21 Addicting Urban Fantasy Books to Read Now

best urban fantasy books to read now
21 Addicting Urban Fantasy Books to Read Now 27

Urban fantasy books are some of our favorite types of fantasy novels. It’s always so fun to imagine our own world filled with magic and mythical creatures.

Some of the urban fantasy stories below are set in a world just like ours, while others are set in city settings full of magic at every turn. You’ll find some romance picks in there too.

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What are Urban Fantasy Books?

An urban fantasy book is a subgenre of fantasy in the modern world. Books Like Zodiac Academy and Twilight are perfect examples of this genre.

Best Urban Fantasy Books

crescent city

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

House of Earth and Blood is the first in a new series by Sarah J. Maas, of ACOTAR fame. It’s an urban fantasy – and tells the story of Bryce Quinlan and her bodyguard, Hunt Athalar. Together, they are trying to uncover the source of the murders and series of strange events happening around Crescent City.

This wild ride was filled with skyscrapers, cellphones, and video surveillance, but also fairies, werewolves, angels, demons, and witches with history and power.⁣

My initial turn-off of too many names/places/tribes/species types was quickly overcome by the insane world-building and a story that kept me up until 3 a.m. Head over to our guide on all of Sarah J. Maas’s books if you want more from this amazing author. This is one of the best urban fantasy books I have ever read.

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Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

For years, the Owens women have known that their bad luck is because of a curse. This book is the first book in the Practical Magic series. I just adore this tale of magic, family, and sisterhood. At this point, this is one of the best urban fantasy books and it is truly iconic.

Gillian and Sally are sisters who have been raised by their two aunts. They both want to leave their small Massachusetts town. But, when Gillian gets into trouble, she runs to Sally for help.

The trouble comes back to haunt them and when a hunky police chief comes to town, the sisters try hard to cover up their family secrets. The powerful bond between the Owens sisters brings this story to life and is a must for a list of books about sisters. This is the first published book in the Practical Magic series and the one I recommend you read first.

If you love adult fantasy books, check out: Practical Magic Books in Order and More Witchy Books for 2023. This is a must-read if you love witch books and my favorite of all the Alice Hoffman Books.

Vampire Urban Fantasy Books

The southern girl's guide to slaying vampires and other vampire books

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

I do not usually like horror but I love thrillers, book clubs, and vampires so I decided to read this urban fantasy book. I absolutely loved every minute- even when I was completely scared out of my wits. This vampire book will have you on your toes.

This book really is Steel Magnolias meets Dracula. Patricia is a housewife with two kids who don’t appreciate her and a husband who travels a lot. She spends a lot of her time caring for her senile mother-in-law who lives with them. When her elderly neighbor attacks her one night, James comes to the rescue. James seems well-read and well-traveled but Patricia is convinced he is a monster in disguise.

Patricia knows what she sees but nobody else agrees with her. The psychological warfare in this adult fantasy book is next-level creepy – it definitely earns its spot on our best books of 2020 list and is one of the best urban fantasy books I have read! Be warned that this pick from adult fantasy novels is scary and creepy but is one of the best books for fall!

Dead until Dark

Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse #1) by Charlaine Harris

I watched this show before I knew that it was an adult fantasy book series and then I obviously had to read these vampire books as well. Sookie Stackhouse is a waitress at a bar in her small town in Louisiana. She is quiet and keeps to herself except for the fact that she can read people’s minds.

When Bill Compton comes into the bar one night, Sookie cannot hear anything he is thinking and she is quickly infatuated. The feeling is mutual. But when murders start taking place and the two suspects are Bill and Sookie’s womanizing brother, Sookie starts to question her choices. There is nothing PG about this steamy urban fantasy romance series.

Vampire Academy and other vampire books

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Royal vampires and their bodyguards train at the famed Vampire Academy where this book is set. Lissa is a princess and her best friend, Rose, is preparing to be her protector. This is a ya fantasy that is not to be missed.

