Fiction Affliction: October Releases in Urban Fantasy and Horror

There’s a surprising abundance of adult titles in this month’s thirty-one urban fantasy and horror releases….guess the teens are busy with schoolwork. Look for new series titles or shorts from, among others, Thomas E. Sniegoski (Remy Chandler), Darynda Jones (Charley Davidson), Charlaine Harris and Christopher Golden (The Cemetery Girl Trilogy), MaryJanice Davidson (Undead), Diana Rowland (White Trash Zombie), Jennifer Estep (Black Blade), and Laura Bickle (Dark Alchemy). Don’t like your vampires warm and sexy? Check out this month’s new vampire horror anthology edited by Christopher Golden.

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

House of Whispers (Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper #5)J.L. Bryan (October 2, JL Bryan)

The luxurious Lathrop Grand Hotel is a Savannah institution that has entertained guests for more than a century and a half. Famously haunted, the hotel draws tourists from around the world eager to encounter its numerous ghosts. The hotel is also known for being honeycombed with hidden doors and secret passages, enabling staff to appear and disappear quickly as they attend to the hotel’s guests. Some of the spirits in the Lathrop Grand have turned violent, even murderous. Ellie and Stacey must determine which ghost has become dangerous and remove it from the hotel before it can claim any more lives. They soon learn the hotel has secrets even darker than the notorious string of nineteenth-century murders that made it famous, and the powerful entities inhabiting it don’t intend to leave without a fight. (Digital)

Owl and the City of Angels (The Adventures of Owl #2)Kristi Charish (October 5, Pocket Star)

Alix Hiboux, better known as Owl, international antiquities thief for hire, is settling into her new job for Vegas mogul Mr. Kurosawa, a red dragon with a penchant for ancient, supernatural artifacts. He has his sights set on some treasures of the mysterious Syrian City of the Dead that are in a recluse’s private collection. To stop the resurrection of an undead army that could wreak havoc on Los Angeles, Owl must break into a heavily guarded archaeological sight in one of the most volatile regions in the world. A detour through Libya and a run-in with Somali pirates sends the clock ticking toward total paranormal disaster. Alexander and the Paris vampires have stopped stalking Owl’s apartment, but they have by no means forgotten their death grudge against her. Owl finds out the hard way that there is nothing heavenly about the City of Angels. (Digital. Print available January 2016)

A Deafening Silence in Heaven (Remy Chandler #7)Thomas E. Sniegoski (October 6, Roc)

He was once known as the angel Remiel. Generations ago, Boston PI Remy Chandler renounced Heaven and chose to live on Earth. Remy Chandler is hovering on the brink of death, surrounded by friends who are trying to ward off those who would take advantage of his vulnerability. The greatest threat to Remy is one they can’t fight, God himself. The Almighty dispatches Remy far beyond their reach, to an alternate universe where there has been an apocalyptic catastrophe: the Unification. It becomes clearer and clearer that the person responsible for the tragedy may have been none other than Remy himself. While he searches for a way to stop his world from following in the footsteps of the doomed alternate reality, enemies are massing in his universe. For the Unification is at hand and, this time, Remy may be powerless to affect its outcome.

Brighter Than the Sun (Charley Davidson #8.5)Darynda Jones (October 6, St. Martin’s)

All his life, Reyes Alexander Farrow has suffered the torments of the damned. Only one thing has given him hope: the woman who radiates a light that no mortals can see; a light that only the departed can see. Told from his point of view, this book chronicles the first time Reyes ever encountered Charley, and how their relationship has been the one thing that can either save him or doom him. (Digital)

Futuristic Violence and Fancy SuitsDavid Wong (October 6, Thomas Dunne)

Zoey, a recent college graduate with a worthless degree, makes a trip into the city after hearing that her estranged con artist father had died in a mysterious yet spectacular way. There she finds that her scumbag dad had actually, in the final years of his life, put his amazing talent for hustling to good use: He was one of the founding members of the Fancy Suits, and died in the course of his duties. Zoey is quickly entangled in the city’s surreal mob war when she is taken hostage by a crazy villain who imagines himself to be a Dr. Doom-level mastermind. The villain is demanding information about Zoe’s father when she is rescued by The Fancy Suits. She joins their cause and help finish what her old man started, tapping into her innate talent for bullshit that she inherited from her hated father. She might just have to learn how to trust people again.

