Fiction Affliction: March Releases in Urban Fantasy

Twenty-nine new books in paranormal fantasy hit the shelves of kickassitude in March, including adult series additions by, among others, Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson), Barbara Hambly (James Asher), Seanan McGuire (InCryptid), Anne Bishop (Murder of Crows), Mur Lafferty (Shambling Guides), Jonathan Maberry (Joe Ledger), Dianne Sylvan (Shadow World), John Enright (Jungle Beat), and Heather Graham (Cafferty and Quinn).

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

Kindred of Darkness: A Vampire Kidnapping (James Asher #5)Barbara Hambly (March 1, Severn House Publishers)

When James Asher and his wife Lydia’s baby daughter Miranda is kidnapped by the Master Vampire of London, the stakes are high: blindly follow the Master Vampire’s instructions, keep out of the way of the human networks that serves the vampires, destroy the interloper who seeks to seize control of the London Nest, and find the key to the Nest’s tortuous inner workings: The Book of the Kindred of Darkness. Even with the vampire Don Simon Ysidro on their side, there’s no guarantee that anything, or anyone, is who or what they appear to be. Nor is there any certainty that they’ll see their child again, or survive the experience themselves.

DangerousShannon Hale (March 4, Bloomsbury)

Young Adult. Maisie Danger Brown just wanted to get away from home for a bit, see something new. She never intended to fall in love. And she never imagined stumbling into a frightening plot that kills her friends and just might kill her, too. A plot that is already changing life on Earth as we know it. There’s no going back. She is the only thing standing between danger and annihilation. How far would you go to save the ones you love? And how far would you go to save everyone else?

Exposure: A Virals Novel (Virals #4)Kathy Reichs and Brendan Reichs (March 4, Putnam Juvenile)

Young Adult. When twin classmates are abducted from Bolton Prep, Tory and the Virals decide there’s no one better equipped than them to investigate. But the gang has other problems to face. Their powers are growing wilder, and becoming harder to control. Chance Claybourne is investigating the disastrous medical experiment that twisted their DNA. The bonds that unite them are weakening, threatening the future of the pack itself. The Virals must decipher the clues and track down a ruthless criminal before he strikes again, all while protecting their secret from prying eyes. And everyone seems to be watching.

Flesh and BloodDaniel Dersch (March 4, 47North)

Claire Hagen has learned not to trust everything she hears. When her younger sister lands in a mental hospital after claiming a vampire is feeding off her blood, Claire is naturally skeptical. The delusions are a side effect of the drugs she discovers her sister had been taking. But why was a man who claimed to know her sister from an online vampire forum shot dead moments after Claire interviewed him? Why are her sister’s symptoms getting worse in the hospital? And why have agents from the Vatican taken a sudden interest in Claire? Claire barely has time to ponder her next move before a violent confrontation in her apartment changes everything. She finds herself on the run with a mysterious stranger who says he wants to protect her but may not be quite what he seems. (U.S. Release)

Half Bad (Half Life Trilogy #1)Sally Green (March 4, Viking Juvenile)

Young Adult. In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and fifteen-year-old Nathan, who is both. Nathan’s father is the world’s most powerful and cruel Black witch, and his mother is dead. He is hunted from all sides. Trapped in a cage, beaten and handcuffed, Nathan must escape before his sixteenth birthday, at which point he will receive three gifts from his father and come into his own as a witch, or else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?

Half-Off Ragnarok (InCryptid #3)Seanan McGuire (March 4, DAW)

When Alex Price agreed to go to Ohio to oversee a basilisk breeding program and assist in the recovery of his psychic cousin, he didn’t expect people to start dropping dead. But bodies are cropping up at the zoo where he works, and his girlfriend, Shelby Tanner, an Australian zoologist with a fondness for big cats, is starting to get suspicious. Worse yet, the bodies have all been turned partially to stone. The third book in the InCryptid series takes us to a new location and a new member of the family, as Alex tries to balance life, work, and the strong desire not to become a piece of garden statuary. Old friends and new are on the scene, and danger lurks around every corner. Of course, so do the talking mice.

Immortal MuseStephen Leigh (March 4, DAW)

An immortal Muse whose very survival depends on the creativity she nurtures within her lovers. Another immortal who feeds on pain and torment. A chase through time, with two people bound together in enmity and fury. A tale of a journey from Paris of the late 1300s with the alchemists Perenelle and Nicolas Flamel, to contemporary New York City. There are interludes with Bernini in Rome in 1635; with Vivaldi in Venice of 1737; with Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier and Robespierre in the Paris of the French Revolution; with William Blake and John Polidori in 1814; with Gustav Klimt in fin de siècle Vienna; with Charlotte Salomon in WWII France. In New York, a complicated dance of love and violence finally brings a resolution to the centuries-old deadly feud.

