Book Editorial, Book Events, Books, Editorials, Events

SDCC14: Rulers of the Realm win at a most epic fantasy book panel

L to R: Abercrombie, Grossman, Gabaldon, Martin, Rothfuss
L to R: Abercrombie, Grossman, Gabaldon, Martin, Rothfuss

The second epic fantasy book panel Lytherus attended at San Diego Comic Con this year was titled Rulers of the Realm. This was the panel for fantasy book fandoms, to be sure!  The all-star lineup consisted of Joe Abercrombie (Half a King), Lev Grossman (Magicians Trilogy), Diana Gabaldon (Outlander), George R. R. Martin (Game of Thrones), and Patrick Rothfuss (The Kingkiller Chronicle). The MC was Ali T. Kokman of Barnes & Noble, and he was a lively host to this lively panel.

Ali started out talking about how every story needs characters and setting. However, these panelists up the ante with theirs. He wanted to know: what’s their approach to world-building? Joe kicked it off, saying his approach is similar to others: he makes stuff up. He suggested you do a lot of “research”, as in read stuff. He likes a lot of historical non-fiction to provide authenticity. Diana decided to write historical fiction because she’s a historical researcher. There’s lots more to steal with real history (this got a good laugh). George said he does the same, and just throws out what he doesn’t want. Lev starts with normal and then defiles and degrades every part (ha!).  Pat added to these ideas, saying that he’s written things he thought he made up and then fans send links asking if those comparisons were deliberate. “I’m clever, I take credit for accidents” (lots of laughing with this one!). He also is a huge advocate for writing what you know, and that half of deciding what to do is deciding what not to do; basically his reaction to what pisses him off is his book.

For the second question Ali wanted to know what, aside from movies, assists with writing. Joe said maps are good. George added that writers need to be careful however, because then you need to fill them in. And don’t even get him started on the world map. Lots of chuckles were had as he regaled the audience with his personal story regarding this, and how he had the hardest time naming mountains. Pat likes special paper and colored pencils. He also asks lots of questions. Lev got a lot of laughs when he said has a passive-aggressive relationship with maps, as his wife’s ex-boyfriend creates them. Diana took a different approach, saying that she needs a kernel: an idea, a sentence, and her process is to develop off of that. She then describes how she got a scene in one of her books and describes the thistle goblet and cold winter afternoon (it was amazing to see her train of thought and how one led right to the next). George brought it back to maps, talking about Tolkien’s maps, how we get this detailed map of the Shire, and then once they leave you realize just how small it really is. Tolkien pulled the rug out, in a sense.

epic2At this point Pat brought up an interesting thought. He said the main question you should be asking yourself is why am I doing a map? You should think about what purpose it serves. Tolkien did languages, for example, because he was a huge language guy.Everyone is a geek for something, you should revel in your geekery because that’s what will be the most interesting. Pat then provided his personal example of geekery: currency. It’s really prevalent in his books, because he’s really interested in it.

The next question was about writing. Ali wanted to know who is their first reader? Diana said she writes for herself, so technically she’s her first reader, but her husband of 42 years will read, as she trusts him. She said it’s good to have a first reader you trust, but make sure you know what you trust them for. Joe echoed this, also saying he writes for himself, and if the people like it, awesome. He said you should cover your own interests; as soon as you write “out”, you’re doomed. Lev said his wife reads for him, she’s way smarter than he is. But he said also he writes for himself, he’s an asshole and will be tough on himself. He’s a grumpy reader, so he’s tough. George added to the general idea, saying he’s known writers writing the trends vs. the stories they lose themselves in, and it doesn’t work. And Pat’s right, you need to write your obsessions. George loves heraldry and food. Pat added that you hope your interests will catch on. He then said his first reader situation is really different than most. He had 2-300 beta readers for his first book. It’s good to have smart people read your book over writers, but he wants general people. Other people know lots of things about everything else beyond writing. It’s part of his therapy (ha!), he’s obsessive about getting feedback. Joe said he couldn’t do more than two readers at a time. The current book had four editors and that was a lot for him. But Lev said that he has around twenty-five beta readers because of reading about Pat’s way of doing things on his blog. Diana said you should always ask the experts. For example, if you cut a leg off, find out how to amputate a leg, etc.

For the last question Ali asked them what’s the toughest thing with writing? Diana said inertia. The longer you wait, the harder to get back into it. When stuck, write anyway. Joe said with a laugh that with the first and last sentence he’s awesome. Otherwise he thinks he sucks. But he said don’t get down on yourself.

There were some great audience questions, but one of them referenced Jane Austin and wanted to know their understanding of love and how they explore healthy and unhealthy relationships. Pat got a lot of laughs when he said that he’s explored a lot of unhealthy relationships. He said to make a lot of mistakes early on, as we learn through failure. Without mistakes we don’t have motivation to evolve, so get out there and do crazy stuff. Lev said you can’t hold back, that fantasy is raw. Be very honest, which can be painful. Diana said Lev’s dead right, honesty is important. So is picking the right person (ha!).

One of the best things about this panel was the authors all listed books they’ve really enjoyed recently. Here’s the list:

Joe:  Annihilation, by Jeff Vandermeer.

Lev: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot by David Shafer

Diana: Phil Rickman’s crime novels, Pandaemonium by Chris Brookmyre

George: Classic fantasy like Jack Vance, Tolkien, and straight historical fiction like George MacDonald Fraser

Pat: Declare by Tim Powers

Lots of great info to chew on from this panel, especially if you’re a writer. These are some of the best, and it was great to hear what they had to say about their craft and the worlds they create. And be sure to check out some of their book recommendations!

Book Editorial, Book Events, Books, Editorials, Events

SDCC14: Some of the world’s biggest fantasy writers talk about putting the Epic in Epic Fantasy

LMZ_8691w header
L to R: Weeks, Wexler, Sykes, Abercrombie, Hobb, Rhodes, Feist, and Rothfuss

Lytherus had the good fortune of attending not one, but two epic fantasy panels at San Diego Comic Con this year. The first (aptly named “Putting the Epic in Epic Fantasy”) had an amazing lineup of authors: Django Wexler (The Shadow Throne), Sam Sykes (The City Stained Red),  Joe Abercrombie (Half a King), Robin Hobb (Fool’s Assassin), Morgan Rhodes (The Fallen Kingdom Series), Rayond E. Feist (Magician’s End), and Patrick Rothfuss (The Slow Regard of Silent Things), with Brent Weeks (The Way of Shadows) as the MC.

