Book Events, Books, Events

SDCC12: Hungry for Dystopia Panel

San Diego Comic Con 2012 has a great spread of interesting and exciting panels, and one of the biggest was Hungry for Dystopia. Dystopian worlds are one of the most popular genres in fantasy lit (particularly YA) at the moment, thanks to books like The Hunger Games. On the Hungry for Dystopia panel seven awesome authors discussed why this genre is just so damn appealing, despite—or perhaps because—of its darker nature.

This was a stellar panel with some kick-butt novelists all set to discuss doom and gloom: Anna North (America Pacifica) led the discussion with panelists Neal Shusterman (Unwind trilogy), Lissa Price (Starters), Paolo Bacigalupi (The Drowned Cities, Ship Breaker, and The Windup Girl), Michael Grant (The Gone series, BZRK), Daniel H. Wilson (Robopocalypse and Amped), Gennifer Albin (Crewel), and Marie Lu (Legend trilogy). A few I haven’t read, but all I have heard of and have a lot of respect for their work and subsequent successes. They made up a great dystopian panel in the breadth of types of themes (environmental issues, political issues, technology issues, etc).

There were only a few questions, but that really allowed for the writers to go to town, talking about their various stories within the themes of the things asked. The first one asked what modern anxieties helped inspire their books. The answers were nanotechnology, age-prejudice vaccination, abortion, brain-altering chips, environmental destruction, and gender issues. Holy crap, it was amazing the variety of stories presented under this umbrella theme. A few times I found myself shaking my head with the awesomeness of the creativity that was present.

The next big question was about the importance of place in dystopian worlds and the role it plays. Bacigalupi loves to take familiar places and amp them up in his books. Grant confines himself to a setting map and sees what he can play with within that. Price and Lu both commented on the presence of LA, with Lu adding that it’s practically already dystopia. And universally it seemed like everyone enjoyed inflicting pain in their home town.

The final big question before the Q & A was about why bad futures seem to always involve young people. The panelists had a lot to say about this one, and the answers seemed to stick to a similar theme. Children are more flexible and adaptable than adults. Their lives are already controlled, and yet at the end of teenage years you go from being controlled and having no power to having all the power because you essentially inherit the world. It was great getting glimpses into their heads about why they do what they do with characters and setting, and the universal themes were dissected and discussed.

Dystopian is huge, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere any time soon. Hearing from those in the midst of this was great, and the authors’ personalities shone through their intelligent and often silly answers.  I was actually so moved by some of their descriptions of their books that I dropped almost a hundred bucks on books to get autographed, because I just have to read them. All in all, a successful, thought-provoking panel that I thoroughly enjoyed with a stellar lineup of amazing authors.

Book News, Books, News

New Book Releases, Week of April 29, 2012

Here’s a list of all fantasy, scifi, and horror books coming out this week. To see the cover of a particular book click on the title.

Released Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Born of Silence (The League), by Sherrilyn Kenyon

In a universe where corruption and deception rule all aspects of life, sparks of rebellion threaten to ignite . . .
BORN OF SILENCE
As the Resistance leader, Zarya Starska’s only goal is to topple the government that destroyed her entire family and left her penniless. Her biggest asset is a mysterious man known only as Kere.
But Kere has a dark secret. Born into a world that is as privileged as it is corrupt, his real name is Darling Cruel-and he is heir to the government Zarya wants to overthrow. No one has ever seen the real man behind the legend. No one except Zarya. But when she allows a weapon he designed to be used against his beloved sister, all bets are off.
Betrayed by the Resistance, Darling’s goal is not only to reign, but to kill every Resistance member he can find. Zarya must stop Darling’s reign of terror, but can she reach past his insanity to restore the hero who once fought by her side?

Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse Book 12), by Charlaine Harris

It’s vampire politics as usual around the town of Bon Temps, but never before have they hit so close to Sookie’s heart…
Growing up with telepathic abilities, Sookie Stackhouse realized early on there were things she’d rather not know. And now that she’s an adult, she also realizes that some things she knows about, she’d rather not see—like Eric Northman feeding off another woman. A younger one.
There’s a thing or two she’d like to say about that, but she has to keep quiet—Felipe de Castro, the Vampire King of Louisiana (and Arkansas and Nevada), is in town. It’s the worst possible time for a human body to show up in Eric’s front yard—especially the body of the woman whose blood he just drank.
Now, it’s up to Sookie and Bill, the official Area Five investigator, to solve the murder. Sookie thinks that, at least this time, the dead girl’s fate has nothing to do with her. But she is wrong. She has an enemy, one far more devious than she would ever suspect, who’s set out to make Sookie’s world come crashing down.

GENETIKS Volume 1, by Richard Marazano, Jean-Michel Ponzio

Genetiks is a pharmaceutical company on the cutting edge of biological science. Thomas Hale is one of thousands of employees in the Genetiks labs. Like his colleagues, he had agreed to give a drop of blood to his employers—a drop of blood that will allow the researchers at the company he works for to decode his entire genome. As the drop of blood is the property of Genetiks, Thomas will become, in effect, the first man to be privately owned by the corporation he works for.

The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Invincible, by Jack Campbell

New York Times bestselling author Jack Cambell’s space saga hits lightspeed with an action-packed story of interstellar war. Admiral John “Black Jack” Geary earned his rank after being revived from cryogenic sleep to lead the Alliance to victory against the Syndicate Worlds. But his superiors question his loyalty to the regime. Now in command of the First Fleet, Geary is tasked with exploring the frontier beyond Syndic space, a mission he fears deliberately puts the fleet–and himself–in harm’s way.
An encounter with the alien Enigmas confirms Gear’y fears. Attacked without warning, he orders the fleet to jump star systems–only to enter the crosshairs of another hostile alien armada. Ignoring all of the First Fleet’s attempts to communicate peaceful intentions, this system’s species send their ships into battle on suicde runs, while guarding the exiting jump point with a fortress of incalculable power.
Now, with a faction of his officers determined to eliminate this new threat despite the cost, Geary must figure out how to breech the enemy’s defenses so the fleet can reach the jump point without massive casualties–and knowing that the Enigmas are most likely waiting on the other side…

Scourge of the Betrayer (Bloodsounder’s Arc), by Jeff Salyards

Many tales are told of the Syldoon Empire and its fearsome soldiers, who are known throughout the world for their treachery and atrocities. Some say that the Syldoon eat virgins and babies-or perhaps their own mothers. Arkamondos, a bookish young scribe, suspects that the Syldoon’s dire reputation may have grown in the retelling, but he’s about to find out for himself. Hired to chronicle the exploits of a band of rugged Syldoon warriors, Arki finds himself both frightened and fascinated by the men’s enigmatic leader, Captain Braylar Killcoin. A secretive, mercurial figure haunted by the memories of those he’s killed with his deadly flail, Braylar has already disposed of at least one impertinent scribe . . . and Arki might be next. Archiving the mundane doings of millers and merchants was tedious, but at least it was safe. As Arki heads off on a mysterious mission into parts unknown, in the company of the coarse, bloody-minded Syldoon, he is promised a chance to finally record an historic adventure well worth the telling, but first he must survive the experience! A gripping military fantasy in the tradition of Glen Cook, Scourge of the Betrayer explores the brutal politics of Empire-and the searing impact of violence and dark magic on a man’s soul.

Silence (Queen of the Dead), by Michelle Sagara

It began in the graveyard…

Ever since her boyfriend Nathan had died in a tragic accident, Emma had been coming to the graveyard at night. During the day she went through the motions at her prep school, in class, with her friends, but that’s all it was. For Emma, life had stopped with Nathan’s death. But tonight was different. Tonight Emma and her dog were not alone in the cemetery. There were two others there–Eric, who had just started at her school, and an ancient woman who looked as though she were made of rags. And when they saw Emma there, the old woman reached out to her with a grip as chilling as death…

Emma was not quite like others teenagers. It was true that other girls had experienced grief. Other girls had also lost their fathers, or had their boyfriends die in a senseless accident. But though she hadn’t known it till that night in the graveyard, unlike those other girls, she could see, touch, and speak with the dead. In fact, Emma could draw upon the essence of the dead to work magic. That was what Necromancers did. But Emma had no desire to be a Necromancer. She just wanted to help the ghosts who walked the streets of Toronto, unable to escape from the land of the living. And that was just as well, because had she chosen the path of the Necromancer, Eric would have had to kill her.

