Every month, Fiction Affliction provides a handy reference of the upcoming month’s releases in science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy and paranormal romance, and young adult paranormal. Today’s column examines YOUNG ADULT PARANORMAL.
The Symptoms: If you’re over eighteen, might as well toss your dentures in a cup and take a nap.
The Diagnosis: It’s a teen’s world, as evidenced by the utter publishing domination of Young Adult releases. Thirty-eight emo themselves onto the shelves this month, and that’s just the paranormals.
The Cure: You might try re-enrolling in high school wearing a wide-eyed look and a wig, glomming onto the broody new kid in class. But it’s a dangerous world out there for the 15-18-year-old set. Unless, of course, you are the broody new kid in class.
Seventeen-year-old Keri likes to plan for every possibility. She knows what to do if you break an arm, or get caught in an earthquake or fire. But she isn’t prepared for her brother’s suicide. When her childhood friend Janna tells her it was murder, Keri wants to believe her. After all, Janna’s brother died under similar circumstances years ago, and Janna insists a visiting tourist, Sione, has helped her find answers. As the three dig deeper, disturbing facts begin to pile up: one boy killed every year; all older brothers; all had spent New Year’s Eve in the idyllic town of Summerton. But when their search for the serial killer takes an unexpected turn, suspicion is cast on those they trust the most.
An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions. Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now, desperate to find out what happened, Alex meets up with Tom, a young soldier, and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP. For this improvised family, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.
Gracejust moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school — until a minotaur walks in. Gretchenis tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. Greerhas her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they’re triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth.
To save the life of the boy she loves, Jacinda did the unthinkable — she revealed her draki form to dragon hunters. Now that she’s back within the protection of her kind, Jacinda is seen as a traitor. Harder still is the knowledge that she can never see Will again. But when she has a chance to be reunited with him, is the cost too high? A Firelight novel.
The war between Heaven and Hell rages on. Aaron, half-angel and half-human, commands the Fallen in their quest to protect humanity. But evil forces gain strength at every turn. And lurking somewhere in the shadows is Archangel Gabriel’s instrument with the power to call down the End of Days. With the fate of the world hanging in the balance, Aaron will stop at nothing to defend civilization — and the girl who holds his heart. Even if it means venturing to Hell and back.
Abbey knows that Caspian is her destiny. Theirs is a bond that transcends even death. But as Abbey finally learns the full truth about the dark fate that links her to Caspian and ties them both to the town of Sleepy Hollow, she suddenly has some very hard choices to make. Caspian may be the love of her life, but is that love worth dying for? Final book in the Hollow trilogy.
When Annelise meets dark and seductive Ronan, he promises her a new life — if she has the courage to chance the unknown. Now, she’s whisked away to a mysterious island and pitted against other female recruits to become a Watcher-girls who are partnered with vampires to assist them in their missions. To survive and become a Watcher, Annelise has to beat out every other girl, but she’s determined to do so, because to fail doesn’t mean dishonor — it means death.
In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city’s most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine. That is until her loser ex-boyfriend is accidently poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she’s to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight — at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family. First in the Birthright series.
A devastated Earth’s last hope is found in Pearls: small, mysterious orbs that fall from space and are capable of supplying enough energy to power entire cities. Battling to control the Pearls are the Skyship dwellers — political dissidents who live in massive ships in the Earth’s stratosphere — and the corrupt Surface government. Jesse Fisher, a Skyship slacker, and Cassius Stevenson, a young Surface operative, cross paths when they both venture into forbidden territory in pursuit of Pearls. Their chance encounter triggers an unexpected reaction, endowing each boy with remarkable — and dangerous — abilities that their respective governments would stop at nothing to possess.
Brock Koeman always hated werewolves. While trying to trap a werewolf pack, he and his brother Chris were attacked and bitten — becoming what they have always feared and despised. While Chris fights for his life in the hospital, Brock faces another kind of battle: stifling his terrible urge to transform. When werewolves kidnap him and the girl he loves, Brock discovers what it means to be Other, and the life that awaits if he can accept his fate. Second in the Other series.
When Dani was eight, she fell from a building. No one believed her claim that she was pushed by Rachel, her imaginary friend. It took years of therapy to convince Dani that Rachel wasn’t real. Now fifteen, Dani wants to make it as a dancer. But a deadly freak accident sends Dani a terrifying message: Rachel is back, she’s real, and she’ll stop at nothing to kill Dani. Complicating matters is Jesse, the school bad boy who’s being stalked by his own invisible childhood nemesis. Dani and Jesse join forces to learn why their astral tormenters are back.
