Angela, the SciFi Chick, wants to know why so many urban fantasy novels are written from first-person point-of-view. Here’s my take.
While some folks use 1st person as a measure for defining the sub-genre, it’s not that simple. Part of why 1st person works so well is because of what happens in a UF story– the hero/ine is presented in his/her ordinary world, and then stumbles upon the previously unseen fantasy world. This is the storyline for most UFs. It’s much easier for the reader to understand and feel the character’s reaction to this new world from a 1st person POV. We also feel more deeply the changes to the character as a result of this new knowledge.
Is it perhaps because 1st person is more intimate? Perhaps. Is it because 3rd person not only feels more removed, but also lends itself to the old trick at the end of “it was all a dream”– such as in Alice in Wonderland, and the Wizard of Oz?
It could also be because UF has a hint of noir, and if you think back to those old movies and stories, they were 1st person as well. You can’t get that same filter of “everything is corrupted” from a 3rd person POV.