Urban Fantasy…not for the faint of heart


Urban Fantasy is a relatively new genre in the publishing world. But what else do you call a novel that is borderline horror where the main character is killing vampires, werewolves, etc in a modern day setting? So. It makes sense. Lately I’ve been engrossed with two urban fantasy authors: Ilona Andrews and Patricia Briggs. This post will focus on Ilona Andrews and the next will be Patricia Briggs.

I would like to note that none of these series are for those who are squeamish or have super vivid imaginations. There are explanations of blood, of dead bodies, of things that are totally gross. REALLY GROSS! I listened to the first book and I reached a gross part when I was eating lunch. Needless to say, I wasn’t hungry anymore.

This author was recommended to me by my mom (Thanks Mom!). Ilona Andrews isn’t one person, it’s actually a husband/wife writing team. I love it because that means that whatever the male characters say would be something a man would say. Often female writers romanticize their male characters (What? Why are you looking at me like that? You think that I romanticize…*sputter* what nonsense…). But having a man on the writing team makes me more assured that, yeah, Curran (main male character) would actually react that way. Good to know. It also means that when Kate (main female character) acts all BA, it’s probable that it would happen that way. These are the books in order:

  • Magic Bites
  • Magic Burns
  • Magic Strikes
  • Magic Bleeds
  • Magic Slays
  • Gunmetal Magic (technically this is part of the Kate Daniels series, but it’s about Andrea)

Okay, so the main character of the series is Kate Daniels. Kate works in Atlanta, Georgia, in an alternate universe where vampires and were-animals exist. Vamps are piloted by a human. They need blood to survive, but magic connects them to a living mind, which controls them and prevents them from giving in to blood-lust. Yes, it is as gross as it sounds. The vampire people are called The People (original, right?).

Werewolves aren’t the only shapeshifters in this world. The Pack is an organized society of were-folk with one leader: Curran. Curran is a werelion. Yeah. It’s pretty awesome. Each type of animal is a clan (sub-section of the pack); so you’ve got Clan Rat, Clan Hyena, Clan Heavy (which includes baboons, bears, and boars), etc.

Kate is a mercenary that works for the Guild. The Guild charges normal people lots of money to get rid of paranormal problems. If you don’t have lots of money, you take your problem to The Order. The Order will charge you whatever you can afford, but they call the shots of what is “just.” And their idea of justice isn’t always right.

At the beginning of the series, someone murders Kate’s uncle leaving her with no family and a dreadful secret. She strives to solve the murder and along the way meets “His Furriness” Curran, the Beast Lord of the Atlanta Pack. She also meets Derrick (He’s my favorite!) and other furry friends. They battle the forces of evil throughout five books and DEFEAT THE BAD GUYS! *coughs* Yeah. So anyways…

If you’re one of those people who don’t like romance novels because the romance seems impossibly fast or improbable due to circumstances, you might like this series. Curran and Kate don’t actually get together until the end of book 3, I think. They don’t get “married” until book 4. And they still have lots of issues afterwards. It’s not like everything’s rosy and full of sunshine. It’s the main reason I like the series. Curran is a control freak and Kate is not keen on showing emotion. Together they make a mess.

I also like the books because in book 2 or 3 Kate picks up an orphan named Julie. Julie is the best part of book 5 because she hitchhikes from her boarding school to Kate’s house just so she won’t have to go to school. It cracked me up. And Kate just let her. If I started hitchhiking from my boarding school and my parents knew, my dad would probably pick me up pronto. But Kate is a semi-crappy parent. Julie paints everything black and acts emo sometimes. Even though she’s not really.

All right, here are some quotes from the book that I find hilarious…humor me.

The phone rang. I picked it up.
“Are you sitting down?” Curran’s voice asked.
“Yes.”
“Good.”
Click.
I listened to the disconnect signal. If he wanted me to sit, then I’d stand. I got up. The chair got up with me and I ended up bent over my desk, with the chair stuck to my butt. I grabbed the edge of the chair and tried to pull it off. It remained stuck.
I would murder him. Slowly. And I’d enjoy every second of it.

Okay, so according to shapeshifter tradition, when you court the woman/man you want to mate, you do it in a somewhat disruptive way. Kate went into Curran’s rooms and welded his “guest” room door shut (where his female friends stayed…), welded his customized weight bar to his customized weight bench, and dumped catnip all over his bed. This was his retaliation.

Andrea raised her hand. “This is the hand that slapped Aunt B.”
“Maybe you should have it gold-plated.”
“Here, you can touch it, since you’re my best friend.”

Aunt B is the alpha of the hyenas. She’s scary.

“Are you sure you know where you’re going?” Andrea frowned.
“Would you like me to pull over and ask that bamboo for directions?”
“I don’t know, do you think it will answer?”
We peered at the bamboo.
“I think it looks suspicious,” Andrea said.
“Maybe there is a heffalump hiding in it.”
Andrea stared at me.
“You know, heffalump? From Pooh Bear?”
“Where do you even get this shit?”

One of the reasons I love Kate is that she reads a lot in her spare time. 🙂

The rabbis paled. I’d managed to terrify holy men. Maybe I could beat up a nun for an encore.

HAHAHA! It just makes me laugh.

“What’s with the beard and the horse mane? You look like Rent-a-Villain.”
The volhv’s eyes widened. He raised his hand at me. “Well you don’t look… female… in your pants.”
“That’s a hell of an insult. Did you think of it all by yourself or did you ask your god for help?”

You don’t look female in your pants. Yeah. Nuff said. Next time I want to insult a friend, that’s the one I’m going for.

“I know it’s late, but could you find a book for me? It’s called The Slavs: Study of Pagan Tradition by Osvintsev.”
Barabas sighed dramatically. “Kate, you make me despair. Let’s try that again from the top, except this time pretend you are an alpha.”
“I don’t need a lecture. I just need the book.”
“Much better. Little more growl in the voice?”
“Barabas!”
“And we’re there. Congratulations!”

This is after Kate is officially the Consort of the Beast Lord. They give her an actual title, but I forget what it is at the moment.

The hallway led me to the stairway of a million steps. My leg screamed in protest. I sighed and started climbing. I just had to keep from limping. Limping showed weakness, and I didn’t need any enterprising, career-motivated shapeshifters trying to challenge me for dominance right about now.
I had once mentioned my desire for an elevator, and His Majesty asked me if I would like a flock of doves to carry me up to my quarters so my feet wouldn’t have to touch the ground. We were sparring at the time and I kicked him in the kidney in retaliation.

I wouldn’t mind the flock of doves, but hey, Kate’s touchy.

“Why the rifle? Everybody knows you can’t shoot.”
Who were these everybodies and would they like to stand in front of me, preferably within ten feet, so I could discuss this issue in greater detail.

Um…no.

“You snore worse. At least I don’t turn into a lion in my sleep.”
“I only did it once.”
“Once was weird enough, thank you.”

And that’s a rap! These quotes are in no particular order from various books, so if you want to put them in order, read the books.

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