Brent kicked it off with a hilarious intro to all of the authors, complete with photo slideshow, which had everyone in stitches in the first few minutes. Once he got into the meat of the panel though, some great questions were asked. First up: Does it make sense to have traditions in fantasy? Pat started everyone off, saying that he doesn’t really know where his position is with this, using Christianity going from one to many types as a parallel example, and saying that we can follow the trends, like from Harry Potter now over to George R.R. Martin. He also said that he’s inspired from stuff he doesn’t like as much as stuff he does. Sam added to this, saying how things we liked as kids we may be ashamed of as adults (he likened Dragon Lance to porn as an example and got a great laugh)

Next Brent moved on to individual questions, starting with asking Django to talk about military fantasy. He said GRRM was a direct inspiration, and liked how he took things back to their roots, referencing the Napoleonic wars, etc. Also, some things were a result of HP, the idea of wondering what it would be like if the mentor was untrustworthy (i.e. a sketchy Dumbledore, which also got some laughs).

LMZ_8692wBrent used this to transition to Robin, asking her how she’d describe her writing and how she thinks she fits into the GRRM era. She said simply that she’s trying to tell a story. She’s not trying to change your mind or inspire you, and there are really no boundaries. No one can tell the same story the same way, and on top of that, all artists are thieves. Ray added to this, saying that you can’t predict success with this. GRRM cheats. He cheats. All writers cheat (the example he uses is a scene in one of George’s books with soldiers that isn’t historically accurate, but works to drive the story forward). Writers cheat so they can focus on what’s most interesting, Ray continued. They hope what they write is interesting to others too.

Morgan was up next, and Brent wanted to know what made her want to write her YA fantasy book, as she’s sometimes seen as the YA GRRM. She’s new to fantasy, having written in the paranormal genre for a while, so she wanted to pull from fantasy she loved, like the movies Willow and Legend, and even Disney princesses. And then she started watching Game of Thrones and was like WTF?! It all went into her melting pot. She’s not trying to write for anyone specific, it’s just the story.

At this point Joe interjected that it’s amazing to him that no one has mentioned Tolkien yet. A few years ago it was Tolkien and only Tolkien. Pat added to this, talking about how things seem to swing in four-year intervals. It was Harry Potter for a while, and then it was the LOTR movies, and now Game of Thrones. He said it’s hard in the moment to say if it’s an overall shifting of genre, or if it’s just this moment in time. Django added that Harry Potter made people see YA and MG in a new way, and the post-HP world is very different.

Sam then wondered why GoT is different, the appeal is different. Usually the good guys win. GoT changed the rules. Everyone was like “You can’t DO that!”, and maybe that’s what makes it appealing. Robin added that it’s great because GoT brings in a new readership who haven’t read anything like it, or their work, before. Pat got a laugh with the reference that people still refer to fantasy as ghetto. First LOTR, then HP, now GoT. At some point you have to stop saying it’s ghetto.

At this point there were some audience questions, most of them directed towards one author or another vs. the whole group. But the energy was jovial and the audience seemed to really enjoy the panel. I also had a great time, and really loved the insight of how the genre is evolving. This panel had some of the great fantasy writers of our time, and it was wonderful to get a peek into their minds and their worlds. I’ll definitely be curious to see what big thing of the genre will be latched onto next, but for now we will have to wait and see!

Book Editorial, Books, Editorials, Movies

Five books to read if you liked ‘Ender’s Game’

You’ve read the book. You’ve seen the move. Now what? Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is a modern classic and much beloved. Many people are going to be experiencing Ender’s world for the first time through the movie release this week, and old and new fans alike are going to be itching for something similar. Here is a list of five books that you might enjoy if you loved Ender.

the-giver-by-lois-lowry1: The Giver, by Lois Lowry

This is another modern classic, and was one of the first dystopian books written to be seen that way. It’s a small book and a quick read, but it packs a lot of punch with great characters and a unique world. Here’s a blurb:

The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

starship troopers1:  Starship Troopers, by Robert A. Heinlein

This is another book that was turned into a movie. Sometimes referred to as the grown-up version of Ender’s Game, this is a great read that makes you think about what’s important and the way we view the world. And there’s creepy alien bugs! Here’s a blurb:

The historians can’t seem to settle whether to call this one “The Third Space War” (or the fourth), or whether “The First Interstellar War” fits it better. We just call it “The Bug War.” Everything up to then and still later were “incidents,” “patrols,” or “police actions.” However, you are just as dead if you buy the farm in an “incident” as you are if you buy it in a declared war…

In one of Robert A. Heinlein’s most controversial bestsellers, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the Universe—and into battle with the Terran Mobile Infantry against mankind’s most alarming enemy.

old man's war3: Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi

Scalzi is widely popular for his interesting scifi books, and this is one of his best (and also happens to be his first). He manages to keep the characters really human, which is one of the best parts of Ender’s Game as well. That, combined with greag humor and fresh-feeling scifi makes this a great read. Here’s a blurb:

John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife’s grave. Then he joined the army.

The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce-and aliens willing to fight for them are common. The universe, it turns out, is a hostile place.

So: we fight. To defend Earth (a target for our new enemies, should we let them get close enough) and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has gone on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.

Earth itself is a backwater. The bulk of humanity’s resources are in the hands of the Colonial Defense Force, which shields the home planet from too much knowledge of the situation. What’s known to everybody is that when you reach retirement age, you can join the CDF. They don’t want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You’ll be taken off Earth and never allowed to return. You’ll serve your time at the front. And if you survive, you’ll be given a generous homestead stake of your own, on one of our hard-won colony planets.

