The death knell for paranormal fantasy might have been rung too quickly if July and August releases are any indication. Thirty-five new titles hit the shelves this month, including series additions in adult UF from, among others, Chloe Neill (Chicagoland Vampires), Jim C. Hines (Magic Ex Libris), Kalayna Price (Alex Craft), Meljean Brook (The Guardians), Kat Richardson (Greywalker), MaryJanice Davidson (Undead), Rachel Caine (Revivalist), Hannah Jayne (Underworld Detection Agency), Thomas E. Sniegoski (Remy Chandler), Jeanne C. Stein (Anna Strong), Jennifer Estep (Elemental Assassins), Edward Lazellari (Guardians of Aandor), and Simon R. Green (Ghostfinders). Oh yeah, and that Suzanne Johnson person (Sentinels of New Orleans).
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.
Merit has been a vampire for only a short while, but she’s already seen a lifetime worth of trouble. She and her Master, centuries-old Ethan Sullivan, have risked their lives time and again to save the city they love. But not all of Chicago is loving them back. Anti-vampire riots are erupting all over town, striking vampires where it hurts the most. A splinter group armed with Molotov cocktails and deep-seated hate is intent on clearing the fanged from the Windy City come hell or high water. The battle for Chicago is just beginning, and Merit is running out of time.
What happens when exquisitely beautiful elves start getting all the roles in Hollywood? Human actors sue, that’s what. In a desperate attempt to keep the squabbling inside the Screen Actors Guild from going public, the president of SAG forces the two sides into arbitration. Enter Linnet Ellery, a human lawyer working for a vampire law firm, to serve as arbitrator. Linnet discovers that there are sinister forces at work in Tinsel Town. Someone has been coercing famous elven actors into committing sudden and terrible acts of violence against humans in a series of tragedies that could turn the tide of public opinion against all the supernatural Powers.
Five hundred years ago, Johannes Gutenberg discovered the art of libriomancy, allowing him to reach into books to create things from their pages. Gutenberg’s power brought him many enemies. Revenge which begins with the brutal slaughter of a wendigo in the northern Michigan town of Tamarack, an established werewolf territory. Libriomancer Isaac Vainio is part of Die Zwelf Portenære, better known as the Porters, the organization founded by Gutenberg to protect the world from magical threats. Isaac is called in to investigate the killing, along with Porter psychiatrist Nidhi Shah and their dryad bodyguard and lover, Lena Greenwood. Her powers are unique, and Gutenberg’s enemies hope to use those powers for themselves. But their plan could unleash a far darker evil.
Young Adult. Scott Tyler is not like other teenagers. With a single thought he can alter reality around him. And he can stop anyone else from doing the same. That’s why he’s so important to ARES, the secret government agency that regulates other kids like him: Shifters. They’ve sent him on a mission to track down the enigmatic Frank Anderson, an ex-Shifter who runs a project for unusual kids, as if the ability to change your every decision wasn’t unusual enough. But Anderson and the kids have a dark secret, and Scott realizes if he can’t control his choices, they’ll control him.
Young Adult. Now that Gemma holds the key to breaking the siren curse, the stakes have never been higher. At last, a future with those she loves, and a romance with Alex, is close enough to touch. But not if Penn has anything to say about it. Penn is more determined than ever to have Daniel for her own and to destroy Gemma and Harper along the way, and Penn always gets what she wants. Now a final explosive battle is about to begin, and the winner will take everything Gemma holds dear.
If you want to hear voices from the dead in Nekros City, you call Alex Craft. She’s a Grave Witch, who specializes in revealing the secrets of the dead. She’s the one fighting to keep her own secret. She’s not human, and her newly discovered heritage is causing havoc for her both in the human realm and in Faerie. Her status as an unaffiliated fae also makes her an ideal candidate to investigate a new street drug that has surfaced in several of the spaces between the human and fae worlds. Searching for the source of this drug lands Alex front and center in the conflict brewing in Faerie and she must find answers before she’s dragged so deep she loses her freedom.
After a terrifying encounter in Hell destroys her trust in Michael, the Guardian’s powerful leader, former detective Andromeda Taylor is ready to call it quits as one of the angelic warriors and resume her human life. But when demonic forces threaten her closest friends and she uncovers a plot devised by Lucifer, Taylor is thrown straight into Michael’s path again. To defeat Lucifer, Michael needs every Guardian by his side, and he needs Taylor more than any other. The detective is the key to keeping his own demonic side at bay. And when Taylor manifests a deadly power, her Gift might tip the scales in the endless war between Heaven and Hell, or it might destroy them both.
