I’ve loved urban fantasy since Charles deLint was called urban fantasy! I guess his stories are now officially “contemporary fantasy” but, whatever.
Here are two urban fantasy books I’ve read recently that I think you’ll like.
Ria’s Web of Lies: Ria Miller & the Monsters Book 1 by Nigel Henry
“MY NIGHT STARTS out on a rooftop. Whose rooftop, I’m not exactly sure. I am sure that it’s your typical New York City blacktop in the middle of your typical New York City summer. Which means it’s hot as balls.”
Ria Miller is a tough and funny teen. She’s on that NYC rooftop, with her parents in position down below, because they’re out hunting monsters.
One thing I enjoyed about this book was the way Nigel Henry deftly illustrates how simultaneously normal and unusual the Miller family is. The family also genuinely seems to like one another, which is refreshing.
The story is a lot of fun, Ria and her parents are great characters, and the high school sidekicks, the monsters, and the mystery are believable within the world Henry paints for us.
It’s a fast read and I look forward to the next installment.
Bonus: Ria and her family are African American. In a sea of white publishing, that’s a good thing.
Night Awakens: Soul Forge Book 1 by Leslie Claire Walker
“PORTLAND, OREGON, stretched and yawned, awakening around me in the hour before dawn. I shivered as the November chill bit through the black fleece of my hoodie, and a wicked wind gusted from the west, spiraling the fine drops of mist in the air. The traffic light at the corner flipped from red to green, the hum of engines and the slick of tires on wet concrete a comfort to my wired nerves.
I stood beneath the dripping overhang in front of Justice Gym, go-cup of black coffee in hand. I listened and scanned the neighborhood for anything out of the ordinary. My life depended on it.”
Leslie Walker’s Soul Forge series is fast paced and gritty, with good scene setting and an interesting cast of characters. I’ve enjoyed all the books so far.
The monsters that our protagonist Night Sanchez faces come from her own past. As a former magical assassin, she used to be a monster herself. Her past is an ongoing source of Night’s strength and feeds into her weaknesses.
Night has to protect her daughter, Faith, a girl she was sent to kill, who is now the most precious thing in Night’s life. This series weaves together urban fantasy, fallen angels, awakening Gods, and kick ass fight scenes.
What more do you want?