John Perry is taking that deal. He has only the vaguest idea what to expect. Because the actual fight, light-years from home, is far, far harder than he can imagine-and what he will become is far stranger.

the name of the wind4: The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss

This is a fantasy book, not scifi, but it’s another example of an exceptional child being put into interesting adult situations. This book is hugely popular, and Rothfuss creates a diverse and complex world filled with interesting people. Here’s a blurb:

The riveting first-person narrative of a young man who grows to be the most notorious magician his world has ever seen. From his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime- ridden city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that transports readers into the body and mind of a wizard. It is a high-action novel written with a poet’s hand, a powerful coming-of-age story of a magically gifted young man, told through his eyes: to read this book is to be the hero.

the maze runner5: The Maze Runner, by James Dashner

This YA dystopian is unique and fantastic, and is a world of all boys and one girl trapped in a maze with no idea why they are there. There’s a great creep-factor, interesting mysteries, and wonderful peer dynamics that Ender’s fans will enjoy. Here’s a blurb:

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every thirty days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

What do you think? Any books we missed that you think fans of Ender’s Game will enjoy? Let us know in the comments!

 

Book News, Books, News

Freebies, Excerpts, and Giveaways, Oh My!

I came across a few great book goodies today and thought I’d share them all in one post for your viewing pleasure. There’s a chance to win a book by Joe Hill, an excerpt of the newest book by Patrick Rothfuss, and a BOGO offer from Orbit Books.

Giveaway of Horns, one of the newest novels from Joe Hill:

Lytherus editor Jackie Krah had the pleasure of interviewing Hill recently when he was scouting location for the TV show based off of his comic Locke & Key (click here to link to that interview).  Now The Ranting Dragon is giving away a copy of Horns, which was voted as one of the best fantasy novels of 2010. What’s it about? Here’s the book blurb:

Joe Hill’s critically acclaimed, New York Times bestselling, Bram Stoker Award-winning debut chiller, Heart-Shaped Box, heralded the arrival of new royalty onto the dark fantasy scene. With Horns, he polishes his well-deserved crown. A twisted, terrifying new novel of psychological and supernatural suspense, Horns is a devilishly original triumph for the Ray Bradbury Fellowship recipient whose story collection, 20th Century Ghosts, was also honored with a Bram Stoker Award—and whose emotionally powerful and  macabre work has been praised by the New York Times as, “wild, mesmerizing, perversely witty…a Valentine from hell.”

This, along with future giveaways, is part of their Locus Challenge, which you need to participate in to be eligible to win Horns. It’s pretty easy, just voting for various books that you like, and with continued participation you have the chance to win future prizes. So, click here to find out how to win Horns (this page will link you to wherever else you need to go!).

Excerpt: The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

The Wise Man’s Fear came out This past Tuesday, and is the highly anticipated sequel to Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind. Tor.com has a nice little excerpt to peak your curiosity about this already-popular book. Click here to link to the excerpt.

What’s this book about? Here’s the summary from Amazon:

As seamless and lyrical as a song from the lute-playing adventurer and arcanist Kvothe, this mesmerizing sequel to Rothfuss’s 2007′s debut, The Name of the Wind, is a towering work of fantasy. As Kvothe, now the unassuming keeper of the Waystone Inn, continues to share his astounding life story—a history that includes saving an influential lord from treachery, defeating a band of dangerous bandits, and surviving an encounter with a legendary Fae seductress—he also offers glimpses into his life’s true pursuit: figuring out how to vanquish the mythical Chandrian, a group of seven godlike destroyers that brutally murdered his family and left him an orphan. But while Kvothe recalls the events of his past, his future is conspiring just outside the inn’s doors. This breathtakingly epic story is heartrending in its intimacy and masterful in its narrative essence, and will leave fans waiting on tenterhooks for the final installment.

Orbit e-books: BOGO on featured fantasy and sci-fi books:

If you’re a die-hard science-fiction or fantasy fan, here’s your chance to dip your toes in the other genre. Orbit books came up with a great idea to cross-over. If you buy the “bonus ebook edition” of the scifi space opera Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey, you’ll get the fantasy e-book of The Dragon’s Path by Daniel Abraham for free. This works in reverse too for fantasy fans: everyone who buys the “bonus ebook edition” of The Dragon’s Path will receive a complimentary copy of Leviathan Wakes.

This is from the press release:

Although the two genres are often categorized alongside each other, direct cross-promotion of new Science Fiction and Fantasy releases in this way is quite new. We’re very excited to be giving readers the chance to discover both these exciting new series at the same time.

Here’s a little bit about each one:

Leviathan Wakes (set to release in paperback on June 15th, 2011):

Humanity has colonized the solar system – Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond – but the stars are still out of our reach.

Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from the rings of Saturn to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, The Scopuli, they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. A secret that someone is willing to kill for – and kill on a scale unfathomable to Jim and his crew. War is brewing in the system unless he can find out who left the ship and why.

Detective Miller is looking for a girl. One girl in a system of billions, but her parents have money and money talks. When the trail leads him to The Scopuli and rebel sympathizer Holden, he realizes that this girl may be the key to everything.

Holden and Miller must thread the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations – and the odds are against them. But out in the Belt, the rules are different, and one small ship can change the fate of the universe.

The Dragon’s Path (set to release April 7th, 2011):

All paths lead to war…

Marcus’ hero days are behind him. He knows too well that even the smallest war still means somebody’s death. When his men are impressed into a doomed army, staying out of a battle he wants no part of requires some unorthodox steps.

Cithrin is an orphan, ward of a banking house. Her job is to smuggle a nation’s wealth across a war zone, hiding the gold from both sides. She knows the secret life of commerce like a second language, but the strategies of trade will not defend her from swords.

Geder, sole scion of a noble house, has more interest in philosophy than in swordplay. A poor excuse for a soldier, he is a pawn in these games. No one can predict what he will become.

Falling pebbles can start a landslide. A spat between the Free Cities and the Severed Throne is spiraling out of control. A new player rises from the depths of history, fanning the flames that will sweep the entire region onto The Dragon’s Path-the path to war.

[via i09.com, rantingdragon.com, and tor.com]

Book News, Books, News

New Releases, Week of February 27th, 2011

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

Released Monday, February 28th, 2011

In the Shadow of Swords, by Val Gunn

A brutal assassin, a drug-addicted spy, and a vengeful widow are embroiled in a potentially world-shaking conspiracy in Gunn’s convoluted political fantasy, the launch title for indie Errant Press. When Ciris Sarn, a curse-bound half-jinn, murders Hiril Altaïr, he leaves behind four books of magic. They come into the hands of Hiril’s widow, Marin, and she becomes a target even as she hunts for her husband’s murderer. Meanwhile, Fajeer Dassai, one of the sultan’s advisers, plots to retrieve the books to make himself wealthy beyond imagination. His only obstacle is Pavanan Munif, leader of the Jassaj spies and warriors. The story is told from multiple perspectives in short bursts of chapters, and the action never stops long enough to establish or ground the setting, leaving a confusing narrative of demons and usurpers that threatens to be the first of a series.