Inheritance (The Cemetery Girl Trilogy #2)—by Charlaine Harris and Christopher Golden (October 6, InkLit)

Graphic Novel. She calls herself Calexa Rose Dunhill. She has been living in Dunhill Cemetery ever since someone left her there to die. She has no idea who wants her dead or why. Despite her self-imposed isolation, Calexa’s ability to see spirits, and the memories she receives from them, guarantees she’ll never be alone, even among the deceased. The only living people she allows herself to interact with are Kelner, the cemetery’s cantankerous caretaker, and Lucinda Cameron, an elderly woman who lives in an old Victorian house across the street. With their friendship, Calexa has regained a link to the world beyond tombstones and mausoleums. Until the night she witnesses a murder that shatters her life, a life now under a police microscope, as their investigation threatens to uncover Calexa’s true identity. Illustrated by Don Kramer.

Marked (The Soulseer Chronicles #1)Sue Tingey (October 6, Jo Fletcher)

Young Adult. Lucinda “Lucky” de Salle’s psychic ability has always made her an outcast, even as it has also made her a sought-after investigator of paranormal phenomena. She has only one “person” she can rely on, Kayla, the ghost girl who has been her constant companion. When Lucky is called in to investigate a spectral disturbance at the all-girls school she attended, she isn’t surprised. She had had a terrifying confrontation with the troubled spirits of two girls who died in the attic room. When Lucky goes up to the attic, she discovers that the vicious little girls are the least of the problem, a demon has been released into this world. When the demon demands that Kayla be handed over to him, Lucky realizes that this case will be like no other she has ever experienced. It seems that her chatty, snarky spirit companion is not what she has always seemed to be. (U.S.)

Mythmaker (Peacemaker #2)Marianne de Pierres (October 6, Angry Robot)

Virgin’s in a tight spot. A murder rap hangs over her head and isn’t likely to go away unless she agrees to work for an organization called GJIC (the Global Joint Intelligence Commission). Being blackmailed is one thing; discovering that her mother is both alive and the president of GJIC is quite another. Then there’s the escalation of Mythos sightings and the bounty on her head. Oddly, Hamish is the only one she can rely on. Life is complicated.

Seize the Night: New Tales of Vampiric Terror—edited by Christopher Golden (October 6, Gallery Books)

Before being transformed into romantic heroes and soft, emotional antiheroes, vampires were figures of overwhelming terror. Now, from some of the biggest names in horror and dark fiction, comes this collection of short stories that make vampires frightening once again. Edited by Christopher Golden and featuring all-new stories from such contributors as Charlaine Harris, John Ajvide Lindqvist, Scott Smith, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Michael Kortya, Kelley Armstrong, Brian Keene, David Wellington, Seanan McGuire and Tim Lebbon, Seize the Night is old-school vampire fiction at its finest.

The Flux (’Mancer #2)Ferrett Steinmetz (October 6, Angry Robot)

Aliyah Tsabo-Dawson: The world’s most dangerous eight-year-old girl. Burned by a terrorist’s magic, gifted strange powers beyond measure. She’s furious that she has to hide her abilities from her friends, her teachers, even her mother, and her temper tantrums can kill. Paul Tsabo: Bureaucromancer. Magical drug-dealer. Desperate father. He’s gone toe-to-toe with the government’s conscription squads of brain-burned Unimancers, and he’ll lie to anyone to keep Aliyah out of their hands, whether Aliyah likes it or not. The King of New York: The mysterious power player hell-bent on capturing the two of them. A man packing a private army of illegal ‘mancers. Paul’s family is the key to keep the King’s crumbling empire afloat. Offering them paradise is the catalyst that inflames Aliyah’s deadly rebellious streak.

