Good urban fantasy novels are rare

There is a sub-genre of fantasy novel that I really like, and that is urban fantasy. What is urban fantasy? It is basically a type of fantasy fiction in which a narrative takes place in a city.

Take the Harry Dresden files for example. It is a series of urban fantasy novels written by an American author Jim Butcher, that chronicles the life of one private investigator and wizard in modern-day Chicago. The story recounts his adventures navigating the seedy underworld of the supernatural, the Fae, the werewolves and vampires vying for power in a city where he lives.

As of writing, there is a total of 17 novels of Harry Dresden and it is by far my favourite series to date.

I read every single book written about Harry Dresden and so far, I haven’t been able to find good urban fantasy novels like the ones written by Jim Butcher, which is quite disappointing really.

I started reading the Eric Carter files, written by Stephen Blackmoore. It is quite similar to the Harry Dresden files but instead of a wizard, we have a mage, a necromancer to be exact, well versed in the arts of necromancy, having the ability to not only see ghosts but commune with them and tap onto the darker energies of the dead. The setting takes place in LA, instead of Chicago.

I’ve finished reading the first two instalments of the Eric Carter novels. So far, I am not terribly impressed. It’s good with somewhat interesting characters that filled the pages of the novels, but somehow I can’t help wondering if the Eric Carter files are trying too hard to mimic the success of Harry Dresden. I don’t know if the writing will improve in later novels, but nonetheless, I have committed to reading all of the books written so far about Eric Carter, because I have been aching to sink my teeth into urban fantasy.

There is one other urban fantasy that I truly enjoy and that is the Iron Druid Chronicles written by Kevin Hearne. It’s about a Druid, one of the last of its kind, Atticus O’Sullivan who is two thousand years old and his dog Oberon who had to navigate the seedy world of the Norse pantheons, while dealing with witches, vampires and werewolves in the present modern-day setting. The novels are truly hilarious and light-hearted for the most part. Oberon the dog is able to telepathically talk to Atticus and the conversations are hilarious. Kevin Hearne has written about 10 books and several novellas, including a spinoff novel on the Oberon and his doggy adventures.

I am sure there are many more urban fantasy novels out there. It’s just a matter of whether they are worth my time reading them. 2022 could be the year where I focus my reading on just urban fantasy. It should be interesting in what I will discover from the genre in the months ahead.

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