I think one of the reasons I love Urban Fantasy is that there’s so many characters I can relate to, characters I can aspire to be like, really cool really strong women characters. Yes, they’re like witches or vampires or werewolves or werecats or preternaturals but they’re still, to me, really good role-models.
They’re strong, kickass independent women who know what they want and have the passion and drive to work towards it. They’re educated and thoughtful, they give a shit about more than just makeup and clothes and hair and trying to find a boyfriend. They don’t need anyone else to look after them or fight their battles for them. And I find that really inspiring.
My favourite character would probably be Hermione Grange. She’s clever and logical, she can be bossy but she’s loyal and you can count on her to have your back and/or save your life. She’s a voice of reason and really protective of her friends. She’s proud of who she is and I love the fact she embodies the spirit of knowledge is power.
I am on such a vampire kick at the moment. I’ve just finished reading the Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris (they started off brilliant but got a bit blah towards the end) and now I’m reading the Anita Blake books by Laurell K Hamilton. I also really love The Vampire Diaries and Twilight and things like that. Urban Fantasy is probably one of my favourite genres, I love the combination of the world as we know it but combined with all the paranormal elements like vampires and werewolves and magic and all.
Now, Jade Rachel, my step-mum, she says I read horror, not fantasy – because to her vampires and werewolves belong firmly in the horror category. I disagree with her. I think they’re fantasy creatures, but because the books aren’t fantasy, they’re in the ‘real’ world, that’s what makes them urban fantasy.
To me, the difference between urban fantasy and horror is the intent. Horror is written to scare you. That’s the difference between, I don’t know ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King and Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris. Stephen King writes a story about vampires to be scary. Charlaine Harris writes a mystery book that just happens to feature vampires.
I’m not saying I don’t like horror. I don’t tend to read horror – maybe I should look into it more? Coming at it from a fantasy perspective, start with the vampire horror books and see where that takes me? But for now, I think I’ll stick to my urban fantasy worlds