Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy discussion

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Urban Fantasy > Urban Fantsy that is not PNR?

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message 1: by Danielle (new)

Danielle I'm all for a good serial romance when I am in the mood but when I want good urban fantasy I don't want paranormal romance. I've read a bunch of series that you tend to see recommended. I am a huge Patricia Briggs fan and I've read all her books plus, Kate Daniels, Kitty Norville, Jane True, Sookie Stackhouse, the Shifters series by Rachel Vincent, Alex Craft, Jane Yellowrock, Chicagoland Vampire, Kelly Armstrong, Fever, plus more I can't remember now. I have liked some of these series more than others.

I have read enough of this genre to know that I like character driven books with good world building. There has to be another great series or triology out there that I am missing. What is it?


message 2: by Maddy (last edited Nov 23, 2013 04:37PM) (new)

Maddy Barone (maddybarone) | 74 comments I recommend the Crimson City series. Multiple authors like Patti O'Shea, Liz Maverick, Jade Lee and others, all writing stories set in the same alternate world. The original five books were published in paperback a decade ago, but some of the authors have continued the series in ebook format. My favorite was possibly A Taste of Crimson b yMarjorie M. Liu A Taste of Crimson (Crimson City, #2) by Marjorie M. Liu


message 3: by Genea (new)

Genea I'm liking the Scarlet Bernard series by Melissa F. Olson so far. Only two books available at the moment.
Dead Spots (Scarlett Bernard, #1) by Melissa F. Olson
The Elemental Mysteries series by Elizabeth Hunter has amazing world building.
A Hidden Fire (Elemental Mysteries, #1) by Elizabeth Hunter


message 4: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 66 comments Have you tried Jim Butchers Dresden's files?
Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1) by Jim Butcher Fool Moon (The Dresden Files, #2) by Jim Butcher Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, #3) by Jim Butcher Summer Knight (The Dresden Files, #4) by Jim Butcher Death Masks (The Dresden Files, #5) by Jim Butcher Blood Rites (The Dresden Files, #6) by Jim Butcher Dead Beat (The Dresden Files, #7) by Jim Butcher Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files, #8) by Jim Butcher White Night (The Dresden Files, #9) by Jim Butcher
Small Favor (The Dresden Files, #10) by Jim Butcher Turn Coat (The Dresden Files, #11) by Jim Butcher Changes (The Dresden Files, #12) by Jim Butcher Ghost Story (The Dresden Files, #13) by Jim Butcher Side Jobs Stories From the Dresden Files (The Dresden Files, #.5) by Jim Butcher


message 5: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 192 comments Genea wrote: "I'm liking the Scarlet Bernard series by Melissa F. Olson so far. Only two books available at the moment.
Dead Spots (Scarlett Bernard, #1) by Melissa F. Olson
The Elemental Mysteries series by Elizabeth Hunter has ama..."


Eeeee Elizabeth Hunter! A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1) by Deborah Harkness also has a lot of world building and the romance is a really really slow build


message 6: by Ann aka Iftcan (new)

Ann aka Iftcan (iftcan) | 2659 comments Mod
You might also like the Bloodhound Files Dying Bites is the first book. Good world building and I like the heroine.


message 7: by Oleander (new)

Oleander | 92 comments Vampire Babylon is character driven.
Night Rising (Vampire Babylon, #1) by Chris Marie Green Midnight Reign (Vampire Babylon, #2) by Chris Marie Green Break of Dawn (Vampire Babylon, #3) by Chris Marie Green A Drop of Red (Vampire Babylon, #4) by Chris Marie Green and several others in series


message 8: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Scott (michellescottfiction) I like Kim Harrison's books and also Daughter of Smoke & Bone


message 9: by [deleted user] (last edited Dec 09, 2013 06:25PM) (new)

Have you tried The World of the Lupi series by Eileen Wilks? The whole series has a wonderful world building. This series is so different. There are 10 books in the series so far, the first book being,

Tempting Danger (World of the Lupi, #1) by Eileen Wilks

Each book of the series gets better and better.


message 10: by R.L. (new)

R.L. Craven | 6 comments G.G. wrote: "Have you tried Jim Butchers Dresden's files?
Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1) by Jim Butcher Fool Moon (The Dresden Files, #2) by Jim ButcherGrave Peril (The Dresden Files, #3) by Jim ButcherSummer Knight (The Dresden Files, #4) by Jim ButcherDeath Masks (The Dresden Files, #5) by Jim Butcher[bookc..."


