Urban fantasy fans (and paranormal fantasy and contemporary fantasy) can look forward to thirty-one new titles in Our Favorite Genre this month, maybe half of them actually geared toward adult readers. Look for new series offerings from, among others, Laurell K. Hamilton (Merry Gentry), Mercedes Lackey (Elemental Masters), Jenn Bennett (Roaring Twenties), Simon R. Green (Secret Histories), Kevin Hearne (The Iron Druid Chronicles), and C.E. Murphy (Walker Papers).
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.
Delia Martin has been gifted with the ability to peer across to the other side. Since childhood, her constant companions have been ghosts. She used her powers and the help of those ghosts to defeat a serial killer terrorizing San Francisco. Now it’s 1917 and Delia lives a peaceful life with Police Captain Gabe Ryan. That peace shatters when a strange young girl starts haunting their lives and threatens Gabe. Delia tries to discover what this ghost wants as she becomes entangled in the mystery surrounding a charismatic evangelist who preaches pacifism and an end to war. As young people begin to disappear, and audiences display a loyalty and fervor not attributable to simple persuasion, that message of peace reveals a hidden dark side. As Delia discovers the truth, she faces a choice, take a terrible risk to save her city, or chance losing everything?
Merry Gentry, ex–private detective, now full-time princess, knew she was descended from fertility goddesses. When she learned she was about to have triplets, she began to understand what that might mean. Infertility has plagued the high ranks of faerie for centuries. Nobles of both courts of faerie are coming to court Merry and her men, because they will do anything to have babies of their own. Taranis, King of Light and Illusion, is a more dangerous problem. He tried to seduce Merry and, failing that, raped her. Merry knows she was already pregnant when he took her, she can’t prove it. She will use the most dangerous powers in all of faerie: a god of death, a warrior known as the Darkness, the Killing Frost, and a king of nightmares. They will face down the high courts of faerie, while trying to keep the war from spreading to humans in Los Angeles.
Rosamund is an Earth Master in the Schwarzwald, the ancient Black Forest of Germany. She has lived with her teacher, the Hunt Master and Earth Magician of the Schwarzwald Foresters, a man she calls “Papa.” Her adoptive Papa rescued her after her original Earth Master teacher was brutally murdered by werewolves. Rosa becomes the first woman Hunt Master and the scourge of evil creatures, with a deadly specialty in werewolves and all shapeshifters. Rosa meets a pair of Elemental Magicians from Hungary who have come looking for help. Rosa agrees to help them. One of the two men asking for aid is a hereditary werewolf. Some insist that certain of these hereditary werewolves are benign. Rosa has never encountered a benign werewolf. Can she trust this Hungarian werewolf? Or is the Hunter destined to become the Hunted?
Young Adult. Neutrality is the key to longevity. This motto has governed 16 year-old Autumn’s life in the mid-21st century Centrist cult, which believes that expressing emotions leads to Essence drain and premature death. Autumn’s younger brother’s death casts her faith into question. While sprinting through a park in violation of Centrist teachings, she encounters Ryder Stone, an Outsider who claims Essence drain is nothing more than a Centrist scare tactic. She agrees to join his Community, a utopia of adrenaline junkies living in the abandoned remains of Yosemite National Park. Autumn learns about sex, drugs, and living life to the fullest. But as she discovers dark secrets beneath the Community’s perfect exterior, she realizes that this illusion of paradise could be shattered. (Digital)
Young Adult. After narrowly surviving two harrowing tragedies, Jules now fully understands the importance of the visions that she and people around her are experiencing. She’s convinced that if the visions passed from her to Sawyer after she saved him, then they must now have passed from Sawyer to one of the people he saved. That means it’s up to Jules to figure out which of the school shooting survivors is now suffering from visions of another crisis. Once she realizes who it is, she has to convince that survivor that this isn’t all crazy, that the images are of something real. As the danger escalates more than ever before in the conclusion to the Visions series, Jules wonders if she’ll finally find out why and how this is happening, before it’s too late to prevent disaster.
