August is a huge month for urban fantasy fans (and paranormal fantasy and contemporary fantasy). We can look forward to thirty-five new books filled with fins, fangs, and fur this month, including new series offerings from, among others, Chloe Neill (Chicagoland Vampires), Rob Thurman (Cal Leandros), Kat Richardson (Greywalker), Hannah Jayne (Underworld Detection Agency), Karina Cooper (St. Croix Chronicles), Marlene Perez (Nyx Fortuna), Elizabeth Bear (Promethean Age), Kevin J. Anderson (Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I.), Richard Kadrey (Sandman Slim), and Simon R. Green (Ghost Finders).
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.
While Merit didn’t choose to become a vampire or Sentinel of Cadogan House, she vowed to fight for her House and its Master, and she’s managed to forge strong alliances with powerful supernaturals across Chicago. But even though Merit has had wild adventures, this may be her deadliest yet. A killer is stalking Chicago, preying on humans and leaving his victims with magical souvenirs. The CPD hasn’t been able to track the assailant, and as the body count rises, the city is running out of options. Vampires and humans aren’t on great terms, but murder makes for strange bedfellows. Can Merit find the killer before she becomes a target?
When necromancer Eric Carter returned to Los Angeles after fifteen years on the run he knew things were bad. Sister murdered, best friend dead, married to the patron saint of death, Santa Muerte. His link to the Aztec death goddess is changing his powers, changing him, and he’s not sure how far it will go. While searching for a way to break Santa Muerte’s hold over him, Carter finds himself the target of a psychopath who can steal anyone’s form, powers and memories. Identity theft is one thing, but the guy does it by killing his victims and wearing their skins like a suit. Carter has to change the game, go from hunted to hunter. All he has for help is a Skid Row Bruja and a ghost who’s either his dead friend Alex or Carter’s own guilt-fueled psychotic break. He just might survive a week where everything is trying to kill him and nothing is as it seems.
Brothers Cal and Niko Leandros know trouble when they see it, and then proceed to wipe the floor with it. But now it seems their whole world is falling to pieces. Cal’s nightmarish monster side is growing ever stronger, changing Cal physically as well as mentally. Which is exactly what Grimm, Cal’s savage doppelganger, wants. And when a covert supernatural organization decides that it’s time to put Cal down before he threatens pretty much everything else in existence, the brothers find themselves in a fight they actually might lose. But the dark temptations Cal has denied all his life may prove to be exactly what can save them. Even if he must fall forever.
After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O’Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. Now that the world knows of her ability to “read” objects, and therefore, read the past, she has become a media darling, earning the title, “America’s Sweetheart Seer.” But not everyone is so accepting of the Diviners’ abilities. Meanwhile, mysterious deaths have been turning up in the city, victims of an unknown sleeping sickness. Can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld and catch a killer? (Digital; Print available April 2015)
Young Adult. Wraithmaker Amalie is torn between protecting the vampire who saved her life and navigating rebellion, assassination, and political upheaval to save Guardian Jack, the man she loves. The Guardian war on demonkind, and rebellions threatening both the Peace Tenets and Luc’s aristocratic family drive Jack and Amelie farther apart. Amelie struggles to learn how to use her newfound powers as a Wraithmaker. She feels they’re the key to discern who her allies are, help Luc survive the Trial to become Sovereign, and prevent the war threatening to destroy her world. She hopes her powers will help her figure out which side her bondmate, Jack, is on. She’s missing a clue and seeks out Lisa, the sister who tried to kill her, for answers. Amelie learns her only chance of survival is to leave Luc and Jack behind, escape and defect.
Young Adult. Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn’t imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. Thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She’s not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he’s impossible to forget. Her entire life changes and she sweeps through Blackbriar, prepped to take the beautiful people down from the inside. It’s a head rush, seeing her tormentors get what they deserve. The pranks and payback turns from delicious to deadly. Edie is alone in a world teeming with secrets and fiends lurking in the shadows.
