Friday, December 16, 2011

My Top 5 Urban Fantasy Novels of 2011

Well, I can’t believe it’s been almost a week and a half since my last post. Time flies when you’re having fun… or grading and doing academic writing. (sigh) Anyway, I’ve been seeing lots of fun Top 5 lists, but some of them have left off my favorites. How dare they have opinions that differ from mine, lol! Here are my Top 5 Urban Fantasies of this year, not in any order.
Diana Rowland’s My Life as a White Trash Zombie
Okay, I might have lied when I said these were in no particular order, because this is definitely my favorite book on this list and not just because of its rockin’ cover by Daniel Dos Santos. Angel Crawford finds herself working in a morgue and drinking funny tasting “smoothies” after she’s discovered on the side of the road, naked and covered in blood. To her horror, she finds the scent of braaaaiiiiiins delectable and soon discovers that she’s been made a zombie. This is a great story of a young woman who’s had very few opportunities in her life suddenly making the most of a second chance at life. I can’t wait to read the second book of the series, coming out next summer. See my review.

Jenn Bennett Kindling the Moon
This debut novel was a fun surprise, and I do mean surprise! After a lifetime of reading who knows how many novels, it was a delight to find one that managed to sneak in an ending that I wasn’t expecting. Arcadia “Cady” Bell is 25 and working at the Tambuku Tiki Lounge when she spots her on-the-run parents on the nightly news. They were accused of heinous murders when she was a teen, and the family’s been living in hiding ever since. Cady finds herself working to clear her parents with lots of help from hottie Lon Butler. Their May-December romance (he’s 42) is sizzling, but I have a soft spot in my heart for Lon’s son, Jupe, who’s a real scene-stealer.

Seanan McGuire One Salt Sea (October Daye #5)
I could have chosen either of the October Daye books published this year (the 4th in the series is Late Eclipses) for my top 5 list because both are excellent, but One Salt Sea introduces a new part of Faerie that we haven’t seen before. This series never disappoints, and Toby finds herself working with the usual suspects to prevent a war between the Undersea Duchy of Saltmist and the Queen of Mist. While you can read this book without having read any of the prior novels in the series, I highly recommend that you start from the beginning, as you’ll appreciate the interaction between the characters more. See my review.

Nancy Holzner Bloodstone (Deadtown #3)
I started the Deadtown series earlier this year, and while I enjoyed the first book in the series, I never got around to picking up the second book. I was really impressed with Bloodstone, though, so I’ll be going back to catch up on the second book. When a virus turned thousands of humans into zombies, the magical community came out of hiding to help contain the threat, only to be forced into segregation. Shifter Vicky is a demon exterminator in this alternate version of Boston, and in the third book of the series, she finds herself fighting a serial killer, dubbed the SouthEnd Reaper by the police. Vicky’s feisty Aunt Mab plays a key role in the action, and it’s a lot of fun to see Vicky’s teenage zombie sidekick, Tina, start to mature.

Ilona Andrews Magic Slays (Kate Daniels #5)
I’d be shocked if other bloggers did NOT include this book on their top 5 lists of Urban Fantasies this year. Set in an alternate version of my hometown, Atlanta, all of the Kate Daniels books pretty much kick ass, so you’re going to get a winner whether you start the series at the beginning or pick this one up on its own. In this book we finally get to see sword-wielding Kate and her lion-shifter mate Curran in connubial bliss, which makes for some funny one-liners. When Kate’s detective agency is asked to find a missing scientist, all sorts of magical mayhem ensues. Watching the independent heroine and bossy-pants alpha hero sort out how they’ll deal with their roles in this new relationship makes the book all that more fun.


  1. I can't wait to see the cover for the next book in the White Trash Zombie series! I hope they keep the same artist because he did an amazing job.

    Haven't read October Daye or Deadtown series yet, but I have them on my list.

  2. I can't wait to see the cover, either! Daniel Dos Santos is so talented! I love this cover and his covers of the Patricia Briggs books.