The HouseChristine Lauren (October 6, Simon & Schuster BYR)

Young Adult. Gavin tells Delilah he’s hers, completely, but whatever lives inside that house with him disagrees. After seven years tucked away at an East Coast boarding school, Delilah Blue returns to her small Kansas hometown to find that not much has changed. Her parents are still uptight and disinterested, her bedroom is exactly the way she left it, and the outcast Gavin Timothy still looks like he’s crawled out of one of her dark, twisted drawings. Delilah is instantly smitten. …Gavin has always lived in the strange house: an odd building isolated in a stand of trees where the town gives in to mild wilderness. The house is an irresistible lure for Delilah, but the tall fence surrounding it exists for good reason, and Gavin urges Delilah to be careful. Whatever lives with him there isn’t human, and isn’t afraid of hurting her to keep her away.

The New Hunger: A Warm Bodies Novella (The Warm Bodies #2)Isaac Marion (October 6, Atria/Emily Bestler)

Young Adult. The end of the world didn’t happen overnight. After years of war, societal breakdown, freak storms, and rising tides, humanity already hovered near the edge. Then came the most unexpected threat of all: the world’s corpses rising up to deliver the final blow. Twelve-year-old Julie struggles to hold on to hope as she and her parents drive across the wastelands of America on a nightmarish road trip in search of a new home. Hungry, lost, and terrified, sixteen-year-old Nora finds herself her brother’s sole guardian after her parents abandon them in the not-quite-empty ruins of Seattle. In the darkness of a forest, a dead man opens his eyes. With no clues beyond a red tie and the letter “R,” he must unravel the grim mystery of his existence, right after he learns how to think, how to walk, and how to satisfy the monster howling in his belly.

The Walking Dead: Invasion (The Governor Series #6)Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga (October 6, Thomas Dunne)

Underground, in the labyrinth of tunnels and mine shafts, Lilly Caul and her crew of senior citizens, misfits, and children struggle to build a new life. She wants her beloved town of Woodbury back from the plague of walkers. Out in the hinterlands, amidst the rising tide of walkers, the psychotic Reverend Jeremiah Garlitz rebuilds his army of followers with a diabolical secret weapon. He has designs on the destruction of Lilly and her crew, the very people who vanquished his cultish church, and now, for the first time, he has the means to bring a special brand of hell down upon the tunnel dwellers. The final confrontation between these two human factions unleashes an unthinkable weapon, forged from the monstrous hordes of undead, perfected by a madman, and soaked in the blood of innocents.

Undead and Unforgiven (Undead #14)MaryJanice Davidson (October 6, Berkley)

If Betsy Taylor has learned anything about ruling Hell it’s: 1) she can’t do it alone, and 2) she doesn’t have to. She’s got the help of a devoted vampire king, a dateless zombie, an exhausted new mom, an unshowered cop, a bitchy ghost, a kindly dead priest, and her late stepmother (“Go Team Satan!”). Betsy’s father and half-sister Laura have outed Betsy to the world. It doesn’t take long for the story to become 24-7 headline news. People are not only prepared to believe in vampires, they want to kill them. Before long the mansion on Summit Avenue is swarming with reporters, would-be vampire/zombie killers, and desperate emos begging to be turned. Betsy has been forced into the unenviable role as the reluctant face of the vampire nation. All she knows is, she has to look good and stay true to who she is. H8ers be damned.

White Trash Zombie Gone Wild (White Trash Zombie #5)Diana Rowland (October 6, DAW)

Book five in the White Trash Zombie series. No additional information available.

 

WEEK TWO

MARTiansBlythe Woolston (October 13, Candlewick)

Young Adult. In a near-future world of exurban decay studded with big box stores, daily routine revolves around shopping, for those who can. For Zoë, the mission is simpler: live. Last girl Zoë Zindleman, numerical ID 009-99-9999, is starting work at AllMART, where “your smile is the AllMART welcome mat.” Her living arrangements are equally bleak: she can wait for her home to be foreclosed and stripped of anything valuable now that AnnaMom has moved away, leaving Zoë behind, or move to the Warren, an abandoned strip-mall-turned-refuge for other left-behinds. With a handful of other disaffected, forgotten kids, Zoë must find her place in a world that has consumed itself beyond redemption. She may be a last girl, but her name means “life,” and Zoë isn’t ready to disappear into the AllMART abyss. Zoë wants to live.

