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Searching for Urban Fantasy Novels with Female Protags and NO (or at least very little) Romance


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Initial post: Jun 28, 2012 10:34:11 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 28, 2012 11:48:17 PM PDT
Urban fantasy has always been a favorite subgenre of mine and after a few years away, only keeping up with a few old friends, I have recently come back to the genre to find that I can find absolutely nothing with a female protagonist that couldn't also be shelved in the romance section. I don't mind a romance subplot but when I get 50 pages in and as much time has been given to the protag's romantic interests (two!) than the plot surrounding missing children (yes, I am looking at you Viper Moon) I must draw the line. A quick scan of amazon revealed snippets such as, "as long as she can hold onto her heart," and, "while fighting her growing attraction to *insert ruggedly handsome yet inappropriate man whom she'll end up with anyway*" or, "as she finds herself irresistibly drawn to *being who is her mortal/sworn enemy."

I don't mind a little romance. The desire to pair off and find love is, for most people, part of the human condition. So especially in a series where you've followed characters for a long time it's expected. The Dresden Files managed it fine, so did the Hollows, if I recall correctly. But there's a difference between a subplot and a co-plot. *end rant*

Long story short I'm looking for urban fantasy recs with female protags who don't care about finding a man. Who, preferably don't even have a romantic subplot in their first book.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2012 10:49:53 PM PDT
Kribu says:
Have you tried the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire?

There are a few men who are mentioned as either former love interests of the protagonist or that she might potentially be interested in, but at least by the third book (where I'm at) there hasn't been any focus on romance or any sort or a romance subplot, even. I suspect something might come of one of those "inexplicably drawn to a man she's considered an enemy before" things eventually, but that's just my suspicions.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2012 11:10:52 PM PDT
?wazithinkin says:
I just finished reading Flaming Dove: A Dark Fantasy Novel I really enjoyed it. It is more post Armaggedon than urban fantasy. It is also not a series. I haven't posted a review for it yet on Amazon.

Posted on Jun 29, 2012 12:27:47 AM PDT
eyduck says:
You and me both... I was going through my local bookstore and started laughing when I realized I had literally gone from the fantasy section to the romance section and the covers were so similar, I hadn't even noticed the difference. The only book I can think of is Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, Book 1). It's post-apocalyptic urban fantasy, really strong female lead, and instead of vampires, you get "angels" (who are really scary). It was the best book I read last year. No kissing involved.

Posted on Jun 29, 2012 11:00:25 AM PDT
I know you said urban fantasy but would you be interested in a fantasy/mystery/adventure series taking place in an era of steam? If so, you should check out Emperor's Edge by Lindsay Buroker. The main protag is a female enforcer who due to circumstances creates a band of misfits to save the Emperor. The Emperor's Edge Even better, if you have a kindle, I believe the first in the series is free.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 11:59:52 AM PDT
?wazithinkin says:
Cool, I have this in my TBR pile, I may have to move it up.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 12:00:28 PM PDT
?wazithinkin says:
I have this one too! WooHoo!

Posted on Jun 29, 2012 1:34:01 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Jun 29, 2012 6:35:17 PM PDT]

Posted on Jun 29, 2012 2:22:00 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 29, 2012 2:27:26 PM PDT
M. Carole says:
There have been a few threads on this same topic that may give you some ideas, here are the links:

http://www.amazon.com/forum/fantasy/ref=cm_cd_pg_pg1?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=FxRHP2KEWXI0H1&cdPage=1&cdThread=Tx8VUDL34I98AR

http://www.amazon.com/forum/fantasy/ref=cm_cd_tfp_ef_tft_tp?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=FxRHP2KEWXI0H1&cdThread=Tx2XL84C6I3H3GJ

Edited to add second link.