Wow. This looks pretty awesome.


message 11: by R.L. (new)

R.L. Craven | 6 comments Michelle wrote: "I like Kim Harrison's books and also Daughter of Smoke & Bone"

Just read the summary. I immediately downloaded a sample to Kindle. Thanks!


message 12: by R.L. (new)

R.L. Craven | 6 comments Genea wrote: "I'm liking the Scarlet Bernard series by Melissa F. Olson so far. Only two books available at the moment.
Dead Spots (Scarlett Bernard, #1) by Melissa F. Olson
The Elemental Mysteries series by Elizabeth Hunter has ama..."


Just so everyone knows, "A Hidden Fire" is free on Kindle right now.


message 13: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 66 comments R.L. wrote: "Wow. This looks pretty awesome.
..."


It is! Dresden files is by far my favorite UF series. :) I hadn't heard about it until I saw the TV show, which was good but nothing like the books.
However, like everything else, some like it, some don't.

If you read Dresden files and like it, there is also another series in the same vein. Simon Canderous series by Anton Stout. Dead to Me by Anton Strout Deader Still (Simon Canderous, #2) by Anton Strout Dead Matter (Simon Canderous, #3) by Anton Strout Dead Waters by Anton Strout


message 14: by Karma♥Bites ^.~ (last edited Dec 14, 2013 07:55AM) (new)

Karma♥Bites ^.~ (karma_bites) | 62 comments Danielle wrote: "I'm all for a good serial romance when I am in the mood but when I want good urban fantasy I don't want paranormal romance. ..."

Danielle, if you're not adverse to steampunk, perhaps check out Clay & Susan Griffith's Vampire Empire trilogy (paranormal w/ mysticism bent).

The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire, #1) by Clay Griffith The Greyfriar The Rift Walker (Vampire Empire, #2) by Clay Griffith The Rift Walker The Kingmakers (Vampire Empire, #3) by Clay Griffith The Kingmakers


message 15: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (shinhbang) | 152 comments Definitely try Karen Marie Moning's Fever series!


message 16: by Rose (new)

Rose Montague Some really nice suggestions here. One that I did not see mentioned is Darynda Jones and her Charlie Davidson series, just terrific.


message 17: by Steelwhisper (new)

Steelwhisper | 140 comments Colour me stupid, but what is the difference between urban fantasy and PNR?

To me they are one and the same O.o


message 18: by PepperP0t (new)

PepperP0t  | 534 comments Steelwhisper you're probably gonna get a lot of different explanations but for me the difference is that UF tends to be more character driven, everything else is secondary. PNR tends to focus more romance driven, the other things are secondary.


message 19: by Kamil (last edited Dec 18, 2013 06:27AM) (new)

Kamil | 18 comments Hounded Hexed Hammered Tricked Trapped Hunted Shattered

you can't go wrong with this


message 20: by Steelwhisper (new)

Steelwhisper | 140 comments Pat wrote: "the difference is that UF tends to be more character driven, everything else is secondary. PNR tends to focus more..."

PNR = paranormal romance and =/= Paranormal ?


message 21: by PepperP0t (new)

PepperP0t  | 534 comments Steelwhisper wrote: "Pat wrote: "the difference is that UF tends to be more character driven, everything else is secondary. PNR tends to focus more..."

