If it’s Monday, it must be time to look at the new releases in speculative fiction this week—and you get to pick which one you’d like to win! We have a smallish list this week, but maybe you can find something interesting here. As someone who was introduced to the “modern” vampire by Anne Rice, I’m interested in seeing how she tackles werewolves in her new book that comes out this week.And the Brave New Love anthology of dystopian love stories looks kinda cool. Because, uh, you know, my TBR pile isn’t big enough, right?
What do you want to read? Leave a comment and tell me, and I’ll draw one name to win his or her choice. International, as always. And if the book is in a series you haven’t started, you can always pick the first one in the series instead.
Dagmar Shaw got out of the game—and into the movies. Sean is a washed-up child actor reduced to the lowest dregs of reality television to keep himself afloat. His life was a downward spiral of alcoholism, regret, and failure… until he met Dagmar. Except Sean has secrets, dark even for the Hollywood treadmill of abuse, addiction, and rehab. And Dagmar is a cipher. There are dark rumors about her past, the places she’s been, the things she was involved in. People tend to die around her and now, she wants Sean for something. A movie, she says, but with her history, who’s to say what her real game is? Third in the Dagmar series. Urban fantasy
Brave New Love, edited by Paula Guran (Feb. 14, Running Press)
Young love has always had its challenges, but even so, the world falling apart at its seams is a pretty big obstacle. This collection of dystopian tales explores survival of the fittest in terms of love, passion, and humanity. When the survival of the human race is at stake, what will it take for the bond between two people to hold strong together? Featuring works from Jeanne Du Prau, Carrie Ryan, Diana Peterfreund, Jesse Karp, Kiera Cass, Andrew Smith, and William Sleator. YA
Everything Aoife thought she knew about the world was a lie. There is no Necrovirus. And Aoife isn’t going to succumb to madness because of a latent strain—she will lose her faculties because she is allergic to iron. Aoife is a changeling—half human and half from the land of Thorn. And time is running out. When Aoife destroyed the Lovecraft engine she released the monsters from the Thorn Lands into the Iron Lands and now she must find a way to seal the gates and reverse the destruction she’s ravaged on the world that’s about to poison her. Second in the Iron Codex steampunk series. YA
Delphi Keep is awash in activity, and for Ian, Theo, and Carl, their safe haven might be nearing its end. The Royal Navy has taken the keep to use as a hospital and the tunnels running under the keep and the castle are ideal to set up a central communications outpost for the approaching war. The earl is happy to help the effort, but now the keep is no longer safe for the orphans and they must be evacuated to his winter residence. Ian, Theo, and Carl know that if they’re sent away, they’ll no longer be protected. But more important than their safety is deciphering the third prophecy. Middle-grade fantasy
She is Widdershins, a thief making her way through Davillon’s underbelly looking to find answers, and justice with a sharp blade, a sharper wit, and the mystical aid of Olgun, a foreign god with no other worshipers but Widdershins herself. YA
To Rosa Alcantara, the exotic world of Sicily, with its network of Mafia families and its reputation for murder and intrigue, is just that—exotic and wholly unknown. But when her life in Brooklyn begins to fall apart, she must travel to her family’s ancestral home. Once there, Rosa falls for Alessandro Carnevare, the son of a Sicilian Mafia family, both fascinates and unsettles her. But their families are sworn enemies, and her aunt and sister believe Alessandro is only using Rosa to infiltrate the Alcantara clan. And when Rosa encounters a tiger one night—a tiger with very familiar eyes—she can no longer deny that neither the Carnevares nor the Alcantaras are what they seem. (And YOW on this cover!) YA
Life as the Preliator is harder than Ellie ever imagined. Balancing real life with the responsibility of being Heaven’s warrior is a challenge. And now that the secret of who she really is has come out, so are Hell’s strongest reapers. Grown bold and more vicious, the demonic threaten her in the light of day and stalk her in the night. Treachery comes even from those whom she loves, and Ellie is broken by the deaths of those who stood beside her in this Heavenly war. Still, she must find a way to save the world, herself, and her love for Will. If she fails, there will be hell to pay. Second in the Angelfire series.YA
