Twenty-three new books in the genre still called “urban fantasy” for lack of a consensual term (“paranormal fantasy,” anyone?) grace the shelves in January. Look for series additions from, among others, Jeaniene Frost (Night Huntress), Faith Hunter (Jane Yellowrock), Carrie Vaughn (Golden Age), Jacquelyn Frank (World of the Nightwalkers), Diana Rowland (Kara Gillian), Chloe Neill (Chicagoland Vampires), Yasmine Galenorn (Otherworld), and Myke Coke (Shadow Ops). And did we mention the new Charlaine Harris-Christopher Golden collaboration?
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.
Young Adult. After exposing the sinister underground society of students known as the Knights of Charlemagne, Will West stays at the Center over the summer to explore his newly developing physical and mental abilities. Meanwhile, his roommates investigate the Knights’ shadowy purpose and discover unsettling information about their own backgrounds. Will and his friends must quickly figure out what’s going on and separate friend from foe as they prepare for the coming fight.
When Evan Trueblood blows into town looking for his wife, Molly, he’s convinced that she came to see her best friend, Jane. But it seems like the witch made it to New Orleans and then disappeared without a trace. Jane is ready to do whatever it takes to find her friend. Her desperate search leads her deep into a web of black magic and betrayal and into the dark history between vampires and witches. But the closer she draws to Molly, the closer she draws to a new enemy, one who is stranger and more powerful than any she has ever faced.
She calls herself Calexa Rose Dunhill, names taken from the grim surroundings where she awoke, bruised and bloody, with no memory of who she is, how she got there, or who left her for dead. She has made the cemetery her home, living in a crypt and avoiding human contact. But Calexa can’t hide from the dead, and because she can see spirits, they can’t hide from her. Then one night, Calexa spies a group of teenagers vandalizing a grave, and watches in horror as they commit murder. As the victim’s spirit rises from her body, it flows into Calexa, overwhelming her mind with visions and memories not her own. Now Calexa must make a decision: continue to hide to protect herself, or come forward to bring justice to the sad spirit who has reached out to her for help. (U.S.)
Dark Duets: All-New Tales of Horror and Dark Fantasy—Christopher Golden (January 7, Harper Voyager)
Charlaine Harris and Rachel Caine enter a shadowy world of demons and angels in “Dark Witness” while Sarah Rees Brennan, Cassandra Clare, and Holly Black look at three weird sisters who face challenges beyond magic in “Sisters Before Misters.” Sarah MacLean and Carrie Ryan explore the exquisite agony of eternal love in “She, Doomed Girl,” and “Welded” by Tom Piccirilli and T. M. Wright offers an unsettling vision of an evil that infects and destroys lives. Mixing the ordinary: parents, teenagers, lovers with the extraordinary: angels, demons, serial killers, these captivating and vivid tales delve deep into the shadowy, unexplored realms of the imagination.
Anna has secrets. Anna has a telepath for a father and Commerce City’s most powerful businessperson for a mother. She’s also the granddaughter of the city’s two most famous superheroes, the former leaders of the legendary Olympiad. Hiding her burgeoning superpowers from her parents is hard enough; how’s she supposed to keep them from finding out that her friends have powers, too? Or that she and the others are honing their skills. Celia worries about her daughter. Celia has the means to send Anna to the best schools and keep a close watch on her. Celia has secretly awarded scholarships at Anna’s private high school to the descendants of the city’s other superpowered humans. Maybe, just maybe, these teens could one day fill the gap left by the dissolution of The Olympiad.
They thought they had escaped. They were wrong. After fleeing the Branch with Sam, Cas, and Nick, Anna is trying to make sense of the memories resurfacing from her old life. She’s learning how to survive in hiding, following Sam’s rules: Don’t draw attention to yourself. Always carry a weapon. Know your surroundings. Watch your back. Then a figure from Anna’s childhood reappears. Is it a Branch setup, or could it be the reunion Anna has hoped for? Uncertain of where her loyalties lie, Anna must fight to learn the truth, before she is betrayed again. Ultimately, the answers hinge on one question: What was the real reason her memories were erased? A novel packed with mysteries, lies, and surprises that are sure to keep readers guessing until the last page is turned.
As a mercenary, Leo Alvarez has signed on for a lot, but he never signed on for his best friend becoming host to the soul of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh. Jackson is now inhabited by a Bodywalker, and Leo is forced to grapple with a realm of supernatural beings far more dangerous than anything he’s ever encountered. But when Jackson is wounded by an attack from a demon god, Leo must team up with another supernatural creature, a Night Angel, to save his friend from utter destruction. The Night Angel arouses a burning desire in Leo, even as he refuses to be intimidated by her power, or the power of those who would destroy his friend. An unusual alliance is forged, and together the two must unite their strengths to bring down a supreme evil.
