Please join me in a moment of silence for urban fantasy, which appears to finally be succumbing beneath the tsunami of young adult and indie offerings. A few UFs join the twenty new releases in the paranormal-horror fields in June, including new adult series additions or starts from, among others, Laurell K. Hamilton (Anita Blake), Simon R. Green (Secret Histories), Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith (Crown & Key), Amanda Carlson (Jessica McClain), T. Frohock (Los Nefilim), and Lilith Saintcrow (Gallow and Ragged).
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.
Serafina Sullivan and her father left San Francisco to escape the memory of her older sister Lily Rose’s suicide. Soon after she arrived in Fair Hollow, New York, Finn discovered a terrifying secret connected to Lily Rose. The placid surface of this town concealed an eerie supernatural world, and at its center, the wealthy, beautiful, and terrifying Fata family. Though Jack Fata tried to push Finn away to protect her, their attraction was too powerful to resist. To save him, Finn banished a cabal of malevolent enemies to shadows, freeing him from their diabolical grip. The rhythm of life in Fair Hollow is beginning to feel a little closer to ordinary. A chance encounter outside the magical Brambleberry Books will lead her down a rabbit hole, into a fairy world of secrets and legacies, straight toward the shocking truth about her sister’s death.
Young adult. All thirteen of the Children of Earth have arrived and taken root in town. Together at last, they can perform the series of rituals necessary to awaken their father, a wrathful entity known as the God of the Earth. Daphne protects their identities from Pastor Ted and the God-fearing locals out of love and allegiance to Owen. But when people start disappearing from town and Daphne begins receiving visions from God, her allegiance, and even her love, is brought into question.
Some call me Shaman Bond, but I was born Eddie Drood, the latest in a line of folks who chase monsters out of closets for a living to keep humanity safe, We’ve made our fair share of enemies over the centuries, and made some questionable bargains. In exchange for the power to fight the forces of darkness, my parents signed over their souls. The bill’s due for several big names in the supernatural community. Including my girl, Molly. She, my parents, and other major players have been kidnapped so they’ll pay up, or participate in the “Big Game.” The rules are simple: get from one side of the pocket dimension to the other and kill your competitors. The winner’s debt is paid in full, and the losers get themselves permanently lost. To save my loved ones, I’ve got to become a ringer in this contest that’s undoubtedly rigged by the Powers That Be.
Young adult. Finally free after spending three months locked in a secret government facility where she was forced to torture and assassinate dragons for the popular television series Kissing Dragons, all Melissa Callahan wants is a quiet recovery. Hiding in an Alaskan cave with fellow escapee Allie (known as Talker 21), Melissa does her best to stay out of the dragon politics. However, when a group of rebels called the Diocletians discovers their hideout and captures Allie, Melissa soon realizes she must finally choose who she’s fighting for, the humans or the dragons.
Holed up in Las Vegas after the tumultuous Battle of New Orleans, Dave is enjoying the VIP perks afforded a champion monster-slayer. He may be a superhero and the toast of the town, but if some fire-breathing dragons have their way, odds are everyone will soon be toast. As the hordes from the UnderRealms regroup for their next attack, Dave parties with celebrities, lunches with A-listers, and gets his ass lawyered up, because his ex is looking for a piece of that sweet, sweet action. It’s all good, until new monsters roll in, looking to parley with “The Dave.” When things go to hell at warp 10, a suit from a shadow operation swoops in to offer Dave a deal he can’t refuse. Dave’s about to face off against an opponent who makes battling bloodthirsty behemoths look like child’s play, a ravishing Russian spy with a few superpowers of her own. (U.S. Release)
Young adult. Missy Masters inherited more than the usual genetic cocktail from her estranged grandfather. She also got his preternatural control of shadows and his enduring legacy as the legendary vigilante superhero, Mr. Mystic. After a little work, the costume fits OK, but Missy is far from experienced at fighting crime, so she journeys to China to seek the aid of Lung Huang, the ancient master who once guided her grandfather. She becomes embroiled in the politics of Lung Huang and his siblings, the allegedly mythical nine dragon-guardians of all creation. When Lung Di, Lung Huang’s brother and mortal enemy, raises a magical barrier that cuts off China from the rest of the world, it falls to the new Mr. Mystic to prove herself by taking down the barrier.
