Thu
Jun 28 2012 5:00pm

Fiction Affliction: July Releases in Urban Fantasy

Everything’s coming up dead this summer—and it’s more than just vampires. This months’ twenty-nine urban fantasy offerings are full of ghosts, zombies, and the continued domination of death-obsessed, angst-riddled teens (um… oxymoronic?). There are some highly anticipated series additions this month from Diana Rowland (White Trash Zombies), Jess Haines (H&W Investigations), Charles Stross (Laundry Files), Deborah Harkness (All Souls), Nancy Holzner (Deadtown), Carrie Vaughn (Kitty Norville), and Heather Graham (Krewe of Hunters). And let’s not forget Thirteen, the final book in Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld.

Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here.

WEEK ONE

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues (White Trash Zombie, Book 2), by Diana Rowland (July 3, DAW)

Angel is starting to settle into this whole “being a zombie” thing, but her problems are far from over. Her felony record is coming back to haunt her, more zombie hunters are popping up, and she’s beginning to wonder if her hunky cop-boyfriend is involved with the zombie mafia. Throw in a government conspiracy and a secret lab, and Angel’s going to need all of her brainpower in order to get through it without falling apart.

God Save the Queen (The Immortal Empire), by Kate Locke (July 3, Orbit)

The undead matriarch leads a Britain where the Aristocracy is made up of werewolves and vampires, where goblins live underground and mothers know better than to let their children out after dark. And a world where technology lives side by side with magic. The year is 2012 and Pax Britannia still reigns. Xandra Vardan is a member of the elite Royal Guard, and it is her duty to protect the Aristocracy. But when her sister goes missing, Xandra will set out on a path that undermines everything she believed in and uncover a conspiracy that threatens to topple the empire. And she is the key-the prize in a very dangerous struggle.

Grave Memory (Alex Craft, Book 3), by Kalayna Price (July 3, Roc)

As a Grave Witch, Alex solves murders by raising the dead. While she’s always been on friendly terms with Death himself, lately things have become a lot more personal. But the personal takes a backseat to the professional when a string of suicides occur in Nekros City. The shades have no memory of the days leading up to their brutal endings, so despite the very apparent suicides, this is murder. And searching for the answers might mean Alex won’t have a life to remember at all.

Samurai Game, by Christine Feehan (July 3, Jove)

In an underground club, a high-ranking public official spends his secret nights indulging in fantasies as exciting as they are depraved. For a seductive employee of the Dungeon, it’s her job to fulfill them. But she’s playing a far more dangerous game—one of blackmail, politics, and murder that reaches into the shadow world of the Ghostwalkers, and the creation of a spectacular, one-of-a-kind new weapon of defense. But when a dictator makes his own catastrophic moves, the Ghostwalkers have no choice but to bring in two major players—a man and woman both driven by passion and revenge. Both expendable. Both with nothing left to lose.

Small Medium at Large, by Joanne Levy (July 3, Bloomsbury)

After she’s hit by lightning at a wedding, twelve-year-old Lilah Bloom develops a new talent: she can hear dead people. Among them, there’s over-opinionated Bubby Dora; a prissy fashion designer; and an approval-seeking clown who livens up a séance. With Bubby Dora leading the way, these and other sweetly imperfect ghosts haunt Lilah through seventh grade, and help her face her one big fear: talking to—and possibly going to the seventh-grade dance with—her crush, Andrew Finkel. Young adult.

Stalking the Others (H&W Investigations, Book 4), by Jess Haines (July 3, Kensington)

Vampires, werewolves, mages – the Others are very real, and wreaking havoc in Shiarra Waynest’s life. But now, she’s returning the favor. Once, she was one of the good guys–or as close as a New York P.I. can get. Then Shiarra Waynest was drawn into the world of the Others. Every faction has its own loyalties and agenda. And Shiarra’s recent betrayal by her ex-boyfriend means that she may be on the verge of becoming a rogue werewolf at the next full moon. Of course, with all the threats against her, Shia’s not sure she’ll live long enough to find out. The enigmatic vampire Royce wants her back in his clutches, as do two powerful werewolf packs, along with the police.

