It’s time to add to our swollen, bloated, and otherwise overflowing TBR shelves! If it’s Monday, it must be time to look at the week’s new releases in speculative fiction—and you get to pick which one you’d like to win! There’s a lot to pick from this week. I’m anxiously awaiting the release of Patricia Briggs’ Fair Game, the third in her Alpha and Omega series. (For those of you who are reading the shared-world Mercy Thompson series, the A&O series follows the Marrok’s son Charles Corning and his mate, and uses quite a bit of Native American magic mixed with the werewolf world.) I’m also looking forward to the new Elle Jasper book, fourth in her Dark Ink Chronicles.And a new series starting from Seanan McGuire. And how can I resist an anthology titled The Modern Fae’s Guide to Surviving Humanity? Ahhh….So many books.
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.
Emperor Mollusk: Intergalactic Menace. Destroyer of Worlds. Conqueror of Other Worlds. Mad Genius. Ex-Warlord of Earth. Not bad for a guy without a spine. But what’s a villain to do after he’s done everything? With no new ambitions, he’s happy to pitch in and solve the energy crisis or repel aliens invaders should the need arise, but if he had his way, he’d prefer to be left alone to explore the boundaries of dangerous science. Just as a hobby, of course. Retirement isn’t easy though, especially with the presence of a legendary death cult and an up-and-coming megalomaniac who have marked Emperor for their own nefarious purposes.
After one too many attempts to enliven the heavenly halls, Passion, an angel, is sent to Earth to tame her naughty nature and to bring goodness and light to the most sinful of places—the Castle of Dark Dreams. Once there, she finds herself playing the role of a virgin used as bait to trap a marauding demon.
Tormented by nightmares of a woman’s death, Sheriff Taylor Mooreland is shocked to find the woman from his visions chained to an altar in the woods. He barely knows her, but something compels Taylor to protect the mysterious Lenore Whyte no matter what. Even if it means dealing with magic.
When wizards threaten Glorianna Belladonna and her work to keep Ephemera balanced, her brother Lee sacrifices himself in order to save her—and ends up an asylum inmate in the city of Vision. But a darkness is spreading through Vision, perplexing the Shamans who protect it. And Lee is the only one who can shed any light on its mysteries.
When the FBI request a pack consultant on a serial killer case they’re following in Boston, Anna and Charles are sent in. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves—all of them were. Someone is targeting their kind. And if Charles and Anna can’t get to the bottom of this mystery, they may be next.
Jackie Patton has been rescued by the Theronai from her captivity and torture at the hands of the Synestryn, only to learn that she’s a potential match for the Theronai warriors who need a woman to literally save their lives. Forced to choose, she unexpectedly selects Iain, a cold-hearted warrior who doesn’t want to be saved. Iain is convinced that it’s too late—that his soul is already as dead as his former betrothed, killed by the Synestryn. Still, he is the only man Jackie feels a measure of peace around and the only one she wants. But is Iain indeed beyond saving?
Ivy should be ecstatic that her formerly-dead boyfriend Tristan is back on earth with her, but the life of a fallen angel is never easy. Tristan has been cast down in the body of a murderer, and the police are after him. Now, there’s only one way that he and Ivy can be together: they must clear him of the murder. But when it becomes clear that there are darker forces at work, and Tristan and Ivy are still paying the price for Ivy’s miraculous survival of the car crash, these star-crossed lovers have more at stake than ever before. And one of them may not be alive much longer. Young Adult.
In the wake of civil war, Bren Cameron, the brilliant human diplomat of the alien atevi civilization, has left the capital and sought refuge at his country estate, Najida. But now he is trapped inside Najida—which has been surrounded by enemies—with the powerful grandmother of his ally, Tabiniaiji, atevi leader of the Western Association.
Agent: Misha. Profile: Highly trained in every method the assassins guild has to offer. Always goes by the book. Agent: Rikki. Profile: Rogue assassin who kills only to rid the world of hardened criminals. Hates organizations. Always does it her way. Love becomes a matter of life and death. Misha’s mission is to get Rikki to join the guild or give up her guns. He completely underestimated the effect she would have on him—and what heat and chaos they could bring to each other. DeLake is a pen name for author Kristine Kathryn Rusch. First in a new series.
The world of Theorrey runs like a well-oiled machine. The elements are in balance, passion is tamed, and the young queen is the heartbeat of it all. But in these two all-new stories of elemental steam, nothing is ever as it seems. First in a new series.
Haunted by memories from his first days as a vampire, Balthazar has spent hundreds of years alone. When he emerges from his isolation to help Skye Tierney, a human girl who once attended Evernight Academy, Balthazar has no idea of the danger. Skye’s psychic powers have caught the attention of Redgrave, the vampire who murdered Balthazar and his family four centuries earlier. As they stand together to fight, Balthazar realizes his lonely world could finally be changed by Skye—just as Redgrave realizes he can destroy Balthazar once and for all by taking her. An Evernight book. Young Adult.
Witches: Wicked, Wild & Wonderful, edited by Paula Guran (March 6, Prime)
Surrounded by the aura of magic, witches have captured our imagination for millennia and fascinate us now more than ever. Anthology features a combination of previously published works by 20 authors, including Elizabeth Bear, Neil Gaiman, Nancy Holder, Mercedes Lackey, Tanith Lee, Jane Yolen, and Kelly Link, plus new stories from T.A. Pratt and Linda Robertson.
