Thu
Nov 1 2012 3:00pm

Fiction Affliction: November Releases in Urban Fantasy

Fiction Affliction: November Releases in Urban FantasyThe month that a new Harry Dresden novel is released is kind of like an Apple event for the urban fantasy crowd—almost worth camping outside the bookstore the night before release, wearing long mantled dusters and carrying big sticks. But Jim Butcher’s Cold Days doesn’t roll around until after Thanksgiving, and there are twenty-four other UF novels vying for your attention in the meantime, including adult series additions from Thea Harrison, Devon Monk, Laura Resnick, Suzanne Johnson (yeah, her), Joseph Nassise, Jeri Smith-Ready, Illona Andrews, Kevin Hearne, and D.D. Barant.

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

Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.

 

WEEK ONE

Bitter Blood (The Morganville Vampires #13), by Rachel Caine (November 6, NAL)

Thanks to the eradication of the parasitic creatures known as the draug, the vampires of Morganville have been freed of their usual constraints. With the vampires indulging their every whim, the town’s human population is determined to hold on to their lives by taking up arms. But college student Claire Danvers isn’t about to take sides, considering she has ties to both the humans and the vampires. To make matters worse, a television show comes to Morganville looking for ghosts, just as vampire and human politics collide. Now, Claire and her friends have to figure out how to keep the peace without ending up on the nightly news, or worse.

Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2), by Laini Taylor (November 6, Little, Brown Books)

Young Adult. Art student and monster’s apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is, and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it. Karou must decide how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life. While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope. But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

Lord’s Fall (Elder Races #5), by Thea Harrison (November 6, Berkley)

Before she met Dragos, half-human/half-Wyr, Pia Giovanni was alone and on the run. Now she’s mated, pregnant and heading south to repair the Wyrs’ frayed relationship with the Elves. Being separated from Dragos is painful, but for the good of the Wyr demesne they need to figure out how to be partners, in more places than just the bedroom. In New York to preside over the Sentinel Games, Dragos is worried about his mate, but knows that finding two replacement sentinels is essential to show the rest of the Elder Races just how strong and brutal the Wyr demesne can be. But as the Games heat up, Pia’s negotiations with the Elves take a turn for the dangerous, straining her bond with Dragos and threatening everything they hold dear.

Magic for a Price (Allie Beckstrom #9), by Devon Monk (November 6, Roc)

With Portland about to descend into chaos, Allie needs to find a way to purify the wells of tainted magic beneath the city. But the only options left to her are grim: attempt to close down magic forever, or follow her father’s plan to set magic into the right hands, even though she’s learned to never trust his word. Now, Allie will have to make a choice and face the darkness of her own deepest fears, before time runs out for them all.

Polterheist (Esther Diamond #5), by Laura Resnick (November 6, DAW)

Struggling actress Esther Diamond’s latest Manhattan misadventure leads her into the twisted realm of greedy heirs battling over a retail empire, a series of heists pulled off by invisible thieves, and inanimate objects that grow fangs and fly through the air to attack a poor actress who’s just trying to earn enough money to pay her rent. As an ancient Evil prepares to unleash hell on a night when darkness prevails and dimensional barriers crumble, Esther Diamond battles to save her friends from deadly peril, protect her city from demonic disaster, and collect her paycheck in time to make rent.

Still Life with Shape-shifter (Shifting Circle #2), by Sharon Shinn (November 6, Ace)

Melanie Landon and her half-sister share a unique bond. For her entire life, Melanie has hidden the fact that Ann is a shape-shifter. Melanie is determined to keep Ann’s secret and protect her from a world that wouldn’t understand. For months, Melanie hasn’t seen or heard from Ann. When a man shows up saying he’s there about her sister, Melanie fears the worst. Brody Westerbrook doesn’t have information about Ann. A freelance writer, Brody intends to include Ann in a book he’s writing about the existence of shape-shifters. While Melanie is immediately drawn to the stranger on her doorstep, she denies his claims, knowing that trusting him isn’t an option. When Ann finally appears looking thin and sick, Melanie realizes exposure is the least of their worries.

