Wednesday, March 15, 2017

What Urban Fantasy Creatures Do You Want To See?

Image result for faeries brian froud

So the cool thing about urban fantasy is the way mythical creatures can be present in the modern world- and there's such a variety of creatures in myth and folklore that invariably some get short shrift. I mean we can all name dozens of books probably that have vampires, werewolves, and the fae. And lots of other creatures show up too, but there are some that I have not seen a lot of. Now I'm fairly new to urban fantasy so some of my picks might be more prevalent than I'm aware of- and by all means, if you have suggestions I'm all ears! But this is a list of creatures I'd like to see more of, especially in UF. 

Brownies/ boggarts - the idea of a little house fae has so many possibilities. In folklore they would help the inhabitants but be careful not to abuse them. And boggarts are commonly an evil version of brownies, or perhaps a crazed brownie gone awry. They're also been known to inhabit marshes and devour those who go astray- I can see a boggart and a will-o-wisp acting in concert. 

Elementals - one of my favorites are elemental spirits. Creatures from an elemental plane such as slyphs from the plane of Air, undines from Water or salamanders from Fire. They might be intelligent or mindless, hostile or not hostile, but possibilities are endless. Would a wind walker be invisible? Could there be a rift to elemental Water at the bottom of the sea, or an enchanted pond? 

Merfolk - many of my readers know I have a thing for merfolk. The idea of beings living under the sea has always fascinated me. I know for me, standing by the ocean or a lake at night, with the waves rolling in and the moon high overhead, it's not hard to imagine a creature rising from the depths and coming ashore. Merfolk could be indifferent or rapacious (not friendly- that's no fun) and the deep sea could be full of them, or perhaps some shamble ashore in the dead of night to take humans, producing -gulp- hybrids. A pleasant idea. 

Will-o-wisps - I'm big on these too. The idea of witchlights drawing a traveler to their doom in a marsh or bog is fun. I like the idea of wisps being creatures that feed off the life force of their victims- as the victim cries out and struggles the 'wisp grows stronger. I don't remember reading much of will-o-wisps but could always use more!

Sprites/ pixies - part of the fae, but there are so many variations. Some are depicted as small humanoids with wings, others as more insect- like and alien. All are pretty different from humans and should never be taken lightly.


44 comments:

  1. I want to see more Chupacabra, Wendigo, other forms of Bigfoot around the world, mutated monsters, kelpies. I like gargoyles and have read a few interesting books with them in it by Lisa Blackwood and Christina Henry. I'm always a sucker for demons and elementals!

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    1. Wendigo! Would love to see those...

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  2. I'd like to see more of a few of those. Others, hmm, I think you have mentioned them all, but sure more from other cultures would be nice

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  3. Oh that's nice! I agree I want more of them too

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  4. Besides the most obvious ones we normally see (vamps, werewolves, etc), I love gargoyles. They are pretty much my favorite "creature." I recently had a book with a gnome as a main character and although it as MG, it was a refreshing change of pace. The will-o-wisps sounds like the making of a great book so yea, I'd be all for some of that and I like shifters that aren't your norm. If you like "odd" or different supernatural beings, you definitely need to pick up Menagerie if you haven't already.

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    1. Gargoyles are awesome. And gnomes! I almost put gmome on the list, I'd love to see them, but I was trying to keep it to ten. I am definitely going to get Menagerie!

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  5. OOOh - definitely yes to elementals and merfolk! I haven't seen Of Shadow and Stone before so I'm off to check that one out.

    Nagas also sound like a good idea and I love shifters - but you're right - we need a variation on the old trope.

    I love seeing Djinni in UF and I wouldn't mind that happening some more. And maybe some completely new fantasy races? I'd also like to see some friendships or sibling relationships come to the forefront rather than HAVING to have a romance.... Just saying!

    Great list Greg!

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    1. Elementals- I need more! And yeah that's a pretty awesome cover?

      Djinnis is a great one. And I agree- I like to see sibling relationships too, it doesn't ALWAYS have to be a romance.

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  6. Great list Greg! Right when I saw the title I thought "gargoyles!" The only books I know of that have gargoyles are Jennifer L. Armentrout's Dark Elements Trilogy. I would love to see more naga as well. They're not as popular, but they would be so interesting to read about! Great post Greg!

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    1. Thanx. And for the tip as well- will check it out. :)

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  7. This is a great list, although I must confess I'm not into the horror genre at all. Yes, I do love vamps and werewolves, but only the romantic type, as in The Twilight Saga. Lol.