As fog descends, obscuring the gas lamps of Victorian London, werewolves prowl the shadows of back alleys. But they have infiltrated the inner circles of upper-crust society as well. Only a handful of specially gifted practitioners are equipped to battle the beasts. Among them are the roguish Simon Archer, who conceals his powers as a spell-casting scribe behind the smooth veneer of a dashing playboy; his layabout mentor, Nick Barker, who prefers a good pub to thrilling heroics; and the self-possessed alchemist Kate Anstruther, who is equally at home in a ballroom as she is on a battlefield. After a lycanthrope targets Kate’s vulnerable younger sister, the three join forces with fierce Scottish monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane, but quickly discover they’re dealing with a threat far greater than anything they ever imagined.
Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat, a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. Now she’s facing one of her most challenging ghost hunts ever. Lock, stock, and lens, she’s in for one hell of a ride. (Digital)
Anita Blake has the highest kill count of any vampire executioner in the country. She’s a U.S. Marshal who can raise zombies with the best of them. Ever since she and master vampire Jean-Claude went public with their engagement, all she is to anyone and everyone is Jean-Claude’s fiancée. It’s wreaking havoc with her reputation as a hard ass. In professional circles, she’s still the go-to expert for zombie issues. And right now, the FBI is having one hell of a zombie issue. Someone is producing zombie porn. Anita has seen her share of freaky undead fetishes, so this shouldn’t bother her. But the women being victimized aren’t just mindless, rotting corpses. Their souls are trapped behind their eyes, signaling voodoo of the blackest kind. It’s the sort of case that can leave a mark on a person. And Anita’s own soul may not survive unscathed.
Young adult. Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she’s too busy trying to actually survive. Her town’s population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she’ll do anything to protect her. In New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can’t survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.
Jessica arrives back from the Underworld to find her father embroiled in a battle against the Made wolves. She and her crew drop everything to join them. Once she arrives, the threat is after her. Jessica is lured into danger when her adversary takes something precious from her. With help from an unlikely source, Jessica goes up against her creator in a battle that will decide the path of everyone involved. She must war against a new set of foes, ones who could not only steal her power, but could take her soul as well.
John Wayne Cleaver hunts demons: they’ve killed his neighbors, his family, and the girl he loves, but in the end he’s always won. Now he works for a secret government kill team, using his gift to hunt and kill as many monsters as he can, but the monsters have noticed, and the quiet game of cat and mouse is about to erupt into a full scale supernatural war. John doesn’t want the life he’s stuck with. He doesn’t want the FBI bossing him around, he doesn’t want his only friend imprisoned in a mental ward, and he doesn’t want to face the terrifying cannibal who calls himself The Hunter. John doesn’t want to kill people. But as the song says, you can’t always get what you want. John has learned that the hard way; his clothes have the stains to prove it. When John again faces evil, he’ll know what he has to do.
The fate of mankind has nothing to do with mankind. Born of an angel and a daimon, Diago Alvarez is a singular being in a country torn by a looming civil war and the spiritual struggle between the forces of angels and daimons. With allegiance to no one but his partner Miquel, he is content to simply live in Barcelona, caring only for the man he loves and the music he makes. Yet, neither side is satisfied to let him lead this domesticated life and, knowing they can’t get to him directly, they do the one thing he’s always feared. They go after Miquel. In order to save his lover’s life, he is forced by an angel to perform a gruesome task: feed a child to the daimon Moloch in exchange for a coin that will limit the extent of the world’s next war. The mission is fraught with danger and the child he is to sacrifice is the son Diago never knew existed. (Digital)
Simon Watson, a young librarian, lives alone in a house that is slowly crumbling toward the Long Island Sound. His parents are long dead. His mother, a circus mermaid who made her living by holding her breath, drowned in the very water his house overlooks. His younger sister, Enola, ran off to join the circus six years ago. An old book arrives on Simon’s doorstep. Fragile and water damaged, the book is a log from the owner of a carnival in the 1700s, who reports strange and magical things, including the drowning death of a circus mermaid. Generations of “mermaids” in Simon’s family have drowned, always on July 24, which is only weeks away. As his friend Alice looks on with alarm, Simon becomes increasingly worried about his sister. Could there be a curse on Simon’s family? Can he stop it in time to save Enola?
Jeremy Gallow is just another construction worker, and that’s the way he likes it. He’s left his past behind, but some things cannot be erased. Like the tattoos on his arms that transform into a weapon, or that he was once closer to the Queen of Summer than any half-human should be. Now the half-sidhe all in Summer once feared is dragged back into the world of enchantment, danger, and fickle fae, by a woman who looks uncannily like his dead wife. Her name is Robin, and her secrets are more than enough to get them both killed. A plague has come, the fullborn-fae are dying, and the dark answer to Summer’s Court is breaking loose. Be afraid, for Unwinter is riding.
