Thirty-nine—yes, thirty-nine—books in the urban fantasy/horror/contemporary fantasy genres hit the shelves in May, a few of them even for adults. Look for a new Dresden addition from Jim Butcher, plus brand new series starts from, among others, Charlaine Harris (Midnight, Texas), Seanan McGuire (Ghost Stories), Charlie Fletcher (Oversight), Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (Maeve’ra), Kristen Painter (Crescent City), Tim Waggoner (Shadow Watch), and Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Dangerous Creatures).
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.
Kyla is in danger from both the government Lorders who erased her memory and the terrorists who tried to use her. So now she’s on the run. Sporting a new identity and desperate to fill in the blank spaces of her life pre-Slating, Kyla heads to a remote mountain town to try to reunite with the birth mother she was kidnapped from as a child. There she is hoping all the pieces of her life will come together and she can finally take charge of her own future. But even in the idyllic wilderness and the heart of her original family, Kyla realizes there is no escape from the oppressive Lorders. Someone close to her may be one of them, and even more frighteningly, her birth mother has been keeping secrets of her own. (U.S.)
When student Adam Parker unearths a mysterious metal artifact during an archaeological dig in a Scottish forest, little does he realize that his life is about to change forever. For it is a sign that Adam has been summoned to fulfill his destiny, playing his part in an epic battle for supremacy that has been waged for centuries. Introduced to a dark shadow world that exists alongside our own, a place of despair and wilful cruelty, Adam will be tested to the limits of his endurance. For within that shadow world lurks Rabanus Bloor, the man who has sworn to seek out Adam and destroy him, whatever it takes. (U.S.)
U.S. Army Captain Dale Morton is a magician soldier, a “craftsman.” Dale is cursed by a Persian sorcerer and haunted by his good and evil ancestors. Major Michael Endicott, a Puritan craftsman, finds gruesome evidence that the evil Mortons, formerly led by the twins Roderick and Madeline, have returned, and that Dale might be one of them. Dale uncovers treason in the Pentagon’s highest covert ranks. He hunts for his enemies before they can murder him and Scherie, a new friend who knows nothing of his magic. Endicott pursues Dale, divided between his duty to capture a rogue soldier and his desire to protect Dale from his would-be assassins. They will discover that the demonic horrors that have corrupted American magic are not bound by family or even death itself.
When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be winning the love of handsome Prince Mahdi. And yet Sera finds herself haunted by strange dreams that foretell the return of an ancient evil. Her dark premonitions are confirmed when an assassin’s arrow poisons Sera’s mother. Now, Serafina must embark on a quest to find the assassin’s master and prevent a war between the Mer nations. Led only by her shadowy dreams, Sera searches for five other mermaid heroines who are scattered across the six seas. Together, they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood and uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world’s very existence.
Young Adult. When Deanna’s missing friend Hyde turns up at his father’s funeral to claim his corporate empire and inheritance, she is swept into his glittering world of paparazzi and wealth. But re-kindling her friendship and the dizzying new emotions along for the ride are the least of her concerns. Because Deanna has a secret, and somebody knows. Someone who is out to get Hyde. And if she doesn’t play along, and help the enemy destroy him, she will be sold to the highest bidder in the black market for human swans. Now Deanna is struggling to break free from the gilded cage that would trap her forever.
I chose to stay with the humans when the Fae withdrew from the City. I am a healer. I know the odds are against them. I know they need reinforcements. But I never expected them to turn and seek aid from the depths of my past. Asharic is a powerful Fae, exiled by the Veiled Queen thirty years ago. Now the queen is dead and the throne is vacant, and Ash is returning to the City, my City, with his mercenary army. It would be false to deny that there is still a spark between us, but I will not be taken in again. And I’m not the only one disturbed by his return. A Blood lord is poised to conquer the Half-Light City, and other enemies new and old are gathering to eliminate the threat Ash poses. To save the City, we will have to join forces. And pray we’re not the ones who burn.
Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It’s a pretty standard dried-up western town. There’s a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night). There’s a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there’s new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he’s found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own). Stop at the one traffic light in town, and everything looks normal. Stay awhile, and learn the truth.
San Francisco, California. Father Xavier Church forsakes his vows in the most heartrending of ways, as he watches helplessly as a zombie nun takes a bite out of a fellow priest’s face. University of California, Berkeley. Skye Dennison is moving into her college dorm for the first time. When her mother and father are eaten alive in front of her, she realizes the terror has just begun. Alameda, California. Angie West made millions off her family’s reality gun show. After she is cornered by the swarming undead, her knowledge of artillery is called into play. The world is overrun by the walking dead. Only the quick and the smart, the strong and the determined, will survive, for now.
