Fiction Affliction: February Releases in Urban Fantasy

Twenty-one new books in the genre I will insist on calling “paranormal fantasy” hit the shelves of All Things Kickass in February, including the highly anticipated penultimate book in Kim Harrison’s long-running Hollows series, The Undead Pool, coming February 25.

Look for other new series additions from, among others, Ben Aaronovitch (Peter Grant); Glen Duncan (Bloodlines); Thea Harrison (Game of Shadows); Caitlin R. Kiernan (Siobhan Quinn); Chloe Neill (Chicagoland Vampires); Karina Cooper (St. Croix Chronicles); Rhiannon Held (Silver); Susan Sizemore (Laws of the Blood); and Leigh Evans (Mystwalker).

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.

WEEK ONE

The Line (Witching Savannah #1)J.D. Horn (February 1, 47North)

Mercy Taylor, the youngest member of Savannah’s preeminent witching family, was born without the gift of magic. She is accustomed to coming in a distant second to the minutes older, exquisite and gifted twin she adores. Hopelessly in love with her sister’s boyfriend, she goes to a Hoodoo root doctor for a love spell. A spell that will turn her heart to another man. Aunt Ginny, the family’s matriarch, would not approve. Mercy has more to worry about than a love triangle when Aunt Ginny is brutally murdered. Ginny was the Taylor family’s high commander in the defense of the bewitched line that separates humankind from the demons who once ruled our realm. Mercy must tap the strength born from being an outcast to protect the line she doesn’t feel a part of.

Broken Homes (Peter Grant #4)Ben Aaronovitch (February 4, DAW)

My name is Peter Grant, and I am a keeper of the secret flame, whatever that is. My superior Nightingale is trying to teach me proper schooling for a magician’s apprentice. Mostly I’m just a constable sworn to enforce the Queen’s Peace, with the occasional help from some unusual friends. A mutilated body in Crawley means another murderer is on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil, who may either be a common serial killer or an associate of the twisted magician known as the Faceless Man. I get word of something odd happening in Elephant and Castle, on an estate designed by a nutter, built by charlatans, and inhabited by the desperate. I’ll be entering some tricky waters of jurisdiction with the local river spirits. The typical day for a magician constable. (U.S. Release)

By Blood We Live (Bloodlines Trilogy #3)Glen Duncan (February 4, Knopf)

Talulla has settled into an uneasy equilibrium. With her twins safely at her side, and the devotion of her lover, Walker, she has what appears to be a normal family life, except for their monthly transformation into werewolves hungry for human flesh. But even this hard-won, tenuous peace is undermined for Talulla by nagging thoughts of Remshi, the twenty-thousand-year-old vampire who haunts her dreams. Remshi can’t escape the feeling that he knows Talulla from many years before. Talulla is being pursued by a fanatical, Vatican-based Christian cult, and Remshi is following a trail of reckless feedings by a newly turned vampire bent on revenge. Talulla and Remshi are drawn to each other, and toward the moment when an ancient prophecy may finally come to pass.

Carousel Sun (Carousel #2)Sharon Lee (February 4, Baen)

These are exciting times in Archers Beach, Maine! An unprecedented Early Season has united townies and carnies in an effort to expand into a twelve-month resort, recapturing the town’s former glory. Kate Archer, owner-operator of the vintage wooden carousel, is caught up in the excitement. Kate leads a double life, as carny, and as Guardian of the land. Her recent return to the home she had forsaken has changed the town’s luck, for the better, and energized the trenvay, earth and water spirits who are as much citizens of the Beach as their mundane counterparts. The town’s new energy isn’t the only change afoot. Joe Nemeier, the local drug lord, whose previous magical consultant was vanquished by Kate, has acquired a new ally, and this one plays with fire.

Falling Light (Game of Shadows #2)Thea Harrison (February 4, Berkley)

Having finally reunited, and fought off The Deceiver for now, Mary and Michael race up the Michigan peninsula to meet Astra before police forces catch up with them. But the closer they get, the less Mary is willing to trust a woman who by her own admission will do anything to finish The Deceiver, even if it means killing Michael and Mary to try again in another life. As they face their final battle unsure if they can trust either side, Michael’s loyalties are tested, making him vulnerable just when Mary needs him most.

MistwalkerSaundra Mitchell (February 4, Harcourt Children’s)

Young Adult. When Willa Dixon’s brother dies on the family lobster boat, her father forbids Willa from stepping foot on the deck again. With her family suffering, she’ll do anything to help out, even visiting the Grey Man. Everyone in her small Maine town knows of this legendary spirit who haunts the lighthouse, controlling the fog and the fate of any vessel within his reach. But what Willa finds in the lighthouse isn’t a spirit at all, but a young man trapped inside until he collects one thousand souls. Desperate to escape his cursed existence, Grey tries to seduce Willa to take his place. With her life on land in shambles, will she sacrifice herself?

