Fiction Affliction: September Releases in Urban Fantasy and Horror

September looks like a healthy month for urban fantasy and horror, with thirty-one new releases….until one notices that seventeen of those are young adult titles. Fans of adult fiction, however, can take comfort in the knowledge that there are new books coming from, among others, Seanan McGuire (October Daye), Cherie Priest (Borden Dispatches), Devon Monk (House Immortal), and Greg Van Eekhout (Daniel Blackland), plus new series starts from Kim Harrison (Peri Reed Chronicles) and Rachel Vincent (Menagerie).

Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.

 

WEEK ONE

A Curious Tale of the In-Between (Pram #1)Lauren DeStefano (September 1, Bloomsbury USA)

Young Adult. Pram Bellamy is special, she can talk to ghosts. She doesn’t have too many friends amongst the living, but that’s all right. She has her books, she has her aunts, and she has her best friend, the ghostly Felix. Then Pram meets Clarence, a boy from school who has also lost a parent and is looking for answers. Together they arrive at the door of the mysterious Lady Savant, who promises to help. But this spiritualist knows the true nature of Pram’s power, and what she has planned is more terrifying than any ghost.

A Red Rose Chain (October Daye #9)Seanan McGuire (September 1, DAW)

For the first time in years, October “Toby” Daye has been able to pause long enough to take a breath and look at her life, and she likes what she sees. She has friends. She has allies. She has a squire to train and a King of Cats to love. When Queen Windermere’s seneschal is elf-shot and thrown into an enchanted sleep by agents from the neighboring Kingdom of Silences, Toby finds herself in a role she never expected to play: that of a diplomat. She must travel to Portland, Oregon, to convince King Rhys of Silences not to go to war against the Mists. What October finds in Silences is worse than she would ever have imagined. How far will Toby go when lives are on the line, and when allies are threatened by a force she had never expected to face again? In Faerie, what’s past is never really gone. It’s just waiting for an opportunity to pounce.

Catacomb (Asylum #3)Madeleine Roux (September 1, HarperCollins)

Young Adult. Senior year is finally over. After all they’ve been through, Dan, Abby, and Jordan are excited to take one last road trip together. On their way to visit Jordan’s uncle in New Orleans, the three friends notice that they are apparently being followed. Dan starts receiving phone messages from someone he didn’t expect to hear from again, someone who died last Halloween. Dan is forced to accept that everything that has happened to him in the past year may not be a coincidence, but fate, a fate that ties Dan to a group called the Bone Artists, who have a sinister connection with a notorious killer from the past. Dan’s only hope is that he will make it out of his senior trip alive. Found photographs help tell the story of three teens who exist on the line between past and present, genius and insanity.

Chapelwood (The Borden Dispatches #2)Cherie Priest (September 1, Roc)

Birmingham, Alabama, is infested with malevolence. Prejudice and hatred have consumed the minds and hearts of its populace. A murderer, unimaginatively named “Harry the Hacker” by the press, has been carving up citizens with a hatchet. And from the church known as Chapelwood, an unholy gospel is being spread by a sect that worships dark gods from beyond the heavens. This darkness calls to Lizzie Borden. It is reminiscent of an evil she had dared hoped was extinguished. The parishioners of Chapelwood plan to sacrifice a young woman to summon beings never meant to share reality with humanity. An apocalypse will follow in their wake which will scorch the earth of all life. Unless she stops it.

Crucible Zero (House Immortal #3)Devon Monk (September 1, Roc)

Matilda Case never thought of herself as a hero. But because she is galvanized, and nearly immortal in her stitched, endlessly healing body, she doesn’t have much of a choice. Even if she doesn’t want to save the world, she’s the only one capable of traveling in time to do so. But her rescue attempt hasn’t gone as planned. She’s stuck in an alternate universe, and her world is in danger of disappearing. Worst of all, an unfathomably powerful man who can also travel through history doesn’t want her to put things to rights. He’s willing to wage bloody war to stop Matilda, unless she surrenders control of time to him. Now, with the minutes ticking, Matilda must make impossible decisions, knowing that one wrong choice will destroy her, and any chance of saving everything she loves.

Firewalker (The Worldwalker Trilogy #2)Josephine Angelini (September 1, Feiwel & Friends)

Young Adult. Lily is back in her own universe, and she’s ready to start a new life with Rowan by her side. True, she almost died in the Pyre that fueled their escape from New Salem, and must hide her magic for the safety of everyone she cares about, but compared to fighting the Woven, the monstrous creatures inhabiting the alternate Salem, life is looking pretty good. Unfortunately, Lillian, ruthless ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. If she can’t persuade Lily to return to her world, she will force her to come back by doing away with the ones she loves.

