Fiction Affliction: Diagnosing August Releases in Young Adult Paranormal

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

The Symptoms: Ghosts and witches make a comeback, trampling underfoot all the sexy werewolves, soul-searching vampires and teenagers with newfound demon-killing destinies.

The Diagnosis: Twenty-five new YA paranormals ramp up the scary factor in August, with six books of witches, six of ghosts, a mere three vampires and a lonely werewolf or two.

The Cure: If you hear an ancient prophecy that might or might not pertain to you, or you hear something go bump in the night, consider not checking either of them out.

Always a Witch, by Carolyn MacCullough (Aug. 1, Clarion)

Since the conclusion of Once a Witch, Tamsin Greene has been haunted by her grandmother’s prophecy that she will soon be forced to make a crucial decision—one so terrible it could harm her family forever. When she discovers that her enemy, Alistair Knight, went back in time to Victorian-era New York in order to destroy her family, Tamsin is forced to follow him into the past. Stranded alone in the 19th century, Tamsin soon finds herself disguised as a lady’s maid in the terrifying mansion of the evil Knight family, avoiding the watchful eye of the vicious matron, La Spider, and fending off the advances of Liam Knight. Second in the Witch series.

Dark Souls, by Paula Morris (Aug. 1, Point)

Welcome to York, England. Mist lingers in the streets. Narrow buildings cast long shadows. This is the most haunted city in the world. Miranda Tennant arrives in York with a terrible secret. She is eager to lose herself amid the quaint cobblestones, hoping she won’t run into the countless ghosts who supposedly roam the city. Soon, Miranda realizes that something dangerous—and deadly—is being planned. And she may have to face the darkest part of herself in order to unravel the mystery and find redemption.

Across the Great Barrier, by Patricia C. Wrede (Aug. 1, Scholastic)

Eff is an unlucky 13th child—her twin brother, Lan, is a powerful seventh son of a seventh son. And yet, Eff is the one who saved the day for the settlements west of the Great Barrier. Her unique ways of doing magic and seeing the world, and her fascination with the magical creatures and land in the Great Plains, push Eff to work toward joining an expedition heading west. But things are changing on the frontier. There are new professors of magic for Eff and Lan to work with. And there are new threats on the frontier and at home. Second in the Frontier Magic series.

The Marked Son, by Shea Berkley (Aug. 2, Entangled)

Seventeen-year-old Dylan Kennedy always knew something was different about him, but until his mother abandoned him in the middle of Oregon with grandparents he’s never met, he had no idea what. When Dylan sees a girl in white in the woods behind his grandparents’ farm, he knows he’s seen her before—in his dreams. Either he’s completely insane or he’s about to have the adventure of his life, because where they’re going is full of creatures he’s only read about in horror stories. Worse, the human blood in his veins has Dylan marked for death. First in the Keepers of Life series.

Blood Ties, by Mari Mancusi (Aug. 2, Berkley)

Officially back in the arms of her vampire boyfriend Magnus, Sunny finds she still can’t forget the gentle mortal Jayden who once saved her life. When darkness threatens to steal his humanity, Sunny must make a choice: stay true to her love, or defy him in a desperate attempt to save Jayden’s soul. Meanwhile, the Blood Coven is going head-to-head with a splinter group of Slayer Inc. that’s regrouping in Tokyo. In dark blood bars and hidden temples, it’ll be vampires versus slayers in a showdown that could not only cost Sunny her heart, but also her life. Sixth in the Blood Coven series.

The Near Witch, by Victoria Schwab (Aug. 2, Hyperion)

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. And there are no strangers in the town of Near. These are the truths Lexi has heard all her life. But when an actual stranger appears—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—she knows at least one of these sayings is no longer true. The next night, the children of Near start disappearing. As Lexi and her new friend’s hunt for the children intensifies, so does her need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.

Never Have I Ever, by Sara Shepard (Aug. 2, HarperTeen)

My perfect life was a lie. Now I’d do anything to uncover the truth. Not long ago, I had everything a girl could wish for. But none of them know that I’m gone—that I’m dead. To solve my murder, my long-lost twin sister, Emma, has taken my place. She sleeps in my room, wears my clothes, and calls my parents Mom and Dad. And my killer is watching her every move. Second in the Lying Game series.