Of Sorrow and SuchAngela Slatter (October 13, Tor.com)

Mistress Gideon is a witch. The locals of Edda’s Meadow, if they suspect it of her, say nary a word, Gideon has been good to them, and it’s always better to keep on her good side. Just in case. When a foolish young shapeshifter goes against the wishes of her pack, and gets herself very publicly caught, the authorities find it impossible to deny the existence of the supernatural in their midst any longer; Gideon and her like are captured, bound for torture and a fiery end. Should Gideon give up her sisters in return for a quick death? Or can she turn the situation to her advantage?

 

WEEK THREE

Carter & LovecraftJonathan L. Howard (October 20, Thomas Dunne)

Daniel Carter used to be a homicide detective, but his last case went wrong in strange ways and soured the job for him. Now he’s a private investigator. Strangeness has not finished with him. First he inherits a bookstore in Providence from someone he’s never heard of, along with an indignant bookseller who doesn’t want a new boss. She’s Emily Lovecraft, the last known descendant of H.P. Lovecraft, who told tales of the Great Old Ones and the Elder Gods, creatures and entities beyond the understanding of man. Then people start dying in impossible ways, and while Carter doesn’t want to be involved, he’s beginning to suspect that someone else wants him to be. As he reluctantly investigates, he discovers that Lovecraft’s tales were more than just fiction, and he must accept another unexpected, and far more unwanted inheritance.

Envy of Angels: A Sin du Jour AffairMatt Wallace (October 20, Tor.com)

In New York, eating out can be hell. Everyone loves a well-catered event, and the supernatural community is no different, but where do demons go to satisfy their culinary cravings? Welcome to Sin du Jour, where devils on horseback are the clients, not the dish. Lena and Darren are chefs who have been blackballed in the high-end restaurant community, so when they get a call from Byron Luck, the executive chef of catering company Sin du Jour, requesting their services, they jump at the chance. They soon find out, however, that Sin du Jour is no ordinary catering company, and their clients are downright devilish. They’ve been hired to help cater an event for some very dangerous entities, and the main course is fittingly over-the-top.

Fear the Dark (Bishop/Special Crimes Unit #4)Kay Hooper (October 20, Berkley)

Something strange is happening in the small mountain town of Serenity, Tennessee. People going on routine errands never reach their destination. It’s as if they simply disappear. Over the past few weeks, it’s happened to five men and women, and now a child. The local police chief calls the FBI, and a team from the Special Crimes Unit is immediately sent in. Agents Lucas and Samantha Jordan, partners in work and in life, have very different abilities. Samantha is clairvoyant and Lucas possesses a unique ability to find the lost or abducted. With them are new partners Dante Swann, a medium, and Robbie Hodge, a telepath. The mysterious events take a sinister turn when a body unrelated to the missing persons case surfaces and one of the SCU agents vanishes. The team’s hunt for the lost has turned into something personal, and dangerous.

Welcome to Night ValeJoseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor (October 20, Harper Perennial)

From the creators of the popular “Welcome to Night Vale” podcast. Night Vale is a small town where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are all commonplace. Night Vale pawn shop owner Jackie Fierro is given a paper marked “KING CITY” by a mysterious man. Everything about him and his paper unsettles her. Jackie is determined to uncover the mystery of King City and the man before she herself unravels. Night Vale PTA treasurer Diane Crayton’s son, Josh, is moody and also a shape shifter. Josh, looking different every time Diane sees him, shows a stronger and stronger interest in his estranged father, leading to a disaster Diane can see coming. Diane’s search to reconnect with her son and Jackie’s search for her former routine life collide as they find themselves coming back to two words: “KING CITY.” It is King City that holds the key to both of their mysteries, and their futures, if they can ever find it.

