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BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS > Looking for Recommendations: Non-Series Books

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message 1: by Deebles (new)

Deebles | 11 comments Can anyone recommend any Urban Fantasy books that are not part of a series. I have a tendency to get sucked and spend money I don't have on books. For example, the Dresden Files or Kim Harrison books are all part of a series and I would like a stand alone story if there are any. I think that there are as I have read Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman and I'm pretty sure that is a stand alone book.

Thank you in advance for your help.


message 2: by Angelica (new)

Angelica (angelica221) I just checked out this book on Amazon and I'm pretty sure it's not a part of a series. The book is called Benighted by Kit Whitfield. It deals with werewolves but really takes a different twist. I'll keep my eye out to see if there is anything else out there.




message 3: by Theresa (last edited Aug 13, 2008 09:14AM) (new)

Theresa  (tsorrels) Dannii, oh, what a challenge! Non-series UF are - apparently - quite a rare thing on my shelves. I only came up with three:

Hawkes Harbor by S.E. Hinton (vampires)
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (vampires)
The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue (doppelgangers)

However, if you are open to trilogies, that opens up a lot more choices...?


message 4: by Deebles (new)

Deebles | 11 comments Oooh thank you Petunia and Theresa, i will check those ones out. At least I feel a little better in knowing this is a challenge for other people too. Trilogies are good too, at least there is an end in the spending hehehe.


message 5: by Angelica (new)

Angelica (angelica221) Ah, totally forgot about the Historian! I was going to say The Society of S by Susan Hubbard, but I just found out there was a follow up book after that one. I enjoy the challenge actually. Society of S deals with vampires btw.


message 6: by new_user (new)

new_user Hi, Dannii. I recommend Christina Dodd's Darkness Chosen series. They're only four books, and they're a great read. :)


Jael ~ *~ Syhren ~* ~ (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejael) I want to recommend Blood&Chocolate, it's a YA books but it was so good I wished it was a series. The movie sucked but the book was excellent( I hope you like werewolves)


message 8: by Liz (new)

Liz (arcanepenguin) | 8 comments American Gods - Neil Gaiman
The Autumn Castle - Kim Wilkins (Faeries/transport to faerie land, otherwise set in Germany)
Sunshine by Robin McKinley (Vampires)
Pale Immortal by Anne Frasier (Vampires)
- I'm not sure if Pale Immortal is a series or not but it's the only one of Frasier's books I've read and is good as a stand alone.

I have no idea what it's like in your area, but you should definitely try the library for what you want, when I was living in Dalkeith (Edinburgh suburb) even the tiny local library was a big help. And I am also discovering the wonders of Interlibrary loan which is a being a big help on the budget.


message 9: by Deebles (new)

Deebles | 11 comments Even more great recommendations thank you.

I have read American Gods but not the others on your list Liz.

The libraries are ok, I'd say sporadic more than anything but i work near by quite a good library so i will check out those titles there.

Jael, are you sure Blood and Chocolate is good? I also thought the film was awful, so it has put me off reading the book. I might still check it out when i can no longer remember the film.


Jael ~ *~ Syhren ~* ~ (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejael) The book is completely different from the movie( The movie just uses the names from the book and nothing else I don't know what they were thinking when they made that movie but it was horrible and nothing like the book)


message 11: by Deebles (new)

Deebles | 11 comments Ah ok i think i might read it then, the film was truly awful, i'm not sure if i have ever seen anything worse.


message 12: by Joseph (new)

Joseph  (bluemanticore) | 138 comments Dannii, Blood and Chocolate the book is amazing. A great read, nothing like the movie, as is usually the case. Another really good non-series urban fantasy I would suggest is Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith.


message 13: by Melissa (new)

Melissa There is a sequel to Blood and Chocolate called The Silver Kiss. Just an FYI.

My suggestions are:

David Sosnowski - Vamped - he also has a book called Rapture with angels, but I didn't like that one as much as Vamped

Christopher Moore - anything he's written - he's got a sick and twisted sense of humor but I love all his books - only one of his books has an actual sequel - some of the others are in the same town and have recurring characters but not the same main characters - they can be read in any order.

