Fiction Affliction is a monthly column written by Royal Street author Suzanne Johnson that examines upcoming releases by genre or sub-genre. Check back every day this week for coverage of February releases in science fiction, urban fantasy, and epic fantasy. Today’s column examines new releases in YOUNG ADULT PARANORMAL.
The Symptoms: Girls are going all moony-eyed over boys with mysterious powers before they’ve even figured out how to use their own. Summer vacations and school months are equally treacherous.
The Diagnosis: Twenty-two new YA paranormals develop crushes in February, including two magical pieces of jewelry, several packs of shapeshifters, two hidden passages into other times, one Grade-Five Goo Fiend, and a creepy queen of the wood elves.
The Cure: Really and truly, girls. If a new boy starts at your school, or you find him on the rooftop smoking something illegal during a party, run—don’t walk—the other way.
Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Bentarrini sisters have spent every summer with their parents, famed Etruscan scholars, among the romantic hills. Stuck among the rubble of medieval castles in rural Tuscany on yet another hot, dusty archeological site, Gabi and Lia are bored out of their minds, until Gabi places her hand atop a handprint in an ancient tomb and finds herself in fourteenth-century Italy. And worse yet, in the middle of a fierce battle between knights of two opposing forces.
The sequel to Possessed finds 16-year-old Rayne still entwined in the creepy history of Morton’s Keep—and about to discover she’s the only one who can stop the evil lurking there. Rayne’s countryside escape has proven to be anything but. The remote mansion house where she lives and works holds terrible secrets, and she feels trapped there. And when a new manager shows up, things take an even more sinister turn. Rayne doesn’t know who to trust—even the ghosts of Morton’s Keep seem to be warning her. U.S. release.
It’s a new semester at the Chadwick School, and even with the ankh tattoos that brand them, Phoebe, Nick, Lauren, and Patch are hoping for a fresh start. Each day, however, they are reminded of their membership as new Conscripts in the Society. The secret group that promised to help them achieve their every dream has instead turned their lives into a nightmare. Exclusive membership lost its luster as the Society revealed its agenda to them and two of their classmates were found dead. Now they can’t help but wonder: Who’s next?
A few short months ago, Trey Laporte learned the news that would change him forever: He is a werewolf, and the evil vampire Caliban wants him dead. The threat becomes real when Caliban attacks Trey’s mentor, Lucien Charron, and leaves him fighting for his life. Gwendolin, a wicked sorceress, holds the only key to saving Lucien. Together, Trey and Lucien’s beautiful daughter, Alexa, must enter the Netherworld to defeat her.
Ninety-five days, and then I’ll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It’s hard to be patient. It’s hard not to be afraid while I’m still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn’t touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don’t.
Seventeen-year-old Riley, the only daughter of legendary Demon Trapper Paul Blackthorne, has always dreamed of following in her father’s footsteps. The good news is, with human society seriously disrupted by economic upheaval and Lucifer increasing the number of demons in all major cities, Atlanta’s local Trappers’ Guild needs all the help they can get—even from a girl. When she’s not keeping up with her homework or trying to manage her growing crush on fellow apprentice, Simon, Riley’s out saving distressed citizens from foul-mouthed little devils—Grade One Hellspawn only, of course. Until a Grade Five Geo-Fiend crashes Riley’s routine assignment at a library, jeopardizing her life and her chosen livelihood.
Everyone loves senior Carson Toliver, the captain and quarterback of the football team, heartthrob of South Burlington County Regional High—especially the girls. Even Jack’s best friend Weezy has a crush on him—until he attacks her during a date. When Weezy refuses to report Carson, Jack needs to teach him a lesson.
On her seventeenth birthday, Katie discovers a locket and decides to wear it for good luck. But when her boyfriend Isaac finds out she cheated on him—with their mutual best friend Mitch, no less—he dumps her, leaving her devastated. And then a miracle happens. The locket burns on Katie’s chest and she feels herself going back two weeks in time, to the night she cheated with Mitch. At first, Kate is delighted to be a better girlfriend to Isaac this time around. But as other aspects of her life become inexplicably altered, she realizes that changing the past may have had a dangerous effect on her present.
It all started with a curse. And a frognapping. And one hot-looking princess, who asked me to lead a rescue mission. There wasn’t a fairy godmother or any of that. And even though I fell in love along the way, what happened to me is unlike any fairy tale I’ve ever heard. Before I knew it, I was spying with a flock of enchanted swans, talking (yes, talking!) to a fox named Todd, and nearly trampled by giants in the Everglades. Don’t believe me? I didn’t believe it either. But you’ll see. Because I knew it all was true, the second I got cloaked.
Zach lives with his grandparents on a remote island in Puget Sound in Washington State. With only his little brother, Gilbert, to keep him company, Zach feels cut off from the world. But when Gilbert is kidnapped, Zach tries the only thing he can think of to find him: astral projection. Soon, his spirit is soaring through the strange and boundless astral realm—a shadow place. While searching for his brother, Zach meets a boy named Emory, another astral traveler who’s intriguing (and cute). As Zach and Emory track the kidnappers from the astral realm, their bond grows—but each moment could be Gilbert’s last.