Tainted Night, Tainted Blood (Kat Redding, Book 2), by E.S. Moore (July 3, Kensington)

Kat Redding is a vampire with a job to do — wiping out the vamps and werewolves who prey on Pureblood humans. But suddenly Kat, also known as Lady Death, has competition, and it’s causing problems. Vampire houses and werewolf clans alike are blaming her for a spate of gruesome murders, and Kat needs to figure out who’s really responsible before she becomes the next target. On the hunt, she forms an uneasy alliance with both the Luna Cult and a powerful rogue werewolf. But the truths Kat’s uncovering about her enemies and her few remaining confidantes are far from comforting.

The Apocalypse Codex (Laundry Files, Book 4), by Charles Stross (July 3, Ace)

In the world of the Laundry, there is One True Religion. When a prominent televangelist with connections to 10 Downing Street shows disturbing signs of being able to work miracles, it’s only natural for the Laundry, the secret service for dealing with occult threats, to take an interest. But there’s a fly in the ointment: the first rule of the secret services is, spying on the Prime Minister and their associates is forbidden. It’s time to send in the freelancers – except in the world of the Laundry, officially there’s no such thing.

 

WEEK TWO

Dark Water (Siren, Book 3), by Tricia Rayburn (July 10, Egmont)

When seventeen-year-old Vanessa reunites with her biological mother, she faces the dilemma of a siren’s existence, that in order to survive she must endanger the lives of those she loves most. Young adult.

No Peace for the Damned, by Megan Powell (July 10, 47North)

Magnolia Kelch is no stranger to pain. Beautiful and powerful, she’s spent her entire life at the mercy of her sadistic father and the rest of the Kelch clan, who have tortured her and tested the limits of her powers. After one particularly heinous night that leaves Magnolia nearly dead, she finally sees her chance for escape. But this first taste of freedom is short-lived when she collides with Thirteen, head of a secret organization dedicated to fighting supernatural criminals. Even as she’s coming to grips with her new life as a recruit in the group and the horrific memories that still haunt her, she’s conflicted by her growing attraction to fellow team member Theo and the emergence of new, untested abilities. After months of grueling training, her loyalty to the team is tested when she learns her target is the Network’s most wanted: the Kelch family.

Poison Tree, by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (July 10, Delacorte)

Two twentysomething young women try to outrun their very different pasts, and figure out where they fit in and who they might become. Each has landed in a more “normal” place, and each wonders if, like a tattoo that can’t be covered up, they can ever really fit into “normal.” Young adult.

Shadow of Night (All Souls, Book 2), by Deborah Harkness (July 10, Viking)

Picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens.

So Close to You, by Rachel Carter (July 10, HarperTeen)

All her life Lydia Bentley has heard stories about the strange things that took place at the abandoned military base near her home and the people who’ve disappeared over the years. Stories about people like her own great-grandfather. When Lydia stumbles into a portal that transports her to a dangerous and strange new reality, she discovers that all the stories she’s ever heard about the Montauk Project are true, and that she’s in the middle of one of the most dangerous experiments in history.

 

WEEK THREE

Seed, by Ania Ahiborn (July 17, 47North)

Jack Winter has spent his entire life running from something no one else can see. His childhood is his darkest secret, but after a near fatal accident along a deserted road, the darkness he was sure he’d escaped rears its ugly head and smiles. But this time, he isn’t the only one who sees the soulless eyes of his past. This time, his six-year-old daughter Charlie leans into his ear and whispers: Daddy, I saw it too. And then she begins to change. Faced with reliving the nightmares of his childhood, Jack watches his daughter spiral into the shadows that had nearly consumed him twenty years before. But Charlie isn’t the only one who’s changing. Jack never outran the darkness. It’s been with him all along. And it’s hungrier than ever.