Instead, Eric and his fellow Necromancer hunter Chase found themselves violating every rule they were sworn to follow, becoming part of Emma’s group, helping her to stand against those who preyed upon the dead. But whether Emma and her friends could survive such a battle was anyone’s guess. And whether Emma could learn to use the magic of the dead against her enemies without herself falling victim to the lure of such power remained to be seen. Eric seemed to think she could, and her living friends would never abandon her. But only time would tell what Emma’s true destiny was…

Amateur Angel, by Karri Thompson

Only 18-years-old, Ashley is no ordinary teenager. Not only is she dead, but upon her death, she mistakenly enters the wrong line in the afterlife, a line meant for trained, guardian angels. With a pair of wings on her back, Ashley is sent to Los Angeles to replace another angel whose “assignment” was none-other-than Cannon Michaels, a current member of the band Sendher, the sexiest man alive, and Ashley’s celebrity crush in life.While exposed to Cannon’s selfish, judgmental behavior and his reckless, rock-and-roll lifestyle, Ashley is far from meeting the requirements of a true guardian angel. She misses her family and friends. Will she ever be able to accept her own death? What will she do when she jeopardizes her position as an angel and Cannon’s physical safety by falling in love with him?

Aurorarama: A Novel (The Mysteries of New Venice), by Jean-Christophe Valtat

Introducing the Mysteries of New Venice steampunk trilogy with a first volume that “entrances and delights” (NPR)   In the defense of steampunk comes a literary adventure unlike anything you’ve read before. 1908, New Venice: An ominous black airship hovers in the sky, and the city is hunting for the author of a radical pamphlet calling for revolt. The lead suspect is Brentford Orsini, one of the city’s most prominent figures. As the net around him tightens, Orsini receives a mysterious message from a long-lost love that compels him to act.
Brilliant in its conception, masterful in its prose, thrilling in its plot twists, and laced with humor, suspense, and intelligence, Aurorarama marks the beginning of a great new series of books.

Awaited, by Lynn Rush

Russell Leonard is a centuries-old Guardian who’s lost faith in his purpose. So when he’s charged with procuring the first female Guardian in over two centuries, he can only hope it’s the red-headed beauty who’s been haunting his dreams for months. And if it is, he intends to claim her as his. But when he finds his dream woman, Annabelle is mute and bears no Guardian’s Mark. He soon realizes she’s been tainted by an ancient evil. Russell must somehow release the secrets trapped within this delicate soul to help her tap into the only weapon powerful enough to silence a millennia-old demon-her voice.

Bad Blood (Latter-Day Olympians), by Lucienne Diver

The gods play…and mortals pay.
Latter-Day Olympians, Book 1
Tori Karacis’s family line may trace back to a drunken liaison between the god Pan and one of the immortal gorgons. Or…maybe it’s just coincidence that her glance can, literally, stop men in their tracks. While her fear of heights kept her out of the family aerobatic troupe, her extreme nosiness fits right in with her uncle’s P.I. business.
Except he’s disappeared on an Odyssean journey to find himself. Muddling through on her own, she’s reduced to hunting (not stalking, because that would just be weird) brass-bra’d Hollywood agent Circe Holland to deliver a message…only to witness her murder by what looks like the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Suddenly, all of her family’s tall tales seem believable, especially when Apollo—the Apollo, who’s now hiding out among humans as an adult film star—appears in her office, looking to hire her. She knows the drill: canoodling with gods never works out well for humans, but she’s irresistibly drawn to him. Maybe it’s her genes. Maybe not.
Given her conflicted feelings for one hot and hardened cop, it’s a toss-up which will kill her quickest. The danger at her door…or her love life.
Warning: Contains pot-boiling passion between a heroine who may—or may not—be a descendent of Medusa, and a hot god and a hunky cop with the…equipment…to handle her, even on her worst bad-hair day. Beware of killer kisses, trickster gods and bearded grandmothers Who Know Everything.

The Black Opera, by Mary Gentle

Naples, the 19th Century. In the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, holy music has power. Under the auspices of the Church, the Sung Mass can bring about actual miracles like healing the sick or raising the dead. But some believe that the musicodramma of grand opera can also work magic by channeling powerful emotions into something sublime. Now the Prince’s Men, a secret society, hope to stage their own black opera to empower the Devil himself – and change Creation for the better! Conrad Scalese is a struggling librettist whose latest opera has landed him in trouble with the Holy Office of the Inquisition. Rescued by King Ferdinand II, Conrad finds himself recruited to write and stage a counter opera that will, hopefully, cancel out the apocalyptic threat of the black opera, provided the Prince’s Men, and their spies and saboteurs, don’t get to him first. And he only has six weeks to do it…

A Blight of Mages, by Karen Miller

Hundreds of years before the great Mage War, a land lies, unknowing, on the edge of catastrophe…
Barl is young and impulsive, but she has a power within that calls to her. In her city, however, only those of noble blood and with the right connections learn the ways of the arcane. Barl is desperate to learn-but her eagerness to use her power leads her astray and she is banned from ever learning the mystic arts.
Morgan holds the key to her education. A member of the Council of Mages, he lives to maintain the status quo, preserve the mage bloodlines, and pursue his scholarly experiments. But Barl’s power intrigues him-in spite of her low status.
Together, he realizes they can create extraordinary new incantations. Morgan’s ambition and Barl’s power make a potent combination. What she does not see is the darkness in him that won’t be denied.
A Blight of Mages is the new novel set in the world of Karen Miller’s bestselling debut The Innocent Mage.

Bound to Me: An Original Dark Days Story, by Jocelynn Drake

Mira, the heroine of Jocelynn Drake’s New York Times bestselling Dark Days series, has been a nightwalker for centuries, traveling the globe as an enforcer for a secretive, powerful organization. In Bound to Me, for the first time, we travel back into Mira’s distant past to see the great love affair that shaped her.

By the Blood of Heroes: The Great Undead War: Book 1, by Joseph Nassise

At the end of 1917, the increasingly desperate Germans introduce a new gas to the battlefield: T-Leiche-“corpse gas” – that radically alters the face of the war. Unlike other chemical weapons that attack the living, T-Leiche resurrects the bodies of the dead, giving the enemy an almost unlimited, if not quite fresh, source of troops.
When legendary Allied pilot and war poster-boy Major Jack Freeman is shot down and taken captive by the Germans, veteran Captain Michael “Madman” Burke is the only man fearless and wild enough to try to rescue the American Ace. With a small squad of heroes – his right-hand man Sergeant Moore, Clayton Manning, the filthy rich big-game hunter turned soldier, and professor Dan Richards, Tesla protege and the resident authority on all things supernatural – Burke must traverse the putrid ground of no man’s land to infiltrate the enemy’s lines.
Using an experimental dirigible, the team penetrates enemy lines to face incredible danger and find risk and peril at every turn, including ruthless traitor smugglers and marauding bands of the Kaiser’s undead. But only when they arrive at the prison camp is the true importance of their mission unveiled. Now, they just have to get back to their own trenches – if they can stay undead, that is.

Captivated (A Phantom Corps Novel), by Lauren Dane 

Vincenz Fardelle, exiled son of the Supreme Leader of the Imperialist Universe, has spent much of the last ten years working to stop the threat his father poses. But he’s not alone in his quest. Julian Marsters has lost his best friend and countless others in the war and has made vengeance his only goal.  In each other, Julian and Vincenz find not only like minds, but kindred spirits.

However unexpected their relationship, everything changes for Vincenz and Julian when Hannah Black comes into their lives. Having been captured and held in near total isolation by imperialist troops, their immediate response is to protect her.

