Below are sure-fire favorites for urban fantasy readers. Expect excellent world-building (the city as a vibrant character), awe-worthy protagonists and a whole lot of shock-inducing twists. Our Urban Fantasy Starter Kit post may be a great option if you’ve already hit the notes below. (Paranormal romance crossovers will be noted.)
The Hollows/Rachel Morgan series by Kim Harrison
Witches, vampires, pixies and lots of wit. Clever world-building and pulls off a full cast of characters.
Book 1: Dead Witch Walking (Review | Excerpt | Goodreads | Amazon)
Downside Ghosts series by Stacia Kane
Unique and deeply flawed heroine, magic, Orwellian world, stacks of sexual tension, swoon-worthy hero (PNR crossover fans will enjoy)
Book 1: Unholy Ghosts (Review | Excerpt | Goodreads | Amazon)
The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne
Fresh twists on magic and mythology centered on a 2,100-year-old druid living in Tempe, Arizona. Features male protagonist.
Book 1: Hounded (Review | Goodreads | Amazon)
Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill
Excellent adult urban fantasy with great character dynamics, vampires, tension and supernatural politics
Book 1: Some Girls Bite (Review | Excerpt | Goodreads | Amazon)
Southern Vampire Mysteries/Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris
“Rural fantasy” set in a world where vampires have gone public. Also expect dealings with werewolves, witches and faeries. Does has a strong love story subplot. VBC favorite titles in this series are books 1, 4 and 7.
Book 1: Dead Until Dark (Goodreads | Amazon)
Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost
Vampires, secret government involvement, mercenaries, lots of action and a to-die-for hero/heroine dynamic. This series becomes a stronger paranormal romance in the second novel, but maintains the mystery element throughout. (PNR crossover)
Book 1: Halfway to the Grave (Review | Excerpt | Goodreads | Amazon)
Arcadia Bell series by Jenn Bennett
A heroine who could easily be your best friend, a single dad hero and twisty plots with secret societies, demons and magic.
Book 1: Kindling the Moon (Review | Goodreads |Amazon)
Disillusionists series by Carolyn Crane
Creative urban fantasy landscape and the surprisingly purposeful supernatural talent of disillusionment. Mental abilities multiply the complexity in this series.
Book 1: Mind Games (Review | Goodreads | Amazon)
Newsflesh series by Mira Grant
The landscape presented in the Newsflesh series feels real. While zombies are a catalyst for much of the plot, the first book is really about fear and what happens if you let it take away your choices.
Book 1: Feed (Review | Goodreads | Amazon)
Georgina Kincaid series by Richelle Mead
A succubus who wishes she were human, preternatural best friends (including an archdemon boss who looks like John Cusack) and a plight for real love. (PNR crossover fans will enjoy this series)
Book 1: Succubus Blues (Review | Excerpt | Goodreads | Amazon)
You’re always welcome to contact us @ChelseaVBC on Twitter for specific recommendations (just let us know if you want YA, UF or PNR), but in the meantime here are our favorites.