Young Adult. There are whispers of a ghost in the slaughterhouse where Wen assists her father in his medical clinic, a ghost who grants wishes to those who need them most. When one of the Noor, men hired as cheap factory labor, humiliates Wen, she makes an impulsive wish of her own, and the Ghost grants it. Brutally. Wen befriends the Noor, including their outspoken leader, a young man named Melik. She is lured by the mystery of the Ghost and learns he has been watching her. Wen must confront her growing feelings for Melik, who is enraged at the sadistic factory bosses and the prejudice faced by his people at the hand of Wen’s, and her need to appease the Ghost. She must decide whom she can trust. As her heart is torn, the factory is exploding around her, and she might go down with it.
Jack Gregory, the CIA’s top assassin, went rogue after a mission gone wrong. When a confrontation leaves him bleeding out on death’s doorstep, he is faced with an offer from a dark figure named Anchanchu. If Jack is willing to act as a human host for Anchanchu, the entity will revive him and give him another shot at life. Jack takes the deal, but he must now face the consequences of having the same dark creature in his head as some of history’s greatest villains. Struggling with desires and memories that are not his own, Jack is not the man he once was. One year later, he is known internationally as The Ripper, assassin for hire, and is faced with having to wrest control of his dark compulsions while preventing a nuclear attack on the United States.
Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came. She can’t believe Daemon welcomed his race or stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every human and hybrid on Earth. The lines between good and bad have blurred, and love has become an emotion that could destroy her, could destroy them all. Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal. They must team with an unlikely enemy if there is any chance of surviving the invasion. When it becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything, even what they cherish most, to ensure the survival of their friends, and mankind. War has come to Earth. And no matter the outcome, the future will never be the same for those left standing.
Turmoil, sickness, and destruction are sweeping through Europe, and its effects are being felt all the way across the world in Seattle. Harper Blaine and her lover, Quinton, suspect that Quinton’s father, James Purlis, and his terrifying Ghost Division, are involved. Finding and dismantling the Ghost Division won’t be enough to stop the horror that Purlis has set in motion. An ancient and forgotten cult has allied with Quinton’s mad father. The pursuit leads to Portugal, where the desecrated tomb of a king and a temple built of bones recall Harper’s first paranormal case and hold clues to the cult’s intentions. Harper and Quinton will need all the help they can get to avert a necromantic cataclysm that could lay waste to Europe and drag the world to the brink of war.
Young Adult. A year ago Hurricane Josephine swept through Savannah, Georgia, leaving behind nothing but death and destruction, and taking the life of Dovey’s best friend, Carly. Dovey has been in a medicated haze, numb to everything around her. She’s started to believe she’s seeing things that can’t be real, including Carly at their favorite cafe. Dovey stops taking her pills. She learns that the storm that destroyed her city and stole her friend was much more than a force of nature. Now the sinister beings responsible are out to finish what they started. Dovey’s running out of time and torn between two paths. Will she trust her childhood friend Baker, who promises to never give up on Dovey and Carly? Or will she plot with the sexy stranger, Isaac, who offers all the answers, for a price? Dovey realizes that the danger closing in has little to do with Carly, and everything to do with Dovey herself.
It’s not the end of the world, until it is. Sophie Lawson may be a mere human with no special abilities except a strong immunity to magic. But the havoc she’s wreaked on the supernaturals who come up against the Underworld Detection Agency have earned her plenty of enemies. Still, a girl can’t freak out every time a horribly barbecued corpse is found with her business card in its hand. Or see a sudden glut of earthquakes, wildfires and three-headed dogs as just another day in California. But Alex Grace, her favorite fallen angel, is concerned, or saying he is to see more of her. Getting Sophie to see all the signs of the Apocalypse is an interesting way to heat things up. Or maybe what’s making everyone hot under the collar is the fact that all Hell is about to break loose.
Centuries ago, all was lost in the Last Battle when the Norse gods and goddesses went to war. The elves, the giants, and the gods and goddesses themselves were all destroyed, leaving the Valkyrie known as Mist one of the only survivors. Or so she thought. The trickster god Loki has reappeared in San Francisco, and he has big plans for modern-day Earth. With few allies and fewer resources, but the eyes of the gods and goddesses of an old world upon her, it’s up to Mist to stop him before history repeats itself.
