Search: “books like the dresden files”

Okay, so I get this a lot. It’s all over Goodreads, it’s a search query that brings folks to my blog at least every other day, never mind all the real people I run into that ask me that question. Because I’m fairly mathematically and technologically challenged (does this make me a wizard?), I can’t create an algorithm for recommendations based on certain elements you specifically enjoyed in a character/story/series. So you get this instead.

Keep in mind, of course, that this list should also be backwards-compatible. Or whatever that retro word is the kids these days use. And all of these suggestions, with noted exceptions, will generally fall into the Urban Fantasy aesthetic I’ve discussed already.

out August 30.

If you like a MALE PROTAGONIST, try
Rob Thurman’s Leandros Brothers series
Rob Thurman’s Korsak Brothers series (no magic, but it is scifi; it shares many of the same grit/snark requirements as the best UF)
Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim series
Harry Connolly’s Twenty Palaces series
Kate Griffin’s Matthew Swift series
Simon R. Green’s Nightside series (John Taylor)
Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles
Thomas Sniegoski’s Remy Chandler series

C.E. Murphy’s Walker Papers series
Kat Richardson’s Greywalker series
Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series
Laurell K. Hamilton’s Merry Gentry series
Kalayna Price’s Alex Craft series
Remy Chandler

Expected publication date: March 2012.

Nancy A. Collins’ Sonja Blue series (caveat: Collins is wonderful, but her gore can get epic.)
Glen Duncan’s The Last Werewolf (standalone; see above)
Sandman Slim
Leandros Brothers

Twenty Palaces
Matthew Swift

Leandros Brothers #4.

Rob Thurman’s Trickster series
Korsak Brothers
Leandros Brothers
Iron Druid Chronicles
Twenty Palaces
Matthew Swift
Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series (teen)

If you like A LITTLE BIT OF GONZO, try
Mario Acevedo’s Felix Gomez series
J. F. Lewis’s Void City series
Iron Druid Chronicles
Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens (standalone)
Christopher Moore’s Coyote Blue (standalone)

Alex Craft #2.

Alex Craft
Anita Blake
Merry Gentry
Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series
Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series (teen)
Mortal Instruments (teen)

If you like FAE ELEMENTS, try
Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series
Alex Craft
Merry Gentry
Wicked Lovely
Mercy Thompson

If you like VAMPIRES, try
Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy (teen)
Christopher Moore’s Bloodsucking Fiends
Sonja Blue
Void City
Anita Blake
Felix Gomez
Mercy Thompson 

out October 18.

If you like ANGELS/DEMONS/GODS, try
Neil Gaiman’s American Gods (standalone? Neil?)
Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys (standalone)
Faith Hunter’s Rogue Mage series
Remy Chandler
Sandman Slim
Coyote Blue 

If you TRUST ME ON THIS, try also
Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices series
Neil Gaiman’s Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Other Wonders
Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series
Melissa Marr’s Graveminder (standalone)

And try these fun ANTHOLOGIES!
Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy, ed. Ellen Datlow (feat. Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggs, Melissa Marr, Holly Black)
Mean Streets (feat. Jim Butcher, Kat Richardson, Simon R. Green, Thomas Sniegoski)
The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2011, ed. Paula Guran (available 8/30/11; feat. Holly Black, Neil Gaiman)
My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding, ed. P.N. Elrod (feat. Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jim Butcher, Charlaine Harris)
My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon, ed. P.N. Elrod (feat. Lilith Saintcrow, Rachel Caine, Jim Butcher, Kelley Armstrong)
Strange Brew, ed. P.N. Elrod (feat. Jim Butcher, Faith Hunter, Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs)
Songs of Love and Death: Tales of Star-Crossed Love, ed. George R.R. Martin (feat. Neil Gaiman, Jacqueline Carey, Tanith Lee)
…and if you’re looking for all the Dresden short stories in one place, check out Side Jobs, published October 26, 2010. You’ll want to read Aftermath (Murphy’s POV!) before you read Ghost Story, if you haven’t yet. It does not, however, include the story in Naked City.

