5 Reasons To Start Reading #UrbanFantasy #TuesdayBookBlog

What do you know about urban fantasy?

This is a genre that I’m currently enjoying, but admit that until I started reading it, I wasn’t quite sure what it meant!

Like most categories, fantasy has its share of sub-genres, such as alternate history, dark, fairytale, historical, mythical, magical realism, sword and sorcery, romantic…. and urban.

So what is urban fantasy?  Here’s a definition:

Often set in the real world, with aspects of fantasy such as mythical or paranormal beings co-existing with humans – usually with a metropolitan setting.

Let’s expand on that…

  1. Normality is SO yesterday!

Fictional characters of this genre are often nonconformist.  In urban fantasy, the underdog theme is popular, especially if they can rise up against seemingly unbeatable odds. It’s not just the hero, either; fantasy allows the antagonist to be different too, but he or she usually has an arsenal of ‘magical’ weapons or abilities, often with a support team of nasty minions.

2…. but, often, ‘normality’ is what the hero is seeking

Lots of main characters that I’ve read about in urban fantasy just want to live a ‘normal life’. It might mean the security of a family, or having a relationship where no one dies in a moment of passion, or maybe they want a quiet night in with pizza and beer without a demon/angel/ troll or twenty dropping by.

  1.  It’s not who you are, it’s what you do that counts.

Be it a person who is just adjusting to their new magical skills, or someone who has lived with their special ability all their life, not everything the main character does will be good. They may kill off some of the good guys as well as a whole load of bad ones. In the end it’s about ‘doing the right thing’.

  1. Fighting skills

I don’t think I’ve read any urban fantasy that hasn’t involved fight scenes, but the balance has to work.  Few readers want endless battles where the hero hardly gets more than a bloodied knee, nor should the hero have an insta-healing ability, a bit of pain and suffering makes the story more compelling. The opportunity for creative fighting is vast in this genre, with elements of magic and paranormal. Magic protective shields, Goblin weapons enhanced with mysterious durability, and telekinesis all add aspects to a fight scene.

  1. Keeping one foot in reality

So how does ‘urban’ differ from other forms of fantasy? It often links to a town or city with elements of ‘real life’ as opposed to a fantasy which is set in a completely ‘new world’.  For instance cars, aeroplanes, television. Eating in a café, diner or restaurant. Perhaps holding down a recognisable day job; the main character might be a private investigator or a librarian.  The point is that this keeps part of the story tangible, because it’s not all inside a total fantasy world.

If you want to try this genre, here are a few that I can recommend:


(Grave Witch is Book #1)

The Alex Craft series by Kalayna Price



(A Demon Bound is Book #1)

The Imp series by Debra Dunbar

45278317. sy475

Gnosis by Rick Hall


Don’t Touch and One Way Fare by Barb Taub

36521875. sy475

The Heretic by Joseph Nassise

41181577. sy475

(Azimuth is book #1)

The Rahki Chronicles by Rennie St. James

ONE WAY FARE BY @barbtaub #Bookreview #UrbanFantasy #SundayBlogShare

One Way Fare (Null City, #1)One Way Fare by Barb Taub
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One Way Fare is an Urban Fantasy story and I really didn’t know what to expect from just the book cover and even the book description, but it blew me away. I really, really enjoyed it. There are delightful sharp witted characters and a storyline with echoes of “Back To The Future” but with so much more depth, twists and it’s own agenda.

The tale involves a war between the Fallen and Angels, humans and a fourth group who hold powers. There is Null City and a marvellous Metro train which takes passengers back and forth through time. The ticket machine was brilliant it kept reminding me of the “Zoltar speaks” fortune telling machine in the film Big.

In 1972 Gaby Parker works for Accounts-On-Demand in Seattle, she has been requested to help sort out the accounts for Luic Le Muir, a top musician. Gaby has a gift where she can see patterns in numbers, it makes her OCD but she soon believes she has found a route to Luic’s draining financial resources, but he’s not going to like her answers.

In 2012 Leila heads to Provence, France, having just been gifted jewels and a Chateau from her birth mother’s family. She’s met by Thomas Chapel who reveals he must guard Leila from the locals who soon turn nasty. Just when it’s needed the local fountain shows a Metro sign and they descend to a magical platform and safety, alighting on the train which arrives calling itself the 1890 Metro.

Thomas has told her about Nephilium, mixes of Angel and human off-spring and they have a choice about their future when the train stops outside Null City. They can stay in Null City, but they will forget all their non-human life details, or they can travel on further and take their places in a prophecy to help save Null City and stop the war.

