Great Urban Fantasy Mythological creatures and beings are seamlessly added to realistic urban settings, leading the characters to learn that the world is a bigger, stranger, and sometimes more dangerous place than it once seemed. Someplace to be Flying by Charles de Lint: Lilly investigates a rumor of animal people living is the slums of Newford. She discovers a community of First People who can shape-shift into animals. This book has a complex and compelling plot, and focuses on characterization, with unique and believable characters. War for the Oaks by Emma Bull: Rock guitarist Eddi McCandry, the only human who can see otherworldly creatures, is pulled into a battle between two faerie courts in modern Minneapolis. The book has a dark tone and a compelling plot, and blends magic with gritty realism. Magic Street by Orson Scott Card: Mark Street was found abandoned as a baby on a Los Angeles Park bench. Neighbor's dreams are seeping into teenaged Mark's, and sometimes coming back out, coming true in some horrific twisted fashion. This novel has a dark tone and a fast pace. The Art of Arrow Cutting by Stephen Dedman: After Mage ends up with the key to a woman's apartment, he finds himself being attacked by figures from Japanese mythology. This book combines realism, mythology, and mystery in a modern setting. It has unique and memorable characters and a dark tone. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman: Richard Mayhew's random act of kindness leads him into a magical alternate city below London, where he must fight to survive if he is ever to return to the life he knows. This book combines a real-life urban setting with myths and magic, with a dark tone, and compelling plot. King Rat by China Mieville: After Saul is falsely accused of his father's murder, he escapes from jail with the help of the mysterious rat king, who claims to be his uncle. Saul becomes embroiled in the conflict between the rat king and a famous piper. This book has a dark tone and vivid descriptions. The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar: When two fairies are sent to Manhattan, they decide to help out some down-and-out humans. With a darkly humorous tone, this book blends magic and a real- life modern setting, and a complex plot. Heart of Stone by C. E. Murphy: Margrit met Alban (a real-life gargoyle) while she was running in Central Park. Soon, a woman is found murdered and Alban is implicated, leading him to ask Margrit to help clear his name. This fast-paced novel with a dark tone, features both mystery and romance elements. Singer of Souls by Adam Stemple: Douglas Stewart quits drugs and moves from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Edinburg, Scotland to start over. Once there, he discovers that he can see fairies. The book combines fairy myths with the gritty modern settings. It has a dark tone, and unique and interesting characters. Galveston by Sean Stewart: The island of Galveston is threatened when reality collides with magic, transforming the city into two parallel worlds--the normal city, and a perpetual Carnival city populated by magic-touched creatures. Combines fantasy with a realistic believable setting, and has a dark tone.
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