I rarely read urban fantasy, even though I keep thinking I should. Most urban fantasies use detective tropes, which I love, and many of them feature interesting female leads (or at least women not stuck only in the roles of tavern wench, princess and prostitute). So what keeps me away?
I just bounced off another today. I'd picked it up because I was impressed by what I'd seen of the author online, and because bunches of people who like some of my favourite books seemed to really like it. I'd waded through chapter one a while ago, before returning to some 1970's espionage books, then gave it another shot and bounced again halfway through chapter two.
And I should like this book. Original and complex worldbuilding and a juicy main female character and a big sprawling city setting and...all the speaking parts so far except the main character have been male. And all of them have been aggressive males who might kill you at any minute if you look at them wrong. And one of the team we're going to spend the most time with has lots of history with the main character that is surely full of trust broken and hatred born of wounds, and she wants to kill him, and he mocks her a lot. While another of the team is so immensely powerful that there's a lot of time given to "I could hardly be bothered to kill you but don't push me".
And, yeah, I know my books are overfull of stoics, and this is also a character type that exists. But I just can't read this book. I can't bring myself to spend time with these people. I far prefer the courteous, the quiet, the contained, the ineffably polite, the impish, the dreamfilled, the tongue-tied, even trickster types.
So...does anyone have recommendations for urban fantasy that doesn't revolve around, essentially, two rams butting their heads together? I really liked how Neumeier's Black Dog took us through how difficult it would be the live in such a culture, and how it's something to work away from, but I wouldn't be sad to see a complete absence of "say one wrong word and I'll take your head off" characters.
The winner of the 15,000 stars giveaway is Thumpaholden. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to select your prize!
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