 

WEEK TWO

Flash Point, by Nancy Kress (November 8, Viking Juvenile)

Young Adult. Amy had dreams of going to college, until the Collapse destroyed the economy and her future. Now she is desperate for any job that will help support her terminally ill grandmother and rebellious younger sister. When she finds herself in the running for a slot on a new reality TV show, she signs on the dotted line, despite her misgivings. And she’s right to have them. TLN’s Who Knows People, Baby—You? has an irresistible premise: correctly predict what the teenage cast will do in a crisis and win millions. But the network has pulled strings to make it work, using everything from 24/7 hidden cameras to life-threatening technology to flat-out rigging. Worse, every time the ratings slip, TLN ups the ante. Soon Amy is fighting for her life, on and off camera.

Bad Hair Day (Kate Grable #2), by Carrie Harris (November 13, Delacorte)

Young Adult. Kate Grable is geeked out to shadow the county medical examiner as part of her school’s premed program. But after he’s arrested for murder, she’s left with the bodies. And when Kate’s brother, Jonah, stumbles upon a dead gamer girl, Kate realizes that the zombie epidemic she cured last fall was only the beginning of the weirdness taking over her town. Someone, or something, is murdering kids. Something really hairy. And strong. Possibly with claws. Could it be werewolves, like Jonah and his dorktastic friends think? Kate’s supposed to be a butt-kicking, zombie-killing genius, but if she can’t figure out what’s behind the freakish attacks, the victims, or what’s left of them, are going to keep piling up.

Pax Britannia: Time’s Arrow, by Jonathan Green (November 13, Abaddon)

Paris. City of lights. City of lovers. City of dreams. If one man gets his way its inhabitants will soon be forced to endure a nightmare such as they have never known. Detective and Hero of the British Empire, Ulysses Quicksilver, is determined to get in his way. Arriving at a murder scene, with the dead man’s blood on his hands, Ulysses is forced to go on the run. His intention: to clear his good name, and get back to England in one piece and as quickly as possible; for the love of his life is about to take a most ill-advised trip to the Moon.

Reached (Matched #3), by Ally Condie (November 13, Dutton)

Young Adult. Cassia faces the ultimate choices in the long-anticipated conclusion to the Matched Trilogy. After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising, and each other, Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again. Cassia will reconcile the difficulties of challenging a life too confining, seeking a freedom she never dreamed possible, and honoring a love she cannot live without.

River Road (Sentinels of New Orleans #2), by Suzanne Johnson (November 13, Tor)

Hurricane Katrina is long gone, but the preternatural storm rages on in New Orleans. New species from the Beyond moved into Louisiana after the hurricane destroyed the borders between worlds, and it falls to wizard sentinel Drusilla Jaco and her partner, Alex Warin, to keep the preternaturals peaceful and the humans unaware. But a war is brewing between two clans of Cajun merpeople in Plaquemines Parish, and down in the swamp, DJ learns, there’s more stirring than angry mermen and the threat of a were-gator. Wizards are dying, and something, or someone, from the Beyond is poisoning the waters of the mighty Mississippi. DJ and Alex must figure out what unearthly source is contaminating the water and who, or what, is killing the wizards. After all, DJ’s undead suitor, the pirate Jean Lafitte, knows his way around a body or two.

Speed of Light (Fenestra #3), by Amber Kizer (November 13, Delacorte)

Young Adult. Meridian Sozu is a Fenestra, an angel infused human, destined to transition souls into the next world. Together with Tens Valdes, her soulmate and Protector, they’ve made a home in Indiana, making sure the dead safely enter the light and aren’t stolen by the Dark, known as the Nocti. Upon rescuing Juliet Ambrose from her terrible childhood, Juliet has become vulnerable without her Protector and grasps at any hope to find her parents, even when it’s offered by a proven Nocti, Ms. Asura. Juliet is now faced with the choice between uncovering her past and having a future. Meanwhile, time may be running out for the hundreds of thousands preparing for the festivities surrounding the Indianapolis 500 car race. As centuries of secrets are revealed, the battles will pit Light versus Dark.

Witch World (Witch World #1), by Christopher Pike (November 13, Simon Pulse)

Young Adult. Heading off for a weekend in Las Vegas with her friends, Jessie Ralle has only one worry: how to make it through the road trip in the same car with her ex, Jimmy Kelter. The guy who dumped her for no reason. The guy who’s finally ready to tell her why he did it, because he wants her back. In Las Vegas she meets Russ, a mesmerizing stranger who shows her how to gamble, and who never seems to lose. Curious, Jessie wants to know his secret, and in response, alone in his hotel room, he teaches her a game that opens a door to another reality. To Witch World. Suddenly Jessie discovers that she’s stumbled into a world where some people can do the impossible, and others may not even be human. She fears she’s lost her mind. Are there really witches? Is she one of them?

