Thu
May 2 2013 3:00pm

Fiction Affliction: May Releases in Urban Fantasy

Fiction Affliction May Releases in Urban FantasyAnd so it is that, with bloody tears streaming down our pasty cheeks, we bid farewell to Sookie and Eric and Pam and Bill as the final book in Charlaine Harris’ wildly popular Southern Vampire series comes to a conclusion with the release of Dead Ever After. And yet…there are twenty-three other urban fantasies hitting the virtual shelves this month, including new series additions from Jocelynn Drake, Rachel Caine, Alyson Noel, Joely Skye, S.M. Stirling, Patricia Briggs, Molly Harper, Jenn Bennett, Jill Archer, Nicole Peeler, Mike Shevdon, and Jacquelyn Frank.

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

Levitating Las Vegas, by Jennifer Echols, (May 6, Pocket Star) (ebook only)

Young Adult. Holly Starr is tired of assisting her dad, a celebrity magician, in his Las Vegas casino show. Once he shares the secrets to his tricks, she can break out on her own. For years Holly has taken medication to stave off hallucinations that she can levitate objects. When she thinks she’s ready to make a career and a life for herself, her medicine, and her luck, run out. Elijah Brown suffers from a similar delusion, that he can read minds, and he’s out of medicine too. He kidnaps Holly and takes her to the source, a town where their medicine is made. What they discover there leads them to suspect their powers are not imaginary. They make a pact to stick together to confront the people who kept them in the dark. Soon they’re pitting their powers against each other in a dangerous world.

Community Service (Broken Mirrors #3), by Vaughn R. Demont, (May 7, Samhain)

Life as the only human sorcerer isn’t all it’s cracked up to be for James Black, the Lightning Rod. Between gremlins in the closet, paladins crashing through skylights and working spells in a storage locker, hunting a body-hopping spirit is a welcome distraction. If only he didn’t have to partner with a Coyote. After being punted to the curb by his roommate, things are looking dire for trickster Spencer Crain, until an old friend offers him a shot at a big score scamming the best of marks: a vampire. With lives in the balance, James is learning the hard way what being a sorcerer really means and that he picked a hell of a time to quit smoking. Spencer is faced with the choice between his future and his friends. Yeah, like he’s never seen “that” movie before. (Digital only.)

Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse #13), by Charlaine Harris, (May 7, Ace)

Sookie Stackhouse finds it easy to turn down the request of former barmaid Arlene when she wants her job back at Merlotte’s. After all, Arlene tried to have Sookie killed. But her relationship with Eric Northman is not so clear-cut. He and his vampires are keeping their distance, and a cold silence. And when Sookie learns the reason why, she is devastated. Then a shocking murder rocks Bon Temps, and Sookie is arrested for the crime. Investigating the killing, she’ll learn that what passes for truth in Bon Temps is only a convenient lie. What passes for justice is more spilled blood. And what passes for love is never enough.

Dead Man’s Deal (The Asylum Tale #2), by Jocelynn Drake, (May 7, Harper Voyager)

In a world where elves, faeries, trolls, werewolves, and vampires swim free in a sea of humanity, sometimes you need an edge. Gage can give you what you need. The most talented tattoo artist in town, he knows the right symbol and the right mix of ingredients and ink to achieve your heart’s desire. Everything has its price. Gage learned that lesson long ago. The cruel and powerful wizards in the dreaded Ivory Towers he escaped aren’t about to let him forget. The wizards know Gage is using forbidden magic, and they intend to punish him for his transgressions. Too bad if innocent humans and monsters, entire cities, get in the way. They will quell a nascent magical uprising and Gage will be the sacrifice they need. First, though, they have to find him.

Fall of Night (The Morganville Vampires #14), by Rachel Caine, (May 7, NAL)

Young Adult. Claire never thought she’d leave Morganville, but when she gets accepted into the graduate program at MIT, she can’t pass up the opportunity. Saying good-bye to her friends is bittersweet, especially since things are still raw and unsettled between Claire and her boyfriend, Shane. Her new life at MIT is scary and exciting, but Morganville is never really far from Claire’s mind. Enrolled in a special advanced study program with Professor Irene Anderson, a former Morganville native, Claire is able to work on her machine, which is designed to cancel the mental abilities of vampires. When she begins testing her machine on live subjects, things quickly spiral out of control, and Claire starts to wonder whether leaving Morganville was the last mistake she’ll ever make.

