The best urban fantasy books to explore the magic in the w

The Books I Picked & Why

The Progeny

By Tosca Lee

Book cover of The Progeny

Why this book?

The Progeny is one of the best books I read last year. It’s a really fun and unique read because it combines historical fiction with urban fantasy and just a hint of sci-fi. The main character, Emily, has had her memory erased—but now someone is trying to kill her. She must figure out who she was and what was so important that she erased it from her memory, a journey which takes her on a quest through Europe to find out who she really is. The story explores the true history of Elizabeth of Bathory and ties it in with suspense and superpowers for a fast-paced story that is unlike any other. I read it in a couple of days because I couldn’t put it down. 

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The Incurables

By Stevie Claxton

Book cover of The Incurables

Why this book?

I’ve always been a fan of vampire stories and the related lore. From Dracula to Buffy to Anne Rice, I love all the different takes on vampire mythology, so The Incurables was a really neat book to discover. It takes a different approach to vampire lore, making it a viral disease that affects certain people based on their biology. The main character, Eveleen, contracts the disease and is put in an underground bunker with other infected, as the government tries to cure them, but there are much darker forces at play, and conspiracies to uncover and escapes to plan. The story was dark and twisty with threads of romance and really high stakes, and basically everything I love about vampire stories. 

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If Wishes Were Curses

By Janeen Ippolito

Book cover of If Wishes Were Curses

Why this book?

This book was so much fun. Quintessential urban fantasy—a supernatural world overlaying the real world, with a fantastic jumble of supernatural characters, including fae, shifters, vampires, genies, and more. There’s mystery and romance and fae politics and magic, and it was an absolute blast to uncover the world and get to know the characters. The main character is part-genie, but has a curse put on her so she can only use a little of her magic. She is framed for a crime, so she has to figure out what is really going on. One of my favorite aspects was that it was pretty mild when it came to the sensual elements, so while it had plenty of romantic tension, there was more plot than sex, which I prefer. 

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Storm Front

By Jim Butcher

Book cover of Storm Front

Why this book?

The Dresden Files may have been my first exposure to urban fantasy, and I’ve been a fan ever since. I first watched the TV show, not knowing it was a book series, and love it, so once I found out the show was based on books, of course I had to read them. Storm Front is a great introduction to the world, with a magical mystery to solve and a cast of really cool characters. These books are a huge inspiration in my own writing, with the supernatural investigations overlapping with real-world investigations, and trying to find the balance between the two. 

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The Ghost Box: A Reagan Moon Novel

By Mike Duran

Book cover of The Ghost Box: A Reagan Moon Novel

Why this book?

This book is another that has a similar vibe to The Dresden Files and my books. This one had a really unique take that I liked, mixing in ghosts with the other supernatural creatures and elements. The main character has some fun, memorable quirks that I enjoyed, and the plot had some great twists that I didn’t see coming. The world is really broad, and there’s a lot more to uncover about how things work, so I liked that it didn’t tell everything in the first book, so it left me with the desire to read more.  

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