Best Urban Fantasy Books

All Books That Fit into the Contemporary Fantasy Category
Magic in the Metropolis: Discover the Best Urban Fantasy Books

This is perhaps one of the more difficult sub-genres to place books in simply because it’s so open-ended in terms of what can be included. The one quintessential element of every urban fantasy novel is that it contains magical elements set within the real world.

Quite often, the magical elements present in the real world remain unknown to most of the world, except for a few select denizens of this “unseen” realm; these denizens may include witches, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, faeries, and other supernatural entities – all co-existing with the real world.

When it comes to incorporating magic into the urban fantasy setting, there are several ways:

Magic is mysterious and hidden and the protagonist suddenly discovers it exists Magic is hidden; protagonist is part of that world (The Dresden Files) Magic is hidden or never existed but was suddenly introduced to the world and its presence is felt or known to some degree (Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, futuristic fantasies) Magic exists and is known in the world (Anita Blake).

One trend recently has been the popularity of the detective/noir with urban fantasy; you’ll typically have some down-and-out protagonist who’s a supernatural detective/investigator who, perforce of his job, delves into the supernatural realm that exists within the real world. 

Vampire urban fantasy is also quite popular, with vampires co-existing (often ruling from the shadows) with normal humans, with either a half vampire/full vampire who identifies with the humans and becomes some sort of champion for the human cause.

Many of the urban fantasy tales are slotted into the vampire romance category, for which we've created a separate list.

There are so many urban fantasy books out there, we've tried to provide a balanced list of some of the best urban fantasy books in the genre; this list draws on a wide range of completely different urban fantasy: some good old classic vampire fiction, Celtic mythology, epic-fantasy-meets-urban fantasy, and even some good old horror.

Harry Dresden is a wizard. He has decided to use his power to solve minor crimes to make a living, so he opens up his own private eye firm, the only one in Chicago that has its own wizard. When the police have a case that involves black magic, they come to Harry, who quickly agrees to take it on since business stinks. However, Harry has forgotten that magic requires a wizard and black magic requires a powerful black arts wizard, who is already aware of Harry and his reputation. Given that Harry has already crossed the mob and been put on a sort-of magical probation, the private eye's troubles are just beginning. This series is a great mix of the class private eye fiction along with the supernatural, magic arts.Why It Made the List The Dresden Files are a much beloved series which had a short stint on TV. While the television show bombed, the series of books keeps getting better and better. Nothing like starting with the first in the series. The character is well-drawn with a strong voice. Definitely recommended.'Read It If You Like'private eye novels, magic, wizards

Books in Dresden Files Series (16)

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There aren't a lot of private eye wizards, but there are a number of books in this series


He writes stories where castration, rape, skull-crushing, and child sacrifice are parred for the course. So it should come as no surprise that George R.R. Martin conquered the sub-genre of horror fantasy before he wrote A Song of Ice and Fire. It's much (MUCH) more subtle than the series he's most famous for “something you'll need to keep in mind if you plan to read Fevre Dream. And you should. Why it made the list thanks to Twinkle Toes Twilight and the many vomit-inducing teenage wet dreams it spawned, vampires have lost much of their mythos. Long before that, Martin published a tightly written tale that combines elements of horror with urban fantasy in a thrilling urban fantasy. If you're experiencing the same kind of vampire fatigue as the rest of the intelligent world, you might be tempted to avoid this book. But that fatigue is exactly why you should read it. Because it will erase the memories of Stephanie Meyer's brand of sparkly literary poison. As with all things Martin, you won't find this a comfortable journey. The story is complex and "as always“ the writing is beautiful. You can say two things about Martin: First, that he's a twisted sunnuvabitch, and second, that he has a way with words that few people do. The action doesn't move quickly in Fevre Dream, but that only serves to heighten the suspense. You will experience real frights, but nothing gory enough to limit it to a horror story.

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If you like horror fantasy

you should read Terror by Simmons (also on this list). Delicious and spine-tingling scary. Raymond Feist's Faerie Tale is also another great "scary" standalone "horror tale."