NodAdrian Barnes (September 1, Titan)

Dawn breaks over Vancouver and no one in the world has slept the night before, or almost no one. A few people, perhaps one in ten thousand, can still sleep, and they’ve all shared the same golden dream. After six days of absolute sleep deprivation, psychosis will set in. After four weeks, the body will die. In the interim, panic ensues and a bizarre new world arises in which those previously on the fringes of society take the lead. Paul, a writer, continues to sleep while his partner Tanya disintegrates before his eyes, and the new world swallows the old one whole. (U.S. Release; first published 2012.)

The Body InstituteCarol Riggs (September 1, Entangled Teen)

Young Adult. Meet Morgan Dey, one of the top teen Reducers at The Body Institute. Thanks to cutting-edge technology, Morgan can temporarily take over another girl’s body, get her in shape, and then return to her own body, leaving her client more toned, and feeling great. Only there are a few catches. Morgan won’t remember what happens in her “Loaner” body. She won’t recall walks with her new friend Matt, conversations with the Reducer she’s been text-flirting with, or the uneasy feeling she has that the director of The Body Institute is hiding something. Residual memories from her Loaner are cropping up in Morgan’s mind. She’s feeling less like herself and more like someone else. When protests from an anti-Body Institute organization threaten her safety, she’ll have to decide if being a Reducer is worth the cost of her body and soul.

The Death HouseSarah Pinborough (September 1, Titan)

Standalone. Toby’s life was perfectly normal until it was unraveled by something as simple as a blood test. Taken from his family, Toby now lives in the Death House: an out-of-time existence far from the modern world, where he, and the others who live there, are studied by Matron and her team of nurses. They’re looking for any sign of sickness. Any sign of their wards changing. Any sign that it’s time to take them to the sanatorium. No one returns from the sanatorium. Withdrawn from his housemates and living in his memories of the past, Toby spends his days fighting his fear. But then a new arrival in the house shatters the fragile peace, and everything changes. Because everybody dies. It’s how you choose to live that counts. (U.S. Release)

The Drafter (The Peri Reed Chronicles #1)Kim Harrison (September 1, Gallery Books)

Detroit 2030. Double-crossed by the person she loved and betrayed by the covert government organization that trained her to use her body as a weapon, Peri Reed is a renegade on the run. Don’t forgive and never forget has always been Peri’s creed. But her day job makes it difficult: she is a drafter, possessed of a rare, invaluable skill for altering time, yet destined to forget both the history she changed and the history she rewrote. When Peri discovers her name on a list of corrupt operatives, she realizes that her own life has been manipulated by the agency. She joins forces with a mysterious rogue soldier in a deadly race to piece together the truth about her final task, unable to trust even herself.

The Mortality Principle (Rogue Angel #56)Alex Archer (September 1, Gold Eagle)

In Prague researching the legend of the Golem, a fantastical “living” creature made of clay, archaeologist Annja Creed is faced with an even bigger mystery on her hands when someone begins murdering the homeless. And every day there’s a fresh corpse. As the suspicion that Golem is behind the deaths circulates quietly on the streets of the city, Annja cannot resist unraveling the thread that binds science to superstition. According to Czech history, these aren’t new attacks. They’re part of a greater pattern of murders that have gone unacknowledged over centuries. And now Annja is the next target. Unless she can find the real monster behind the myth, before it finds her.

The Shadow Behind the StarsRebecca Hahn (September 1, Atheneum BYR)

Young Adult. Chloe is the youngest. Hers are the fingers that choose the wool, that shape the thread, that begin it. The sun smiles upon her. Men love her without knowing who she is. She has lived forever and will live forever more. She and her sisters have been on their isolated Greek island for centuries. They spin, measure, and slice the countless golden threads of human life. They are the three Fates, and they have stayed separate for good reason: it is dangerous for them to become involved with the humans whose lives they shape. When a beautiful girl named Aglaia shows up on their doorstep, Chloe tries to make sure her sisters don’t become attached. Chloe discovers the dark power of Aglaia’s destiny. As her path unwinds, the three Fates find themselves pulled inextricably along, toward mortal pain, and mortal love, and a fate that could unravel the world.