Murdered and mummified more than ninety years ago, bootlegger Collier “Peg Leg” Dazzle once found and re-hid a famous pirate’s treasure somewhere along the coast of New England. The bounty contains the Stone of Avarice, the very item reluctant treasure seeker, Lizzy Tucker, and her partner, Diesel, have been enlisted to find. This hunt is going to require a genuine treasure map and a ship worthy of sailing the seven seas. Lizzy and Diesel aren’t the only ones searching for the lost pirate’s chest. There are people who have dedicated their entire lives to finding it, and are willing to commit murder or make a deal with the devil for it. One of those people may even be Wulf, Diesel’s charming and enigmatic cousin. Wulf desires the Stone of Avarice. He also desires Lizzy. It’s hard to say how far he’s willing to go to gain either one.
“Kids, there are no monsters under the bed. They’re in the front yard.” As a hardworking monster-slayer, Dave Hooper tries not to bring his work home with him. But nowadays it’s hard to keep them separate. Email, cellphones, empath daemons, they never let a guy rest. The Horde has been raising hell and leveling cities from New York to Los Angeles, keeping Dave and his fellow monster-killer, Russian spy Karin Varatschevsky, very busy. But when the legions of hell invade the small seaside town his boys call home, Dave has to make a call. Save the world? Or save his family? Not as easy a choice as you’d think, since Dave’s ex-wife expects to be saved too. And there’s no convincing her that the supersexy Russian spy isn’t his girlfriend. She’s just his sidekick, and an assassin. (U.S. Release)
In the city of Regina, they’re graduate students. After midnight, in Wascana Park, they are transported to a land where they can be anything: bards and archers, heroes or monsters. In the nighttime world of Anfractus, the company of heroes has thwarted the basilissa’s plans to assassinate the queen of a neighboring city. Shelby learns that Anfractus isn’t what it seems. Wascana Park doesn’t take you to another realm; it just shows what’s beneath the surface of this one. Basilissa Latona is raising a new army, determined to create her own empire. If she succeeds, both worlds will be in danger. Shelby knows she must rally the company of heroes against her. In the dark streets of Anfractus, telling friend from foe becomes harder than ever. Especially when the person who could do the company the most harm may be one their own.
Young adult. Sierra Santiago was looking forward to a fun summer of making art, hanging out with her friends around Brooklyn. But then a weird zombie guy crashes the first party of the season. Sierra’s near-comatose abuelo begins to say “No importa” over and over. And when the graffiti murals in Bed-Stuy start to weep. Something stranger than the usual New York mayhem is going on. Sierra discovers a supernatural order called the Shadowshapers, who connect with spirits via paintings, music, and stories. Her grandfather once shared the order’s secrets with an anthropologist, Dr. Jonathan Wick, who turned the Caribbean magic to his own foul ends. Wick wants to become the ultimate Shadowshaper by killing all the others. Sierra must dodge Wick’s creations, harness her own Shadowshaping abilities, and save her family’s past, present, and future.
New superhero Gail Godwin, the one and only Hostage Girl, is in big trouble: her nemesis Chelsea is loose, someone close to her is dead, and everybody thinks Gail did it. Davenport Industries has thrown her into a prison that just happens to be full of the very same supervillains who used to kidnap her on an almost daily basis. Outside, things aren’t going all that great either. There’s a conspiracy that runs all the way to the bedrock of the superhero community, and it’s affecting everybody Gail loves. With her friends in the crosshairs, it’s up to her to escape and get to the bottom of things. Subterfuge, crime-fighting, and running away from everybody you know should be a cinch, right? Wrong. Gail faces off against hero and villain alike just to stay alive, and you know what they say about supervillains. If you can’t beat them, join them. (Digital)
When monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane comes across the gruesome aftermath of a ritual murder in a London church, he enlists the help of magician-scribe Simon Archer and alchemist Kate Anstruther. They struggle to understand clues in the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics carved into the victim’s heart, as well as bizarre mystical allusions to the poetry of William Blake. Some very potent black magic is at work. This human sacrifice is only the first in a series of ritualized slayings. Simon, Kate, and Malcolm, along with gadget geek Penny Carter and Charlotte, an adolescent werewolf, track down a necromancer who is reanimating the deceased. As the team battles an unrelenting army of undead, a powerful Egyptian mummy, and monstrous serpentine demons, the necromancer proves an elusive quarry. When the true purpose of the ritual is revealed, the gifted allies must confront a destructive force that is positively apocalyptic.
Suzanne Johnson is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series, and, as Susannah Sandlin, the Penton Legacy paranormal romance series and The Collectors thriller series. You can find Suzanne on Facebook and on her website.