Urban Fantasy Series Without the Heavy Paranormal Romance Focus
As an avid reader of urban fantasy literature, I have to admit that there are quite a few series out there that seem geared toward a reader with a predilection for romance. I'm not really that guy. Whenever I come to a sex scene, I usually skip to the point where it's over and the plot picks back up. Unfortunately, that has made some series not worth paying money for anymore. cough, cough....Anita Blake....cough, cough
Here is my list of urban fantasy series that I have read which either (A) are not driven by the romantic machinations or (B) keep the romance light enough to stay focused on the fantastical plot. Please, feel free to add to the list!
The series is "a first person narrative..from the point of view of the main character, private investigator and wizard Harry Dresden, as he recounts investigations into supernatural disturbances in modern-day Chicago." - Wikipedia. Such a well-developed and likable lead character. As the novels progress, the supporting characters become this wonderfully vivid group of people whom you can't help but feel connected to.
Chris Gordon is a rookie with the NYPD - one with a secret. In his spare time Chris is an exorcist without equal with a gift from God. But when he saves a beautiful girl from a demonic attack, he discovers there is more to fear than just demons. Finding himself surrounded by vampires, were weasels, and facing a giant short-faced bear, Chris struggles to stay alive, all while protecting his deadly new girlfriend. And then there's her over protective vampire mother! -- Undoubtedly, one of my favorite series. Right up there with The Dresden Files.
The world has suffered a magic apocalypse. We pushed the technological progress too far, and now magic returned with a vengeance. It comes in waves. When magic is up, planes drop out of the sky, cars stall, electricity dies. When magic is down, guns work and spells fail. Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, but when the universe tries to kick her in the face, she kicks back. -- One of the best heroines in the genre.
Jane Yellowrock is the last of her kind-a skinwalker of Cherokee descent who can turn into any creature she desires and hunts vampires for a living. But now she’s been hired by Katherine Fontaneau, one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans and the madam of Katie’s Ladies, to hunt a powerful rogue vampire who’s killing other vamps… -- Jane is fantastic. She sails past Anita Blake to land in the top heroines circle with Kate Daniels and Rachel Morgan.
Atticus O’Sullivan has been running for two thousand years and he’s a bit tired of it. After he stole a magical sword from the Tuatha Dé Danann (those who became the Sidhe or the Fae) in a first century battle, some of them were furious and gave chase, and some were secretly amused that a Druid had the cheek to defy them. Now he’s living in Tempe, Arizona, the very last of the Druids, far from where the Fae can easily find him. It’s a place where many paranormals have decided to hide from the troubles of the Old World—from an Icelandic vampire holding a grudge against Thor to a coven of Polish witches who ran from the German Blitzkrieg.
The Pact Arcanum series by Arshad Ahsanuddin
An unlikely savior emerges to prevent the advent of mass destruction and genocide descending on the world…
Los Angeles, 2040. When the terrorist known as Medusa threatens to kill millions with a stolen nuclear bomb, Nick Jameson makes a fateful decision. He reveals himself on global television as a Daywalker - a vampire with a soul. To save Los Angeles, Nick exposes not only his own gifts but three separate cultures based on millennia-old magic.
The three metahuman races exist in careful balance, working to maintain a fragile peace. Nick and his fellow Daywalkers successfully master their natural bloodlust. The Sentinels, armed with both magic and steel, repress their warlike instincts. And even some Nightwalkers, normally their natural enemies, have deserted the Court of Shadows to join the triple alliance.
Betrayal and treachery lurk around every corner on the road to coexistence, and at every turn, Nick must question who to trust among his metahuman allies, friends, and lovers—before their civilization is plunged into the depths of darkness and bloodshed. With millennia-old magic, emerging romance, and ever-shifting allegiances, this inventive series unveils a scintillating world of Nightwalkers, Daywalkers, Sentinels, and Humans, who battle for world dominance in the not-too-distant future.
I Bring the Fire series by C. Gockel
In the middle of America, Amy Lewis is on her way to her grandma's house. She's being chased by a very bad wolf. Galaxies away Loki is waking up in a prison cell, strangely without a hangover, and with no idea what he's done wrong -- this time anyway. But he does know Thor is hiding something, Odin is up to something wicked, and there seems to be something he's forgotten...
In this urban fantasy tale, a very nice midwestern girl and a jaded, mischievous Loki must join forces to outwit gods, elves, magic sniffing cats, and nosy neighbors. If Loki can remember exactly what he's forgotten and Amy can convince him not to be too distracted by Earthly gadgets, Earthly pleasures, or three day benders, they just might pull it off...
A series of mystery novels that take place primarily in the city of Cincinnati featuring Rachel Morgan, a detective witch who works with local law enforcement agencies and faces threats both mundane and supernatural in origin. -- A great heroine for the genre!
Set in the Tri-Cities area of Washington state, the series follows Mercy, a VW mechanic by trade, as she learns her true nature and is caught up in the affairs of the local werewolves, vampires, fae, and other supernatural characters. Another fiesty lead character with a wry wit.
In the alleys of the decrepit Boston neighborhood known as the Weird, fairy prostitutes are turning up dead. Boston police call in Connor Grey, a druid and former hotshot Guild investigator-whose magical abilities were crippled after a run-in with a radical environmentalist elf. As Connor battles red tape and his own shortcomings, he realizes that the murders are not random, but part of an ancient magical ritual—which might bring about a worldwide cataclysm.