Generation V (American Vampire #1), by M.L. Brennan, (May 7, Roc)

Fortitude Scott’s life is a mess. A degree in film theory has left him with zero marketable skills, his job revolves around pouring coffee, his roommate hasn’t paid rent in four months, and he’s also a vampire. He’s still mostly human. But when a new vampire comes into his family’s territory and young girls start going missing, Fort can’t ignore his heritage anymore. His mother and his older, stronger siblings think he’s crazy for wanting to get involved. It’s up to Fort to take action, with the assistance of Suzume Hollis, a dangerous and sexy shape-shifter. Fort is determined to find a way to outsmart the deadly vamp. Without having matured into full vampirehood and with Suzume ready to split if things get too risky, Fort’s rescue mission might just kill him.

Gods and Monsters: Unclean Spirits, by Chuck Wendig, (May 7, Abaddon)

Five years ago, it all went wrong for Cason Cole. He lost his wife and son, and was bound into service to a man who chews up human lives and spits them out, a predator who holds nothing dear and respects no law. As the man he both loves and hates lies dying at his feet, the sounds of the explosion still ringing in his ears, Cason is finally free. The gods and goddesses are real. A polytheistic pantheon, a tangle of divine hierarchies, once kept the world at an arm’s length, warring with one another for mankind’s belief and devotion. When one god triumphed, driving all other gods out of Heaven, it was back to the bad old days: cults and sycophants, and the terrible retribution the gods visit on those who spite them. That isn’t going to stop Cason from getting back what’s his.

Invisibility, by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan, (May 7, Philomel)

Young Adult. Stephen has been invisible for practically his whole life, because of a curse his grandfather, a powerful cursecaster, bestowed on Stephen’s mother before Stephen was born. When Elizabeth moves to Stephen’s NYC apartment building, no one is more surprised than he is that she can see him. When Stephen confides in Elizabeth about his predicament, the two of them decide to dive headfirst into the secret world of cursecasters and spellseekers to figure out a way to break the curse. Stephen’s grandfather arrives in town, taking his anger out on everyone he sees. Elizabeth and Stephen must decide how big of a sacrifice they’re willing to make for Stephen to become visible.The answer could mean the difference between life and death. At least for Elizabeth.

Mystic (The Soul Seekers #3), by Alyson Noel, (May 7, St. Martin’s Griffin)

Young Adult. Since arriving in Enchantment, New Mexico, everything in Daire Santos’ life has changed. And not all for the better. While she’s come to accept and embrace her new powers as a Soul Seeker, Daire struggles with the responsibility she holds navigating between the worlds of the living and the dead. And with the fate of her boyfriend Dace in the balance, Daire must put aside her personal feelings and focus on defeating Cade, whose evil plans threaten everyone she loves and the world as she knows it.

Running Wild (Northern Shifters #4), by Joely Skye, (May 7, Samhain)

Seamus O’Connor thought his friendship with Zachariah Smithson was just that, a relationship born on one horrific night seven years ago. He never thought he’d end up inheriting the old man’s farm. The farm comes equipped with all he needs, and something he didn’t expect. Unsettling, late-night visits from Zachariah’s grandson Ri. Ri has had little contact with the outside world. Horse shifters aren’t any human’s idea of normal. He’s wary of being the next target of the werewolves who took his twin brother. As Seamus gradually learns the truth of Ri’s life, their relationship tentatively grows. For it was Ri who rescued Seamus on that terrible night long ago. Seamus is about to realize he’s had his own encounters with werewolves. He just doesn’t know it yet.

Shadows of Falling Night (Shadowspawn #3), by S.M. Stirling, (May 7, Roc)

Near-purebred home nocturnus Adrian Brézé and his human mate, Ellen, thought they had dealt with his twin sister, Adrienne. They thought she was dead. But she survived and now leads a faction of the Shadowspawn, the ancient, shape-shifting, blood-drinking breed who secretly control the world. She has nothing but hatred and contempt for her brother, who remains on the side of humanity, fighting with the Brotherhood against the Shadowspawn. To defeat him, she has suborned his mentor, the greatest warrior of the Brotherhood. The man thinks he’s bringing a weapon to the Council of Shadows that will wipe out the Shadowspawn’s leaders. In truth, his actions will make Adrienne demon-goddess of the world, unless Adrian and Ellen can turn him back in time.