Archaeologist Lowe Magnusson is packing something everyone wants. The djed amulet, a priceless Egyptian artifact, will fetch Lowe a hefty paycheck from one of San Francisco’s wealthiest. But when the handsome Swede runs into his patron’s uptight daughter, what he once considered easy money becomes maddeningly complicated. Cursed with deadly spirits as her constant companions, curator Hadley Bacall must keep calm to hold her dangerous specters at bay and prevent them from lashing out at anything, or anyone. Trouble is, Lowe is driving her crazy, but her father needs the artifact he’s transporting. While Hadley can feel the amulet’s power, she can’t fathom the destruction, or the desire, it’s about to stir up.
Call me Drood, Eddie Drood. Some know me as Shaman Bond and most simply don’t want to know me at all. My family has been keeping the things that lurk on the darker side of existence as far away as possible from humans like you, without you even knowing we’re there. Not everybody appreciates what we Droods do. I personally managed to survive yet another attempt on my life, but the rest of my relatives weren’t so lucky. My parents are missing in action. My grandfather has been murdered. And the future of my family lies in the iron grasp of the Lady Faire, an incredibly seductive, mysterious, and powerful being. She possesses an ancient object that can save them. I have to steal it from her. Easy enough to say, difficult, and very, very dangerous, to do.
Young Adult. Jo, the firstborn, “The General” to her eleven sisters, is the only thing the Hamilton girls have in place of a mother. She is the one who taught them how to dance, the one who gives the signal each night, as they slip out of the confines of their father’s townhouse to await the cabs that will take them to the speakeasy. They elude their distant and controlling father, until the day he decides to marry them all off. The girls continue to dance, from Salon Renaud to the Swan and, finally, the Kingfisher. Until one night when they are caught in a raid, separated, and Jo is thrust face-to-face with someone from her past: a bootlegger named Tom whom she hasn’t seen in almost ten years. Jo must weigh in the balance not only the demands of her father and eleven sisters, but those she must make of herself.
When Will finds himself in hospital, but unable to make anyone see or hear him, he realizes that he never made it home from his first date with the school hottie. Knocked off his bike in a road traffic accident, Will is now officially dead, and a ghost. But somehow his best mate, Dougie, can still see him, and, once they’ve exhausted all the comic possibilities of being invisible, they decide to delve into the truth behind a school rumour, whether there really is an unhappy spirit haunting the ruins in the school grounds, and if so, why? What they discover is a long-buried mystery, which stretches its fingers right into the present. (U.S.)
When Daniel Blackland was six, he ingested his first bone fragment, a bit of kraken spine plucked out of the sand during a visit with his powerful magician father, Sebastian. When Daniel was twelve, he watched Sebastian die at the hands of the Hierarch of Southern California, devoured for the magic layered deep within his bones. Years later, Daniel is a petty thief with a forged identity. His crime-boss uncle has a heist he wants Daniel to perform: break into the Hierarch’s storehouse of magical artifacts and retrieve Sebastian’s sword, an object of untold power. Daniel will need a team he can rely on, so he brings in his closest friends from his years in the criminal world. The stakes are high, and the stage is set for a showdown that might just break the magic that protects a long-corrupt regime.
Young Adult. Welcome to Gardnerville. A place where no one gets sick. And no one ever dies. Except…There’s a price to pay for paradise. Every fourth year, the strange power that fuels the town exacts its payment by infecting teens with deadly urges. In a normal year in Gardnerville, teens might stop talking to their best friends. In a fourth year, they’d kill them. Four years ago, Skylar’s sister, Piper, was locked away after leading sixteen of her classmates to a watery grave. Since then, Skylar has lived in a numb haze, struggling to forget her past and dull the pain of losing her sister. But the secrets and memories Piper left behind keep taunting Skylar, whispering that the only way to get her sister back is to stop Gardnerville’s murderous cycle once and for all.