When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed Donna Underwood’s father and drove her mother mad. Her own nearly fatal injuries were fixed by alchemy—the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. Now seventeen, Donna feels like a freak, doomed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. Only her relationship with her best friend, Navin, is keeping her sane. But when vicious wood elves abduct Navin, Donna is forced to accept her role in the centuries-old war between human alchemists and these darkest outcasts of Faerie.
When Trei loses his family in a disaster, he must search out distant relatives in a new land. The Floating Islands are unlike anything Trei has seen: stunning, majestic, and graced with kajurai, men who soar the skies with wings. Trei is instantly sky-mad, and desperate to be a kajurai himself. The only one who fully understands his passion is Araene, his newfound cousin. Prickly, sarcastic, and gifted, Araene has a secret of her own—a dream a girl cannot attain.
The first time I meet an angel, it is Raphael and I am eighteen. Miriam is an unassuming college freshman stuck on campus after her spring break plans fall through. She’s not a religious girl—when pressed she admits reluctantly to believing in a higher power. Truth be told, she’s about as comfortable speaking about her faith as she is about her love life, which is to say, not at all. And then the archangel Raphael pays Miriam a visit, and she finds herself on a desperate mission to save two of her contemporaries. To top it all off, her twin brother, Mo, has also had a visitation, but from the opposite end of the good-evil spectrum, which leaves Miriam to wonder—has she been blessed and her brother cursed or vice versa?
Fourteen-year-old Lidda has always known she was different. She longs to escape Salem Village and its stifling rules. But when a plague of accusations descends on the village and witch fever erupts, Lidda begins to realize that she feels and sees things that others can’t, or won’t. But how will she expose the truth without being hung as a witch herself?
How to Be a Werewolf: The Claws-on Guide for the Modern Lycanthrope, by Serena Valentino (Feb. 8, Candlewick)
Celebrate your inner beast—and harness that newfound animal magnetism—with this essential guide to the lycanthropic lifestyle. Are you subject to savage moods, extreme and unexplained buffness, and cravings for meat on the rare side? Do you long for super speed and reflexes, along with rapid healing and maybe a talent for telepathy? Welcome to the pack—and get ready to howl—as you sink your claws into this guide to everything life as a werewolf has to offer.
In the seventh book in the bestselling series, evil scientists are still trying to convince Max that she needs to save the world, this time by providing the genetic link in speeding up the pace of evolution. Worse, they’re trying to convince her that her perfect mate is Dylan, the newest addition to the flock. The problem is that, despite herself, Max is starting to believe it. Fang travels the country collecting his own gang of evolved humans, but the two separate flocks must unite to defeat a frightening doomsday cult whose motto is Save the Planet: Kill the Humans.
Nothing’s simple when you run with werewolves. Jess Gillmansen thinks she’s seen it all but her eyes are about to be opened to even more danger and a reality far more paranormal than she’s suspected. With Jess’s realization that the Rusakovas’s mother is still alive and imprisoned, the group’s choices become harder and trust more important. Lines are drawn and relationships change as the broken Rusakova family struggles to reunite to free their mother—and those who Jess thought to be normal people show themselves to be much, much more.
If Prudence Galewski is ever going to get out of Mrs. Browning’s esteemed School for Girls, she must demonstrate her refinement and charm by securing a job appropriate for a young lady. But Prudence isn’t like the other girls. She is fascinated by how the human body works and why it fails. With a stroke of luck, she lands a position in a laboratory, where she is swept into an investigation of the fever bound to change medical history. From ritzy mansions to shady bars and rundown tenements, she explores every potential cause of the disease. But there’s no answer in sight—until the volatile Mary Mallon emerges. Dubbed “Typhoid Mary” by the press, Mary is an Irish immigrant who has worked as a cook in every home the fever has ravaged. Strangely, though, she hasn’t been sick a day in her life.
Violet thought she was just crazy when she had a vivid vision of her dad’s murder. Her life started falling apart when her premonition came true. She’s had flashes of other events too. The problem was nobody believed her until she found a new school: Winterhaven. At Winterhaven, Violet finally feels like she belongs. She quickly finds a close group friends and discovers that they too have psychic “gifts.” But as soon as she feels settled she discovers the most intriguing and alluring boy she has ever met, and things quickly go awry.
The Visconti House, by Elsbeth Edgar (Feb. 22, Candlewick)
Laura Horton is different. Not in any noticeable, first-glance kind of way; but inside, she’s equally uncomfortable around the snippy girls in her class and the strange boy, Leon, who just moved in nearby. She’d rather be writing or drawing or spending time with her free-spirited family in their eccentric old house. But Laura and Leon are more alike than they first realize. They’re both outsiders. They both have secrets. And try as she might to avoid him, Laura finds herself drawn to Leon’s quiet boldness as surely as she is driven to find out more about her home’s enigmatic former owner. Together they probe the mysteries of the Visconti House, making an exploration into the past that will change their lives.
Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is. Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.
Collected here for the first time are all of the tales from the land of Tortall, featuring both previously unknown characters as well as old friends. Filling some gaps of time and interest, these stories, some of which have been published before, will lead readers into one of the most intricately constructed worlds of modern fantasy.
Urban fantasy author Suzanne Johnson is annoyed that she’s far past sixteen and still hasn’t discovered her secret powers. Her new urban fantasy series, scheduled to begin with the release of Royal Street in April 2012 by Tor Books, is set in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina. Find Suzanne on Twitter.