 

WEEK THREE

Nightmare (Jack Nightingale #3), by Stephen Leather (November 20, 47North)

What goes around, comes around. Jack Nightingale learned that as a cop and discovered that it was just as true in the world of the supernatural. His life changed forever on the day he failed to stop a young girl from throwing herself to her death. Ever since, he’s been haunted by thoughts that he could have done more to save her. Now her cries for help are louder than ever. Is she trapped in eternal torment? Can Nightingale put things right? Or are the forces of darkness torturing and deceiving him in order to gain the ultimate prize: his soul? Nightingale will have to face down the powers of the police, south London gangs and Hell itself to find out. And evil is closer than he thinks. U.S. release.

Darwen Arkwright and the Insidious Bleck, by A.J. Hartley (November 21, Razorbill)

Young Adult. Eleven-year-old Darwen Arkwright’s life changed forever when he first set foot in Silbrica, the wondrous and magical world beyond the mirror. Now, he and his friends Rich and Alexandra, the Peregrine Pact, must journey to Costa Rica to save a boy who’s been stolen by the Insidious Bleck, a giant tentacled creature that leaves destruction in its wake. But what at first seemed to be a single kidnapping turns out to be an elaborate conspiracy that threatens the very future of our world. And this time, old allies can’t be trusted, and the danger runs deeper than Darwen could have ever imagined.

 

WEEK FOUR

City of Dark Magic: A Novel, by Magnus Flyte (November 27, Penguin)

Once a city of enormous wealth and culture, Prague was home to emperors, alchemists, astronomers, and hell portals. When music student Sarah Weston lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven’s manuscripts, she has no idea how dangerous her life is about to become. Soon after Sarah arrives, strange things begin to happen. She learns that her mentor, who was working at the castle, may not have committed suicide after all. As Sarah parses his clues about Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved,” she manages to get arrested, to have tantric sex in a public fountain, and to discover a time-warping drug. She also catches the attention of a four-hundred-year-old dwarf, the handsome Prince Max, and a powerful U.S. senator with secrets she will do anything to hide.

Cold Days (The Dresden Files #14), by Jim Butcher (November 27 Roc)

After being murdered by a mystery assailant and being brought back to the mortal world, Harry realizes that maybe death wasn’t all that bad. He is no longer Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard. He is now Harry Dresden, Winter Knight to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness. Harry had no choice but to swear his fealty. Her word is his command, no matter what she wants him to do, no matter who she wants him to kill. Mab wants her newest minion to pull off the impossible: kill an immortal. Beset by enemies new and old, Harry must gather his friends and allies, prevent the annihilation of countless innocents, and find a way out of his eternal subservience before his newfound powers claim the only thing he has left to call his own: his soul.

Kept (Coveted #2), by Shawntelle Madison (November 27, Ballantine)

Fresh from defending her pack in battle, Natalya Stravinsky, a whip-smart werewolf with a lovable neurotic streak, wants a little rest and relaxation. Once an outcast, she’s now eager to rejoin the ranks of her New Jersey pack. Yet Nat barely has time to revel in her progress before the next crisis comes howling at her door. Nat’s father has suddenly gone missing, captured by the Russian werewolf mafia. And as Nat steps up to save her dad from a mob boss’s deadly game, two men step in to play another round for her heart: her gorgeous alpha ex-boyfriend, Thorn, and her new flame, the sweetly sensitive wizard Nick. With her life growing more harried by the minute, Nat must stay cool, calm, and collected, or else risk losing everything.

King of the Dead (Jeremiah Hunt #2), by Joseph Nassise (November 27, Tor)

In a devil’s deal, Jeremiah Hunt sacrificed his human sight in exchange for the power to see the hidden world of ghosts and all of the darker spirits that prowl the streets. Hunt uncovered a world of murder and magic that took his daughter from him and nearly cost him his life, but that was only the beginning. Now Hunt is on the run from the FBI, who have pegged him as a mass-murdering dark sorcerer. His flight from the law is diverted to New Orleans when his companion, a potent witch, has a horrific vision of the city under magical siege. When they arrive, they realize that the situation is more dire than they could have imagined: the world of the living faces a terrifying attack by forces from beyond the grave.