The Unquiet, by Jeannine Garsee (July 17, Bloomsbury)

Sixteen-year-old Rinn Jacobs has secrets: she’s bipolar and she killed her grandmother. After a suicide attempt, and now her parents’ separation, Rinn and her mom move to rural Ohio. Rinn settles into her new home, undaunted by the fact that the previous owner hanged herself in Rinn’s bedroom. At school, her classmates believe the school pool is haunted by Annaliese, a girl who drowned there. But when a reckless séance goes awry, and terrible things start happening to her new friends, Rinn is determined to find out why she can’t be “touched” by Annaliese or if Annaliese even exists. Young adult.

 

WEEK FOUR

Alex Van Helsing: The Triumph of Death, by Jason Henderson (July 24, HarperTeen)

Within months of discovering he’s next in a long line of vampire hunters, Alex Van Helsing has already defeated two powerful vampire leaders. Not bad for a fourteen-year-old. But when a newly risen vampire queen threatens the fate of the world, Alex faces his deadliest challenge yet. Teaming up with a motorcycle-riding witch, Alex jets between Switzerland, the UK, and Spain in a frantic race to prevent the queen from unleashing a curse that will plunge the world into darkness. Young adult.

Endlessly (Paranormalcy, Book 3), by Kiersten White (July 24, HarperTeen)

Try as she might, Evie can’t seem to escape her not-so-normal past. And what was supposed to be a blissfully normal school break is ruined when a massive group of paranormals shows up at her house, claiming that Evie is the only one who can protect them from a mysterious, perilous fate. The deadly war between the faerie courts looms ever closer. The clock is ticking on the entire paranormal world. And its future rests solely in Evie’s hands. Young adult.

Something Strange and Deadly, by Susan Dennard (July 24, HarperTeen)

The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia. Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—The Dead are rising in Philadelphia. And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor from her brother. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. Young adult.

Technomancer, by B.V. Larson (July 24, 47North)

When Quentin Draith wakes up in a private sanatorium, he has no memory of who he is or how he received the injuries riddling his body. All he knows is that he has to get out, away from the drugs being pumped into him and back to the real world to search for answers. His first question: How did his friend Tony’s internal organs fill with sand, killing him in a Las Vegas car crash?After a narrow escape, he tracks down the basic facts: he is an investigator and blogger specializing in the supernatural—which is a good thing, because Quentin’s life is getting stranger by the minute. First in a new series.

Thirteen (Women of the Otherworld, Book 13), by Kelley Armstrong (July 24, Dutton)

It’s been more than ten years, a dozen installments, and hundreds of thousands of copies since Kelley Armstrong introduced readers to the denizens of the Otherworld: witches, werewolves, necromancers, vampires, and half-demons, among others. And it’s all been leading to Thirteen, the final installment, the novel that brings all of these stories to a conclusion. A war is brewing—the first battle has been waged and Savannah Levine is left standing, albeit battered and bruised. She has rescued her half brother from supernatural medical testing, but he’s fighting to stay alive. The Supernatural Liberation Movement took him hostage, and they have a maniacal plan to expose the supernatural world to the unknowing. But it’s more than a matter of supernaturals against one another—both heaven and hell have entered the war; hellhounds, genetically modified werewolves, and all forces of good and evil have joined the fray.

All Seeing Eye, by Rob Thurman (July 31, Pocket)

Picking up a small pink shoe from the grass forever changed young Jackson Lee’s life. Not only did its presence mean that his sister Tessa was murdered and stuffed in the deep, black water of a narrow well, but the shoe itself told him so. Tessa’s death triggers an even more horrific family massacre that throws Jack’s life into a tailspin. The years quickly take him from state homes to the streets to grifting in a seedy carnival, until he finally becomes the cynical All Seeing Eye, psychic-for-hire. With his troubled past behind him, Jackson has found a semblance of peace, until the government blackmails him.