And of course, I should recommend other vampire fiction. There's a million vampire books out there, but there are a handful that stand out above the rest. Here's my recommendations for other vampire fiction worth reading: Dracula by Bram Stoker -- the book that launched a thousand imitations -- is a must read. Salem's Lot by Steven King ties together the classic King-style horror (small town where residents are disconnected from each other where pockets of evil can fester and hide, a few good people who band together to fight evil,etc). I Am Legend by Richard Matheson which is sort of survivor meets Dracula. And Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons -- a good book by a damn good author. For a Vampire book that does something new with the genre, read Peeps by Scott Westerfield.

School fantasy is often aimed at children, and it's very successful at hitting that market. It's much harder to appeal exclusively to adults, and that's where The Magicians shines. Rather than the typical twelve-year-old protagonist, it tells the story of a high-school student not yet aware of his powers. Quentin Coldwater is obsessed with fantasy books, an outcast, and somewhat depressed. When given the opportunity to study magic, he jumps on it, but quickly learns it’s not as fun as it seems. In The Magicians, spells are hard. Learning magic is tedious and requires background knowledge of language and history. Quentin finds himself frustrated at his progress, no longer the prodigy he used to be. From there, the book only gets darker. The antagonist has no mercy, magic can kill simply through accidents, and drug use is rife. Lev Grossman stands in stark defiance of convention, refusing to sugar-coat magic and creates a tense and compelling story as a result.

Books in The Magicians Series (2)

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Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

You might want to give Susan Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell a read. Like Lev Grossman's The Magicians, it's a story about magic in a world that supposedly has no magic. Both novels veer from the usual fantasy conventions, weighing in as more than just "fantasy." I like to call these "literary fantasy." This novel, however, heralds back to the Victorian era and features a more conventional sort of story (that borrows heavily from the likes of a Jane Austen novel in language an description) and is NOT a postmodern take on the fantasy genre that The Magicians is.

The Night Circus

For another novel about Magicians in training, you might like The Night Circus. It's about two young magicians locked in deadly conflict trying to outperform the other who are both part of a magical circus. It's a rich and intoxicating read, most decidedly literary and one of the best fantasy books of 2011.

Harry Potter

Harry Potter. Yes, if you like The Magicians, read Harry Potter  the titular character who is deconstructed by Grossman and reformed into a far more complex and troubled and fallible version as the character Quinton.

The Wizard of Earthsea

If we are going to follow that rabbit down the rabbit hole into the dark and murky literary past, seeking the origin of boy-goes-to-magic school to become a wizard, we might as well get to one of the sources. If Potter made it a pop culture thing, then Ursula Le Guine helped bring it alive like no other author. Yes, I'm talking about The Wizard of Earthsea. Before there was Harry Potter, there was Ged.

Ocean at the End of the Lane

Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaimen. One thing I love about The Magicians is it moves the simpler children's fiction into the adult realm with an adult perspective. It's Narnia for grown-ups.One book about that perfectly captures the child realm but transforms it for adults is Gaimen's Ocean at the End of the Lane. Thematically, Gaimen does the same thing as Grossman. While both works are completely different in scope and plot, they do take a child's perspective but remake it for an adult which changes it.

The Secret History

The Secret History by Donna Tart. Not specifically fantasy per say, but the writing and tone, and characterization are somewhat similar. A young group of students at a college discover another way to think about their life and the ramifications of this change everything about how they live.


Anathem by Neal Stephenson. A science fiction story about a young boy who's a sort of monk and finds out the wider world is a complicated place.

Narnia & Alice in Wonderland

The Magicians alludes to a number of popular fantasy classics. Alice in Wonderland is one such work and The Chronicles of Narnia. In fact, if you dig down a bit, The Magican books are a postmodern version of Narnia with the friendly animals revealed to be monsters.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is an epic tale of the rebirth of magic in nineteenth-century England. Taking place among the regular historical occurrences of the time, the main difference between this world and ours is that magic is real and works. Rather – it did work, until everyone began to study the theory of magic instead of doing magic.But then, to everyone's great surprise, emerges Mr. Norrell, a magician who can do magic. He takes society by storm when he brings a young woman back from the dead and becomes one of the main reasons Napoleon hasn't overrun the British navy. Then, Jonathan Strange shows up. Another gentleman, who also practices real magic, he becomes the pupil of Mr. Norrell. Magic is disputed, and two great magical minds fight against a background of evil fairies, high kings, and the spirit of sorcery in England.Why it's on the listSusanna Clark managed to write an entirely enjoyable novel. Her expert use of diction helped create a unique tone that makes any reader consume the book as fast as possible.Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell has it all: memorable and richly drawn characters, vivid setting, poignant atmosphere, action, adventure, humor, horror, and writing that is pitch perfect on every page. You will also like the fact that it's long - when a story is this enchanting you want the experience to last a while.This novel defies comparison to any other novels; it's in a class by itself. But if someone was to compare it to something else it'd probably be most accurate to compare it to something written in the 19th century, like Dickens. The story ends in a satisfying way and in one that's true to its internal logic, but Clarke leaves just enough unfinished to provide the perfect premise for a future novel.