When a comatose woman suddenly wakes up and starts painting scenes she’s never witnessed, with a skill she’s never had, medical science has no explanation. As more bizarre phenomena manifest, even her doctors start to wonder if the woman might be possessed. Frustrated and frightened, the patient’s sister reluctantly turns to Greywalker Harper Blaine to discover who, or what, is occupying her sister’s body. As Harper digs into the case of apparent possession, she discovers a disturbing connection to one of the most gruesome stories in Washington’s history.
Already addicted to the pharmaceutical drug that keeps her body from decomposing, Bryn has to stop a secretive group of rich and powerful investors from eliminating the existing Returné addicts altogether. To ensure their plan to launch a new, military-grade strain of nanotech, the investors’ undead assassin, who just happens to be the ex-wife of Bryn’s lover Patrick, is on the hunt for anyone that stands in their way. And while Bryn’s allies aren’t about to go down without a fight, the secret she’s been keeping threatens to put those closest to her in even more danger.
The Shadow of the Soul: The Forgotten Gods: Book Two (The Dog-Faced Gods #2)—Sarah Pinborough (August 6, Ace)
A terrorist attack has crippled London. To find a perpetrator who is more than human, Special Branch turns to Detective Inspector Cass Jones. Cass is already investigating a series of student suicides, but saying no to Special Branch isn’t an option, even when he’s hit with a much more personal and deeply disturbing mystery: a message left for him by his murdered brother revealing that Cass’s nephew was stolen at birth. Cass’s investigations and his search for the boy lead him down a dark labyrinth to the shadowy Mr. Bright and his otherworldly allies, and into the middle of an ancient and deadly feud.
Young Adult. 16 year old Taylor Oh is cursed: if she is touched by the ghost of a murder victim then they pass a mark beneath her skin. She has three weeks to find their murderer and pass the mark to them, letting justice take place and sending them into the Darkness. She spends her life trying to avoid ghosts, make it through school bullying by popular Justin and his cronies, keep her one remaining friend, and persuade her father that this is real. Then Justin is murdered. The clues she has lead her to the V Club, a vicious secret-society at her school where no one is allowed to leave.
It’s no surprise to Betsy that her trip to Hell with her sister Laura landed them in hot water. Betsy isn’t exactly sorry she killed the Devil but it’s put Laura in a damnable position: assuming the role of Satan and in charge of billions of souls as she moves up in the world. Betsy herself is in an odd new position as well, that of being a responsible monarch suddenly in charge of all things more earth-bound: like her vampire husband, who has gone from relieved to ecstatic to downright reckless now that he can tolerate sunlight. Betsy’s best friend Jessica is in her sixth trimester. Considering she’s been pregnant for eighteen months. Betsy and Sinclair’s adopted little BabyJon is finally starting to walk. Precisely where he’s headed is anyone’s guess.
Sophie Lawson was seriously hoping life at the UDA would get back to relative normal now that her boss Pete Sampson has been reinstated. Unfortunately, her new assignment is sending her undercover into a realm where even the most powerful paranormals fear to tread…her old high school. Being a human immune to magic is no defense against soulless picture-perfect mean girls, or a secret witch coven about to sacrifice a missing female student. And Sophie’s Guardian, uber-proper Englishman Will, is determined to convince Sophie he’s the kind of temptation she should indulge in permanently. Now, as the clock ticks down to apocalypse, he and Sophie will have to summon every trick in the book to battle devilish illusion, lethal sorcery, and betrayals they’ll never see coming.
Remy Chandler, angel private investigator, is trying his damnedest to lead a normal life in a world on the verge of supernatural change. He’s found a new love, a woman his dog, Marlowe, approves of, and his best human friend is reluctantly coming to grips with how unusual Remy’s actions can be. Heaven and the Legions of the Fallen still stand on the brink of war. One of Heaven’s greatest generals is murdered, and it falls to Remy to discover who might be responsible for the death. The deeper he digs, the further he goes into a dark world of demonic assassins, secret brothels, and things that are unsettling even to a being who has lived since time began.
Curtis, Japh, and Jool are film extras who survived being anonymous players in a “live-action” film in which getting killed onscreen meant getting killed for real. Surviving the shoot made them rich enough to escape the post-apocalyptic Hell that L.A. has become. Their survival was not what Panoply Studios’ CEO Val Margolian had in mind. Now he’s taking his revenge. The town of Sunrise, California, is subjected to Margolian’s plan to punish the entire town, and make a fortune doing it. Margolian has created toxic, murderous wasplike mechanical creatures to set upon the people of Sunrise, while his film crew captures the carnage in the bloodiest “live-action” film yet.