Demon summoner Kara Gillian bears the scars of Rhyzkahl’s treachery. She and the demonic lord Mzatal have not rested in their efforts to recover Idris, Mzatal’s summoner protégé who was kidnapped by enemy lords, but now their search has brought them back to Earth. With the help of FBI agents Ryan Kristoff and Zack Garner, they begin to track down summoners who are working with Rhyzkahl. Kara learns that Rhyzkahl’s machinations run deeper than she could have imagined. Kara realizes that an old homicide case may hold the key to their success, or their doom. Kara must rely on her skills, wit, and luck to save her friends and her world, yet ancient vows will have to be broken if she is to have hope. The price of breaking those vows may be her own blood.
Jeff Christopher is a shapeshifter and ally of Chicago’s Cadogan House of vampires, he’s also a tech whiz and mostly-legal hacker. The only protective shields he’s never been able to find a way around are those of the powerful Keene Family. Jeff has only had eyes for the beautiful Fallon Keene. She is the only sister of the lethal North American Central Pack Apex Gabriel Keene. The intricate balances of power and politics make it all but impossible for Fallon to trust her feelings. Fate takes a hand when the Pack’s totem is stolen, threatening the Keene family’s rule, and Fallon enlists Jeff’s help to retrieve it before the Pack is thrown into chaos. Can she and Jeff find the totem, and restore order, before it’s too late? Will Jeff finally be able to prove himself to the person he truly loves?
Underachieving film theory graduate and vampire Fortitude Scott may be waiting tables at a snooty restaurant run by a tyrannical chef who hates him, but the other parts of his life finally seem to be stabilizing. He’s learning how to rule the Scott family territory, hanging out more with his shapeshifting friend Suzume Hollis, and has actually found a decent roommate for once. Until he finds his roommate’s dead body. The Scott family cover-up machine swings into gear, but Fort is the only person trying to figure out who actually killed his friend. His hunt for a murderer leads to a creature that scares even his sociopathic family, and puts them all in deadly peril. Keeping secrets, killing monsters, and still having to make it to work on time? Sometimes being a vampire really sucks.
Young Adult. Renée and Dante are dying. The soul they share cannot sustain them both. Renée has in her possession a legendary chest said to contain the secret to eternal life-if only they could solve the clues that lie within it. With both the Liberum, a Brotherhood of the Undead, and a team of Monitors, led by Renée’s own grandfather, in hot pursuit, Renée and Dante must keep the chest safe or risk having it fall into the wrong hands. With the help of a mysterious letter-writer called only Monsieur, Renée and Dante follow a series of clues that lead them on a journey across Europe. They seek the Netherworld, a legendary chasm where souls go to be cleansed. It’s their only chance at a fresh start, but with it comes a terrible choice, one they never imagined they would be forced to make.
As we learned in Precious Blood, Agnes, Cecelia, and Lucy “may be saints, [but] they are definitely not angels.” They watched as Sebastian sacrificed himself for what he believed in, and now they have choices to make of their own. Will the girls trust in their destinies as saints and martyrs and perform the miracles as Sebastian instructed? Or will they lose faith in themselves and each other in his absence? Time is running out for them to make a decision, and the fate of the world lies in the balance.
Nathan died the summer before his final year in high school. But he wakes in his room, or in the shrine of his room his mother’s made, confused, cold, and unable to interact with anyone or anything he sees. The only clear memory he has is a dream of a shining city and its glorious queen, but the dream fades, until he once again meets his girlfriend Emma by the side of his own grave. Nathan wants life. He wants Emma. But, even if Emma can deliver what he desires, the cost may be too high to pay.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, B Smith has decided to live, and to fight for good as long as possible. However, London is overridden with the brain-eating undead and swarming with human mercenaries whose sense of right and wrong dissolved when society did. When they lay a trap, B is captured. And it’ll take dozens of battles, and the fight of a lifetime, to escape.
No new releases.
The last thing patrol cop Kate Prospero expected to find on her nightly rounds was a werewolf covered in the blood of his latest victim. She also didn’t expect that shooting him would land her in the crosshairs of a Magic Enforcement Agency task force. The more Prospero learns about the dangerous new potion the MEA is investigating, the more she’s convinced that earning a spot on their task force is the career break she’s been wanting. Getting the assignment proves much easier than solving the case. Especially once the investigation reveals their lead suspect is the man she walked away from ten years earlier. Kate Prospero’s about to learn the hard way that crossing a wizard will always get you burned, and that when it comes to magic, you should never say never.