This was fun, Gaby and Leila will both have to meet to take their parts in the prophecy, so there are scenes in various time lines and the Metro train is useful transport. There are complexities and twists which kept me on my toes, but I was eager to keep the pages turning and urged the characters onwards. Fabulous read, I think I might just have to read the second book in the series.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

If you would like a FREE copy of this book to read and review yourself, just send an email to barbtaub (at) gmail (dot) com and include your preferred format (Kindle/Nook/PDF)

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT One Way Fare by @barbtaub #bookreview #UrbanFantasy

Today’s team review is from Georgia, she blogs at http://www.georgiarosebooks.com

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Georgia chose to read and review One Way Fare by Barb Taub


One Way Fare by Barb Taub and Hannah Taub

I have enjoyed Barb Taub’s writing for a while now both through her other two books, Don’t Touch and Tales From Null City, which introduced me to Urban Fantasy, and on her blog at www.barbtaub.com. Here I guarantee she will raise at the very least a smile or two if not have you laughing out loud. I have been meaning to get to One Way Fare, written with her daughter Hannah, for a while now and here is my review.

When Gaby Parker goes to sort out the accounting anomalies for Luic little does either of them know that they are being brought together for a much higher purpose. Gaby is a Harmonia, she loves order, sees patterns and has responsibilities in the form of her younger brother and sister as their parents are dead. Luic is a rock star, I imagined something along the lines of Steve Tyler! But so strong are Gaby’s gifts that she says of Luic, “Sure he was pretty – but this was accounting.’ Brilliant!

Leila Rice, adopted, inherits a chateau where she meets Thomas, both are Nephilim and with much reluctance Thomas has been matched with her as her Protector.

At the beginning of this book we see the stories of both Gaby and Leila told in alternate chapters. As more and more connections are made eventually their stories become one as they find they are being brought together as the catalysts for the founding and survival of Null City. Wars are being waged between Heaven and Hell, Haven and Gifts and with very few clues Gaby and Leila have to do something about saving Null City, the place of safety for all with special powers. Although go there and you have to give up those powers and live a normal life.

This is a complex fantastical tale that spins back and forth through time as Gaby and Leila try to find each other and the answers to the reasons why they need to.

There are many surprises along the way, the reveal of Leila’s father to name by one and plenty of moments that will bring you a smile and have you chuckling throughout the tale. I loved the term ‘Celestially disabled’ in particular and the name of Leila’s coffee shop – priceless! And no I’m not giving that away here…

Highly creative and very well written this book is filled with thoroughly likeable characters, both good and evil. There are strong women and gallant hero’s, romance, true love and sadly, but beautifully done, the heartbreaking parting of people I didn’t want to part.

Some of the best bits for me were the wonderful links that connected throughout the story even right back to the Authors Note at the front. I love it when that amount of attention to detail has been given to a book. Originally told and tightly written this is a highly entertaining start to a series of fantasy books that are a joy to read.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com



Rosie’s Book Review Challenge – One Way Fare reviewed by Crystin

Today we have a review from Book Review Challenger Crystin. She blogs at http://crystinlgoodwin.wordpress.com/

Rosie's Book Review Challengers 1

Crystin chose to read and review “One Way Fare” by Barb and Hannah Taub


Here is Crystin’s review;

Title: One Way Fare by Barb Taub and Hannah Taub

Genre: Paranormal Fantasy


What do you get when you have a demon, a half-angel, an accountant with superpowers, and a rock star? A group destined to save the world, apparently.

When the fate of a magical city that allows those with special gifts to live a normal life is threatened, Gaby, Luic, Thomas, and Leila must find a way to save the city and keep history intact. It may be harder than they thought – the angels aren’t necessarily on their side.

One Way Fare was an enjoyable book – the story was interesting, and I found myself wanting to know what was going to happen. I liked the time travel aspects, and the characters were pretty fun to read, too. I did have a few minor problems, though. Without revealing too much, one of the girls ended up with the wrong guy (in my opinion) – there was almost too much emphasis on quoting things I’m not familiar with (I’ve only seen Princess Bride once, and I have no idea what the Evil Overlord’s Manual is …) – and the pacing of the story was a little off. Granted, I usually pick the wrong guy in love triangles, am perfectly aware that I’m hopelessly ignorant of popular culture, and I often have trouble following pacing (mainly because I read too fast). So do take those complaints with a grain of salt.

That said, I did find the book enjoyable, and I’ll definitely pick up the next one to find out what happens next. After all, there are still siblings missing – and maybe there’s still hope for my favorite character.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com