Blood and Feathers, by Lou Morgan (July 31, Solaris)

The war between the angels and the Fallen is escalating; the age-old balance is tipping, and innocent civilians are getting caught in the crossfire. If the balance is to be restored, the angels must act—or risk the Fallen taking control forever. That’s where Alice comes in. Hunted by the Fallen and guided by a disgraced angel with a drinking problem, Alice will learn the truth about her own history and why the angels want to send her to hell.

Darklands (Deadtown, Book 4), by Nancy Holzner (July 31, Ace)

They call it Deadtown: the city’s quarantined section for its inhuman and undead residents. Most humans stay far from its border, but Victory Vaughn, Boston’s only professional demon slayer, isn’t exactly human. Boston’s demons have been disappearing, and Vicky’s clients are canceling left and right. While fewer demons might seem like a good thing, Vicky suspects foul play. A missing Celtic cauldron from Harvard’s Peabody museum leads her to an unwelcome conclusion: Pryce, her demi-demon cousin and bitter enemy, is trying to regain his full powers.

Gunmetal Magic (Kate Daniels, Book 5.5), by Ilona Andrews (July 31, Ace)

After being kicked out of the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, Andrea Nash’s whole existence is in shambles. All she can do is try to put herself back together, something made easier by working for Cutting Edge, a small investigative firm owned by her best friend, Kate Daniels. When several shapeshifters working for Andrea’s former lover Raphael Medrano, the male alpha of Clan Bouda, die unexpectedly at a dig site, Andrea is assigned to investigate. As her search for the killer leads her into the secret underbelly of supernatural Atlanta, Andrea knows that dealing with her feelings for Raphael might have to take a backseat to saving the world.

Kitty Steals the Show (Kitty Norville, Book 10), by Carrie Vaughn (July 31, Tor)

Kitty has been tapped as the keynote speaker for the First International Conference on Paranatural Studies, taking place in London. The conference brings together scientists, activists, protestors, and supernatural beings from all over the world. Master vampires from dozens of cities have also gathered in London for a conference of their own. With the help of the Master of London, Kitty gets more of a glimpse into the Long Game—a centuries-old power struggle among vampires—than she ever has before. Kitty has the help of some old allies, and meets some new ones, such as Caleb, the alpha werewolf of the British Isles.

Shadows Before the Sun (Charlie Madigan, Book 4), by Kelly Gay (July 31, Pocket)

After filling out mountains of paperwork, Detective Charlie Madigan sets out for a death-defying trip into heavenly Elysia to rescue her partner Hank and bring the siren home. Of course, she doesn’t expect to leave behind an all out siren revolution or return home to find that crime boss Grigori Tennin has begun a massive search for the divine being, Ahkneri. Tennin’s tactics set off a chain reaction that puts Charlie in the crosshairs of the shadowy creature known as Death and awakens Ahkneri from her long sleep.

Sin’s Dark Caress (Dark Brethren), by Tracey O’Hara (July 31, Harper Voyager)

An ancient darkness has risen from the. Forensic witch Bianca Sin has never seen anything like it: homeless teenage girls torn to pieces by dark magic in the cold shadows of the city. More terrifying still is the symbol written in blood on an alley wall—the unmistakable seal of the Dark Brethren. Teaming up with NYPD homicide detective Lancelot McManus and an elite task force headed by the shapeshifter Oberon DuPrie, Bianca knows her worse fears have finally come to pass. A new war of annihilation is looming that will plunge the worlds of vampire, shapeshifter, and human into chaos. For the ultimate evil is no longer approaching. It’s here.

The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires, by Molly Harper (July 31, Pocket)

Iris Scanlon, Half-Moon Hollow’s only daytime vampire concierge, knows more about the undead than she’d like. Running all their daylight errands—from letting in the plumber to picking up some chilled O neg—gives her a look at the not-so-glamorous side of vampire life. Her rules are strict; relationships with vamps are strictly business. But then she finds her newest client, Cal, poisoned on his kitchen floor, and only Iris can help. Cal - who would be devastatingly sexy, if Iris allowed herself to think that way - offers Iris a hefty fee for hiding him at her place until he figures out who wants him permanently dead.

