Following a couple of fifty-release months, fans of paranormal fantasy, urban fantasy, and horror have a mere thirty-three offerings this month. Look for new titles from, among others, Stephen King, Karen Chance, M.L. Brennan, Sharon Shinn, Gail Carriger, F. Paul Wilson, Lauren Dane, Molly Harper, and Laura Resnick. Also out this month: a new collection of stories set in the world of Sookie Stackhouse, edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner, and a collection of shorts from Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin and Milla Vane.
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.
I was an ordinary eighties California girl, dead before my time, until psychic Amanda Lee Minter pulled me out of the time loop where I was reliving my death over and over. Now I’m Jensen Murphy, Ghost for Hire. I decided to put my spooky talents to use in helping Amanda Lee track down bad guys and killers (including my own). It’s taken time to figure out exactly how that will work (our first case was definitely a learning experience for all involved), so when a young woman asks Amanda Lee for help convincing her best friend to leave a dangerously hot-tempered boyfriend, I’m ready and willing to use our collective powers on her behalf. But some people are dangerous not only to the living, especially when there are darker forces involved.
In the Beginning: A Short Story Prequel to the novel Rivers—Michael Farris Smith (November 4, Simon & Schuster/Simon 451)
A series of catastrophic hurricanes along the Gulf Coast prompts the government to institute “The Line,” a boundary between the coastal region and the rest of the country, effectively creating a lawless no-man’s land without electricity, resources, or basic services. Those left behind include Aggie, a snake-handling preacher with a questionable past; Bub and Ava, who live in a FEMA trailer held down by cinderblocks; and Cohen, who refuses to evacuate and leave behind the graves of his late wife and child. As all four struggle to survive below The Line, their stories intersect with violent and unexpected consequences. (Digital)
Young Adult. Seventeen-year-old Cassie Hobbes has a gift for profiling people. Her talent has landed her a spot in an elite FBI program for teens with innate crime-solving abilities. After barely escaping a confrontation with an unbalanced killer obsessed with her mother’s murder, Cassie hopes she and the rest of the team can stick to solving cold cases from a distance. When victims of a brutal new serial killer start turning up, the Naturals are pulled into an active case that strikes too close to home: the killer is a perfect copycat of Dean’s incarcerated father, a man he’d do anything to forget. Forced deeper into a murderer’s psyche than ever before, will the Naturals be able to outsmart the enigmatic killer’s brutal mind games before this copycat twists them into his web for good?
Young Adult. Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own. She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind doesn’t mean she has.
Young Adult. Alice Hyland is an expert on fairy tales and the natural choice for Police Constable Cate Corbin to consult when a dead girl is found in the woods dressed up as Snow White. Especially when the girl’s grieving mother receives a parcel containing a glass bottle of blood stoppered with the dead girl’s toe. Cate’s boss, Detective Superintendent Heath, isn’t convinced of the connection to folklore until a second girl is found, this time dressed as Red Riding Hood and with claw marks gouged into her flesh. A series of uncanny events seem to be pointing her in the right direction, but she’s not the only one noticing; By the time a third girl is found, Heath begins to wonder if their fairy tale expert knows too much, and Alice finds herself becoming a suspect. Her determination to solve the mystery herself and prove her innocence may lead her somewhere she can’t return from. (U.S.)
You’d think that being Chief Seer for the supernatural world would come with a few perks. Cassie Palmer has learned being Pythia doesn’t mean you don’t have to do things the hard way. That’s why she finds herself on a rescue mission skipping through time. Rescuing her friend John Pritkin should have been an in and out kind of deal, but with the near-immortal mage’s soul lost in time, Cassie has to hunt for it through the ages, with Pritkin’s demon dad in tow. He’s the only one who can reverse Pritkin’s curse. With the guardians of the time-line dead set on stopping anyone from mucking about, Cassie will have to figure out how to get her friend back without ruffling too many feathers, or causing a world-ending paradox or two.