Redwood and Wildfire, by Andrea Hairston

Redwood and Wildfire is a novel of what might have been. At the turn of the 20th century, minstrel shows transform into vaudeville, which slides into moving pictures. Hunkering together in dark theatres, diverse audiences marvel at flickering images. This ”dreaming in public” becomes common culture and part of what transforms immigrants and ”native” born into Americans. Redwood, an African American woman, and Aidan, a Seminole Irish man, journey from Georgia to Chicago, from haunted swampland to a ”city of the future.” Gifted performers and hoodoo conjurors, they struggle to call up the wondrous world they imagine, not just on stage and screen, but on city streets, in front parlours, in wounded hearts. The power of hoodoo is the power of the community that believes in its capacities to heal and determine the course of today and tomorrow. Living in a system stacked against them, Redwood and Aidan s power and talent are torment and joy. Their search for a place to be who they want to be is an exhilarating, painful, magical adventure. Blues singers, filmmakers, haints, healers.

Released Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Late Eclipses (October Daye, Book 4), by Seanan McGuire

In October “Toby” Daye’s fourth outing, following 2010’s An Artificial Night, the half-Fae private detective is once again run through the wringer when problems plaguing the San Francisco Fae community strike home on a personal level. First, in an unprecedented, unexpected move, the Queen of the Mists promotes Toby to countess. Given that the Queen hates her, it’s quite obviously a trap, but not something Toby can refuse or avoid. Subsequently, several of Toby’s closest friends are struck down through poison and illness, and she’s accused of murder. Has an enemy from Toby’s past resurfaced, or is she losing her mind? Physically, emotionally, and magically drained, faced with tragedy and despair, Toby’s forced to deal with the long-hidden truth behind her Fae heritage. In this tightly plotted adventure, McGuire mixes nonstop action with a wealth of mythology to deliver a wholly satisfying story.

Sleight of Hand, by Peter S. Beagle

Abundant with tales of quiet heroism, life-changing decisions, and determined searches for deep answers, this extraordinary collection of contemporary fantasy explores the realms between this world and the next. From the top of the Berlin Wall to the depths of the darkest seas, gods and monsters battle their enemies and innermost fears, yet mere mortals make the truly difficult choices. A slightly regretful author and a vengeful-but-dilapidated dragon square off over an abandoned narrative; the children of the Shark God demand painful truths from their chronically absent father; and a bereaved women sacrifices herself to change one terrible moment, effortlessly reversed by a shuffle of the deck. Whether melancholic, comedic, or deeply tragic, each new tale is suffused with misdirection and discovery, expressed in the rich and mesmerizing voice of a masterful storyteller.

False Horizon (Rogue Angel), by Alex Archer

A small Nepali man melts into shadows. A cutthroat crime lord is looking for a miraculous cure. And a map to an impossible dream and a mythic paradise is pointing the way.

Archaeologist Annja Creed is in Katmandu, awash in its scents, sounds and liveliness. But this is no sightseeing trip. An old friend is in possession of a map that leads to a place that lies outside our world. But the map is known to one other—a vicious man who has Annja and her companions right where he wants them. Her hand forced, Annja sets out in search of the fabled Shangri-La—an expedition of danger and subversion.

And her journey will end only with triumph…or tragedy.

Demon Song, by Cat Adams

Adams (a joint pseudonym for C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp) delivers a satisfying third Celia Graves adventure to follow 2010’s Blood Song and Siren Song. Bodyguard by profession, vampire by accident, and siren by heritage, Celia leads a life of excitement and turmoil, struggling to control her bloodlust and dark impulses even as she discovers new abilities. Her attempts to maintain a normal existence are stymied by anti-vampire prejudice, a death curse, and a demonic invasion that could destroy the world. Her only hope lies in finding a set of long-lost artifacts, deciphering the prophecies of a deceased friend, and persuading quarrelsome allies to work together. This series just keeps getting better, maintaining a delicate balance between urban fantasy and paranormal romance. The emotional components are just as strong as the action sequences, set against an increasingly interesting world.

Other Kingdoms, by Richard Matheson

Genre veteran Matheson (I Am Legend) frames this bittersweet blend of fantasy and romantic suspense as the “true” reminiscences of 82-year-old Alex White, the author of such novels as Midnight Blood Thirst and Midnight Flesh Hunger under the name Alex Black. In the spring of 1918, the then 18-year-old Alex, a wounded soldier who’s been discharged from the American Army, settles in the isolated English town of Gatford, where he soon finds himself caught between two supernaturally empowered women: Magda, an alluring witch, and Ruthana, a charming faerie. Alex, himself powerless, is willing to make great sacrifices to be with his one true love, whichever one she might be, but their different natures and disapproving relatives may doom the relationship. Which of the two women Alex will choose is never really in doubt; the loser is clearly unsuitable and conveniently malicious in defeat. The self-pitying Alex may ramble in telling his straightforward tale, but Matheson remains as ever a competent craftsman.

The Crippled God: Book Ten of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, by Steven Erikson

Savaged by the K’Chain Nah’Ruk, the Bonehunters march for Kolanse, where waits an unknown fate. Tormented by questions, the army totters on the edge of mutiny, but Adjunct Tavore will not relent. One final act remains, if it is in her power, if she can hold her army together, if the shaky allegiances she has forged can survive all that is to come. A woman with no gifts of magic, deemed plain, unprepossessing, displaying nothing to instill loyalty or confidence, Tavore Paran of House Paran means to challenge the gods — if her own troops don’t kill her first.