When a rare Blue Moon upsets the magical balance in the city, Detective Kate Prospero and her Magical Enforcement colleagues pitch in to help Babylon PD keep the peace. Between potions going haywire and everyone’s emotions running high, every cop in the city is on edge. But the moon’s impact is especially strong for Kate who’s wrestling with guilt over falling off the magic wagon. After a rogue wizard steals dangerous potions from the local covens, Kate worries their suspect is building a dirty magic bomb. Her team must find the anarchist rogue before the covens catch him, and make sure they defuse the bomb before the Blue Moon deadline. Failure is never an option, but success will require Kate to come clean about her secrets.
I will not wither without laudanum. Sober and determined, I have chosen another way, alchemy, and the pursuit of wellness it embodies. My name is Cherry St. Croix, and though freedom is finally at my fingertips, I return to the blackened streets intent on righting the wrongs I’d left behind. All is not well in London low. Men are torn limb from limb, and I am called on to ascertain how. The immoral Karakash Veil is involved, and Micajah Hawke, a prisoner in his own Menagerie, cannot soften the danger this time. Armed with the alchemical arts I have learned, my guardian, and what few friends are left to me, I embark on a campaign to rescue the ringmaster, save the Brick Street Bakers from annihilation, and finally face that which frightens me the most, my own heart. (Digital)
To save his cousin Chloe, Nyx Fortuna has set free the goddess Hecate, who is now threatening to destroy the world, starting with anyone in the Wyrd family. Nyx and company must join forces with the Fates to defeat Hecate and return her to the underworld. During the battle, magical and mortals take sides and Nyx finally discovers the identity of his father.
Harrison is the Monster Detective, a storybook hero. Now he’s in his mid-thirties and spends most of his time not sleeping. Stan became a minor celebrity after being partially eaten by cannibals. Barbara is haunted by the messages carved upon her bones. Greta may or may not be a mass-murdering arsonist. And for some reason, Martin never takes off his sunglasses. Unsurprisingly, no one believes their horrific tales until they are sought out by psychotherapist Dr. Jan Sayer. What happens when these likely-insane outcasts join a support group? Together they must discover which monsters they face are within and which are lurking in plain sight.
The One-Eyed Jack and the Suicide King: personifications of the city of Las Vegas, its history, mystery, mystical power, and heart. When the Suicide King vanishes, possibly killed, in the middle of a magic-rights turf war started by the avatars of Los Angeles, a notorious fictional assassin, and the mutilated ghost of Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, the King’s partner, the One-Eyed Jack, must seek the aid of a bizarre band of legendary and undead allies: the ghosts of Doc Holliday and John Henry the steel-driving man; the echoes of several imaginary super spies, decades displaced in time; and a vampire named Tribute, who bears a striking resemblance to a certain long-lost icon of popular music. All stories are true, but some stories are truer than others.
Young Adult. The crooked-smiling liar River West Redding, who drove into Violet’s life one summer day and shook her world to pieces, is gone. Violet and Neely, River’s other brother, are left to worry, until they catch a two a.m. radio program about strange events in a distant mountain town. They take off in search of River but are always a step behind, finding instead frenzied towns, witch hunts, and a wind-whipped island with the thrum of something strange and dangerous just under the surface. It isn’t long before Violet begins to wonder if Neely, the one Redding brother she thought trustworthy, has been hiding a secret of his own.
Young Adult. When Clementine was a child, dangerous and inexplicable things started happening in New South Bend. The townsfolk blamed the fiendish people out in the Willows and burned their homes to the ground. But magic kept Clementine alive, walled up in the cellar for ten years, until a boy named Fisher sets her free. Back in the world, Clementine sets out to discover what happened all those years ago. But the truth gets muddled in her dangerous attraction to Fisher, the politics of New South Bend, and the Hollow, a fickle and terrifying place that seems increasingly temperamental ever since Clementine reemerged.
Young Adult. A fever ravages New London, but with the Brotherhood sending suspected witches straight to the gallows, the Sisters are powerless against the disease. They can’t help without revealing their powers, as Cate learns when a potent display of magic turns her into the most wanted witch in all of New England. To make matters worse, Cate has been erased from the memory of her beloved Finn. While she’s torn between protecting him from further attacks and encouraging him to fall for her all over again, she’s certain she can never forgive Maura’s betrayal. And now that Tess’s visions have taken a deadly turn, the prophecy that one Cahill sister will murder another looms ever closer to its fulfillment.