When a series of crazy events threaten Lissa’s safety, Rose is on a mission to figure out who is behind the threats….. if she doesn’t get distracted while lusting over her teacher first. If you like the Zodiac Academy books, we think you will love this pick from fantasy romance books for teens!

storm front

Storm Front by Jim Butcher

A friend who is an avid fantasy reader recommended this book to me. I had never heard of this series before but, I really enjoyed it and I cannot wait to read the next one in the series. This is the first book in the 17-book series, The Dresden Files.

Wizards, Vampires, and warlocks are all a part of this book in which Harry Dresden is consulting with the Chicago PD on a homicide committed with magic. This is a dark urban fantasy series that will keep you turning pages. If you love vampires, this is one of the fantasy books for adults that is a must-read.

Guilty Pleasures and other vampire books

Guilty Pleasures: An Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Novel by Laurell K. Hamilton

Anita Baker is a vampire hunter who is forced to help the master vampire figure out who is behind the recent vampire murders plaguing their town. It gave me adult Buffy the Vampire Slayer vibes. This is one of the vampire books that is not for the faint of heart. This is an urban fantasy romance that is erotic, to say the least.

While the first book in this series isn’t terribly romantic, my understanding is that it gets quite steamy as the series progresses. As in erotic-level steamy, so prepare yourself for that before diving in.

If you are looking for more Vampire Books, check out our list!

Fae Urban Fantasy Books

Glimmerglass and more fae books

Glimmerglass by Jenna Black

This was a fun quick YA read from our list of fae books. Dana Hathaway is a half-human, half-Faerie 16-year-old.  She leaves her alcoholic mother to go to Avalon and meet her father for the first time. 

Avalon is the gateway to the fairy realm and she will soon question who she should trust when she discovers she is a Faeriewalker, someone who can travel between the human and faerie world. Now, that she is caught between two worlds, she does not know who to trust and everyone seems to want something from her. This YA fantasy book is a fun and quick read if you are looking for books like ACOTAR and is fun read if you are looking for urban fantasy books.

Zodiac Academy and more books set in college and high school

Zodiac Academy: The Awakening by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti

Whew. I have found my newest YA Fantasy series addiction. Orphan twins Tory and Darcy find out they are actually Fae after their 18th birthday. And not just any Fae, they are the heirs to the throne and they only need to graduate from Zodiac Academy to claim their throne.

The problem comes in the form of the 4 Heirs – The boys in each elemental order who have been raised to share the throne and rule Solaria together in the Twins’ absence.

They aren’t planning to give up their claim anytime soon and they use their considerable magic in the air, fire, earth, and water elements to put these girls to the test.

This urban fantasy series is on fire hot, with lots of steam, bullying romance, and deadly situations. Even though this is one of a few great books set in high school, do NOT read this one if you are under 18. But if you are looking for books like ACOTAR, you’ll devour this one too! Or check out our list of books like Zodiac Academy!

If you love Fae Books, you can check out our entire list.

Dark Academia Urban Fantasy Books

Ninth House and 21 Adult Books Similar to Harry Potter

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Alex Stearn is the sole survivor of a horrible homicide. While recovering in the hospital, she is offered a chance to attend Yale on a full scholarship.

She finds the Secret Societies of Yale, each practicing a unique type of magic. There are so many things about this urban fantasy book that I love. It is filled with magic, unlike anything you have ever read before. It has fantasy, secret societies, magic, and mystery. I could not put it down.

This book about secret societies is definitely at the top of my list and it is perfect for fans of dark academia. If you are a huge fan of Leigh Bardugo, this is her first adult book and we could not help compiling a list of books just like it. It is also perfect if you are looking for books like The Da Vinci Code.

discovery of witches

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness

If you love the witch aspect of Harry Potter, Vampires, fantasy books, or time travel books then you will love The All Souls trilogy. This adult fantasy novel explores the history of witches, demons, and vampires.