Braden was born with witch eyes: the ability to see the world as it truly is — a blinding explosion of memories, darkness, and magic. After a terrifying vision reveals imminent danger for the uncle who raised and instructed him, Braden retreats to Belle Dam, an old city divided by two feuding witch dynasties. As rival family heads Catherine Lansing and Jason Thorpe desperately try to use Braden’s powers to unlock Belle Dam’s secrets, Braden vows never to become their sacrificial pawn.
Leena Thomas’s senior year at boarding school starts with a cruel shock: Frost House, the cozy Victorian dorm where she and her best friends live, has been assigned an unexpected roommate — eccentric Celeste Lazar. As classes get under way, strange happenings begin to bedevil Frost House: frames falling off walls, doors locking themselves, furniture toppling over. But does the threat lie with her new roommate, within Leena’s own mind...or in Frost House itself?
Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire — fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil. Until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops. Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don’t exist), and they’re shocked she survived. They’re even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. They quickly find a way to make use of her new talent.
Eighteen-year-old maid Tess Davies is determined to escape the wealthy, overbearing family she works for. Once the ship they’re sailing on reaches the United States, she’ll strike out on her own. Then she meets Alec, a handsome first-class passenger who captivates her instantly. But Alec has secrets, and soon Tess will learn just how dark Alec’s past truly is. The danger they face is no ordinary enemy: werewolves are real and they’re stalking him — and now Tess, too. Her growing love for Alec will put Tess in mortal peril, and fate will do the same before their journey on the Titanic is over.
She knows only Sam, a mysterious teenage boy. He is her sole companion, her whole life. She was born, already a teenager, lying outside a burning building in soot-stained clothes, remembering nothing, not even her name. He showed her the necklace she had on, the one that named her: Abby. Sam brought her to live in his cave-palace, where he gives her everything she needs. He loves her. He protects her from the world outside, from everyone who wants to hurt them, like the denizens of Circle Nine, Dante’s deepest circle of hell. But even in a charmed, brand-new life like Abby’s, change will come.
Aimee and Alan have secrets. Both teens have unusual pasts and abilities they prefer to keep hidden. But when they meet each other in a cold Maine town, they can’t stop their secrets from spilling out. But Alan’s cousin Courtney, in a desperate plea to find her missing father, has invited a demon into her life, and into her body. Only together can Aimee and Alan exorcise the ghost. And they have to move quickly, before it devours not just Courtney but everything around her.
All Beatrice Shakespeare Smith has ever wanted is a true family of her own. And she’s close to reuniting her parents when her father disappears. Now Bertie must deal with a vengeful sea goddess and a mysterious queen as she tries to keep her family — and the Theatre Illuminata — from crumbling. Third in the Theatre Illuminata series.
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway — a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing.
Princess Wisdom, known as Dizzy, longs for a life of adventure beyond the staid old kingdom of Montagne. Tips, a soldier, longs to keep his true identity a secret. Fortitude, an orphaned maid, longs only for Tips. These three souls might possibly attain their dreams while preserving their empire from ruin — if only they can bear one another’s company long enough to come up with a plan.
The Empyreanis the only home 15-year-old Waverly has ever known. Part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space, she and her boyfriend Kieran will be pioneers of New Earth. Waverly knows she must marry young in order to have children who can carry on the mission, and Kieran has everything Waverly could want in a husband. But her dreams are interrupted by the inconceivable — a violent betrayal by the Empyrean’s sister ship. The New Horizon’s leaders are desperate to populate the new planet first, and will do anything to get what they need: young girls.
When Dr. Warthrop goes hunting the “Holy Grail of Montrumology” with his eager new assistant, Arkwright, he leaves Will Henry in New York. Finally, Will can enjoy something that always seemed out of reach: a normal life with a real family. But part of Will can’t let go of Dr. Warthrop, and when Arkwright returns claiming that the doctor is dead, Will travels to Socotra, the Isle of Blood, where human beings are used to make nests and blood rains from the sky. Third in the Monstrumologist series.
Once every century, one person is chosen for greatness. But the prophecy is vague, and Elisa, always overshadowed by her accomplished older sister, has no idea why she was chosen or how she will fulfill the expectations. Her future is unknown and her potential is tremendous — even if she doesn’t realize it. A king asks her to save his troubled country. A savage enemy hunts her for its own — dead or alive. A revolutionary asks for her heart. And in the midst of ferocious battles and harsh quests, Elisa will find herself.
When her boyfriend, Danny, is killed in a car accident, Wren can’t imagine living without him. Wild with grief, she uses the untamed powers she’s inherited to bring him back. But the Danny who returns is just a shell of the boy she once loved. Wren has spent four months keeping Danny hidden, while her life slowly unravels around her. Then Gabriel DeMarnes transfers to her school and somehow, inexplicably, he can sense her secret.