A. Lee Martinez - again, anything he's written - he's not necessarly urban fantasy, but definitely fantasy with humor - he has one book that I would consider sci fi that I just read that is now my new favorite book of all time - all of his books are stand alone





message 14: by Christal (new)

Christal | 28 comments The Silver Kiss isn't a sequel to Blood and Chocolate. It is by the same author and is another pretty good stand alone though. Silver deals with vampires instead of werewolves. The main character is coping with her mother having cancer and the possibility of death, and then she just so happens to meet a vampire.


message 15: by Crystal (new)

Crystal | 13 comments One of my favorite books is:


The World On Blood by: Jonathan Nasaw


It's a little different then most urban fantasy books. This book had me from the beginning and held me to the end.

Enjoy!!


message 16: by Deebles (new)

Deebles | 11 comments Thank you guys for all your recommendations, this is brilliant. I'm hoping the library will have some of these in, if not i might be giving green metropolis a visit.

Melissa, you are right Christopher Moore is fantastic, i love his stuff, I'm actually reading Coyote Blue at the moment.


message 17: by Chelle (new)

Chelle (blindpurls) | 4 comments Even though most of Charles de Lint books are loosely interconnected Newford series they can be read alone. I highly recommend Memory and Dreams, The Wild Wood as well as the Tamson House books Moonheart and Spiritwalk.

A great trilogy is the Walker Papers by C.E. Murphy The Urban Shaman, Thunderbird Falls and Coyote Dreams


message 18: by Phoebebb (new)

Phoebebb What Do You Say to a Naked Elf?
by Cheryl Sterling

If you're looking for something a little funny.


message 19: by new_user (last edited Aug 21, 2008 04:20PM) (new)

new_user I've been recommending this a lot lately, but I'll say it again, lol. Teasing Danger by Autumn Dawn, werewolf story in a sort of fantasy setting with a modern day heroine. I hope that made sense. It has a sequel, but it's pretty much standalone unless you're interested in the stories of the secondary characters. And it's not really futuristic as it's labeled.


message 20: by Krista (new)

Krista (findyourshimmy) Blood Is the New Black: A Novel by Valerie Stivers

It's a quick, witty read about a girl who gets a job at a fashion magazine that's run by vampires. I wouldn't categorize it as UF, but it's still a good read.


message 21: by Deebles (new)

Deebles | 11 comments Oooh that one sounds quite interesting Ikiwiki, thank you


message 22: by Krista (new)

Krista (findyourshimmy) I also recently read La Vida Vampire by Nancy Haddock, although I think this one might become a series as the book leaves a lot of open ends.

The basic premise is a vampire is buried under a house. When it's renovated centuries later, she's re-awakened. She becomes "mainstream" and offers "haunted" tours of the area.

It's cute.


message 23: by Ranata (new)

Ranata Clark (thatchicknata) I've been wanting to read this book. Somebody should suggest it for November's read!


message 24: by Pamela (new)

Pamela | 20 comments Back in the day, it was considered horror, now it would considered urban fantasy. But not out new, so you'll have to find it at a library or used. Wolfen by Whitley Strieber.I found it used somewhere. Let's say a different take on werewolves, and not at all like the movie based on it from the '70s.

What's the one by Emma Bull? That's a stand alone.


message 25: by Theresa (new)

Theresa  (tsorrels) Pamela, do you mean War for the Oaks?


message 26: by Donna (new)

Donna (deety) | 34 comments I wanted to second Hawkes Harbor and Vamped.

Hawkes Harbor was originally written as a Dark Shadows novel, but then some names and details were changed. It's actually better than any of the other Dark Shadows books that I've read, but it's not similar to them at all in tone or style.

Vamped is a fun book about a bored vampire who lives in a world where most of the other people have been turned. There were a few aspects of the story that I had a mixed reaction to, but it's worth it for the world-building alone.


message 27: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 18 comments Thanks for inviting me to join I will be checking out some of these titles.


message 28: by Michael (new)

Michael Stewart (michaelfstewart) | 26 comments Hi, I wanted to start a topic on this, so I'm glad I found it. Anyone else have recommendations. I'm more of a Neil Gaiman sort of guy then a Kim Harrison - i.e. I'll take a pass on snarky, kick-butt, leather wearing chicks with brooding vamp boy-friends.

