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Topic: Gritty Urban Fantasy vs. Lighter UF

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Subject: Gritty Urban Fantasy vs. Lighter UF
Date Posted: 7/29/2009 3:35 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 1,373
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So I just realized I have a problem- I'm very much a happy ending girl and if I feel like the series isn't going to have an HEA, I can't read it and feel frustrated towards the end. This happened to me in a few series and I'm having problems getting into other series. It's a big suprise to me because I always thought I could get into any book.

So that being said, can anyone suggest me UF that is less gritty and dark and more ligher with an HEA. I want to add that I do have some exceptions such as anything by C.E. Murphy or I like the Jocelynn Drake Dark Days series but I just started reading Dante Valentine and the Devon Monk Magic series and it's making me feel dark and depressed because of the tone of the book. I realize I probably can't read those books, although I may try again later.

Series I'm waiting to try are:

Signs of Zodiac- Vicki Petterson

Otherworld- Kelley Armstrong

Jeanne, C. Stein Series

Weather Warden- Rachel Caine

Night Huntress Jeaniene Frost Series

Retrievers- Laura Anne Gilman

The Hollows- Kim Harrison

Chronicles of Elantra- Michelle Sagra

Jaz Parks- Jennifer Rardin

Cassie Palmer- Karen Chance

Greywalker- Kat Richardson

Mercy Hollings- Toni Andrews

Caitlin Kittredge two series

Matters of the Blood- Maria Lima

Crimson Moon- LA Banks

Savannah Vampire- Raven Hart

Kayla Steele- Natasha Rhodes

Jill Kismet- Lilith Saintcrow

Dark Wing Chronicles- Savannah Russe

Delilah Street- Carole Nelson Douglas

Gardella Vampire Chronicles-  Colleen Gleason

 

Are any of the books I mentioned above dark or gritty without an HEA? Can anyone who's read them tell me what you thought of them?

 

Date Posted: 7/29/2009 3:56 PM ET
Member Since: 7/9/2005
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WOW-----hard to believe that I haven't read any those books/series.   Of course, I don't like cutsey books, but I don't think all of those are "cutsey".

I really like "Mercy Thompson Series" by Patricia Briggs-----Each of these books does have an ending even tho they each take off from the last.

"Psy Series" by Nalini singh----Each book is stand alone, but it helps to read in order for the correct chronological sequence.

"Other Series" by Christine Warren

"Mage Series" buy Angela Knight

"Breeds" by Lora Leigh

I have so many that I love, but not sure how you would like them. 

Date Posted: 7/29/2009 4:14 PM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2005
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No HEA

Weather Warden- Rachel Caine - Love em, but the cliffhangers drive me looney!

Dark Wing Chronicles- Savannah Russe - even at the end of the series, the HEA is still up in the air - Not a great UF either.

Delilah Street- Carole Nelson Douglas - HATED this book!

Jeanne Steine Series - No HEA either, but I like em, althought the last one seemed to be very dry.

 

That said - these series I love!

 

Otherworld- Kelley Armstrong

Night Huntress Jeaniene Frost Series

The Hollows- Kim Harrison

Date Posted: 7/29/2009 4:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
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Hey Norma,  Mercy Thompson is definitely on my TBR and I'm glad to hear what you said about them.

I've read every other series you've mentioned and loved them a lot. I'm looking for less stand-alone and more of a series that follows the same character or characters.  I'm curious though about what the other series you loved are :) Feel free to PM me! I actually don't really like cutesy books either. I think I want something in the middle between cutesy and really dark. Any ideas?

Edit: Wendy, thanks so much. Cliffhangers drive me nuts too. It's a good thing a lot of the weather warden books are out already so I don't have to wait after a cliff-hanger to get to the next one!!! Also, doesn't the main character end up with someone- it seems to be the case from the summaries at the backs of the books?

Sounds like you have similar taste to me so I will follow your recommendations closely. I can't thank you enough. Endings still up in the air and no HEA's drive me nuts. I want the happy love story at the end even if there are tensions and problems before it gets to that!!!



Last Edited on: 7/29/09 4:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 4
Date Posted: 7/29/2009 6:01 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
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HEA is more of a romance term, so i'm not entirely sure how to apply it to an urban fantasy series where the series is still ongoing.  so maybe i'll just try to sort these into dark and not.

