I've always loved fantasy and science fiction - I like exploring new possibilities and worlds. Particularly, I'm drawn to series, because I like being able to learn more and more about an author's imagined universe. These books are all the start of series that take place in fantasy worlds, but unlike more traditional fantasy novels, these worlds are our own - only with a few magical elements.
Kate Daniels is a mercenary with mysterious powers trying to keep order in Atlanta. This is one series where I honestly believe each book gets more exciting. I love how as I keep reading, Kate's world becomes more and more connected to ancient mythology.
Mercy Thompson was raised by wolves. Now, though, she works as a mechanic in a shop and occasionally shape-shifts into a coyote. But when a young werewolf wanders into her shop looking for work, she ends up back in the middle of supernatural drama.
These books are much darker than some of others on my list, but that darkness gives it a thrilling originality. James Stark escapes after spending eleven years working in Hell, and proceeds to seek revenge - against Hell, but also Heaven.
If you enjoy this book, you might also like The Dirty Streets of Heaven
by Tad Williams, which explores similar themes in its tale of an angel named Bobby Dollar.
Peter Grant is a police constable in England, who while in the course of a seemingly normal investigation, learns he has magical abilites. He is promptly recruited by a secret division of the police force which investigates paranormal crimes, and his life starts getting weird. The book is set in contemporary London, which makes it more distinct than some of the more generic books of this genre out there!
Carey is best known for her Kushiel's dart trilogy, but this book is a little lighter, if you can call a book about the daughter of a demon light. Daisy works as a liaison between the Norse Goddess Hel and the city above Hel's Underworld. While trying to smooth relations between the human and supernatural communities, she has to help the local police solve a murder with possible connection to the magical community.
This is the first book in an on-going series about Merit, a graduate student who gets turned into a vampire after a mysterious attack leaves her for dead. As Merit adjusts to being a vampire, she also begins working with the vampire who turned her to figure out who - or what - was behind her attack. The library only has an ebook version of this, but that's ok because it's a great book to read on the go!
I feel silly recommending what's easily the most popular series of its kind (and which also spawned a super popular TV show), but Sookie Stackhouse is popular for a reason. Sookie is a waitress in a small town in Louisiana who happens to be able to read minds. In this book, the first, she meets a vampire named Bill and is ecstatic to learn she can't read the minds of vampires. Through her realationship with Bill, she eventually gets involved in the affairs of vampires, werewolves, witches, fairies, and tons of other magical creatures.
Hounded by Kevin Hearne
Atticus O'Sullivan looks like any other young and tattooed bookstore owner. But he's actually the last Druid, who has been in hiding for centuries from an angry Celtic God. Luckily, another Celtic God - The Morrigan - is on his side, along with a few vampires, werewolves, and his trusty Irish wolfhound. The universe Hearne has built is a lot of fun, and a little different from more common tropes, which makes it fun.
This is one of the most original series I've encountered, and somewhat hard to describe, but I thoroughly recommend it! Justin March is a disgraced investigator of religious groups in a alternate United States where religion is strictly limited. However, he is unexiled under the condition that he work with Mae Koskinen, an elite supersoldier, to solve as series of murders with possible ceremonial purpose. I really enjoyed the first two books in this series, and eagerly await the next!