Awaiting Tavore and her allies are the Forkrul Assail, the final arbiters of humanity. Drawing upon an alien power terrible in its magnitude, they seek to cleanse the world, to annihilate every human, every civilization, in order to begin anew. They welcome the coming conflagration of slaughter, for it shall be of their own devising, and it pleases them to know that, in the midst of the enemies gathering against them, there shall be betrayal. In the realm of Kurald Galain, home to the long lost city of Kharkanas, a mass of refugees stand upon the First Shore. Commanded by Yedan Derryg, the Watch, they await the breaching of Lightfall, and the coming of the Tiste Liosan. This is a war they cannot win, and they will die in the name of an empty city and a queen with no subjects.

Elsewhere, the three Elder Gods, Kilmandaros, Errastas and Sechul Lath, work to shatter the chains binding Korabas, the Otataral Dragon, and release her from her eternal prison. Once freed, she will be a force of utter devastation, and against her no mortal can stand. At the Gates of Starvald Demelain, the Azath House sealing the portal is dying. Soon will come the Eleint, and once more, there will be dragons in the world. And so, in a far away land and beneath indifferent skies, the final cataclysmic chapter in the extraordinary ‘Malazan Book of the Fallen’ begins.

Invasion: Book One of the Secret World Chronicle, by Mercedes Lackey et al.

The world had become used to the metahumans—people sometimes perfectly ordinary,but sometimes quite extraordinary in appearance—who mostly worked with their governments as high-powered peace officers, fighting crime, and sometimes fighting rogue metahumans who had become super-criminals. Then that comfortable world ended in just one terrifying day.

Suddenly, all world governments were simultaneously attacked by soldiers in giant mecha robotic suits with the swastika symbol of the Third Reich on their metal arms. If these were Nazis, where had they been hiding since the end of World War II? And where had they gotten armor and weapons far in advance of anything on the planet? Weapons against which even the metahuman heroes seemed to be helpless . . .

River Marked (Mercy Thompson, Book 6), by Patricia Briggs

Car mechanic Mercy Thompson has always known there was something different about her, and not just the way she can make a VW engine sit up and beg. Mercy is a shapeshifter, a talent she inherited from her long-gone father. She’s never known any others of her kind. Until now.

An evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River—one that her father’s people may know something about. And to have any hope of surviving, Mercy and her mate, the Alpha werewolf Adam, will need their help…

The Wise Man’s Fear (Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 2), by Patrick Rothfuss

As seamless and lyrical as a song from the lute-playing adventurer and arcanist Kvothe, this mesmerizing sequel to Rothfuss’s 2007’s debut, The Name of the Wind, is a towering work of fantasy. As Kvothe, now the unassuming keeper of the Waystone Inn, continues to share his astounding life story—a history that includes saving an influential lord from treachery, defeating a band of dangerous bandits, and surviving an encounter with a legendary Fae seductress—he also offers glimpses into his life’s true pursuit: figuring out how to vanquish the mythical Chandrian, a group of seven godlike destroyers that brutally murdered his family and left him an orphan. But while Kvothe recalls the events of his past, his future is conspiring just outside the inn’s doors. This breathtakingly epic story is heartrending in its intimacy and masterful in its narrative essence, and will leave fans waiting on tenterhooks for the final installment.

Hammer of the Emperor: An Imperial Guard Omnibus (Warhammer 40,000), by Lucien Soulban

Across the war-torn galaxy, the Imperial Guard are a bastion against the enemies of mankind. From the punishing heat of Tallarn’s deserts to the bonechilling tundras of Valhalla, these are soldiers who give their lives in the Emperor’s name. Whether shoulder to shoulder or crushing their enemies in vast machines of war, they are unwavering in their devotion to duty. On a thousand stars, they repel the forces of Chaos and the foul xenos in an eternal conflict. This omnibus collects three tales of savage warfare and heroism in the frontline.

Twilight’s Dawn: A Black Jewels Book, by Anne Bishop

Bestseller Bishop fills out her popular Black Jewels dark fantasy universe (Daughter of the Blood, etc.) with this entertaining novella collection. Daemon Sadi, a black-jeweled Warlord Prince, deals with friends, family, and holiday celebrations in “Winsol Gifts,” while his brother, Lucivar Yaslana, has to thwart a traitor and his deadly trap in the richly entertaining “Shades of Honor.” A mother and her sons are threatened by a dangerous, twisted enemy in “Family,” while Daemon becomes a father and finds a new lease on life and love in “The High Lord’s Daughter.” Fans of the series will enjoy revisiting some favorite characters and mourn the loss of others; new readers may be initially confused by the myriad names and titles, but Bishop’s accessible writing style and interesting world-building will soon draw them into her web.

Overkill, by Robert Buettner

At twenty-three, Jazen Parker has completed his Legion hitch a hero.  But in four months, he’ll have a price on his head.  Worse, he’s lost his past, and he can’t find his future.  Worst of all, he’s chosen to search for them on the deadliest planet known to mankind.

When Jazen reluctantly hires on to a Trueborn Earthman tycoon’s safari to bag a deadly trophy, the reluctant mercenary finds himself shipped out to Downgraded Earthlinke 476, the outpost at the end of the universe known to everyone except its tourism bureau as “Dead End.”

But the hunt goes terribly wrong, and Jazen must survive a tough, beautiful local guide who hates mercenaries, an eleven ton beast that can crush main battle tanks with one claw tied behind its back, and the return of a nightmare that has haunted Jazen since birth. Then Jazen learns that the stakes are not merely his own life, but the fate of an entire alien race.

Beasts of New York, by Jon Evans and Jim Westergard

Beasts of New York is about a squirrel named Patch who, out of desperation and need, adventures beyond his home in Central Kingdom to try and save it. While it seems that fate is conspiring against him, taking him further from his home than any squirrel has traveled, his journey is a necessary step to saving all of Central Kingdom from the evil trying to consume it….

This book reads like a fantasy novel, even though it is set in New York City. The horrors that Patch encounters at times seemed so unreal to me, despite knowing where they were. Seeing them from another pair of eyes gave some things a new air of terror and others one of wonder.

This is not a light novel. It is very dark, and at times absolutely horrifying, but I connected so much to Patch as a hero that, in the end, I was left with tears of relief and happiness in my eyes.