Rose Marshall died in 1952 in Buckley Township, Michigan, run off the road by a man named Bobby Cross, a man who had sold his soul to live forever, and intended to use her death to pay the price of his immortality. It’s been more than sixty years since that night, and she’s still sixteen, and she’s still running. They have names for her all over the country: the Girl in the Diner. The Phantom Prom Date. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown. Mostly she just goes by “Rose,” a hitchhiking ghost girl with her thumb out and her eyes fixed on the horizon, trying to outrace a man who never sleeps, never stops, and never gives up. She’s the angel of the overpass and she’s going to figure out a way to win her freedom. It’s not like it can kill her. You can’t kill what’s already dead.
The Dead Man Volume 7: Crucible of Fire, The Dark Need, The Rising Dead—Mel Odom, Stant Litore, Stella Green, Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin (May 6, 47North)
Matt Cahill is part of a team of smokejumpers who are dropped into the heart of a raging forest fire that is fueled by a flamethrower-wielding madman under the sway of Mr. Dark. Almost every living thing in this hellacious Crucible of Fire, including Matt’s fellow firefighters, are falling prey to Mr. Dark’s evil touch.Matt is tracking a blood-sucking, shape-shifting killer through the icy Cascade Mountains when he encounters a mysterious woman who is on the same corpse-strewn trail who has an unspeakable lust for The Dark Need. In the blasted hell of the Arizona desert, Matt hitches a ride with a young couple who meet a terrible fate. The encounter leads him to a stranger who may know why Matt became part of The Rising Dead. They must survive in an unforgiving wasteland to do battle with a gang of smugglers who trade in human flesh.
Once the Oversight, the secret society that policed the lines between the mundane and the magic, counted hundreds of brave souls among its members. Now their numbers can be counted on a single hand. When a vagabond brings a screaming girl to the Oversight’s London headquarters, it seems their hopes for a new recruit will be fulfilled, but the girl is a trap. As the borders between this world and the next begin to break down, murders erupt across the city, the Oversight are torn viciously apart, and their enemies close in for the final blow. A tale of witch-hunters, supra-naturalists, mirror-walkers and magicians. Meet the Oversight, and remember: when they fall, so do we all.
Elena Gilbert is dying. When Damon Salvatore avenged his brother Stefan’s death, he broke the sacred deal he’d made with the Guardians, and put Elena’s life at risk. She should be dead, but instead, the Guardians are offering Elena a once-in-a-lifetime chance: to start over. Ever since she met the Salvatore brothers, Elena’s love for them both has caused endless death and destruction. If Elena can return to the beginning, when she first met Damon and Stefan, and prove that she can exist alongside them without either of them killing a human, then Elena can live. The only way for Elena to save everyone might be to give up the Salvatores forever. Will Elena be able to sacrifice her own desires for the greater good? Or is her path to tragic love already written in the stars?
Zombie, Indiana explores the impact of an invading zombie horde on a trio of Hoosier protagonists, each of whom have some dark secrets to keep. When the governor’s daughter mysteriously disappears on a field trip, IMPD Special Sergeant James Nolan, scholarship student Kesha Washington, and Governor Hank Burleson must all come together not only to find the governor’s daughter, but also to undertake a quest to redeem the very soul of the state itself, all while under constant attack from the living dead.
Bright lights, big city, magic spells, witchcraft, wizardry, fairies, devilry, and more. Urban living, at least in fantasy fiction, is full of both magical wonder and dark enchantment. Street kids may have supernatural beings to protect them or have such powers themselves. Brujeria may be part of your way of life. Some of the best stories of urban enchantment from the last few years is gathered in one volume full of hex appeal and arcane arts. Authors include Holly Black, Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher, Simon R. Green, Charles de Lint, Carrie Vaughn and more.
Antitype is the prequel to novels Archetype and Prototype. Before Emma appears in their lives, two men face four months that will change their lives forever. One has dreams outside Richmond and away from his family business. The other wants to make the business his only focus. In one summer, outside forces drive them both to make brash and irrevocable decisions that will render them at once supremely powerful yet emotionally vulnerable. How can these peers with identical pasts, as well as seemingly identical futures, reach a threshold where only one escapes with his integrity intact? (Digital)
Young Adult. Vance Ehecatl was raised with every luxury he could imagine in a beautiful greenhouse within the powerful empire of Midnight. Vampires are the only guardians Vance has ever known since he was abandoned by his shapeshifter family as a baby quetzal. When an act of violence forces Vance from his sheltered home, he is startled to meet Malachi Obsidian, a fellow shapeshifter with conflicting ideas about Midnight and its leader, Mistress Jeshickah. Malachi claims Vance is a bloodwitch, who Jeshickah and her trainers, Jaguar and Taro, are trying to control. When his friends begin falling ill, Vance starts to realize his perfect world may not be as flawless as it seems. Vance must decide who to trust, the vampires he’s always relied upon, or the shapeshifters who despise them.