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Fantasy about Magicians and Magic Schools...

The Night Circus

For a poignant story about competing magicians with a similar feel to it in tone and writing, read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Fantastic book and perhaps the CLOSEST similar read to Susanna Clarke's work that I've found. Definitely literary in tone and style. 

The Magicians 

A remarkable trilogy by Lev Grossman that subverts many of the fantasy tropes. It also features a precise and detailed breakdown of a magic system that's internally consistent. If you like the emphasis on learning magic following consistent rules, with a captivating story, awesome prose, and many deep themes explored, then The Magician is the best you are going to find. Arguably labeled as literary fantasy, though not so high brow that you can't enjoy it if you like more low-brow style fantasy (i.e. Sanderson books).

Moontide Magic Rise

Want more good books about 'magicians'? You may also find that you like Sean Russell's Moontide Magic Rise duology. It's kind of the same premise: magic has vanished from the world, a couple of people are trying to bring magic back to the world, etc. In my opinion, this is the closest book/series that you'll find to Susanna Clarke's work. 


Magician by Raymond E. Feist. If you want to forego all the literary aspects of fantasy and just opt to a straightforward classic style fantasy about a coming of age with a young boy becoming a powerful magician, then you could also read the standard epic village boy to might magician in Feist's Magician.

Literary Fantasy (fantasy with deep themes and beautiful writing):

The Golem and the Jinni

The Golem and the Jinni. Another book you may just enjoy if you like fantastical tales that are touching and incredibly well written. Definitely considered literary fantasy. 

Tooth & Claw

TOOTH & CLAW by Joe Walton. Dragons living in a Victorian Society? I dare you to try it! Read if you like the rich Victorian fantasy setting present int Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.


For an epic fantasy series about fairies, you could read Shadowmarch by Tad Williams. There's lots of little folklore tales about fairies and elder creatures scattered throughout the story -- something that Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell has in abundance.

Good Omens

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchet. There's a lot of Brtitishness to this novel that you might just like if you liked Clarke's work.


If you like the slow pedantic pace of Clarke's work, the intense focus on characters and descriptions which almost seem to the point of excess but (finally) a fully realized magical world and with a gripping plot by the end of it, look no further than the majestic Gormenghast books.

Lord Dunsany

For the rich use of the English language, read Lord Dunsany's magnificent The King of Elfland's Daughter. This is one of those proto-fanasy classics in the genre that few have read.

Dying Earth

Jack Vance Dying Earth series. Science Fantasy, but oh god the use of the English language.

The Stolen Child

Are you a fan of fairies in a fantasy tale? Another book that deals with old fairy folk tales is Keith Donohue's The Stolen Child. A novel about the search for identity, The Stolen Child makes for a compelling read. The Stolen Child, like Susanna Clarke's work, is very well written. These books are sort of your "out of the box" fantasy. It's quite refreshing to see the fantasy genre has more to it than epic fantasy.