The Unspoken (Krewe of Hunters, Book 7), by Heather Graham (July 31, Mira)

1898: Bound for Chicago, the freighter Jerry McGuen goes down in Lake Michigan, taking with it every man aboard. But what other fate could befall a vessel carrying the ill-gotten sarcophagus of an Egyptian sorcerer? Because a curse unspoken is no less deadly. Now: A veteran diver and “ghost ship” expert is exploring the legendary wreck for a documentary. He dies inexplicably inside the freighter’s main saloon. Then another diver is killed and panicked rumors rise like bubbles from the lake: ancient demons have awakened below.


Author Suzanne Johnson is a book geek with a fondness for a good dystopia. Royal Street, the first in her Sentinels of New Orleans series, is set in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina. Find Suzanne on Twitter and Facebook.

9 comments
Nick Rogers
1. BookGoblin
So excited for another Laundry novel from Charles Stross that I took extra vacation to be off the day it came out. I read "The Fuller Memorandum" in a matter of hours, finishing at 3:00 am...and I've been bouncing off the walls waiting for the next one.
Null
2. Null
Yes. Reading this list is a bit Sesame St isnt it--- 'One of these novels is not like the others'.

The Laundry books are total geek squee. And very very funny. Applied computational demonology; whats not to like? There's something very sweet about the idea that studying, say, geometric Langlands, is a practical skill...
Constance Sublette
3. Zorra
I'd disagree that the Harkness novels are urban fantasy, but much more something like a scientific romance, which I think Mary Shelley called Frankenstein, with which the Harkness novels share a fair amount, which becomes more obvious in Shadow of Night.

Love, C.
Suzanne Johnson
4. SuzanneJohnson
@Zorra...It's always a challenge to categorize the books. I'm sure but that both the Stross book and Harkness could have gone in the "genre-bender" categories. All the genres are blending now. But I didn't think Harkness belonged in paranormal romance, either!
Constance Sublette
5. Zorra
:) that you didn't think Shadow of Night is urban fantasy either!

I'm did an NPR 6 minute interview about Harkness's trilogy (though obviously only the first two volumes), which will run, the director thinks, the first week in July. This came about because of what the interviewer saw in a piece I wrote about Discovery, in which I did my best to prove that this book wasn't at all what other reviews said it was.

Love, C.
Nick Rogers
6. BookGoblin
I chuckled at the category (I would have just called it Sci-Fi but no one asked me) but the book is essentially urban, and it certainly is fantastic...so Urban Fantasy worked well enough for me.

I think what throws me is that I have a sort of background environment variable that says "Urban Fantasy" = "Paranormal Romance" at this point.

I used to equate Urban Fantasy with Charles de Lint and the old Thieves World shared-universe series, but I recognize that the boundaries with the Sookie Stackhouse and Anita Blake types has expanded the collective Venn diagram with a really wide overlap area.

I'm not particularly concerned with where they categorize and shelve it, I'm just ridiculously excited to read it.
Null
7. the_zedmeister
You're missing Ben Aaronovitch's Whispers Under Ground!
Null
8. Null
Bookgoblin,

Yup. But it is very urban, and Stross has a nice feel for the particulars of city life, the small London details (one of the Laundry novels had some throwaway line about 'you know you're in suburbia when the tube is above ground'), and of course the lovingly detailed evocations of British bureaucracy.

And it is so nice not to see life altering powers wasted on a police procedural, or whatever. Is it so hard for a writer imagining extraordinary powers also to image some use for them?

(Well, experimentally, Im forced to say 'yes'. From memory, only Lev Grossman's latest had convincing depictions of what people with serious power would try and do with it. Gleeful intelligence cant be in such short supply, can it?)

Rant over.

TLDR: Stross is smart; it's a pleasure to read him.
Null
9. Natasa
I'm surprised Blood and Feathers by Lou Morgan isn't one of the four featured book covers... now that's some spectacular artwork.

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