Well, there you go. I love recommendations, too, folks. Lay ’em on thick!

**All of these books lie on my Read, Currently Reading, or To Be Read piles.

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13 Responses to Search: “books like the dresden files”

  1. Rick Neal says:

    I might also throw into your mix the Felix Castor books by Mike Carey, starting with The Devil You Know.

  2. entry tags ftw!
    Also, could you find me something that’s engaging with a few well-put together subplots that jump around like a soap opera?

  3. Mike P says:

    Under ‘Trust Me On This,’ I’d suggest Charles Stross’s The Laundry Files ( the best way to describe them would be Lovecraftian spy thrillers with a high level of geek and echoes of Douglas Adams.

  4. Stuart says:

    Simon R. Green’s Nightside stories definitely have that snarky, male, supernaturally-enhanced detective (with a significantly younger, attractive female assistant with whom he is not romantically involved) in a magical world who has a Destiny thing going for them.

    I know you mentioned it, but the parallels are worth noting.

  5. John Clayton says:

    Second the Felix Castor books, been enjoying the. Also Simon R Green’s “Nightside” series, although the phrase “…in the Nightside” gets a little tiring after a while. Then there’s the Russian Night Watch/Day Watch/Twilight Watch/Final Watch series and The Laundry Files (not Russian but I can’t remember who wrote them!)

  6. Laurie says:

    For angels/demons/gods and for female protagonist (without being “chick lit”, which is all well and good, but which doesn’t interest me), you might want to check out Kelly Gay’s Charlie Madigan series. Two books in, the series is shaping up nicely. The first title is The Hour of Dust and Ashes, with the follow-up entitled The Darkest Edge of Dawn. The third, The Better Part of Darkness, is due out in December. I can’t imagine anything supplanting Dresden in my affections, but this has the same self-deprecating humour, which is a huge factor in my enjoyment of Dresden.

  7. Chris says:

    I’d throw in the Dog Days series from John Levitt (male protagonist, supernaturally enhanced private detective, a bit of snark/pop culture) and the hollow series by Kim Harrison (supernaturally enhanced private detective, snark, vampire, fae, demons, some sexual tension/romantic elements). Both definitely worth a read.

  8. mentatjack says:

    OMG! You might not have an algorithm for this type of data, but I do and posts like this will keep me busy for weeks. Thanks for the tag fodder.

  9. saraanne718 says:

    Thanks for the suggestions! And thank you, Laurie, for recommending Kelly Gay’s Charlie Madigan series. I stumbled upon them on Amazon the other night and they looked interesting. Now I’ll definitely check them out.

  10. Chuk says:

    Ben Aaronovitch’s books about Peter Grant, a London policeman who ends up in the Wizardry department of the force, would probably be a hit with a lot of Dresden fans, too. First one is either Rivers of London or Midnight Riot depending on if you’re in the UK or the US, second one is Moon Over SoHo.

  11. saraanne718 says:

    I have just been instructed, via the Twitterati (!/Stevenav), to not forget Glen Cook’s Garrett series.

  12. Denice says:

    There’s also The Southern Vampire Series (True Blood books) by Charlaine Harris. Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicles and Christopher Farnsworth’s The President’s Vampire series. Other than that I think I’ve listened/read most of these series and many of them are good. Great recommendations!

  13. Ave says:

    Need to add in Mark Del Franco’s Connor Grey and Laura Blackstone series to your list. Kelly Meding’a Dreg City is also pretty good if you already like C.E. Murphy.

    Kelly Gay’s name has been mentioned already above, which is a really great urban fantasy. Ilona Andrews (husband and wife team) – 2 great series: Kate Daniels and The Edge, is really fantastic, it also showcases a cool urban fantasy environment.

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