The best books with magic and magical creatures in a modern, futuristic, or urban setting

Who am I?

The occult and paranormal have always fascinated me. I trained in computer information systems and worked as a software/web application developer for over ten years, but in my spare time, I worked on a general arts degree. I then switched to parapsychic science, getting a B.A. in it and finishing with a master’s degree in parapsychology. My reading and writing preferences reflect my knowledge, skills, and experience in these areas. I’ve even done psychic and mediumship readings for clients, so when my characters do it, their methods are based on my own processes. I love books with well-constructed paranormal worlds and magick systems.

I wrote...

The Fool

By Val Tobin,

Book cover of The Fool

What is my book about?

She believes vampires are monsters, so why is she risking her life to help one?

Forty-something divorcée Kelsey Davis opens a bookstore café at the crossroads where several supernatural communities converge. She’s ready to find herself and face her fear of those who aren’t human by living and working amongst them. But she’s not prepared for the tall, snarky vampire who bursts through her door and demands to talk to her son.

When Kelsey learns the vampire’s daughter is missing, and her own son isn’t where he’s supposed to be, she frantically gets involved in the search. Following one clue after another, they confront the man who can lead them to the missing girl — a mistake they may not live to regret.

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The books I picked & why

Magic Bites

By Ilona Andrews,

Book cover of Magic Bites

Why did I love this book?

Readers will love this book for its exemplary world building, its kick-ass heroine, and its smooth writing style. I loved this book because it had straight-up action, a main character I could happily follow, and a promise of romance to come.

The fight scenes were well choreographed, and the shift from tech to magic and back again at random moments lent an air of uncertainty. It threw obstacles at the characters and forced them to create workarounds for it. 

I enjoyed discovering the intricacies of this unique world and immediately sought out the second book in the series. I read each book quickly because I was hooked. I’ve also read book three and want to read more.

By Ilona Andrews,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Magic Bites as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Kate Daniels is about to enter a world of gritty magic and dangerous mystery! Vampires, necromancers and mages abound on the city streets, with one kickass heroine in the middle

Future Atlanta is an interesting place to live: one moment magic dominates, and cars stall and guns fail. The next, technology takes over and the defensive spells no longer protect your house from monsters.

Here skyscrapers topple under the onslaught of magic; the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, prowl through the ruined streets; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst for knowledge and wealth, pilot…

A Discovery of Witches

By Deborah Harkness,

Book cover of A Discovery of Witches

Why did I love this book?

The magical creatures in this story hide their existence from humans but live amongst them. I loved that Matthew Clairmont, a vampire, studies the DNA of the different species and tries to understand their origins. Mixing magic with science always captures my interest.

I first tripped over A Discovery of Witches via the television series when Amazon Prime made season one available to view. I watched the entire season within a couple of weeks, and since I already had the book in my TBR pile, I immediately read it.

I thoroughly enjoyed it. The show followed the book fairly closely (season one follows book one), which pleased me. I plan to read and watch the rest of the series.

By Deborah Harkness,

Why should I read it?

16 authors picked A Discovery of Witches as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and a descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript, Ashmole 782, deep in Oxford's Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont.

Dead Until Dark

By Charlaine Harris,

Book cover of Dead Until Dark

Why did I love this book?

This is another book that I started reading because I loved the television series, in this case, True Blood. Book one, Dead until Dark, is the source for season one of the television series.

Charlaine Harris has an easy-to-read writing style, and her main character, Sookie Stackhouse, is an amusing character to follow. Her interactions with the vampires, who’ve “come out of the coffin,” make for lively reading. I loved the twist that she’s telepathic but can’t read the minds of vampires.

I’ve read the first two books in the series and plan to keep reading.

By Charlaine Harris,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Dead Until Dark as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She's quiet, keeps to herself, and doesn't get out much - not because she's not pretty - she's a very cute bubbly blonde - or not interested in a social life. She really is ...but Sookie's got a bit of a disability. She can read minds. And that doesn't make her too dateable. And then along comes Bill: he's tall, he's dark and he's handsome - and Sookie can't 'hear' a word he's thinking. He's exactly the type of guy she's been waiting all her life for. But Bill has…

Year One

By Nora Roberts,

Book cover of Year One

Why did I love this book?

Nora Roberts is one of my all-time favorite authors. If she writes it, I’ll read it.

Year One is a departure from her typical fare. It’s an apocalyptic urban fantasy that begins with a pandemic and ends with an unmasked world filled with magical characters. Published in 2017, it predates the COVID-19 pandemic by three years.

Rather than make me think life imitated art or that Ms. Roberts is psychic, I view it more as Nora Roberts’s take on a story similar to The Stand but written in her unique style. For any of her fans seeking another paranormal romance, it might disappoint, but if you enjoy her writing, you’ll love this book anyway.

Year One is the first book in a trilogy, and it’s a book I couldn’t put down once I started reading it.

By Nora Roberts,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Year One as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


A stunning new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts―Year One is an epic of hope and horror, chaos and magick, and a journey that will unite a desperate group of people to fight the battle of their lives…

It began on New Year’s Eve.

The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed―and more than half of the world’s population was decimated.

Where there had been…

Practical Magic

By Alice Hoffman,

Book cover of Practical Magic

Why did I love this book?

This is another book that I picked up because I saw the movie first, which stars Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman as the witchy Owens sisters. I couldn’t wait to hunt down the book at my local library.

The book has a different feel. It’s darker and sadder, but I enjoyed it anyway. The writing captivated me, and the characters drew me in. A book allows you to live in a character’s head, to be privy to their thoughts and motivations, in the way a movie can’t. 

I loved the strangeness of the two sisters’ witch-family lives and the despair of a curse that forbids the Owen girls to fall in love. The big question throughout the entire story, of course, is will they get around the curse?

A big draw for me is Hoffman’s beautiful writing style. I’ve also read The Rules of Magic, which is a prequel to Practical Magic and just as captivating.

By Alice Hoffman,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Practical Magic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*25th Anniversary Edition*-with an Introduction by the Author!

The Owens sisters confront the challenges of life and love in this bewitching novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Rules of Magic, Magic Lessons, and The Book of Magic.

For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town. Gillian and Sally have endured that fate as well: as children, the sisters were forever outsiders, taunted, talked about, pointed at. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, with their musty house and…

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