Emotionally shattered but resilient, Hannah rebuilds herself.  Because of the warm safety she finds in the arms of Julian—and Vincenz—she becomes someone harder, stronger and bent on preventing the Imperialists from harming anyone else.

For the two men, wrestling with their passionate feelings for Hannah is only the beginning. War is about to send all three into harm’s way and an equally dangerous secret could tear them apart.

The Claimed (Sin Hunters), by Caridad Pineiro

THE CLAIMED
Victoria Johnson loves her life. She’s her own boss in a quaint beachside town, and has great friends who keep her grounded. If only they knew who she really is: an heiress to an ancient race who possesses astonishing superhuman powers. It’s Victoria’s duty to restore her clan of Light Hunters to their former glory by choosing the perfect mate. In Christopher Sombrosa, she just may have found him. Strong, smart, and successful, Christopher exudes a powerful energy. Their connection is sensual, irresistible-and forbidden.
A member of the Shadow Hunter clan, Christopher has defied his own father to lead his people away from affliction and violence. Yet he cannot ignore his duty to carry on his ancient bloodline. Stunningly beautiful and brimming with an erotic life force, Victoria is everything Christopher ever hoped for in a mate . . . but as a Light Hunter, she’s his mortal enemy. Together, they could unite their warring tribes. But murderous factions on both sides don’t want peace-and they’ll stop at nothing to keep light and darkness apart forever . . .

Dragon City (Outlanders), by James Axler

AFTER THE END

Humanity has been held in subjugation for thousands of years, manipulated by a cruel alien race. But what began as a game among self-styled gods evolved into an internecine power play. Divided by ego and greed, the enemy faced resistance—and a reckoning—from an intrepid group of human rebels. But now the Cerberus operation lies in disarray, its members missing or broken, even as the Annunaki threat is reborn in a new and more horrifying form.

THE GOD MACHINE

Enlil, cruelest of them all, is set to revive the sadistic pantheon that will rule the Earth. Based in his vast Dragon City, Enlil plans to create infinite gods—at the cost of humankind. With the Cerberus team at its lowest ebb, can they possibly stop his twisted plan? Or are they, too, destined to be absorbed by the God Machine?

A Dream Machine to Die For, by Ken Wise

When Philip Courtney leaves Oxford University to begin his quiet life as Lord of Courtney Manor, he doesn’t expect his old roommate John Jefferson to show up with an unusual request… John and Philip, joined by Philip’s half-brother Ray Barone, begin working together to perfect a newly invented machine that allows people to travel through time back to their past – the Dream Machine. However, the machine turns out to be more than Philip bargains for as the inventor of the machine’s body is soon found in the River Thames. This is the first of many deaths that will haunt the three men as they run from those who want the machine for devious purposes. As Philip embarks on an adventure of a lifetime, he is forced to wonder whether it really is ‘A Dream Machine to Die For’.

Embrace of the Damned (Brotherhood of the Damned), by Anya Bast

A damned Viking warrior.
Centuries ago Broder Calderson committed murder. As punishment, he was given over to the dominion of Loki, the Trickster God, made part of the Brotherhood of the Damned and condemned to an immortal life of battle against the Blight, blood-drinkers from Hel.
A mysterious woman he can’t resist.
One thousand years to the day he was damned, Loki allows him a woman as reward for his good service and repentance of his crimes. Once Broder sees Jessamine Hamilton, he is overcome with need. But Jessa is no ordinary woman, and the truth of who–and what–she is could have dangerous consequences. 

A tormented man she can’t deny.
Though a future together is impossible, the warrior’s touch ignites an irresistible passion in Jessa. But every heated kiss pushes them closer to destruction. Forced to return to the brutality of his Viking past to protect her, will Broder surrender forever to his darkest impulses?

Heart of Constantine, by Barbara Monajem

When Marguerite McHugh woke up on a Native American burial ground, it was the least bizarre event of those to come. Soon she would be swept into the dark world of Constantine Dufray, a tormented, half-Navajo rock star whose dark power is only one of many in the little town of Bayou-Gavotte, LA…and whose love will save her life.

Hope Rising, by Thomas A. Sewing

She couldn’t think of a time when she wasn’t in the system. There had to be some time. People aren’t just born and put into a treatment center, right? Sometime in her past, there had to be a point where she was a normal kid, living with some semblance of a normal family, in something resembling a normal house.

Hunted, by Rebecca Zanetti 

Moira Dunne is a witch – the quantum physics kind. Time and space are her playthings. Which might explain why her one-night stand from a hundred years ago has turned up to “claim” her – and request her family’s assistance with the war he’s brewing. But the more she learns about Connlan Kayrs, the more she comes to think this is normal behaviour for him…When Conn and Moira tumbled on the moonlit grass, Conn hadn’t meant to mark her as his mate for all time. She was only twenty! But it wasn’t easy to wait for her. It was even harder to forget her. So when he finally returns for his wicked-hot witch, he’s ready to let the sparks fly. Even if he burns up in flames…

The Impossible Cube: A Novel of the Clockwork Empire, by Steven Harper

In an age where fantastic inventions of steam and brass have elevated Britain and China into mighty empires, Alice Michaels faces a future of technological terrors…

Once, Gavin Ennock sailed the skies on airships and enchanted listeners with his fiddle music. Now, the clockwork plague consumes his intellect, enabling him to conceive and construct scientific wonders—while driving him quite mad. Distressed by her beloved’s unfortunate condition, Alice Michaels sought a cure rumored to be inside the Doomsday Vault—and brought the wrath of the British Empire down on them.

Declared enemies of the Crown, Alice and Gavin have little choice but to flee to China in search of a cure. Accompanying them is Dr. Clef, a mad genius driven to find the greatest and most destructive force the world has ever seen: The Impossible Cube. If Dr. Clef gets his hands on it, the entire universe will face extinction.

And Gavin holds the key to its recreation…

In the Company of Witches (Berkley Sensation), by Joey W. Hill

Experience Joey W. Hill’s scintillating blend of modern-day witchcraft, ancient evil, and the magical tricks men and women play in the name of love…

All witch and part succubus, savvy businesswoman Raina has converted a Southern plantation house into an extremely profitable old-fashioned bordello. Because of her abilities as a witch, the demons under Raina’s protection can feed off the sexual energy of their clients without killing them—definitely a good thing for repeat business.

But when a rogue incubus shows up on Raina’s doorstep begging for asylum, the witch’s well-run business is put in jeopardy. The incubus has stolen an object of great power from Lucifer, and Underworld Dark Guardian Mikhael will do anything to get it back—even if it means incinerating the incubus on Raina’s porch to get the answers he seeks.

Not to be trifled with, Raina enters a dangerous match of wits with Mikhael to achieve their mutual goals—only to discover that the reluctant attraction between them is the most hazardous game of all…

The Killing Moon (Dreamblood), by N. K. Jemisin

The city burned beneath the Dreaming Moon.
In the ancient city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law. Upon its rooftops and amongst the shadows of its cobbled streets wait the Gatherers – the keepers of this peace. Priests of the dream-goddess, their duty is to harvest the magic of the sleeping mind and use it to heal, soothe . . . and kill those judged corrupt.
But when a conspiracy blooms within Gujaareh’s great temple, Ehiru – the most famous of the city’s Gatherers – must question everything he knows. Someone, or something, is murdering dreamers in the goddess’ name, stalking its prey both in Gujaareh’s alleys and the realm of dreams. Ehiru must now protect the woman he was sent to kill – or watch the city be devoured by war and forbidden magic.

Kiss of the Goblin Prince: Shadowlands Series, by Shona Husk

The Man of Her Dreams

He is like a prince in a fairy tale: tall, outrageously handsome, and way too dark for her own good. Amanda has been hurt before, though. And with her daughter’s illness, the last thing she needs right now is a man. But the power of Dai King is hard to resist. And when he threads his hands through her hair and pulls her in for a kiss, there is no denying it feels achingly right.

In a Land of Nightmares

After being trapped in the Shadowlands for centuries with the goblin horde a constant threat, Dai revels in his newfound freedom back in the human realm. But even with the centuries of magic he’s accumulated, he still doesn’t know how to heal Amanda’s daughter—and it breaks his heart. Yet for the woman he loves, he’d risk anything…including a retun to the Shadowlands.