Former film student Fortitude Scott is finally gainfully employed. His employment happens to be with a group of sociopathic vampires, his family. When his brother, Chivalry, is temporarily unable to run the territory, it’s up to Fort to keep things under control. When the leader of a powerful faction of shifters turns up murdered, Fort finds himself tracking down a killer while navigating dangerous rivalries, longtime grudges, and hidden agendas. With the help of his foxy kitsune sidekick, Suzume, he’ll need to pull out all the stops to hunt for the paranormal assassin. He discovers that the problem is much bigger than a single dead werebear. The supernatural community is preparing for a shift in power within the Scott family leadership, and Fort has landed right in the middle.
A trilogy of prequels to Holloway’s novels of Evelina Cooper, niece of Sherlock Holmes. Includes “The Adventure of the Wollaston Ritual: A Prequel to A Study in Silks,” “The Strange and Alarming Courtship of Miss Imogen Roth: A Prequel to A Study in Darkness,” and “The Steamspinner Mutiny: A Prequel to A Study in Ashes.” (Digital)
Young Adult. Dale Sampson is used to being a nonperson at his small-town Midwestern high school, picking up the scraps of his charismatic lothario of a best friend, Mack. He comforts himself with the certainty that his stellar academic record and brains will bring him the adulation that has evaded him in high school. When a catastrophe tears away the one girl he ever had a chance with, his life takes a bizarre turn as he discovers an inexplicable power: He can regenerate his organs and limbs. When a chance encounter brings him face to face with a girl from his past, he decides that he must use his gift to save her from a violent husband and dismal future. His quest takes into the crosshairs of shadowy forces bent on using and abusing his gift. Can Dale use his power to redeem himself and those he loves, or will the one thing that finally makes him special be his demise?
The Pretender’s Gambit (Rogue Angel #51)—Alex Archer (November 4, Gold Eagle)
For archaeologist and TV host Annja Creed, a late-night phone call from the NYPD means one thing: there’s been a murder and the police need her expertise. The only link between a dead body and the killer is a small elephant of white jade. Once belonging to Catherine the Great of Russia, the elephant was key in a risky political gambit all those years ago. There is another story attached to the artifact, a rumor of an ancient hidden treasure. For a cruelly ambitious media mogul with a penchant for tomb-raiding, the elephant is nothing short of priceless. Annja must make her move quickly, traveling across several continents with only the assistance of her extraordinary sword, purportedly the same sword wielded by Joan of Arc, and a mysterious temple monk. It’s a deadly battle of wits. One wrong move could mean game over.
For Karadel, being a shape-shifter has always been a reality she couldn’t escape. Even though she’s built a safe life as a rural veterinarian, with a close-knit network of shifter and human friends who would do anything for her, and for each other, she can’t help but wish for a chance at being normal. When she’s not dealing with her shifts or caring for her animal patients, she attempts to develop a drug that will help shifters control their changes, a drug that might even allow them to remain human forever. Her comfortable life is threatened by two events: She meets an ordinary man who touches her heart, and her best friend is forced to shift publicly with deadly consequences. Now Karadel must decide whom to trust: her old friends or her new love.
Young Adult. 730. That’s how many days I’ve been trapped. 18. That’s how many days I have left to find a way out. DAI, trying to escape a haunting past, traffics drugs for the most ruthless kingpin in the Walled City. But in order to find the key to his freedom, he needs help from someone with the power to be invisible. JIN hides under the radar, afraid the wild street gangs will discover her secret: Jin passes as a boy to stay safe. Still, every chance she gets, she searches for her lost sister. MEI YEE has been trapped in a brothel for the past two years, dreaming of getting out while watching the girls who try fail. She’s about to give up, when one day she sees an unexpected face at her window. They all come together in a desperate attempt to escape a lawless labyrinth before the clock runs out.
Young Adult. Sixteen-year-old Megan is pregnant. As she prepares to tell her family, the unthinkable happens. Her village is razed by soldiers: her grandfather murdered, her twin sister taken. On a desperate mission to rescue her beloved Gwyneth, Megan discovers a terrifying truth, that the destruction of her old life is inextricably linked to her unborn child. The feared witch soldiers, vanquished a generation ago, have returned to see the fulfillment of a prophecy: one that will put Megan and her new friends, Eleanor, a fiery ex-aristocrat, and Damon, a wayward charmer, at the heart of the greatest war her world has ever known. (U.S.)