Jocelyn’s twin brother Jack was the only family she had growing up in a world of foster homes—and now he’s dead. Then she gets a cryptic letter from Jason December—the code name her brother used when they were children at Seale House, a terrifying foster home that they believed had dark powers. Only one other person knows about Jason December: Noah, Jocelyn’s childhood crush and their only real friend among the troubled children at Seale House. But when Jocelyn returns to Seale House and the city where she last saw Noah, she gets more than she bargained for. YA
When four old University friends set off into the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle, they aim to briefly escape the problems of their lives and reconnect with one another. But when Luke, the only man still single and living a precarious existence, finds he has little left in common with his well-heeled friends, tensions rise. With limited fitness and experience between them, a shortcut meant to ease their hike turns into a nightmare scenario that could cost them their lives. Lost, hungry, and surrounded by forest untouched for millennia, Luke figures things couldn’t possibly get any worse. But then they stumble across an old habitation. Ancient artefacts decorate the walls and there are bones scattered upon the dry floors. The residue of old rites and pagan sacrifice for something that still exists in the forest. Something responsible for the bestial presence that follows their every step. And as the four friends stagger in the direction of salvation, they learn that death doesn’t come easy among these ancient trees. Horror
Survivors of the Cull, a Plague that wiped out people without the blood type O-neg, struggle in the floating Sargasso City jigsawed together with ships, submarines, barges and oil tankers off the coast of what was once known as California. Separated by demarcations of turf, ethnicity and fear, it’s not so much living as existing. High above it all swing the Pali Boys: descendants of Hawaiian warriors, they desire to lift themselves and the spirits of the residents below by performing an increasingly impossible series of extreme stunts, designed to test their manhood, and demonstrate the vibrancy humanity once had. But as a conspiracy of murder unfolds and blood attacks increase, Kavika a single under-sized Pali Boy must strive to overcome his lowly status and the condemnation of his peers in order to save them all from an enemy living within. Dystopian fantasy
Anne Rice takes on werewolves along the rugged coast of northern California, in a grand mansion set against a towering redwood forest. A young reporter on assignment to interview an older woman who must sell her historic home meets with violence—and a terrifying, seductive transformation. As the young man resists the paradoxical pleasure and enthrallment of his wolfen savagery and delights in the power and (surprising) capacity for good, he is caught up in a strange and dangerous rescue and is desperately hunted as “the Man Wolf” by authorities, the media and scientists. Urban fantasy
A world of endless sky, with no land, no gravity: this is Virga. Beginning in the seminal science fiction novel Sun of Suns, the saga of this world has introduced us to the people of stubborn pride and resilience who have made Virga their home; but also, always lurking beyond the walls of the world, to the mysterious threat known only as Artificial Nature. In The Sunless Countries, history tutor Leal Hieronyma Maspeth became the first human in centuries to learn the true nature of this threat. Her reward was exile, but now, in Ashes of Candesce, Artificial Nature makes its final bid to destroy Virga, and it is up to Leal to unite the quarrelling clans of her world to fight the threat. Fifth in the Virga series. Science fiction
Council leader Triana Martell has returned from her journey through the mysterious wormhole, but she isn’t alone. She is accompanied by the ambassador of an alien race—the Dollovit.
While the Council and crew of Galahad struggle to come to terms with the existence of the Dollovit, the ship begins to flounder. The radiation shields threaten to fail, damaged by the appearance of multiple wormholes. The Dollovit have a proposal for the crew: an offer of assistance that could be their only hope for survival. But their offer comes with an astronomical price. Sixth and final in the Galahad series. YA science fiction
Decisions, decisions! As always, four entries possible and please include your e-mail: +1 for comment to tell me what book (any book) you want, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for a Tweet or RT about the contest. This contest is international. Now….go!