Books shelved under “Urban Fantasy”

165 reviews found

  1. Book cover for Battle Ground

    Battle Ground

    by Jim Butcher

    1 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    You should read my review of Peace Talks before you read this review. Also, I don’t know how to talk about this book without spoilers. So if you want a spoiler-free review: Battle Ground is a flawed attempt to give fans of the Dresden Files the climax Butcher thinks they want, but it falls short. There are definitely crowning moments of awesome, low moments, and the thoughtful moments we have come to expect.

    Spoilers from…

  2. Book cover for Storm of Locusts

    Storm of Locusts

    by Rebecca Roanhorse

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Rebecca Roanhorse bottled lightning once, and now she is back to do it again

    Storm of Locusts picks up not too long after Trail of Lightning. Maggie agrees to help the Thirsty Boys apprehend the White Locust, a strange cult leader buying up explosives. The mission goes sideways in a big way, and Maggie picks up the pieces and finds herself responsible for a young woman, Ben, with some clan powers, a chip on…

  3. Book cover for The Future Falls

    The Future Falls

    by Tanya Huff

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Time travel. Like Captain Janeway, I hate it. I mean, I love stories about it (hello, I watch Doctor Who every Sunday with one of my besties). But the kinds of paradoxes in The Future Falls are not exactly my cup of tea. If you can look past that, this is another fun fantasy novel that benefits from being mostly set in Calgary, and you don’t see enough of those! If you liked the first…

  4. Book cover for Peace Talks

    Peace Talks

    by Jim Butcher

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    A podcast I listen to, Read It and Weep, has developed a metaphor for the films it’s watching during its current season. Movies that are mostly pleasant diversions are soda (or pop as I would call it); movies that require a lot more effort to understand and enjoy are coffee (some are in fact very strong coffee). Like all metaphors this one has its limits, yet my mind kept coming back to it…

  5. Book cover for Baker Thief

    Baker Thief

    by Claudie Arseneault

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    What's better than a magical mystery? A magical mystery featuring baked goods, you say? Sign me up! Baker Thief is a conventions-busting, inclusive, fun alternate world urban fantasy novel with mysteries and thrills and no small amount of underdogs taking on the corrupt underbelly of corporations.

    It is, in short, a good read.

    Adèle is a detective recently relocated and transferred to a new unit. Shortly after moving in, a masked, purple-haired thief named Claire…

  6. Book cover for Stiletto

    Stiletto

    by Daniel O'Malley

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Last year I read The Rook, and I liked it enough that when I noticed this sequel at the library, I gave it a shot. Did not regret! This is a great example of a sequel that doesn’t disappoint—although, it doesn’t quite deliver exactly what I wanted either. Namely, I was expecting another book that follows Myfanwy Thomas. She’s here in Stiletto, but she isn’t really the central protagonist. For that we have…

  7. Book cover for How Long 'til Black Future Month?

    How Long 'til Black Future Month?

    by N.K. Jemisin

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    It seems like every time I review a short story anthology I always start with a disclaimer about how short stories, and by extension, their anthologies, are not really “for me.” In this case I need to say it because How Long ’Til Black Future Month? is one of those rare exceptions where I … I actually liked pretty much every story in here. Not equally, of course. But there were only one or two…

  8. Book cover for The Dark Net

    The Dark Net

    by Benjamin Percy

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    This book is a hot mess. I don’t even really know where to start with it.

    The Dark Net is a horror novel with the basic premise what if demons took over our computers? It’s a mediocre take on the idea that our dependence on networked devices, our proclivity for screen-time, leaves us vulnerable—in this case, to possession, psychic hacking I guess. They do say that the eyes are the windows into the soul, right?

  9. Book cover for Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time

    Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time

    by Hope Nicholson

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    First, huge shout-out to the Oxford comma lurking in this title. Yeah, it’s kind of a big deal.

    Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time is an anthology of queer Indigenous science fiction and fantasy by Indigenous authors. That’s it, and yet it is so much more. I really liked Hope Nicholson’s comment in her foreword about how some stories aren’t meant to be told, or at least, do not need to be shared with just…

  10. Book cover for The Walls Around Us

    The Walls Around Us

    by Nova Ren Suma

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Life is unfair. It’s even more unfair when you get tangled up with the justice system. One of the things that I’ve had to unlearn over my 29 years as a privileged white dude is my faith in the fairness and equity of the justice system. The Walls Around Us explores the cracks of the justice system from the perspective of youth, particularly young girls of colour. I was nearly tempted to give up on…