King’s Justice: The Knights of Breton Court, Volume 2, by Maurice Broaddus

King Arthur and his court are reimagined as a motley but courageous group of young men and women trying to make the Breton Court housing project a better place to live in this refreshing urban fantasy, the sequel to 2010’s King Maker. King James White is the son of deceased and morally ambiguous neighborhood boss Luther. His right-hand man, Lott Carey, is an idealistic FedEx driver. Merlin and Morgana are genuine sorcerers, but are generally held to be crazy. Lady G. is particularly sympathetic: she’s young, scared, ambitious, and still not sure what or who she really wants. Notably, Tristan and Isolde cameo as Tristan and Isabel, a pair of star-crossed lesbians. New readers will find it easy to break into the series with this engaging tale of urban renewal and vigilante justice.

The Temple of Yellow Skulls: Abyssal Plague, Book 1 (Pandemonium), by Don Bassingthwaite

Following close on the heels of The Mark of Nerath, Don Bassingthwaite picks up the action and takes the characters into the eye of a new kind of Dungeons & Dragons® adventure…

Imprisoned in the void of a ruined universe by vengeful gods, Tharizdun—the Chained God, the Elder Elemental Eye—shares his exile with the Progenitor, a pool of liquid crystal that is all that remains of the Abyss that destroyed his universe.

Enter our heroes Albanon, Shara and Uldane—all three adventurers readers will know from The Mark of Nerath. They thought their quests were over and done with, but danger still burns like the embers of a smoldering fire in the tall grass. The Progenitor was locked safely away, guarded by Albanon’s dead master, but early on our heroes realize it was stolen and released in the presence of the green dragon Vestapalk as he fell at Shara’s sword.
Now, alerted to the danger of the liquid crystal by a mysterious cleric who claims allegiance to an order that has protected the substance for time immemorial, they must go in search of the dragon’s body, to ensure his demise has not been exaggerated.  What they discover has consequences that could change the world…

The Japanese Devil Fish Girl and Other Unnatural Attractions, by Robert Rankin

Rankin’s far-fetched steampunk sequel to The War of the Worlds!

It’s 1895; nearly a decade since Mars invaded Earth, chronicled by H.G. Wells in The War of the Worlds. Wrecked Martian spaceships, back-engineered by Charles Babbage and Nikola Tesla, have carried the Queen’s Own Electric Fusiliers to the red planet, and Mars is now part of the ever-expanding British Empire. Professor Coffin has a problem: the pickled Martian’s tentacles are fraying at the ends, and his Most Meritorious Unnatural Attraction (the remains of the original alien autopsy, performed by Sir Frederick Treves at the London Hospital) is no longer drawing the crowds. The less-than-scrupulous sideshow proprietor likes Off-worlders’ cash, so he needs a sensational new attraction. Word has reached him of the Japanese Devil Fish Girl; nothing quite like her has ever existed before. But Professor Coffin’s quest to possess the ultimate showman’s exhibit is about to cause considerable friction among the folk of other planets. Sufficient, in fact, to spark off Worlds War Two.

Dead Streets: A Matt Richter Novel, by Tim Waggoner

The return of Matt Richter. Private Eye. Zombie.

MATT RICHTER’S GOING TO PIECES – LITERALLY.

You’ve got to keep your head to survive in the teeming undead city known as Nekropolis. It’s a pity crazed genius Victor Baron couldn’t manage that. Now everyone wants a piece of him.

Zombie detective Matt Richter and his glamorous she-vampire companion Devona are back on the case, with another wild and wonderful investigation.

FILE UNDER: Urban Fantasy [ Zombie Detective | Undead City | Crime Overlord | Off with his Head! ]

Sandstorm: A Forgotten Realms Novel, by Christopher Rowe

A hero rises from the ranks of slaves!

The genasi control almost all of Calimshan for their djinn overlords–all but a few outposts like the floating Island of the Free, where escaped slaves from Calimport’s coliseum run their own brutal games. There, Cephas, a genasi with no memories of his past has spent his entire life fighting But one day a circus of misfits, lead by the crowlike Corvus Nightfeather appear and free Cephas–and for the first time Cephas can harness his inborn powers and control the ground beneath his feet.

The newest Forgotten Realms® author brings his talents to an area that has changed dramatically with the fresh take of Dungeons & Dragons® 4th Edition. The powerful elemental race of the genasi and the xenophobic and ruthless cultures of Calimshan are revealed through the rise of the Forgotten Realms’ newest hero.

To the Galactic Rim: The John Grimes Saga, by A. Bertram Chandler

John Grimes will one day command his own starship, and change the course of Galactic history, but right now he’s a wet-behind-the-ears junior officer who finds that he keeps running into problems which were never covered in his courses at the Academy.

  • The Road to the Rim—meet Lieutenant John Grimes of the Federation Survey Service; fresh out of the Academy—and as green as they come.
  • To Prime the Pump—El Dorado is a planet with a pressing problem: the men are infertile, cause unknown, and the women want someone to Do Something! Not quite the problem young John Grimes expected to deal with . . .
  • The Hard Way Up—a collection of seven tales of John Grime’s adventures, meeting danger and winning glory out at the rim of the Galaxy.
  • The Broken Cycle—John Grimes never intended to get lost in space, let alone being lost with a very attractive policewoman who’s all business. And he really never expected to run into an entity who claims to be a god and has a garden of Eden ready and waiting for the pair.

Three novels and a story collection, all in one attractively-priced volume of space adventure.

Point, by Thomas Blackthorne

Blackthorne (a pseudonym for John Meaney) follows 2010’s Edge with another over-the-top near-future action-adventure romp featuring retired British special forces operative Josh Cumberland. So-called Cutter Circles have been springing up: 13 dead teens in a circle, each cutting the wrists of the next. The teens don’t know one another, and news blackouts mean that they can’t be copycats. Cumberland, emotionally fragile since his daughter’s death, begins fitting pieces together as he tracks a scientist’s disappearance. Meanwhile, his girlfriend, Suzanne, an expert in psychosemantics who can modify behavior with a word, gets called in by MI5 to consult on the case. Their separate investigations become all the more urgent when someone they know, Opal, cuts herself as part of a failed Cutter Circle that provides valuable clues. The action moves so quickly that the overwritten prose and flat characterization barely register.

Blackout (Cal Leandros, Book 6), by Rob Thurman

When half-human Cal Leandros wakes up on a beach littered with the slaughtered remains if a variety of hideous creatures, he’s not that concerned. In fact, he can’t remember anything-including who he is.