Dangerous Calling (The Shadowminds #2)—A.J. Larrieu (August 18, Carina Press) Cass Weatherfield has finally accepted her telekinetic gifts. Living with her boyfriend, Shane, has given her the confidence to be herself. Knowing firsthand the hell of growing up without a mentor, she agrees to meet and help Diana, a young Shadowmind. When Cass shows up, the terrified woman changes her mind and flees. Cass and Shane track her across New Orleans, and discover that Diana is being held against her will by an illicit organization that’s selling her clairvoyant skills to the highest bidder. In charge is an ancient creature more powerful than any they’ve ever encountered. As Cass uses more and more power, in the fight against evil, she feels an addictive pull that challenges her control. Cass may be the greatest threat to those she loves the most. (Digital)
Valerie has always been different from her identical twin Veda. Tattooed, fiery, and foul-mouthed, Valerie acts on instinct, getting even with anyone who wrongs her passive and sensitive sister. At twenty-two, Veda doesn’t want to seek revenge against the three young men who raped her. As for Val… Val never could manage her anger well. As far as Val sees it, the Compass Room is simply a quicker way for her to die, payment for the crime she feels no guilt over. There isn’t a reason to fight, not until a girl as broken as she is reminds Val of what it’s like to hope. (Digital)
While Olivia Taylor-Jones, daughter of notorious serial killers, takes refuge in the old, secluded town of Cainsville, the self-serving, morally ambiguous lawyer, Gabriel Walsh’s past mistakes have come to light, creating a rift between the pair just when she needs his help the most. Olivia finds a dead woman in her car, dressed to look like her, but the body vanishes before anyone else sees it. Olivia’s convinced it’s another omen. Then she learns that a troubled young woman went missing just days ago, the same woman Olivia found dead in her car. Someone has gone to great lengths to kill and leave this young woman as a warning. Olivia’s effort to uncover the truth places her in the crosshairs of old and powerful forces, forces that have their own agenda, and closely guarded secrets they don’t want revealed.
In the woods outside Overdeere, Ontario, is a place most people usually know better than to go, at least locally, until tonight, when five bloodlines mired in ancient strife will finally converge once more. Devize, Glouwer, Rusk, Druir, Roke, these are the clans who make up the notorious Five-Family Coven. Four hundred years ago, this alliance of witches, changelings, and sorcerers sought to ruin and recreate the Earth in their own image, thwarted only by treachery that sent half of them to be burned alive. Their descendants have continued to feud, intermarry, and breed with each other throughout the centuries. Now, from downtown Toronto to the wilds beyond, where reality’s walls grow thin, dark forces are drawing the Coven’s last heirs to a final confrontation. All are haunted by a ghost beyond any one person’s power to exorcize unless they agree to stand together once more, at least long enough to wreak vengeance upon themselves.
Young Adult. Connor’s family moves to Amity to escape shady business deals. Ten years later, Gwen’s family moves to Amity for a fresh start after she’s recovered from a psychotic break. But something is not right about this secluded house. Connor’s nights are plagued with gore-filled dreams of demons and destruction. Dreams he kind of likes. Gwen has lurid visions of corpses that aren’t there and bleeding blisters that disappear in the blink of an eye. She knows Amity is evil and she must get her family out, but who would ever believe her? Amity isn’t just a house. She is a living force, bent on manipulating her inhabitants to her twisted will. She will use Connor and Gwen to bring about a bloody end as she’s done before. As she’ll do again.
Young Adult. “It’s too late for you. You’re dead.” Those words continue to haunt Claire Cain months after she barely survived a brutal beating in Chicago. When her father is offered a job in another state, Claire is hopeful that getting out will offer her a way to start anew. When she arrives in Peculiar, Missouri, Claire feels an overwhelming sense of danger, and her fears are confirmed when she discovers the body of a popular high school student in the icy woods behind the school, surrounded by the town’s feral cats. While everyone is quick to say it was an accident, Claire knows there’s more to it. The closer she gets to uncovering the mystery, the closer she also gets to realizing a reality about herself and the damage she truly sustained in that Chicago alley.