  • Chronicles of Elantra- Michelle Sagara - actually, i wouldn't call this urban fantasy at all, just fantasy.  that said, it is a good series with nice character growth, and she does have a guy who's there for her.
  • Otherworld- Kelley Armstrong - this is a good series, more HEA than most on the list.
  • Weather Warden- Rachel Caine - as Wendy mentioned, good series with cliffhangers.  but there is a central couple.
  • Night Huntress Jeaniene Frost Series - ooh yes.  the first two actually say paranormal romance on the cover, and though i shelve them with the urban fantasy, there's a very strong romance theme going on throughout the series.
  • Jaz Parks- Jennifer Rardin - yes, recommend.  the range a bit from more funny to more serious and back, but it looks like they're working towards an HEA.

i liked all of these, and i don't think they're too dark, but i'm not sure they really have HEAs coming:

  • The Hollows- Kim Harrison
  • Cassie Palmer- Karen Chance
  • Mercy Hollings- Toni Andrews
  • Jeanne C. Stein Series

these may not be for you:

  • Signs of Zodiac- Vicki Petterson - this is extremely dark, and definitely no HEA in sight.
  • Caitlin Kittredge - Nocturne City - possibly more gritty than you'd like.  [i'm not planning on reading her other series.]
  • Crimson Moon- LA Banks - possibly more gritty than you'd like.  i've only read the first two, but they're fairly dark.
  • Delilah Street- Carole Nelson Douglas - the first one went off on a weird tangent with the original mystery getting dropped halfway through, so i'm ignoring the rest of the series.  i didn't think it was the worst thing i'd ever read - but several others did.

oh, and it might help a bit to try to decide what you might like vs not if you tell us the ones you didn't like.



Last Edited on: 7/29/09 6:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/29/2009 6:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 1,373
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Thank youuuuuu sooooooo much. That's exactly what I was looking for :)

Books I didn't like:

Even though I liked the plot, it left me feeling sad and uncertain after books ended. I hate that kind of uncertainty.

Dante Valentine- I did like story and action but it made me frustrated, angry and aggravated at parts. That said, I have her Watcher Series, Society Series and I have Demon's Librarian- I think I'm going to stick to her one couple/ per story books.

Magic to the Bone- I started it but didn't finish it and decided to put it away to a later time because all the books I was reading were starting to sound too similiar.

Spook Squad series- I enjoyed the story a lot but when it ended, I felt it was unfinished so it left me feeling like I was wasting my time.

I might like:

I am okay with straight fantasy and any book if there is one constant guy there for a character. I'm weird but I find break-ups, loss very depressing. That's one of the reasons I like romance. I want to pretend life is super happy :)  So that being said:

Chronicles of Elantra

Cassie Palmer ( see below)

Mercy Thompson

I loved:

Kate Daniels- Ilona Andrews

Walker Papers- CE Murphy

Dark Days- Jocelynn Drake

Jennifer Scales (YA- probably not even UF but ongoing series about same character)

Alpha & Omega- Patricia Briggs, which leads me to think I might like Mercy Thompson

Dorina- Karen Chance, which leads me to think I might like the Cassie Palmer

Corinne Solomon- Ann Aguirre

Samantha Jax- Ann Aguirre

Tairen Soul- C. L. Wilson



Last Edited on: 7/29/09 6:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 4
Date Posted: 7/29/2009 6:16 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,384
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I'd recommend Retrievers by Laura Anne Gilman.  Really fits into the space between a romance and UF.  Considering it comes from Luna, the romance is not the center of the series.  But it is a well developed part of it.  Intimate rather than hot or sexy. 

Maybe also the Tate Halloway?

ETA, just noticed that you already have C E Murphy on your siggy.

How about Shanna Swendson?  I just finished Enchanted, Inc and it was wonderful.



Last Edited on: 7/29/09 6:20 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/29/2009 6:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 1,373
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Emily- great suggestions. That definitely sounds like books I would be interested in and I love Luna. I don't care if the romance is the main focus, as long as it's there :)

Date Posted: 7/29/2009 6:46 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2009
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Because apparently my post was invisible to everyone except me. ;)



Last Edited on: 7/29/09 8:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 7/29/2009 7:55 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2007
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I'm so not a HEA person... In fact I'm probably the exact opposite of what you are saying.  While there are few exceptions to the rule, I like em dark and gritty.  I'm not sure any of the books I have read necessarily have a HEA..some have happy moments but it's the conflict and the unresolved plots that make them ongoing series.  Here are my opinions on the ones I've read.