Young Adult. Sophronia continues her second year at finishing school in style, with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown, of course. Such a fashionable choice of weapon comes in handy when Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and the charming Lord Felix Mersey stowaway on a train to return their classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland. No one suspected what, or who, they would find aboard that suspiciously empty train. Sophronia uncovers a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos and she must decide where her loyalties lie, once and for all.
The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror & Goliath—Ishbelle Bee (November 6, Angry Robot)
1888. A little girl called Mirror and her shape-shifting guardian Goliath Honeyflower are washed up on the shores of Victorian England. Something has been wrong with Mirror since the day her grandfather locked her inside a mysterious clock that was painted all over with ladybirds. Mirror does not know what she is, but she knows she is no longer human. John Loveheart was not born wicked. After the sinister death of his parents, he was taken by Mr Fingers, the demon lord of the underworld. Some say he is mad. John would be inclined to agree. Now Mr Fingers is determined to find the little girl called Mirror, whose flesh he intends to eat, and whose soul is the key to his eternal reign. John Loveheart has been called by his otherworldly father to help him track Mirror down.
Young Adult. Elora, the young princess of the Dark Faeries, plans to overthrow her tyrannical mother, the Dark Queen, and bring equality to faeriekind. All she has to do is convince her mother’s loathed enemy, the Bright Queen, to join her cause. But the Bright Queen demands an offering first: a human boy who is a “young leader of men.” To steal a mortal, Elora must become a mortal, at least, by all appearances. And infiltrating a high school is surprisingly easy. When Elora meets Taylor, the seventeen-year-old who’s plotting to overthrow a ruthless bully, she thinks she’s found her offering, until she starts to fall in love.
Young Adult. With her fiery red hair, new-girl outsider status, and tendency to be a total klutz, Autumn Falls definitely isn’t flying below the radar at Aventura High. Luckily, she makes some genuine friends who take her under their wing. But she also manages to get on the wrong side of the school’s queen bee, and then finds out the guy she’s started to like, funny and sweet Sean, hangs with the mean crowd. Now her rep and her potential love life are at stake. When Autumn vents her feelings in a journal that belonged to her late father, suddenly her wildest wishes start coming true. Is it coincidence? Or can writing in the journal solve all her problems? And if the journal doesn’t work that way, is there a bigger purpose for it, and for her?
The strands of Jack’s life, established in the first two books are now woven into a complete pattern. Centered around an obscure group of malcontents intent on creating a terrible explosion in New York City in 1993, Fear City shows the final stages of young Jack becoming Repairman Jack. It is a dark and terrible story, full of plots and needless mayhem, with secret agents, a freelance torturer, a secret society as old as human history, love, death, and a very bleak triumph. Jack threads his way through this intricate maze, as people he loves are stripped away from him in a way that presages the later epic series of novels.
Young Adult. On a rainy night seventeen years after his wife’s presumed suicide, Garrett Becker sees her walking down the street. A car accident snatches him away from this world before he can reach her. Marina has spent her whole life mothering her brother, who suffers from an anxiety disorder. Old keepsakes lead Dylan to believe their mother is alive and lives nearby. Sara Rochester is a successful chocolatier who doesn’t dwell on her past and never expected the resurrection of its ghosts. Sara’s hesitant presence divides Marina and Dylan. Marina doesn’t believe that Sara is their mother. The woman’s lies suggest she might be responsible for their mother’s death. Marina’s suspicions spark an investigation, no one is prepared for the truth or the powerful redemption that Marina’s actions expose.
In a small New England town, a shadow falls over a small boy playing. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession. When tragedy strikes the Jacobs family, Jacobs curses God, mocks all religious belief, and is banished from the shocked town. Jamie has demons of his own. He plays in bands across the country, fleeing from his family’s horrific loss. In his mid-thirties, Jamie meets Charles Jacobs again, with profound consequences for both men. Their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil’s devising, and Jamie discovers that revival has many meanings.