Murder of Crows (The Others #2)Anne Bishop (March 4, Roc)

After winning the trust of the terra indigene residing in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg Corbyn has trouble figuring out what it means to live among them. As a human, Meg should be barely tolerated prey, but her abilities as a cassandra sangue make her something more. The appearance of two addictive drugs has sparked violence between the humans and the Others, resulting in the murder of both species in cities. When Meg has a dream about blood and black feathers in the snow, Simon Wolfgard, Lakeside’s shape-shifting leader, wonders if their blood prophet dreamed of a past attack or a future threat. The Others and the handful of humans must work together to stop the man bent on reclaiming their blood prophet, and stop the danger that threatens to destroy them all.

River of Nightmares (Rogue Angel #47)Alex Archer (March 4, Gold Eagle)

Deep in the Amazon jungle, a tribe holds the key to the truest form of dreaming, where the human spirit walks the petal-thin line between life and death. The dreamer ingests a toxic brew, then submerges herself in an herbal bath that turns human skin a vivid shade of midnight-blue. The experience changes the dreamer forever. Archaeologist Annja Creed has a full crew in tow as her TV show, Chasing History’s Monsters, prepares for an in-depth exploration of the rain forest’s most guarded secrets. Annja leads her crew into an uncharted world that’s both alien and dangerous, a world that attracts the morally corrupt with promises of wealth and power. A world that will steal the one thing Annja needs to survive: herself.

Steadfast: A Spellcaster Novel (Spellcaster #2)Claudia Gray (March 4, Harper Teen)

Young Adult. Nadia, Mateo, and Verlaine have saved Captive’s Sound from the dark Sorceress Elizabeth, or so they thought. Despite their best efforts, a crack opened and a new, greater evil seeped through. With Mateo as her Steadfast, Nadia’s magic is magnified and she is more powerful than ever. But there is still so much she doesn’t know about the craft, leaving her open and vulnerable to a darker magic, which has begun to call Nadia’s name.

The Ghost Train to New Orleans (The Shambling Guides #2)Mur Lafferty (March 4, Orbit)

Zoe Norris writes travel guides for the undead. And she’s good at it too, her new-found ability to talk to cities seems to help. After the success of The Sbambling Guide to New York City, Zoe and her team are sent to New Orleans to write the sequel. Work isn’t all that brings Zoe to the Big Easy. The only person who can save her boyfriend from zombism is rumored to live in the city’s swamps, but Zoe’s out of her element in the wilderness. With her supernatural colleagues waiting to see her fail, and rumors of a new threat hunting city talkers, can Zoe stay alive long enough to finish her next book?

The Nightmare Dilemma (The Arkwell Academy #2)Mindee Arnett (March 4, Tor Teen)

Young Adult. Dusty Everhart might be able to predict the future through the dreams of her crush, Eli Booker, but that doesn’t make her life easy. One of her mermaid friends is viciously assaulted and left for dead, and the school’s jokester, Lance Rathbone, is accused of the crime. Lance needs Dusty to prove his innocence by finding the real attacker. Eli’s dreams are no help, more nightmares than prophecies. Dusty’s ex-boyfriend is back at school, reminding Dusty of why she fell for him in the first place. The Magi Senate needs Dusty to get close to him, to discover his real motives. This order infuriates Eli, who has started his own campaign for Dusty’s heart. Dusty takes on both cases and begins to suspect they’re connected to something bigger. There’s something very wrong with Eli’s dreams, signs that point to a darker plot than they could have ever imagined.

The Weirdness: A NovelJeremy Bushnell (March 4, Melville House)

At thirty, Billy Ridgeway still hasn’t gotten around to becoming a writer; he thinks too much to get anything done, really, except making sandwiches at a Greek deli with his buddy Anil. But the Devil shows up with fancy coffee one morning, promising to make Billy’s dream of being published come true: as long as Billy steals The Neko of Infinite Equilibrium, a cat-shaped statue with magical powers, from the most powerful warlock in the Eastern United States. The Devil’s bidding sends Billy on a wild chase through New York City, through which Billy discovers his own strength, harnessing his powers as a hell-wolf and finally fighting the warlock face-to-face. God even makes a guest appearance, and He’s not who you thought He was.

Get KatjaSimon Logan (March 5, ChiZine)

Free and on the mainland, Katja emerges from hiding, only to find herself hunted by debt collectors, mad surgeons, and a corrupt detective, all of whom will stop at nothing to claim her for their own. And behind this scramble lies the twisted mind of an old adversary, desperate to have his revenge.