We’re the D’Artigo sisters: savvy half-human, half-Fae ex-operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. My sister Camille is a wicked good witch with three gorgeous husbands. Delilah is a two-faced werecat and a Death Maiden. I’m Menolly, a vampire married to a scorching hot werepuma. Back in Otherworld, war has decimated the elfin city of Elqaneve, our father has gone missing, and Shadow Wing has managed to obtain another spirit seal. Somebody burned down my bar, the Wayfarer. We still haven’t found a way to stop Lowestar Radcliff, the daemon in charge of a supernatural corporate power grab. He’s attempting to awaken Suvika, the lord of vice and corrupt businessmen. Our enemies are closing in on all sides, and this time, there’s no place to hide.
When Ted Hall’s birthday dinner in San Francisco’s famous Chinatown ends with an explosion, the fire department blames a gas leak. When Ted finds strange, personalized messages from the restaurant’s fortune cookies scattered around his apartment, his suspicions are aroused. His travels appear to coincide with murders by the notorious Hang Wire Killer. The circus has come to town, but the Celtic dancers are taking their pagan act a little too seriously and the manager of the Olde Worlde Funfair has started talking to his vintage machines. While the new acrobat is wowing the crowds, his frequent absences are causing tension. There are other new arrivals, immortals searching for an ancient power, awakening something awful buried beneath the San Andreas fault, a primal evil which, if not stopped, will destroy the entire world. (U.S.)
My name’s Markowski. I carry a badge. Also, a crucifix, some wooden stakes, a big vial of holy water, and a 9mm Beretta loaded with silver bullets. A new supernatural gang is intent on invading Scranton, as if I didn’t have enough to contend with. Supernatural gang warfare? Not on my watch.
Across the country and in every nation, people began “coming up Latent,” developing terrifying powers. Those who Manifest must choose: become a sheepdog who protects the flock or a wolf who devours it. Lieutenant Colonel Jan Thorsson, call sign “Harlequin,” becomes a hero and a pariah to the military that is the only family he’s ever known. Oscar Britton is positioned to lead a rebellion in exile, but a rival beats him to the punch: Scylla, a walking weapon who will stop at nothing to end the human-sanctioned apartheid against her kind. When Scylla’s inhuman forces invade New York City, the Supernatural Operations Corps are the only soldiers equipped to prevent a massacre. Harlequin will be forced to face off with this havoc-wreaking woman from his past.
Stacy Easter has seen better days. Being a librarian is a labor of love, if only paying her bills were half as much fun. What’s a single, bookish beauty in sleepy Nodaway Falls, New York, supposed to do? Stacy decides to develop her special powers. She’s got clients lining up to receive her signature potions, until a few of them go awry. Her own life has just taken a storybook turn: Leo North, the official One Who Got Away, is back in town. Stacy’s best friends, Peach and Liv, are more concerned about the state of her heart than the side effects of a few rogue magic spells. But someone with dark intentions is crossing magical wires all over Nodaway Falls, and those closest to Stacy are at risk. Can Stacy conjure up a way out of this mess with her life?
Lately, life has been unnaturally calm for vampires Cat Crawfield and her husband Bones. They should have known better than to relax their guard, because a shocking revelation sends them back into action to stop an all-out war. A rogue CIA agent is involved in horrifying secret activities that threaten to raise tensions between humans and the undead to dangerous heights. Now Cat and Bones are in a race against time to save their friends from a fate worse than death…because the more secrets they unravel, the deadlier the consequences. And if they fail, their lives, and those of everyone they hold dear, will be hovering on the edge of the grave.
Vivian Maylor is trying to hold it together. But her attempts to build a life with the man she loves seem doomed by the dragon inside her yearning to break free. Vivian is a dreamshifter, the last line of defense between reality and the dreamworld, and the only one of her kind. Weston Jennings also believes he is the only one of his kind. He fears his powers as a dreamshifter, and resists learning to control them. After suffering a tragic loss, Weston heads deep into the woods of the Pacific Northwest to embrace a safe life of solitude. When a terrible mistake leads to an innocent’s death, his guilt drives him to his former home, where he encounters what he never thought he would find: another shifter. Now Vivian and Weston must work together to defeat a new threat to the dreamworld.
Life as a contortionist in Criminy’s Clockwork Caravan should be the height of exotic adventure, but for Demi Ward, it’s total dullsville. Until her best friend, Cherie, is stolen by slavers outside of Paris. Demi is determined to find her. Vale Hildebrand, a rogue of a highwayman, hides Demi from the slavers. He pledges to help her explore the glittering cabarets of Paris to find her friend, but much to Vale’s frustration, Demi soon attracts a host of wealthy admirers. It would be all too easy to accept Cherie’s disappearance as inevitable, but with Vale’s ferocious will and Demi’s drive to find her friend, they soon have a lead on a depraved society of Parisian notables with a taste for beautiful lost girls. Can Demi wind her way through the seedy underbelly of Paris and save her best friend?
Author Suzanne Johnson is a book geek with a fondness for a good dystopia. Her Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series continued this fall with the release of Elysian Fields. You can find Suzanne on Facebook and on her daily speculative fiction blog, Preternatura.