Thu
Dec 1 2011 5:00pm

Fiction Affliction: December Releases in Urban Fantasy

The forces of evil don’t take holidays, so neither do the kickass heroines of urban fantasy (okay, there might be a few heroes, too, but not many—put that on your wish-list for Santa). And did we mention how absolutely terrifying high school is these days, what with all the students uncovering heretofore-unknown powers and the cute new guys being secretive monsters? Twenty-seven new adult and YA urban fantasy releases in December include a new outing in the popular Infernal Devices prequel to the Clockwork Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, new installments in the Horngate Witches and Spellcrackers series from Diana Pharaoh Francis and Suzanne McLeod, respectively, and, just in time for the holidays, the definitive guide to Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series.

Shaedes of Gray, by Amanda Bonilla (Dec. 6, Signet)

In the shadows of the night, Darian has lived alone for almost a century. Made and abandoned by her former love, Darian is the last of her kind—an immortal Shaede who can slip into darkness as easily as breathing. With no one else to rely on, she has taught herself how to survive, using her unique skills to become a deadly assassin. When Darian’s next mark turns out to be Xander Peck, King of the Shaede Nation, her whole worldview is thrown into question. Darian begins to wonder if she’s taken on more than her conscience will allow. But a good assassin never leaves a job unfinished.

Clockwork Prince, by Cassandra Clare (Dec. 6, Margaret K. McElderry)

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. Second in The Infernal Devices. Young Adult

Left Hand Magic, by Nancy A. Collins (Dec. 6, Roc)

Artist Tate Eresby has accepted the unusual sights and sounds of Golgotham, New York’s paranormal underworld. But her relationship with witch-lord Hexe, the current heir to the Kymeran throne, is full of tension. Hexe’s Uncle Esau is an anti-human activist who believes Tate is a human enemy of his race. But Tate’s time in Golgotham has left her more than human. Second in the Golgoltham series.

Winging It, by Deborah Cooke (Dec. 6, NAL)

Zoe Sorensson yearns to come into her powers as the only female dragon shifter. But being part of two worlds is more complicated than she expected. It’s bad enough that she’s the target of the Mages’ plan to eliminate all shifters—she also has to hide her true nature from her best friend Megan, a human. For her sixteenth birthday, all Zoe wants is one normal day, including a tattoo and a chance to see hot rocker Jared. When Zoe is invited to the popular kids’ Halloween party and Megan’s left out, Zoë knows the party is a trap. Second in the Dragon Diaries. Young Adult

Hellsbane, by Paige Cuccaro (Dec. 6, Entangled)

Emma Jane Hellsbane always knew she was different, but she had no idea she wasn’t even human. Well, at least she’s half-human. She’s half-fallen angel, too, and now dear ol’ dad wants her dead. All the Fallen angels want all their troublesome offspring removed from the mortal coil so she’s trying not to take it personally. Besides, she wants him dead just as much. Her father’s death is the only way she’ll be forgiven for his sin, stop those pesky demons from trying to hack off her head, and have any hope at all of getting back to a normal life as a wicked slick Intuitive Consciousness Explorer.

Blood of Eden, by Tami Dane (Dec. 6, Kensington)

Sloan has a sky-high IQ, a chaotic personal life, and a dream: to work for the FBI. Her goal is within reach until an error lands her with the FBI’s ugly stepchild: the new Paranormal Behavioral Analysis Unit. She’ll get to profile criminals, but the pool of suspects is a little more...diverse. Yet even as Sloan tackles her first case—a string of victims, all with puncture wounds to the neck—she can’t silence her inner para-skeptic.To catch the killer she’ll have to think like one. First in a new series.

