Whilst investigating this relatively new and exceedingly broad sub-group of the fantasy genre, I was surprised by just how many novels I’ve unwittingly enjoyed from this category.
When pitching to publishers for the first time last year, I found classifying my manuscript into one specific genre a slippery task indeed. In the end, I decided to visit a few Sydney booksellers and ask them which shelf they’d put my novel on. Urban fantasy was the firm and unanimous reply.
Defining urban fantasy
There seems to be a fair bit of debate online but I’m going with:
Urban – whether it takes place in the past, present or the future, the primary narrative must involve a city (real or imagined).
Fantasy – the novel contains fantastical elements, including but not limited to the supernatural, mythological, paranormal, technological or extraterrestrial.
Adult urban fantasy
- Rivers of London (Peter Grant #1) by Ben AAronovitch
- Storm Front (The Dresden Files #1) by Jim Butcher
- Good Omens Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
- Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stakehouse #1) Charlaine Harris
- American Gods Neil Gaiman
- A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) Deborah Harkness
Young adult urban fantasy
- The Lightening Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) Rick Riordan
- The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus #1) Rick Riordan
- City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare
- Intertwined (Intertwined #1) Gena Showalter
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) J. K. Rowling
- Playing Beatie Bow Ruth Park
- Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles #1) Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
- Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) Richelle Mead