5 Urban Fantasy Series You Need to Read This Year

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Book hangovers are real and the only cure is finding your next great read. If you’re looking for your next favorite urban fantasy series, here are a few recommendations to get you started. I tried to include some lesser-known urban fantasy. (We all know about The Dresden Files and Mercy Thompson, right? If not, go read them!) These aren’t in any particular order.

Click the picture to the left to visit the book page on Amazon.

If you have a favorite, be sure you mention it in the comments section!

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Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews

With the series conclusion coming out in just a few days, there’s never been a better time to pick this series up. I started reading them about two months ago and flew through the first few in a matter of days.


Why this series?

While there are lots of urban fantasy heroines out there, very few can manage the level of badass that Kate does, especially with such an extensive and colorful cast of side characters. As much as I love Kate though, she’s not the main reason you should pick up Kate Daniels. Ilona Andrews uses some lesser-known mythologies and shifters and the team writing these books really does their research. As I’ve been reading, I spend a little time looking up the names, places, and creatures that get a mention. The world built in these books is absolutely stunning and the characters are like old friends. I’ll be sad to say goodbye.

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Alex Craft by Kalayna Price

This series veers a little more toward paranormal romance, but if that’s not your cup of tea, don’t pass on it. Alex Craft is a grave witch, a paranormal investigator who raises the dead for a fee. Most of the time, she’s working with the police, but she gets tangled up in fae politics a lot too. Normally, I’m put off by love triangles (why choose?), but these books made me root for both guys even when I hated them!


Why this series?

This series has a really unique take on fae and fae court politics. They’re out to the world, but only sort of. Most humans don’t get to interact with them quite like Alex does, and boy does she. I love a book with a heavy dose of political intrigue. The sexy but conflicted winter knight and federal agent, Falin Andrews, is also worth a mention here. I love the complexities of his character and his relationship with Alex. The fact that Death himself is also a love interest is also intriguing.

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The Templar Chronicles by Joe Nassise

Since my last recommendation was heavy on the romance, how about a series that veers away from that angle? Non-romantic urban fantasy? Say what? I was all over this series when I found out about it, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. It’s a little action-heavy and the characters take a while to grow on you, but the story is strong and they’re easy page turners.


Why this series?

Simply put, Mr. Nassise knows how to spin a good yarn. Sometimes the stories get a little dark. Sometimes you want to smack Cade for the decisions he makes. The one thing you’ll never want to do with these books is put them down.

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Note: Cry Wolf is the first full-length novel, but it’s not where this story begins. Clicking the link will take you to the novella, Alpha and Omega which you should read first.

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Alpha and Omega by Patricia Briggs

I’m always surprised by the number of Mercy Thompson fans that haven’t read Briggs’ Alpha and Omega books. In this reader’s opinion, the A&O books are superior. I love Mercy, but with such a huge cast of characters and complex plots, her personal relationships and inner thoughts and feelings often take a back seat. In the A&O books, Charles’ and Anna’s relationships are the drivers of the series. Every plot feels personal and the smaller cast of characters makes the world feel more intimate. You also get a fuller picture of the Mercyverse with A&O than you would without these books.


Why this series?

I have never had such a love-hate relationship with characters as I have with some of the side characters in the Mercyverse, but Charles really takes the cake. An enforcer, he’s feared by everyone. Unless you read these books, you never get to see the world from his perspective OR how deeply that job affects him. This series is told in alternating close third person perspectives, which allows the readers to explore the world in a way you don’t see in Mercy’s books since everything we see and hear is filtered through Mercy’s point of view (and occasionally Adam’s). This is a series that presents the reader with morally gray characters and doesn’t tell you how to feel about them, but rather trusts the readers to be smart enough to form their own conclusions.

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*This book is NOT young adult and may not be appropriate for all children in this age group. The books contain cursing and violence, but are relatively clean for urban fantasy.  

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The Grave Report by R.R. Virdi

This is a series still in its infancy with only three books out, but it’s definitely one worth picking up. The main character, Vincent Graves, is a man of many faces…literally. He’s a soul who inhabits the bodies of those recently killed by the supernatural and solves their murders. Every book so far has had a killer opening, but the third book, Grave Dealings, was phenomenal. I laughed and cried throughout the book because of how well it manages to hit that emotional resonance. Sometimes, Graves’ snark gets to be a bit much, but he’s always balanced out by his sidekicks.


Why this series?

Aside from the gut punch to the feels and the stellar in media res openings, this really is a series with heart and soul, pun intended. It’s also a series I feel comfortable letting my 10-year-old read.* These books stay with you. While there are lots of fluffy, feel good urban fantasy books out there, this series dares to dig deeper and ask you to consider the good, the bad, and all the ugly about being human.


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