Author Topic: Readers--what draws you into a male POV urban fantasy?  (Read 459 times)  

Online Jim Johnson

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Readers--what draws you into a male POV urban fantasy?
« on: August 06, 2017, 06:20:22 PM »
This is sorta geared toward non-male readers, but, really, anyone can answer. I like UF. I like a lot of UF, both female POV and male POV (and I bet I'd like non-binary POV if I knew of any--reccos?). I know UF by and large is dominated by female POV characters. I generally enjoy the male POVs too, like Butcher, DaCosta, Line, Finn, etc.

So I'm curious. If you read male POV UF, what do you like about it? Different perspective from a female pov? Different experience? Given that a lot of female POV UF is oriented toward the kick-ass snarky POV character, I'm seeing much the same from male UF POVs. So if everyone's kick ass and snarky, what do you like about the male POV as compared to the female?

Online Atunah

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Re: Readers--what draws you into a male POV urban fantasy?
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2017, 08:44:39 AM »
Never really thought much about that. True, most of the UF I have read do have female main characters. But I detest anything that is described as kickass or snarky. I prefer layered characters. I just have this thing about female characters being called kickass. Its mostly them that get that term. Snarky can work for me, if done right.

For me its about the theme, plot, story and character building and world building when it comes to UF. So if I can get that with a male MC, I would be fine with that. There just aren't as many that I have been interested enough reading. I did the first 3 in that Butcher series but really didn't like much the MC in that one. Too TSTL at times and some of the male gaze towards women was not endearing to me. I still need to try out the Hearne series. If I got the name right. That sounded interesting.

So I don't really have an answer to the question. It is more what draws me into a particular UF, not who or what the MC is.

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Offline KathyWren

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Re: Readers--what draws you into a male POV urban fantasy?
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2017, 03:10:56 PM »
I'm a woman with a fondness for urban fantasy with male leads, and after reading dozens of them I'm extremely clear about why: it's the romance, or lack thereof.  As much as I love romance as a genre, sometimes I find it very frustrating that many female-centric urban fantasies tend to merge with the romance tropes.  If I'm reading a novel with fantastic world-building, a unique magic system, and a heroine with problems that could kill them at any moment... why does so much of the book end up being spent on her new love interest?  Come back later, buddy! She's busy.

It's not like that's not always the case - there's a lot of female-centric urban fantasy that doesn't do that, and carefully reading the reviews helps me find them.  But since male urban fantasy can be more reliably aromantic, I tend to look at it first.  I suspect my tastes would change if I was reading less romance, but for now that's why I'll sometimes pick a snarky man over a snarky woman.

Offline NogDog

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Re: Readers--what draws you into a male POV urban fantasy?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2017, 07:00:22 AM »
KathyWren makes some good points that have a lot to do with why I don't read much urban fantasy: for some reason UF has become increasingly bound to romance.

But to more generally answer the OP's question: what would draw me in are the same things that would draw me into any story, regardless of genre and regardless of protagonist gender: believable characters for whom I care about what happens, great writing, and an at least reasonably original plot that is not bogged down with too many sub-plots and too many points of view.

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Offline MariaESchneider

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Re: Readers--what draws you into a male POV urban fantasy?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2017, 04:01:01 PM »
I don't care if it's a male lead or a female.  I read both and enjoy both.  If the characters and plot are done well, that's enough for me.  I like some romance, but I prefer it to be a subplot and it doesn't have to be in every book in the series.  Frank Tuttle introduced a love interest in book 2 or 3.   John Levitt's characters have no real love, but the character doesn't know that.  *He* thinks he is romantic.  Wonder why the women keep leaving him..yeah, as a subplot, his characters are clueless.   ;D

I don't like "romantic angst" or love triangles.   I don't like cliff hanger endings.  I like UF, and I'll read paranormal romance and I enjoy it now and then, but I tend to search for UF.  I like Benedict Jacka and his male lead, but I'm not a big fan of the Dresden files.  I've finished the first and tried the second book numerous times but I find he under develops his female characters especially and to some degree his main character is predictable and repetitive--and I didn't even finish the second book.  I love Patty Briggs because both her male and female characters are well developed and not snarky.  Smart, witty, fun and dangerous, but not really snarky.  Ilona Andrews is another favorite although they also write paranormal romance (the latest series, Burn for Me, or something like that is clearly paranormal romance.  It's very good and a fun read.  It has a lot of UF in it, the pacing, world building and characters are great--both male and female characters are fully developed with quirks and sass.  If there is snark, and there sometimes is, it's not overdone.)   

When I did a poll on a forum years ago, there were several women (probably half those polled) who wouldn't read a book with the main as a male.  Said they'd tried one or two and that was it for them.  I"m guessing the character development was subpar such that they could not relate.   I do know that reading a book where the male or female is unlikable doesn't work for me (that can mean the gal is too witchy or the guy is just an aXXhat.) 

There's no way around the fact that women buy more books than men and some of them to search out characters they can relate to (perhaps we all do unconsciously). 

Offline BiancaSommerland

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Re: Readers--what draws you into a male POV urban fantasy?
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2017, 08:53:29 AM »
I read UF with both male and female leads. For me it's more about having a strong, interesting character and a killer story. I've tossed books with TSTL heroes and heroines (not literally tossed, no book cruelty here, just donating so they can find more appreciative readers! lol).

I agree with one poster about the romance though. If I'm looking for UF and not romance, I don't want the story bogged down with a love interest. If there's a romantic subplot that's not overpowering, that's fine, but kinda like with Marvel movies, tossing in a bed buddy just to fill that role can be annoying AF. A MC who's too busy for a love life can be the most interesting of all. Watching them play the field while they beat the baddies is entertaining as well.


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Offline KiraCarter

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Re: Readers--what draws you into a male POV urban fantasy?
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2017, 09:40:43 AM »
I don't actually read a lot of UF, so I can't speak to the male vs. female POV, but I just wanted to mention the Daniel Faust series by Craig Schaefer. Faust is kind of an anti-hero (he's not a true good guy, even though he's often doing the right thing), and he can be a bit snarky. He does have a romantic interest, but that never dominates the story, and there's a great cast of supporting characters. Faust is talented at getting himself into tricky situations and it's always interesting to see how he gets himself out of them, and the author's built a pretty complex fantasy world.


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