Ditto to Delilah Street- Carole Nelson Douglas - HATED this book! In fact, if you have a few hours to waste my garden needs weeded.  That would be more fun than reading that book. 

Signs of Zodiac- Vicki Petterson--On my TBR but havent' read

Otherworld- Kelley Armstrong--Probably more HEA than most

Jeanne, C. Stein Series--Its an ongoing series and I've read all to date, no HEA, but not really dark

Weather Warden- Rachel Caine--depends on the book in the series and Ms. Caine is known for her cliff hanger endings.  Not dark, but no HEA for the most part.

Night Huntress Jeaniene Frost Series--onoing series...again not dark and while there are happy times, conflict is what propels the series. 

The Hollows- Kim Harrison--Love this series...not dark, but no HEA

Chronicles of Elantra- Michelle Sagra--on my TBR

Jaz Parks- Jennifer Rardin--LOVE THIS SERIES.  Again not dark, and early books have you wanting to pull your hair out.  I think it's working towards a HEA....but even after book 5 we ain't there yet.

Cassie Palmer- Karen Chance--LOVE THIS SERIES.  It has it dark moments.  No real HEA either

Greywalker- Kat Richardson--haven't read the most recent.  Darker than many of the others

Mercy Hollings- Toni Andrews--Only read the 1st...no HEA

Caitlin Kittredge two series--I like the Wolf series.  Haven't read the newer series.  Definately darker than some

Matters of the Blood- Maria Lima--on my TBr

Jill Kismet- Lilith Saintcrow--1st  on my TBR

Gardella Vampire Chronicles-  Colleen Gleas--On TBR

Date Posted: 7/29/2009 8:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
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Wow, Marie- you are awesome!!! Thanks so much!!! :)

Date Posted: 7/29/2009 8:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2005
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That said, I have her Watcher Series

I've read the first Dante Valentine book and the Watcher series is a lot different. I would think of them as HEA, but romance isn't really hardcore. Each book is about a couple, but it's not very romance-y

The Gardella books, I love them. At the end of the series there is a HEA, but it takes the whole series to get there. Not really dark and gritty, though it has it's moments.

Date Posted: 7/29/2009 8:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
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That's great to hear. I will put the Gardella on my WL. I don't mind if takes a long time to get to the HEA as long as it's there :)  and is semi-resolved.

Date Posted: 7/29/2009 11:08 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
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The Gardella books, I love them. At the end of the series there is a HEA, but it takes the whole series to get there.

does that mean that book 5 is the end of the series?  i have the first four in TBR, and the fifth is on it's way.

Date Posted: 7/30/2009 10:43 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
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Hey Ellen, I haven't read the books but I remember reading somewhere- maybe her website or blog that book 5 is the last book.

Date Posted: 7/30/2009 1:37 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2007
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Last Edited on: 1/4/11 3:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/30/2009 4:22 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
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Yeah, the fifth is the last of the Gardellas. But I just saw this on her website. How fun!

Colleen has recently finished a novella entitled "Northanger Castle," which is a Gardella-flavored version of Jane Austen's "Northanger Abbey". The story will be included in an anthology of four paranormal tales based on Jane Austen novels, including one by the incomparable Mary Balogh. The collection, titled Bespelling Jane, will be released in 2010.

Date Posted: 7/30/2009 4:51 PM ET
Member Since: 2/4/2008
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Ditto to Delilah Street- Carole Nelson Douglas - HATED this book! In fact, if you have a few hours to waste my garden needs weeded.  That would be more fun than reading that book. 

Ditto for me too!  Cleaning the cat box was better than this book. 

 

I guess I am like Marie in that the dark doesn't really bother me.  I guess I dont' think of Urban Fantasy as HEA since it is ongoing. 

I would just say ditto to what most of the others have said above. 

Date Posted: 7/31/2009 2:47 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,749
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Yeah, the fifth is the last of the Gardellas.

ok, cool.  it got delivered today, so now i've got the whole series.  now to find time to read them!