Today, the guys in the Goodreads Top 5 Wednesday group have an interesting topic, one which is straight forward and to the point: “Favorite Urban Fantasy Books — The technical urban fantasy definition is: a subgenre of fantasy in which the narrative has an urban setting. Works of urban fantasy are set primarily in the real world and contain aspects of fantasy, such as the discovery of earthbound mythological creatures, coexistence or conflict between humans and paranormal beings, and other changes to city life. A contemporary setting is not strictly necessary for a work of urban fantasy: works of the genre may also take place in futuristic and historical settings, real or imagined.”

I’m going to give this topic a try.  Problem being is that I’m not a huge urban fantasy fan.  Sure, I’ve tried more than a few books from this subgenre, but none of them have ever turned me into an avid reader.  But I do have a few which I enjoyed more than others.

the empty ones5. The Empty Ones

Punk rock sensibilities.  Weird magical creatures.  Two plot lines separated by decades.  Loads of attitude and horror themes mixed into the urban fantasy mix.  Perhaps those few things can convey why I list this Robert Brockway book among my favorite urban fantasy stories.

Purchase The Empty Ones at Amazon

hounded4. Hounded

The concept of an ancient druid living in modern America with his trusty talking dog and battling ancient gods and goddess as well as other magical creatures sounded damn cool to me.  No, I didn’t love the book once I read it, but it is still one of my favorite urban fantasy stories because . . . Oberon.  There I said it.

Purchase Hounded at Amazon 

storm front3. Storm Front

I know, I know, this is damn near heresy for Harry Dresden not to be on top of any list of the best urban fantasy.  I do understand why some feel this wizard is the poster child for the genre: Harry is a great character.  This book was an entertaining read.  I actually enjoyed it, just not as much as a couple other stories.

Purchase Storm Front at Amazon

the dispatcher2. The Dispatcher

John Scalzi is an author who seems to be either hit or miss with me.  For instance, I loved Old Man’s War, but found my enjoyment of each of his books thereafter to be less and less until I read this novella.  Not sure why I enjoyed it so much, but the concept and characters just worked for me.

Purchase The Dispatcher at Amazon   

black city saint1.  Black City Saint

Roaring Twenties Chicago. Prohibition gangsters like Al Capone rule the streets. Dirty politicians walk the halls of power. Flappers fill the dance halls. Model- Ts roar along city avenues. Radios blare out Jazz music. Tommie guns bark out street justice. And the gate between the mortal realm and Feirie lies hidden by it all, guarded by its sixteen hundred year old guardian.  And that is why I found myself really enjoying this novel.

Purchase Black City Saint at Amazon

Well, those are my picks this week.   Agree?  Disagree?  Have some recommendations you think I need to give a try in the urban fantasy genre?  Let me know!

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  1. If you haven’t read them already, I recommend some early urban fantasy: Emma Bull’s War for the Oaks, Charles de Lint’s Yarrow, and the various Borderland stories (short story anthologies edited by Terri Windling, plus there are at least three novels in this setting: Will Shetterly’s Elsewhere and Nevernever, and Emma Bull’s Finder). Bonus: none of these have a trite love triangle as the primary (or even secondary) plot thread, especially not of the vampire/werewolf/rutabaga variety.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. H.P. says:

    Oooh, I’d never heard of Black City Saint, and I am very, very intrigued.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pacanukeha says:

    No credit to the granddaddy of urban fantasy? Lankhmar deserves a place on that list surely.


  4. Urban fantasy is one of my great loves, so i’m adding a few of these to my need to read list.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love Urban Fantasy and have been looking for something new to read. I actually haven’t read any of the books from your list. Looking forward to reading one (or two) this weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on Archer's Aim and commented:
    This is not a typical sub-genre I read but these do look interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. yesmoreblogs says:

    Black city saint sounds really interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. proxyfish says:

    I really enjoyed Black City Saint and I absolutely love The Dresden Files 😀 I’ve wanted to try The Iron Druid Chronicles so I’ll make sure I bump it up my list.

    Liked by 1 person

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