David R. Slayton’s stand-out urban fantasy debut, White Trash Warlock, has complex worldbuilding, emotional nuance, and thrilling action sequences. It follows 20-year old Adam Lee Binder, a broke, gay wizard living in an Oklahoma trailer park, as he uses his modest powers to hunt for his absentee father, who he suspects to be a warlock. Slayton picks some of his favorite urban fantasies that break new ground.

You can’t browse urban fantasy as a category without running into cops, werewolves, or vampires, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t breakout or revolutionary books inside the genre. Urban fantasy is a dynamic, diverse genre with plenty of new tricks to learn, and many authors give their tropes and old supernatural creatures a new angle.