1. Hi there, Guest

    Only registered users can really experience what DLP has to offer. Many forums are only accessible if you have an account. Why don't you register?
    Dismiss Notice

Urban fantasy and its problems

Discussion in 'Books and Anime Discussion' started by deyas, Mar 26, 2018.

?

Is there genuinely good urban fantasy besides the last 7-8 books of the Dresden Files?

  1. Yes (please, elaborate below)

    16 vote(s)
    59.3%
  2. No

    11 vote(s)
    40.7%
  1. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Messages:
    1,653
    Location:
    Within the Garden of Nurgle.
    High Score:
    2,094
    upload_2018-3-27_18-48-28.png

    These better not suck. I'm reading these off your recommendation.
     
  2. Mutton

    Mutton Unspeakable

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    702
    The first book in the series is really strong; if you don't like it then you can stop. I personally loved the shit out of it but the whole "modern market as magic" is catnip to me
     
  3. Thaumologist

    Thaumologist Chief Warlock

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,568
    Location:
    Chester, England
    I'll second Lukyanenko's Night Watch. I loved the films, so got the books (in English), and I really liked the first one. I've not read the second yet, or read the first in quite some time, but it was an interesting world.

    I fell in love with Tad William's War of the Flowers. A 30-something American man is dumped by his girlfriend, and decides he no longer wants to be lead singer in his band. Through shenanigans, he ends up in fairyland, and all sorts of stuff happens. I don't want to ruin it, but I've read it multiple times, used to have it on audiobook, and treat it as a go-to rec for anyone who likes interesting takes on fantasy. The story is, however, primarily set in fairyland, although it has gone through an industrial revolution, so it isn't all sunshine and daisies.

    Tom Holt also does some good urban fantasy, although much more on the comedic side, and I've not read any in a good time.
     
  4. GreatRedDragon

    GreatRedDragon Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2018
    Messages:
    53
    Gender:
    Male
    Heh, the girl on the cover of that first book looks like something straight out of Fate/Stay Night.
     
  5. Glimmervoid

    Glimmervoid Groundskeeper

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Messages:
    300
    Location:
    UK
    I read up to Full Fathom Five and enjoyed them well enough. But I've felt no real desire to keep reading. The first was defiantly my favourite. The follow ups lost some of that early magic and got a little conceited with the whole 'look its the modern world with different words and magic!' theme. Still, I would recommend you give the first one a try. It is very unique and if you like that, the squeals should also be at least enjoyable.
     
  6. Mutton

    Mutton Unspeakable

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    702
    I loved the shit out of War of the Flowers.
     
  7. CaptainFlowers

    CaptainFlowers Fourth Year DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2017
    Messages:
    110
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    I saw it mentioned once or twice already, but I think you should give Percy Jackson another look. If you don't mind the YA spin to it, it can be a great amount of fun.

    The one thing I really love about the series and the characters within it is that, though fun, it grows darker as the audience grows older. It goes from being a fun and wacky adventure to kids fighting a war where they're way in over their heads.

    Plus, it's got a real MCU feel of connection to it. The other three series connect into PJ. It's not separate worlds made in separate books. They're all one and the same. Greek, Roman, Norse, and Egyptian gods - all just different sides of the same coin.

    If you give it an honest look, I think you'll like them.

    Edit: What's the golden rule of book movies?

    The books are always better.
     
  8. EsperJones

    EsperJones Death Eater

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    Messages:
    990
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I was not a fan of the movies at all.

    The book series was pretty decent while he was still writing it (first three especially (even though the second was cowritten)), but by the seventh or eight book where he just farmed out the name to cash in on the quality was significantly worse. It also was edging closer and closer to self-parody, although the 'take that!' to the movie was amusing.

    Edit: I just realized you mentioned you only read the first and second. I'd recommend stopping after the third. Read the 4th and 5th if you *really* like the world and characters.
     
  9. Aekiel

    Aekiel Angle of Mispeling Prestige DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    906
    Location:
    The Shire
    High Score:
    9,373
    War of the Flowers is simultaneously the best fantasy story I've ever read and one of the most frustrating as well. It's the single best take I've ever seen on a person being drawn into a fantasy land where he plays a key part in its political structure.

    But it's also so damn frustrating the way Theo just seems to be along for the ride rather than the driving force of the story. He plays his part well, but he never seems to be the protagonist. He learns things and they play a part in his adventure, but he never really goes out and actually seeks to finish it. It just kinda happens to him.

    I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys urban fantasy, but it's much like Marmite in my mind. It's a very polarising story.

    Night Watch is fucking spectacular, though. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone, fantasy lover or not.
     
  10. Sauce Bauss

    Sauce Bauss Headmaster DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    1,088
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Texas
    It's weird that urban fantasy is such a broad category of fiction and yet we're still so limited in selection.

    That was over two years ago, I've been picking DLP's collective brains on the matter since, and what I want from urban fantasy doesn't exist. On the plus side, that's what got me writing again.
     
  11. Mishie

    Mishie Fat Dog

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    Australia
    It's also caused some amazing rants about Bright...
     