  11. Book cover for The Rhesus Chart

    The Rhesus Chart

    by Charles Stross

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I didn’t realize how much I needed The Rhesus Chart until I started reading it, but almost from page one this was like a comforting cup of tea. See, I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately—nothing to do with the quality of my reading material, more just not being in the mood to read and actively finding reasons not to read, which is so unlike me! But The Rhesus Chart is the…

  12. Book cover for Myths and Mortals

    Myths and Mortals

    by Charlie N. Holmberg

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    As with the first book, Smoke & Summons, I received a free eARC from NetGalley and publisher 47North. Like the first book, Myths & Mortals feels like original and competent urban fantasy. Charlie N. Holmberg adds more layers to the saga of Sandis Gwenwig, such as it is. However, this book does little to assuage my grumping from the first book. Another cliffhanger ending, and not all that much development of Sandis’ character either.

  13. Book cover for Cracked

    Cracked

    by Eliza Crewe

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    The light versus the darkness. Heaven versus Hell. Good vs evil. It’s a timeless story, yet one with so many variations. Cracked is yet another take on this idea. Eliza Crewe tells an intense and urgent story of a hybrid caught between two worlds. Perhaps the most intriguing idea that Crewe brings to the table is the way the main character has to consume souls. Beyond that, there isn’t much here that I haven’t really…

  14. Book cover for Trickster Drift

    Trickster Drift

    by Eden Robinson

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Eden Robinson has done it again. Trickster Drift picks up about a year after Son of a Trickster, and it’s everything I wanted in a sequel and then some. In particular, the book shifts more concretely into urban fantasy territory. Whereas Son of a Trickster was a slow burn towards pulling the veil back on the magical elements of the story, Trickster Drift is fairly upfront about it all. I love it. This kind…

  15. Book cover for Smoke & Summons

    Smoke & Summons

    by Charlie N. Holmberg

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I enjoy reading stories about demonic possession—particularly stuff that departs from the more conventional ones set in our world—and Smoke & Summons approaches possession from a different angle indeed. Charlie Holmberg’s story is about someone who has been victimized and enslaved trying to escape her captor even as she discovers she might be part of a much bigger plot. Set against the backdrop of a somewhat authoritarian and isolationist state, there’s more going on in…

  16. Book cover for Heroine Complex

    Heroine Complex

    by Sarah Kuhn

    1 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I was amped for this book from the first I heard about it. Alas, that excitement didn’t long survive contact with the actual pages. Heroine Complex has a lot of interesting ideas, but I just didn’t enjoy Sarah Kuhn’s plotting, characterization, or writing style. In other words, this book didn’t just miss the mark; it didn’t even get on the board.

    Content warning in this book, and discussion in my review, for acemisia.

    Evie Tanaka…

  17. Book cover for Trail of Lightning

    Trail of Lightning

    by Rebecca Roanhorse

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Sometimes Twitter really, really comes through. I’m thinking, “I would love to read more works by Indigenous writers” and also “I would love to read some more science fiction and fantasy this summer” and the people I follow must have picked up on that because everyone was all, “You have got to read this.” Well, Rebecca Roanhorse’s Trail of Lightning lives up to the hype. It’s an intense, richly presented urban fantasy adventure that leaves…

  18. Book cover for The Apocalypse Codex

    The Apocalypse Codex

    by Charles Stross

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Yes, um, hi, it’s been three years since I last read and reviewed a Laundry Files novel. It has been a long time since I bought a Charles Stross book. Don’t worry; I bought this book and the next one, so while I won’t be reading it right away, three years will not go by. I have a lot of catching up to do!

    In The Apocalypse Codex, Bob Howard is back ……

  19. Book cover for The Rook

    The Rook

    by Daniel O'Malley

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Why did it take me so long to get to this? The Rook is clever urban fantasy, set in England. Superficially similar to Charles Stross’ Laundry Files in setting and tone, it is more focused on the institutions created to deal with the supernatural rather than the supernatural itself. Daniel O’Malley balances a complicated plot quite deftly, and as we rocketed towards the climax, I literally didn’t want to put the book down. There are…

  20. Book cover for The Wild Ways

    The Wild Ways

    by Tanya Huff

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    So it has been almost 5 years since I read The Enchantment Emporium. I don’t think this is the longest gap between consecutive novels in a series that I’ve had, but it must be close. Predictably, I remember nearly nothing about that book, which is exactly why I write these reviews in the first place. Fortunately, Tanya Huff has written The Wild Ways such that even if you haven’t read the first book, or…