Eternal, by Gillian Shields (Aug. 2, Katherine Tegen)

At Wyldcliffe Abbey School for Young Ladies, Sarah is the faithful friend to Evie and Helen, her sisters in the Mystic Way. But this term Sarah finds that their friendship is tested. Evie is turning her back on the Mystic Way after laying her beloved Sebastian’s soul to rest; Helen is distracted by her tormented relationship with her mother. Sarah struggles to keep the sisterhood together as the threat of attack looms from the dark coven and the Unconquered lords. Third in the Immortal series.

Circle of Fire, by Michelle Zink (Aug. 3, Little, Brown)

With time dwindling but her will to end the Prophecy stronger than ever, Lia sets out on a journey to find the remaining keys, locate the missing pages of the Prophecy, and convince her sister Alice to help—or risk her life trying. Lia has her beloved Dimitri by her side, but Alice has James, the man who once loved her sister—and maybe still does. James doesn’t know the truth about either sister, or the prophecy that divides them. And Alice intends to keep it that way.  There are some secrets sisters aren’t meant to share. Because when they do, it destroys them. Third and final book in the Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy.

The Cupid War, by Timothy Carter (Aug. 8, Flux)

Ricky Fallon had decided against killing himself—just before slipping off a bridge to his death. Now he’s a Cupid in the afterlife, helping people fall in love. The job would be cool if it weren’t for the dorky pink bodysuits, his jerky boss, and attacks from joy-sucking shadowy entities called Suicides. When Fallon discovers a dangerous new breed of Suicide, a terrific battle erupts. To save the girl he’s falling for—oh, and prevent total world domination—Fallon uses a secret weapon to kick some serious Suicide butt.

All You Desire, by Kirsten Miller (Aug. 9, Razorbill)

Haven Moore and Iain Morrow have been living a blissful life in Rome, an ocean way from the Ouroboros Society and its diabolical leader. But paradise is not to last. The mysterious disappearance of Haven’s best friend, Beau, sends the pair running back to New York, where they encounter the Horae, an underground group of women who have spent centuries scheming to destroy Adam Rosier. Only they can help Haven uncover the secret to Beau’s whereabouts in one of her past lives. Second in the Eternal Ones series.

Thirst No. 4: The Shadow of Death, by Christopher Pike (Aug. 9, Simon Pulse)

The conclusion to the successful Thirst series follows 5,000-year-old vampire Alisa Perne as she battles a new race of immortals: the Telar. The Telar are a challenging threat. But Alisa is hungry for blood—and thirsty for revenge.

A Long, Long Sleep, by Anna Sheehan (Aug. 9, Candlewick)

Rosalinda Fitzroy has been asleep for 62 years when she is woken by a kiss. Locked away in the chemically induced slumber of a stasis tube in a forgotten sub-basement, 16-year-old Rose slept straight through the Dark Times that killed millions and changed the world she knew. Now her parents and her first love are long dead, and Rose—hailed upon her awakening as the long-lost heir to an interplanetary empire—is thrust alone into a future in which she is viewed as either a freak or a threat.

Bargains and Betrayals, by Shannon Delany (Aug. 16, St. Martin’s Griffin)

Locked away at Pecan Place, Jessie finds her situation to be even more dangerous than she feared. While she struggles to maintain her sanity and discover answers about the group that seems less and less like any legitimate government agency, Pietr fights to keep their relationship alive. But very aware that his mother’s time is running out, Pietr makes a deal he doesn’t dare tell Jessie about. Because the deal he’s made could mean the death of far more than his tenuous relationship with the girl he loves. Third in the 13 to Life series.

Nocturne, by Christine Johnson (Aug. 23, Simon Pulse)

Claire couldn’t be happier that her life has finally settled down. She’s been fully initiated into her family’s pack of female werewolves, her best friend Emily is back in town, and she’s finally allowed to be with Matthew, the human love of her life. But when a new girl arrives, everything starts to unravel. Not only is the intruder getting close to Claire’s best friend and boyfriend, but she may also know more about Claire than she’s letting on. Second in the Claire de Lune series.

Possess, by Gretchen McNeil (Aug. 23, Balzer + Bray)

Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons, and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from. Terrified, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons.