Shattered Dreams, by Ellie James (Dec. 6, St. Martin’s Griffin)

Sixteen-year-old Trinity Monsour wants nothing more than to live a normal life. But she sees visions, and for those she’s seen, it’s already too late. Trinity arrives on her aunt’s doorstep in New Orleans with virtually no knowledge of her mysterious heritage. She begins settling into life at a new school and even starts making friends. But all too quickly her dreams accelerate; twisted, terrifying visions of a girl locked in a dark room. And when the head cheerleader, Jessica, goes missing, Trinity knows she has no choice but to step forward with what she’s seen. First in a new series. Young Adult

The Cross, by Sean McCabe (Dec. 6, Signet)

The vampires call it the Cross of Ardaich: a relic thought to have been destroyed in the war between the Federation and the rebels. But it has been found, and its incredible powers could signal the end of civilization. A cannibalistic serial killer becomes the perfect tool for the race of the Ubervampyr. His mission: find the cross. His reward: join the ranks of the undead. On his trail are Detective Joel Solomon and Vampire Federation agent Alex Bishop. Once lovers and now enemies, they must work together to prevent the ultimate disaster. A Vampire Federation novel.

Surrender, by Lee Nichols (Dec. 6, Bloomsbury)

After a devastating battle at headquarters in New York, the ghostkeeping world is in shambles. When Emma and Bennett return home, they are determined to defeat the wraithmaster, Neos, forever. But it’s not going to be easy. Bennett’s parents kick him out when they realize he is still using drugs to enhance his powers. Emma is convinced her aunt has come back from the dead to warn her of a new threat. And worst of all, Neos is using wraiths to possess the students at Thatcher Academy. Concludes the Haunting Emma trilogy. Young Adult

The Thirteen Hallows, by Michael Scott and Colette Freedman (Dec. 6, Tor)

The Hallows. Ancient artifacts imbued with a primal and deadly power. But are they protectors of this world, or the keys to its destruction? A gruesome murder in London reveals a sinister plot to uncover a 2,000-year-old secret.For decades, the Keepers guarded these Hallows, keeping them safe and hidden and apart from each other. But now the Keepers are being brutally murdered, their prizes stolen, the ancient objects bathed in their blood. Now, only a few remain. With her dying breath, one of the Keepers convinces Sarah Miller, a practical stranger, to deliver her Hallow—a broken sword with devastating powers—to her American nephew, Owen. The duo quickly become suspects in a series of murders as they are chased by both the police and the sadistic Dark Man and his nubile mistress.

Shattered Souls, by Mary Lindsey (Dec. 8, Philomel)

Lenzi hears voices and has visions—gravestones, floods, a boy with steel-gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can’t help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she’s a reincarnated Speaker—someone who can talk to and help lost souls—and that he has been her Protector for centuries.Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. Young Adult

Legacy, by Molly Cochran (Dec. 20, Simon & Schuster)

When her widowed father dumps 16-year-old Katy Jessevar in a boarding school in Whitfield, Mass., she has no idea that fate just opened the door to both her future and her past. Nearly everyone in Whitfield is a witch, as is Katy herself, although she has struggled all her life to hide her unusual talents. Stuck at a boarding school where her fellow studens seem to despise her, Katy soon discovers that Whitfield is the place where her mother commited suicide under mysterious circumstances when Katy was just a small child. With dark forces converging on Whitfield, it’s up to Katy to unravel her family’s many secrets to save the boy she loves and the town itself from destruction. Young Adult

On a Dark Wing, by Jordan Dane (Dec. 20, Harlequin Teen)

Five years ago Abbey Chandler cheated Death. She survived a horrific car accident, but her lucky break came at the expense of her mother’s life. After she crossed paths with Death—by taking the hand of an ethereal boy made of clouds and sky—she would never be normal again. Now she’s the target of Death’s Ravens and an innocent boy’s life is on the line. When Nate Holden—Abbey’s secret crush—starts to climb Alaska’s Denali, the Angel of Death is with him because of her. Abbey finds out the hard way that Death never forgets. Young Adult

Blood Wolf, by Steve Feasey (Dec. 20, Feiwel & Friends)

Trey Laporte believed he was the last werewolf. But he’s found his pack, and they’re more dangerous and wild than he’d ever guess. Back in London, Trey’s vampire guardian, Lucien, is battling his own darkness and Lucien’s daughter, Alexis, is trying to hold off a Necrotroph that is after her father. U.S. release. Young Adult