Augustine lives the perfect life in the Haven city of New Orleans. He rarely works a real job, spends most of his nights with a different human woman, and resides in a spectacular Garden District mansion paid for by retired movie star Olivia Goodwin, who has come to think of him as an adopted son, providing him room and board and whatever else he needs. But when Augustine returns home to find Olivia’s been attacked by vampires, he knows his idyllic life has comes to an end. It’s time for revenge, and to take up the mantle of the city’s Guardian.
It’s the thrill of a lifetime when Sophie and Natalie, single mothers living in a trailer park in North Carolina, meet their idol, the mysterious musician known only as “the Whistler.” Morning finds them covered with dried blood, their clothing shredded and their memories hazy. Things soon become clear: the Whistler is a vampire and Natalie and Sophie are his latest victims. The young women leave their babies with Natalie’s mother and hit the road. Hunger and desire make a powerful couple. So do the Whistler and his Mother, who are searching for Sophie and Natalie with the help of Twitter and the musician’s many fans. The result is a violent, emotionally moving showdown between two who should be victims and two who should be monsters.
Six months have passed since the wizard Colby lost his best friend to an army of fairies from the Limestone Kingdom, a realm of mystery and darkness beyond our own. But in vanquishing these creatures and banning them from Austin, Colby sacrificed the anonymity that protected him. Now, word of his deeds has spread, and powerful enemies from the past, including one Colby considered a friend, have resurfaced to exact their revenge. As darkness gathers around the city, Colby sifts through his memories desperate to find answers that might save him. With time running out, and few of his old allies and enemies willing to help, he is forced to turn for aid to forces even darker than those he once battled.
Young Adult. In a rural Iranian village, Zal’s demented mother, horrified by the pallor of his skin and hair, becomes convinced she has given birth to a “White Demon.” She hides him in a birdcage and there he lives for the next decade. Zal eats birdseed and insects, and communicates only in the squawks and shrieks of the other pet birds around him. Zal awakens in New York to the possibility of a future. He strives to become human as he stumbles toward adulthood. Zal finds himself in a cast of fellow outsiders. A friendship with a famous illusionist who claims that he can fly and a relationship with a disturbed artist who believes she is clairvoyant send Zal’s life spiraling into chaos. Like the rest of New York, he is on a collision course with devastation.
Young Adult. Ingrid and Gabby Waverly moved to France expecting a quiet reprieve from London gossip. Paris is plagued by an underworld of demons and gargoyles who all seem to want something from the Waverly girls. Saving Ingrid’s twin, Grayson, from the fallen angel Axia nearly killed them. Ingrid’s blood is special: it bestows the power to command gargoyles. It’s an ability no other human has, and in the wrong hands, it could be used to send her cursed guardian, Luc, and his fellow Dispossessed to extinction. The Alliance has vowed to protect the Waverlys, and a new gargoyle has been assigned to guard their abbey home alongside Luc. No one can watch over Ingrid, Gabby, and Grayson all the time, which means the three must learn to fight for themselves. Darkness follows the Waverlys. And sometimes darkness comes in the form you trust the most.
Young Adult. Ridley Duchannes is nobody’s heroine. She’s a Dark Caster, a Siren. She can make you do things. Ridley’s wannabe rocker boyfriend, Wesley “Link” Lincoln, never listens to anyone. Link doesn’t care if Rid’s no good for him, and he takes her along when he leaves Gatlin to follow his rock-star dream. He teams up with a ragtag group of Dark Casters. When the band scores a gig at a hot Underground club, it looks like all of Link’s dreams are about to come true. New York City is a dangerous place for both Casters and Mortals, and soon Ridley realizes that Link’s bandmates are keeping secrets. What she discovers is worse than she could have imagined: Link has a price on his head that no Caster or Mortal can ever pay. With their lives on the line, what’s a Siren to do?
