It won't come as a surprise to anyone who follows this blog (or spends five minutes skimming through it) that I am a romance lover.
I love LOVE, people!
But what maybe a little more surprising is that the genre I love most is Urban Fantasy.
Gasp! I know! But it's true!
Today, I want to discuss all the reasons that I love this genre the most and why it trumps all the others for me.
Reason Number One: It is pure escapism
With UF you have magical and sometimes monstrous creatures living in a world that is not too dissimilar to the world in which we live in. You can escape into it because it's familiar while being foreign. It's exciting learning about the new world - the world-building is amazing - and you can accept a lot of whacky and unlikely shit because the world is different when magic and magical beings exist.
Monsters are more often than not literal monsters so reading about the bad things they do is easier than reading, say, crime/thriller novels where the monsters are people just like like you.
As for comparing them to something like contemporary romance... Contemporary romances are set in the world we live in, just as it is. You know the rules, you know what people are like and therefore the opportunities to do something whacky without it jarring me out of the story are far less.
Some of the situations that present in contemporary romances are painfully unrealistic to the point where I spend a lot of mental energy actively reminding myself it doesn't need to be true to life.
This doesn't mean that I can't enjoy a contemporary romance - I love contemporary romances! - but it's one of the reasons that the genre isn't my favourite.
Reason Number Two: They're a little bit of everything!
The range of topics, styles, genres, within UF is unreal!
You love romance? (Hell yeah!) Paranormal Romance? (Yes, please!)
Then you can find plenty of rockin' UF series with a strong romantic couple to root for throughout five, six, seven, eight, twelve books!
The romance can be established in book one but more often than not it's a slow burn that develops beautifully over a few and I am here. For. It.
You like mysteries? Thrillers? Then look no further!
I don't think I've ever read a UF that doesn't have a crime or some other mystery to solve. I typically avoid crime, mystery, thrillers but when it's wrapped up in UF I love it!
You like action? You got it!
You want history? Mythology? Fantasy? It's all there!
No sex, a little sex, pure smut? You'll find something that caters to this too.
Urban Fantasy is a melting pot and it has no limits.
Oh, and if you hate romance in your books? (I don't know how to talk to you 😜) Then you can find UF that meets that criteria also!
Reason Number Three: Lots of kick-ass characters!
There are many UF that have a strong male leads but there are just as many (if not more) that have kick-ass women in the lead.
Whether our protagonist has extraordinary magical powers or not, they are rarely powerless.
They fight for what they perceive as right. They are brave. They grow into their abilities - or learn to adapt without them - and they learn to own their destiny.
They're often snarky, spunky and fierce but with a soft squishy side.
You're not going to find any damsels in distress in UF. The women in these novels handle their own business and don't need a big strong anyone to charge in and save them... (Except when they do and that is also fabulous.)
People can just be who they are in UF unless they are hiding some forbidden power or something... That's less true of other types of fiction set in the real world.
Reason Number Four: They are series!
You get a character you love and you get to watch them evolve over multiple books.
You are with them from start to finish. Good times, bad times and all the times in between.
Often, the characters start a low point and you get to watch them rise. To overcome their struggles and become the people they were born to be.
Each book has a plot that wraps up at the end but also contributes to an overarching plotline.
This system removes the requirement for cliffhangers but keeps you coming back for more!
With other genres, this happens less so.
With romance genres (aka the category I principally read in) the most you typically get is seeing the characters crop up again in interconnected standalones.
When you're a very character-driven reader (like moi), this is hard! I fall in love with people then have to live on scraps! UF in comparison is an all you can eat buffet.
You may have to kiss a few UF frogs before you find the series/author that works for you, and you may be unwilling to get up close and personal with something so strange, but I guarantee you that there IS a series that would work for you and you would love every second of the journey.
Now, fight me.
Do you love UF? Why/Why not?
To view the linky list of this weeks Hop participants, please visit The Coffee Addicted Writer.