'Unique' is a vastly overused word. It has about as much meaning as Kim K's twitter feed. But in the case of Mythago Wood, it's warranted. Firstly, Holdstock tells the story from the protagonist's point of view – in first person journal entries – with intermittent letters from the other characters to add an extra layer to the narrative. This style could be overly self-aware and nothing could be more irritating than reading self-involved diary entries from a whiny character. (Can you imagine Frodo's diary?) Luckily, the writing is clear and doesn't sacrifice pace in favor of internal processing. (Bella Swan, this means you.) The reason it works so well is that you can't help but be pulled into this world. The book explores philosophical elements and, through Steven's diary entries, the reader is forced to confront them. Why it made this listIt's not often that a book manages to capture the imagination, while giving the audience the space to consider tougher questions – without forfeiting any of the plot. It's a fine balancing act that Holdstock has achieved. None of this takes away from the beauty of the forest environment he's created. It manages to be a well paced mythic fantasy that asks a lot of the reader, without it being emotionally exhausting. Maybe if Stephen Donaldson wrote The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant with as much care, fewer people would use his books as stairs for mini-labradoodles and hamsters.

Books in Mythago Wood Series (9)

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In creating this world, Powers borrowed ideas from all over the place. Mythology, Ancient Egyptian theology, quantum theory, and classical literature“ they're all used in The Anubis Gates. It's a ridiculous combination of ideas, but it's the reason why this book is so entertaining. Why it made the list It's clear that Powers is an ambitious writer. He has zero qualms about chucking whatever he can into the mix. He doesn't even seem concerned about it making sense. And yet, it does. With the diverse concepts thrown around in the book, the plot is complex. But you'll never feel lost it in. It's a testament to his talent that he's able to create clarity out of chaos. This is also a title that comfortably sits between many genres, without veering too far in any direction. There's just enough humor to keep it entertaining without turning it into a Pratchett-style spectacle. There are enough thrilling moments to keep you entertained without it becoming a (pre-born-again) Anne Rice novel. While the characters in The Anubis Gates aren't the well drawn, the plot is excellent, and unpredictable and will keep you guessing until the end“ where the loose threads are pulled together into a tight “and satisfying“ conclusion.

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If you like

the rip-roaring adventure of The Anubis Gate, another tale that comes to mind is On Stranger Tides which is another awesome standalone novel by Time Powers (and the source material for the new-upcoming 4th Pirates of the Caribbean movie). You can also give Powers' other novels(all standalone) a shot too. They're always a mix of the fantastic and the tangible with a good dose of (sometimes weird) adventure thrown in. And if you like the whole "mythical elements coming to life" aspect of The Anubis Gate,then read Mythago Wood which is a novel about ancient myths coming to life. Neil Gaiman's American Gods and his excellent Anansi Boys are two other books in which anthropomorphized ancient myths struggle to coexist with modernity.

Most (all?) of Gaiman’s works are urban fantasy. The crowd favorite is Neverwhere, which is an interesting take on the whole multiverse conceit found in science fiction. The premise is that people can fall through the cracks on the ground and find themselves in an alternate London (called London Below). This is a world of talking rats, of shadows and saints, monsters and unlikely heroes. And into this bizarre world of London Below falls the unlikely hero of Richard, an ordinary man with an ordinary life who, in an act of Samaritan kindness, find himself caught up in a world of mystery, magic, and danger. A fantastic novel and his most highly rated. His American Gods is another standout novel and the one that put him on the map as one of the top urban fantasy writers. Similar Recommendations

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Mythago Wood
You'll like the concept and literary power of Mythago Wood by Robert Homestock. 

Anubis Gates
You'll also like Anubis Gates by Time Powers which combines some of the same story telling tropes (normal man gets sucked into a mysterious world of magic, gods, and strange dimensions). 

Un Lun Dun

If you like the zanyness of Neverwhere and the hidden alternate world of London behind the cracks of reality, you should give China Mieville's Un Lun Dun a read -- it's a story about a girl who find herself caught up in another version of London, a place where she seems to be the hero.
Charles de Lint is one of the founders of the Urban Fantasy movement – his influential works have helped shape the entire genre as a whole. And as one of the progenitors, how can he not be mentioned? He also writes beautifully, really having a solid grasp on how to write good quality prose. Charles de Lint has written plenty of novels, but The Blue Girl may just be his best and is a good Segway into his greater Newford tales as a whole. The story itself departs a bit from the typical young adult story of angst, fitting in, and finding who you really are. Charles de Lint throws a few wrenches into the cogs of the typical teen angst story by throwing in a ghost story into the mix. It’s an interesting departure and one that works. What makes Charles De Lint’s novels so readable is that underneath all those universal truths we identify with there’s a supernatural layer to world that influences things. It adds a sort of atmosphere to his novels.
This one by Tad Williams, a master at writing well plotted, rich fantasy tales.This is his second foray into urban fantasy territory (first being War of the Flowers – another well recommended urban fantasy tale) and looks to be one of his best works in a decade.Dirty Streets of Heaven follows in the dectective-noir tradition of The Dresden Files, but it's no clone at all. Williams puts something new into the genre and my feeling here is that Butcher has some serious competition for the Urban Fantasy crown with Williams' new series. Out of all the various contenders for the throne, this series has every potential to be "the next" Dresden series.