Why are series so big anyways? I can understand from a writing perspective, world is already created, characters done. Makes life easy, but isn't that half fun of reading, discovering new worlds? Maybe that's another thread?!



message 29: by Joseph (last edited Sep 14, 2009 06:20AM) (new)

Joseph  (bluemanticore) | 138 comments Another suggestion that comes to mind isn't a non-series book but it is only a trilogy. C.E. Murphy writes interesting nontraditional urban fantasies. Her books tend to use creatures that I find aren't in many other urban fantasies. This trilogy is about gargoyles, vampires, genies, selkies, and dragons.
Heart Of Stone
House of Cards
Hands Of Flame

P.S. I just finished another of her urban fantasy works that I really liked, Urban Shaman, about an American Indian Shaman who battles things like Celtic gods. It is the start of a series, but one you might want to check out if you like her trilogy.


message 30: by Michael (new)

Michael Stewart (michaelfstewart) | 26 comments Thanks, Joseph,
I'll add her first to my TBR. I like the end to be in sight, you know what I mean? I don't see how you can have the stakes high enough if you know it's a series. If the stakes aren't high, then the resolution is diminished. IMO


 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 237 comments Urban Shaman was a great book. I second the recommendation.


message 32: by Michael (new)

Michael Stewart (michaelfstewart) | 26 comments Thanks, Danielle! What's the romance quota in it?


 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 237 comments It's not romancey at all.


message 34: by Michael (new)

Michael Stewart (michaelfstewart) | 26 comments Awesome. Thanks again.


message 35: by Theresa (new)

Theresa  (tsorrels) Michael wrote: "Why are series so big anyways? I can understand from a writing perspective, world is already created, characters done. Makes life easy, but isn't that half fun of reading, discovering new worlds? Maybe that's another thread?!..."


You might like to check out this thread... Do Series Tend To Go On For Too Long?.


message 36: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 122 comments The Demon's Librarian by Lilith Saintcrow


colleen the convivial curmudgeon (blackrose13) I really liked The Black Tattoo. I'm not sure it's striclty UF as it partially takes place in an urban environment, and partially in another dimension. Also, it's YA, but I enjoyed it a lot.

I think part of series is that it's sort of a cash-cow. Sort of like why Hollywood makes endless sequels or remakes or formula pieces - because they're almost guaranteed to generate revenue that something new or original might not. Once you get hooked into a series, it's a built in market-base.

I don't mind series, but I do prefer the "end in sight" planned out arc ones over the "omg, there's nothing happening and it just keeps going... " variety.

As a side note, I would've never considered The Historian as UF. I guess I thought it was supposed to be more horror. Eh, either way, I didn't like it. *shrugs*

Anyway - someone mentioned Gaiman, but I don't think anyone mentioned Neverwhere A Novel. That's an excellent stand-alone.

I can't think of any others that haven't been mentioned yet. I do have quite a few trilogies or completed series, tho.


message 38: by Joy (last edited Sep 15, 2009 08:38AM) (new)

Joy (crowgirl) Michael wrote: "Hi, I wanted to start a topic on this, so I'm glad I found it. Anyone else have recommendations. I'm more of a Neil Gaiman sort of guy then a Kim Harrison - i.e. I'll take a pass on snarky, kick-bu..."

Most all of Charles de Lint can be read as stand along. He carries the same characters over to other books but never leaves cliff hangers so you have to buy the next one out.

Terri Windling is the Editor of a kick ass bunch of Fairy Tale books written by known writers for adults. Snow White, Blood Red is the first I think.

The Wood Wife she wrote herself and is excellent. I also believe she was one who started the Urban Fantasy craze with her Bordertown Where Magic Meets Rock & Roll books, but some are out of print now. These are collections of stories by many writers about the same urban world along the line of the Thieves' World books.


message 39: by Joy (new)

Joy (crowgirl) blackrose wrote: "As a side note, I would've never considered The Historian as UF. I guess I thought it was supposed to be more horror. Eh, either way, I didn't like it. *shrugs*"

You've got my vote there. Most boring Vampire book ever.


message 40: by Joy (new)

Joy (crowgirl) Forgot to mention Mercedes Lackey and her UF books about Urban elves. Bedlam's Bard is the first I think. All can be read as stand alone and the main character is male for a change.


message 41: by Julia (new)

Julia | 615 comments I'm going to second what Chelle said about Charles de Lint. His Newford books aren't so much a series as a shared world that only he writes in. Newford is a northeastern rustbelt city that might be Canada or the U.S, but that has magic for those who can see it. You can start anywhere with these books. (Almost: you will appreciate Onion Girl & Widdershins more if you've already read some others first.)

So I recommend Someplace to be Flying, Trader and Waifs and Strays. This spring he came out with a new novel Mysteries of Grace, not set in Newford, and he's got a new book of short stories coming out in November of this year.