Alpha and Omega: Cry Wolf: Volume Two (Alpha & Omega Graphic #2), by Patricia Briggs (May 7, InkLit)

Charles and Anna are on the hunt for a rogue werewolf in the Montana mountains. The creature has morphed into something so dark that it kills everything in its path: deer, elk, grizzlies, humans. But the wolf is the creature of something far more powerful. One of Charles and Anna’s own pack harbors a centuries-old secret that has come back to haunt him, and wreak vengeance on those around him. Charles and Anna, unaware of the truth, are two innocents who stand in the way. But even as members of their pack rally around them, Anna’s rare power comes into its own, and is unleashed. Graphic novel.

 

WEEK TWO

Spirit and Dust, by Rosemary Clement-Moore, (May 14, Delacorte)

Young Adult. Daisy Goodnight can speak to the dead. It’s not the result of a head injury or some near-death experience. She was just born that way. And she’s really good at it. Good enough to help the police solve the occasional homicide. But helping the local authorities clear cold cases is one thing. Being whisked out of chemistry class by the FBI and flown to the scene of a murder/kidnapping in Minnesota? That’s the real deal. Before the promotion can go to Daisy’s head, she’s up to her neck in trouble. The spirits are talking, and they’re terrified. There’s a real living girl in danger. And when Daisy is kidnapped by a crime boss with no scruples about using magic, and Daisy, to get what he wants, it looks like hers is the next soul on the line.

 

WEEK THREE

Apocalypse Cow, by Michael Logan (May 21, St. Martin’s Griffin)

If you think you’ve seen it all—World War Z, The Walking Dead—think again. Apocalypse Cow is a story about three unlikely heroes who must save Britain from a rampaging horde of zombie cows. (Forget the cud. They want blood.) It began with a cow that just wouldn’t die. It would become an epidemic that transformed Britain’s livestock into sneezing, slavering, flesh-craving four-legged zombies. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the fate of the nation seems to rest on the shoulders of three unlikely heroes: an abattoir worker whose love life is non-existent thanks to the stench of death that clings to him, a teenage vegan with eczema and a weird crush on his math teacher, and an inept journalist who wouldn’t recognize a scoop if she tripped over one. As the nation descends into chaos, can they pool their resources, unlock a cure, and save the world? Three losers. Overwhelming odds. One outcome. Yup, we’re screwed. U.S. release.

Tarnished, by Rhiannon Held, (May 21, Tor)

Andrew Dare has found his mate in Silver, but they haven’t found the pack they can call home. Some of his old friends think he should return and challenge Roanoke for leadership of all the werewolf packs on the East Coast. But Andrew has baggage, his violent history with the packs of Spain and the rumors of his lack of control. And then there’s Silver, the werewolf who has lost her wild self to a monster’s assault, and who can no longer shift forms. But perhaps together they can overcome all the doubters.

Transparent, by Natalie Whipple, (May 21, Harper Teen)

Young Adult. Plenty of teenagers feel invisible. Fiona McClean actually is. An invisible girl is a priceless weapon. Fiona’s own father has been forcing her to do his dirty work for years, everything from spying on people to stealing cars to breaking into bank vaults. After sixteen years, Fiona’s had enough. She and her mother flee to a small town, and for the first time in her life, Fiona feels like a normal life is within reach. But Fiona’s father isn’t giving up that easily. Of course, he should know better than anyone: never underestimate an invisible girl.

 

WEEK FOUR

A Witch’s Handbook of Kisses and Curses (Half Moon Hollow #3), by Molly Harper, (May 28, Pocket Books)

Nola McGavick is on a hunt. A talented witch descended from a long line of witches, Nola and her grandmother Fiona run a small clinic in the English countryside. While she sometimes relies on a little healing help from her powers, it’s crucial that she track down a set of three artifacts hidden by her grandfather somewhere in Half Moon Hollow, Kentucky, or her whole family will lose its magic. She and Fiona will have to shut down their clinic. Renting half of her grandfather’s old house, Nola decides to poke around and runs afoul of the other renter, Daniel. She finds out he’s a representative from a darker, more ambitious rival family. The two agree to work together. Does she ever want to embrace her magic, or would she be better off as a “powerless” but talented nurse?