Magic Lantern (Rogue Angel), by Alex Archer

In late 1700s Paris, a young but promising illusionist dabbles in the arcane art of phantasmagoria. But at his moment of greatest triumph—unveiling a magical lantern said to open a door to the Chinese spirit world—he is violently struck down by a vengeful phantom….On assignment in London, archaeologist Annja Creed is hunting down a man who claims to have discovered the Jekyll and Hyde potion. On the trail of one curiosity, Annja finds herself pulled toward another mystery…the origin of a strange, old-fashioned projector once used by eighteenth-century illusionists. As Annja delves into its rich history, a dark past begins to emerge. And someone wants to harness the power of this cursed artifact…risking everything for the treasures it promises.But Annja has a little magic trick of her own. One that she wields with deadly accuracy….

The Minority Council (Matthew Swift), by Kate Griffin

Matthew Swift, sorcerer, Midnight Mayor, is in charge. Or so he’d like to think. And London, being London, is having its issues. Drug use is rampant. Teenage vandalism is driving away business. Violent crimes are on the rise. Once upon a time, Matthew Swift wouldn’t have given a toss. Now it’s his mess to clean up.
Especially when the new drug on the market is fairy dust and the production process involves turning humans into walking drug labs. And when the teenage vandals are being hunted by a mystical creature. And when the petty criminals of London start dying by magical means.
It becomes clear that not only is this Swift’s mess to clean up, but someone is trying to tell him how to do his job. Now he has to sort out who’s behind the crime wave and who’s interfering in his business. Swift has a lot of old enemies and few friends. If he’s going to save London from a rising tide of blood — he’s going to have to learn his lessons and fast.

Naamah’s Blessing, by Jacqueline Carey

Returning to Terre d’Ange, Moirin finds the royal family broken. Wracked by unrelenting grief at the loss of his wife, Queen Jehanne, King Daniel is unable to rule. Prince Thierry, leading an expedition to explore the deadly jungles of Terra Nova, is halfway across the world. And three year old Desirée is a vision of her mother: tempestuous, intelligent, and fiery, but desperately lonely, and a vulnerable pawn in a game of shifting political allegiances.
As tensions mount, King Daniel asks that Moirin become Desirée’s oath-sworn protector. Navigating the intricate political landscape of the Court proves a difficult challenge, and when dire news arrives from overseas, the spirit of Queen Jehanne visits Moirin in a dream and bids her undertake an impossible quest.
Another specter from the past also haunts Moirin. Travelling with Thierry in the New World is Raphael de Mereliot, her manipulative former lover. Years ago, Raphael forced her to help him summon fallen angels in the hopes of acquiring mystical gifts and knowledge. It was a disastrous effort that nearly killed them, and Moirin must finally bear the costs of those bitter mistakes.

Palaces of Light (Deathlands), by James Axler

LOST VISTAS

Remnants of America’s past are littered across the postapocalyptic landscape, but little remains of the predark ideals of law and order. Survival is a blood quest, and lethal force the means to power. Still, a handful retains their humanity among thecoldhearts, and in a world where nothing lasts forever, hope is a commodity as precious as jack.

DIVIDE AND CONQUER

Steeped in beauty and mysticism, the canyons of Mesa Verde, Colorado, survived the blast that altered the American west. Hired to track a group of missing children, Ryan Cawdor and his band follow the trail to a legendary city carved in stone, older and stronger than the nukecaust. The inhabitants of the palaces of light are more than warriors and survivors; they are masters of mind games that prey on illusion. And true believers in a metaphysical end game poised to push the companions over the edge of reality…into certain death.

The Rise of Landia, by Gary Kitchens and Crystal Kitchens Ralph

King Lucien Trimont of Westlandia has commanded his second son, Devon, to lead an army across the Great Sea and attack Eastlandia. As the inevitable war between these countries approaches, Prince Devon struggles with his identity and his love of peace. During his quest, he will be joined by a ragtag band of old friend and new acquaintances: Abby of the Cove, Rufus of Ish, and Paris of the Plains of Sur. His best friend, Aiden, a person of magic, must also play a leading role in Devon’s expedition. These characters will all aid Devon in fighting a corrupt royal family, an evil Magus, and a powerful army General, all with their own wicked agendas.

The Seven Year Witch, by Jodi Redford 

After this much foreplay, something’s bound to combust.

That Old Black Magic, Book 2

As head mistress of Beaumont coven house, Clarissa Miles has perfected two things: keeping her sister witches from accidently turning innocent bystanders into toads, and resisting the sexy overtures of her familiar, werewolf Logan Scott.

But her resolve is vanishing—fast. Seven years ago she sold her soul to save her father, and that contract is coming due. The allure of spending her last days indulging in some dirty, naked loving is too tempting to resist.

Logan has patiently ridden out the past seven years, content to do Clarissa’s bidding and ignoring his consuming need to mark her as his. Now that the ban on witch/familiar fraternizing has been lifted, he’s off the leash and ready to launch a full-on sensual assault on her defenses. They’re destined mates, and he’ll do whatever it takes to convince her.

It’s delightfully easy to get her in bed. Get at her heart? Not so much. Especially when a deadly predator stakes its claim on her…and Logan faces a battle not only to win her heart, but save her soul.

Warning: This book contains a villain with more personalities than Sybil, a witch in search of redemption and a dirty-talking werewolf hell-bent on claiming his mate in every wicked, sexy way possible. Spontaneous howling may occur.

The Shifter, by Jean Johnson

Before the Sons of Destiny came to be, shapechangers ruled the heart of a shattered empire and navigated the uncertain shifts of fate…Years have passed since there was any sighting of Family Mongrel on the Shifting Plains. Yet traces remain, and they lead south into the Correda Mountains. As a favor to his brother and sister-in-law, Kenyen Sin Siin has taken it upon himself to track down these hints from the past and make sure the curs have not survived. The trail grows colder, more tangled, until he’s trapped in a valley where not everyone is as they seem.  He will either adapt and survive or be uncovered and perish before his mission is complete.Wary of strangers and distrustful of the unfamiliar, Solyn Ys Rei and her best friend have formed a secret resistance. One of a rare few with the ability to stand up to and evade enemies, she must still tread with great caution, particularly when even her best friend starts acting oddly. Allies could be enemies lurking in disguise, and a stranger’s face could hide a new foe as easily as a new friend.

Bitterblue (Graceling), by Kristin Cashore

The long-awaited companion to New York Times bestsellers Graceling and Fire
Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck’s reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle–disguised and alone–to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past.
Two thieves, who only steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck’s reign. And one of them, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn’t yet identified, holds a key to her heart.

Destined (Wings), by Aprilynne Pike

Tamani looked at her gravely, and reached up to tuck her hair behind her ear.

He hesitated for an instant, then his hands found the sides of her face, pulling her to him. He didn’t kiss her, just held her face close to his, their foreheads resting together, their noses almost touching.

She hated how much it felt like good-bye.

Laurel now knows the truth: Yuki is a rare Winter faerie, the most powerful—and deadly—of all, and Klea plans to use her to help conquer and destroy Avalon. But Klea’s reach extends far beyond one wild Winter faerie. With Tamani, David, and Chelsea by her side, Laurel prepares to face what may be Avalon’s final days, in the stunning conclusion to the Wings series.

The Drowned Cities, by Paolo Bacigalupi

Soldier boys emerged from the darkness. Guns gleamed dully. Bullet bandoliers and scars draped their bare chests. Ugly brands scored their faces. She knew why these soldier boys had come. She knew what they sought, and she knew, too, that if they found it, her best friend would surely die.

In a dark future America where violence, terror, and grief touch everyone, young refugees Mahlia and Mouse have managed to leave behind the war-torn lands of the Drowned Cities by escaping into the jungle outskirts. But when they discover a wounded half-man–a bioengineered war beast named Tool–who is being hunted by a vengeful band of soldiers, their fragile existence quickly collapses. One is taken prisoner by merciless soldier boys, and the other is faced with an impossible decision: Risk everything to save a friend, or flee to a place where freedom might finally be possible.

