Urban Fantasy Autumn Reads

I’ve almost made it through my stack of summer reading…and just in time. The new crop of autumn urban fantasy releases starts hitting shelves in about a week and boy, oh boy, are there some books I’m excited to read.

A whopping five of my favorite series have new titles coming out in the next three months. Here’s what’s in the queue:

Shifting ShadowsMercy Thompson. Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson is one of my favorite heroines. She’s a tattooed, martial artist, Volkswagen mechanic, who also happens to be a Native American coyote shapeshifter. Briggs has built a nuanced world for Mercy—an alternative American West, filled with werewolves, Fae, shamans, and witches. Regardless of any individual book’s plot, the realistic politics and complex relationships in Mercy’s life make the whole series worth reading. The upcoming installment, Shifting Shadows, is a short story collection, including four never-before-published pieces. It’ll be out September 2.

The Winter LongOctober Daye. Seanan Mcguire’s coffee-guzzling changeling, Toby Daye, straddles two worlds—a modern, fae-infused San Francisco and the classical, storybook kingdoms of Faerie. Mcguire’s characterization and world-building are impeccable. I binge-read the first seven books in this series without so much as a pause, and then promptly sought out the rest of her books, as well. The eighth Toby Daye book, The Winter Long, comes out on September 2.

The Witch With No NameThe Hollows. I almost can’t think of this release without crying. For twelve books, I’ve been following Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan on her voyage of self-discovery through a magic-broken Cincinnati. Even her sidekicks (Ivy, a sexually-charged living vampire, and Jenks, a high-strung and smartass pixie) have grown and changed over the course of the series, with story arcs almost as big and important as Rachel’s own. Harrison’s Witch With No Name, out September 9, will be the last Hollows book. It’s time to say goodbye, and I’m so not ready.

Broken SoulJane Yellowrock. Jane is a vampire-hunter working for vampires in post-Katrina New Orleans. It’s not so hard to wrap your mind around. In Jane’s world, the vampires police their own, just as humans police other humans. Of course, vampire justice is a bit more swift than its human counterpart. Jane also has an advantage when it comes to bounty-hunting. Not only does she have her own, ancient shape-changing magic, she shares her body with the soul of a real mountain lion. I love Jane Yellowrock and all her motorcycle-riding badassness. And, book after book, the master plot keeps getting more satisfying. Book number eight, Broken Soul, comes out October 7.

Black WidowElemental Assassin. Jennifer Estep actually released another Elemental Assassin book over the summer, and I neglected to mention it, because I’d only just discovered the series. My bad. Seriously, Estep’s Gin Blanco is the ultimate anti-heroine. She’s a retired assassin with elemental powers over ice and stone. The woman kicks five kinds of ass, knows what she’s good at, and is utterly unapologetic about it. And yet, there’s no question about whether to root for her, because from page one, I liked Gin. Let’s face it, my real life friends aren’t particularly nice either. I’m still not entirely caught up on the Elemental Assassin books, but you better bet I will be by the time Black Widow comes out November 25.

There’s already a nip in the morning air here in Colorado, and soon it’ll be high time to curl up with a cup of tea and get lost in a good book. What’s on your autumn list?

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