Binding the Shadows (Arcadia Bell #3), by Jenn Bennett, (May 28, Pocket)

Renegade mage and bartender Arcadia Bell has had a rough year, but now the door to her already unstable world is unhinging. When a citywide crime wave erupts, Cady’s demon-friendly tiki bar is robbed by Earthbounds wielding surreal demonic abilities that just flat-out shouldn’t exist. With the help of her devilishly delicious boyfriend, Lon Butler, Cady sets out to find the people who wronged her, but her targets aren’t the only ones experiencing unnatural metamorphoses. Can Cady track down the monsters responsible before the monster inside her destroys everything, and everyone, she loves? If she survives this adventure, one thing is certain: it’s last call for life as she knows it.

Fiery Edge of Steel (Noon Onyx #2), by Jill Archer, (May 28, Ace)

Lucifer and his army triumphed at Armageddon, leaving humans and demons living in uncertain peace based on sacrifice and strict laws. It is up to those with mixed demon and human blood, the Host, to prevent society from falling into anarchy. Noon Onyx is the first female Host in memory to wield the destructive waning magic that is used to maintain order among the demons. Only her powerful lover, Ari Carmine, and a roguish and mysterious Angel, Rafe Sinclair, support her unconventional ways. Noon is shipped off to a remote outpost to investigate several unusual disappearances. When the outpost settlers claim that an ancient and evil foe has stepped out of legend to commit the crimes, Noon realizes that she could be facing something much worse than she ever imagined.

Forever (The World of Nightwalkers #2), by Jacquelyn Frank, (May 28, Ballantine)

After being brought back from death, police officer Jackson Waverly receives the shock of his life: he has become host to a Bodywalker, a spirit that is reborn in flesh and blood, and part of a proud, ancient race that uses its extraordinary gifts to battle dark, evil forces. Jackson’s spirit is a powerful one, the Egyptian pharaoh Menes, who longs to reunite with his eternal love, the Egyptian queen Hatshepsut. While Menes is obsessed with finding the perfect vessel for his queen, Jackson cannot stop thinking about Dr. Marissa Anderson, the gorgeous precinct shrink. To fight a great enemy, pharaoh and queen must join. To host Hatshepsut, Marissa will first have to die. Jackson has a profound choice: save Marissa from Menes’ plan or keep a species from the brink of extinction.

Tempest Reborn (Jane True #6), by Nicole Peeler, (May 28, Orbit)

Anyan may be trapped in an evil dragon and Blondie may be gone, but Jane knows one thing: she’s not about to give up. She’s ready to tear down heaven and earth to save her lover, despite those who believe he’s lost. Luckily for Jane, those who’ve given up on Anyan do not include those closest to her. Defying The Powers That Be, Jane and Company form their own crack squad of misfits, in whose hands the fate of the world may well rest. With a little help from her friends, the Universe, and lots of snacks, Jane embarks on her greatest adventure yet, confident that with great sacrifice comes great reward. The question is, who will be that sacrifice?

The Blue Blazes (Mookie Pearl #1), by Chuck Wendig, (May 28, Angry Robot)

Meet Mookie Pearl. Criminal underworld? He runs it. Supernatural underworld? He hunts in it. Nothing stops Mookie when he’s on the job. But when his daughter takes up arms and opposes him, something’s gotta give. The Blue Blazes, the first in a new urban fantasy series in which lovable thug Mookie Pearl must contend with the criminal underworld, the supernatural underworld, a new drug that makes the invisible visible, and a rebellious teen daughter who opposes him at every turn.

The Eighth Court (Courts of the Feyre #4), by Mike Shevdon, (May 28, Angry Robot)

The Eighth Court has been established, but petty rivalries and old disputes threaten its stability. The mongrels that make up the court are not helping, and Blackbird enlists the help of the warders to keep the peace. Has Blackbird bitten off more than she can chew, and can the uneasy peace between the courts continue under such tension and rivalry?

The Shambling Guide to New York City (The Shambling Guides #1), by Mur Lafferty, (May 28, Orbit)

A travel writer takes a job with a shady publishing company in New York, only to find that she must write a guide to the city, for the undead. Because of the disaster that was her last job, Zoe is searching for a fresh start as a travel book editor in the tourist-centric New York City. After stumbling across a seemingly perfect position though, Zoe is blocked at every turn because of the one thing she can’t take off her resume, human. Not to be put off by anything, especially not her blood drinking boss or death goddess coworker, Zoe delves deep into the monster world. Her job turns deadly when the careful balance between human and monsters starts to crumble, with Zoe right in the middle.


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.

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