This thrilling companion to Paolo Bacigalupi’s highly acclaimed Ship Breaker is a haunting and powerful story of loyalty, survival, and heart-pounding adventure.

 Insurgent (Divergent), by Veronica Roth

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth’s much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

Numbers Book 3: Infinity, by Rachel Ward

The mind-blowing conclusion to the chilling NUMBERS trilogy: Because everyone wants to live forever.
No matter what it takes, Sarah’s desperate to escape from the numbers.
Always numbers. Sarah loves Adam, but can’t bear the thought that every time he looks in her eyes, he can see her dying; can see her last day.
It’s 2029. Two years since the Chaos. Sarah and Adam are struggling to survive. She knows he always envisioned them together “’til death do us part.” But will a child come between them? The child she loves. The child he saved.
Little Mia was supposed to die that New Year’s Day. The numbers don’t lie. But somehow she changed her date. Mia’s just a baby, oblivious to her special power. But ruthless people are hunting her down, determined to steal her secret.
Because everyone wants to live forever.

The Peculiars, by Maureen McQuerry

This dark and thrilling adventure, with an unforgettable heroine, will captivate fans of steampunk, fantasy, and romance.

On her 18th birthday, Lena Mattacascar decides to search for her father, who disappeared into the northern wilderness of Scree when Lena was young. Scree is inhabited by Peculiars, people whose unusual characteristics make them unacceptable to modern society. Lena wonders if her father is the source of her own extraordinary characteristics and if she, too, is Peculiar. On the train she meets a young librarian, Jimson Quiggley, who is traveling to a town on the edge of Scree to work in the home and library of the inventor Mr. Beasley. The train is stopped by men being chased by the handsome young marshal Thomas Saltre. When Saltre learns who Lena’s father is, he convinces her to spy on Mr. Beasley and the strange folk who disappear into his home, Zephyr House. A daring escape in an aerocopter leads Lena into the wilds of Scree to confront her deepest fears.

Revived, by Cat Patrick

As a little girl, Daisy Appleby was killed in a school bus crash. Moments after the accident, she was brought back to life.

A secret government agency has developed a drug called Revive that can bring people back from the dead, and Daisy Appleby, a test subject, has been Revived five times in fifteen years. Daisy takes extraordinary risks, knowing that she can beat death, but each new death also means a new name, a new city, and a new life. When she meets Matt McKean, Daisy begins to question the moral implications of Revive, and as she discovers the agency’s true goals, she realizes she’s at the center of something much larger — and more sinister — than she ever imagined.

The Serpent’s Shadow (The Kane Chronicles, Book 3), by Rick Riordan

He’s b-a-a-ack! Despite their best efforts, Carter and Sade Kane can’t seem to keep Apophis, the chaos snake, down. Now Apophis is threatening to plunge the world into eternal darkness, and the Kanes are faced with the impossible task of having to destroy him once and for all. Unfortunately, the magicians of the House of Life are on the brink of civil war, the gods are divided, and the young initiates of Brooklyn House stand almost alone against the forces of chaos. The Kanes’ only hope is an ancient spell that might turn the serpent’s own shadow into a weapon, but the magic has been lost for a millennia. To find the answer they need, the Kanes must rely on the murderous ghost of a powerful magician who might be able to lead them to the serpent’s shadow . . . or might lead them to their deaths in the depths of the underworld.

Nothing less than the mortal world is at stake when the Kane family fulfills its destiny in this thrilling conclusion to the Kane Chronicles.

The Vicious Deep, by Zoraida Cordova

For Tristan Hart, everything changes with one crashing wave.
He was gone for three days. Sucked out to sea in a tidal wave and spit back ashore at Coney Island with no memory of what happened. Now his dreams are haunted by a terrifying silver mermaid with razor-sharp teeth.
His best friend Layla is convinced something is wrong. But how can he explain he can sense emotion like never before? How can he explain he’s heir to a kingdom he never knew existed? That he’s suddenly a pawn in a battle as ancient as the gods.
Something happened to him in those three days. He was claimed by the sea…and now it wants him back.

Dark Vengance Vol. 2: Winter, Spring, by Jeff Mariotte

An unspeakable betrayal. A shocking revelation. The concluding two novels in Jeff Mariotte’s spellbinding series of romance, revenge, and witches—now in one volume!

Kerry never thought she’d fall for a guy like Daniel—and she certainly never expected him to be a witch. He showed her that love and magic are both real. But Daniel also pulled Kerry into a dark feud that has left a trail of blood for centuries.

Now Daniel is gone, and Kerry is in danger. Betrayed by the one witch she thought she could trust, Kerry must protect herself—and her friends—with the little magic she’s learned. No one will be safe until the witches’ war is ended. And Kerry is the only one with the power to uncover the truth.

Everfound (Skinjacker Trilogy), by Neal Shusterman

Witness the final battle for the souls of Everlost in a “compellingly readable and a worthy finale to the Skinjacker trilogy” (VOYA).

While Mary lies in a glass coffin aboard a ghost train heading west, her minions are awaiting her re-awakening by bringing lots of new souls into Everlost to serve her. Meanwhile Jackin’ Jill has met Jix, a furjacker—a skinjacker who can take over the bodies of animals, most notably jaguars. Jix serves a Mayan god who collects Everlost coins to use in his Wurlitzer, which predicts the future. In the concluding volume of The Skinjacker Trilogy, Neal Shusterman reveals new sides of the characters of Everlost, who are pitted against each other in a battle that may destroy all life on Earth.

 

Black Dawn (Morganville Vampires), by Rachel Caine
When a tide of ferocious draug, the vampire’s deadliest enemy, floods Morganville, its eclectic mix of residents must fight to save their town from devastation. Chaos has taken over the quiet college town of Morganville as the threat of the draug rapidly spreads with the help of the city’s water system. Whilst most of the locals have already fled, student Claire Danvers and her friends Shane, Eve and Michael choose to stay and fight. Things take a turn for the worse when vampire Amelie, the town’s founder, is infected by the master draug’s bite. Unless Claire and her friends can find an antidote to save Amelie and overcome the draug, Morganville’s future looks bleak…

Sweet Evil, by Wendy Higgins

Embrace the Forbidden What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences? This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels. Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna. Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

 

All summaries from amazon.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Book News, Books, News

New Releases, Week of January 30th, 2011

Here’s a list of all of the sci-fi and fantasy coming out this week.

Released Monday, January 31st, 2011

All Clear, by Connie Willis

All Clear is the magisterial conclusion to Connie Willis’s epic, two-volume account of love, war, and time travel. Like its predecessor, Blackout, it is both a brilliantly constructed work of science fiction and a masterful recreation of a pivotal moment in 20th century history.

The story begins in the immediate aftermath of Blackout. Three time-traveling scholars, each investigating a different aspect of World War II, are stranded together in London during the height of the Blitz. Their increasingly desperate attempts to return home to the year 2060 form the core of a narrative that ranges freely, and with great authority, across time and space, from the evacuation of Dunkirk to the ultimate triumph of V-E Day and beyond.

The result is a work of great ingenuity and bottomless humanity that uses chaos theory, meticulous research, and a dizzying array of temporal paradoxes to reconstruct a vanished era, illuminating that era through the varied perspectives of the soldiers, sailors, shop girls, and ambulance drivers who struggled through it. Together, Blackout and All Clear constitute a seamless, deeply moving masterpiece that will be read and remembered for many years to come.

The Executioness, by Tobias S. Buckell

agic has a price. But someone else will pay. Every time a spell is cast, a bit of bramble sprouts, sending up tangling vines, bloody thorns, and threatening a poisonous sleep. It sprouts in tilled fields and in neighbors’ roof beams, thrusts up from between street cobbles, and bursts forth from sacks of powdered spice. A bit of magic, and bramble follows. A little at first, and then more–until whole cities are dragged down under tangling vines and empires lie dead, ruins choked by bramble forest. Monuments to people who loved magic too much.

