If you HAD to read one of these two genres, which would you prefer - urban fantasy, or horror, and why?
That's a good question. I used to hate Urban Fantasy... Actually, that's not true.
I never used to understand Urban Fantasy.
When Urban Fantasy first hit my radar, I was in my late teens / early twenties and very much a romance reader.
I'd discovered the likes of Christen Feehan, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Amanda Ashley, Maggie Shayne and and loved their paranormal romances so I actively hunted paranormal romance.
In my ignorance, I picked up many UF series during this hunt thinking they were paranormal romance - Kate Daniels series, Mercy Thompson series, Cassie Palmer series etc - and instead of getting a nice sexy romance (wrapped up in a single book) I got stories about some random chick or another doing crazy stuff in a fantasy setting.
It wasn't that the books were bad or the stories unenjoyable, they just weren't what I wanted.
I wanted a single novel hit of passion and feeling preferably as part of a series so I could check in with past characters are see how they're doing.
I didn't want magical adventures with very little romance.
It was like ordering chocolate and being given fruit.
Still tasty but WTF?
I read these books going, "that's nice but where's the good stuff?!"
Back then, the only UF I binge read and enjoyed was by Richelle Mead.
Her Georgina Kincaid series (about a Succubus) and her Dark Swan series (about a half fae shaman) were awesome.
They had enough romance early on (aka book one) to hook me and they aren't overly long series so I didn't have almost a decade to wait for the romantic pay off... But that's not the point. The point is I was ignorant to the charms of good, slow burn, UF.
If only I'd understood that the 'good stuff' does come in UF.
I'd have read so many good series so long ago... But then again, I'd have been waiting year on year for them to release so maybe it's not so bad that it took me years to grow up enough to appreciate slow burn romance and kick ass characters on their own merits (and not as part of a couple).
I cringe now when I think of how much I disdained UF all those years ago.
Those series I mentioned?
Kate Daniels and Cassie Palmer?
I LOVE them.
Seriously, love them.
I love Kim Harrison's Hollows, Chloe Neill's Chicagoland and Harris' Sookie Stackhouse.
In fact, it was reading Sookie Stackhouse (borrowed from the library) that started changing my mind proper about UF. From Sookie I springboarded onto Harrison's Rachel and that was me... Changing. Although, it's only been in the last couple of years that UF has become a favourite genre.
There are so many other 'classic' UF series I missed that I'm determined to catch up on such as Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Noville series, Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series and anything by Jennifer Estep.
I realise that a lot of this has been rambling about my history with UF but the basic reasons why I love it so much are:
- Kick ass characters that you have time to really care about and love.
You get to see them evolve over multiple books and it is so rewarding!
- It's like visiting friends!
Seriously, you care so much about the characters and fall in love with the world that slipping into a new book is like visiting old friends.
- Amazing world building.
- Slow burn romance (not always but in the good ones 😉)
But, even if I didn't love UF so much, I'd still choose UF over horror.
I don't like horror.
I don't like being scared for no other reason than to be scared.
What is the actual point of that?
Seriously, the genre seems to exist to scare and shock people.
It has no other purpose unless it's to remind you that the world could be so much worse than it currently is. I don't need to be reminded of that and I prefer to escape the horrors of the world and live in a fantasy one.