Diana Bishop is a witch who accidentally recovers an ancient book that has been missing for hundreds of years. In doing so, she triggers her long-forgotten magic and opens the door for vampires, witches, and demons to search out Diana and the book.

This urban fantasy book about secret societies, witches, vampires, and more is a blend of heart-pounding action, historical fiction, and romance with the perfect mix of fantasy as well. If you have read this dark academia novel and loved it, you should check out our 9 Magical Books Like A Discovery of Witches! This is definitely one of the best fantasy books for adults I have read.

If you love witch books, we have a list of Books About Witches to read now. It’s also on our list of adult books similar to Harry Potter!

The magicians

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Quentin Coldwater is a high school student obsessed with the made up world of Fillory.  He finds himself admitted to a magical college that is both secret and elite. If you are looking for books set in college, this one has an almost cult-like following.

The best way I can describe this series is if Harry Potter was admitted to Hogwarts in College.  It has a different, darker feel but it is fun, imaginative, and entertaining. The magic in this school is definitely a little bit dark and steamy and for this reason, is perfect for a list of dark academia novels. If you love urban fantasy books, you must read this series of books like Harry Potter. This is a witch book unlike any other.

Dark Academia

25 Addicting Dark Academia Books to Read Now

Are you looking for more dark academia books? Check our this list!

Urban Fantasy Romance Books

Twilight

Twilight (The Twilight Saga) by Stephanie Meyer

Twilight started a phenomenon and obsession with vampires in the same way that Harry Potter created an obsession with magic. This is my opinion but I am sticking with it. This is a must-read young adult fantasy book and one of the best young adult fantasy series.

This vampire series is lacking the gore and fear factor and makes up for it with an amazing romance. When Bella Swan goes to live with her father, she is immediately drawn to Edward Cullen, a mysterious teenager with an old soul. Soon, she discovers he is a vampire. I will not ruin the rest of this cult-like pick from vampire books. But, if you have not read this vampire book yet, what are you waiting for?

It is an iconic urban fantasy series. This love story definitely qualifies as one of the best romance novels of all time. If you love vampire books, you can also check out our list of the best fantasy books for teens.

fallen

Fallen by Lauren Kate

I picked up the first two books in this YA fantasy series after turning in a few books and quickly fell in love with the first book and the story of Daniel and Luce’s love.

Luce has been sent to Sword and Cross boarding school, a place for other troubled kids like her. The minute she gets to the school, Daniel catches her eye but he will not give her the time of day. But there is more to Daniel and Luce will discover his secrets no matter what the cost.

This Fae series is addicting. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. If you are looking for romance books about second chances (or third or fourth), you will love this book. If you are into Rhysand, Azriel, Cassian, and the other winged warriors of the Night Court, then you will love this series of books like A Court of Thorns and Roses.

Find this book in Fae Books / Best Fantasy Books for Teens / Urban Fantasy/

neon gods

Neon Gods by Katee Robert

I was expecting a modern retelling of Hades and Persephone’s love story from the description – I was not expecting a book like Fifty Shades of Grey!

WHEW… this was one STEAMY story! I wasn’t quite prepared for how devious Hades was in this version. I did love seeing Olympus in a modern setting and I really enjoyed how Hades and Persephone outwitted the rest of the 13 in this grumpy sunshine romance.

While I liked the story a great deal, if you aren’t into erotica, you won’t want to pick up this adult fantasy novel. This is the first in a series of Greek mythology retellings and is a great urban fantasy romance book.

storm and fury

Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I loved the Disney cartoon Gargoyles when I was a little girl, so when I saw a YA Fantasy book that is also a paranormal romance book, I knew I needed it. I read this to help ease me out of my House of Earth and Blood book hangover and it was a perfect read. This pick from fantasy romance books for

It’s actually a spin-off of one of Armentrout’s other YA fantasy book series, which I didn’t know until after I read the story. I didn’t feel like I missed anything having read this first. Gargoyles are Wardens out to fight demons and protect humans, and one special human in particular. This urban fantasy is as much romance as fantasy.

ultimate list of romance

Ultimate List of Romances

If you love all things romance, then this is the list for you! We have this list carefully divided by sub-genres like second-chance romance books, romcoms, and more.