And that’s just the way his deadly enemies like it…

Brigitta of the White Forest, by Danika Dinsmore

Brigitta is a young Water Faerie from the village-nest of Tiragarrow. She s confused, moody, and anxious about going through The Change as she doesn t see how destiny markings on her wings should determine her life s path. A few days before the annual Festival of the Elements, Brigitta is flying an errand with Himalette, her tag-a-long sister, when a mysterious curse turns everyone in the White Forest to stone — except for the two of them. The sisters have no idea why they were not cursed, but they do know if they don t turn everyone back in time for the festival rituals, the Hourglass of Protection will run out and so will its protective field around the forest. With no one in their forest left to help them, they must leave the protected realm to seek an exiled faerie they have only heard about in ancient tales. With assistance from a few allies they make along the journey, the girls find their way to Dead Mountain in search of the banished faerie. When they arrive, they find the help they are looking for, but soon discover that things are not what they seem. Running out of time, Brigitta and Himalette must use their wits to battle evil in order to lift the curse and save their forest. A book for those who enjoy fantasy adventure, Brigitta of the White Forest offers a new twist on the faerie tales so loved by young readers.

A Hundred Words for Hate : A Remy Chandler Novel, by Thomas E. Sniegoski

Sniegoski is back on track with the fourth adventure of angel-turned-PI Remy Chandler (after 2010’s Where Angels Fear to Tread). The Sons of Adam, who watch over the first man until he’s allowed entrance to heaven, hire Remy to help them find the long-lost key to the Garden of Eden, in the form of a descendant of Eve. Along the way, Remy fights a violent cherubim, encounters the archangel Malachi, and finally begins dating again. Sniegoski nicely juggles a large cast and throws in some touching moments (Remy’s conversations with his late wife, Madeline, are especially sweet) and humor (as always, provided by Remy’s dog, Marlowe) to balance the epic violence. There’s more than enough nonintrusive exposition to let new readers jump into the story, while longtime fans will appreciate the development of recurring characters such as fallen angel Francis.

After Hours: Tales from Ur-Bar, by Joshua Palmatier

Science fiction and fantasy readers have long shown an affinity for a good “bar story”. Now some of today’s most inventive scriveners have decided to tell their own tall tales-from an alewife’s attempt to transfer the gods’ curse to Gilgamesh, to Odin’s decision to introduce Vikings to the Ur-Bar, from the Holy Roman Emperor’s barroom bargain, to a demon hunter who may just have met his match in the ultimate magic bar, to a bouncer who discovers you should never let anyone in after hours in a world terrorized by zombies.

Daybreak Zero (A Novel of Daybreak), by John Barnes

In late 2024, Daybreak, a movement of post-apocalyptic eco-saboteurs, smashed modern civilization to its knees. In the losing, hopeless struggle against Daybreak, Heather O’Grainne played a major role. That story was told in Directive 51. Now Heather’s story continues in Daybreak Zero. In the summer of 2025, she leads a tiny organization of scientists, spies, scouts, entrepreneurs, engineers, dreamers, and daredevils based in Pueblo, Colorado. Both of the almost-warring governments of the United States have charged them with an all but impossible mission: find a way to put the world back together. But Daybreak’s triumph has flung the world back centuries in technology, politics, and culture. Pro-Daybreak Tribals openly celebrate ending the world as we know it. Army regiments have to fight their way in and out of Pennsylvania. The Earth’s environment is saturated with plastic-devouring biotes and electronics-corroding nanoswarm. A leftover Daybreak device drops atom bombs from the moon on any outpost of the old civilization it can spot. Confined to her base in Pueblo to give birth to her first child, Heather recruits and monitors a coterie of tech wizards, tough guys, and modern-day frontier scouts: a handful of heroes to patrol a continent. All the news is bad: Tribals have overrun Indiana and Illinois; the last working aircraft carrier sits helplessly out in the Indian Ocean, not daring to come closer to land; the crash of one of the last working airplanes kills a vital industrialist; Tribals try to force appeasement on the Provi government while the Temper government faces a rebellion of religious fanatics; seventeen states are lost to the Tribals as California drifts into secession and hereditary monarchy, and everywhere, Provis and Tempers lurch toward civil war. Her agents have exceptional courage, initiative, skill, intelligence, and daring, but can they be enough? For the sake of everything from her newborn son to her dying nation, can she forge them into the weapon that can at last win the world back from the overwhelming, malevolent force of Daybreak? Her success or failure may change everything for the next thousand years, beginning from Daybreak Zero.

An Embarrassment of Riches: A Novel of the Count Saint-Germain, by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

Yarbro’s long-running series featuring the millennia-old vampire Saint-Germain continues to mix rich historical detail and erudite eroticism, though the horror element has become nearly invisible. Known now as Rakoczy Ferancsi, Comes of Santu-Germaniu, Saint-Germain has been exiled from his ancient lands and now resides at the court of the melancholy Queen Kunigunde of Bohemia in 13th-century Prague. He is regarded with suspicion by the local church hierarchy and with intense personal interest by three ladies of the court: the scheming Rozsa of Borsod, the passionate teenager Imbolya of Heves (a particularly unlikely match for 3,200-year-old Saint-Germain), and the determined Iliska of Szousa. Though the intensity of the storytelling has lessened substantially over the course of the series, Yarbro’s compelling prose and meticulously researched setting still combine effectively for a vivid historical tale that will please series fans.

Playfair’s Axiom (Deathlands), by James Axler

A legendary warrior of nuke-spawned America, Ryan Cawdor understands the hard-and-fast rule of Deathlands. Where there is life, death is only a matter of time. Still, staying alive is the dubious luxury of being quick, hard and willing to abide by a code of honor long abandoned to the wreckage of this postapocalyptic hell zone: truth and fair play.

St. Louis is a concrete jungle of fetid heat, acid rains and cutthroats. With J. B. Dix gravely wounded, Ryan and his group become captive guests of a local barony. Freedom lies in the success of a deal: recapture a runaway teen, daughter of the ailing baron. But the dangerous power behind the throne rests with a self-proclaimed holy man. His gruesome manipulation of life and death are about to put the group in a race for their own salvation.

