Author Guest Blog: Introductory books to Urban Fantasy by John Ortega

Storm’s Child author, John Ortega, gives us an introduction to urban fantasy with four of his top authors and books within the genre…

Hello SciFiNow, thank you for inviting me to write about my favorite genre, Fantasy, specifically Urban Fantasy. What first drew me into this genre and what fuels my love for it, is the blend of the mundane with the fantastical. How you can go about your everyday life and not know if that cute barista at your local coffee shop is actually mortal like you or a millenia-year-old vampire who saw the pyramids being constructed and could tell you if aliens really had something to do with it or not.

A lot of authors have inspired my love for this genre that culminated in my debut novel Storm’s Child. I’m excited to share them with you all…

Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews

I’ll have to give the first spot to an author that has always been and will forever be a fountain of inspiration for me. The Kate Daniels series by writing husband and wife Ilona and Gordon Andrews is the quintessential series in urban fantasy in my opinion and it all started with Magic Bites. In this beautifully crafted world, a “magic apocalypse” has left all systems totally unpredictable — neither technology nor magic functions as it should, and when one works, the other inevitably fails. Then we meet Kate Daniels, a saber-wielding merc living in an Atlanta that is teeming with vampires, shapeshifters and the like. Kate has a powerful but an even deadlier secret that threatens her very existence should it ever be discovered. But when trouble comes knocking she has to make a choice to stay and fight, risking discovery or flee and remain safe.

I recommend this series to anyone who speaks to me for five minutes, I just can’t help it, it’s so good, you’ll thank me for it.

Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs

Second on my list goes to the coyote with tude and not afraid to get her hands dirty. If you ever asked yourself how much chaos can a coyote do when she runs with wolves then here is your answer. Patricia Briggs has created this wonderful world of shapeshifters, vampires and the fae and at the center of it all is Mercedes Thompson a shapeshifter herself and skillful mechanic that lives in the Tri-states area next to an alpha werewolf and services the cars of the local vampire coven.

The series begins with Moon Called, Mercy just wants to live an easy life of fixing cars and occasionally driving her neighbour werewolf, who threatens to eat her cat, crazy. Trouble knocks on Mercy’s door literally when a runaway asks for a job at her garage and she finds out that he escaped an underground lab that was treating him like a lab rat… lab wolf? Mercy soon discovers that he isn’t the only one, with the fate of werewolves on the line. Mercy must find out what is going before it’s too late.

Guild Hunter Ser

Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

Now we go from the Tri-Cities to the bustling streets of Chicago where Jim Butcher has delighted us with a world so much like our own but once you scratch the surface you see that there’s more than meets the idea. Chicago has only one supernatural private investigator, he is a wizard and his name is Harry Dresden. You can find him in the phone book and for a fee he will help you with any problem you might have, he even consults for the CPD when they get the weird case every now and again. We meet Harry in Storm Front where following a typical case of a missing husband he finds himself in the middle of a brutal drug war. With only his wits and magic to help him our intrepid wizard might have bitten off more than he can chew but that won’t stop him from doing what’s right even if it kills or seriously maim him.

The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne

Ever wanted to hear what Genghis Khan was really like? Buy Jesus a shot of whiskey? Hanging out with Coyote to cause mischief for certain thunder god with a hammer? Then you need to visit Third Eye Bookstore in Arizona and meet Atticus O’Sullivan. A two thousand year old druid hat has seen and done pretty much all that there is to see. Kevin Hearne has created a fantastical world where every story, every myth you ever heard off is real and they are out to get a certain druid because of the shenanigans that he has pulled over the centuries. We meet Atticus in Hounded where he has been hiding from the Irish God of Love because he stole said god’s prized sword. When he gets a visit from Morrigan the Irish Goddess of War and Death, he gets a simple warning. The god is in Arizona and he knows where Atticus is, he must choose to make a stand once and for all or keep being hounded by the immortal god.

John Ortega’s own urban fantasy debut, Storm’s Child (the first in the series of novels, The Rune Caster Chronicles), is out now.