In paired novellas, award-winning authors Tobias Buckell and Paolo Bacigalupi explore a shared world where magic is forbidden and its use is rewarded with the axe. A world of glittering memories and a desperate present, where everyone uses a little magic, and someone else always pays the price.

Magic has a price.

In Khaim, that price is your head if you’re found using it. For the use of magic comes with a side effect: it creates bramble. The bramble is a creeping, choking menace that has covered majestic ancient cities, and felled civilizations. In order to prevent the spread of the bramble, many lose their heads to the cloaked executioners of Khaim.

Tana is one of these executioners, taking the job over from her ailing father in secret, desperate to keep her family from starvation. But now her family has been captured by raiders, and taken to a foreign city.

So Khaim’s only female executioner begins a quest to bring her family back together. A bloody quest that will change lives, cities, and even an entire land, forever. A quest that will create the legend of The Executioness.

The Alchemist, by Paolo Bacigalupi

Magic has a price. But someone else will pay. Every time a spell is cast, a bit of bramble sprouts, sending up tangling vines, bloody thorns, and threatening a poisonous sleep. It sprouts in tilled fields and in neighbors’ roof beams, thrusts up from between street cobbles, and bursts forth from sacks of powdered spice. A bit of magic, and bramble follows. A little at first, and then more–until whole cities are dragged down under tangling vines and empires lie dead, ruins choked by bramble forest. Monuments to people who loved magic too much.

In paired novellas, award-winning authors Tobias Buckell and Paolo Bacigalupi explore a shared world where magic is forbidden and its use is rewarded with the axe. A world of glittering memories and a desperate present, where everyone uses a little magic, and someone else always pays the price.

In the beleageured city of Khaim, a lone alchemist seeks a solution to a deadly threat. The bramble, a plant that feeds upon magic, now presses upon Khaim, nourished by the furtive spellcasting of its inhabitants and
threatening to strangle the city under poisonous vines. Driven by desperation and genius, the alchemist constructs a device that transcends magic, unlocking the mysteries of bramble s essential nature. But the power of his newly-built balanthast is even greater than he dreamed. Where he sought to save a city
and its people, the balanthast has the potential to save the world entire–if it doesn t destroy him and his family first.

Released Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Rising Tides: Destroyermen, by Taylor Anderson

In Taylor Anderson’s acclaimed Destroyermen series, a parallel universe adds a extraordinary layer to the drama of World War II. Now, as Lieutenant Commander Matthew Reddy and the crew of the U.S.S. Walker continue their battle for both freedom and survival, the stakes become much more personal…and much more perilous.

Where Angels Fear to Tread: A Remy Chandler Novel, by Thomas E. Sniegoski

he pedestrian third novel in Sniegoski’s Remy Chandler series (after 2009’s Dancing on the Head of a Pin) finds the Seraphim-turned-PI drawn into the case of a missing little girl with prophetic gifts. Also searching for the child is the biblical character Delilah, now cursed to endless life without love. Naturally, the blind but still powerful Samson also gets drawn into the mix, as do the followers of the ancient god Dagon, leading to an inevitable (and interminable) showdown in Dagon’s West Virginia lair.

The fact that six-year-old Zoe York has been kidnapped is disturbing enough, until Boston PI Remy Chandler sees her drawings-nightmare visions of everything leading up to her abduction and of the man with wings who would come and save her. A man who is an angel, just like Remy…

Midnight Riot, by Ben Aaronovitch

Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.

Forest Moon Rising, by P. R. Frost

Tess Noncoiré, successful fantasy writer and Celestial Blade Warrior, has made a deal with the Powers That Be, forfeiting her own dreams in order to save those nearest and dearest to her. Having survived this unprecedented experience, Tess, along with her imp Scrap, is determined to hunt down a demonic intruder from another dimension, the Norglein, who seems bent on ravishing young women, leaving them pregnant, and waiting for the proper time to steal their babies away for his own purposes.

Unseen, by Rachel Caine

After Cassiel and Warden Luis Rocha rescue an adept child from a maniacal Djinn, they realize two things: the girl is already manifesting an incredible amount of power, and her kidnapping was not an isolated incident.

This Djinn-aided by her devoted followers-is capturing children all over the world, and indoctrinating them so she can use their strength for herself. With no other options, Cassiel infiltrates the Djinn’s organization-because if Cassiel cannot stop the Djinn’s apocalyptic designs, all of humanity may be destroyed.

Sooner Dead: A D&D Gamma World Novel, by Mel Odom

Humanoid buffalo and armadillo bikers in post-apocalyptic Oklahoma!

A bio-engineered super-soldier named Hella and her mutant buffalo sidekick Stampede clash with armadillo bikers and inter-dimensional mutants across the ragged landscape of Gamma-Oklahoma.

This is a fast-paced story of adventure, mixed with liberal doses of humor, in a post-apocalyptic science-fantasy world unlike any other.

The Scar-Crow Men, by Mark Chadbourn

The year is 1593. The London of Elizabeth I is in the terrible grip of the Black Death. As thousands die from the plague and the queen hides behind the walls of her palace, English spies are being murdered across the city. The killer’s next target: Will Swyfte.

For Swyfte–adventurer, rake, scholar, and spy–this is the darkest time he has known. His mentor, the grand old spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham, is dead. The new head of the secret service is more concerned about his own advancement than defending the nation, and a rival faction at the court has established its own network of spies. Plots are everywhere, and no one can be trusted. Meanwhile, England’s greatest enemy, the haunted Unseelie Court, prepares to make its move.

A dark, bloody scheme, years in the making, is about to be realized. The endgame begins on the night of the first performance of Dr. Faustus, the new play by Swyfte’s close friend and fellow spy Christopher Marlowe. A devil is conjured in the middle of the crowded theater, taking the form of Will Swyfte’s long-lost love, Jenny–and it has a horrifying message for him alone.

That night Marlowe is murdered, and Swyfte embarks on a personal and brutal crusade for vengeance. Friendless, with enemies on every side and a devil at his back, the spy may find that even his vaunted skills are no match for the supernatural powers arrayed against him.

Road Trip of the Living Dead, by Mark Henry

With her zombie gal pal Wendy and vampy sidekick Gil, celebrity party girl Amanda Feral is ready to take a big bite out of Seattle’s supernatural nightlife. But what’s a zombie chick to do when her ‘mommie Dearest’ gets sick? If you’re Amanda Feral, you can either ignore the wicked old witch – or bury the past by visiting Ethel before she kicks it. Packing their stiletto pumps and plasma into a sketchy rat-trap on wheels that used to be a Winebago, Amanda, Wendy, and Gil hit the highway. Of course, they’ll have to navigate past some neo-Nazi skinheads, a horny dust devil, a hunky werewolf cop, and an unsightly horde of Kmart shoppers. But for this glamorous gang of ghouls, this trip is about to take a dangerous detour that could give road kill and brand new meaning…

The Purging of Kadillus, by Gav Thorpe

Faced with an ork invasion of Piscina IV, the 3rd Company of the Dark Angels believes the threat to be minimal. As enemy numbers continue to increase, their commander, Captain Belial, insists that his Company are strong enough to resist. But Scout-Sergeant Naaman knows just how dangerous this foe can be, and when a renewed greenskin offensive takes the Dark Angels by surprise, the orks swarm towards Kadillus Harbour. Little do the Dark Angels know of the technological power available to the xenos, and the true scale of the threat they face. Belial, Naaman and their fellow Astartes fight a desperate siege at Kadillus, knowing that they must hold out until Imperial reinforcements arrive or the planet will be lost.

A Rattling of Bones, by C. J. Henderson

When weapon designer Raymond Du Raire hears whispers that his father has risen from the dead, he returns to his native Haiti to deal with what he believes are nothing more than vulgar rumors. Within a day of his arrival, however, he discovers that the dead are indeed walking the Earth. Moreover, he finds that this is not the work of voodoo tricksters, but a plague loosed upon the world by the discovery of an ancient crystal. Before he can begin to comprehend what has happened, Raymond finds himself in a swirling storm of corporate deceit and government cover-ups as a nightmare of zombie madness begins to stretch across the entire world.

