Twenty-three new urban fantasy titles give readers’ wallets a little break after the March onslaught. Still, there are new series additions from Faith Hunter (Jane Yellowrock); M.J. Scott (Half-Light City); Michael Grant (Gone); Kelley Armstrong (Darkness Rising); Karen Mahoney (Iron Witch); Tim Lebbon (Toxic City); Darren Shan (Zom-B); Kimberly Derting (Body Finder); Kevin Anderson (Dan Shamble); Amanda Carlson (Jessica McClain); MLN Hanover (Black Sun’s Daughter); and Caitlin Kittredge (Black London).
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.
London’s ruined economy has pushed everyone to the breaking point, and even the police rely on bribes and deals with criminals to survive. Detective Inspector Cass Jones struggles to keep integrity in the police force, but now, two gory cases will test his mettle. A gang hit goes wrong, leaving two schoolboys dead, and a serial killer calling himself the Man of Flies leaves a message on his victims saying “nothing is sacred.” Then Cass’ brother murders his own family before committing suicide. Cass doesn’t believe his gentle brother did it. Yet when evidence emerges suggesting someone killed all three of them, a prime suspect is found, Cass himself. Common links emerge in all three cases, but while Cass is finding more questions than answers, the Man of Flies continues to kill.
Amber is a teenage runaway, hiding out in Los Angeles, who is also a daughter of the wolf kind. Not long ago, she had her own personal demon. Richard was her servant, her lover, and a hellish force bound to the earth against his will. Together they turned back the World Snake that threatened to destroy the city, and she had granted Richard his freedom. Now Amber is alone, but nobody accepts that she has truly shed her demon. Many still fear the World Snake and seek to capture the demon’s power for their own purposes. Amber finds herself hunted, in both wolf and human forms, by cultists, illusionists, raisers of power, and even an evil veterinarian. To save herself Amber may have to call back her fearsome demon lover, who is no longer bound to obey her.
The Master of Natchez, Mississippi has a nasty problem on his hands. Rogue vampires, those who follow the Naturaleza and believe that humans should be nothing more than prey to be hunted, are terrorizing his city. Luckily, he knows the perfect skinwalker to call in to take back the streets. But what he doesn’t tell Jane is that there’s something different about these vamps. Something that makes them harder to kill, even for a pro like Jane. Now, her simple job has turned into a fight to stay alive, and to protect the desperately ill child left in her care.
Children of the Underground: The Children of Paranoia Series, by Trevor Shane, (April 2, NAL)
The war had been raging for as long as anyone could remember. The secret, endless war between two opposing sides, one good, one evil. Neither side knows which is which; it is kill or be killed in an invisible conflict where assassination is the weapon of choice. When she was just seventeen, Maria was pulled into this secret war and they killed her lover and stole her child. Now they are telling her to go home. To ignore what she knows is going on in the shadows all around her. They told Maria to forget all she’d lost. The trouble is, some things simply can’t be forgotten. Now, with a loose-cannon killer at her side, Maria is going to do whatever it takes to get back what belongs to her. And that means starting a war of her own.
The Sarrazins have always stood apart from the rest of their Bayou-born neighbors. Blessed, or cursed, with the uncanny ability to see beyond the spectral plain, Aurie has raised his children, Sol, Baz, and Lutie, in the tradition of the traiteur, finding wayward spirits and using his special gift to release them along Deadroads into the afterworld. The family drifted apart, scattered high and low across the continent. Tragedy serves to bring them together. When Aurie, while investigating a series of murders, is himself killed by a devil, Sol, Baz and Lutie are thrown into a world of gory spirits, brilliant angels, and nefarious demons. Small potatoes compared to reconciling their familial differences.
Young Adult. Jacob Reckless has only a few months left to live. He’s tried everything to shake the Fairy curse that traded his life for his brother’s, legends such as the All-Healing Apple, the Well of Eternal Youth, the blood of a northern Djinn. And yet hope after hope is extinguished. After months of fruitless searching, Jacob journeys through his father’s mirror one final time to deliver the bad news to Fox. But there they hear of one last possibility, an item so legendary that not even Mirrorworlders believe it exists: a crossbow that can kill thousands, or heal one, when shot through the heart. But a Goyl treasure hunter is also searching for the prized crossbow. Jacob must find it first, and somehow convince Fox to do whatever it takes to save him. (U.S. release).
I was raised to do the right thing. But to my family that means staying safe behind the walls of human society. To be a respectable metalmage and never put myself at risk. But the treaty is faltering. And if it fails, nothing is safe. To help save the city and everyone I care about, I will use whatever means I can to ensure the negotiations to renew the treaty are successful, even if that means forging an alliance with a man who is the very opposite of the right thing. Fen is trouble. Wild. He would rather bind himself in iron and drink himself into oblivion than learn to master the visions that come to him. Those visions might just hold the key to peace, and it seems that my power might hold the key to his control, if I can keep it around him.