Young Adult. If high school is all about social status, Indigo Blackwood has it made. Her quirky mom owns an occult shop, and a nerd just won’t stop trying to be her friend, but Indie is a popular cheerleader with a football-star boyfriend and a social circle powerful enough to ruin everyone at school. Then a guy dies right before her eyes. The old family Bible her mom is possessive of is stolen. It’s when a sexy stranger named Bishop enters Indie’s world that she learns her destiny involves a lot more than pom-poms and parties. If she doesn’t get the Bible back, every witch on the planet will die. That’s bad news for Indie, because according to Bishop, she’s a witch too. Indie’s about to uncover the many dark truths about her life, and a future unlike any she ever imagined on the cheer pyramid.
Young Adult. It’s either break the rules or die. Miki Jones lives her life by her own strict set of rules, to keep control, to keep the gray fog of grief at bay. Then she’s pulled into the Game, where she, and her team, will die unless she follows a new set of rules: those set by the mysterious Committee. But rules don’t mean answers, and without answers, it’s hard to trust. People are dying. The rules are unraveling. And Miki knows she’s being watched, uncertain if it’s the Drau or someone, something, else. Forced to make impossible choices and battling to save those she loves, Miki begins to see the Committee in a glaring new light. And then the Game crosses a new boundary, pushes harder into Miki’s and her friends’ lives, and there’s nothing in the rules that can save them now.
Young Adult. The Enemy is among us… First the sickness rotted the adults’ minds. Then their bodies. Now they stalk the streets of London, hunting human flesh. The Holloway crew are survivors. They’ve fought their way across the city and made it to the Natural History Museum alive—just barely. But their fight will never end while the Enemy lives, unless there’s another way. The kids at the museum are looking for a cure. All they need are medical supplies. To get them they must venture down unfamiliar streets, where it isn’t only crazed, hungry sickos who lurk in the shadows. In this fifth terrifying entry in Charlie Higson’s Enemy series, suddenly it’s not so clear who, or what, the enemy is. (U.S.)
Young Adult. An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision. The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is, although he doesn’t know it, one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?
Signy Valborn was seven years old when she climbed the New World Tree and met Odin Alfather, who declared that if she could solve a single riddle, he would make her one of his Valkyrie. For ten years Signy has trained in the arts of war, politics, and leadership, never dreaming that a Greater Mountain Troll might hold the answer to the riddle, but that’s exactly what Ned the Spiritless promises her. A mysterious troll hunter who talks in riddles and ancient poetry, Ned is a hard man to trust. Unfortunately, Signy is running out of time. Accompanied by an outcast berserker named Soren Bearstar, she and Ned take off across the ice sheets of Canadia to hunt the mother of trolls and claim Signy’s destiny.
Young Adult. To all the locals in the small beach town of Dream Point, Carter and Lilah seem like the perfect It Couple, but their relationship is about to brutally unravel before everyone’s eyes. Carter has always been a good guy, and while Lilah has a troubled past, she’s been a loyal girlfriend for the last four years. When smart, sexy Jules enters the picture at a senior-year bash, Carter succumbs to temptation. And when Lilah catches wind of his betrayal, she decides that Jules needs to pay. By the end of the summer, the line between right and wrong will be blurred beyond recognition. Blood will be shed. Nothing in Dream Point will ever be the same.
Young Adult. Callie Morgan has long lived choked by the failure of her own lungs, the result of an pulmonary illness that has plagued her since childhood. A childhood marked early by the drowning death of her mother, a death to which Callie was the sole witness. Her father has moved them inland, away from the memories of the California coast. The promise of a life-changing job for her father brings Callie and him back to the coast, to Florida, where Callie’s symptoms miraculously disappear. Life seems delightfully normal. But the ocean’s edge offers more than healing air, it holds a magnetic pull, drawing Callie closer and closer to the chilly, watery embrace that claimed her mother. Callie comes of age and comes into a family destiny that holds generations of secrets and very few happy endings.
Young Adult. Boston, 1891. Sophia Tims comes from a family of explorers and cartologers who have been traveling and mapping the New World, a world changed by the Great Disruption of 1799, when all the continents were flung into different time periods. Eight years ago, her parents left her with her uncle Shadrack, the foremost cartologer in Boston, and went on an urgent mission. They never returned. Then Shadrack is kidnapped. Sophia is the only one who can search for him. Together with Theo, a refugee from the West, she travels over rough terrain and uncharted ocean, encounters pirates and traders, and relies on a combination of Shadrack’s maps and her own slantwise powers of observation. But even as Sophia and Theo try to save Shadrack’s life, they are in danger of losing their own.