Young Adult. Carbon County, Wyoming, is like a current running through Daphne’s heart. When life gets too tough to bear in Detroit, Daphne flees to her Uncle Floyd’s home. Daphne’s Greyhound bus pulls over in Carbon County and it’s not silence that welcomes her. It’s the sound of trumpets. Daphne’s desire to start again in simple country comfort is dashed as the townsfolk declare that the End Times are here. Daphne does all she can to keep her head down and ignore the signs. She works a job at the local oil rig and gets to know Owen, a motocross racer and fellow roustabout at the rig. Soon a startling discovery shatters her resolve and calls into question all her doubts and fears. Daphne landed in Carbon County for a reason. She only has to read the signs, and believe.
Few things in life can come between a grim reaper and her coffee, but the sexy son of Satan is one of them. Now that Reyes Farrow has asked for her hand, Charley Davidson feels it’s time to learn more about his past. The official FBI file of his childhood abduction lands in her lap and Charley decides to conduct her own investigation. Another case has fallen into her lap, one with dangerous implications. Some insistent men want Charley to hunt down a witness who is scheduled to testify against their boss, a major player in the local crime syndicate. If Charley doesn’t come up with an address in 48 hours, the people closest to her will disappear. The fact that Reyes has caught on to her latest venture adds fuel to the inferno that he is. Charley is used to multi-tasking and always up for a challenge, especially when that challenge is in the form of Reyes Farrow.
Lenny Hodge has a gift. Everyone around him says it’s an amazing gift. If only Lenny could figure out what it is. Lenny works for Terrifitemps!, a “temp agency” that specializes in employing gifted people, people capable of confronting The Forces of Evil and saving the world on a regular basis. Lenny barely survived his first mission. Now he has to join his team of supernatural sleuths for something even more dangerous: his first actual temp job. It’s a job filled with peril: ghosts, vampires, werecreatures, aliens, and even a tribe of Bigfoot (Bigfeet?). And is anyone prepared for the overwhelming might of the Pooka Patrol? Lenny sure isn’t. (Digital)
Quill thinks he’s struck gold when a cabinet minister is murdered by an assailant who wasn’t seen getting in or out of his limo. A second murder, that of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, presents a crime scene with a message, identical to that left by the original Jack the Ripper. The new Ripper seems to have changed the MO of the old completely. The inquiry into what this supernatural menace is takes Quill and his team into the corridors of power at Whitehall, to meetings with MI5 and into the London occult underworld. They go to a pub with a regular evening that caters to that clientele, and to an auction of objects of power at the Tate Modern. The Ripper keeps on killing and the pattern of those killings gives Quill’s team clues towards who’s really doing this.
Young Adult. Brad Baron is used to looking lame compared to his older brother, Blake. Though Brad’s basically a genius, Blake is a superhero in the elite Justice Force. And Brad doesn’t measure up at his high school, either, where powers like super-strength and flying are the norm. So when Brad makes friends who are more into political action than weight lifting, he’s happy to join a new crew, especially since it means spending more time with Layla, a girl who may or may not have a totally illegal, totally secret super-power. And with her help, Brad begins to hone a dangerous new power of his own. But when they’re pulled into a web of nefarious criminals, high-stakes battles, and startling family secrets, Brad must choose which side he’s on. And once he does, there’s no turning back.
In a world where everyone wears a mask, you can’t trust anyone… not even yourself. Verity Fortune was once Sapphire City’s top crime-fighter, wielding her powers of telekinesis to battle the city’s most despicable villains. Now, she’s consumed by a single burning desire: Revenge. Against those who took away her mask, her memory, and nearly her life. Having escaped from the asylum they left her to rot in, Verity dons her mask once again and becomes the Seeker, a vigilante warrior for truth. But when she unwittingly uncovers an evil conspiracy deep within her own family, she’s suddenly on the run, alone and hunted by those she thought were on her side…
Young Adult. When Michael Malone discovers his supernatural ability to alter reality, he is recruited by an organization dedicated to investigating strange and paranormal phenomena. He joins in hopes of finding his father, who mysteriously vanished three years earlier. Michael’s first task is to solve the mystery of a dog he rescued from a precarious clifftop, a mystery that leads him to a strange and sickly classmate and a young girl who was killed in a devastating accident. Stakes are high as Michael learns to harness his newfound ability and uncover the deadly truth about his father’s disappearance.
Complicated does not begin to describe Arcadia Bell’s life right now: unnatural magical power, another brush with death, and a murderous mother who’s not only overbearing but determined to take permanent possession of Cady’s body. Forced to delve deep into the mystery surrounding her own birth, Cady must uncover which evil spell her parents cast during her conception, and how to reverse it. Fast. As she and her lover Lon embark on a dangerous journey through her magical past, Lon’s teenage son Jupe sneaks off for his own investigation. Each family secret they uncover is darker than the last, and Cady, who has worn many identities, Moonchild, mage, fugitive, is about to add one more to the list.