 

WEEK FOUR

At Blade’s Edge (Goddess with a Blade #4)Lauren Dane (October 26, Carina Press)

Though she’d hoped the deadly events in Venice would end the threat to The Treaty she is sworn to protect, Rowan found evidence of a grander conspiracy to destroy the fragile peace that holds humans, Vampires and those with magic back from war. It’s not so much that someone ordered her assassination that makes her angry as it is the risks those she cares for, especially her new husband, now face. Clive Stewart has never tried to pen Rowan in or control her choices. He has his own fires to put out now that he’s married to the most powerful non-Vampire in their world. The organization that gave her a purpose has betrayed her. Rowan is in London gathering her allies and the evidence necessary to drive out the rot within Hunter Corp. Rowan is a predator and this threat is prey. She’ll burn it down and salt the earth afterward. On her terms. (Digital)

Autumn Thorns (Whisper Hollow #1)Yasmine Galenorn (October 27, Jove)

Fifteen years ago, I ran away from Whisper Hollow, Washington, a small town on Crescent Lake in the Olympic Peninsula. But truth is, if you were born here, you can never really leave. I’m Kerris Fellwater, and when I returned, I inherited my grandmother’s house, and her gift. As a spirit shaman, it’s my responsibility to drive the dead back to their graves, because around Whisper Hollow, people, and secrets, don’t always stay buried. When I was little, I was told my mother ran off. Now it looks like she was murdered. With the help of my mysterious neighbor Bryan, we begin to unravel the mystery of her disappearance, and in doing so, unearth a dark force seeking to bury Whisper Hollow. Now I must work with the dead, rather than against them, because our enemy will do whatever she can to destroy the town, and she means to start with me.

Dark Heart of Magic (Black Blade #2)Jennifer Estep (October 27, Kensington)

As a thief, I stick to the shadows as much as possible. But when the head of the Sinclair Family picks me to compete in the Tournament of Blades, there’s no escaping the spotlight, or the danger. Even though he’s my competition, Devon Sinclair thinks I have the best shot at winning what’s supposed to be a friendly contest. But when the competitors start having mysterious “accidents,” it looks like someone will do anything to win, no matter who they hurt. As if I didn’t have enough to worry about, mobster Victor Draconi is plotting against Devon and the rest of my friends, and someone’s going around Cloudburst Falls murdering monsters. One thing’s for sure. Sometimes, humans can be more monstrous than anything else.

Fathomless (Redemption’s Heir #2)Anne M. Pillsworth (October 27, Tor Teen)

Young Adult. Sean Wyndham has tried to stay away from the lure of magic, the last time he tried to dabble in the dark studies, he inadvertently summoned a blood familiar, wreaking havoc on his town, and calling the attention of the Elder Gods. Now Sean has been offered the chance to study magic with a proper teacher, overseen by Helen Arkwright, heir to ancient order of much power, who protects New England from that which lurks in the coastline’s unseen depths. Will learning theory be enough, when there is a much greater magical secret hidden in Helen’s vaulted library? Accompanied by his best friend, Eddy, and their new friend Daniel, Sean wades out deeper into mystical legend and shadow. They turn to the suspicious Reverend Orne once more for assistance. As Sean deepens his understanding of his power, a darkness is waking.

Final HourDean Koontz (October 27, Bantam)

Just by touching others, Makani Hisoka-O’Brien can see the darkest secrets they keep. The troubling talent has made the Southern California surfer wary of casual contact. But while impulsively saving a stranger from an accident, she experiences her most disturbing vision. With only a good friend to help her, and mere traces of information to guide her, Makani must track down two mysterious women, one of them innocent, one not. But Makani is stepping into the path of an adversary more dangerous than she can imagine: a brutal predator behind a pretty face, who won’t go down without drawing blood. (Digital)

Mercury Retrograde (Dark Alchemy #2)Laura Bickle (October 27, Harper Voyager Impulse)