The mer feud has been settled, but life in South Louisiana still has more twists and turns than the muddy Mississippi. New Orleanians are under attack from a copycat killer mimicking the crimes of a 1918 serial murderer known as the Axeman of New Orleans. Thanks to a tip from the undead pirate Jean Lafitte, DJ Jaco knows the attacks aren’t random—an unknown necromancer has resurrected the original Axeman of New Orleans, and his ultimate target is a certain blond wizard. Namely, DJ. Fighting an undead serial killer as troubles pile up around her isn’t easy. Jake Warin’s loup-garou nature is spiraling downward, enigmatic neighbor Quince Randolph is acting weirder than ever, the Elders are insisting on lessons in elven magic from the world’s most annoying wizard, and former partner Alex Warin just turned up on DJ’s to-do list. Not to mention big maneuvers are afoot in the halls of preternatural power. Suddenly, moving to the Beyond as Jean Lafitte’s pirate wench might be DJ’s best option.
Young Adult. I first met my demon the morning that Mum said Dad had gone. Alex Connolly is ten years old, likes onions on toast, and can balance on the back legs of his chair for fourteen minutes. His best friend is a 9,000-year-old demon called Ruen. When his depressive mother attempts suicide again, Alex meets child psychiatrist Anya. Still bearing the scars of her own daughter’s battle with schizophrenia, Anya fears for Alex’s mental health and attempts to convince him that Ruen doesn’t exist. But as she runs out of medical proof for many of Alex’s claims, she is faced with a question: does Alex suffer from schizophrenia, or can he really see demons? (U.S. Release)
Young Adult. Satan is determined to create his own Hell on Earth and has unleashed unfathomable chaos into the world. Cut off from Heaven, humanity’s only hope for salvation rests with eighteen-year-old Aaron and the other Nephilim who fight by his side. But there can be only one champion, and defeat is eternal. The battle lines have been drawn. Armageddon is here.
Dr. Charlotte “Charlie” Stone has dedicated her career as a psychiatrist to exploring the darkest territory: the hearts and minds of serial killers. It’s a job she’s uniquely suited for. Charlie can see dead people. This gives Charlie the power to hunt down and catch madmen and murderers. Murder comes pounding at Charlie’s door in the form of a terrified young woman fleeing a homicidal maniac. Saving her life places Charlie in the cross-hairs of a sadistic predator nicknamed “the Gingerbread Man.”
Young Adult. Freya Beauchamp has been kidnapped and sucked into the past, forced to relive the horrors of Salem and return to the witch-burning hysteria. Freya’s family is determined to save her, but the Passages of Time are closed to the Beauchamp family, leaving them stuck in the present, centuries from Freya. Joanna, Freddie, and Ingrid must find another way back to save Freya before it’s too late.
Young Adult. Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town until River West comes along. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more?
Young Adult. The Black Rose, a powerful ancient force, has been let loose and has taken up residence in Celeste Gibson, popular girl at Cassidy Carter-Lewis’ high school. Thomas Delacroix is the spirit of a fourteenth-century knight who is devoted to protecting the Black Rose, but he needs a contemporary living being to take on the challenge. That’s where Cassidy comes in. She’s a quirky high school junior who just wants to dress in her vintage clothes, hang out with her best friend, and take care of her father, who is recovering from surgery. She’s the last person who would ever volunteer for such a task, but no one actually asked her.
Kirsty d’Arc’s first Reaper mission gets personal when her ex-boss escapes from Hell and physically possesses Shannon, Kirsty’s BFF. To reunite rightful body and soul, Kirsty must outwit a demented demon, fend off an insane strangler, and bend the very rules of Hell and Earth. Dante is still miffed that she broke the Reaper rules to take down her ex-boss, Conrad. Conrad develops strange demonic powers and escapes to the Mortal Coil. Although barely speaking, Kirsty and Dante are sent on Kirsty’s first Reaper mission: bring Conrad back. Ebook.
Young Adult. Sara Jane Rispoli is still searching for her missing family. This time she finds herself on the run from creepy beings with red, pulsing eyes and pale white skin chasing her through the streets in ice cream trucks. They’re terrifying and hell-bent on killing her, but they’re also a link to her family, a clue to where they might be and who has them. She’s discovering more about her own cold fury and more about the Chicago Outfit, but the only thing that matters is finding her family and keeping everyone she loves alive.
Twenty-four-year-old Olivia Taylor Jones has the perfect life—until she learns she’s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers. Olivia decides to find out the truth about the Larsens and ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois. Aided by her mother’s former lawyer, Olivia focuses on the Larsens’ last crime, the one her birth mother swears will prove their innocence. Olivia finds herself drawing on abilities that have remained hidden since her childhood, gifts that make her both a valuable addition to Cainsville and deeply vulnerable to unknown enemies.