 

WEEK TWO

Drift & DaggerKendall Kulper (September 8, Little, Brown BYR)

Young Adult. In Mal’s world, magic is everything. But Mal is a “blank,” the anti-magic. Blanks can’t be hexed or cursed or saved or killed by magic. And everyone is afraid of them, even Mal himself. So Mal hides what he is, except from Essie Roe, a witch and his best friend. On the day Essie reveals his secret and casts him out from the only home he’s ever known, Mal experiences the true shock of betrayal. Now Mal travels the world in search of rare, illegal magical relics. When his partner in crime, Boone, hears rumors of a legendary dagger that can steal a witch’s power, Mal knows he’s finally found his means of revenge. But as the chase for the fabled knife takes them from Boston to Paris to Constantinople, Mal realizes there are secrets afoot that he’s only beginning to understand, and all the while the blank monster inside him threatens to escape.

Mary: Unleashed (Bloody Mary #2)Hillary Monahan (September 8, Disney-Hyperion)

Young Adult. Mary lurks in the emptiness, in the darkness, in the reflection. That is, until Jess unleashes her into the world. Now Mary Worth is out and her haunting is deadlier than ever. No one is safe. Shauna, Kitty, and Jess must band together to unearth the truth about Mary’s death to put her soul to rest for good. Their search leads them back to where it all began, to Solomon’s Folly, a place as dangerous as the ghost who died there a century and a half ago. Quick sand, hidden traps and a phantom fog are the least of their worries. They need to follow a dark string of clues and piece together a gruesome mystery that spans generations. But time is running out. As chilling facts come to light, Mary inches ever closer to her prey. Can Jess, Shauna, and Kitty break Mary’s curse before it’s too late? Or will history repeat itself until there is no one left to call her name?

The Keeper (Vega Jane #2)David Baldacci (September 8, Scholastic Press)

Young Adult. Vega Jane was always told no one could leave the town of Wormwood. She was told there was nothing outside but the Quag, a wilderness filled with danger and death. And she believed it, until the night she stumbled across a secret that proved that everything she knew was a lie. Now just one thing stands between Vega Jane and freedom, the Quag. In order to leave Wormwood and discover the truth about her world, Vega and her best friend Delph must find a way to make it across a terrifying land of bloodthirsty creatures and sinister magic. The Quag is worse than Vega Jane’s darkest imagining. It’s a living, breathing prison designed to keep enemies out and the villagers of Wormwood in. The Quag will throw everything at Vega Jane. It will try to break her. It will try to kill her. Survival might come at a price not even Vega Jane is willing to pay.

Witches of LychfordPaul Cornell (September 8, Tor.com)

The villagers in the sleepy hamlet of Lychford are divided. A supermarket wants to build a major branch on their border. Some welcome the employment opportunities, while some object to the modernization of the local environment. Judith Mawson (local crank) knows the truth, that Lychford lies on the boundary between two worlds, and that the destruction of the border will open wide the gateways to malevolent beings beyond imagination. But if she is to have her voice heard, she’s going to need the assistance of some unlikely allies.

Hexomancy (Ree Reyes #3)Michael R. Underwood (September 14, Pocket Star)

When Ree’s long time nemesis Lucretia is finally brought to trial and found guilty for the deadly attack on Grognard’s, the Geekomancer community breathes a collective sigh of relief. But Ree and her crew soon discover that Lucretia has three very angry, very dangerous sisters who won’t rest until Eastwood, a fellow Geekomancer, is killed. What follows is an adventure packed with epic battles, a bit of romance, and enough geeky moments to fill your monthly quota. (Digital)

 

WEEK THREE

Devoted in Death (In Death #41)J.D. Robb (September 15, G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

When Lieutenant Eve Dallas examines a body in a downtown Manhattan alleyway, the victim’s injuries are so extensive that she almost misses the clue. Carved into the skin is the shape of a heart, and initials inside reading E and D. …Ella-Loo and her boyfriend, Darryl, had been separated while Darryl was a guest of the state of Oklahoma, and now that his sentence has been served they don’t ever intend to part again. They hit the road, and when their car breaks down in Arkansas, they make plans to take someone else’s. Then things get messy and they wind up killing someone, an experience that stokes a fierce, wild desire in Ella-Loo. They will leave a trail of evil behind them. Now they’ve landed in the jurisdiction of Lieutenant Dallas and her team at the New York Police and Security Department. And with her husband, Roarke, at her side, she has every intention of hunting them down and giving them what they truly deserve.

Dragon Coast (Daniel Blackland #3)Greg Van Eekhout (September 15, Tor)

Daniel’s adopted son Sam, made from the magical essence of the tyrannical Hierarch of Southern California whom Daniel overthrew and killed, is lost, consumed by the great Pacific firedrake assembled by Daniel’s half-brother, Paul. Sam is still alive and aware, in magical form, trapped inside the dragon. Daniel has a plan to rescue Sam. It will involve the rarest of substances, axis mundi, pieces of the bones of the great dragon at the center of the Earth. Daniel will have to go to the kingdom of Northern California, posing as his half-brother, come to claim his place in the competition to be appointed Lord High Osteomancer of the Northern Kingdom. Only when the Northern Hierarch raises her scepter to confirm Daniel in his position will he have a chance to steal the axis mundi, under the gaze of the Hierarch herself. And that’s just the first obstacle.