    I LOVE reading about merfolk, too!! Although not the horror kind, lol. There are actually quite a few YA books that feature merfolk. I read one titled "Tempest Rising", by Tracy Deebs, a couple of years ago, and there's a sequel-- "Tempest Unleashed", which I need to read. There are many others. I suspect all of these are romance-related, though, so you might not like them. Well, here's a link anyway, so you can check them out:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=ya+books+featuring+mermaids&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

    I would definitely be interested in reading books featuring elementals, but again, nothing horror-related. I'm a HUGE chicken!! Lol.

    Thanks for commenting on my "Can't Wait Wednesday" post! Hope you're having a WONDERFUL day!! :) :) :)

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    1. I'm not super into horror either, although I like a dash of it maybe once in a while? And yeah I like merfolk stories, especially if they're on the creepy side. I like the mysteriousness of it. And yes elementals!

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  8. (I decided to 'fix' my previous comment.)

    P.S. BTW, I LOVE the two book covers you've featured in this post!! I might feature them on my "Shelf Candy Saturday" meme. :) :) :)

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  9. I haven't read a lot of Fantasy fictions so my choices are limited. I'm familiar with vampires and werewolves. So they are my choices. :-D
    Ohh I need to get back to paranormal and urban Fantasy as soon as possible. I miss them.

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    1. I've been getting into urban fantasy more...

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  10. Oooh nice list! I would especially love to see Elementals, they always seem so awesome!! And I think it would be pretty cool to be one, too ;)

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    1. Yes, I'd love to see elementals!

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  11. Brownies and sprites are my absolute favorite. I really liked the brownie in the Spiderwick Chronicles (the film...I never read the books).

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    1. Brownies and sprites are great. Ther are so many possible interpretations of both, and of fae in general. And I think I saw that movie, but I'm a little fuzzy...

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  12. Plus there are so many in different cultures it really expands the fae lists. I also love books with fae featured within!

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    1. I like to see the different interpretations of fae.

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  13. Oooh, I like this list :) I used to be SUPER into reading this kind of stuff in UF, so I've got a few suggestions for you. Some of these you're probably already aware of:

    - Amanda Hocking (her Trylle and Kanin series are an awesome exploration of a unique set of fae things, but her Wake series is awesome for mermaids)

    - Kim Harrison's The Hollow series: has a kick-ass pixie who I love. Also has a gargoyle.

    - Tiana Warner's Mermaids of Eriana Kwai series is pretty good; a VERY unique take. Technically urban fantasy, though they're a bit cut off from modern tech.

    - C. E. Murphy's Heart of Stone series is literally ABOUT a gargoyle and it was one of my favorites! Biggest downside: I don't think the series was ever finished. :/

    - Christi Whitney's Romany Outcasts series is an interesting take on the gargoyle. The books weren't MY personal favorite, but you might like them! They're well written and a great idea!

    Jackaby has a banshee in it; it's not exactly ABOUT a banshee, but it explores some of the lesser-used fairytale type creatures too. I've only read the first book, but I suspect other interesting things get introduced in later books.

    Anita Blake Vampire Hunter by Laurell K. Hamilton actually explores some of the later things on your list too. The series as a whole is mostly about vampires and weres, but there are random other things too (which I why I used to love the series so much!), including nagas, shapeshifting witches, celestial beings,

    I'll do some thinking on it and see if I can recall any other instances of some of these guys showing up!

    ~ Michelle @ FaerieFits

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    1. Thanks for an awesome comment! I love the recommendations. I read an Amada Hocking book just the other week, although it didn't have a lot of fae stuff. And she did mermaids? That might be worth a look. And pixies- I like the sound of a kickass one. :)

      Gargoyles too. I will definitely be checking out these recs.

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  14. Yay creatures! I've read numerous books are merfolk, those are pretty easy to find, though I was just thinking yesterday that it's been a while since I've read about them. I ought to read a mer book this year.

    I'm going to read about gargoyles next! I've decided my next book will be about an uncommon creature, and I'm going with a gargoyle book I think because I have a PNR one that's short and seems entertaining. The only books I can recall reading with gargoyles are the Beautiful Monsters series, and the gargoyles are pretty terrifying and badass, but they're just kind of in the background, not MCs.

    I also have a will o' the wisp book and a banshee book that maybe I'll finally get to this year!

