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 June releases in science fiction, urban fantasy/paranormal romance, and epic fantasy. Today’s column examines new releases in YOUNG ADULT PARANORMAL.
The Symptoms: It might be time for summer break to begin, but there are lots of mysterious new boys lurking around the halls during summer school, and even more girls finding how Just-How-Special they are. Not to mention the alien on the hunt for Johnny Depp.
The Diagnosis: Twenty-eight new YA paranormals take on that dystopia called high school this month, and lots of girls who learn they’re really strange new creatures—often the only one left of their kind—are having nightmares that prove prophetic.
The Cure: Girls, you could always just stay awake, which would not only fend off the nightmares but sleep deprivation makes a great excuse for those abnormal symptoms you seem to be having. And, this warning can’t be repeated often enough: Stay away from mysterious new male classmates, especially if you run into them in the woods at night. Special note to Johnny Depp: beware.
Camille has everything she wants. She’s escaped the men who wanted her dead, and now she is ready to build a new life with Oscar, her one true love. But things are not to be so simple. Oscar is acting strangely, and before they can even board a ship from Australia back home to San Francisco, Camille learns the journey is not over. If she does not follow the magic of the curse of Umandu, her life and Ocar’s could be in grave danger. Second in the Everlasting series.
A thrilling tale of adventure, romance, and one girl’s unyielding courage through the darkest of nightmares. Epidemics, floods, droughts. For 16-year-old Lucy, the end of the world came and went, taking 99 percent of the population with it. As the weather continues to rage out of control, and Sweepers clean the streets of plague victims, Lucy survives alone in the wilds of Central Park. But when she’s rescued from a pack of hunting dogs by a mysterious boy named Aidan, she reluctantly joins his band of survivors, yet a new danger awaits her: the Sweepers are looking for her.
Amy is in love with someone who doesn’t exist: Alexander Banks, the dashing hero in a popular series of vampire novels. Then one night, Amy meets a boy who bears an eerie resemblance to Alexander. In fact, he is Alexander, who has escaped from the pages of the book and is in hot pursuit of a wicked vampire named Vigo. But when she and Alexander begin to fall for each other, Amy wonders if she even wants him to ever return to the realm of fiction.
Zoë’s the one female dragon shapeshifter of her kind, but she’s at the bottom of the class when it comes to being Pyr and her powers are AWOL, so she’s sent to a Pyr boot camp. Zoë quickly realizes that she has to master her powers yesterday, because the Pyr are in danger and boot camp is a trap.
Can there truly be love after death? Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she’s dead, trapped in a nightmarish existence until she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning. Amelia and Joshua grow closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive. But a frightening spirit named Eli is trying to drag Amelia back into the ghost world forever. First in a new series.
Vi knows the Rule: Girls don’t walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn. And since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi’s future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself. But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they’re set on convincing Vi to become one of them by brainwashing Zenn.
Everlasting is the sixth and final installment of the epic Immortals love story that has enchanted readers across the world. Ever and Damen have spent centuries facing down bitter rivals, jealous friends and their own worst fears, all in the hope of being together forever. Now in Everlasting, their destiny is finally within reach. Will they be united, or torn apart forever?
Each night when 16 year-old London Lane goes to sleep, her world disappears. In the morning, all that’s left is a note telling her about a day she can’t remember. The whole scenario doesn’t exactly make high school or dating that hot guy whose name she can’t seem to recall any easier. But when London starts experiencing disturbing visions she can’t make sense of, she realizes it’s time to learn a little more about the past she keeps forgetting, before it destroys her future.
Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. When a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba’s world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back. Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside, Saba learns she’s a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor and a cunning opponent. First in the Dustlands series.
Bickering frenemies Meg and Shar are doing some serious damage at a midnight sample sale when they find themselves arguing over a pair of shoes, with fatal consequences. One innocent bystander later, the girls are suddenly at the mercy of Hades, the god of the underworld. To make them atone for what they’ve done, Hades forces the teens to become special-assignment Sirens, luring to the Underworld any individual whose unholy contract is up. But finding a balance between their old and new responsibilities turns out to be harder than expected when Greek deities get involved.
David Gershwin’s summer is about to take a turn for the weird. When his dad’s new patient Zelda tells him she s from outer space and on a quest to take Johnny Depp back to her planet, he knows he should run away screaming. But with one look from her mean, green eyes, David’s hooked, and soon he’s leaping across rooftops, running from police, and stealing cars just to stay by her side. He might not be a typical hero, but David’s going to get the girl even if it takes him to the ends of the earth or beyond.
Keelie Heartwood believes her mission in Canada is to resolve a conflict between the elves and the fae. But at the dazzling Fairy High Court, she learns otherwise. An imbalance in magic has created a rift that can destroy the world. Keelie’s mixed blood (elf, human and fae) makes her powerful, but this 16-year-old L.A. girl can’t fix things alone. Second in the Scions of Shadow series.
My life seriously couldn’t get any worse. First, my designation of dragon slayer is stolen from me by Curtis Green. Sure, he’s cute, but that’s no excuse. Then I am assigned to slay fairies. But the thing that tops my list of stuff to ruin my day? That would be the giant killer fairy I have to hunt down because I’m the only one who can see it. There is someone who can help me. Unfortunately, it’s Curtis.