Sweetly, by Jackson Pearce (Aug. 23, Little, Brown)

As a child, Gretchen’s twin sister was taken by a witch in the woods. Ever since, Gretchen and her brother, Ansel, have felt the long branches of the witch’s forest threatening to make them disappear, too. Years later, when their stepmother casts Gretchen and Ansel out, they find themselves in sleepy Live Oak, S.C. They’re invited to stay with Sophia Kelly, a beautiful candy maker who molds sugary magic: coveted treats that create confidence, bravery, and passion. Gretchen and Ansel gradually forget their haunted past—until Gretchen meets handsome local outcast Samuel. He tells her the witch isn’t gone—it’s lurking in the forest, preying on girls every year after Live Oak’s infamous chocolate festival, and looking to make Gretchen its next victim. Second in the Sisters Red series. 

Hades, by Alexandra Adornetto (Aug. 30, Feiwel & Friends)

Even the love of her boyfriend, Xavier Woods, and her archangel siblings, Gabriel and Ivy, can’t keep the angel Bethany Church from being tricked into a motorcycle ride that ends up in Hell. There, Jake Thorn bargains for Beth’s release back to Earth. But what he asks of her will destroy her, and quite possibly her loved ones as well. Can he be trusted in this wager? Second in the Halo series.

Anna Dressed in Blood, by Kendare Blake (Aug. 30, Tor Teen)

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead. So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together, they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay. When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before.

Witchlanders, by Lena Coakley (Aug. 30, Atheneum)

High in their mountain covens, red witches pray to the Goddess, protecting the Witchlands by throwing the bones and foretelling the future. It’s all a fake. At least, that’s what Ryder thinks. What danger is there to foretell now that his people’s old enemy, the Baen, has been defeated? But when a terrifying new magic threatens both his village and the coven, Ryder must confront the beautiful and silent witch who holds all the secrets. Everything he’s ever believed about witches, the Baen, magic and about himself will change, when he discovers that the prophecies he’s always scorned are about him.

Damned, by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguié (Aug. 30, Simon Pulse)

Antonio would do anything for his beloved fighting partner Jenn. He protects her, even suppresses his vampire cravings to be with her. But tensions threaten to fracture their hunting team and his loyalty—his love—is called into question. Jenn, the newly appointed Hunter, aches for revenge against the Cursed One who converted her sister. With an even more sinister power on the rise, she must overcome her personal vendettas to lead her team into battle.  Antonio and Jenn need each other to survive, but evil lurks at every turn. Second in the Crusade series.

Fury, by Elizabeth Miles (Aug. 30, Simon Pulse)

It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better—the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend. On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel…something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed. In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay.

Soul Thief, by Jana Oliver (Aug. 30, St. Martin’s)

Riley Blackthorne is beginning to learn that there are worse things than death by demon. And love is just one of them. Seventeen-year-old Riley has about had it up to here. After the devastating battle at the Tabernacle, trappers are dead, her boyfriend Simon is injured, and now her late father’s been illegally poached from his grave by a necromancer. As if that’s not enough, there’s Ori, one sizzling hot freelance demon hunter, and Beck, an overprotective “friend” who acts more like a grouchy granddad. As Atlanta’s demon count increases, the Vatican finally sends its own Demon Hunters to take care of the city’s little problem, and pandemonium breaks loose. Second in the Demon Trappers series.

The Fox Inheritance, by Mary E. Pearson (Aug. 30, Henry Holt)

Once there were three. Three friends who loved each other—Jenna, Locke, and Kara. And after a terrible accident destroyed their bodies, their three minds were kept alive, spinning in a digital netherworld. Even in that disembodied nightmare, they were still together. At least at first. When Jenna disappeared, Locke and Kara had to go on without her. Two-hundred-and-sixty years later, they have been released at last. Given new, perfect bodies, Locke and Kara awaken to a world they know nothing about, where everyone they once knew and loved is long dead. Everyone except Jenna Fox. Second in the Jenna Fox Chronicles.

Twisted, by Gena Showalter (Aug. 30, Harlequin Teen)

Sixteen-year-old Aden Stone has had a hell of a week. He’s been tortured by angry witches.  Hypnotized by a vengeful faery. Spied on by the most powerful vampire in existence. And, oh, yeah. Killed—twice.  His vampire girlfriend might have brought him back to life, but he’s never felt more out of control. There’s a darkness within him, something taking over… changing him. But the more vampire Aden becomes, the more human Victoria becomes, until everything they know and love is threatened. Third in the Intertwined 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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