Rack and ruin seem to be the themes for February as eighteen new releases in this month’s genre-blending category. Look for quite a few new standalones, a Romeo and Juliet retelling, and series launch. There are also new series offerings from Julianna Baggott (Pure); Shannon Stoker (The Registry); Kristen Simmons (Article 5); G.T. Almasi (Shadowstorm); Joseph D’Lacey (Black Dawn); Lynn Viehl (Disenchanted & Co.); and M.K. Hume (King Arthur).
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. The fate of the world is more fragile than ever as Pures battle Wretches and former allies become potential enemies. Inside the Dome, Patridge has taken his father’s place as leader of the Pures. His intent had been to bring down the Dome from the inside with the help of the secret resistance force led by Partridge’s former teacher Glassings. Perhaps if the world is to survive it needs the Dome, and Partridge, to rule it. Outside the Dome, Pressia and Bradwell continue piecing together the clues left to them by their parents from the time before the detonations. They will be able to help heal the Wretches, freeing them from their monstrous fusings and the Dome’s oppression once and for all. Can they still trust their friend and ally to see their plan through? Or will a new war begin?
Young Adult. Jessica Drake has dreamed of other worlds, some of them similar to her own, others alien. She never shares the details with anyone, save her younger brother Tommy. A strange woman has been watching her house. A visitor to her school attempts to take possession of her dream-inspired artwork. It becomes clear that whoever is watching her does not want her to learn the truth. Her house catches on fire, and when the smoke clears she discovers that her brother has been kidnapped. Following clues left behind on Tommy’s computer, Jessica and two of her friends embark on a journey that will test their spirits and their courage. They must leave their own world behind and confront the source of Earth’s darkest legends as well as the truth of their own secret heritage.
In the Houses of Montague and Capulet, there is only one goal: power. The boys are born to fight and die for honor and, if they survive, marry for influence and money, not love. The girls are assets, to be spent wisely. Their wishes are of no import. Their fates are written on the day they are born. Benvolio Montague, cousin to Romeo, knows all this. He expects to die for his cousin, for his house, but a spark of rebellion still lives inside him. At night, he is the Prince of Shadows, the greatest thief in Verona, and he risks all as he steals from House Capulet. In doing so, he sets eyes on convent-bound Rosaline, and a terrible curse begins that will claim the lives of many in Verona, and will rewrite all their fates, forever.
Mia Morrissey has escaped: America, the Registry, and the role she was raised for, a perfect bride auctioned to the highest bidder. She’s enemy number one to the world’s largest power, and there’s no turning back now. From the moment she and her friends Andrew, and Carter cross the border into Mexico it becomes clear their troubles are only beginning. The young men are immediately picked up by a violent and omnipotent militia, The Collection, and it’s Mia’s turn to rescue them. With time running out, her ex-fiancé’s henchman on her trail, and a dangerous tide shifting back in America, Mia will do whatever she has to. Even if that means risking everything and putting herself back on an auction block.
Lord Scott Oken, a prince of Albion, and Professor-Prince Mikel Mabruke live in a world where the sun never set on the Egyptian Empire. In the year 1877 of Our Lord Julius Caesar, Pharaoh Djoser-George governs a sprawling realm that spans Europe, Africa, and much of Asia. When the European terrorist Otto von Bismarck touches off an international conspiracy, Scott and Mik are charged with exposing the plot against the Empire. Their adventure takes them from the sands of Memphis to a lush New World, home of the Incan Tawantinsuyu, a rival empire across the glittering Atlantic Ocean.
It’s 1941, and Wernher von Braun is ordered by his Fuehrer to abandon the V2 rocket and turn German resources in a new direction: construction of a manned orbital spacecraft capable of attacking the U.S. Work on the rocket, called Silbervogel,begins at Peenemunde. British intelligence discovers the plan, and brings word to Franklin Roosevelt. The American President determines that the U.S. must build a spacecraft capable of intercepting Silbervogel and destroying it. Robert Goddard agrees to head the classified project. So begins a race between two military programs and two scientists whose high-stakes competition will spiral into a deadly game of political intrigue and unforeseen catastrophes played to the death in the brutal skies above America.
Emma wakes in a hospital, with no memory of what came before. Her husband, Declan, a powerful, seductive man, provides her with new memories, but her dreams contradict his stories, showing her a past life she can’t believe possible: memories of war, of a camp where girls are trained to be wives, of love for another man. Something inside her tells her not to speak of this, but she does not know why. She only knows she is at war with herself. Emma lets Declan mold her into a happily married woman and begins to fall in love with him. The day Noah stands before her, the line between her reality and dreams shatters. Emma fights for freedom but is held captive by the love of two men, one her husband, the other her worst enemy. If only she could remember which is which.
Even for a charismatic pirate, three years is a long time to chase after an unimaginable treasure hidden in the ruins of an ancient city. But when the fabled riches turn out to be virtually worthless, the outraged crew mutinies and leaves their former captain for dead. He is rescued by a mysterious king and transported back to a time of dwarves, druids, and fairies. Enchanting as it is, though, his only wish is to return home and find justice. But only the king has the power to return him, for a price. Aided by a new and motley group of mystical creatures and misfits, he sets out on his quest, ultimately getting caught up in a war he wants nothing to do with and in the process changing the course of history itself.