Prince Rashko is frustrated with his family. The kingdom and castle seem to be in the hands of fools. So when his mysteriously disappear and the evil Baron Temny parks his army outside the castle walls, it is up to the young prince to save the day. But there is more to this castle and its history than meets the eye, and Rashko will have to embrace his ancestry, harness a dragon, and use his sword-fighting skills to stop the baron and save the kingdom.
Alexis is the last girl you’d expect to sell her soul for beauty and popularity. After all, she already has everything she needs: an adorable boyfriend, the perfect best friend, and a family that finally seems to be healing after her sister Kasey’s unfortunate possession by an evil spirit. But then Kasey tells Alexis about the mysterious new club she has joined, and the oath she has taken to someone named Aralt. Second in the Bad Girls Don’t Die series.
Bryn is finally settling into her position as alpha of the Cedar Ridge Pack, or at least, her own version of alpha when you’re a human leading a band of werewolves. Then she finds a teenage boy bleeding on her front porch. But Lucas isn’t part of Bryn’s pack, and she has no right to claim another alpha’s Were. With danger closing in, Bryn will have to accept that to be alpha, she must give in to her own animal instincts and become less human. Second in the Raised by Wolves series.
The Goblin Market has always been the center of dancer Sin’s world, but now the Market is at war with the magicians. Keeping secrets from the market she loves, Sin is thrown together with the Ryves brothers, Nick and Alan, whom she’s always despised. But Alan has been marked by a magician, and as Sin watches Alan struggle to protect the demon brother he loves, she begins to see both brothers in a new light. Third in the Demon’s Lexicon series.
When Willie arrives in Indian Territory, she knows only one thing: no one can find out who she really is. To escape a home she doesn’t belong in anymore, she assumes the name of a former classmate and accepts a teaching job at the Cherokee Female Seminary. Nothing prepares her for what she finds there. A student drowned in the river last year, and the girls whisper that she was killed by a jealous lover. Willie’s room is the very room the dead girl slept in. The students say her spirit haunts it. Soon, even she has to admit that the revenant may be trying to tell her something.
Luce would die for Daniel. And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn’t need to be that way. Luce is certain that something—or someone—in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of this lifetime: going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel and finally unlock the key to making their love last. Third in the Fallen series.
For 17-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back. So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, but her past.
Violet Willoughby doesn’t believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother’s elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the loose.
Sometimes falling in love means you have to kill somebody. Jana Webster and Michael Haynes were destined to be together forever. But Jana just died in a bowling accident, and now she’s trapped in Dead School. Jana is certain that it won’t be long before Michael kills himself in order to spend eternity with her, but the days are passing and Michael is, inexplicably, still alive. So Jana decides to take matters into her own hands.
What’s a girl to do when meeting The One means she’s cursed to die a horrible death? Life hasn’t been easy on 16-year-old Emma Conner, so a new start in New York may be just the change she needs. But friendly faces are few and far between, except for one she’s drawn to—Brendan Salinger, the guy who might be her very own white knight. But ever since she saw him, strange things have been happening. Like visions that warn her to stay away from Brendan. Or else.
Her best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she’s cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what’s wrong: She is a kind of angel who feels the Need, a powerful draw to help someone, usually a stranger. There have been others who’ve felt the Need, but they’re forgotten by everyone whose lives they touched. And as everyone begins to slowly forget her, Charlotte must decide if she’ll fight the Need in order to remain herself—no matter how dark the consequences.
Willow has spent most of her life as her mother’s sidekick in a popular Las Vegas hypnotism show. So when she and her mom move back to their sleepy hometown to start over, she thinks she’s in for a life of quiet normalcy. Except she kinda sorta hypnotizes Quinton, the hottest guy on the football team, to fall in love with her. What started as an way to make her best friend jealous soon gets out of hand, and Willow wonders if the mind, and the heart, is something you can really control.
On Lily Sanderson’s 18th birthday she’ll become just a girl—still a mer girl, true, but signing the renunciation paperwork will ink Princess Waterlily of Thalassinia out of existence. That leaves plain old Lily living on land, dating the boy she loves, and trying to master this being human thing. She’s almost content to give up her place in the royal succession. But can she find a way to reconcile her love, her duty, and her dreams? Second in the Fins series.
As Ellie comes to grips with her destiny as the Elect One, her relationship with Michael grows tense. When she meets a mysterious boy names Rafe, things get even more complicated. Yet the time has come for the Elect One to stand against the fallen angels bent on destroying the world. As the end days approach, Ellie is faced with an epic decision. Who does her heart really belong to? Second in the Fallen Angel series.
They thought him dead. After a battle of that magnitude, how could Krodin have possibly survived? But you can’t underestimate a time-traveling supervillain. Young heroes Roz, Abbey, Paragon, and Lance find this out the hard way when, in the blink of an eye, the world changes. At first it’s not all that noticeable. But something’s not quite right. Maybe it’s the smell of ozone in the air or the people acting strangely, like drones. Or maybe it’s the images of Krodin everywhere that confirms it: This is not their America. Follow-up to Super Human.
Urban fantasy author Suzanne Johnson is annoyed that she’s far past 16 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.