alex Verus novels by Benedict Jacka 3. Alien novels by Gini Koch 4. Toby Daye novels by Seanan McGuire 5. InCryptid novels by Seanan McGuire 6. Newsflesh Trilogy by Mira Grant 7. Twenty Palaces series by Harry Connolly 8. Remy Chandler novels by Tom Sniegoski 9. Simon Canderous novels by Anton Strout 10. The Walker Papers by C.E. Murphy 11. Control Point by Myke Cole 12. Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs 13. Alpha and Omega series by Patricia Briggs 14. Greywalker series by Kat Richardson 15. Kate Daniels novels by Ilona Andrews 16. Jesse James Dawson novels by K.A. Stewart
I would actually suggest some UF anthologies to start branching out. MEAN STREETS is a very good one, with four novellas by Jim Butcher, Kat Richardson, Simon R. Green, and Tom Sniegoski. DARK AND STORMY KNIGHTS, edited by P.N. Elrod, is also very good.
If you have any questions about a particular series or book I mentioned, just poke me.
No. I put it in as "contemporary," though. He still needs to read it. Gini Koch's ALIEN series isn't, either, but the best way I can describe it is "urban science-fiction." And neither is Mira Grant's NEWSFLESH trilogy, but it's something that NEEDS to be read.
BearMountainBooks wrote:I like Ilona Andrews as well, but I kinda doubt it's a good fit. It's not like Dresden at all.
No, it's not like Dresden at all, but it IS (imo) good UF. There's really nothing like Dresden out there in terms of complexity, underlying plot, and narrative voice. Iron Druid Chronicles comes close to the narrative voice, Toby Daye is closer to amount of personal sacrifice. But there's really nothing truly like the DF out there.
Hah! I didn't mean anything by it except that I think you must be right about their similarity--because while they are two of your favorites, they are two of my not-favorites. It made me think about WHY--because I didn't associate those two writers before. I think it is style.
Although with Hearne it's more a selfishness of the character (and possibly the way his character acts around women--but I only made it through the first 6 chapters. That whole assumption that the goddess would obviously want to have sex because what else would she be after had me rolling my eyeballs. His casual way of stating, "Oh I fathered a couple of kids" and then moved on...wow. That really just left me kind of hating him.) I didn't find Dresden's character selfish, but I found some of the ...oh I found some of the situations sloppy. The motivation or logic was kind of lacking for me. They were handled carelessly and it made me kind of not like the character...because sometimes he reacted stupidly and it didn't quite work for me.
But it was interesting to me that you happened to pick those two books so it made me think more about why I didn't love them. I keep promising to try reading the second Dresden again (I read the first and part of the second. I've also read a Dresden short along the way.) There's nothing...WRONG with Dresden, but they do not capture me as other books have.
I've never read Hearne (though I'll pick the first one up one of these days), but I like Harry Dresden partly because he is so sloppy, silly, and awkward. Yes, he's frequently unprepared. He makes mistakes and he's a nightmare socially, especially in the early books. But that's what makes him human, and for me, relate-able. I understand him far more than a character who's usually well prepared, organized, and utterly capable.
In fairness it isn't the character so much as some of the writing of the character. My friend and I argue about one scene in particular all the time.
In the first book, when he has that big fight in his office and he gets out, he leaves his staff upstairs because...the beast thing took out the elevator. Now, see, to me, this is a plot hole. What about the STAIRS??? Yeah, it's lightly suggested he might get caught by the cops or such, but this staff (to me) was presented as a VERY important object. And now he's content to run off to battle without it. Instead of trying the stairs to get it. In a building where he has a right to be. Didn't work for me. Friend says I am nitpicking and she is probably right.
In the final battle scene there was a similar ... lack of detail in something he did involving the balcony/bannister. But I'd have to go check the book out again to get the details down exactly right. I don't mind bumbling heroes. They are endearing and I love them best. I just think that the motivation/explanation was weak enough in a few spots that it was too evidently done to further the plot (ie leave behind staff so that later when he needs it, ohnos! No easy out because there is no staff. It was easy to see he was going to desperately need it later -- the guy was going off to a dangerous situation...) I tend to be able to overlook these quite often, but for whatever reason, I noticed them heavily in book one and it spoiled it a bit for me. It made me leery of book two. It's probably completely unfair because other authors are even less skilled at creating believable motivation/circumstances, but there you have it. That was how I felt when I read it and I grew impatient with having to suspend my disbelief.
Harry was also handcuffed to a chick about a foot and a half shorter than him at the time. Who was delirious due to scorpion venom. And didn't move so well. Trying to maneuver her dead weight while carrying a staff just wasn't feasible.
If those were your main issues with the Dresden Files, I recommend trying them again and getting through book three before making any judgments, if possible. Grave Peril is where Jim really started to hit his stride as an author. (Keep in mind, the first DF book was his first published novel—and he wrote THAT in college.)
Others have pointed out that I should try again, but I wasn't enamored of the second one starting out either. And that's not to say that there weren't good parts. I've even checked out the second book from the library (I knew they had it because I donated the first three since I wasn't reading them!) But it just sat there and I felt rather mutinous about reading it (there is no good reason for this emotion, but there you have it.) I can be entirely unreasonable for no good reason.
The Joe Pitt Casebooks by Charlie Huston -the first book is Already Dead. It's told in first person present tense and it makes you feel like you're right in the action. It's a complete five book series.
Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey - the first book is also called Sandman Slim. Angels and devils, heaven and hell and Los Angeles. Four of five books are already published.
Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch - the first book is Midnight Riot in the US and Rivers of London everywhere else. It's a very fun series, set in London, about a probationary constable that becomes an apprentice wizard.
The Black Sun's Daughter by M.L.N. Hanover (Daniel Abraham), great series and each book gets better than the one before. Four of ten books have been published.