Lullaby (Watersong #2), by Amanda Hocking (November 27, St. Martin’s Griffin)

Young Adult. Harper only wanted a normal life. When her younger sister Gemma runs off with a dangerous clique of beautiful girls, everything changes. Harper must face dangers unlike any she’s ever experienced to rescue Gemma. Fortunately, she has Daniel by her side, a guy who’s immune to the girls’ dark powers. While Harper searches for her sister, Gemma struggles to adjust to her new life. Gemma’s powers are growing. The longer she lives with her new “sisters,” the harder it is to resist entering their magical world. It’s a realm both dark and beautiful. As she’s drifting far away from her old life, Harper and Daniel find her. All she wants is to return to her family, but how can she do that when she’s become something else entirely? Will they still love her once they learn the truth?

Lust for Life (WVMP Radio #4), by Jeri Smith-Ready (November 27, Pocket Books)

Ciara’s con-artist parents taught her three keys to survival: keep low, keep quiet, and most of all, keep moving. But managing WVMP, the Lifeblood of Rock ’n’ Roll, not to mention becoming a vampire herself, has kept her in one place long enough to fall madly in love, adopt an undead dog, and make more enemies than she can shake a stake at. A psychotic DJ, a wannabe necromancer, and a posse of vengeful hippies would all love to see Ciara get her day in the sun, literally. To protect Ciara, her fiancé, Shane, has traded his flannel shirt and guitar for a flak jacket and crossbow. If she survives to walk down the aisle, will she recognize the man waiting at the altar? Ciara must decide who to trust, who to love, and who to kill.

Steel’s Edge (The Edge #4), by Ilona Andrews (November 27, Ace)

Charlotte de Ney is as noble as they come, a blueblood straight out of the Weird. Even though she possesses rare magical healing abilities, her life has brought her nothing but pain. After her marriage crumbles, she flees to the Edge to build a new home for herself. Until Richard Mar is brought to her for treatment, and Charlotte’s life is turned upside down once again. Richard is a swordsman without peer, future head of his large and rambunctious Edger clan, and he’s on a clandestine quest to wipe out slavers trafficking humans in the Weird. When his presence leads his very dangerous enemies to Charlotte, she vows to help Richard destroy them. The slavers’ operation, however, goes deeper than Richard knows, and even working together, Charlotte and Richard may not survive.

The First Prophet (Bishop Files #1), by Kay Hooper November 27, Jove)

Months ago Sarah Gallagher woke from a coma with psychic abilities she couldn’t control. They changed her life and cost her the man she loved. And now, someone is playing games with Sarah’s mind. It begins with Sarah’s home being destroyed by fire, an act of arson that draws novelist Tucker Mackenzie into Sarah’s confidence. But he has other reasons for pursuing a woman who can see what others can’t. So does a mysterious enemy intent on eliminating Sarah, and everyone she cares about. Because it’s only a matter of time before her visions lead her and Tucker to a secret many will kill to hide. Only then will they begin to discover the scope of a terrifying conspiracy so deep and complex they can trust almost no one.

Trapped (Iron Druid Chronicles #5), by Kevin Hearne (November 27, Del Rey)

After twelve years of secret training, Atticus O’Sullivan is finally ready to bind his apprentice, Granuaile, to the earth and double the number of Druids in the world. But on the eve of the ritual, the world that thought he was dead abruptly discovers that he’s still alive, and they would much rather he return to the grave. Having no other choice, Atticus, his trusted Irish wolfhound, Oberon, and Granuaile travel to the base of Mount Olympus, where the Roman god Bacchus is anxious to take his sworn revenge, but he’ll have to get in line behind an ancient vampire, a band of dark elves, and an old god of mischief, who all seem to have “kill the Druid” at the top of their to-do lists.

Undead to the World (The Bloodhound Files #6), by D.D. Barant (November 27, St. Martin’s)

Jace’s return to Kansas is an instant reminder that there really is no place like home. The tavern is still brimming with losers, practical jokers, and motorcycle chicks. Even the town’s only Goth is still wearing eyeliner. But just as Jace is about to click her heels and hightail out of there, she’s roped into a brand-new case. Somebody is possessed. And the bodies are piling up. They call him the Gallowsman. According to legend, he was sentenced to hang, though his crimes still have not been specified. When he was strung up to die, his spirit stuck around waiting for people to hang themselves, so he could steal their bodies. Now, with the undead rising up and going on a rampage, Jace must put her own neck on the line. Can she get the Gallowsman to give up the ghost?