Led Astray: The Best of Kelley ArmstrongKelley Armstrong (September 15, Tachyon)

Two brand new tales anchor this wide-ranging collection. Here is the first time that Kelley Armstrong has had her stories collected from Otherworld and beyond. With her signature twists and turns, Armstrong gives a fresh spin on city-dwelling vampires, werewolves, and zombies, while also traveling further afield to a post-apocalyptic fortress, a superstitious village, a supernatural brothel, and even to feudal Japan.

MirroredAlex Flinn (September 15, HarperTeen)

Young Adult. Celine’s life is the stuff fairy tales are made of. She’s beautiful, talented, and brave. Her tale comes complete with a wicked stepmother. When Violet steps into Celine’s life, everything changes and weird things begin to happen to her: bizarre accidents, strange illnesses, and rabid animal attacks. Celine doesn’t feel safe anywhere. Violet has been waiting all her life to have Celine’s father to herself. Getting rid of his gorgeous daughter is child’s play for a witch as powerful as she is. Happy-ever-after isn’t enough for Violet. She wants to be the fairest of them all, and Celine is in the way.

The Hollow Boy (Lockwood & Co. #3)Jonathan Stroud (September 15, Disney-Hyperion)

Young Adult. As a supernatural outbreak baffles Scotland Yard, Lockwood and Co. continue to demonstrate their effectiveness in exterminating spirits. Anthony is dashing, George insightful, and Lucy dynamic, while the skull in the jar utters sardonic advice from the sidelines. It comes as a great shock when Lockwood and George introduce her to an annoyingly perky and hyper-efficient new assistant, Holly Munro. There are reports of many new hauntings, including an old school where bloody handprints and a glowing boy are appearing. Ghosts seem to be the least of Lockwood and Co.’s concerns when a living assassin makes an attempt on Fittes’s and Rotwell’s lives. Can the team get past their interpersonal issues to save the day on all fronts? Danger abounds, tensions escalate, and new loyalties form in this third delightfully terrifying adventure.

 

WEEK FOUR

Beastly Bones (Jackaby #2)William Ritter (September 22, Algonquin BYR)

Young Adult. In 1892, New Fiddleham, New England, things are never quite what they seem, especially when Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer R. F. Jackaby are called upon to investigate the supernatural. First, a vicious species of shape-shifters disguise themselves as a litter of kittens, and a day later, their owner is found murdered with a single mysterious puncture wound. Then in nearby Gad’s Valley, now home to the exiled New Fiddleham police detective Charlie Cane, dinosaur bones from a recent dig mysteriously go missing, and an unidentifiable beast starts attacking animals and people, leaving their mangled bodies behind. Charlie calls on Abigail for help, and soon Abigail and Jackaby are on the hunt for a thief, a monster, and a murderer.

Blood and SaltKim Liggett (September 22, G.P. Putnam’s Sons BYR)

Young Adult. “When you fall in love, you will carve out your heart and throw it into the deepest ocean. You will be all in—blood and salt.” These are the last words Ash Larkin hears before her mother returns to the spiritual commune she escaped. When Ash follows her to Quivira, Kansas, something sinister and ancient waits in this village lost to time. Ash is plagued by memories of her ancestor, Katia, which harken back to the town’s history of unrequited love and murder, alchemy and immortality. Charming traditions give way to a string of gruesome deaths, and Ash feels drawn to Dane, a forbidden boy with secrets of his own. As the community prepares for a ceremony five hundred years in the making, Ash must fight to save her mother, and herself, and discover the truth about Quivira before it’s too late. Before she’s all in, blood and salt.

Deadlands: GhostwalkersJonathan Maberry (September 22, Tor)

Welcome to the Deadlands, where steely-eyed gunfighters rub shoulders with mad scientists and dark, unnatural forces. Where the Great Quake of 1868 has shattered California into a labyrinth of sea-flooded caverns, and a mysterious substance called “ghost rock” fuels exotic steampunk inventions as well as plenty of bloodshed and flying bullets. In Ghostwalkers, a gun-for-hire, literally haunted by his bloody past, comes to the struggling town of Paradise Falls, where he becomes embroiled in a deadly conflict between the besieged community and a diabolically brilliant alchemist who is building terrible new weapons of mass destruction, and an army of the living dead.