Ciel Halligan, an aura adaptor, is working a job at the National Zoo with her boyfriend, Billy, and his ten-year-old sister, Molly. It’s supposed to be a quick fix, giving her time to decide if it’s wise to pursue the romantic relationship. Molly has already begun to show signs of being an adaptor herself. What is impossible is her taking on the form of the baby orangutan she touches. She can’t change herself back. When Billy winds up in jail, Ciel begins to suspect Molly’s unusual adapting ability is more than just a fluke. Who’s been experimenting on Molly, and what do they hope to gain? And will Ciel survive to find out?
Young Adult. It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant. When Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister than Scion..
Fourteen-year-old Daniel Hauer is on the run from the law. Even though Daniel acted in self-defense when he accidentally killed his stepfather, he’s afraid the authorities will not see it that way. The situation is complicated by the fact that Daniel is the missing heir to the far-off kingdom of Aandor, something Daniel is unaware of. Because he is the key to uniting a warring empire, there are those who are desperate to locate him, but there are also those who wish him never to be found. From the streets of New York City to the back roads of rural North Carolina, the search for Daniel sets powerful factions against each other in a do-or-die battle for the rule of the kingdom of Aandor.
Anna’s relationship with shape-shifter Daniel Frey has given her hope for a future with him and his son, especially when Frey proposes. But just when Anna starts to think her life couldn’t be better, she must fly to France to be at the side of her dying mother. There she learns that not every vampire accepts her Chosen One status. And one such vamp is about to go rogue—leading his followers in a fight to usurp humanity.
I don’t publicly advertise that I’m a mage, but I don’t exactly hide it either. Hide something behind smoke and mirrors and make people work to find it, and they’ll tear the place down looking for what’s there. Alex Verus is a diviner who can see probable futures. Alex was once apprenticed to a Dark mage, and in his service he did a lot of things he isn’t proud of. As rumors swirl that his old master is coming back, Alex comes face to face with his misdeeds in the form of a young adept whose only goal is to get revenge.
Young Adult. Tristan Coleman has survived the change from Clann magic user to vampire, much to Savannah Colbert’s joy, and despair. By changing the Clann’s golden boy and newly elected leader, even to save him from death, she has unleashed a fury of hatred and fear that they cannot escape. As the Clann and the vampire council go to war, Tristan and Sav face a new threat, a fracturing of the all-consuming bond they share.
The ninth novel in the Elemental Assassin series finds Gin Blanco on a dangerous mission to rescue a friend. When a terror from the past threatens Gin’s friend and body-disposer, Sophia, Gin will stop at nothing to protect her, even if it means walking straight into a killer’s trap. Meanwhile, the rocky romance between Gin and Owen reaches a turning point. Can they reunite and rekindle their love? Or will the things Gin has been forced to do in her line of work as the deadly assassin keep them apart forever?
Young Adult. Seventeen-year-old Penelope (Pen) has lost everything: her home, her parents, and her ten-year-old brother. Like a female Odysseus in search of home, she navigates a dark world full of strange creatures, gathers companions and loses them, finds love and loses it, and faces her mortal enemy.
Meet the operatives of the Carnacki Institute: JC Chance: the team leader, Melody Chambers: the science geek; and Happy Jack Palmer: the terminally gloomy telepath. Their mission: Do Something About Ghosts. Their latest assignment takes JC and the team to a small country village. JC thinks that the spirits in the King’s Arms are more the stuff of urban legend than anything that needs the Ghost Finders’ expertise. One story rings true: the tale of a traveler trapped by an unusual thunderstorm who retired to her room for the night, and vanished. Like the one that begins raging outside shortly after they arrive. As the team investigates, they are forced, one by one, to face some hard truths about themselves, truths that may push Happy Jack over the edge into madness.
All Roxanne Love has ever wanted is to be normal. She tries to fit in but can’t conceal her ability to defy death, not from the world, not from the darkest creatures of the Beyond and not from the Reaper determined to destroy her. Now Roxanne is on the run, her only ally a detective with secrets of his own. Incognito as guilt-ridden cop, Santo Castillo, the Reaper’s plan is simple: get close to Roxanne, uncover the secret of her immortality and cut it at the source. Yet with this borrowed body come emotions the Reaper hadn’t expected.
Author Suzanne Johnson is a book geek with a fondness for a good dystopia. Her Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series continues this month with the release of Elysian Fields. You can find Suzanne on Facebook and on her daily speculative fiction blog, Preternatura.