  21. Book cover for The Shining Girls

    The Shining Girls

    by Lauren Beukes

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Lauren Beukes writes haunting pieces of speculative fiction, and The Shining Girls is no exception. If you like serial killers, time travel, or investigative journalism, then this book is for you. I don’t normally read thrillers, serial killer stories, etc. That just isn’t my cup of tea. But I like Beukes; Broken Monsters is a fantastic work, and I was hoping for more of the same here. By and large I was satisfied, although certain…

  22. Book cover for The Woken Gods

    The Woken Gods

    by Gwenda Bond

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    The Woken Gods has a wicked premise: what if the deities of various ancient mythologies were real entities, but at some point in time, for reasons lost to us, they were put asleep or fell asleep? What happens, then, if they wake up and return with a vengeance, and the only people who can stand against them are a shadowy secret society called the Society of the Sun that just happens to have made it…

  23. Book cover for Firebrand

    Firebrand

    by A.J. Hartley

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Mike Heath is back at it again with that great cover art. Ugh. That angled title. Yes.

    Yes yes yes yes yes.

    Oh, and A.J. Hartley wrote a book that goes between these covers. It’s pretty good too.

    What, you want more? OK, fine.

    Firebrand is one of those sequels that comes out swinging, delivering more of what you loved about the first book without any of that messy “middle book” syndrome that so often…

  24. Book cover for The Myth Manifestation

    The Myth Manifestation

    by Lisa Shearin

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    A pleasure, as always, to revisit The SPI Files. Lisa Shearin always brings it—and by it I mean that combination of humour and serious situations in need of ass-kicking that results in delightful urban fantasy stories. The tone might be light, but the stakes are often high. This the kind of series you can easily devour over a week or two yet keep coming back to time and again.

    Mac and Ian are back…

  25. Book cover for The Uncertain Places

    The Uncertain Places

    by Lisa Goldstein

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Urban tales of grimdark faeries really appeal to me for whatever reason. I think it has something to do with the juxtaposition of modern sensibilities and skepticism with the sheer brutality of fae logic and deal-making. The Uncertain Places certainly creates the right atmosphere. Lisa Goldstein’s storytelling reminds me, in ways of Charles de Lint’s approach to mixing our world with the fantastic. However, I found the plot a little convoluted and the main characters…

  26. Book cover for Student Bodies

    Student Bodies

    by Sean Cummings

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    So here I am, working my way through my honestly impressive backlog of ebooks from Angry Robot and Strange Chemistry. I have zero memory of Poltergeeks, the first book in this series from Sean Cummings, except maybe a vague impression that I liked it. Fortunately, Student Bodies makes it easy enough to dive into Julie Richardson’s life as a Shadowcull that I didn’t feel lost at all. Also, disclaimer: I read the first third…

  27. Book cover for Sisters Red

    Sisters Red

    by Jackson Pearce

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Sisters Red is the best kind of fairytale retelling, in that Jackson Pearce takes the kernel of a fairytale (“Little Red Riding Hood” here, obvs) and then … just runs with it. There’s no need to hew too closely to the “original” story—because what is the original story, anyway? Instead we get this cool, thrilling urban fantasy adventure about sisters who slay werewolves … like, yeah. I’m down with that.

    Scarlett and Rosie March are…

  28. Book cover for The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.

    The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.

    by Neal Stephenson

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    To whoever finds this,

    I say unto you now thrice, look, this isn’t really a novel.

    Reader, I write this with the hope that, one day, we might be successful in undoing (redoing? doing? DOing?) what has already been undone. But if you are reading this and scratching your head, then perhaps all our efforts have come to naught.

    I believe that a concerted time-travel project (or “diachronic operation”) has been carried out, in…

  29. Book cover for The Devil You Know

    The Devil You Know

    by Mike Carey

    Unrated

    Reviewed

    I don’t remember how The Devil You Know ended up on my to-read list, except maybe that a lot of people compare it to The Dresden Files, one of my favourite fantasy series of all time. Yet it’s worth noting that I like The Dresden Files in spite of its noir elements, and I like Harry Dresden in spite of the streak of casual chauvinism that runs through him. The Devil You Know is…

  30. Book cover for The Mistress of Spices

    The Mistress of Spices

    by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    The difficult relationship between power, responsibility, and humility is on full display in The Mistress of Spices, where Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s empathetic and passionate writing merges with magical realism. I loved a lot of the ideas in this book, and the meditative way in which CBD punctuates the narrative with beats on each spice. Yet the execution of the story itself, and the characters, left much to be desired.

