“Are any of the other series you have mentioned in this list similar to the Fever series, in that it is a continuous story? Not like, say, the BDB or the Midnight Breed series which follows a different character each book. I do love those series, but I found I really liked the long story and progression of the Fever series. Any suggestions?”
Ahhhhh Jennie is an Urban Fantasy fan!
Which made me realize I had not yet dedicated a post to the Urban Fantasy Genre. Since I frequently switch between Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy (and love both almost equally), I’ve mixed the two genres throughout my blog.
But when I first started these “paranormal” books, I admit I specifically looked for longer series that followed the lives of a specific set of characters throughout. I liked that their was always romantic tension, and even full-on relationships, but that romance never came easy. It allowed us to yearn with them. What made these books so tantalizing, was that during the story progression (the action, the danger, the twists and turns… the discoveries), their was always something lurking… that kept the main love interests on their toes. Break-ups and make-ups, jealousy issues, power struggles, other love interests… always threatening that comfort zone.
I remember when I first heard the term Urban Fantasy, it was at the Romantic Times Convention, where I sat in on a panel entitled “The Good, The Bad and the Paranormal: Heroines Kicking-Ass Across Urban Fantasy Worlds”. Jeaniene Frost was on that panel, and that was all I needed to know (Cat and Bones ruled my world at that time). And that is when the difference between the two genres was explained.
So the difference? Well from what I’ve gathered in my reading experience…
Paranormal Romance focuses on a new couple for each book (even if it is a series with a repeating cast of characters). Each new installment revolves around a new couple finding each other amongst paranormal chaos (or comedy), and pretty much, they always get a HEA (Happily Ever After). Love and romance is the driving force here (and making the reader *swoon* seems to be the goal), despite the dramas and dilemmas that stalk them.
Urban Fantasy is an ongoing saga that focuses on one or two specific characters (usually at some point romantically linked), and specifically featuring a no-nonsense kick ass chick. Their story evolves throughout the course of a series, while fighting bad guys, and trying to make their “paranormal world” a better place. Scary, exciting, adrenaline inducing and most often dark and gritty. The kicker is that the end of a book does not necessarily guarantee a love match, even if there is a love connection established in the process. Love is not the main focus, but that building romantic tension is often what addicts us to these unresolved courtships. Never fear, though, as the end of a series usually does leave us satisfied in that respect.
Here are some of my favorite Urban Fantasy series (and included are some that I haven’t read yet, but that are frequently recommended to me by fellow avid readers):
- Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning
- Night Huntress Series by Jeaniene Frost
- The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris
- Downside Ghosts by Stacia Kane
- The Hollows by Kim Harrison
- Anita Blake Vampire Hunter by Laurell K Hamilton
- Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews
- Cassandra Palmer by Karen Chance
- Sign of the Zodiac by Vicki Peterson
- Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs
- Succubus Blues Georgina Kincaid by Richelle Mead
- Chicagoland Vampires by Chloe Neill
- Dark Swan by Richelle Mead
- Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (YA but SO good)
- Shifters by Rachel Vincent
- Mortal Instruments by by Cassandra Clare (another YA series – but very popular)
- Gail Carriger’s Parasol Proectorate series
- Karen Richardson’s Greywalker series
- Kitty Norville by Carrie Vaughn
- Elemental Assassin Books by Jennifer Estep
I’m sure I’m missing many awesome ones, so feel free to add your favorites to the comments, and I’ll add them to this main list 🙂