We recently provided you with a list of a dozen ongoing urban fantasy series for your binge-reading pleasure, but if there’s one thing we know about this addictive fantasy subgenre, it’s that it can often seem rarer to find a completed series than an ongoing one—authors are happy to chug along, racking up more than a dozen volumes featuring a beloved character. Sometimes it’s hard to jump into a series when you’re 10 volumes behind and there’s no end in sight—so why not tackle a completed series instead? Here are 15 complete urban fantasy series to occupy you during the holiday binge-reading season, and distract you while you wait for the next Sandman Slim or Harry Dresden novel.
The Fever series, by Karen Marie Moning (5 books)
This one gets in on a technicality: the original Fever series is five books, but spinoff is still ongoing—though it has mutated somewhat from an offshoot about a different set of characters into an extension of the main storyline. Moning utilizes the tried and true urban fantasy method of world-building by plunging a naive character an established fantasy world. MacKayla Lane has no idea there’s more to life than her mundane existence, until her sister is murdered and she travels to Ireland to find the killer—and falls into the violent, intoxicating world of the Fae. A series so dark, seductive, and addictive, reading it is like succumbing to a fever, and the only cure is to feed it books until there are none left.
The Georgina Kincaid series, by Richelle Mead (6 books)
Who doesn’t love a good demon? Mead’s series about hapless succubus bookseller Georgia Kincaid makes for fantastic reading. Watching Georgia deal with other demons, vampires, and the sundry supernaturals that haunt Seattle is a delight. This series is a delicious mix of action and romance. Mead is an old hand at urban fantasy—she’s also the woman behind the insanely popular Vampire Academy YA series.
Women of the Otherworld, by Kelley Armstrong (13 books)
Now this is a fun one: each book in this lengthy series has a different protagonist, but all are loosely connected in some way. There are werewolves, demons, ghosts, a necromancer, and even a witch or two. The books focus on the way each woman uses her unique talents to face down a challenging supernatural threat, making for a consistently diverse reading experience. Shaking up the usual urban fantasy convention of a single protagonist makes it a great series to binge read, too, because you won’t get burned out easily, while narrators pop up in each other’s books, so your favorite is never truly gone. If 13 novels is not enough for you, there are multiple collections of short stories as well.
The Night Huntress series, by Jeaniene Frost (7 books)
Jeaniene Frost’s series about half-vampire Catherine Crawford has long been a crowd pleaser. The characters are vivid and the action is tight and tense. Witty dialogue and a world full of bloodsuckers make this series unmissable. If you’re a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan (who isn’t?), it’s a great readalike.
The Agent of Hel series, by Jacqueline Carey (3 books)
Carey is well known for her excellent epic fantasy series Kushiel’s Legacy, but she recently tried her hand at urban fantasy, to fantastic results. The Agent of Hel series, while on the short side for the genre, is full to bursting with wonderful characters and intense action. Daisy Johanssen, a half demon, is tasked with helping her local police department keep up with the eccentric eldritch creatures that call her town home. There’s intrigue, murder, and everything from ghosts to werewolves, and Daisy must deal with them all. Bonus: the ending is very satisfying.
The Southern Vampire series, by Charlaine Harris (13 books)
Who can forget the books that gave us True Blood? This series sparked the HBO hit and brought unforgettable characters like Sookie Stackhouse, Bill Compton, and Eric Northman into our lives. If you loved the show, you definitely have to read the books, which twist the plot in surprising directions. This is an iconic urban fantasy series for a reason.
The Parasol Protectorate series, by Gail Carriger (5 books)
Now for something a little different. Gail Carriger works wonders in crafting a believable alternative Victorian London. There are foppish (but dangerous) vampires, rough and tumble werewolves, and a soulless woman named Alexia Tarabotti, a condition that makes her the perfect agent against otherworldly threats. This series is incredibly funny. Each character is infused with so much life, they very nearly pop off the page. “A comedy of manners” doesn’t begin to explain how Carriger twists Victorian sensibilities to their hilarious extreme. The world-building is top notch, and if you’re left wanting more, Carriger has expanded the saga to include an also now-complete YA prequel, the Finishing School series, plus an ongoing sequel about Alexia’s headstrong daughter. Bonus: many characters are immortal, so they pop up in all the books, no matter how much time has elapsed. A must for fans of steampunk and clever Victorian satire!
The Kitty Norville series, by Carrie Vaughn (14 books)
This long running series recently ended, so now is the time to binge the whole darn thing! Kitty starts out as a midnight radio DJ in Denver, using her show as a late-night advice session for the local supernatural citizens. Things go crazy when her cover is blown and a werewolf hunter comes after her. This one effectively employs all the tropes that made urban fantasy so popular in the first place. A mainstay of the genre.