Only the Good Die Young (Jensen Murphy Ghost For Hire #1)Chris Marie Green (February 4, Roc)

My name is Jensen Murphy, and thirty years ago I was just an ordinary California girl. I had friends, family, a guy who might be The One. Ordinary, until I became a statistic, one of the unsolved murders of the year. Afterwards, I didn’t go anywhere in pursuit of any bright light; I stayed under the oak tree where my body was found, and relived my death, over and over. So when a psychic named Amanda Lee Minter pulled me out of that loop into the real world, I was very grateful. I’m now a ghost-at-large, rescued by Amanda (I found out) to be a supernatural snoop. I’m helping her uncover a killer (not mine, she promises me we’ll get to that) which should be easy for a spirit. Except that I’ve found out that even ghosts have enemies, human, and otherwise.

Red Delicious (Siobhan Quinn #2)Caitlin R. Kiernan writing as Kathleen Tierney (February 4, Roc)

Half-vampire, half-werewolf Siobhan Quinn survived her initiation into the world of demons and monsters. But staying alive as she becomes entangled in underworld politics might prove to be more difficult. When the daughter of a prominent necromancer vanishes, it’s up to Quinn to find the girl. But her search will land her directly in the middle of a struggle between competing forces searching for an ancient artifact of almost unimaginable power.

Teen SpiritFrancesca Lia Block (February 4, Harper Teen)

Young Adult. After Julie’s grandmother passes away, she is forced to move across town to the not-so-fancy end of Beverly Hills and start over at a new school. The only silver lining to the perpetual dark cloud that seems to be following her? Clark, a die-hard fan of Buffy and all things Joss Whedon, who is just as awkward and damaged as she is. Her kindred spirit. When the two try to contact Julie’s grandmother with a Ouija board, they make contact with a different spirit altogether. The real kind. And this ghost will do whatever it takes to come back to the world of the living.

Vengeance (Fracture #2)Megan Miranda (February 4, Walker Children’s)

Young Adult. Nobody really believes in a curse. Until you know the people who disappear. Too much coincidence, you look for reason. Too much death, you grasp for something to blame. Carson pulled Delaney out and he died on the side of the road with her mouth pressed to his. Her air in his body. Troy. She told the cops it was suicide. Didn’t matter. The lake released her and grabbed another. But when Decker’s father dies in a pool of spilled water on their kitchen floor, all Decker can feel is a slow burning rage. Because he knows that Delaney knew that his dad was going to die. She knew and backed out of his house and never said a word. Falcon Lake still has a hold on them both, and Decker can’t forgive Delaney until he knows why.

Wild Things (Chicagoland Vampires #9)Chloe Neill (February 4, NAL)

Since Merit was turned into a vampire, and the protector of Chicago’s Cadogan House, it’s been a wild ride. She and Master vampire Ethan Sullivan have helped make Cadogan’s vampires the strongest in North America, and forged ties with paranormal folk of all breeds and creeds, living or dead, or both. But now those alliances are about to be tested. A strange and twisted magic has ripped through the North American Central Pack, and Merit’s closest friends are caught in the crosshairs. Gabriel Keene, the Pack Apex, looks to Merit and Ethan for help. But who, or what, could possibly be powerful enough to out-magic a shifter? Merit is about to go toe to toe, and cold steel to cold heart, to find out.

 

WEEK TWO

Tempered (The St. Croix Chronicles #4)Karina Cooper (February 10, Carina)

Forced out of London’s coal-blackened streets, Cherry St. Croix is faced with her most difficult undertaking yet: sobriety. My guardian, the enigmatic Mr. Oliver Ashmore, has revealed himself, and his order is clear: I am to be dried out at once, regardless of my wishes. Footsteps follow me, voices call for me, and my sanity wavers. In my fevered dreams, I am haunted by those I failed, while waking proves no protection from the ghosts of my reckless past. To unravel the alchemical mysteries of my mother’s family, I must rely on Ashmore’s tutelage. I am lured to the art and drawn by the secrets my guardian possesses. Yet the deeper I delve, the more I believe that something dreadful disturbs these haunted corridors. In my madness, I fear that what it wants most, is me. (Digital)

 

WEEK THREE

Dog-Gone (Pax Arcana)Elliott James (February 18, Orbit)

Somewhere in Alaska a locked house full of ripped-apart bodies and one teacup poodle covered in blood. Somewhere in Alaska, the voice of a dead woman speaks through a car radio. And somewhere in Alaska, the last surviving descendant of one of John Charming’s only friends is being pursued by nightmare hounds. The dog days have begun. (Digital)

Reflected (Silver #3)Rhiannon Held (February 18, Tor)

Falling in love in a werewolf pack leads to some very bad choices. The secret lives of the werewolf packs that live and hunt alongside human society in Reflected, the third book of the series that began with Held’s debut novel, Silver. Silver and her mate Andrew Dare are pack leaders of the entire North American werewolf population, and that makes the more traditional packs in Europe very nervous indeed. It’s getting hard to hide from human surveillance.