Urban Fantasy Books About Witches

the ex

The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

This is the most charming Halloween romance book about witches EVER. I don’t think I’ve read anything quite like it, but it’s perfect for the spooky season and a perfect book for fall.

Nine years ago Rhys Penhallow broke Viviane Jones’ heart and so she cursed him. Now he’s back in the town his family founded to infuse magic back into the ley lines but everything goes wrong!

As his curse takes over the town, Rhys and Vivi have to work to end the curse and restore the right magic back to the town…if they can keep their rekindled romance at bay long enough!

This is one of the most fun urban fantasy romance books on this list. This is one of the adult fantasy novels you will not want to miss. If you love second chance romance books, this is such a great pick.

Weyward and more of the best Summer reads 2023

Weyward by Emilia Hart

This is such a well-thought-out book and one of the best witch books I have read in a while. This adult fantasy book follows three Weyward women. In 2017, Kate is fleeing an abusive partner to her great-aunt’s cottage. In 1619, Altha is awaiting her own witch trial and in 1942 we meet Violet whose father keeps her trapped in her house because she cannot fit into what society expects of her.

Each of these women finds themselves and who they are as the story progresses and I found myself completely sucked in. I loved this debut urban fantasy novel and I cannot wait to see what comes next from this author. It is also a perfect book to read if you love the Practical Magic Series or the All Souls Trilogy. If fantasy books are your favorite, you will love this pick from ultimate beach reads 2023.

hazel wood

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

This is such an original book that is a fairy tale (think original Grimm’s tales as opposed to Disney) that meets the modern day.  Alice is 17 when she learns about the existence of magic and that the bad luck that has been following her may not be luck at all.

I kept thinking about what would have happened to Harry Potter if he did not know about magic until he was 17. This YA fantasy book like Harry Potter is so original and fun, I knew I had to include it in this list. It is also a fun original urban fantasy book.

If you love books about witches, check out this great list.

More Urban Fantasy Books

All of Us Villains

All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman

Seven families compete every twenty years over control of high magick. When the Blood Moon rises, the blood veil falls and each family chooses one child to compete to the death. The stakes are high and the prize is epic.

I loved this urban fantasy book and it left me simultaneously freaked out and wanting more. The parents in this book are brutal and willing to sacrifice their children willingly. It is perfect for fans of The Hunger Games, but, the magical competition in this book makes it perfect for a list of books like The Night Circus. This is one of the must-read young adult fantasy books.

The Atlas

The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

There are so many twists and turns to this fantasy dark academia novel, I am not sure where to begin. I do know that I will be reading the next book!

The Alexandrian Society members are the guardians of knowledge from the greatest civilizations that have ever existed. Six of the most brilliant magical academicians are chosen every decade to take their place in this secret society. Five will go on the secure a life filled with all the wealth and power they could dream of.

When the candidates of this decade are chosen, they each have powerful abilities that could lead to greatness or destruction. When The Society may not be everything it appears, will they have to knowledge and the ability to recognize it before it is too late? This is one of the books about secret societies that has an almost cult-like following and is an urban fantasy book you will not want to miss.

mortal engines

Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve

I had heard so much about this book and was excited to read it.  I have a hard time not comparing this young adult fantasy book to the Divergent Series and The Hunger Games which were both amazing. 

This book is part fantasy and part sci-fi in a world of predator cities. Giant cities chase small towns and devour them in an effort to survive. Of all the urban fantasy books, this one closely resembles sci-fi.

Find this book in Books Like the Hunger Games / YA Dystopian Books / Urban Fantasy Books

Which of these urban fantasy books is your favorite?

YA Fantasy Header 1

Ultimate List of YA Fantasy

If fantasy books are your favorite books, then these are the perfect book lists for you. We carefully divided them into sub-genres.

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