License to Ensorcell, by Katherine Kerr

Psychic Agent Nola O’Grady isn’t sure returning to San Francisco, and living near her unusual family, is a good idea. Her job, with a psychic agency so obscure even the CIA doesn’t know it exists, can be perilous, and she’s afraid of the relatives getting involved.

Then the Agency saddles her with Israeli secret agent Ari Nathan, and she has a bigger problem on her hands, because tact and compromise are not Ari’s strong points. Their mission is to track down a serial killer obsessed with werewolves. He sees them everywhere and shoots whenever he thinks he has one in his sights. Ari assumes the man’s psychotic, but in truth he’s murdering actual werewolves. Nola should know. Her younger brother Pat, a lycanthrope, was the first victim.

Can Nola’s psychic talents and Ari’s skill with guns keep them alive long enough to unravel the greater mystery behind the killings? Can they save the werewolves and the world while stopping Nola’s family from running headlong into danger?

In Fire Forged, by David Weber

Honor Harrington is arguably the most popular character in modern science fiction, but there are many other stories in the Honorverse besides those in which she has the central role. This fifth volume in the popular Worlds of Honor series explores some of those stories with the help of such top writers as best-selling author Jane LIndskjold, New York Times best-selling author Timothy Zahn, and more—including an all-new Honor Harrington adventure, set in her younger years, when a mob of space pirates made the mistake of tangling with Commander Harrington. That was a fatal mistake—for the pirates . . .

The Sea Thy Mistress, by Elizabeth Bear

Hugo winner Bear pairs an insubstantial plot with broken, guilt-ridden characters in this quiet sequel to 2008’s All the Windwracked Stars. When the angel Muire sacrificed herself to become the new Bearer of Burdens, she renewed the entire world. But some of those Muire left behind saw her ascension as less joyful: the newly immortal Cathoair, who mourned her; their son, Cathmar, who would never know her; and the goddess Heythe, who had intended the world’s demise. Even as Heythe orchestrates a self-destructive spiral for the self-pitying Cathoair, Cathmar begins a convincing transformation from precocious teen to self-sufficient adult. The stakes could be much higher and the villainess more menacing, but Bear’s willingness to let her characters bleed gives this post-post-apocalyptic tale its melodramatic edge. This installment will best suit devoted fans who value tormented characters and graceful prose over complex plotting.

Blackveil: Book Four of the Green Rider, by Kristen Britain

The long-awaited sequel to Green Rider, First Rider’s Call, and The High King’s Tomb.

Once a simple student, Karigan G’ladheon finds herself in a world of deadly danger and complex magic, compelled by forces she cannot understand when she becomes a legendary Green Rider-one of the magical messengers of the king. Forced by magic to accept a dangerous fate she would never have chosen, headstrong Karigan has become completely devoted to the king and her fellow Riders.

But now, an insurrection led by dark magicians threatens to break the boundaries of ancient, evil Blackveil Forest-releasing powerful dark magics that have been shut away for a millennium.

Zombiesque, edited by Stephen L. Antczak et al.

From a tropical resort where visitors can become temporary zombies, to a newly-made zombie determined to protect those he loves, to a cheerleader who won’t let death kick her off the team, to a zombie seeking revenge for the ancestors who died on an African slave ship–Zombiesque invites readers to take a walk on the undead side in these tales from a zombie’s point of view.

Blaze of Glory, by Sheryl Nantus

Saving the world is easy for a superhero—unless you’re a fraud.

Jo Tanis is a superhero, fighting evil on the city streets, using her ability to feed off electromagnetic energy and fire off charges—and it’s all just a show. The Agency captures her and others like her when their powers begin to manifest, pitting them against each other in staged, gladiatorial fights. An explosive implant on the back of her neck assures she’ll keep right on smiling for the camera and beating up the bad guys.

When Earth comes under attack, suddenly the show becomes deadly real. Unable to deal with a real alien, the “supers” are falling in droves. Millions of innocent civilians are going to die…unless Jo can cobble together a team from among the fake heroes and villains the Agency enslaved. Including Hunter, who not only promises to show her how to deactivate the implants, but seems to know more than he should about how the mysterious Agency operates.

Forcing a rag-tag bunch of former enemies to work together is the least of Jo’s problems. The trick is determining if Hunter is friend or foe—and becoming the hero everyone thought she was before the world is destroyed for real.

Warning: Contains superhero in-jokes, Canadiana and large alien craft shaped like avocados. Really.

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter, Shannon K. Butcher, Jessica Anderson, and Deidre Knight present a steamy collection of all-new novellas featuring sexy paranormal hunters.

With shadowy creatures, intoxicating magic, vivdly imagined worlds, and sizzling passion, this is an anthology no fan of paranormal romance will want to miss.

Aleksandr made a silent promise to the Lord. God would deliver him–would deliver Russia–and he would make Russia into the country that the Almighty wanted it to be. He would be delivered from the destruction that wasteth at noonday, and from the pestilence that walketh in darkness–the terror by night…

1825, Europe–and Russia–have been at peace for ten years. Bonaparte is long dead and the threat of invasion is no more. For Colonel Aleksei Ivanovich Danilov, life is peaceful. Not only have the French been defeated but so have the twelve monstrous creatures he once fought alongside, and then against, ten or more years ago. His duty is still to serve and to protect his tsar, Aleksandr the First, but now the enemy is human.

However the Tsar knows that he can never be at peace. Of course, he is aware of the uprising fermenting within the Russian army–among his supposedly loyal officers. No, what troubles him is something that threatens to bring damnation down upon him, his family and his country. The Tsar has been reminded of a promise: a promise born of blood…a promise that was broken a hundred years before.

Now the one who was betrayed by the Romanovs has returned to exact revenge for what has been denied him. And for Aleksei, knowing this chills his very soul. For it seems the vile pestilence that once threatened all he believed in and all he held dear has returned, thirteen years later…

Crucified Dreams, by Joe R. Lansdale

Crossing noir with the supernatural, this luridly visceral anthology attacks polite society and plunges into the unthinkable horrors lurking in its underbelly. Searching for some beauty in a time of increasing poverty and neglect, the desperate are all the more menacing, and in a brief moment, ordinary people turn into something far less human. Offering stylish yet savage tales of private dicks, serial killers, lurking demons, and femme fatales, these surreal and often bloody tales provide glimpses into sinister worlds that mirror our own. Boasting an intriguing assortment of stories from celebrated authors such as Harlan Ellison, David Morrell, and the infamous editor himself, each gritty and sensational undertaking proves that being human is a far cry from being civilized.

Initially, Shadow Prowler bears some similarities to Tolkien’s trilogy about great evil burgeoning to threaten the order of the world. While well developed, the story is often inconsistently told, jumping from first to third person, sometimes within a single paragraph, which jars the reader and detracts from an otherwise admirable performance. Detailed description abounds as we follow master thief Harold, whose character develops during a great quest to save humanity. The world Pehov conjures is filled with other memorable characters, too, including the king’s court jester, Harold’s old thieving mentor (now a priest), and an elf who looks more like a vampire. Those who like fantasy novels offering ogres, elves, undead creatures, wizards, and the like joined in an epic quest will be delighted once they get past the inconsistent narration, for such genre fodder as pitched battles are described so well that they seem to unfold before one’s eyes. A first book in a series that piques interest for the others, especially if they’re more smoothly translated.

The D’Artigo sisters have just turned in their badges to the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. Now that they’re free agents they’re hoping things will be easier, but when you’re half-human, half-Fae, things can go astray at the most inopportune times…especially if you’re attempting to go undercover and penetrate the underworld of a vamp society on the brink of war.

The last stand against the self-proclaimed God, Adam, has retreated to the anarchic planet Bakunin-a world besieged by civil war. Humanity’s last hope lies with Nickolai Rajasthan, a Moreau who believes that the human race that created his kind is already damned beyond redemption.