Urban fantasy author Suzanne Johnson is a book geek with a fondness for a good dystopia. River Road, the second in her Sentinels of New Orleans series, will be released on November 13 by Tor books. Find Suzanne on Twitter.

12 comments
Steven Halter
1. stevenhalter
Neat:
River Road (Sentinels of New Orleans #2), by Suzanne Johnson (November 13, Tor)
I'm looking forward to that.
Suzanne Johnson
2. Susannah Sandlin
@stevehalter...Thanks! Yep, I'm looking forward to that too, LOL.
S Cooper
3. SPC
Not usually my genre, but I'm really excited about both River Road and Cold Days.
Suzanne Johnson
4. Susannah Sandlin
@SPC...Thanks--I'm excited about both of them, albeit for very different reasons! I'm always anxious to see what Jim Butcher gets Harry into next.
Shelly wb
5. shellywb
Like everyone else, I can't wait for the Dresden book. I guess I missed the first volume of Shinn's new series. I generally buy her books. And Kay Hooper? Of The Wizard of Seattle? I loved that book when I was younger. So many books in this list to try, and I'm not a huge urban fantasy reader.

Thanks for the list!
Shaz Taslimi
6. shaztaz
The Cold Days preview chapters have started! Head over toe jim-butcher.com to read the first chapter.

So I`ve found that I am definitely more of action-oriented UF reader and I like series and characters with lots of humour. I haven`t found that I enjoy a lot of the other series. I rather like the Kate Daniels books because there`s a lot of funny stuff going on there and I enjoyed the Esther Diamond books I`ve read because of all the slapstick and silliness going on there. And of course Harry Dresden is hilarious and the Dresden Files is definitely the reason I even look at any other UF series. So in that light, are there any others I should try?
George Brell
7. gbrell
@6.shaztaz:

If you enjoy action/humor in urban fantasy, you might enjoy Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid series (volume five of which is being released on the same day as Cold Days). I think Dresden Files is better, but Hearne's series is definitely enjoyable.
Shaz Taslimi
8. shaztaz
@gbrell:

Thanks! I'll be sure toe check it out. I don't think I'd have believed you if you told me it's better than Dresden, anyhow, so that sounds promising.
Suzanne Johnson
9. Susannah Sandlin
@shaztaz...Another option (and I'll refrain from plugging my own) is Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan series, which is, next to the Dresden Files, one of the best blends of action and humor I've read. Also funny--although really off-the-wall--is Simon R. Green's Nightside series.
Shaz Taslimi
10. shaztaz
Yup, I'm currently reading the fourth Nightside book, Hex and the City. I find the Nightside a most fascinating place. You never know what you'll meet ... in the Nightside!

I think I read the beginning of the first Hollows book at one point but it didn't quite capture me. I reckon I'll end up giving it another shot at some some future time.

Incidentally, is there any such thing as an urban fantasy standalone or do they all come in neverending series? Not that I have anything against series. Particularly once you end up really liking one, you never do want it to end. And then if not standalones, how about trilogies? I know of a few quartets and quintets but can't think of any trilogies.
Suzanne Johnson
11. Susannah Sandlin
@shaztaz....UF is definitely a series genre. I remember only one in recent years--Jennifer Armentrout's American Vampire, which I thought was hilarious. As far as I know, it was either the first in a series that got cancelled, or I missed any sequels to it. Trilogies...I can't think of any intentional trilogies in UF, either. (Unintentional, where the publisher didn't pick up additional books, I imagine there are quite a few.)

I admit it took me two or three tries to get through the first Hollows book--there's a lot of worldbuilding in it. But if you push through, it is definitely worth it. There's a point just past the halfway mark of that first book where I had to put the book down and just laugh for a while. Let's just say it involved a mink, a cage, and a rat fight.
Nicholas Winter
12. Nicholas Winter
Emma Bull has written two stand-alone urban fantasies: War for the Oaks and Bone Dance. And her Bordertown nvel, Finder, can be read without knowing the rest of that shared story universe.

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