Young Adult. Darkness has descended on the Shadowhunter world. Chaos and destruction overwhelm the Nephilim as Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends band together to fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian, but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance. Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world will change. Who will survive the sixth and final instalment of the Mortal Instruments series?
The hunter becomes the hunted. West Grayer is done killing. She defeated her Alternate, a twin raised by another family, and proved she’s worthy of a future. She’s ready to move on with her life. The Board has other plans. They want her to kill one last time, and offer her a deal worth killing for. But when West recognizes her target as a ghost from her past, she realizes she’s in over her head. The Board is lying, and West will have to uncover the truth of the past to secure her future. How far will the Board go to keep their secrets safe? And how far will West go to save those she loves?
Young Adult. Marina thought that she had solved all of the Arclight’s mysteries. She had found her own history, that she was one of the Fade, that she never should have been human. She knows that the Fade who surround the Arclight don’t want to be the humans’ enemies at all. She knows that the leader of those inside the Arc, Honoria Whit, never told the whole truth. But there is so much more that Marina is just discovering. There are more survivors out there. Only Marina, and her friends, all of whom have connections to the Fade they’d never known about, can lead her people to them. But there are also darker dangers, things that even the Fade fear. And Marina slowly realizes she may never have been “cured,” after all.
Meet the fine men and women of the NightWatch: a supernatural agency dedicated to hunting down rogue nightmares that escape from other realms when people dream about them, while ensuring that other dream-folk are allowed to live among the regular, human population, as long as they play by the rules.
Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day. As Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Mab has just traded Harry’s skills to pay off one of her debts. He must help a group of supernatural villains, led by one of Harry’s most despised enemies, Nicodemus Archleone, to break into a vault so that they can then access the vault in the Nevernever. It’s a job to recover the Holy Grail from Hades, Lord of the Underworld, Dresden suspects that there is another game afoot. He’s certain that Nicodemus will not allow any of his crew to survive. Dresden’s always been tricky, but he’s going to have to up his backstabbing game to survive, assuming his own allies don’t end up killing him before his enemies get the chance.
After facing Death himself and banishing a reaper bent on the destruction of Sheriff’s deputy Boyd Davies, Hallie Michaels had hoped things would settle down; that she and Boyd would find more time to spend together, and that the ghosts she attracts would stay in the cemeteries where they belong. On a wintry night in mid-December, a woman is murdered with a high-powered rifle. Another of West Prairie City’s citizens is killed in exactly the same way, drawing the attention of state investigators. Hallie finds a note tied to post outside her home. “What do you fear most?” it asks, accompanied by a set of map coordinates. She receives an anonymous phone call, and a letter left for Hallie at the local ag supply. Hallie must solve the mystery before the body count rises again.
Despite Vivienne’s broken heart and deadly truths, the show must go on at the Cirque des Immortels. But it takes more than glamour and sex appeal to keep the Big Top running; without the magic and support Viv came to rely on, the circus is in danger. Now the troupe verges on rebellion, the war between Mab and Oberon rages on, and a horrifying menace looms, with Vivienne stuck in the middle of it all. When Mab’s manipulations put others at risk, Viv has to decide where her heart lies. Everything depends on her choices. How can she know her true desires? And will she have what it takes to fight the demons she must face?
It was only meant to be a brief detour. But then Lauren finds herself trapped in a town called Lost on the edge of a desert, filled with things abandoned, broken and thrown away. And when she tries to escape, impassible dust storms and something unexplainable lead her back to Lost again and again. The residents she meets there tell her she’s going to have to figure out just what she’s missing, and what she’s running from, before she can leave. So now Lauren’s on a new search for a purpose and a destiny. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll be found.
Today, twelve golden tablets sit in museums around the world, each created by unknown hands and buried in ancient times, and each providing the dead with the route to the afterlife. Archaeologist Lily Barnes has just found another. This tablet names the location to the mouth of hell itself. And then Lily vanishes. Her husband, Jonah, is desperate to find her. But no one can help him: not the police and not the secretive foundation that sponsored her dig. All Jonah has is belief, and a determination to do whatever it takes to get Lily back. But like Plato before him, Jonah will discover the journey ahead is mysterious and dark and fraught with danger. And not everyone who travels to the hidden place where Lily has gone can return. (U.S.)