DreamlandRobert L. Anderson (September 22, HarperTeen)

Young Adult. Odea Donahue has been able to travel through people’s dreams since she was six years old. Her mother taught her the three rules of walking: Never interfere. Never be seen. Never walk the same person’s dream more than once. Dea has never questioned her mother, not about the rules, not about the clocks or the mirrors, not about moving from place to place to be one step ahead of the unseen monsters that Dea’s mother is certain are right behind them. Then a mysterious new boy, Connor, comes to town and Dea finally starts to feel normal. As Connor breaks down the walls that she’s had up for so long, he gets closer to learning her secret. For the first time she wonders if that’s so bad. But when Dea breaks the rules, the boundary between worlds begins to deteriorate. How can she know what’s real and what’s not?

NightfallJake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski (September 22, G.P. Putnam’s Sons BYR)

Young Adult. On Marin’s island, sunrise doesn’t come every twenty-four hours, it comes every twenty-eight years. The sun is just a sliver of light on the horizon. The weather is turning cold and the shadows are growing long. Because sunset triggers the tide to roll out hundreds of miles, the islanders are frantically preparing to sail south, where they will wait out the long Night. Marin and her twin brother, Kana, help their parents ready the house for departure. The rituals are puzzling, but none of the adults in town will discuss why it has to be done this way. Just as the ships are about to sail, a teenage boy goes missing, the twins’ friend Line. Marin and Kana are the only ones who know the truth about where Line’s gone, and the only way to rescue him is by doing it themselves. Night is falling. Their island is changing. It may already be too late.

The Tattooed Heart (Messenger of Fear #2)Michael Grant (September 22, Katherine Tegen)

Young Adult. Mara has learned to punish the wicked as the Messenger’s apprentice. Those who act out of selfishness and greed, and others who become violent because of prejudice and hate, pay the ultimate price. But Mara is constantly reminded that Messengers are serving their own kind of punishment, for every person who is offered justice, they wear a tattoo that symbolizes the heart of the crime. As Mara delves deeper into her harsh reality, she will discover that in spite of all the terror she and Messenger inflict, caring in this world is the hardest part of all.

Zom-B Fugitive (Zom-B #11)Darren Shan (September 22, Little, Brown BYR)

Young Adult. After learning the dark secrets hidden in Mr. Dowling’s twisted mind, B is on the run. She escapes the clown’s clutches and weaves her way through London’s abandoned Underground, only to find that Mr. Dowling has laid siege to the Angels’ base in County Hall. And when B learns of the history between Mr. Dowling and someone she trusted, she realizes that she can’t rely on anyone, B, and B alone, is the only one who can save humanity. (U.S. Release)

Brazen (Gilded #3)Christina Farley (September 29, Skyscape)

Young Adult. Jae Hwa Lee spent her sixteenth year in Seoul, trying to destroy the evil immortals who had been torturing her family for centuries. The last thing she expected was to be forced to become their assassin. Trapped in the darkest part of the Spirit World as a servant to the Korean god Kud, Jae Hwa is slowly losing hope. Kud, god of darkness, will do anything to keep her as a pawn in his quest for power over all of Korea, her family thinks she’s dead, and Jae’s true love, Marc, believes she is lost to him forever. When Kud sends Jae to find and steal the powerful Black Turtle orb, Jae sees an opportunity to break free and defeat Kud, but first she needs to regain Marc’s trust and work with him to vanquish the darkness that threatens to overwhelm Korea. There’s much to lose as Jae struggles to save the land she’s come to call home.

Menagerie (Menagerie #1)Rachel Vincent (September 29, MIRA)

When Delilah Marlow visits a famous traveling carnival, Metzger’s Menagerie, she is an ordinary woman in a not-quite-ordinary world. Under the macabre circus black-top, she discovers a fierce, sharp-clawed creature lurking just beneath her human veneer. Captured and put on exhibition, Delilah in her black swan costume is stripped of her worldly possessions, including her own name, as she’s forced to “perform” in town after town. There is beauty behind the seamy reality of the carnival. Gallagher, her handler, is as kind as he is cryptic and strong. The other “attractions,” mermaids, minotaurs, gryphons and kelpies, are strange, yes, but they share a bond forged by the brutal realities of captivity. As Delilah struggles for her freedom, and for her fellow menagerie, she’ll discover a strength and a purpose she never knew existed.

Suzanne Johnson is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series, plus a new Sentinels-related novella in the Dark Secrets anthology coming out September 29. You can find Suzanne on Facebook and on her website.

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