Twilight Watch: Book Three (Night Watch #3)Sergei Lukyanenko (February 18, Harper)

The Others face their greatest threat yet. An ancient book of spells with the power to turn ordinary humans into Others has fallen into the wrong hands, threatening to destroy the precarious balance between the forces of Darkness and Light. Now the Night Watch and the Day Watch must cooperate to stop the culprit. Anton, the hero from Night Watch, is back, but when the renegade Other turns out to be closer to home than he expected, the race to prevent global war becomes more urgent than ever. And as Anton gets closer to discovering the true nature of the Others, he begins to question how much of a difference there truly is between the Dark and the Light. (U.S. Release)

Third Strike (The Slayer Chronicles #3)Heather Brewer (February 20, Dial)

All secrets will be revealed as Slayer Joss McMillan tracks a murderous vampire terrorizing his hometown of Santa Clara. During his investigation, Joss comes head to head with old enemies seeking revenge and faces the truth about his sister Cecile’s murder. Joss must use all of his skill to protect his loved ones, even if it means paying the ultimate price.

 

WEEK FOUR

A Taste Fur Murder (Whiskey, Tango & Foxtrot Mystery #1)Dixie Lyle (February 25, St. Martin’s)

Meet Deirdre “Foxtrot” Lancaster. Foxtrot manages a mansion, a private zoo, and anything else that strikes her boss’s fancy. Her job title is Administrative Assistant, but chaos handler would be more accurate. Especially after she glimpses a giant ghost-beast in Zelda’s pet cemetery. Foxtrot is seeing animal spirits. Foxtrot comes home to find her cat, Tango, her dead cat Tango, alive and well and communicating telepathically. There’s an ectoplasmic dog named Tiny who changes breeds with a shake of his tail, and can sniff out a clue like nobody’s business. When a coworker drops dead, Tiny is on the case. Can Foxtrot and her new companions ferret out the killer among a menagerie of suspects, human and otherwise, before death takes another bite?

Blood2Blood (Laws of the Blood #7)Susan Sizemore (February 25, Ace)

In England, archaeologists have discovered the graves of a dozen victims of the Black Death that all but wiped out Europe centuries ago. But subsequently, the remains are disappearing, one by one. And people who have been in contact with the corpses are infected with a new strain of the plague. Across the globe, descendants of the powerful vampire known as the Legacy, both human and vampire, find themselves drawn to England by their creator, though they cannot comprehend why. But the Legacy knows what has unleashed this new nightmare upon the world, and she will need an army of her own to combat it. For if they fail, mankind will be doomed.

Night Owls (Night Owls #1)Lauren M. Roy (February 25, Ace)

Valerie McTeague’s business model is simple: provide the students of Edgewood College with a study haven and stay as far away from the underworld conflicts of her vampire brethren as possible. She’s lived that life, and the price she paid was too high to ever want to return. Elly Garrett hasn’t known any life except that of fighting the supernatural werewolf-like beings known as Creeps or Jackals. She always had her mentor and foster father by her side, until he gave his life protecting a book that the Creeps want to get their hands on. When the book gets stashed at Night Owls for safe keeping, those Val holds nearest and dearest are put in mortal peril. Val and Elly will have to team up to stop the Jackals from getting their claws on the book and unleashing unnamed horrors.

The Problem with Promises (Mystwalker #3)Leigh Evans (February 25, St. Martin’s)

Robson Trowbridge, the Alpha of Creemore and my gorgeous mate, tries to protect me, Hedi Peacock, half-Fae, half-were, from all the trouble I get into. My past is pretty messy and bad guys keep knocking down my door. The Old Mage is the only one I really care about: He has my twin brother captive on the other side of the Gates of Merenwyn. My alpha love is helping me to keep my promise to free my brother. I admit I’ve had my moments as a shivering coward, hoping he will come to my brave rescue. The whole Prince Charming thing is hard to shake. But these bad guys after me mean business and those damsel in distress days are over. You know that “last straw” metaphor?That was two straws ago. It’s now or never. Again.

The Undead Pool (The Hollows #12)Kim Harrison (February 25, Harper Voyager)

Witch and day-walking demon Rachel Morgan has managed to save the demonic ever after from shrinking, but at a high cost. Now strange magic is attacking Cincinnati and the Hollows, causing spells to backfire or go horribly wrong, and the truce between the races, between Inderlander and human, is shattering. Rachel must stop the occurrences before the undead vampire masters who keep the rest of the undead under control are lost and it becomes all-out supernatural war. However, the only way to do so is through the ancient elven wild magic, which carries its own perils.


Author Suzanne Johnson is a book geek with a fondness for a good dystopia. Her Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series will continue this fall with Pirates Alley. You can find Suzanne on Facebook and on her daily speculative fiction blog, Preternatura.

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