Death and Resurrection, by R.A. MacAvoy (Dec. 20, Prime)

The award-winning writer of Tea With the Black Dragon returns to fantasy with the story of Chinese-American artist Ewen Young, who gains the ability to travel between the worlds of life and death. This unasked-for skill irrevocably changes his life—as does meeting Nez Perce veterinarian Dr. Susan Sundown and her dog, Resurrection. After defeating a threat to his own family, Ewen and Susan confront great evils—both supernatural and human—as life and death flow dangerously close together.

Vampire Academy: The Ultimate Guide, by Michelle Rowen and Richelle Mead (Dec. 22, Razorbill)

The official guide to the bestselling Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. Discover the history of St. Vladimir’s Academy, explore the dark psychology behind Rose and Lissa’s spirit bond, and find out even more illicit secrets about Moroi society. This ultimate guide will feature everything readers want and need to go even deeper into the world of Vampire AcademyFrostbiteShadow KissBlood PromiseSpirit Bound, and Last Sacrifice. Young Adult

Every Other Day, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Dec. 27, Edgmont)

Every other day, Kali D’Angelo is a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She goes to public high school. She attends pep rallies. She’s human. And then every day in between, she’s something else entirely. Though she still looks like herself, every twenty-four hours predatory instincts take over and Kali becomes a feared demon-hunter with the undeniable urge to hunt, trap, and kill zombies, hellhounds, and other supernatural creatures. Kali has no idea why she is the way she is, but she gives in to instinct anyway, even though the government considers it environmental terrorism. Young Adult

Archon, by Sabrina Benulis (Dec. 27, Harper Voyager)

Angela Mathers is plagued by visions of angels, supernatural creatures who haunt her thoughts by day and seduce her dreams by night. Newly released from a mental institution, she hopes her time at the Vatican’s university, the West Wood Academy, will give her a chance at a normal life. Unlike ordinary humans, Angela is a blood head—a freak, a monster, the possible fulfillment of a terrifying prophecy of overwhelming death and destruction. Only in the Vatican’s enclave are blood heads encouraged to discover any special abilities they possess. But a secret coven plots, and demons and angels roam the streets searching for the key to open Raziel’s. Torn between mortal love and angelic obsession, Angela holds the key to Heaven and Hell — and both will stop at nothing to possess her. Young Adult

Shadow City, by Diana Pharaoh Francis (Dec. 27, Pocket)

The world is falling apart. The magical apocalypse has come. Now is the time to guard the covenstead against both raiders and refugees. But Max has been stolen by a powerful demi-god who is determined to force her to find a way to use a magical power she never knew she had—even if it kills her. Meanwhile, back in Horngate, a Fury is birthing. When the creature breaks free of the fragile bonds that enclose her, her rage will scour the covenstead from the earth. Third in the Horngate Witches series.

Ghoul Interrupted, by Victoria Laurie (Dec. 27, Signet)

M.J. Holliday and her crew interrupt the frantic schedule of their reality TV show, “Ghoul Getters,” and hotfoot it to New Mexico, where a dreadful demon is waging tribal warfare. M.J.’s spirit guide urgently needs her help to stop this evil spirit from wiping out the descendants of his tribe. It doesn’t take a psychic to predict that M.J.’s going to have a devil of a time making New Mexico a demon-free zone. The sixth Ghost Hunter mystery.

The Bitter Seed of Magic, by Suzanne McLeod (Dec. 27, Ace)

For once, Genny’s life seems quiet. Her sexy boss isn’t pushing for a decision on their relationship, and the witches have declared that she is no longer a threat. But when a teenaged faeling is fished out of the River Thames and another disappears, Genny finds herself in a race to stop a curse from taking its next victim. Third in the Spellcrackers series. U.S. release.