Before Emma Bull wrote the great War for the Oaks she wrote Finder in the shared Borderlands universe. (Charles de Lint also wrote Borderlands stories. There are three books of these.) Will Shetterly set two novels there Elsewhere and Never Never. Oh! Emma Bull's got a terrific new-ish something --is it urban fantasy if it takes place in Tombstone, AZ right before the famous gunfight and there's magic of various kinds-- called Territory?

None of these are about romance, though are some love stories, they are about characters.


message 42: by Joy (new)

Joy (crowgirl) Julia wrote: "Emma Bull's got a terrific new-ish something --is it urban fantasy if it takes place in Tombstone, AZ right before the famous gunfight and there's magic of various kinds-- called Territory?"

I read this a few months ago. I almost didn't since I've never been a fan of Westerns BUT I am a fan of Ms. Bull. It is very good with a nice secondary love story and yes, it has magic in it.


message 43: by Julia (new)

Julia | 615 comments Crowgirl (love the name;)

Territory *isn't* urban fantasy, because of its western, historical setting, but then Naomi Novik's dragon books aren't set in a made up past either, but during the Napoleanic Wars.

So what is/ are it/ they? Besides good, I mean?


message 44: by Laura (new)

Laura Fowler | 29 comments Michael wrote: "Thanks, Danielle! What's the romance quota in it?"
Similar story topic-- De Lint's Greenmantle, and a lot more 'gaiman' than 'c. murphy.' murphy's urban shaman still stars a kick-ass ex-police heroine, so you might like De Lint's version better, also, like gaiman, highly historical legend/fable based.



message 45: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sjhorton) | 4 comments Crowgirl wrote: "Michael wrote: "Hi, I wanted to start a topic on this, so I'm glad I found it. Anyone else have recommendations. I'm more of a Neil Gaiman sort of guy then a Kim Harrison - i.e. I'll take a pass on..."

De Lint's "The Blue Girl" was great. It's YA/teen, but very good.


message 46: by The Flooze (new)

The Flooze (the_flooze) | 179 comments I'll agree with everyone who mentioned Christopher Moore, A. Lee Martinez, and De Lint.

Martinez's Gil's All Fright Diner was hilarious and different. Trucker were and hillbilly vamp face evil under the fridge. And there are zombie cows involved. How can one go wrong?

Not really UF but with a UF feel, John Scalzi's Agent to the Stars was quite good. Aliens decide it's time to make their intro to earthlings--but they realize they're not the most attractive creatures by our standards and they don't want to scare us off. What group holds sway over public opinion? Hollywood. What do you do when you've an image problem? Hire an agent. Very funny. And the damn man wrote it as a practice book.

::oozing jealousy::

Now to fatten up my TBR with everyone's suggestions!


message 47: by Michael (new)

Michael Stewart (michaelfstewart) | 26 comments Wow, so De Lint appears fairly universal. I've read a couple of his, but this'll keep me going for awhile!

Thanks for everyone's suggestions. I can see how your TBR piles get out of control!
MFS





message 48: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 233 comments Julia wrote: "Crowgirl (love the name;)

Territory *isn't* urban fantasy, because of its western, historical setting, but then Naomi Novik's dragon books aren't set in a made up past either, but during the Nap..."


I'd call it alternate history fantasy. Alternate histories take place in another universe where history happened differently. Although most alternate histories are science fiction, there are beginning to be a number of them that are fantasy. Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel novels are alternate history.

Shomeret




message 49: by colleen the convivial curmudgeon (last edited Sep 21, 2009 06:25AM) (new)

colleen the convivial curmudgeon (blackrose13) (Random musings follow): Someday I'm going to have to read Someplace to Be Flying (Newford Book 8). I've read a small handful of de Lint's other works (The Blue Girl, The Dreaming Place, Wolf Moon and Little (Grrl) Lost (Newford Book 20) specifically), and I'm not overly impressed. I've been told 'Someplace... ' is one of his better ones, though, so I'm going to have to read that and decide once and for all whether to invest in de Lint or give the rest of his stuff a pass.


message 50: by Kelli (new)

Kelli (malachitemoon) | 8 comments blackrose wrote: "(Random musings follow): Someday I'm going to have to read Someplace to Be Flying (Newford Book 8). I've read a small handful of de Lint's other works (The Blue Girl, [..."

Moonheart was the book that hooked me on de Lint. So you might want to try that one as well. He's not everyone's cup of tea, but I can't pass him up!


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