Cavern of the Blood Zombies (Graver Robbers’ Chronicles), by Lei Xu

Uncle Three loves good food, good booze, good card games, and bad women—and he’s never found a grave he wouldn’t rob. He can’t help it—it’s in his blood—grave robbing has been the family business for centuries.

So when his bookseller nephew comes to him with a map to an ancient tomb, Uncle Three sets off to find it, in the company of some grave-robbing colleagues, his nerdy nephew, and a strange poker-faced guy that nobody can quite figure out.

Uncle Three knows that the grave he seeks will lead him and his companions to “another kind of world,” but not even he could ever imagine what they are about to find. Lost in a labyrinthine cavern that is full of dead bodies, Uncle Three and his comrades fight for their lives as they come up against vampires, corpse-eating bugs, and blood zombies.

The first volume of The Grave Robbers’ Chronicles, which will soon be followed by Angry Sea, Hidden Sand, Cavern of the Blood Zombies is as impossible to put down as a bag of good potato chips. A story with more twists and turns than a burial cavern and the funniest grave robbers the world has ever known, it’s kept Chinese readers awake far into the night. Now it’s your turn…

By Wizard Oak, by Peter Crowther

Long on weird phenomena but short on explanations, this Halloween fantasia from PS Publishing founder Crowther (Windows to the Soul) sketches an imaginative, puzzling portrait of a small Maine town under siege from malignant supernatural forces. The day before Halloween, Magellan Bend is suddenly teeming with beings in traditional witch garb who ravenously consume random locals not only in body but in the memories of their friends and relatives. After providing a lengthy, panoramic view of the chaos and mayhem, Crowther sends deliverance in the person of Jeremy DePlage, a hospital patient newly awakened from an eight-year coma that rendered him immune to the witches’ memory wipes. The loose plotting of this slender horror tale will challenge impatient readers, but those who care more about atmospheric writing will enjoy the creepy chills.

The Extraterrestrial Compendium, by Pat Lee

Just in time for the approach of the reputedly transformative year 2012 — a comprehensive collection of extraterrestrial life-forms as visualized and vividly rendered by Pat Lee of Transformers, DC, and Marvel comics fame, and his select group of artists. Within the UFO and exopolitics communities, there is both debate and consensus about many of the “known” extraterrestrial races, but seldom have they been revealed in this level of detail. To the believer, the curious, or just open-minded, The Extraterrestrial Compendium provides fuel for thought.

Moon Over Soho, by Ben Aaronovitch

BODY AND SOUL

The song. That’s what London constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant first notices when he examines the corpse of Cyrus Wilkins, part-time jazz drummer and full-time accountant, who dropped dead of a heart attack while playing a gig at Soho’s 606 Club. The notes of the old jazz standard are rising from the body—a sure sign that something about the man’s death was not at all natural but instead supernatural.

Body and soul—they’re also what Peter will risk as he investigates a pattern of similar deaths in and around Soho. With the help of his superior officer, Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, and the assistance of beautiful jazz aficionado Simone Fitzwilliam, Peter will uncover a deadly magical menace—one that leads right to his own doorstep and to the squandered promise of a young jazz musician: a talented trumpet player named Richard “Lord” Grant—otherwise known as Peter’s dear old dad.

May (Daughters of the Sea), by Kathryn Lasky

Book 2 in Kathryn Lasky’s shimmering quartet about mermaid sisters and supernatural love.

May feels her life drying up. The sea calls to her, but her parents forbid her from swimming. She longs for books, but her mother finds her passion for learning strange. She yearns for independence, but a persistent suitor, Rudd, wants to tame her spirited ways. Yet after her fifteenth birthday, the urge to break free becomes overpowering and May makes a life-changing discovery. She does not belong on land where girls are meant to be obedient. She is a mermaid-a creature of the sea.

For the first time, May learns what freedom feels like-the thrill of exploring both the vast ocean and the previously forbidden books. She even catches the eye of Hugh, an astronomy student who, unlike the townspeople, finds May anything but strange. But not everyone is pleased with May’s transformation. Rudd decides that if can’t have May, no one will. He knows how to destroy her happiness and goes to drastic measures to ensure that May loses everything: her freedom and the only boy she’s ever loved.

Dark Mirror, by M. J. Putney

Lady Victoria Mansfield, youngest daughter of the earl and countess of Fairmount, is destined for a charmed life. Soon she will be presented during the London season, where she can choose a mate worthy of her status.

Yet Tory has a shameful secret—a secret so powerful that, if exposed, it could strip her of her position and disgrace her family forever. Tory’s blood is tainted . . . by magic.

When a shocking accident forces Tory to demonstrate her despised skill, the secret she’s fought so hard to hide is revealed for all to see. She is immediately exiled to Lackland Abbey, a reform school for young men and women in her position. There she will learn to suppress her deplorable talents and maybe, if she’s one of the lucky ones, be able to return to society.

But Tory’s life is about to change forever. All that she’s ever known or considered important will be challenged. What lies ahead is only the beginning of a strange and wonderful journey into a world where destiny and magic come together, where true love and friendship find her, and where courage and strength of character are the only things that determine a young girl’s worth.

Demonglass (A Hex Hall Novel), by Rachel Hawkins

Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch.

That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.

But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Acher to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?

Betrayal (Haunting Emma), by Lee Nichols

Emma Vaile is the most powerful ghostkeeper in centuries. Which is great when she’s battling the wraith-master Neos, but terrible when she’s flirting with fellow ghostkeeper (and soul mate) Bennett. When ghostkeepers fall in love, the weaker one loses all power, and that’s not something Bennett can handle. Heartbroken and alone, Emma tries to lose herself in school with fellow ghostkeeper, Natalie. When a new team of ghostkeepers arrive-one a snarky teen
boy, the other a British scholar-Emma finds solace in training for the battle against Neos. But as the team grows stronger, they are threatened by an unknown force. One they thought was good.
As chilling and page-turning as Deception, this sequel will grab readers and hold them to the last page. No one is safe from suspicion as Emma closes in on the traitor.

Clarity, by Kim Harrington

When you can see things others can’t, where do you look for the truth?

This paranormal murder mystery will have teens reading on the edge of their seats.

Clarity “Clare” Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It’s a gift.

And a curse.

When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare’s ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case–but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare’s brother–who has supernatural gifts of his own–becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most?

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