There are lots of Christmas-themed paranormal cozy mysteries out there and a good selection of holiday paranormal romances. I had a harder time finding festive urban fantasy books–but I did find them. If you’re searching for some urban fantasy holiday magic this year, then check out these five ebooks.
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Christmas Spirits (Reaper Reborn)
by Harper A. Brooks
Jingle bells. Mistletoe. Christmas cheer. And evil spirits.
Kay Bishop is no stranger to the supernatural. As a Medium, spirits have always flocked to her like a beacon. But after a run-in with a demon and his Halfling creatures, Kay promised herself that this Christmas would be different. Completely spirit-free and ordinary. But as usual, things don’t exactly go as planned…
When a group of paranormal investigators unleash something dark and terrifying into the world, the evil follows Kay home after a holiday party, making her much needed vacation week a living Hell. Since Jade, her reaper best friend, is unreachable and busy with angel business, getting rid of this ghost is now Kay’s responsibility. But it’s not going anywhere without a fight.
The lives of her family are in danger, and Kay quickly realizes she won’t be able to escape her gifts… She’ll need to embrace them completely to save the ones she loves the most.
If only she doesn’t lose herself in the process.
Discover all the holiday magic wrapped up in the Reaper Reborn Series by reading Christmas Spirits, the latest Urban Fantasy hit readers are comparing to Keri Arthur and Kelley Armstrong.
My thoughts: Kay’s a sympathetic main character, and I loved her growth and development over this short story. It’s action-packed, and the supernatural threat is a scary one.
New reader friendly? I’ve never read the Reaper Reborn series but had no trouble following the plot. I gather that Kay is a supporting character in the main series, but she easily carries her own story.
Christmasy-ness: 4/5. Christmas is a nice backdrop, and the holiday is keeping Kay’s catering business busy–which adds complications when she has to go into hiding from the evil spirit stalking her.
99¢ at the following retailers:
A Merry Maggie Messmas (Maggie MacKay Holiday Special)
by Kate Danley
Everyone wonders how Santa is able to do his job, but when one of his helpers goes rogue and starts spreading TOO MUCH holiday cheer, it will be down to Maggie and Killian to hop on that sleigh and bring the world a silent night.
A part of the Maggie MacKay: Holiday Special short story series. This stands independently from the main Magical Tracker series and can be read at any time and in any order. It’s just an excuse to hang out with some of your favorite characters.
WARNING: This short story contains cussing, brawling, and unfestive behavior.
My thoughts: If you like comedic urban fantasy, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more off-the-wall Christmas adventure than this. A fun, lighthearted short read.
New reader friendly? I’ve read the first Maggie MacKay book, so I’m not an impartial judge, but I don’t think new readers would have trouble. You’ve got your snarky urban fantasy heroine, her elven sidekick, and a mission to save Christmas. It’s pretty easy to follow.
Christmasy-ness: 5/5. You’ve got elves, a trip to the north pole, a ride in Santa’s sleigh, and an appearance by the big man in red himself.
99¢ at the following retailers:
Operation: Sugarplum: a Charming Festive Urban Fantasy
by Emily Wrayburn
Clara just wanted to meet her idol. She didn’t expect to have video game villains coming after her in real life.
Clara Steele is thrilled when game developer Max Drosselmeier invites her to test out his new virtual reality system and the game Operation: Sugarplum. But Max didn’t warn her about his ability to accidentally pull characters out of his games and into the real world.
Instead of finishing her Christmas shopping, Clara finds herself attacked by a pixelated seven-headed Rat King intent on taking her back to his castle.
And if Clara and Max can’t lure the Rat King back into the game and defeat him on his own turf, they might both end up as rat food.
Buy Operation: Sugarplum now to see if they can make it to Christmas dinner!
My thoughts: This was a fun one! The “bringing video game characters to life” is a magical power I don’t see much in urban fantasy. Clara’s a relatable protagonist, and I enjoyed the trip to the southern hemisphere where Christmas means scorching hot weather.
New reader friendly? This is the first book in the Drosselmeier Industries series, so it couldn’t be more friendly to new readers.
Christmasy-ness: 5/5. Clara spends her time going to Christmas parties, shopping for presents, and celebrating with her family when she’s not fighting the Rat King. Plus the whole thing is a Nutcracker retelling.
99¢ at the following retailers:
The Hunt Before Christmas (Shades Below: The Holiday Spectaculars)
by L.J.K Oliva
Celebrate the holidays, San Francisco-style!
Go ice skating in Civic Center Plaza, attend the witchiest holiday party ever, receive a festive visitation by a most unusual ghost, take a *slay* ride to remember, and spend an evening revisiting Christmas past with the city’s most infamous – and bloodthirsty – Son.
But all is not peace and goodwill in the city by the Bay. The Wild Hunt is afoot, and San Francisco is what’s on the menu.
Can Lena, MacMillian, and all their friends put an end to the deadly festivities before it’s too late?
My thoughts: I love the Wild Hunt in folklore, and this book featured some fantastic imagery. The threat felt very real, and the big final fight at the climax was absolutely metal.
New reader friendly? This book has a lot of characters for a shorter story. I was never confused but felt I would have enjoyed it more if I’d read the series previously and they were familiar faces. Fortunately, the first book in this series is free at most retailers, so that’s an easy problem to fix.
Christmasy-ness: 4/5. Before the Wild Hunt tears them away from their holiday activities, the characters are all ice-skating, attending Christmas parties–and even getting visited by three Christmas ghosts to restore their faith in the season.
$2.99 at the following retailers (but $4.99 on Apple for some reason):
by Alexandra Moody
Clio’s mission in life is simple: keep her unique powers hidden and avoid other magical beings at all costs. Sounds simple enough. But, when a group of murderous dark elves attack her, keeping a low profile becomes a little more complicated.
To make matters worse, she’s now adopted an unwanted defender. His name is Dash — a reindeer shifter who’s as irritating as he is handsome. He wants to protect her. She wants him to take his rather large antlers and fly on back to the North Pole. But when magical creatures are being killed, and no one knows why, she has no choice but to trust him.
They’ll need to work together if they want to find this group of killer elves. But can Clio keep the nature of her powers hidden when Dash is watching her so closely? Or will her secrets unravel as the danger escalates and her magic becomes the one thing between them and disaster?
My thoughts: I first mentioned this book on my roundup of free paranormal Christmas ebooks and had a lot of fun reading it. It’s a classic urban fantasy story infused with Christmas themes on every page.
New reader friendly? It’s the first book in the Christmas Magic series, so yes!
Christmasy-ness: 5/5. Reindeer shifters, elves, the North Pole, Krampuses, Jack Frost–it doesn’t get any more festive than this.
Free at the following retailers:
Do you have a favorite Christmas-themed urban fantasy book? Let me know in the comments!