Marked for sacrifice by her own father, a young woman must rely on only her wits and troubled memories of her mother’s faith to survive. She flees to the hills, knowing her father and his stone blade may appear at any time to claim her, while the unburied dead of her people also hunt her in the low ravines. But she remembers how her mother once stood bravely against the dead. And now, in her long flight in the dark, Jepthah’s daughter will hold her own death close so that no one can take it from her. The centuries to come will not remember her name. But generations of young women will climb the hills to remember her. (Digital)
For Sam Ryan, life began at age fourteen. She has no memory of her parents or her childhood. In service with the State Police, Sam has exhausted the resources of the force searching for clues to her identity. Everything changes the night Sam’s missing partner resurfaces as a vampire, and forces her to kill him in self-defense. Sam is charged with murder. Sam accepts some unexpected help from Gabriel Stern, a shapeshifter who conceals secrets. Sam discovers that Garbriel’s been involved with a dangerous organization that’s planning a war on the human race. Someone is guarding the truth about Sam’s past, someone who’d rather see her dead than risk her knowing too much. Sam must unravel the threads of her past, and find out who she is and what she is. (U.S. Release)
There’s something fishy going on in the Unnatural Quarter. Bodies are floating face-down, the plumbing is backing up, and something smells rotten, even to a zombie detective like Dan Shamble. Diving into the slimy underbelly of a diabolical plot, Dan comes face-to-tentacles with an amphibious villain named Ah’Chulhu (to which the usual response is “Gesundheit!”). With his snap-happy gang of gator-guys, former pets flushed down the toilet, Ah’Chulhu wreaks havoc beneath the streets. While feuding weather wizards kick up storms and a gang of thieving lawn gnomes continues their reign of terror, Dan Shamble is running out of time, before the whole stinking city goes down the drain.
Since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. When her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is worse, her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. The one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who’s bound by an ancient legacy to betray her. Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn’t mean he can change his fate, no matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn’t: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. It will be Ivy on one side and Adrian on the other. And nothing but ashes in between.
Young Adult. When Cassidy Bean leaves New York to spend the summer upstate, she’s disappointed to find that Whitechapel is not the quiet, pleasant suburb she remembers. Ursula Chambers, the strange old hermit at the end of the cul-de-sac, has passed away under mysterious circumstances. The townspeople are shocked to discover that Ursula was a hoarder: Cassidy watches as the people of Whitechapel descend upon Ursula’s farmhouse, claiming her abandoned treasures for their own. She listens as rumors spread that Ursula’s vengeful ghost is stalking the town with a warning from beyond the grave. And when Cassidy resolves to uncover the truth behind the strangeness, she learns there are more bad things in the world than she ever suspected.
Being a half-human, half-angel nephilim with a bad rep and a worse attitude, not to mention temporarily playing Lucifer, James Stark aka Sandman Slim has made a few enemies. None, though, are as fearsome as the vindictive Angra Om Ya, the old gods. But their imminent invasion is only one of Stark’s problems right now. LA is descending into chaos, and a new evil, the Wildfire Ripper, is stalking the city. No ordinary killer, The Ripper takes Stark deep into a conspiracy that stretches from Earth to Heaven and Hell. He’s also the only person alive who may know how to keep the world from going extinct. The trouble is, he’s also Stark’s worst enemy, the only man in existence Stark would enjoy killing twice.
In a quiet London suburb, four university students participating in an experiment inside a reputed haunted house hold a séance that goes terribly wrong. What, or who, ever they summoned has taken their minds away, leaving them empty shells. Enter the Ghost Finders, ready to confront an enraged poltergeist for the students’ very souls. All in a day’s work, except the team doesn’t know that in another part of the city, a different entity has also breached the threshold between worlds. And this time what is at stake is not four lives, but the very existence of all humanity.
Young Adult. My name is Courtney Hart, and I’m here to tell you about things that suck. Being born in a podunk town like Salem, Oregon, for one. Living in a world infested with zombies? That, too. And the meat heads I go to school with? I think I’d actually take the undead over them most days. But I have a plan to get out of here and move to New York. I just have to keep selling Vitamin Z along with your fries at The Bully Burger. The secret ingredient? Zombie brains. I’ve noticed things are getting even worse lately, if that’s even possible. The zombies seem to be getting smarter and faster. If I can avoid being arrested, eaten by shufflers, or catching the eye of some stupid boy, I should be able to make it through finals week still breathing.