Books in Bobby Dollar Series (4)

It was in the 80s that the subgenres of fantasy we know today started. One of these – urban fantasy – owes much of its development from War for the Oaks, which was one of the titles that pioneered it. If this is the only reason you decide to give it a try, you'll find it's time well spent.Why it made the list Some authors get so caught up in their own worlds that they can't bring themselves to the level of the reader when explaining the details of their creation. When this happens, the explanations they provide can seem patronizing. Bull never does this to the reader. Instead, she gives you enough information to understand the War for the Oaks universe, but trusts that you have the intelligence to fill in the blanks. In doing away with the overly condescending and lengthy descriptions that many fantasies are plagued with, action and character development are given all the attention.Bull's writing style is uncomplicated but not overly simple, making it easy to read. She's an excellent storyteller and – maybe because she draws on things that she experienced in real life – the magic elements feel as much a part of our reality as her tales about being in a rock band. Can you really think of anything more entertaining than a rock musical with faeries? That's what Bull has created here.You should already be convinced that this deserves some attention. But if you need another reason to do so, then the characters in War of the Oaks are it. Eddi, the main protagonist, is easy to like but it's the faerie Phouka – a shape changing, mischievous Prince lookalike – that makes this book so much fun to read.

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What can I

possibly recommend for faerie-related novels. Quite frankly,there's a zillion fantasy books about fairies, from romantic ones to dark horror ones, to sappy Twilight teeny-bopper series. I'll recommend the best I've stumbled across.

For the closest book

I've read that's similar to War for the Oaks, give Holly Black's Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale a good read. It's an edgy, intensely gritty modern faerie tale that should satisfy Emma Bull fans who those who want a darker sort of story. Ostensibly, it's a YA book (the protagonist is 16), but it's so dark and jaded, I don't see how that's the case.

For another

girl-versus-urban-faeries-and-finds-self-empowerment tale, you can give the Wicked Lovely series a read. This one is less dark than Holly Black's Tithe and it's several books long. Women who love romance will especially like the series.

If you like

that deal with individuals getting caught up in Faery court wars, Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files feature a wizard who keeps getting mixed up with Faerie politics (especially the fourth book in the series, Summer Knight, which is only about Faerie politics and intrigue).

For an interesting

take on the whole Faerie mythos (about a boy who is stolen away from his parents and forced to live with Faeries) read Keith Donohue's The Stolen Child.

This is perhaps not Mieville’s best work but it’s certainly the most “urban fantasy” of his novels. Typical of  every Mieville novel, there’s a lot of weird stuff going on with bizarre characters and an equally bizarre setting. The city itself becomes a sort of character in this novel. This is one of those novels that you will love or you’ll hate. But it’s a good entrance into Mieville’s strange worlds.The story centers around Sual Garamond, a regular Joe who gets dragged into a world he never knew existed and must confront the forces that seek to use him for their own power games.

Books in Asian Series (5)

A superb mix of suspense, humor, fantasy, horror, and romance. A blend of Raymond Chandler and Jim Butcher. This one is a detective noir along the lines of a Harry Dresden novel (Jim Butcher actually provides a referral for the Nightside books) , but with an altogether different premise. John Taylor is a down-and-out detective with a “knack” for finding things, including people. Now he’s got his hardest case yet: to solve the disappearance of a missing woman. To do so, he must descend into the Nightside – an otherwordly secret realm in the dark heart of London, where time and place have no meaning; a place where it’s always 3 am, a place where something dark is always lurking around the corner; a place that even rats flee; a place where reality and horror merge.

