Here’s a list of the fantasy, sci-fi, and horror books coming out this week.
Released Tuesday, December 21st, 2010:
Out for Blood (Drake Chronicles), by Alyxandra Harvey
Hunter Wild is the youngest in a long line of elite vampire hunters, a legacy that is both a blessing and a curse at the secret Helios-Ra Academy, where she excels at just about everything. Thanks to her friendship with Kieran Black, Hunter receives a special invitation to attend the coronation of Helena Drake, and for the first time, she sees the difference between vampires that must be hunted and vampires that can become friends—or even more. When students at the academy fall victim to a mysterious illness, Hunter suspects they are under attack from within. She will need someone she can trust to help her save the future of Helios-Ra . . . help that shockingly comes in the form of Quinn Drake, a drop-dead gorgeous vampire. Who said senior year would be easy?
Roses and Bones: Myths, Tales and Secrets, by Francesca Lia Block
What happens when a girl finds herself at the crossroads between worlds—where the angels and ghosts, gods and demons, and beauties and beasts of myth are real? What does she do and who does she become?
Roses and Bones captures the best Francesca Lia Block has to offer: extravagantly imaginative tales, dark landscapes, fierce poetry, and storytelling that is nothing short of magical.
Tempestuous (Wondrous Strange), by Lesley Livingston
“I don’t love Sonny Flannery.”
That’s the lie Kelley Winslow told to protect the boy she loves from a power he doesn’t know he possesses. Devastated, Sonny retreats—to a haven for Lost Fae that’s hidden deep underneath New York City.
But Kelley’s not about to let things end in heartbreak. To get Sonny back, she’s got to find out who’s after his magick—and how to use her own. She’s got to uncover who’s recruiting Janus Guards to murderously hunt innocent Faerie. She’s got to help rebuild the shattered theater company she called family. And she’s got to do it all without getting dangerously distracted by the Fennrys Wolf, whose legendary heart of stone seems to melt whenever he’s around Kelley.
The intrigue and romance that began with Wondrous strange and Darklight come to a stormy head in Tempestuous, the breathtaking conclusion to Lesley Livingston’s ravishing urban Faerie trilogy.
Liar, by Justine Larbalestier
Biracial Micah Wilkins, 17, is the quintessential unreliable narrator. On the first page, she readily admits she’s a liar though now she wants to tell her story straight. She attends a progressive private high school in New York City. She’s a bit peculiar, with extra-human speed and sense of smell, and has few friends. After another student, a popular senior named Zach, is found brutally murdered, it comes to light that he and Micah had a relationship outside of school. Now she is considered a suspect. Her suspenseful, supernatural tale is engrossing and readers will be tempted to fly through it, though the wise will be wary of her spin and read carefully for subtle slipups and foreshadowing. The chilling story that she spins will have readers’ hearts racing as in three sections she goes from “Telling the Truth,” to “Telling the True Truth,” to “Telling the Actual Real Truth,” uncovering previous lies and revealing bizarre occurrences in the process. Micah’s narrative is convincing, and in the end readers will delve into the psyche of a troubled teen and decide for themselves the truths and lies. This one is sure to generate discussion
Solitary: Escape from Furnace 2, by Alexander Gordon Smith
In a sequel to Lockdown (2009) that is just as breathlessly paced and soaked with blood, mucus, and less savory substances, teen jailbird Alex’s escape from the futuristic underground prison and experimental lab called Furnace leads first to recapture and then to a second flight that involves frantic chases through dark caverns and tunnels, face-to-face encounters with flesh chewing human-rat hybrids, and visits to a gruesome “Infirmary,” in which prisoners are modified into hideous monsters. Readers who relish lurid imagery and melodramatic prose will continue to be riveted and left eager for the next disgust-o-rama episode.
Pathfinder Player Companion: Inner Sea Primer, by The Pazio Staff
This beautiful, affordable volume of the Pathfinder Player Companion provides everything a player needs to know about the world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Short overviews of the more than 40 nations of Golarion’s Inner Sea region will help players choose a homeland for their character, with plenty of character traits to reward players for immersing themselves in the campaign world. Brief descriptions of the gods and religions of the Inner Sea expand the list of deities from the Pathfinder Core Rulebook and offer tips to help players pick an appropriate patron deity. Easy color reference maps on the book’s inside covers give players an “at a glance” look at their world, allowing them to better chart their destinies.
The Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer, by Lucy Weston
A highly palatable fusion of dark fantasy, historical fiction, and Arthurian legend, this first installment of an audacious new mashup series features Queen Elizabeth as Britain’s only hope to defeat an “ancient foe” threatening to overwhelm the land. The narrative, presented as a recently unearthed secret diary, begins when an encounter with Anne Boleyn’s ghost awakens Elizabeth’s latent supernatural powers. With powerful enemies watching her every move, the young queen is informed of an even more pressing concern: Mordred, a thousand-year-old vampire–who happens to be the bastard son of King Arthur–wants to turn Elizabeth into one of the undead and rule England by her side. Powered by exceptional character development, a meticulously detailed portrayal of 1559 London, and brisk pacing, this utterly readable novel will more than satisfy fans of fantasy and historical fiction alike.
Trade and Treachery: Western Europe: 1494-1610, by Richard Bodley Scott
While the Renaissance was a time of innovation and inspiration in art, literature and science, so too was it a period of military progress. From the rise of gunpowder as a battlefield-dominating weapon to the tactical genius of Machiavelli, the Italian Wars were the first step on this journey. With detailed army lists, historical overviews, maps and artwork, Trade and Treachery provides aspiring condottieri with everything they need to take over the armies of the Italian City States, and of the European powers of the 16th century, and lead them to glory.
Halo: First Strike, by Eric Nylund
The Human-Covenant war rages on as the alien juggernaut sweeps inexorably toward its final goal: destruction of all human life!
Halo has been destroyed, and the threat it posed to sentient life, neutralized. But victory has come at a terrible cost for the UNSC. Thousands of valiant soldiers fell in the battle to prevent the alien construct from falling into the enemy’s clutches.
Now, everything depends on the Spartan known as the “Master Chief.” Yet even with the aid of the artificial intelligence Cortana, the Master Chief will be hard-pressed to rescue survivors and evade the Covenant ships patrolling the remains of Halo in debris-strewn space.
Ahead lies a dangerous voyage home, through a gauntlet of Covenant forces. For the sake of all, the Master Chief and his war-torn squad must not only survive, but take the fight to the enemy with a decisive first strike.
This novel is based on a Mature-rated video game.
(This is the second edition of Halo: First Strike)