Savannah resident Mercy Taylor may now be in control of the South’s most powerful family of witches, but she’s struggling to master her newfound magic. Pregnant with her first child and still reeling from a heartbreaking betrayal, she just wants to be able to use her supernatural abilities without accidentally destroying dishes or blasting the doors off buildings. But when Mercy’s long-presumed-dead mother suddenly returns, begging Mercy to keep her presence under wraps, the witch wonders how many secrets her family is hiding, and who she can really trust. And when the danger around her intensifies to deadly levels, Mercy knows she must discover the truth behind her family’s magic, before it destroys her.
Young Adult. Sixteen-year-old Thea Holder’s mother is cursed with a spell that’s driving her mad, and whenever they touch, Thea is chilled by the magic, too. Thea must make a living for both of them in a sinister city, where danger lurks and greed rules. Thea spends her nights waitressing at the decadent Telephone Club attending to the glitzy clientele. When her best friend, Nan, vanishes, Thea is compelled to find her. She meets Freddy, a young, magnetic patron at the club, and he agrees to help her uncover the city’s secrets, even while he hides secrets of his own. They find a whole new side of the city. Unrest is brewing behind closed doors as whispers of a gruesome magic spread. If they’re not careful, the masterminds behind the growing disappearances will be after them, too.
Bekah thought she’d hit the jackpot: an unknown relative died, and she inherited a small fortune and a huge house in the mountains of North Carolina. Trey Howard, the lawyer who handled the estate, is a handsome man in his twenties and they hit it off right away. Bekah expected a pleasant year to get her head together and have a romantic fling. The house is full of junk, and siblings she didn’t know she had are willing to kill her for it. More important, the junk in her new house is magical, she’s surrounded by monsters, and her life seems to be in mortal peril every time she ventures into a new room. As Bekah discovers more about her mysterious benefactor and the magical world he inhabited, she’s realizes that as tough and resourceful as she is, she might just be in over her head.
Young Adult. He was the perfect assassin. No name. No past. No remorse. Perfect, that is, until he began to ask questions and challenge his orders. Now The Program is worried that their valuable soldier has become a liability. And so Boy Nobody is given a new mission. A test of sorts. A chance to prove his loyalty. His objective: Take out Eugene Moore, the owner of an extremist military training camp for teenagers. It sounds like a simple task, but a previous operative couldn’t do it. He lost the mission and is presumed dead. Now Boy Nobody is confident he can finish the job. Quickly. But when things go awry, Boy Nobody finds himself lost in a mission where nothing is as it seems: not The Program, his allegiances, nor the truth.
For two thousand years, there was only one Druid left walking the Earth, Atticus O’Sullivan, the Iron Druid. Now he’s got company. Atticus’s apprentice Granuaile is at last a full Druid herself. Atticus has defrosted an archdruid long ago frozen in time who now goes by the modern equivalent of his old Irish name: Owen Kennedy. For Atticus, the jury’s still out on whether the wily old coot will be an asset in the epic battle with Norse god Loki. Granuaile faces a great challenge: to exorcise a sorcerer’s spirit that is possessing her father in India. Even with the help of the witch Laksha, Granuaile may be facing defeat. As the trio of Druids deals with pestilence-spreading demons, bacon-loving yeti, fierce flying foxes, and frenzied Fae, they’re hoping that this time, three’s a charm.
Since 1980, one percent of the world has been born with gifts we’d only dreamed of. The ability to sense a person’s most intimate secrets, or predict the stock market, or move virtually unseen. For thirty years the world has struggled with a growing divide between the exceptional, and the rest of us. A terrorist network led by brilliants has crippled three cities. Supermarket shelves stand empty. 911 calls go unanswered. Fanatics are burning people alive. Nick Cooper has fought to make the world better for his children. As both a brilliant and an advisor to the president of the United States, he’s against everything the terrorists represent. Cooper is forced to play a game he dares not lose. His opponents have their own vision of a better world. To reach it, they’re willing to burn this one down.