Shadow Heir, by Richelle Mead (Dec. 27, Zebra)

Shaman-for-hire Eugenie Markham strives to keep the mortal realm safe from trespassing entities. But as the Thorn Land’s prophecy-haunted queen, there’s no refuge for her and her soon-to-be-born-children when a mysterious blight begins to devastate the Otherworld. The spell-driven source of the blight isn’t the only challenge to Eugenie’s instincts. Fairy king Dorian is sacrificing everything to help, but Eugenie can’t trust the synergy drawing them back together. The uneasy truce between her and her shape shifter ex-lover Kiyo is endangered by secrets he can’t—or won’t—reveal. And as a formidable force rises to also threaten the human world, Eugenie must use her own cursed fate as a weapon—and risk the ultimate sacrifice. Fourth in the Dark Swan series.

Wicked Circle, by Linda Robertson (Dec. 27, Pocket)

Persephone Alcmedi has helped her waerewolf lover Johnny unlock his powers. Now she must come to the aid of Menessos, the vampire overlord she has secretly marked. Beset by a trio of truth-seeking vampire sisters so dangerous their own kind keep them confined in stone, he now needs her more than ever...and she realizes her need for him. Seph has magical promises to fulfill for the waeres, multiple mundane family challenges to meet, vampire politics to confront, both the supernatural males in her life to balance, a dragon to deal with...and then a government investigator shows up to complicate matters. Fifth in the Persephone Alcmedi series.

Switchblade Goddess, by Lucy A. Snyder (Dec. 27, Del Rey)

When Jessie Shimmer traveled to a nightmare underworld to save her lover, Cooper Marron, she gained magical powers that soon seemed more like curses. Her beloved familiar, the ferret Pal, became a monster. Her enemies multiplied like demons. Worst of all, she hasn’t found a moment of peace to be with the man she adores.Now a switchblade-wielding demigoddess commanding a private hell stocked with suffering innocents is after her. Third in the Jessie Shimmer series.

City of Light and Shadow, by Ian Whates (Dec. 27, Angry Robot)

The monstrous Rust Warriors are back! In a land struggling to cope with the onset of the fatal bone flu, street-nick Tom and Kat—the leader of the Tattooed Men—must find a way to dispatch both threats. Meanwhile, the Soul Thief is still at large, and still killing. Book three in the City of a Hundred Rows series.

Silver-Tongued Devil, by Jaye Wells (Dec. 28, Orbit)

Life is looking up for Sabina Kane. Now that her scheming grandmother is dead, the threat of war has passed and the rulers of the dark races are about to sign a treaty to ensure ongoing peace. Her relationship with sexy mage Adam Lazarus is strong and even her magic training is progressing. The only two dark spots are her guilt over her sister Maisie’s fragile mental state and Sabina’s own sense that she’s got unfinished business with Cain, the mysterious cult leader she let get away months earlier. When a string of murders rock the New York dark races community, Sabina finds herself helping to find the killer. Fourth in the Sabina Kane series.

Hidden, by Kelley Armstrong (Dec. 31, Subterranean)

Hiking through the snow, holiday baking and playing board games by the fire—what’s not to love about an old-fashioned family Christmas? Werewolves Elena Michaels and Clayton Danvers want to give their four-year-old twins, Kate and Logan, something their parents never had: a nice, normal holiday. No Pack responsibilities, no homicidal half-demons or power-hungry sorcerers to deal with—just the four of them, alone, at a chalet outside Ontario’s Algonquin Park. Then a strange werewolf shows up at their door while the town is buzzing about a young man, back from college, found half-eaten in the woods. And there’s the missing little girl…A special-edition novella in the Otherworld series.


Author Suzanne Johnson is a book geek with a fondness for a good dystopia. 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.

1 comment
James Davis Nicoll
1. James Davis Nicoll
Clockwork Prince, by Cassandra Clare

Hilariously, my drug store puts her books next to the works of Cassie Edwards. Those who remember when Clare was Claire will know why that's funny.

It turns out the most interesting part of Clare's wikipedia article is the talk page, as so often is the case.

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