Fiction Affliction: Diagnosing July Releases in Young Adult Paranormal

Every month, Fiction Affliction provides a handy reference of the science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy and paranormal romance, and young adult paranormal coming out in the ensuing month. Today’s column examines YOUNG ADULT PARANORMAL.

The Symptoms: Summertime, and the waters are filled with nubile young sirens who… wait, is this paranormal romance? Teens save the world, win the guy/girl, beat off the zombies, and protect Dr. Phil from a smokin’-hot robot babe. Geeks rule.

The Diagnosis: Twenty-one new YA paranormals take the emo route this month, with sirens, demons, angels and dragons leading the way and a vampire named Ultravox trailing behind.

The Cure: Just crank up some 1980s new wave music. The runaway bot-girl will follow Mr. Roboto and the vampire Ultravox will turn out to be a zombie techno-pop band member. Those too young to understand the pop culture reference are reading in the right category.

Lost Voices, by Sarah Porter (July 4, Harcourt Children’s)

Fourteen-year-old Luce has had a tough life, but she reaches the depths of despair when she is assaulted and left on the cliffs outside a grim, gray Alaskan fishing village. She expects to die when she tumbles into the icy waves below, but instead undergoes an astonishing transformation and becomes a mermaid. Luce is thrilled with her new life until she discovers the catch: the mermaids feel an uncontrollable desire to drown seafarers, using their enchanted voices to lure ships into the rocks. Will Luce be pressured into committing mass murder?

Sirensong, by Jenna Black (July 5, St. Martin’s Griffin)

When Dana is invited to Faerie to be officially presented at the Seelie Court, it’s no easy decision. After all, everyone knows Titania, the Seelie Queen, wants her dead. But she and her father do as they’re told. When a violent attack separates Dana from their caravan, the sexy Erlking saves her, but makes it clear that he hasn’t given up on making her his own. When Dana is implicated in an assassination attempt against Titania’s granddaughter, she becomes a fugitive. Will she be able to prove her innocence before the forces of the Seelie Court or, worse, the Erlking catch up with her? Third in the Faeriewalker series.

Original Sin, by Lisa Desrochers (July 5, Tor Teen)

Luc Cain was born and raised in Hell, but he isn’t feeling as demonic as usual lately—thanks to Frannie Cavanaugh and the unique power she never realized she had. But you can’t desert Hell without consequences, and suddenly Frannie and Luc find themselves targeted by the same demons who used to be Luc’s allies. Left with few options, Frannie and Luc accept the protection of Heaven and one of its most powerful angels, Gabe. Unfortunately, Luc isn’t the only one affected by Frannie, and it isn’t long before Gabe realizes that being around her is too, too tempting. Second in the Personal Demons series.

The Siren’s Cry, by Jennifer Anne Kogler (July 5, HarperTeen)

Fern is not like other girls. She has strange and vivid visions and has the ability to teleport—anywhere, anytime. Fern is an Otherworldly, a special kind of vampire that lives in the human world. On a school trip to Washington, D.C., Fern has a dramatic vision that reveals another Otherworldly in grave danger. She must put together the pieces of where he is and why he’s been taken. Second in the Otherworldlies series.

Conspiracies, by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill (July 5, Tor Teen)

Spirit and her friends Burke, Loch, Muirin, and Addie have managed to defeat the evil force that has been killing students at Oakhurst Academy for the past forty years—or so they think. When a series of magical attacks disrupts the school, Doctor Ambrosius calls upon alumnus Mark Rider to secure the campus—and start training the students for war. Second in the Shadow Grail series.

The Eternal Ones, by Kirsten Miller (July 5, Razorbill)

Haven Moore has always lived in the town of Snope City, Tenn., where she experiences visions of a past life as a girl named Constance, whose love for a boy called Ethan ended in fiery tragedy. One day, the sight of notorious playboy Iain Morrow on television brings Haven to her knees. Haven flees to New York City to find Iain and there, she is swept up in an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous. Is Iain her beloved Ethan? Or is he her murderer from a past life? First in a new series.

My Favorite Band Does Not Exist, by Robert Jeschonek (July 11, Clarion)

Sixteen-year-old genius Idea Deity believes he exists only in the pages of a novel written by a malevolent, omnipotent author—and that he will die in chapter 64. Meanwhile, an older teen named Reacher Mirage sings lead vocals for the undercover rock band Youforia, a band that exists in Idea’s world only as an Internet hoax that he perpetuated. When Idea and Reacher plunge into the reality of Fireskull’s Revenant, the twisted epic fantasy novel they’ve both been reading, chapter 64 bears down on them like a speeding freight train on an unstoppable collision course. Being trapped in a bad book can be a nightmare.

Starstruck, by Cyn Balog (July 12, Delacorte)

Gwendolyn X doesn’t think she has much going for her—she carries a few extra pounds, her family struggles with their small bakery in a town full of millionaires, and the other kids at her New Jersey high school don’t seem to know she exists. Thank the stars for her online boyfriend, Philip P. Wishman. When Wish moves to town, he’s acting a little weird, obsessed with the sun and freaked out by rain. And the creepy new guy working at the bakery, Christian, is convinced there’s more to Wish’s good looks than just healthy eating and lots of sun.