The Hollows, by Kim Harrison (13 books)
Another recently completed cornerstone of urban fantasy is the Rachel Morgan series. Rachel starts out as a klutzy witch and grows into a supernatural force to be reckoned with as, over the course of 13 books, she faces vampires, elves, and world destroying plots. The main protagonist is joined by an awesome collection of reoccurring characters, giving it a lived-in quality that quickly grew its fanbase to bestseller status.
The Crimson Moon series, by L.A. Banks (6 books)
Banks is best known for her 12-book Vampire Huntress Legend series, but if you’re looking for a break from the bloodsuckers, the six Crimson Moon novels are a good bet. A mix of horror and fantasy that leans a bit to the “paranormal romance” side of the aisle, the series follows Sasha Trudeau, a government special operative who is part of an elite task force that works to keep supernatural threats out of the public eye. Here’s the twist: in order to be part of the team, one must be a survivor of a werewolf attack; the members are trained to be fiercely loyal only to one another.
The Dante Valentine series, by Lilith Saintcrow (5 books)
Lilith Saintcrow has authored many series over the years; luckily, this one comes complete in a handy-dandy omnibus edition! All five books, one giant tome to get lost in. Dante Valentine is a necromancer for hire who gets hired by the worst client: the Devil himself. This dark series lights new fires in Hell and uses demons in ways you’ve never seen before. Dante is a kickass heroine, as smart as she is deadly. The series zips and turns through intense fights and heartbreaking depths.
The Graywalker series, by Kat Richardson (9 books)
Another well-loved, recently completed series, this one follows Harper Blaine, a stubborn private investigator dragged into the world of the supernatural against her will. An accident leaves her with a terrible case of being dead and allows her to see into the “gray,” an in-between realm that exists alongside the mundane world and the supernatural one. This series is more hardboiled than most urban fantasy tales, which makes it stand out from the pack. Harper is a believable protagonist and a damn good private eye, who just happens to fall into solving crimes in both realms.
An American Vampire, by ML Brennan (4 books)
It’s a shame this series ended early, but it’s still an absolutely awesome collection of books. Brennan gives us a fascinating, genre-defying new look at vampires with her protagonist Fortitude Scott. For one thing, he’s a vegetarian. For another, he’s not a full vampire yet, a thought that fills him with dread. He tries to be as normal as humanly possible, working a series of dead-end jobs, until the arrival of a rival vampire shocks him into action. He’s joined by an unlikely partner, a kitsune named Suzume. Add in Fort’s complicated vampire family and you have a wonderful series cut down before its time.
The Joe Pitt series, by Charlie Huston (5 books)
Vampires and noir go together like peanut butter and chocolate; the vampire PI is a staple of urban fantasy for good reason. Huston’s Joe Pitt is one of the best of the bunch, a vampire in Manhattan who refuses to join the corrupt local clans, instead forging his own way forward. His own way forward happens to be full of things like zombies and rival vampire clans, but that’s life. Or un-life, I suppose. These books are wonderfully written, gritty, and entirely unputdownable.
The Bloodsucking Fiends series, by Christopher Moore (3 books)
Christopher Moore is one of the funniest writers working, and his take on urban fantasy makes for the most hilarious series on this list. Satire is the name of the game, and he pulls it off with aplomb. Every single character is played for the ultimate amount of laughs possible. Jody is a woman who woke up one day as a vampire. She finds Tommy, a hapless writer working at a grocery store, to be her Renfield and help her get on with her afterlife. Everything that can go wrong does go wrong, like a zany Mel Brooks movie on paper. The series includes the Emperor of San Francisco, a horde of vampire cats, bowling with frozen turkeys, and true love. What more could you ask for?
Magic Ex Libris, by Jim C. Hines (4 books)
This urban fantasy series starts with a premise that will make any book-obsessed reader green with envy: Isaac Vainio is a libriomancer, which means he can magically reach into books and pull out fictional objects. Imagine being able to open The Once And Future King and pull out Excalibur, or grab a time turner from a Harry Potter book. It is the ultimate wish-fulfillment for every reader, and Jim C. Hines uses it as the basis for an incredible series. Isaac, despite this amazing power, faces terrible danger while fighting vampires, wendigoes, secret societies, and even Johannes Gutenberg himself. This series is incredibly unique, and belongs on every urban fantasy fan’s shelf.
Did we leave your favorite series off the list? Let us know in the comments.