It’s been over a year since all the adults disappeared. Gone. In the time since every person over the age of fourteen disappeared from the town of Perdido Beach, California, countless battles have been fought: battles against hunger and lies and plague, and epic battles of good against evil. And now, the gaiaphage has been reborn as Diana’s malicious mutant daughter, Gaia. Gaia is endlessly hungry for destruction. She yearns to conquer her Nemesis, Little Pete, and then bend the entire world to her warped will. As long-standing enemies become allies, secrets are revealed and unexpected sacrifices are made. Will their attempts to save themselves and one another matter in the end, or will the kids of Perdido Beach perish in this final power struggle?
As a Level Eight telepath, I am the best police interrogator in the department. But I’m not a cop, I never will be, and my only friend on the force, Homicide Detective Isabella Cherabino, is avoiding me because of a telepathic link I created by accident. And I might not even be an interrogator for much longer. Our boss says unless I pull out a miracle, I’ll be gone before Christmas. I need this job, damn it. It’s the only thing keeping me sane. Parts for illegal Tech, the same parts used to bring the world to its knees in the Tech Wars sixty years ago, are being hijacked all over the city. Plus Cherbino’s longtime nemesis, a cop killer, has resurfaced with a vengeance. If I can stay alive long enough, I just might be able to prove my worth, once and for all.
Young Adult. Things are getting desperate for Maya and her friends. Hunted by the powerful St. Clouds and now a rival Cabal as well, they’re quickly running out of places to hide. And with the whole world thinking they died in a helicopter crash, it’s not like they can just go to the authorities for help. All they have is the name and number of someone who might be able to give them a few answers. Answers to why they’re so valuable, and why their supernatural powers are getting more and more out of control. But Maya is unprepared for the truths that await her. And now, like it or not, she’ll have to face down some demons from her past if she ever hopes to move on with her life. Because Maya can’t keep running forever.
Young Adult. Cory Graff is not alone in her head. Bound to a deal of desperation made when she was a child, Cory’s mind houses the Furies, the hawk and the serpent, lingering always, waiting for her to satisfy their bloodlust. After escaping the asylum where she was trapped for years, Cory knows how to keep the Furies quiet. By day, she lives a normal life, but by night, she tracks down targets the Furies send her way. She brings down Justice upon them. When she meets a mysterious boy named Niko at her new school, she can’t figure out how she feels about him. For the first time, the Furies are quiet in her head around a guy. As Cory’s mind becomes a battlefield, with the Furies fighting for control, Cory will have to put everything on the line to hold on to what she’s worked so hard to build.
Paranormal investigators. Occult detectives. Ghost hunters. Monster fighters. Humans who unravel uncanny crimes and solve psychic puzzles; sleuths with supernatural powers of their own who provide services far beyond those normal gumshoes, shamuses, and Sherlocks can. When vampires, werewolves, and things that go “bump” in the night are part of your world, criminals can be as inhuman as the crimes they commit, and magic can seep into the mundane. Some of the best tales of the last decade from top authors of the 21st century’s most popular genres take you down mean streets and into strange crime scenes in this fantastic compilation.
Young Adult. After being tricked into opening the doorway to the Demon Realm by Aliette, the Wood Queen, Donna Underwood is faced with a terrible ultimatum from the newly released demon hordes. They demand that the alchemists deliver the Philosopher’s Stone, or their reaper storm will plunge the world into a devastating modern-day Dark Age. Donna is sent to London, England, where she must complete her alchemist’s training and learn how to recreate the Stone. Time is running out. Between facing the vengeful demon king, Demian, and collecting the Stone’s elements, Donna realizes she must give her own life in order to succeed. This time, even braving death may not be enough to save the world.
Young Adult. Two years after London is struck by a devastating terrorist attack, it is cut off from the world, protected by a large force of soldiers (known as Choppers). The handful of survivors in London are developing strange, fantastic powers. The Choppers treat the ruined city as their own experimental playground. Jack’s own developing powers are startling and frightening, though he is determined to save his father, the brutal man with a horrific power who calls himself Reaper. Jack must also find their friend Lucy-Anne. What Lucy-Anne discovers is terrifying, people evolving into monstrous things and the knowledge that a nuclear bomb has been set to destroy what’s left of London. The clock is ticking.
After escaping a secret military complex amid the zombie apocalypse, B roams the streets of a very changed London, dirty and dangerous and eerily quiet, except for the shuffling of the undead. Once again, B must find a way to survive against brain-eating zombies —and now also against those who have seized control of the city. With danger lurking around every corner and no one to trust, B must decide whether to join the creepy Mr. Dowling in exchange for his protection. When everyone around you is dead, where do you turn for help?
