The paranormal and urban fantasy labels cover a wide variety of books, from bubbly and romantic to dark and gritty. From fairies to vampires, readers will find themselves browsing in the Science Fiction, Young Adult, Romance, Fiction, and Mystery sections to find their next books. That's why we're here to help you narrow down the search.
Recently I've enjoyed several series that feature the interference of the gods in the lives of mortals, especially one particular mortal singled out for the gods' attention and all the chaos that comes with it. Each of these series are also fast-paced with first-person narration and darker humor, but after that, they're all a little different.
Hounded by Kevin Hearne
The first book in Hearne's Iron Druid chronicles is an action-packed romp through Celtic mythology in the Arizona desert. Atticus O'Sullivan is the last of the druids, and he's been on the run for centuries, what with having stole the vengeful god of love's sword. Despite his great age, Atticus is more of a footloose twenty-something than a wise mystic, but at least he has his trusty partner, Oberon, the wisecracking Irish wolfhound.
Readers may also enjoy: Storm Front by Jim Butcher, see Andrew's review here.
Black Blade Blues by J.A. Pitts
Somewhat more serious and moody, J.A. Pitts' series follows Sarah Beauhall as she struggles to find her balance as an adult. Between student debt, a non-existent relationship with her family, two jobs (blacksmith and prop master for a local b-studio) and relationship troubles with her girlfriend, the last thing she needs is to become the wielder of Gram, an ancient Norse blade made for killing dragons. Personal growth, vast conspiracies, epic battles, and an old homeless man who might be Odin.
Readers may also enjoy: Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey.
Urban Shaman by C.E. Murphy
Urban Shaman, the first book in C.E. Murphy's Walker Papers series, is a bit more menacing in tone. Set in the Pacific Northwest, the series starts as Joanne Walker's life falls to pieces. Her mother just died, she's about to be fired from her job as a police mechanic, and the woman she's trying to help claims that she's being hunted by Cernunnos, god and leader of the Wild Hunt. But Cernunnos isn't the only god taking an interest in Joanne's life. It's sarcastic and violent, with interesting characters, and a murder mystery for good measure.
Readers may also enjoy: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs, see Amy's review here.
First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
The first book in Ms. Jones' fast-paced series featuring Charley Davidson, private investigator and grim reaper. The story is irreverently funny to balance the darkness of the crimes, and when you add in a deliciously steamy romantic sub plot, you get a fun and suspenseful read. I won't spoil the surprise by revealing the identity of Charley's supernatural lover because the reveal sets up the next book in the series. The narrator of the audio book (available as a download through OverDrive) does an excellent job of matching the novel's tone.
Readers may also enjoy: Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson.
If you're looking for more books where ancient gods interfere with the modern world try:
Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Please stop by the Recommendations Desk on the first floor, check out NoveList Plus on the library's website, or visit W. 11th & Bluff next week for more reading suggestions. Or submit a Personal Recommendations request, and we'll create a reading list just for you!