PNR = paranormal romance and =/= Paranormal ?"


adventure, drama, character - not necessarily a HEA


message 22: by Dee (new)

Dee (phonebooklady) Rosemary and Rue (October Daye, #1) by Seanan McGuire is good.


message 23: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (dawnv) | 320 comments Here are a few others I would suggest
The Devil You Know (Felix Castor, #1) by Mike Carey A Kiss Before the Apocalypse (Remy Chandler, #1) by Thomas E. Sniegoski Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman Staked (Void City, #1) by J.F. Lewis


message 24: by Lauren (new)

Lauren | 11 comments The girl in the box series is good too. And the first one is free! Alone (The Girl in the Box, #1) by Robert J. Crane
The Way of Shadows (Night Angel, #1) by Brent Weeks series is really really good but not strictly UF


message 25: by Kamil (new)

Kamil | 18 comments Lauren wrote: "The girl in the box series is good too. And the first one is free! Alone (The Girl in the Box, #1) by Robert J. Crane
The Way of Shadows (Night Angel, #1) by Brent Weeks series is really really good but not strictly UF"


the night angel's trilogy is worth reading just for the relationship Kylar and Vi have


message 26: by S.L. (new)

S.L. (slgray) | 13 comments I will second the recommendation for Kevin Hearne's books (Hounded, Hunted, etc.) They're also great for people who are looking for UF outside the "typical" creatures as his MC is a druid.

I would also suggest C.E. Murphy, either her Walker Paper series (starting with Urban Shaman) or the Old Races series (starting with Heart of Stone).


message 27: by Danielle (last edited Dec 29, 2013 06:42PM) (new)

Danielle Thanks to everyone who suggested books.

If you are interested.

I've read a few of the Dresden files and I just was not a fan. I know everyone else seems to love them. I just could not get in to them. It might have been the sub basement and the kid who was cursed (or almost cursed or whatever) in that basement. It might have been the convenient way electricity sometimes works when needed. Plus I live in Chicago and could never picture the world. Never been a problem with other books that take place here.

Read and disliked Discovery of Witches.

Read Fever and thought is was meh. Sort of tired of Fever fans recommending it like is was the best series ever.

Read some of the Darynda Jones books. I thought they were meh.

I have requested the Hounded, Hexed, etc. series from the library twice but was unable to pick it up before they sent it back to the branch it is housed in. I thought it was a sign to not bother with the series but maybe the third time it will work out.

Read and liked Neverwhere.

Added Walking Papers to my to read list.

I keep seeing the Daughter of Smoke and Bone but I have read a lot of YA lately.

Some of the books suggested are PNR and I am not looking for those right now.

I thought I was going to get my hands on the Eileen Wilks World of Lupi series but then I realized that this is PRN too. I hope the Kevin Hearne's books or the Walking Papers books are not PNR too.

Thanks again


message 28: by S.L. (new)

S.L. (slgray) | 13 comments Denielle,

There may be romantic elements in Kevin Hearne's books (I'm not completely caught up) and I know there are -elements- in the Walker Papers, but the focus of both series are on the world and the characters and the events, not the romance.


message 29: by RabidReader (new)

RabidReader (RabidReaderX) | 10 comments Are you looking for urban fiction, something futuristic and character driven without the magic/paranormal elements?


message 30: by Kamil (new)

Kamil | 18 comments S.L. wrote: "Denielle,

There may be romantic elements in Kevin Hearne's books (I'm not completely caught up) and I know there are -elements- in the Walker Papers, but the focus of both series are on the world ..."


In "Trapped" the romance element makes a good 19% of the plot


message 31: by Katya (last edited Dec 30, 2013 03:13AM) (new)

Katya | 645 comments Steelwhisper wrote: "Colour me stupid, but what is the difference between urban fantasy and PNR?

To me they are one and the same O.o"


Steelwhisper UF to me usually means several books by the same author telling one story or parts of a story which are connected, usually with the same characters threaded throughout.

It really spends time on the storyline and takes place in an urban area. It may contain alot of romance or very little at all. The story does not center on the romance although it may be a prominent feature.

Where as PNR is focused on a particular couple and the romance between them. Alot of books may be PNR but have a real UF flavor and vise versa.


message 32: by Kamil (new)

Kamil | 18 comments Katya wrote: "Steelwhisper wrote: "Colour me stupid, but what is the difference between urban fantasy and PNR?

To me they are one and the same O.o"

Steelwhisper UF to me usually means several books by the same..."


it's like the rule with squares and rectangles, each square is a rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square


message 33: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Dee wrote: "Rosemary and Rue (October Daye, #1) by Seanan McGuire is good."