Young Adult. Violet thought she’d made peace with her unique ability to sense the echoes of the dead and the imprints that cling to their killers, that is until she acquired an imprint of her own. Forced to carry a reminder of the horrible events of her kidnapping, Violet is more determined than ever to lead a normal life. However, the people who run the special investigative team Violet works for have no intention of letting her go. When someone close to Violet becomes a suspect in a horrific murder, she finds herself pulled into a deadly hunt for a madman with an army of devoted followers. Violet has survived dangerous situations before, but she quickly discovers that protecting those closest to her is far more difficult than protecting herself.
Young Adult. There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys, but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends, and he’s gone. They call it the Heist. Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate, until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot, a structure that no one can cross and survive. Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken, or risk everything on the hope of the other side?
Young Adult. Following the events of Elixir and Devoted, and the ceremony that almost killed Sage, Clea faces a new reality: With Sage’s soul in Nico’s body, the love of her life looks an awful lot like her best friend’s boyfriend. Can Clea and Sage really be happy under these circumstances? Clea wants to try to enjoy their new life together, but Sage is acting different, angry, and she struggles to keep her friends from finding out what has happened to him. Something is clearly haunting Sage, and Clea is losing control. Can she trust her friends with the dangerous truth, or will she have to risk losing Sage to madness?
It hasn’t been the best week for Jessica McClain. Her mate has been kidnapped by a Goddess hell-bent on revenge, but Jessica is playing for keeps. Because she’s the only female werewolf in town, it comes with its own set of rules, and powers. Aided by two vamps, two loyal Pack members, and one very reluctant human, Jessica must rescue her man while coming to terms with what being a wolf really means. All in a day’s work for a girl.
Young Adult. Life turned upside down for Maddy Montgomery when she found out she was half-Angel and was catapulted into the scene of flashbulbs, paparazzi, and the fervent adulation that comes with being in the celebrity Angel world. She’s trying to juggle her ordinary life, high school, family, friends, with the intense demands of being in the public eye as heartthrob Angel Jackson Godspeed’s girlfriend. And now Maddy must face the most difficult choice of her life. She’s been offered the chance to become a Guardian. This means entering into dangerous and high stakes training, with no guarantee that she can succeed. But more than that, it would mean leaving her mortal life behind, forever, and allying with the Angels at a time when their relationship with humans is heading for war.
Jack Winter and his girlfriend Pete Caldecott have encountered a lot of strange creatures in the Black, primordial demons, hungry ghosts, witch hunters, and the Prince of Hell himself, Belial. When Belial asks Jack for one last favor to help him keep his throne, Jack may have finally met his match because Belial’s rival is something that no one, human or demon, has ever seen before. There’s a revolution brewing in Hell, and Jack might be the only one who can stop Belial’s rival from ripping a hole between the Black and the mortal world, a catastrophe that could be worse than Armageddon. But to win, Jack will have to do the one thing he swore he never would: become a servant to the Morrigan, and risk losing everything he knows and loves, including Pete.
After years on her own, Jayné Heller is going home to find some answers. How did the powerful spirit calling itself the Black Sun get into her body? Who was her uncle Eric, and what was the grand plan to which he devoted his life? Who did her mother have an affair with, and why? Jayné arrives during the preparations for her older brother’s shotgun wedding. The Invisible College has also come to town, intent on stopping the ceremony. They claim an ancient evil is threatening the child that would be Jayné’s niece, and that the Heller family has been rotten at the core for generations. The deeper Jayné looks, the more she thinks they might not be wrong. And behind them all, in the shadows of Jayné’s childhood home, a greater threat waits that calls itself the Graveyard Child.
The fur really flies when a serial scalper stalks the supernatural citizens of the Unnatural Quarter, targeting werewolves, and what’s sadder than a chrome-domed lycanthrope? Zombie P.I. Dan Shamble is on the case, trying to stop an all-out gang war between full-time and full-moon werewolves. As he combs through the tangled clues to hunt down the bald facts, things get hairy fast. Shamble lurches through a loony landscape of voodoo tattoo artists, illicit cockatrice fights, body builders assembling make-your-own-human kits, and perhaps scariest of all, crazed fans in town for the Worldwide Horror Convention. Yet the reign of hair-raising terror grows longer. If Shamble can’t snip this off at the roots, the whole world could end up howling mad.
Author Suzanne Johnson is a book geek with a fondness for a good dystopia. Her Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series is published by Tor Books. You can find Suzanne on Facebook and on her daily speculative fiction blog, Preternatura.