Monster High 3: Where There’s a Wolf, There’s a Way, by Lisi Harrison (Sept. 20, Poppy)
The fur-ocious Clawdeen Wolf’s birthday bash is a bust. All the RADs have scattered into hiding and Clawdeen goes stir crazy lying low at her family’s B&B until Lala shows up to keep her company. But is the vamp flirting with Clawdeen’s brother Claude?! Keep up with Frankie, Melody and Cleo as the RADs fight to let their true colors show.
Gabriel and Shay are convinced they can make their relationship work. Knowing that Shay is half-vampire, Gabriel thinks his coven will embrace her as one of their own, but instead they view her as an abomination, a thing that doesn’t belong in either world. And they want her dead.
Everyone else is talking about Eastlake High’s gorgeous new math teacher, Mr. Beck, but Kaylee Cavanaugh has bigger things on her mind. Kaylee’s a banshee — her scream is a portent of death. But the next scream might hit too close to home. Kaylee’s borrowed lifeline has almost run out. So to distract herself from her own problems, Kaylee is determined to defend her school against the latest supernatural threat. That hot new teacher? He’s a lot hotter than anyone knows. Fifth in the Soul Screamers series.
Alek and Deryn are on the last leg of their round-the-world quest to end World War I, reclaim Alek’s throne as prince of Austria, and finally fall in love. The first two objectives are complicated by the fact that their ship, the Leviathan, continues to detour farther away from the heart of the war (and crown). And the love thing would be a lot easier if Alek knew Deryn was a girl. (She has to pose as a boy in order to serve in the British Air Service.) And if they weren’t technically enemies. Third and final in the Leviathan trilogy.
Abarat is a vast archipelago where every island is a different hour of the day — from The Great Head that sits in the mysterious twilight waters of Eight in the Evening to the sunlit wonders of Three in the Afternoon, where dragons roam, to the island of Midnight, ruled over by the evil Mater Motley. But Mater plans to create a darkness so complete that it blots out every glimpse of the light and vanquishes the sun, moon, and stars from the Abarat, ending all hope and happiness. Only one person can stop her — Candy Quackenbush from Chickentown, U.S.A. Third in the Abarat series.
On the night of Skye Parker’s seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and calm. Their sudden appearance sends Skye’s life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move — only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.
After their beautiful yet brief bonding ceremony in Italy, Schuyler Van Alen and Jack Force are forced to separate. To fulfill the Van Alen Legacy, Schuyler travels to Alexandria to search for Catherine of Siena and the Gate of Promise. But Schuyler quickly discovers that everything she believed about the Gate to be wrong. Meanwhile, Jack makes the difficult decision to return to New York to face his twin and former bondmate, Mimi. With all roads leading to Hell, Mimi learns that not all love stories have happy endings. Sixth in the Blue Bloods series.
Sasha is desperate to find out who murdered her father. When getting the answer means pledging her soul to Eryx, she unlocks a secret that puts her in grave danger — Sasha is Anabo, a daughter of Eve, and Eryx’s biggest threat. A son of Hell, immortal, and bound to Earth forever, Jax looks for redemption in the Mephisto Covenant — God’s promise he will find peace in the love of an Anabo. After a thousand years, he’s finally found the girl he’s been searching for — if she’ll give up her mortal life.
The year is 1871, and Tiki has been making a home for herself and her family of orphans in a deserted hideaway adjoining Charing Cross Station in central London. Their only means of survival is by picking pockets. One December night, Tiki steals a ring, and sets off a chain of events that could lead to all-out war with the Fey. For the ring belongs to Queen Victoria, and it binds the rulers of England and the realm of Faerie to peace. With the ring missing, a rebel group of faeries hopes to break the treaty with dark magic and blood — Tiki’s blood.
Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can. She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed. There is. She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love. She’s wrong.
The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it’s the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago. Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. First in the Shades of London series.
At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting — he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd — whose death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself — Patrick Ness has spun a novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war. Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands,” she speaks many languages — not all of them human, and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color.
After bouncing between foster homes, Magdalene Mae is transferred to what should be her last one, in the tiny town of Silver City, New Mexico. She’s determined to stay out of trouble and be normal. Agreeing to go to the prom with Bridger O’Connell is a good first step. But even in her new home danger lurks, waiting in the shadows to pounce. They are the Skinwalkers of Navajo legend, who have traded their souls to become the animal whose skin they wear — and shapeshifter Maggie is their next target.
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.