Posted on Jun 29, 2012 4:12:38 PM PDT
Zab Jade says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 4:31:03 PM PDT
Ara says:
As somebody already mentioned October Daye series by Seanan McGuire is Really good and doesn't focus on the romance, the Kate Daniels series is also like that. Both series are great, you should give them a try :)

Posted on Jun 29, 2012 5:34:55 PM PDT
Marília says:
I also like the Hollows series and the Dresden Files... I haven't read Kate Daniels, but I have it someone on my to-read list. Have you tried the Mercy Thompson series? It's one of my favorites because of the way the protagonist is built. I haven't read the last two books yet, but so far I like the way it's done, and there is romance, but it doesn't get in the way of the story, nor is the story centered around that, and as for more than one love interest, that gets resolved pretty quickly.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2012 1:49:36 AM PDT
G. Wakeling says:
I'm reading this now and really enjoying it. You're correct, The Emperor's Edge is free on Kindle, and there's no romance - at all. And, with the fifth book about to be released, there's enough to keep you going for a while :)

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2012 3:29:39 AM PDT
Maureen, I know exactly what you're saying. A big part of the problem is the expectation of how a woman should act as a female protagonist. When I wrote my first trilogy, I was told over and over and over that unless she's 'this sweet, love interest that' it wouldn't sell as an urban fantasy. That I should just go ahead an write the story aimed at Romance since the genre get roughly 54% of the book sales across the market. So I gave in and wrote it for Romance. I broke some cardinal rules, however, to be considered a 'Romance' as in letting the male half take over the lead for part of the book, etc, that it made some Romance readers slightly unhappy. I ended up making her daughter the female lead type I originally wanted in the third book of the trilogy and folks tell me it was my best one. So... lesson learned. I should have followed my gut instinct instead of writing what was considered the 'trend'. What your finding is the 'trend' for that type of setting, of having a female protagonist with little want or care for a love life within the story. I hope you find what you look for, goodness knows it might be awhile before the current kick is done and over with.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2012 4:54:23 AM PDT
Kate Daniels series is a favourite of mine. I liked them so much I bought them all as audible downloads and have listened to them all many times. The narration is fantastic. I would recommend the audio version very highly.

Posted on Jun 30, 2012 5:03:57 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 30, 2012 5:04:15 AM PDT
HJ Leonard says:
Dying Bites: The Bloodhound Files by DD Barant. Several books in the series, and no clear romantic aspect at this point. Written by a man, as well. Female protagonist.

Posted on Jun 30, 2012 5:53:45 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Jun 30, 2012 6:19:20 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2012 6:06:23 AM PDT
HJ Leonard says:
Please do not self-promote in the customer discussions. It's against Amazon's terms of service.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2012 6:24:22 AM PDT
Rachel Kerg says:
Oh, so sorry.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2012 12:20:06 PM PDT
?wazithinkin says:
I love Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews and the Mercy Thompson books by Patricia Briggs. They are two of my favorite series.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2012 12:23:30 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 1, 2012 4:03:35 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2012 12:26:34 PM PDT
?wazithinkin says:
I enjoyed your book, Daniel and I liked the romance in it. The romance wasn't over the top so to speak. I have the second book, I should move it up in my TBR pile. :)
Passion of the Different (Passion Trilogy, Book 1) (The Passion Trilogy)

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2012 1:57:13 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 30, 2012 1:58:45 PM PDT
Maureen, if you have not already done so, you might consider giving the novels of Holly Lisle a look. While a number of her earlier works are OOP, she has been regaining publishing rights to as many as she can, and republishing them as ebooks and as trade paperbacks via Createspace. Her first novel, which she won the Compton Crook award for, is available as both: Fire in the Mist: Arhel: Book I

Disclaimer: I co-authored one of her republished novels, but am not including the title here because I would then be violating Amazon's Terms of Service, and also because it would be in bad taste. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2012 2:01:33 PM PDT
D. Joyce says:
What are the last two books you read that you liked? What specifically did you like about them? It sounds like plot is important to you, what about character? Setting? Do you like simple, modern language or do you like more literary books with flowing language?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2012 2:04:53 PM PDT
D. Joyce says:
Also, are YA books okay or just adult books? Any things you DON'T want other than what you already mentioned (i.e. language, sex, etc.)?
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Discussion in:  Fantasy forum
Participants:  41
Total posts:  57
Initial post:  Jun 28, 2012
Latest post:  Oct 23, 2012

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