We found ten men, red from blood and dead. At the center of an expanding mystery: a fabled Viking runestone left behind in the Minnesota woodland of ages past. St. Sunniva University’s Julia Olsen and Nate Kirkland find themselves hot on the trail of a fourteenth-century artifact, a missing runic specialist, and an all-too-familiar kidnapper who has used the time travel lab’s STEWie (SpaceTimE Warper) for a joyride deep into America’s past. Armed with nothing more than a hunch and a keen understanding of History’s rules, can Julia, Nate, and their teammates track down the kidnapper and the missing researcher before the inevitable, and perilous, clash with history?
Contrary to popular wisdom, death is not the end, nor is it a passage to some transcendent afterlife. Those who die merely awake as themselves on one of a million worlds. All are born only once, but die many times, until they come at last to the City Unspoken, where the gateway to True Death can be found. The City is home to murderous aristocrats, disguised gods and goddesses, a sadistic faerie princess, immortal prostitutes and queens, a captive angel, gangs of feral Death Boys and Charnel Girls, and one very confused New Yorker. Late of Manhattan, Cooper finds himself in a City that is not what it once was. The gateway to True Death is failing.
Young Adult. Ember Miller and Chase Jennings are ready to stop running. They have finally arrived at the safe house, where they hope to live a safe and quiet existence—only to find it destroyed. Ember and Chase follow the only thing left to them, tracks leading away from the wreckage. They know they can’t stay out in the open for long. They search for a place to hide, aiming for a settlement a few of them have heard about. One that is rumored to house the nebulous organization known as Three. The very group that has provided Ember with a ray of hope ever since she was first forced on the run. Three is responsible for the huge network of underground safe houses and resistance groups across the country. And they may offer Ember her only chance at telling the world her story.
As Mt. Vesuvius rumbles ominously, Pompeiian Councilor Valerius needs assistance in performing rituals to protect the city from the wrath of the fire-god, Vulcan. But his agenda is far from benevolent, as he cares less about quieting the volcano than taming it and taking the power for himself. Now it’s up to Horatius, a former legionnaire and gladiator, to prevent Valerius’s sinister rites from coming to fruition. But with Vesuvius looming over the city?and the dead rising to defend the corrupt councilor?the warrior might have fled a troubled past only to have entered a doomed future. (Digital)
A collection of the critically acclaimed dark, weird and surreal short fiction of Ben Peek. It presents a world where bands are named after the murderer of a dead president, where the work of Octavia E. Butler is turned into an apocalypse meta-narrative, and John Wayne visits a Walmart. It presents a world where a dying sun shines over a broken, bitter landscape and men and women tattoo their life onto their skin for an absent god. It presents Mark Twain dreaming of Sydney, and answers a questionnaire you never read. (Digital)
Nineteen-year-old Alix Nico, code-named Scarlet, is a kick-ass superheroine with killer Mods and an attitude to match. She’s considered one of America’s top Levels, even though her last mission nearly precipitated World War III. So now Scarlet and her new partner, Darwin, have been sent to Greater Germany to help sow the seeds of anarchy and prevent Germany’s defection to Russia and China. But where Scarlet goes, chaos follows, and when her mission takes an unexpected turn, she and Darwin must go ever deeper into enemy territory. As Scarlet grapples with a troubling attraction to her new partner, explosive information comes to light about the German cloning program and one of its prisoners, a legendary American Level who just happens to be Scarlet’s father.
The world has been condemned. Only Gordon Black and The Crowman can redeem it. The search for the shadowy figure known only as the Crowman continues, as the Green Men prepare to rise up against the forces of the Ward. It is the Bright Day, a time long generations hence, when a peace has descended across the world. It is the Black Dawn, a time of environmental apocalypse, the earth wracked and dying.
Doing a favor for deathmage Lucien Dredmore, Kit agrees to interview a newly widowed lady as a potential client. She learns that the woman in question is none other than Lady Eugenia Bestly, someone who once led a vicious campaign to ruin Kit’s life. Lady Bestly now lives in fear herself, for the press is about to unmask her husband as the savage “Wolfman” who died while terrorizing the city. Kit determines there is more than one Wolfman, and that they may themselves be victims of evil players. While avoiding both mechanized assassins and attempts by Dredmore and Chief Inspector Tom Doyle to take her under their protection, Kit follows a path that leads from a prestigious gentlemen’s club fronting a hellish secret to a vengeful native tribe and dangerous, ancient magics.
The King Arthur Trilogy, Book Three: The Bloody Cup (King Arthur #3)—M.K. Hume (February 25, Atria)
Celtic Britain is on the brink of collapse, and the kingdom’s bloodiest days are upon it. For many years, the people of Britain have enjoyed peace and prosperity under the reign of King Arthur. But Arthur is now weakening with age, and the seeds of discontent are being sown. Seeking to cleanse the land of Christian belief, dissenters need a symbol with which to legitimize their pagan claim and unite the malcontents. They seize upon the ancient Cup of Bishop Lucius of Glastonbury as a way of fragmenting Arthur’s hard-earned kingdom. The ultimate threat to Arthur’s rule lies far closer to home: his own kin will betray him. Celt will slay Celt and the rivers will run with blood. Will all be lost, or can Arthur conquer the mounting forces before it’s too late? (U.S.)
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 Twitter and on her daily speculative fiction blog, Preternatura.