Why Urban Fantasy Works for Me...
There's something about falling into a world that could be ours if you stripped away the demons or the faeries or the vampires. It can be frightening or beautiful, deadly or peaceful. Throw in a little murder and mayhem and I'm as happy as a clam.
What is it about Urban Fantasy that captures my attention? Is it the characters? They *are* generally badasses with a chip of their shoulder and fighting skills that leave their enemies gasping. Gin Blanco, I'm looking at you on this one. The women are strong, the men are alpha (oh, are they!), and the bad guys have a tendency to gut people for looking at them wrong.
I think the thing that draws me in is that these worlds are so wonderfully like ours yet there's no way in hell I'd ever be able to survive in them. I'd fall like a house of cards if someone breathed on me too heavily. I'd run crying to my mama if I ever had to work a murder scene where an unhinged magic user had flayed his victim alive to harvest their power. Thank you to Kara Gillian and her wacky magical shenanigans for that visual.
Urban fantasy tends to lean toward fantastic mysteries. And when I say "fantastic" I mean that they involve both paranormal elements (what was the last UF you read with a plain old everyday human as the killer?) and they tend to be wonderfully gruesome. Many have an overriding mystery arc - What sort of creatures are our good guys up against? Who is the shadow-clad stranger who keeps popping up to dispense timely advice? Why is our hero or heroine being targeted?
The appeal of Urban Fantasy is in the darkness it surrounds itself in. It's deadly and seductive. It fights and it loves. It kills things without warning.
Who doesn't get a kick out of that??