  12. Sauce Bauss

    Sauce Bauss Headmaster DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    1,088
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Texas
    And in 8 words you have successfully out-shitposted me.
     
  13. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Messages:
    1,653
    Location:
    Within the Garden of Nurgle.
    High Score:
    2,094

    Urban Fantasy is a cruel mistress. I felt that way about a couple series and just wanting more of it because there is a distinct lack in the general world of urban fantasy it's annoying.

    The fact that some of the best books have a dark irony or dark humor to them are a draw bit sometime too look for something a bit /more/

    What debates about Bright have I missed?
     
  14. Sauce Bauss

    Sauce Bauss Headmaster DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    1,088
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Texas


    Mishie trolled me into watching a review as long as the movie it's about. It revolves around viewing Bright within a modern racial context instead of a meta context of the wider genre, so I basically live blogged my salt at him for two hours.

    On that note, while it's not an urban fantasy book, I do recommend watching Bright on Netflix. It's a lot of fun, and has some interesting premises.

     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
  15. Mutton

    Mutton Unspeakable

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    702
    Bright is fucking terrible and negative fun
     
  16. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Messages:
    1,653
    Location:
    Within the Garden of Nurgle.
    High Score:
    2,094
    Legit, while this might not be the right thread for it, but since its under the umbrella of Urban Fantasy, whats' the problem with the movie? I thought it was decent. Going into it blind and with no expectations I felt less ambivalent at the end of it. Sure there are something in it that might trigger a lesser man, but seriously, be less basic and be a fucking adult.

    The last bit directed at the larger population. All I've heard is bad reviews. For the format, the delivery, and the cast, I think it was a great movie.
     
  17. Mutton

    Mutton Unspeakable

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    702
    The dialogue was so stilted it could be out fighting Spiderman. The characters were boring and flat. The world building was laughably poor and when explained, so on the nose and exposition heavy you'd think that the director has gotten "show, don't tell" backwards.

    There is a rich genre of cop "one bad night" media out there, but this didn't even try to engage without what others have done before in terms of plotting.

    This was not a well crafted film. This was not a well written film. The only thing it has going for it is half hazardly slapping orcs and elves into a bad cop movie.
     
  18. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Messages:
    1,653
    Location:
    Within the Garden of Nurgle.
    High Score:
    2,094
    I felt like a lot of that came from the producer. A lot of people gave him a lot of shit I noticed before the movie released, more so than the actual movie. The other negative publicity I saw was more in regards to the delivery method (Netflix) than the actual movie.
     
  19. Mutton

    Mutton Unspeakable

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    702
    Nah, it was a David Ayer production through and through. Which is a damn shame because he knows how to write a one bad night cop script! He practically did the single best entry in the genre! But as a director he's just terrible at directing them; it's telling that his one good film was not a one bad night film but spread over a longer period of time
     
  20. Sigurd

    Sigurd Fifth Year

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Messages:
    147
    I have to second the recommendations for the Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch and Alex Verus by Benedict Jacka. Those are the only ongoing series besides Dresden Files that I keep up with.

    ThePeter Grantbooks have a great use of the city of London. It gives a good sense of the diversity present in London's people and neighborhoods. If it matters, the main character is also half-black, so there's a viewpoint there that's not visited a lot in modern fantasy.

    Alex Verus
    is also set in London, but I like them more for how useless his powers generally are in combat. His only power is being able to see the future, so he's forced to always outfox his enemies using knowledge he's gained instead of going at them head-on.

    If you're up for more historical urban fantasy, there are a couple of series set post-WWI that are good:

    The Vampire Files
    by P.N. Elrod is set in the 30s and follows a newly turned vampire named Jack Fleming who works as a private investigator. He has pretty classic Stoker powers and weaknesses, which was kind of refreshing since I started this series around the time Twilight was blowing up and it seemed like everyone was trying to come up with their own spin on vampires.

    The books are focused on a case he's working, although a few of them are connected by a longer plot thread. Books 1-3 could be considered a trilogy exploring his turn and investigation into his own death and the whereabouts of his creator. 4 is a standalone case, 5-7 are another trilogy concerning a gang war, and 8-9 are standalone. 10-12 are again kind of connected.

    Fair warning: the series isn't complete and she hasn't written a new book in a while. However, they're mostly self-contained so you can read quite a few without feeling like you're missing something. She's also written a bunch of short stories set in the same world, so there's probably another novel's worth of material there.

    The Grimnoir Chronicles by Larry Correia are set in the 30s and follow a world where a handful of supernatural abilities started manifesting in people in the 1850s. Each person has only one kind of power, and the series follows a man named Jake Sullivan who's a "Heavy" with influence over gravity. It's kind of a fantasy/alternate history thing, with some original characters and some historical figures who have had their paths altered by the influence of magic on world events. Some of the applications that the characters use to make the most of their powers are pretty interesting.

    It's a completed trilogy with some more recent short stories I didn't realize he'd written, so now I have something to look into.
     
Loading...