Books in Nightside Series (17)

A surprising cocktail of Chinese Fantasy, detective fiction, and science fiction that manages to still taste good. The novel is set in a futuristic China (future Shanghai) and incorporates high technology and the supernatural. Overall it’s a clever and pretty absorbing novel. The best description for this would be the Asian version of The Dresden Files. Inspecter Chen is a cop assigned to special cases that involve Hell; basically, he’s the go-to guy for dealing with anything supernatural. Normally, humans wouldn’t stand a chance against the forces of Hell, but Chen has an ace up his sleeve – he’s been granted the protection of the goddess Kuan Yin and well, his wife is a demon. This series won’t blow your socks off, but I recommend it because it manages to smash a bunch of genres that normally never touch into something that works and works well.

Books in The Detective Inspector Chen Series (4)

I quite liked this one. I think it's probably the best next It’s dark, gritty, and it dose new things in the genre. Yes, it’s got some of the elements of the Dresden novels, but there’s enough here that it’s no simple clone. What’s particularly refreshing is that protagonist is not some super powered magical freak that features in most of the supernatural detective-noir books out there. He’s basically a normal guy who gets caught up in power games that are far beyond his ability to deal with and he’s just trying hard as hell to walk away in one piece. He’s basically a lower power version of Dresden without all the magical tricks. It makes the novel interesting knowing the hero can’t simply pull out yet-another-magical trick out of the bag to one up the bad guys. Highly recommended. there.

Books in Twenty Palaces Series (2)

This was Mieville’s first foray into YA fantasy and boy was it a good one; he manages to subvert the standard fantasy formula, giving the reader a story that’s both new and completely unexpected in some ways. There is a subtle message here to the reader: don’t wait for someone to save you, seize the initiative and challenge the authority if you have your doubts about the veracity of something. Un Lun Dun is a strange, wonderfully wacky world with vivid characters and creatures popping out of every page – from the omni present evil “smog” seeking to destroy the world, to the flying buses that sail through the air, to the umbrella wielding hero that floats in and out of the story like the sentient umbrellas he commands. Highly recommended for readers of any age, though it’s particularly cute for young readers who’ll get a kick out of the whole zany story.

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For a somewhat similar take on an “alternate reality London”, give Simon R. Green’s Nightshade series a read too. Also Richard Kadrey's Sandman Slim series

Yes, everyone has probably read this. In fact, these these may have been the books that got you started reading fantasy in the first place. These books do make for a good read and as the series progresses, the plot gets darker and darker. Read the books, you'll enjoy them. They are not what I consider the best of the best in the fantasy genre, but they are a far cry from the worst! Highly recommended reading for those looking for a nice introduction into the fantasy genre.
Post-apocalyptic urban fantasy. The world has changed – the lights don’t work, cars are no longer functional and magical creatures now roam the landscape. The world is no longer the same place. Pete Garey, a young boy, has been left to fend for himself. But now, he’s met a unicorn and his life will never be the same again. This is an older novel (it came out in the 80s) and a classic favorite. It’s an intelligent and mature read – don’t let the “unicorn” premise scare you away. It’s a magical tale that’s still down to earth with a lot of heart and soul to it and one you’ll soon be recommending to friends. It’s a coming-of-age book in a world gone wrong, a world vastly different, yet every bit as real as our own.
What Twilight really should have been. Think of this as a more adult, more complex vision of Twilight. Basically, on every single level, this series supersedes Twilight.
For those who love Twilight, the next step should be to read the Sookie Stackhouse novels. The popular True Blood TV series was based on these novels, so if you like True Blood, it’s a given that you should read these novels. The books differ quite a bit  from the TV show in that there is more of a focus on characterization of the protagonist as opposed to the supporting cast. Really, the books are an experience that's different from the movie – you can enjoy both without a problem. Overall, there’s just a whole lot more happening in the book than on the TV show (including a bunch of new and interesting supernatural creatures).The Sookie Stackhouse books have quite a bit of romance thrown into the mix, but unlike the TV series,  there’s not as much as rampant sex (and way less than the Anita Blake series). So it’s racy, but not overly so.For most people, vampire romance novels come down to two players: the Sookie Stackhouse books and the Twilight series. Personally, I prefer the Sookie books because there’s more going on in them than just high schoolish romance.What's even better is that you can buy the boxed 8 set for under 40 bucks now.