"Enter a London where magicians ride the Last Train, implore favours of The Beggar King and interpret the insane wisdom of The Bag Lady. Enter a London where beings of power soar with the pigeons and scrabble with the rats, and seek insight in the half-whispered madness of the blue electric angels." - kategriffin.net. While most other urban fantasy series treat magic as something old that is brought into the modern day world, Griffin's series of novels play upon the idea of "urban magic" - created from the rhythms and rituals of the city itself.
"The Courts of the Feyre is a new series that follows the adventures of Niall and Blackbird as Niall discovers a world of dark magic and strange creatures hidden in plain sight." - shevdon.com. Shevdon draws upon English folklore and history to create a highly engaging world to get lost in. The first book draws a lot of comparisons to Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere.
The adventures of Edwin Drood, AKA Shaman Bond (his field name; it is a parody of James Bond's name). He is a part of the Droods, an ancient family that purportedly watches over the world and protects it from various threats, including supernatural and magical ones.
My name is Damian Valdis Vesik. I am a necromancer, an ability feared and hated as much as the powers my master and I set ourselves against. We've vanquished many evils, but now something is releasing an old darkness, forcing us to hunt an enemy beyond anything I've faced before.
The Elemental Assassin books are set in the fictional Southern metropolis of Ashland, where Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina meet in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assassin codenamed the Spider who runs a barbecue restaurant called the Pork Pit in her spare time. Gin is also an elemental or person who can control one of the four elements – Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone. Gin has the rare gift of being able to control two elements, Ice and Stone in her case. Besides elementals like Gin, Ashland is also home to giants, dwarves, and vampires.
Black Knight Chronicles by John G. Hartness
The Black Knight Chronicles introduces us to James Black and Gregory Knightwood, proprietors of Black Knight Investigations. They’re dedicated to righting wrongs, defending the helpless, bringing light into the darkest of shadows…
Ok, maybe not so much with the bringing light bit. Our boys are vampires, after all, and not so much for the bringing of light stuff. But Jimmy and Greg aren’t your typical bloodthirsty, sex-starved, viciously studly vampires. Ok, maybe they’re a little blood-starved and sex-thirsty, but they try to keep that all under control. They’re more like your dorky kid brother who just happened to get turned into a vampire and now has to stay out of the sun. Forever.
Faerie has always been with us. The fairy tales, ballads, and folklore of the mortal world are only shadows of the true, sometimes terrible reality of the fae. They survive in secrecy, keeping their Courts in the places where the light doesn't fall, existing in parallel to the world we know.
They were heroes. Vigilantes. Crusaders for justice, using their superhuman abilites to make Los Angeles a better place. Then the plague of living death spread around the globe. Now, they protect the thousands of survivors sheltered in a film studio-turned-fortress, the Mount. While zombies walk the streets night and day, they are not the only threat left in the world. Across the city, another group has grown and gained power. And they are not heroes.
Alex Verus is a diviner, able to see the future. This is impressive to most people but less so to other mages, who can do things like throw fire, disintegrate things, and fly. Right now Alex has a problem – a site’s been discovered containing an ancient and powerful relic, and lots of people are looking for a diviner to open it, all of whom are looking to recruit or kill Alex, not necessarily in that order.
Archibald "Arch" Stan was a local cop in Midian, Tennessee that was good at his job and exceptionally good at hiding his disappointment at not being able to figure out what was missing in his life. Lafayette Hendricks looked like a drifter, a broken-down hitchhiker blown through Midian on the prevailing winds. When Arch catches him in a fight on the town square, though, things start to get weird fast, because the guy he's fighting doesn't die when he gets shot.
Quentin Coldwater has lost everything. He has been cast out of Fillory, the secret magical land of his childhood dreams that he once ruled. Everything he had fought so hard for, not to mention his closest friends, is sealed away in a land Quentin may never again visit.
Magnolia Kelch is no stranger to pain. She’s spent her entire life at the mercy of her sadistic father and the rest of the Kelch clan, who have tortured her and tested the limits of her powers. After one particularly heinous night, she finally sees her chance for escape. This first taste of freedom is short-lived when she joins the Network—a secret organization dedicated to fighting supernatural criminals— including her family.
Springboards off of the Mercy Thompson series by bringing supporting characters from that series front and center. The book focuses on Anna, an Omega werewolf learning her place within the pack, and Charles, the Alpha werewolf whose fate is linked with her own.
Nothing exciting ever happened to fifteen-year-old orphans Eliot and Fiona, who are trapped in the strict, oppressive household of their grandmother. A chance visit, however, reveals that the twins are the offspring of a goddess and Lucifer, Prince of Darkness. To settle the epic custody battle between these two families, the fallen angels create three diabolical temptations, and the gods fashion three heroic trials to test Eliot and Fiona. The twins need to quickly learn how to use their budding supernatural abilities… for family allegiances are ever-shifting in the ancient, secret world they have entered.
The series "presents a contemporary world in which mythological beings such as vampires and several less famous creatures are real, and follows the efforts of the Central Intelligence Agency to combat paranormal threats to national security." - Wikipedia. Very funny with wonderful references to contemporary culture.