 

WEEK TWO

Night Broken (Mercy Thompson #8)Patricia Briggs (March 11, Ace)

A phone call heralds a new challenge for Mercy. Her mate Adam’s ex-wife is in trouble, on the run from her new boyfriend. Adam isn’t the kind of man to turn away a person in need. With Christy holed up in Adam’s house, Mercy can’t shake the feeling that something about the situation isn’t right. Her suspicions are confirmed when she learns that Christy has the farthest thing from good intentions. She wants Adam back and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen, including turning Adam’s pack against Mercy. Mercy isn’t about to step down without a fight, but there’s a more dangerous threat. Christy’s ex is more than a bad man. He may not be human. Mercy must put her personal troubles aside to face a creature with the power to tear her whole world apart.

The Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn’t FlyStephen Graham Jones and Paul Tremblay, (March 12, ChiZine)

Mary’s life is going fine. Except for being a freshman in high school. And having anxiety attacks. And her dad having no job. So, introduce one boy who can fly, kidnap the little brother she’s supposed to be babysitting, and drop a military quarantine on her town and that should make her anxiety completely disappear, right? Wrong!

 

WEEK THREE

Deadroads: A Novel of Supernatural SuspenseRobin Riopelle (March 17, Night Shade)

The Sarrazins have always stood apart from the rest of their Bayou-born neighbors. Blessed, or cursed, with the uncanny ability to see beyond the spectral plane, Aurie has raised his children, Sol, Baz, and Lutie, in the tradition of the traiteur, finding wayward spirits and using his special gift to release them along Deadroads into the afterworld. The family, however, drifted apart. Tragedy serves to bring them together. When Aurie, while investigating a series of ghastly (and ghostly) murders, is himself killed by a devil, Sol, EMT by day and traiteur by night, Baz, a traveling musician with a truly spiritual voice, and Lutie, combating her eerie visions with antipsychotics, are thrown headlong into a world of gory sprites, brilliant angels, and nefarious demons. (Digital-first)

The Remaining: Trust: A NovellaD.J. Molles (March 17, Orbit)

While Captain Lee Harden struggles to fulfill his part in Project Hometown his trusted friend and ally Major Abe Darabie works to hold up his end of the mission. But caught between his responsibility to the mission and the ambitions of a new president, Abe must decide where his duty lies and whom he can trust in a country beset by the rabid infected, violent marauders, and fragile allegiances. (Digital)

HydeDaniel Levine (March 18, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Mr. Hyde is hiding, trapped in Dr. Jekyll’s surgical cabinet, counting the hours until capture. As four days pass, he has the chance to tell the story of his brief, marvelous life. We join Hyde, awakened after years of dormancy, in the mind he hesitantly shares with Jekyll. We spin with confusion as the potions take effect. We watch Jekyll’s high-class life at a remove, blurred by a membrane of consciousness. We feel the horror of lost time, the helplessness of knowing we are responsible for the actions of a body not entirely our own. Girls have gone missing. Someone has been killed. The evidence points to Mr. Hyde. Someone is framing him, terrorizing him with cryptic notes and whisper campaigns. Even if these crimes weren’t of his choosing, can they have been by his hand?

 

WEEK FOUR

Code Zero: A Joe Ledger Novel (Joe Ledger #6)Jonathan Maberry (March 25, St. Martin’s Griffin)

For years the Department of Military Sciences has fought to stop terrorists from using radical bioweapons, designer plagues, weaponized pathogens, genetically modified viruses, and even the zombie plague that first brought Ledger into the DMS. These terrible weapons have been locked away in the world’s most secure facility. Until now. Joe Ledger and Echo Team are scrambled when a highly elite team of killers breaks the unbreakable security and steals the world’s most dangerous weapons. Within days there are outbreaks of mass slaughter and murderous insanity across the American heartland. Can Joe Ledger stop a brilliant and devious master criminal from turning the Land of the Free into a land of the dead?

Nearly GoneElle Cosimano (March 25, Kathy Dawson)

Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother’s job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone’s skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn’t trust: the new guy at school, a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance, on her. Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn’t figure it all out soon, she’ll be next.

Noma Girl: A Tor.Com OriginalElizabeth Fama (March 25, Tor)

Because of a quirk of history during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, present-day America is rigidly divided between people who live and work during the hours of darkness, Smudges, and those known as Rays, who populate the day. A group of Smudges called the Noma live on the fringes of society in loose tribes, preying on Smudges and Rays alike. Gigi is a ruthless Noma, but in this prequel companion story to Plus One, she is ordered to abduct a cell phone hacker named Ciel Le Coeur and reveals a surprisingly tender heart. (Digital)

Secret of the Corpse Eater (The Undertakers #3)Ty Drago (March 25, Month9Books)

The Corpses are up something. U.S. Senator Lindsay Micha had been kidnapped and replaced with a “dead” ringer, the sister to Lilith Cavanaugh, the Queen of the Dead. Now Will Ritter must go undercover in our nation’s capital to ferret out the truth and try to stop this ambitious deader. But his mission becomes even more dangerous when he learns of a mysterious ten-legged monster that prowls the halls of the Capitol Building, a lethal monster with a taste for Corpse flesh. Can such an alien “enemy of his enemy” truly become Will’s friend?