Young Adult. It’s been three months since Amy escaped New Hope, and she’s been surviving on her own, like she did in the After. Until one day, her former fellow Guardian’s voice rings out in her earpiece. Kay utters the four words Amy had hoped she would never hear: Dr. Reynolds has Baby. Now it’s a race against time, for Baby is in imminent danger, her life threatened by the malevolent doctor who had helped start the end of the world. Amy must make her way to Fort Black, a prison-turned-survivor-colony, where she will need to find Ken, Kay’s brother. He alone holds the key to Baby’s survival. One small slip-up on this quest could spark a downward spiral that would not only cost Baby and Amy their lives, but threaten the very survival of the people in the After.
Joanne Walker has two choices: Defeat the enemy, or lose her soul trying. For over a year, Joanne has been fighting the Master, the world’s most abiding evil entity. She’s sacrificed family, friendships, even watched potential futures fade away. And now the Master is bringing the final battle to Joanne’s beloved Seattle. Lives will be lost as the repercussions of all Joanne’s final transformation into her full Shamanic abilities come to her doorstep. Before the end, she’ll mourn, rejoice, and surrender everything for the hope of the world’s survival. She’ll be a warrior and a healer. Because she is finally a Shaman Rising.
Young Adult. While browsing in a rare book store in Arkham, Sean finds an occult book with an ad seeking an apprentice sorcerer, from a newspaper dated March 21, 1895. The ad specifically requests applicants reply by email. Sean’s always been interested in magic, particularly the Lovecraftian dark mythology. Against his best friend Edna’s advice, he decides to answer the ad. The advertiser, Reverend Redemption Orne, claims to be a master of the occult born more than 300 years ago. Orne gives Sean instructions to summon a harmless but useful familiar, but Sean’s ceremony takes a dark turn, and he instead accidentally beckons a bloodthirsty servant to the Cthulhu Mythos god Nyarlathotep. Sean must find and bind the servitor, before it grows too strong to contain.
They call us things with teeth. These words from Lily Rose Sullivan the night of her death haunts her seventeen-year-old sister, Finn, who has moved with her widowed father to his hometown of Fair Hollow, New York. Finn is invited to a lakeside party where she encounters Jack Fata, a member of the town’s mysterious Fata family. Finn finds her sister’s journal, scrawled with descriptions of creatures that bear a sinister resemblance to Jack’s family. Finn dismisses these stories as fiction. Jack’s family has a secret: the Fatas are the children of nothing and night, nomadic beings who have been preying on humanity for centuries. Finn begins to suspect that the Fatas are somehow tied to Lily Rose’s untimely death. Drawn to Jack, determined to solve the mystery of her sister’s suicide, Finn must navigate a dangerous world where nothing is as it seems.
Welcome to Trifles & Folly, an antique and curio shop with a dark secret. Proprietor Cassidy Kincaide continues a family tradition begun in 1670, acquiring and neutralizing dangerous supernatural items. It’s the perfect job for Cassidy, whose psychic gift lets her touch an object and know its history. Together with her business partner Sorren, a 500 year-old vampire and former jewel thief, Cassidy makes it her business to get infernal objects off the market. When mundane antiques suddenly become magically malicious, it’s time for Cassidy and Sorren to get rid of these Deadly Curiosities before the bodies start piling up.
Young Adult. Tessa has finally made peace with her life as a Variant. She and longtime love Alec are a couple, and she has everything she wants. The air is tense at FEA headquarters. An agent has disappeared, and rogue Variant organization Abel’s Army is likely the culprit. When Tessa is summoned for her second mission, she is unexpectedly launched into a massive conspiracy. Her best friend Holly is kidnapped, and Tessa knows it was meant to be her. When the FEA’s efforts to rescue Holly don’t yield results, Tessa takes matters into her own hands. Tessa launches her own investigation, but nothing could prepare her for what she finds. Summoning all of her courage and strength, Tessa must decide who can be trusted and what is worth fighting for. Her final decision will leave readers breathless.