Young Adult. Mia has settled into her life with the Della Torres, Milan’s premier demon-catching family, accompanying them to exorcisms and even learning some way to be useful in the family trade. Then Bernardo comes into her life, handsome, well-mannered, someone who makes her forget her impossible crush on Emilio, her cousin. But always lurking in the background is the demon who possessed Mia once before, and who has not given up on possessing her again, this time for good.
Oliver Gooch comes across a tooth, in a velvet box, with a handwritten note from 1888 to say it’s a tooth from the boy Edgar Allan Poe. He displays it in his new bookshop, and names the store Poe’s Tooth Books. Oliver took the money from his small daughter Chloe’s accident insurance and bought a converted church to live in with his altered child and wife. Rosie hopes Chloe will came back to herself but Oliver is secretly relieved to have this new easy-to-manage child. He and Chloe come across the crow, a raggedy skeletal wretch of a bird, and it refuses to leave. It infiltrates their lives, it alters Oliver’s relationship with Rosie, it changes Chloe. It’s a dangerous presence in the firelit, shadowy old vestry, in Poe’s Tooth Books. Inexorably the family, the tooth, the crow, the church and their story will draw to a terrifying climax.
Thom and his fellow colonists are in danger of paying the ultimate price to secure their homeland. After the shocking discovery that his mother is still alive and on Roanoke, Thom is determined to return to that island. However, the island is still under pirate control, and a mysterious boy in possession of a dangerous element appears. With the help of an unlikely ally and the newly discovered ability to combine elements, Thom must summon the full extent of his power to end this battle for their home once and for all.
“When you awaken, you will have to find her yourself. Or she will find you.” These were the words given to Rowan Summerwaite by the Goddess as Rowan lay clinging to life. Broken by the ancient Vampire Enyo. Rowan heads out from her father’s Keep, leading a team of some of the most terrifying beings on earth to track and eliminate the Vampire who attacked her. As the team moves across Europe, the tensions between Clive Stewart, the Scion of North America whom Rowan grew even closer to during her recovery, and a rival Vampire ramp up. Rowan is utterly certain she will locate her quarry. Her connection with the Goddess is seamless and the light of her mission burns from within. It’s not long before Rowan and her team realize the threat is far greater than one crazy old Vampire. There’s a war brewing and Rowan will fight it to the death. (Digital)
College co-ed Gigi is headed home to Half-Moon Hollow for her first Christmas since her sister, Iris, was turned into a vampire by her undead husband, Cal. Iris is working overtime to make this holiday as normal and special as possible. It’s taken her months of working with Jane Jameson and the Hollow’s vampires to convince herself that she won’t bite her sister on sight. Gigi is falling out of love with her high school sweetheart, Ben, and has no idea how to tell him. She’s got a job interview with terrifying teen Council official, Ophelia Lambert. There’s a handsome, cagey vampire following her around and disappearing before Gigi can confirm that he’s not a figment of her imagination. Christmas with an undead family can be downright dangerous. (Digital)
After being kidnapped and forcibly Inked with a Living Tattoo named Murmur, Isa thought she’d survived the worst her enemies could throw at her. She was wrong. Murmur is walking around her world in someone else’s body, and without him, Isa is losing control of her magic. Then, in the middle of rush hour, a Live Tattoo comes off its host, killing over a hundred people. Isa discovers that Murmur’s nemesis, Uriel, a demon she believed defeated, is responsible. He’s seeking the power to force his way back into Isa’s world. If he succeeds, everyone Isa loves will be destroyed. There may be a way to stop him, but it will mean sacrificing Murmur, or herself. (Digital)
The Wild Cards universe has been thrilling readers for over 25 years. This story shows that to make it in Hollywood, it’s not enough to be beautiful and talented, you’ve also got to take advantage of every opportunity that pops up. (Digital Short)
Young Adult. Nat and her drakon are the last of their kind, sworn to protect what their enemies seek to control, and she’s risked her life for their reunion. But fighting for the majestic Blue meant saying goodbye to Wes, breaking both their hearts. Back in New Vegas, citizens are threatened by the resurgence of magic and declare war on all the marked. Wes and his team travel to the extravagant indoor city of El Dorado looking for his sister, but when they are caught on the wrong side of the RSA’s strict new laws, Wes is forced to do the unthinkable, surrender and rejoin the military’s quest to uncover the magical source, the same land Nat is struggling to protect. Now he and Nat find themselves on opposing sides of a war that could potentially destroy what’s left of the world.