Seconded and will up to "is great". There's romance but it really focuses on Toby dealing with the BS that the fantasy world around her doles out.


message 34: by Katie (new)

Katie (jessesgurl) | 68 comments I just listened to My Life as a White Trash Zombie (White Trash Zombie, #1) by Diana Rowland and it was a different angle!


message 35: by Ann aka Iftcan (new)

Ann aka Iftcan (iftcan) | 2659 comments Mod
Danielle--the Lupi World books are UF not PNR. Yes, there IS a romance, but it's not the main focus, it's a secondary one. And, unlike PNR series, where it's One Couple-One book where the next book concentrates on a different couple, this series is about Lily and Rule's efforts to keep the world and the Lupi safe. And come on, you don't find a character like Lily's Grandmother in most series. (What can I say--I love Grandmothers like her--she reminds me of my Gran and my Great-Gran.)


message 36: by [deleted user] (last edited Dec 30, 2013 08:58PM) (new)

Danielle wrote: "Thanks to everyone who suggested books.

I've read a few of the Dresden files and I just was not a fan. I know everyone else seems to love them. I just could not get in to..."


Danielle, Ann aka Iftcan is right. Lupi books are NOT PNR- though the first few chapters of the first book may give that impression- try these books out.

@ Ann aka Iftcan: I love Grandmother too. She IS something, right!


Lisa - (Aussie Girl) | 407 comments Alex Craft series by Kalayna Price. Grave Witch (Alex Craft, #1) by Kalayna Price is the first book.

Downside Ghosts by Stacia Kane. Unholy Ghosts (Downside Ghosts, #1) by Stacia Kane . Really unique world building and unusual heroine.


message 38: by Anita (new)

Anita (anitaw) | 165 comments My rule of thumb difference between UF and PNR is the happily ever after in one book. If it takes more than one book to get to HEA, then it's UF. If the love life is complex, involving triangles or hexagons or whatever, you're reading UF (or erotica if your serious about the hexagons...) If there's a band of brothers who each get a girl in every book, you're reading PNR. If it feels like every other page is a romantic interlude, you might be reading PNR. First person point of view is more common in UF, but that's not a requirement. Lots of modern UF eventually gets to HEA and doesn't stop there (Kate Daniels and Kat and Bones come to mind). That's the evolution of the UF genre - mixing it up, breaking genre rules.

The thing is, the terms aren't really contrasts to one another. Technically, UF is about borrowing settings that the reader is familiar with for fantasy and PNR is about adding supernatural elements to romance. So the same book can actually be both. UF contrasts with high (or traditional) fantasy. As readers, though, most of us think of the PNR as very relationship-focused and UF as more action/mystery/adventure focused.

The technical definitions of Urban Fantasy vs. Paranormal Romance:

UF: is a sub-genre of fantasy defined by place; the fantastic narrative has an urban setting. Urban fantasy exists on one side of a spectrum, opposite high fantasy, which is set in an entirely fictitious world. Urban fantasy describes a work that is set primarily in the real world and contains aspects of fantasy. These matters may involve the arrivals of alien races, the discovery of earthbound mythological creatures, coexistence between humans and paranormal beings, conflicts between humans and malicious paranormals, and subsequent changes in reality. Though stories may be set in contemporary times, this characteristic is not necessary for the fiction to be considered urban fantasy,[1] as works of the genre may also take place in futuristic and historical settings, real or imagined. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_fa...


PNR: Paranormal romance is a sub-genre of both romantic fiction and speculative fiction. Paranormal romance focuses on romantic love and includes elements beyond the range of scientific explanation, blending together themes from the speculative fiction genres of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranorm...


message 39: by Anita (new)

Anita (anitaw) | 165 comments P.S. If you're looking for more recs, I've got 505 books on my Urban Fantasy shelf, all rated and reviewed: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list...

Some of the series with higher scores:
Order of the Black Swan
Edie Spence
Charley Davidson
Guardians of the First Realm
Guild Hunter
Jane Yellowrock
Cassandra Palmer
The Others
InCryptid
October Daye
Dark Days
Jessie Shimmer
Kate Daniels
Dante Valentine
Kara Gillian
Dorina Basarab
Horngate Witches
Spellcrackers.com
Night Huntress
Cal Leandros
Shadow
Stormwalker
Dark Swan
Strange Angels
Alpha & Omega
The Bloodhound Files
Mercy Thompson
Elfhome
The Dresden Files
The Black Sun's Daughter


message 40: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (rachelburiedinabook) Charlie Madigan series by Kelly Gay (First book=The Better Part of Darkness) and Nikki Glass series by Jenna Black (First book=Dark Descendant).