Dragon’s Oath, by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast (July 12, St. Martin’s Griffin)

The first in a new series of novellas from the bestselling authors of the House of Night, Dragon’s Oath tells the story behind the House of Night’s formidable fencing instructor, the love that will transform him, and the promise that will haunt him.

The Hidden Coronet, by Catherine Fisher (July 12, Dial)

The coronet, a potent ancient relic, might be the only way to defeat the power that is destroying Anara. But it has been lost for centuries, and only legend tells of its whereabouts. Will Galen and Raffi be able to find it before the Watch does? Third in the Relic Master Quartet.

The Dragon’s Apprentice, by Dugal Steer (July 12, Candlewick)

Daniel and Beatrice Cook, along with their parents and their dragon chick, Torcher, are getting ready to open an orphan dragon sanctuary in St. Leonard’s Forest. But their joy is short-lived when Dr. Drake brings ominous news: several of the Society of Dragons have been attacked, and it looks to be the work of the Dragonsbane Knights, a secret society of dragonkillers. When Torcher is kidnapped, Daniel and Beatrice set out to rescue him. Third in the Dragonology Chronicles.

Forever, by Maggie Stiefvater (July 12, Scholastic)

In Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. In Linger, they fought to be together. Now, in Forever, the stakes are even higher. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold onto as death comes closing in. Third in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy.

Spellbound, by Jacqueline West (July 12, Dial)

With no way into the house’s magical paintings and its three guardian cats reluctant to help, Olive’s friend Morton is still trapped inside Elsewhere. So when Rutherford, the new oddball kid next door, mentions a grimoire, Olive feels a breathless tug of excitement. If she can find the McMartins’ spellbook, maybe she can help Morton escape Elsewhere for good. Unless, that is, the book finds Olive first. Second in the Books of Elsewhere series.

Return to Daemon Hall: Evil Roots, by Andrew Nance (July 19, Henry Holt)

A year has passed since that fateful night in Daemon Hall’s house of horrors. Bestselling macabre author Ian Tremblin decides to hold another writer’s contest but this time in the safety of his own home. Tremblin is excited to share with contestants a very old book he has recently acquired that once belonged to Rudolph Daemon, the millionaire builder of Daemon Hall who later went mad and killed his family. But the book, like the mansion, is powerfully evil and soon transports the group to the burned out shell of the haunted mansion. Flesh eaters, voodoo, a proficient sociopath, and the root of the house’s malevolence are all part of the mix. Who will get out alive?

Ripple, by Mandy Hubbard (July 21, Razorbill)

Lexi is cursed with a dark secret. Each day she goes to school like a normal teenager, and each night, as a siren, she must swim or the pain will be unbearable. After a tragedy, Lexi shut herself off from the world, vowing to protect the ones she loves. But she soon finds herself caught between a new boy at school who may have the power to melt her icy exterior, and a handsome water spirit who says he can break Lexi’s curse if she gives up everything else. Lexi is faced with the hardest decision she’s ever had to make: the life she’s always longed for, or the love she can’t live without.

Wildcat Fireflies, by Amber Kizer (July 12, Delacorte)

Meridian Sozu is a Fenestra—the half-human, half-angel link between the living and the dead. She has the dark responsibility of helping souls transition safely into the afterlife. Meridian has hit the road with Tens, her love and sworn protector, in hopes of finding another Fenestra. Their search leads them to Indiana, where Juliet, a responsible teenager, works tirelessly in the nursing home where she and several other foster kids are housed. Will Meri and Tens find Juliet in time to save her from a life of misery and illness? Second in the Finestra series.

The Robot, by Paul E. Watson (July 21, Razorbill)

Science-loving Gabe and girl-crazy Dover are best friends. In fact, they’re practically each other’s only friends. So when Gabe’s parents leave town for the weekend, he lets Dover convince him to break into his father’s basement laboratory, even though he knows it’s off-limits. Once inside, the boys make a shocking discovery, one that will turn a boring weekend into a hilarious madcap adventure: a smoking hot robot.

Wolfsbane, by Andrea Cremer (July 26, Philomel)

This sequel begins just where Nightshade ended. Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemy, and she’s certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer—one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack, not to mention the man she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? Second in the Nightshade series.

Alex Van Helsing: Voice of the Undead, by Jason Henderson (July 26, HarperTeen)

Now that Alex is in the know about the deadly vampires that live—and hunt—clustered around his boarding school, everything is different. Putting his talents to use, Alex is training with the Polidorium to become a vampire hunter, just like his Van Helsing ancestors. Sure, he’s only fourteen, but c’mon, this runs in his blood. Meanwhile, Alex’s arch-nemesis Elle, a vampire whose youthful appearance and blond hair disguise a vengeful rage, is out to get him before a powerful leader called Ultravox arrives on the scene.

Supernaturally, by Kiersten White (July 26, HarperTeen)

Evie finally has the normal life she’s always longed for. But she’s shocked to discover that being ordinary can be kind of boring. Just when she starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she’s given a chance to work for them again. Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees. But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice. Second in the Paranormalcy series.

Urban fantasy author Suzanne Johnson is annoyed that she’s far past 16 and still hasn’t discovered her secret powers. Her new urban fantasy series, scheduled to begin with the release of Royal Street in April 2012 by Tor Books, is set in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina. Find Suzanne on Twitter.


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