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Customer Discussions > Fantasy forum

Urban Fantasy sans syrupy romance?

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Showing 1-25 of 52 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 11, 2013 11:30:15 AM PST
epb says:
Is there any? It seems like every series I read gets bogged down with the hero(ine)'s on-again off-again romance with a cop or similar authority figure. Alex Price and her fae knight/homicide cop guy, Dresden and Karrin Murphy, Gin Blanco and Caine somebody, Sookie and Eric (Vampire sheriff), Mercy and Adam (leader of wolf pack). Even the succubus on SyFy's Lost Girl has a fae cop love interest. Is there a series where some poor girl isn't looking to replace Daddy with a muscle-bound authority figure?

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 1:06:14 PM PST
M. Carole says:
This topic just came up in the High Fantasy versus Urban Fantasy smackdown thread. There I recommended Benedict Jacka's Alex Verus (there is a possible love interest, but not overtly and it isn't developed in the first three books.) And Daniel O'Malley's The Rook is excellent with zero romance.

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 2:58:10 PM PST
I don't care for romance elements either but the problem is that if I limited myself to books that don't have any romance, I'd have to forego many of my favorite series and authors so, instead, I just skim over these sections without really reading them. Problem solved!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2013 3:42:32 PM PST
Have you tried Kevin Hearne's series, starting with Hounded: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book One (with two bonus short stories)? At least the first one didn't have any real romance. It's written by a man, so I doubt it is very PNR'ey. Or Dresden?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2013 4:16:49 PM PST
epb says:
I mention Dresden above. It's not as bad - there's the ongoing Molly thing, the Karrin thing, and he's got this comic book geek thing where he finds attractive women terrifying (Mab's terrifying, Maeve's terrifying, Titania, Lily, Lara - the man practically faints every time he gets an erection).

I've heard of the Iron Druid series, but didn't realize they were UF; I'll look into that.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2013 7:26:20 PM PST
Seabreeze says:
You might want to check out the Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman.

Nightlife (Cal Leandros)

The story centers around two brothers. There is a little romance, but it is short lived and/or in the background.

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 9:43:09 AM PST
K. McNamara says:
You might try Harry Connolly's Twenty Palaces series (Child of Fire), although it is a little darker and gruesome than I usually prefer my fantasy.

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 12:28:31 PM PST
epb says:
Thanks for the recs, everyone. I'm starting the first Iron Druid this weekend. :)

Posted on Jan 13, 2013 9:22:08 AM PST
There's not much treacle to be found in any of China Mieville's books, most of which are urban fantasy ("Kraken" being set in London, the "New Crobuzon" cycle [of which "Perdido Street Station" is the best and darkest] in various cities in the world of Bas-Lag).

Posted on Jan 13, 2013 10:11:51 AM PST
Richard Kadrey's books that start with Sandman Slim are very good and the only romance is in a few flashbacks as the main character's love interest is dead. The first book is the character trying to get revenge for both what happened to him (being sent to hell, being used as a cage fighter by the demons) and the death of his girlfriend. James Stark is most definitely not a soppy, emo romantic character.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 3:08:32 PM PST
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 7:58:47 PM PST
Stop spamming forums. Self-promotion is only allowed on Meet Our Authors forum.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 4:19:38 PM PST
epb says:
I've finished 2 of the Iron Druid series - thanks for the recommendation, they're very good. His dog Oberon is great, and I'm not much for pets in books. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 7:07:45 PM PST
I have Hammered next too. :) It is a really fun series.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 8:14:10 PM PST
So glad you are enjoying them!