    Tilo is a young woman…

  31. Book cover for Shadowshaper

    Shadowshaper

    by Daniel José Older

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Would watch the movie, like, yesterday. You get on that, movie-producing people.

    Shadowshaper is one of those books I loved from page one, and it only got better. Daniel José Older’s command of character, culture, and language results in a breathtaking contemporary urban fantasy. This book reminds me a lot of Charles de Lint’s work. The protagonist is thrust into a world she doesn’t quite understand, one built on myths and legends only half-shared or…

  32. Book cover for Radiant

    Radiant

    by Karina Sumner-Smith

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I am always on the lookout for new and interesting takes on urban fantasy. I enjoy urban fantasy set in our world, where the supernatural are either covert or living openly, but there is something so good about made-up cities and their cultures. Radiant, Karina Sumner-Smith’s first book in a trilogy about the Towers, is a prime example of this. She creates a world where magic is as commonplace as technology is for us—but…

  33. Book cover for City of Betrayal

    City of Betrayal

    by Claudie Arseneault

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Yes, hello, hi, someone asked nicely on Twitter and got an eARC of City of Betrayal and that someone was me, but then I went and didn’t read it until near the publication date anyway because … busy … and not wanting to sit on my review, but also wanting to hype it up closer to publication. So, although this is an honest review, it most certainly is biased, because I liked City of

  34. Book cover for A Criminal Magic

    A Criminal Magic

    by Lee Kelly

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    A Criminal Magic hooked me from the start. A friend gave this to me for my birthday (apparently it was on my to-read list, not that I’d remember). I started it on Saturday, and 25 pages in I texted her to let her know she had picked well. Lee Kelly’s story of sorcerers labouring under a magic Prohibition in an alternative 1926 is just captivating. From parallel plot-lines to a careful, judicious use of magic,…

  35. Book cover for Nascent Shadow

    Nascent Shadow

    by Matthew S. Cox

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I didn’t really know what to expect from this; I just requested it from NetGalley and Curiosity Quills Press on a whim from its description.

    Brooklyn, our first-person protagonist, is cool under fire—literally, for she is a firefighter. She discovers that, courtesy of her estranged father, she isn’t fully human. She’s half-human, half … something else. Something that the uninformed would term “demonic”. It explains a lot about Brooklyn, about her past and her present…

  36. Book cover for Evil Dark

    Evil Dark

    by Justin Gustainis

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Welcome back to the alternative Scranton, where the supernatural is out in the open, and Stan Markowski and his partner, the undead Karl Renfer, have to investigate supernatural crimes. Evil Dark is the second entry in Justin Gustainis’ Occult Investigations series. Stan, Karl, Christine, et al continue to process the aftermath of the first book. Then two FBI agents rock up to town, looking for some help tracking down the creators of supernatural snuff films.…

  37. Book cover for The Ghost Rebellion

    The Ghost Rebellion

    by Pip Ballantine

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    My library did not have a copy of this, because it has been independently published, so I had to go and buy it like the fan I am. The Ghost Rebellion picks up shortly after The Diamond Conspiracy. Books and Braun are back, along with longtime supporting characters like Bruce Campbell, and some new faces in the principal setting of India. The Ministry managed to foil a plot against the British Empire while technically…

  38. Book cover for Supernormal Step, Vol. 3

    Supernormal Step, Vol. 3: Power Struggle

    by M. Lee Lunsford

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    It has been over a year since I last reviewed a volume of Supernormal Step, the fantastic webcomic by Michael Lee Lunsford about Fiona, a girl with blue hair who has been sucked into a strange, parallel universe where magic is real and that’s really freaky. Fiona has long been on a search for a way home, and while she doesn’t get much closer in this one, she does learn more about the mysterious…

  39. Book cover for City of Strife

    City of Strife

    by Claudie Arseneault

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Magical cities are one of my favourite tropes in fantasy novels. I think I could read nothing but magical city fiction for a while and take a long time to feel sated or bored; there is so much room for variation. Camorr from The Lies of Locke Lamora is an example that readily springs to mind, but this is a very old trope. As its title implies, City of Strife is very much a story…

  40. Book cover for Son of a Trickster

    Son of a Trickster

    by Eden Robinson

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Second review: March 8, 2019

    I picked up Trickster Drift when it came out, but I knew I wanted to re-read Son of a Trickster to refresh my memory before I started the sequel. I’m really glad I did. It has given more an extended visit to Jared’s world, and what an interesting world this is.

