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 November releases in fantasy, urban fantasy & paranormal romance, and science fiction. Today’s column examines new releases in YOUNG ADULT PARANORMAL.
The Symptoms: It’s a dangerous time to be a teenager. Not only are there annoying cheerleader tryouts and lunchroom etiquette rules, but demons and ghosts and goblins are waiting around every corner. Not to mention when The Man sets you up with the wrong mate-for-life.
The Diagnosis: Sixteen new YA paranormals come to town in November, including nine urban fantasies, four science fiction tales, and three epic fantasies.
The Cure: The preternaturals are set for a fight. On one side of the street lurk the demons, ghosts and goblins, all set for a face-off with the friendly dragons, immortals and a Pegasus or two. Spunky teens stand in between—let’s just hope they haven’t been infected by that new strain of canine parvovirus.
Pegasus, by Robin McKinley (Nov. 2, Putnam)
Because of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and pagasi, Princess Sylviianel is ceremonially bound to Ebon, her own pegasus, on her twelfth birthday. Sylvi and Ebon are different—they can understand each other and quickly grow so close that their bond becomes a threat to the status quo—and possibly to the future safety of their two nations.
Virals, by Kathy Reichs (Nov. 2, Razorbill)
Tory Brennan, niece of acclaimed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan (of the Bones novels and hit TV show), is the leader of a ragtag band of teenage “sci-philes” who live on a secluded island off the coast of South Carolina. When the group rescues a dog caged for medical testing, they are exposed to an experimental strain of canine parvovirus. As the friends discover their heightened senses and animal-quick reflexes, they must combine their scientific curiosity with their newfound physical gifts to solve a cold-case murder that has suddenly become very hot. Fortunately, they are now more than friends—they're a pack. They are Virals.
The Other Side of Dark, by Sarah Smith (Nov. 2, Atheneum)
Since losing both of her parents, 15-year-old Katie can see and talk to ghosts, which makes her a loner until fellow student Law sees her drawing of a historic house and together they seek a treasure rumored to be hidden there by illegal slave-traders. Race and secrets come into play when a ghost’s secret is exposed.
The Cassini Code, by Dom Testa (Nov. 2, Tor Teen)
The teenage crew of Galahad has survived its first encounter with an alien race. Though shaken by the power of The Cassini, Triana and her Council are determined to continue their mission. But some of the crew don’t agree. Led by the charismatic Merit Simms, a small group of crew members begins lobbying for a return to Earth—just as the ship enters the Kuiper Belt, the deadly minefield of asteroids that surrounds the solar system. This is the third of six books in the series, although each can stand alone.
Boy from Ilysies, by Pearl North (Nov. 9, Tor Teen)
The sequel to Pearl North’s critically acclaimed debut novel, Libyrinth takes place on a distant world where the only knowledge of Earth is protected in the vast libyrinth. Peace has arrived, but the libyrinth is running out of food and its survival depends on Po, a young Ilysian whose success at finding a legendary artifact could save the libyrinth—or destroy it.
The Sentinels, by R.A. Salvatore and Geno Salvatore (Nov. 9, Mirrorstone)
In the third and final book of the Stone of Tymora series by this father and son team, Maimun knows he must destroy the stone that has kept him on the run for most of his life. The question now is how. With Joen by his side, Maimun journeys to the Tower of Twilight to beg famed wizard Malchor Harpell for answers. But Harpell’s help comes at a steep price.
Seed Seeker, by Pamela Sargent (Nov. 9, Tor)
Hundreds of years ago, a sentient starship settled humans on the planet Home before leaving to colonize other worlds. The Home folks are divided between the Dome Dwellers and the River People, and all is well until a mysterious light appears in the night sky. Has the starship returned? Or is some other force at work, pitting the two colonies against each other? Seed Seeker is third in a trilogy that includes the YA books Earthseed and Farseed.
Factotum, by D.M. Cornish (Nov. 11, Putnam)
In the final book of the Monster Blood Tattoo series, Rossamund Bookchild—the orphan boy saddled with a girl’s name—stands accused of not being human, but monster. Even the protection of Europe, the Branden Rose—the most feared and renowned monster-hunter in all the Half-Continent—might not be enough to save him. Powerful forces move against them both, intent on capturing Rossamund, whose existence some believe may hold the secret to perpetual youth.
The Painted Boy, by Charles DeLint (Nov. 11, Viking)
Jay Li should be in Chicago, finishing high school and working at his family’s restaurant. Instead, as a born member of the Yellow Dragon Clan―part human, part dragon―he is on a quest to face a series of dangerous, otherworldly, and very human challenges to become the man and dragon he is meant to be.
Tyger Tyger, by Kersten Hamilton (Nov. 15, HMH/Clarion)
Teagan Wylltson’s best friend, Abby, dreams that horrifying creatures—goblins, shapeshifters, and beings of unearthly beauty but terrible cruelty—are hunting Teagan. She isn’t worried until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives in town, talking about fighting goblins. This is the first in a new Goblin Wars series.
The Back Door of Midnight, by Elizabeth Chandler (Nov. 16, Simon Pulse)
Psychic...or psychotic? Anna knows her family is crazy. But when she goes to visit her aunt and uncle for the summer and learns that her uncle’s charred body has been found, she begins to believe her family’s supernatural gifts are real after all.
Night Star, by Alyson Noel (Nov. 16, St. Martin’s Griffin)
Night Starcontinues California author Alyson Noel’s epic Immortals series with Ever and Damen still separated by the poison lingering in Damen’s body. The only hope for him is obtaining the antidote that’s in Haven’s possession—and she’s more interest in vengeance than sharing.
Pathfinder, by Orson Scott Card (Nov. 23, Simon Pulse)
Rigg is well trained at keeping secrets. Only his father knows the truth about his strange talent for seeing the paths of people’s pasts. But when his father dies, Rigg is stunned to learn just how many secrets Father had kept from him—secrets about Rigg’s identity and a birthright that sets him on a path between two factions, one that wants him crowned and one that wants him dead.
Invisible Things, by Jenny Davidson (Nov. 23, HarperTeen)
In an alternate 1930s Europe, 16-year-old Sophie and Mikael, now more than a friend, investigate her parents’ death, setting off a chain of events that unravels everything she thought she knew about her family, and involving them in international intrigue and the development of the atomic bomb. This is the sequel to The Explosionist (2008) and the second YA title from Davidson, a faculty member at Columbia University.
The Exorsistah: X Returns, by Claudia Mair Burney (Nov. 30, Pocket Star)
Now that Emme Vaughn is finally eighteen, she’s ready to strut her devil-whooping diva boots into Saint Dymphna’s Psychiatric Hospital and spring her mama. Only problem is a lady named Jane Doe beat her to it...two years ago. Jane is as mysterious as her name, but she holds the key to saving Emme’s mom and revealing how Emme got into this evil-fighting business in the first place.
Matched, by Ally Condie (Nov. 30, Dutton Juvenile)
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he is her ideal mate...until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, but Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, she begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice.
Urban fantasy author Suzanne Johnson is a bonafide book geek. 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 and Facebook.