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 10:43:18 PM PST
L. Tolbert says:
Try any of the British Urban Fantasy series. Ben Aaronovitch, Kate Griffin has two separate series out : The Midnight Mayor series and Stray Souls is on book one. China Mieville 's Unlundun,Benedict Jacka has already been mentioned and Mike Carey's Felix Castor series, along with Anton Stout, James Tuck and Ilona Andrews, Rob Thurman and Mike Shevdon. For a little more military flavor try Seal Team 666 by Weston Ochse and Jonathan Maberry's Joe Ledger series. I have the same sort of intolerance for treekly romances that you do so I put forth a special effort to look for UF that's really Urban with a side of fantasy. Also if historical urban fantasy suits your tastes try : Elizabeth Bear, Mark Chadbourn and Marie Brennan

Posted on Jan 17, 2013 4:59:11 AM PST
Thanks for all the recommendations, folks, particularly L. Tolbert. You've given me a wealth of suggestions for new authors and books to explore. I've purchased or wishlisted several. Keep up the good work.

For those who enjoy action-oriented urban fantasy, check out Larry Correia:

He has three series going, Monster Hunters International, Grimnoir Chronicles and Dead Six. I haven't read Dead Six but both of the other series are are good. MHI is his most popular but I prefer Grimnoir Chronicles. It is urban fantasy/ alternate history set in the 1930's and I really enjoyed the first two books. There's some romance but very little and it doesn't interfere with the story, nor is it syrupy. His books are published by Baen and, until recently, the ebook versions were only available from baenebooks. com. However, as discussed in other threads on the forum, they can now be can be purchased from Amazon as well.

Posted on Jan 17, 2013 7:30:21 AM PST
L. Tolbert says:
I love The Grimnoir Chronicles too. I stumbled across it thinking it was about superheroes.

Posted on Jan 26, 2013 6:05:41 AM PST
I'll also mention that Grimnoir Chronicles, like all Baen ebooks, is sold DRM-free and is reasonably-priced at $6.99. Here's the link to the first book in the series: Hard Magic: Book I of the Grimnoir Chronicles .

Amazon customers have rated it at 4.8 stars with over 100 reviews. Do yourself a favor and at least download a free sample. It's a great series.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 27, 2013 8:14:58 PM PST
That looks pretty good, but I'm not so sure about that cover. It looks a bit too much like "Who Killed Roger Rabbit" to me. ;)

Posted on Jan 27, 2013 9:30:45 PM PST
L. Tolbert says:
It's pretty cool despite the cover and has lots of action and a couple of surprises. There's also a sequel I'm in the middle of right now. Think the show Heroes set in the 1930s.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2013 10:25:26 AM PST
M. Carole says:
We all know the judging a book by its cover saying, don't we? Actually the Grimnoir Chronicles are worth a read, the cover is a deliberate homage to 30's pulp novels.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2013 12:12:02 PM PST
Alex Bledsoe's books The Sword-Edged Blonde: An Eddie LaCrosse Novel (Eddie LaCrosse Novels) are good and romance free. The Conner Grey books Undone Deeds (Connor Grey) by Mark del Franco are good and romance free. Have you tried any of the early ones from when they called it contemporary fantasy such as Tea with the Black Dragon or War for the Oaks?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 29, 2013 5:12:18 PM PST
That's what it looks like.

I often think that Baen covers are just awful. That one actually isn't as bad as many of theirs.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2013 9:13:25 PM PST
epb says:
Well darn! After finishing the Iron Druid books I went to the Twenty Palaces books and enjoyed them quite a bit - in fact, once I finished the series I pretty much immediately went back and re-read them all again. Now I find out Connolly has killed the series, thanks to (surprisingly, to me) poor sales. To me, the books represent what urban fantasy should be (gritty noir) rather than what it mostly is (mildly tweaked formula romance novels). I'm glad I got to enjoy them, and I'm sure I'll take pleasure in re-reading them down the line.

Next up is the Cal Leandros series as I continue to work thru the recommendations in this thread. Thanks, and keep them coming.
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Discussion in:  Fantasy forum
Participants:  21
Total posts:  52
Initial post:  Jan 11, 2013
Latest post:  Mar 20, 2013

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