    I really love this book, and re-reading it has only increased my appreciation for its depth and the skill…

  41. Book cover for The Ghoul Vendetta

    The Ghoul Vendetta

    by Lisa Shearin

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Previously, on Kara’s reviews of THE SPI FILES…:

    … the intimations of bigger and better story arcs continue here. Once again we have a direct reference to the face-shifting ghoul terrorizing Ian. (According to the Goodreads series list, the next book is The Ghoul Vendetta, so I’m guessing we’ll soon get some pay-off on that arc!) …

    I was going to criticize the covers and complain about how they’re all different poses of

  42. Book cover for White Cat

    White Cat

    by Holly Black

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Maybe it’s just because I picked this up after a long day of failing to strip wallpaper from my bathroom, but White Cat was really gripping. Aside from a Supernatural-infused dinner break with my dad, I didn’t put it down and ripped through it in a single night. That’s not a feat—it’s YA and not particularly long—but it’s a mark of how much Holly Black made me want to stay in her world and…

  43. Book cover for Conjuror

    Conjuror: Orion Chronicles

    by John Barrowman

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I signed up for NetGalley last week (as of the time I’m writing this review). I’ve been aware of NetGalley for a while but never gave it much thought because I have enough books to read as it is. Lately, though, I’ve been getting excited about more and more new releases and thought this was a good opportunity to try to snag ARCs for some of them before they come out. In this case, Conjuror

  44. Book cover for Anansi Boys

    Anansi Boys

    by Neil Gaiman

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    My review of Flannery has been pre-empted because as I write this I’m out of town (a rare occurrence). Rather than try to write that review without referring to the book for the choicest tidbits, I might as well review Anansi Boys, which I read during the combined three hours of flights I had on Tuesday evening. I previously read this book a while ago, but like many of Neil Gaiman’s novels, it was…

  45. Book cover for Wedding Bells, Magic Spells

    Wedding Bells, Magic Spells

    by Lisa Shearin

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    As a longtime fan of the Raine Benares series, I was excited when I learned that Lisa Shearin was self-publishing a seventh book. Although All Spell Breaks Loose was a satisfying conclusion to the Saghred saga, there seems like plenty of story left to tell about Raine and this world. Sure enough, Wedding Bells, Magic Spells begins just before Raine’s wedding to Mychael. At the same time, the Isle of Mid is playing host to…

  46. Book cover for Mortal Danger

    Mortal Danger

    by Ann Aguirre

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Trigger warnings for discussions of suicide and Faustian bargains with eldritch beings.

    Mean Girls is one of my favourite movies of all time. It was the first movie I ever purchased for myself on DVD. (If you are reading this in the future, kids, DVDs were the optical media of choice for storing video, back before Netflix just decided to store everything directly in your brain.) It’s a scathing, fun, moving look at the harmful…

  47. Book cover for The Eyre Affair

    The Eyre Affair

    by Jasper Fforde

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    So many friend reviews of this book—and so many opinions! It seems that The Eyre Affair is one of those books that some people love on first sight and others find incredibly tedious, confusing, or just unbelievable. I see elements of both, and so, more often than I would like, I find myself on the fence with these polarizing reads. It’s not a position I see as superior—if anything it smacks of indecision to me.…

  48. Book cover for The Alchemyst

    The Alchemyst

    by Michael Scott

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Look, I know the writing is clunky and the kids read more like twelve-year-olds than the fifteen-year-olds they’re supposed to be. I know the story jerks about in stops and starts. I know Nicholas Flamel is a terrible role model and these kids should not be emulating him.

    But. But.

    I still really enjoyed The Alchemyst. And this is one of those times I’m glad I tend to wait a day or two before…

  49. Book cover for The Brimstone Deception

    The Brimstone Deception

    by Lisa Shearin

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Finally caught up on this series, thanks to the magic of ordering stuff online and reading these relatively short novels back to back. The Brimstone Deception starts the day after The Dragon Conspiracy concludes. With such tight timing, it’s no coincidence that emotions and tensions continue to run high. Lisa Shearin advances Mac’s storyline even as she drops some more bombshells about the world of The SPI Files in general.

    Already the plot of this…

  50. Book cover for The Dragon Conspiracy

    The Dragon Conspiracy

    by Lisa Shearin

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    These book titles remind of the titles of The Big Bang Theory episodes. First The Grendel Affair and then The Dragon Conspiracy. It’s cute, and hopefully Lisa Shearin won’t have to write so many that she starts to run out of ideas like that TV show….

    In this sequel, Mac Fraser and Ian Byrne are investigating the theft of magical diamonds with bad mojo. There’s yet another rival dragon in town, this one a…