Everybody in Chicago has a “superhero sighting” story. When a villain attacks editorial assistant Gail Godwin and she’s rescued by superhero Blaze, it’s a great story, and nothing more. The media has dubbed her Hostage Girl and people are convinced that Blaze is just Gail’s boyfriend Jeremy in disguise. All she knows is that when both Jeremy and Blaze leave town in the same week, she’s probably doomed. When the villains miraculously lose interest, Gail is able to return to her life, until she wakes up strapped to a metal table. She’s drawn into a secret underground world of superheroes. She’ll have to come to terms with her powers to make it in the new society, and it’s not easy. There’s a new villain on the rise, and she has her sights set on the one and only Hostage Girl. (Digital)
Actress Esther Diamond finally catches a break when she lands an acting job. She’s hired to reprise her guest role as prostitute Jilly C-Note on The Dirty Thirty, a TV crime drama about depravity and corruption in the NYPD. Esther’s ex- boyfriend, NYPD’s Detective Connor Lopez, hates that show. Esther convinces her co-star to shadow Lopez on the job, in order to add verisimilitude to his performance as a morally bankrupt cop. Esther’s fellow thespian is her best bet for keeping an eye on Lopez 24/7, and, more to the point, on Lopez’s new partner, Detective Quinn. Esther and her friend Max, a mage whose day job is protecting the city from Evil, suspect Quinn of being involved in the latest mayhem to menace Manhattan. Corpses suddenly aren’t staying quite as dead as they should. A dangerous foe with deadly intent changes everyone’s dinner plans one cold winter night.
With wicked Fire elemental Mab Monroe long gone, you’d think I could finally catch a break. Now along comes the Spider’s new arch-nemesis, the mysteriously named M. M. Monroe, who is working overtime to trap me in a sticky web of deceit. I’m not the only target. I can see through the tangled threads enough to know that every bit of bad luck my friends have been having lately is no accident, and that each unfortunate “coincidence” is just one more arrow drawing ever closer to hitting the real bulls-eye. This M. M. Monroe is no stranger to irony, trying to get me, an assassin, framed for murder. Yet, as my enemy’s master plan is slowly revealed, I have a sinking feeling that it will take more than my powerful Ice and Stone magic to stop my whole life from going up in flames.
Dead But Not Forgotten: Stories From the World of Sookie Stackhouse, edited by Charlaine Harris andToni L.P. Kelner (November 25, Ace)
A collection of fifteen all-new stories about your favorite residents of Bon Temps. With contributions by Rachel Caine, Dana Cameron, Bill Crider, MaryJanice Davidson, Leigh Evans, Christopher Golden, Nancy Holder, Dean James, Toni L. P. Kelner, Jonathan Maberry, Jeff Mariotte, Seanan McGuire, Suzanne McLeod, Nicole Peeler and Jeanne C. Stein.
Nalini Singh delivers a smoldering story with Secrets at Midnight, as the scent of Bastien Smith’s elusive lover ignites a possessiveness in him that’s as feral as it is ecstatic. Now that he’s found his mate, he’ll do anything to keep her. In Ilona Andrews’ Magic Steals, when people start going missing, shapeshifting tigress Dali Harimau and jaguar shifter Jim Shrapshire must uncover the truth about the creatures responsible. From Milla Vane, a warrior princess must tame The Beast of Blackmoorto earn a place among her people. She discovers that the beast isn’t a monster, but a barbarian warrior who intends to do some taming himself. It’s seer Makenna Frazier’s first day on the job at Supernatural Protection and Investigations, and her first assignment is bodyguard duty for a leprechaun prince’s bachelor party goes every which way but right in Lisa Shearin’s Lucky Charms.