I've just recently been introduced to Urban Fantasy, Marjorie M Liu's Hunter Kiss series was actually the first. The series is about "a woman whose body is covered in living tattoos—her own personal demons to call upon when the sun goes down, who both protect her life, and are destined to end it." It was a little different than what I am used to, but I have to say the differences are so subtle that they are hardly noticeable. I have seriously moved this category up on my list! I'm very thankful to Marjorie, because I actually won her second book in the series "Darkness Calls" through a Twitter contest, so therefore had to get the first book "The Iron Hunt"! And without that contest I doubt I would have ventured out of my regular Romance or Fiction section in the book store to go over to the Science Fiction/Fantasy section, and in doing so would have missed out on another amazing author, Patricia Briggs. Her Mercy Thmopson series is amazing! "The story of Mercedes Thompson a coyote shape shifter who is also a pretty decent mechanic. Mercy's world looks a lot like ours except that the Otherworld is beginning to be forced out of hiding by our modern technologies. Mercy shares her back fence with the local Alpha werewolf and works evenings on the vampire Stefan's VW bus." Patricia's Alpha and Omega series is very promising as well, there are only 2 novels and one novella out so far in this series, and I'm looking forward to more. A perspective on Urban Fantasy: “Odd as it sounds, realism is the heart of urban fantasy. Your world has to feel real. You have to get the names of the places right, and you have to get the feel of it right, so if you stick a werewolf in people won't go ‘Oh, that's one thing too many, I can't believe that, that's stupid.' I'm speaking of modern urban fantasy, but I think that's true of the urban fantasy of Tim Powers and Charles de Lint, too. Making sure people know this is the real world is very important.” Patricia Briggs. Just the other day I read a quick Q&A with Rachel Vincent, I have just started her Shifter series, and I did read the first and second books of her "Soul Screamers" series and I love both series so far. Rachel was asked "...why are Urban Fantasy books so short in general compared to other genres (fantasy/sci-fi and most mystery)?" And I loved how she answered in terms everyone can easily understand: "Actually, Urban Fantasy isn’t short, compared to other genres. In fact, it’s long compared to romance and traditional mystery. But it is shorter than high fantasy, because urban fantasy doesn’t typically require the world building that a novel set in another world requires, which saves word/page count. And a lot of it has to do with expectations. Most urban fantasy readers (as far as I know) come to the genre from romance, horror, or suspense/action (or from uf-like movies and TV shows) and often those readers don’t have the patience for 800 pages of world building/species history." Although I love the idea of a fantasy novel, I'm honestly not sure if I would have the patience for 800 some odd pages of world building! I know there are even more amazing authors out there just waiting for me to discover them, and I am so excited by the prospect of new books! So, I'm off to the book store to see what I can find!
“And yet, on the science fiction/fantasy side of things, I've found that many readers, no offense, have a more deeply ingrained resistance toward reading outside genre. Romance novels, in particular. There's an 'ick' factor, a negative reaction that occasionally carries over to urban fantasies, which to some have become irrevocably (and damningly) linked together." Marjorie M Liu.