I love these books. They're different UF, too...not just your usual vampire/shifter stuff. Charlie lives with Aliens and Nikki is a descendant of the gods...not typical for adult UF.


message 41: by Danielle (new)

Danielle Ann aka Iftcan wrote: "Danielle--the Lupi World books are UF not PNR. Yes, there IS a romance, but it's not the main focus, it's a secondary one. And, unlike PNR series, where it's One Couple-One book where the next book..."

I read the first book in the Lupi World Series Tempting Danger (World of the Lupi, #1) by Eileen Wilks and the entire book read like PNR, right down to the uncontrollable mating bond. It is likely the rest of the series can move on from there with out the crazy uncontrollable need for the the two love birds to be in the same room. I'm not sure. Either way the series is not for me.


message 42: by Danielle (new)

Danielle Kamil wrote: "Hounded Hexed Hammered Tricked Trapped Hunted Shattered

you can't go wrong with this"


These were just what I was looking for. A good series. Thanks


message 43: by PepperP0t (new)

PepperP0t  | 534 comments Danielle wrote: "Ann aka Iftcan wrote: "Danielle--the Lupi World books are UF not PNR. Yes, there IS a romance, but it's not the main focus, it's a secondary one. And, unlike PNR series, where it's One Couple-One b..."

Danielle, I think you and Ann are both right. I am more of a PNR fan than UF but read them both. The mating bond was in the first book to bring in the shifters but the series is more UF than PNR. Also book 1 has more romance and more sex in it than the other books (I'm starting book 8). When I read book 2 and up I had to adjust that I was reading a UF series rather than a PNR one.

I also agree with Kamil that the Iron Druid series is good UF.


message 44: by Shera (Book Whispers) (last edited Jan 30, 2014 09:54PM) (new)

Shera (Book Whispers) (sherabookwhispers) | 229 comments Probably one of the best underrated series out there!It's really well thought out and one of the most unique worlds in UF. The Better Part of Darkness (Charlie Madigan, #1) by Kelly Gay

Here's some others:
Nightlife (Cal Leandros, #1) by Rob Thurman Dying Bites (The Bloodhound Files, #1) by D.D. Barant Kindling the Moon (Arcadia Bell, #1) by Jenn Bennett Dark Descendant (Nikki Glass, #1) by Jenna Black Rosemary and Rue (October Daye, #1) by Seanan McGuire

All of these titles are strictly UF.


message 45: by Teyla (new)

Teyla Branton (teylabranton) | 3 comments Thanks for all the recommendations. I love so many of the books listed and I'm excited to try others. Do any of these have more of a contemporary sci-fi kind of plot as opposed to magic?

Thanks!


message 46: by Teyla (last edited Feb 01, 2014 07:12AM) (new)

Teyla Branton (teylabranton) | 3 comments I've really enjoy the first two books in Sandy Williams's series.


The Shadow Reader (Shadow Reader, #1) by Sandy Williams The Shattered Dark (Shadow Reader, #2) by Sandy Williams


message 47: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (dwell_ondreams) | 9 comments Highly (HIGHLY) recommend the Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman. It's definitely not romance. It's gritty, violent, sarcastic, & has epic brothers.


message 48: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Davis | 34 comments I totally agree, only thing wrong with that series they do not come out fast enough.


message 49: by S.W. (last edited May 01, 2014 04:45AM) (new)

S.W. Fairbrother (swfairbrother) Ooh, loving this thread! I've added a pile of stuff to my TBR list :)

I can't see that anyone has mentioned Ben Aaronovitch's Peter Grant series. They are very good. Whispers Under Ground


message 50: by Edward (new)

Edward Jamieson (edwardjamieson) | 54 comments ...and behind it the hunting of angels has begun

The Godless - Emancipated Soul by Suren Fant


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