Shadowbound (Shadow World #5)Dianne Sylvan (March 25, Ace)

Ever since her Prime, David Solomon, returned from the dead, Miranda Grey has been hungry. The transformation from ordinary vampires into the ultrapowerful children of Persephone has left both Miranda and David craving the taste of death, and their appetites are growing. A formerly vague threat from a fringe group of humans has turned into a full-on war. The Order of the Morningstar has devoted itself to eradicating vampires and has begun to assassinate Primes all over the globe. The Shadow World’s fate depends on the circle of Signets descended from those who subdued Morningstar hundreds of years ago, but if even a single one is killed, the war is almost certainly lost. Miranda must put aside her hunger and access long-forgotten magic to save the circle. Time is running out.

Storm (The SYLO Chronicles #2)D.J. MacHale (March 25, Razorbill)

Young Adult. Tucker and his friends Tori, Kent and Olivia escaped from Pemberwick Island and the air-and-sea battle that raged around it to land in Portland. No one is on the streets, and while most buildings remain, some have completely disintegrated. It’s clear that the battle they witnessed wasn’t just for possession of their home island, it was for the entire area. But they still don’t know exactly who is fighting whom, or why, or how far the battlefield extends. The teens find a few other survivors but not a lot of additional information. A looping radio transmission encourages survivors to go west, where a force is gathering to fight back. Tucker’s search for the moral right leads to the concept of the “lesser evil” in ways he could never have anticipated.

The Dead Don’t Dance (Jungle Beat #3)John Enright (March 25, Thomas & Mercer)

Rumored to hold more spirits than people, the remote tropical paradise To’aga frightens many Samoan locals, but not Detective Apelu Soifua. Reeling from the loss of his young daughter, Apelu retreats to the haunted island for a self-imposed exile. He spends his days drinking, trying to ignore the ghosts in his head, and receives few visitors other than a shamanistic recluse and a pair of marine biologists conducting research. After a crew of surveyors arrives, Apelu makes a disturbing discovery: foreign investors plan to build a resort hotel on the coast, a project sure to destroy the To’aga coral reef and shatter the island’s peaceful way of life. When tensions rise and someone, or something, commits a gruesome murder, Apelu must force himself out of retirement to solve the case.

The Wicked (Something Red #2)Douglas Nicholas (March 25, Atria/Emily Bestler)

Young Adult. In Something Red, the young warrior, Hob, his mentor, Jack, the mystical Irish queen, Molly, and her powerful granddaughter, Nemain traveled far and wide, battling shapeshifters, sorceresses, warrior monks, and otherworldly knights. Now, a new type of evil has come to reside in a castle by the chilly waters of the North Sea. Men disappear and are found as horribly wizened corpses. Warriors ride out and return under a terrible spell. Only Molly, with her healing powers, can save the people from a malevolent nobleman and his beautiful, wicked wife. The young Hob and his adopted family must vanquish the dark powers before they themselves are defeated.

Waking the Dead (Cafferty and Quinn Novels)Heather Graham (March 25, Harlequin MIRA)

They say a painting can have a life of its own. In the case of Ghosts in the Mindby Henry Sebastian Hubert, the painting is reputed to come to life, and to bring death. The artist was a friend of Lord Byron and Mary Shelley, joining them in Switzerland during 1816, “the year without a summer.” Two hundred years later, the painting appears in New Orleans. Wherever it goes, death seems to follow. Danielle Cafferty and Michael Quinn are quickly drawn into the case. They begin to make connections between that summer in Switzerland and this spring in Louisiana. The people in the portrait might be dead, but something seems to wake them and free them to commit bloody crimes. Cafferty and Quinn must discover what that is. They have to destroy it, before it destroys them.

Wanderers (Wastelands #2)Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan (March 25, Harper Teen)

Young Adult. The former citizens of Prin are running out of time. The Source has been destroyed, so food is scarcer than ever. Tensions are rising, and then an earthquake hits. So Esther and Caleb hit the road, leading a ragtag caravan. Their destination? A mythical city where they hope to find food and shelter, not to mention a way to make it past age nineteen. On the way, alliances and romances blossom and fracture. Esther must rally to take charge with the help of a blind guide, Aras. He seems unbelievably cruel, but not everything is as it seems in the Wasteland. The stakes are even higher for Esther, Caleb, and the rest of their clan. They’re pinning all their hopes on the road…but what if it’s the most dangerous place of all?


Suzanne Johnson is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series. You can find Suzanne on Facebook and on her speculative fiction blog, Preternatura.

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