Mike Gabrieli’s brother Tom has always had one talent: getting into trouble. But this time, Tom has disappeared after mysteriously gaining possession of a priceless Aztec artifact. Mike sets out to find Tom, never suspecting that he is about to be shuttled back and forth in time, and between alternate universes. The descendants of the Incas have a plan to keep Pizarro and his conquistidors from overthrowing their ancestors’ empire. In spite of Mike’s sympathy for their cause, he faces the possibility that, instead of creating an alternate world with the Incas ascendant, he may be wiping out the world he was born into, and himself along with it.

In addition to Fred Saberhagen’s novel, The Mask of the Sun, seven top writers have contributed stories set in the same universe. The contributors include New York Times best-selling authors David Weber and Harry Turtledove, as well as Walter Jon Williams, John Maddox Roberts, Jane Lindskold, and more, expanding on Fred Saberhagen’s concept and bringing their own perspectives to this volume of exciting alternate universe adventure.

Reborn after near nuclear eradication, humanity struggles in a world defined by a secret history of conspiracy, rivalry and inhuman domination. As an ancient powerful race attempts to retake planet Earth, a courageous and sophisticated band of freedom fighters, the Cerberus rebels, leads the resistance in a daring battle to free humanity from the grips of an alien power struggle.

In the Middle East’s legendary Fertile Crescent, millennia-old artifacts are unearthed. Shockingly, they appear to belong to one of Cerberus’s own. As events converge to play out a destiny forged in cross-dimensional currents, Grant is plunged back through the shimmering vortex of time. Part phantasm, part warrior known as Enkidu, the man bull, he is hunted by humanity’s oldest enemy. Kane, Brigid and Domi lead a rescue party across a parallax to destroy the legendary god beast Humbaba—before Grant is lost forever…

Thunder & Steel, by Dan Abnett

Across the Old World, the powers of Chaos seek to bring corruption and death, poisoning the minds of men and filling them with hatred and fury. Only the bravest dare stand against them – two Empire soldiers, marching into the cold wastes of Kislev to face the barbaric Northern hordes, where one will lose his soul to the Ruinous Powers. The high elf Gilead Lothain, who seeks to strike at the servants of the Dark Gods in a quest for vengeance that can never end. The ranks of the noble White Wolves, who stand to defend the majestic city of Middenheim until the last man, never backing down in the face of their enemies.

Thunder and Steel is an epic collection of Dan Abnett’s Warhammer fantasy, including the novels Riders of the DeadGilead’s Blood andHammers of Ulric, plus short stories and the full graphic novel of The Warhammer.

Jane Goes Batty, by Michael Thomas Ford

After two hundred years undead, Jane Austen still has bite. But will her most recent literary success be her last?

Life was a lot easier for Jane when she was just an unknown, undead bookstore owner in a sleepy hamlet in upstate New York. But now the world embraces her as Jane Fairfax, author of the bestselling novel Constance—and she’s having a killer time trying to keep her true identity asthe Jane Austen a A gruesome ritual murder has stained the Oxfordshire countryside. It’s just the first incident in a chain of events awakening Detective Inspector Joel Solomon to his worst nightmare-and a dreadful omen of things to come. Because Joel has a secret: he believes in vampires.

Alex Bishop is an agent of the Vampire Intelligence Agency. She’s tasked with enforcing the laws of the global Vampire Federation, and hunting rogue members of her race. A tough job made tougher when the Federation comes under attack by traditionalist vampires. They have a stake in old-school terror-and in an uprising as violent as it is widespread.

Now it’s plunging Alex and Joel into a deadly war between the living and the unloving-and against a horrifying tradition given new life by the blood of the innocent.secret. Even the ongoing lessons in How to Be a Vampire, taught by her former lover Lord Byron, don’t seem to be helping much. Jane can barely focus on her boyfriend, Walter, while keeping him in the dark about her more sanguine tastes.

To make matters worse, Walter announces that his mother is coming for a visit—and she’s expecting Jane to be Jewish. Add in a demanding new editor, a convention of romance readers in period costume, a Hollywood camera crew following Jane’s every move, and the constant threat of a certain bloodsucking Brontë sister coming back to finish her off, and it’s enough to make even the most well-mannered heroine go batty!

A gruesome ritual murder has stained the Oxfordshire countryside. It’s just the first incident in a chain of events awakening Detective Inspector Joel Solomon to his worst nightmare-and a dreadful omen of things to come. Because Joel has a secret: he believes in vampires.
Alex Bishop is an agent of the Vampire Intelligence Agency. She’s tasked with enforcing the laws of the global Vampire Federation, and hunting rogue members of her race. A tough job made tougher when the Federation comes under attack by traditionalist vampires. They have a stake in old-school terror-and in an uprising as violent as it is widespread.

Now it’s plunging Alex and Joel into a deadly war between the living and the unloving-and against a horrifying tradition given new life by the blood of the innocent.

The thrilling sequel to POSSESSED finds 16-year-old Rayne still entwined in the creepy history of Morton’s Keep — and about to discover that she’s the only one who can stop the evil lurking there.

Rayne’s countryside escape has proven to be anything but — the remote mansion house where she lives and works holds terrible secrets, and she feels trapped there. And when a new manager shows up, things take an even more sinister turn.

Rayne doesn’t know who to trust — even the ghosts of Morton’s Keep seem to be warning her. It’s up to Rayne to overcome the ancient evil lurking here — but how?

Brass Monkeys, by Terry Caszatt

Bumbling, cowardly Eugene is forced to transfer to a new school in northern Michigan in the middle of the year in the middle of a blizzard. Eugene is used to weird things happening in his life, but this feels like a really bad start. He has no idea how bad it’s going to get until he meets his scary and frightening English teacher, “Ming the Merciless.” in order to save his classmates from a fatal graduation in Ming’s underworld School of the Brass Monkeys, Eugene must deliver an unfinished book, Brass Monkeys, To a legendary teacher named McGinty who is hiding in the underworld. With the help of some of the renegade teachers and his new friends, he begins an epic journey to find McGinty. He survives the Cliffs of Notes And The Sea of Hot Lunches, and meets the Tataloonies(cool, tattooed kids) and Adjana :the greatest teacher in the world.”

Fade to Blue, by Sean Beaudoin

Sophie Blue started wearing a black skirt and Midnight Noir lipstick on her last birthday. It was also the day her father disappeared. Or spontaneously combusted. Which is sort of bad timing, since a Popsicle truck with tinted windows has started circling the house.

Kenny Fade is a basketball god. His sneakers cost more than his Jeep. He’s the guy all the ladies (and their mommas) want. Bad.

Sophie Blue and Kenny Fade don’t have a thing in common. Aside from being reasonably sure they’re losing their minds.

Acclaimed author Sean Beadoin’s wildly innovative novel combines uproarious humor with enough plot twists to fill a tube sock. Park thriller, part darkly comic philosophical discussion, and accompanied by a comic book interstitial, Fade to Blue is a whip-smart romp that keeps readers guessing until the last paragraph.

The Demon Trapper’s Daughter, by Jana Oliver

Riley Blackthorne just needs a chance to prove herself – and that’s exactly what the demons are counting on…

Seventeen-year-old Riley, the only daughter of legendary Demon Trapper, Paul Blackthorne, has always dreamed of following in her father’s footsteps.  The good news is, with human society seriously disrupted by economic upheaval and Lucifer increasing the number of demons in all major cities, Atlanta’s local Trappers’ Guild needs all the help they can get – even from a girl. When she’s not keeping up with her homework or trying to manage her growing crush on fellow apprentice, Simon, Riley’s out saving distressed citizens from foul-mouthed little devils – Grade One Hellspawn only, of course, per the strict rules of the Guild. Life’s about as normal as can be for the average demon-trapping teen.

But then a Grade Five Geo-Fiend crashes Riley’s routine assignment at a library, jeopardizing her life and her chosen livelihood.  And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, sudden tragedy strikes the Trappers’ Guild, spinning Riley down a more dangerous path than she ever could have imagined. As her whole world crashes down around her, who can Riley trust with her heart – and her life?

List from Borders.com and descriptions/reviews from Amazon.com