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    1. I know, right? I need to read more mer too. I avoid the swoony ones and since I like the more creepish ones there's a lot less of those. Have you seen Rolling the Deep by Mira grant? It's a novella but I liked it.

      Yay for gargoyles! They're good in the background too, especially if they're terrifying. :) And if your will o the wisp book is good you'll have to let me know, since I could use more. I did read that one you told me about a while back, and it wasn't bad.

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  15. C.E. Murphy's Negotiator trilogy is one of my favorites that has a gargoyle as main character. I'm always looking for books with dragons as a main character rather than a background oddity.

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  16. What a fun post! Yes to gargoyles, although when I think of them, I'm thinking of the animated ones from Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame, not the creepy ones like on that book cover, haha.

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    1. Ha ha no doubt. I hadn't thought of that...

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  17. I came here to say Gargoyles and I was so pleased to see them featured on your list as well :) Not too many UF series featuring those, but when I do come across them I feel cheered inside.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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    1. Yay for gargoyles! There's something about them...

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  18. I seriously cannot think of Brownies without thinking of.. you know, brownies, the chocolatey treat of goodness and deliciousness. Now, what would be fun, in a book, is if a Brownie CHARACTER was eaten by a particularly hungry other character. Because not only is it funny, but I bet that doesn't happen a lot.

    I don't read a ton of UF, but I also like the idea of merpeople. I just read a book with some sort of... merfolk, but it is a spoiler, so I will not tell you which one. Sorry. Anyway, I found it interesting! I am reading a book right now with some kind of fae... I don't know what they even are. It's Spindle Fire, and I can't decide if I like it, but there are... something. But seriously, start writing that brownie-eating thing. I'd read it ;)

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  19. I love shifters and vampires, but I'm not big on fae because they usually seem to be sociopaths. Even if they do care, it seems like you'd still have to be careful. I do enjoy them in the Mercy Thompson series, but they're shifty and kind of terrifying at times.

    Gargoyles would be interesting. I think I read one YA story featuring Gargoyles, but I wouldn't recommend it.

    Have you tried Kate Daniels or anything by Ilona Andrews? Oh my, I love their writing and Kate Daniels is my another all-time favorite UF series. What about The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne? There's a lot of mythical creatures in that series: Witches, shifters, vampires, and more. And the series is funny as hell! I recommend the audio books. Luke Daniels is amazing!

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  20. This is a great list! I'd love to see all of these creatures featured more in fantasy period, not just urban. We have plenty of elves, dwarves, etc. but I'd love more myth- and folklore-based creatures. Have you read 'Jackaby' by William Ritter? It wouldn't be considered urban fantasy I don't think because it takes place in 19th century New England, but it deals with the more obscure creatures of folklore.

    I'd like to see more kelpies. Murderous water horse just has a lovely ring to it.

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  21. Yes! More merfolk are needed! I have yet to read a good book, UF or not that involves them. For gargoyles, if you haven't already you may check out Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone.

    I'd like to see more of the Greek mythological creatures...like fawns and dryads and such.

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  22. of your list I'll definitely pick the gargoyles since they are in many religious myths. I definitely want to see Angels and Demons. My favorite creatures. :)

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  23. There are so many vampires and werewolves and stuff in urban fantasy these days, I'd love to see some authors mix it up with some of these lesser known ones too! I can't actually remember ever reading anything about Merfolk before (except in Harry Potter!), so that would be awesome to see! And the will o' the wisp has the potential to be super creepy, and I can imagine the whole shapeshifter thing making for a good storyline!
    Great post! :)

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  24. I love gargoyles, so that would be my choice. Have you seen that movie from the 80s? Brownies are interesting, too. :)

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  25. Oh yes, I agree with all of these. Especially willowisps.

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  26. I have no particular UF creature I want to see it's more I just want to see more of all of them. I mean, vampires and shifters and the fae in general get all of the attention but I want to see more of the smaller fantasy creatures that don't get as much attention. THe ones which aren't deemed cool. I also want to see creatures from other worlds of mythology like eastern european mythology or asian mythology and see them in books. I basically want a more diverse range of creatures.

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  27. I am always up for more mermaid stories and shifters. They are two of my favorite paranormal creatures to read about. And there are so many animals I've never seen as shifter, so I would like to see more variety in the animals as well.

    I've seen a few gargoyles books around, but it would be nice to see them more often. Whil-o the wisps sound interesting to read about too, haven't seen those often. I don't think I've seen any nagas in books, although i did got a snake shifter book once.

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