It’s been two months since Petra Dee and her coyote sidekick Sig faced off against Temperance’s resident alchemist. When an Internet video of a massive snake in the backcountry of Yellowstone goes viral, a chase for the mythical basilisk is on. Monster hunters swarm into the area, and Petra joins in the search. Among the newcomers is a snake cult on wheels, the biker gang Sisters of Serpens. The Sisters don’t want to kill the basilisk, they want to worship it. Things get complicated when the basilisk develops a taste for human flesh that rivals the Sisters’ own murderous skills. The alchemical tree of life is dying, and the undead Hanged Men of Temperance who depend on it know the basilisk may be their last chance for survival. Petra will be forced to decide who survives and who she must leave behind. (Digital)

Persuasion (The Heirs of Watson Island #2)Martina Boone (October 27, Simon Pulse)

Young Adult. Grieving the death of her godfather and haunted by her cousin Cassie’s betrayal, Barrie returns from a trip to find the Watson plantation under siege. Ghost-hunters hope to glimpse the ancient spirit who sets the river on fire each night, and reporters chase rumors of a stolen shipment of Civil War gold. The chaos turns dangerous as Cassie hires a team of archeologists to excavate beneath the mansion ruins. A stranger filled with magic arrives at Watson’s Landing claiming that the key to the Watson and Beaufort gifts, and the Colesworth curse, also lies beneath the mansion. While Barrie struggles to make sense of the escalating peril and her growing and forbidden feelings for Eight Beaufort, it’s impossible to know whom to trust and what to fight for. Millions of dollars and the fate of the founding families is at stake. Now Barrie must choose between what she feels deep in her heart and what will keep Watson’s Landing safe.

Recombinant (The Blood Borne #1)Shannon Mayer and Denise Grover Swank (October 27, HiJinks Ink)

A series of grisly murders begin to pile up in New York City, murders that have no rhyme or reason and no leads. Unless one chooses to believe that the supernatural is possible. The crimes have caught the attention of two very different women. A journalist fresh off the plane from covering the war in Iraq and a vampire who has chosen to hunt her own kind. Together they will form a reluctant yet unrelenting team. As they slowly begin to crack the fissures behind a government cover up and bioterrorism, they find a truth that neither of them could ever have suspected. And now it’s too late for either of them to turn away. Even if it means their lives as they know them will never be the same.

Unspoken (Shadow Falls: After Dark #3)C.C. Hunter (October 27, St. Martin’s Griffin)

Despite her superspeed, inhuman strength, and enhanced senses, Della Tsang’s new life as a vampire certainly hasn’t been a walk in the park. Especially since she was “reborn” and found herself bound to the mysterious, infuriating, and hunky Chase. But if there’s one thing that’s always kept Della going, it’s her dream of being an elite paranormal investigator. When Della tries to solve a twenty year old murder, and clear her father’s name, she uncovers secrets about the vampire council and the boy she’s bonded to. Feeling even more betrayed by Chase because he’s kept so much from her, she’s determined to keep him as far away from her heart as she can. But together they work a cold case that will lead them into the darkest and ugliest vampire gangs in Texas, and into the scariest reaches of her heart.

Wake of Vultures (The Shadow #1)Lila Bowen (October 27, Orbit)

Young Adult. Nettie Lonesome lives in a land of hard people and hard ground dusted with sand. She’s a half-breed who dresses like a boy, raised by folks who don’t call her a slave but use her like one. She knows of nothing else. That is, until the day a stranger attacks her. When nothing, not even a sickle to the eye can stop him, Nettie stabs him through the heart with a chunk of wood, and he turns into black sand. And just like that, Nettie can see. But her newfound sight is a blessing and a curse. Even if she doesn’t understand what’s under her own skin, she can sense what everyone else is hiding, at least physically. The world is full of evil, and now she knows the source of all the sand in the desert. Haunted by the spirits, Nettie has no choice but to set out on a quest that might lead to her true kin, if the monsters along the way don’t kill her first.

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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