As a second daughter, Grace Andreas never had to worry about the intrigues of the Elder Races. But when her sister, Petra, and Petra’s husband are both killed, Grace inherits the Power and responsibilities of the Oracle of Louisville, as well as her sister’s two young children—neither of which she is prepared for. Yet, she is not alone. Khalil, Demonkind and Djinn prince of House Marid has decided to make himself a part of the household both as their guardian and as an exasperating counterpoint to Grace’s impudence toward the Elder Races. But when an attempt is made on Grace’s life, she realizes that Khalil is the only one who can protect her—and offer her more than a mortal man.
Newly-bitten tattoo artist Riley Poe feels herself changing in unimaginable ways. Eli Dupre, her vampire lover, has seen the change in her and fears for her humanity. His rival, Victorian, tells her she must see the patriarch of the vampire cult that attacked her to save her soul. In the vampire cult’s fortress in Romania, Riley will face her worst fears—and the dark powers threatening to destroy her. And she’ll have to do the one thing she’s been determined not to do—put her trust in Eli.
India Morgan Phelps—Imp, to her friends—is schizophrenic. Struggling with her perceptions of reality, Imp must uncover the truth about her encounters with creatures out of myth—or from something far, far stranger.
It’s November of 1977: Born a Catholic in Northern Ireland, Liam, a former wheelman for the Provisional IRA, is only half mortal. His father is Bran, a puca—a shape-shifting, ghostlike creature—and a member of the ancient Fianna. Liam must dodge both the Royal Ulster Constabulary, who want him for the car bombing that killed Constable Haddock, and the Provisional IRA, who want him for the deaths of Eamon Walsh and several others found ripped apart in a burned down farmhouse. Fortunately for Liam, both groups think he’s dead. But the Militis Dei—a group of Roman Catholic priest-assassins, whose sole purpose is to dispose of fallen angels and demons—is very aware Liam is alive, and very aware of his parentage.
Jane Carver is nobody’s idea of a space princess. A hard-ridin’, hard-lovin’ biker chick and ex-Airborne Ranger, Jane is as surprised as anyone else when, on the run from the law, she ducks into the wrong cave at the wrong time-and wakes up naked on an exotic alien planet light-years away from everything she’s known. Waar is a savage world of four-armed tiger-men, sky-pirates, slaves, gladiators, and purple-skinned warriors in thrall to a bloodthirsty code of honor and chivalry. Caught up in a disgraced nobleman’s quest to win back the hand of a sexy alien princess, Jane encounters wonders unlike anything back home. Then again, Waar has never seen anyone like Jane.
Sunny McDonald and her vampire boyfriend Magnus are on the run, accused of treason and wanted alive—or undead. And her own twin sister is the slayer sent to track them down. As a rival slayer with a personal vendetta moves in, Rayne and Jareth know they must do something to stop her. So they embark on their most dangerous journey yet, deep beneath New York City and through the Gates of the Underworld. But when a greedy god demands the ultimate sacrifice, will Rayne be forced to choose between her sister and the vampire she loves? Young Adult.
Ghoulies. Ghosties. Long-legged beasties. Things that go bump in the night…The Price family has spent generations studying monsters, working to protect them from humanity—and humanity from them. Enter Verity Price. Despite being trained from birth as a cryptozoologist, she’d rather dance a tango than tangle with a demon, and is spending a year in Manhattan while she pursues her career in professional ballroom dance. Sounds pretty simple, right? It would be, if it weren’t for the talking mice, the telepathic mathematicians, the asbestos supermodels, and the trained monster-hunter sent by the Price family’s old enemies, the Covenant of St. George. Plus, cryptids are disappearing, strange lizard-men are appearing in the sewers, and someone’s spreading rumors about a dragon sleeping underneath the city. First in a new series.
The British government enlists Captain Will Laurence and Temeraire to negotiate a peace with the angry Tswana, who have besieged the Portuguese royal family in Rio—and as bait, there’s an offer to return Laurence to his former rank in the Aerial Corps. The dragon Temeraire is delighted by this reversal of fortune, but Laurence knows from experience that personal honor and duty to one’s country do not always run parallel. Laurence and Temeraire—joined by the egotistical fire-breather Iskierka and the still-growing Kulingile, who has already surpassed Temeraire in size—embark for Brazil, only to meet with a string of unmitigated disasters that leave the dragons and their human friends in the hostile territory of the Inca empire.
The Modern Fae’s Guide to Surviving Humanity, edited by Joshua Palmatier & Patricia Bray (March 6, DAW)
What if the fae were still here, living among us? Perhaps living in secret, doing their best to pass for human? Or perhaps their existence is acknowledged, but they’re still struggling to fit in. How have they survived? Are they outcasts clinging to the edges of society, or do their powers ensure success in the mortal realm? Here are fourteen fabulous tales—ranging from humor to dark fantasy—that explore how the creatures of fae are fitting into the modern world. Includes stories from Seanan McGuire, Susan Jett, Kari Sperring, Juliet E. McKenna, Avery Shade, Kristine Smith, Barbara Ashford, April Steenburgh, Anton Strout, S.C. Butler, Jean Marie Ward, Shannon Page and Jay Lake, Elizabeth Bear, and Jim C. Hines.
Jessica Walsh is starting her freshman year at Nightshade High and trying to forget about the tragic events surrounding her brother’s graduation. She wants to have a normal high school experience. But that’s easier said than done in Nightshade. When a new boy shows up at school, the girls are infected with a case of seriously creepy crushes. But when their obsession turns to violence, Jessica and her friends start to wonder if there’s more going on than just a little friendly rivalry. Young Adult.
Violet Eden dreads her seventeenth birthday. After all, it’s hard to get too excited about the day that marks the anniversary of your mother’s death. As if that wasn’t enough, disturbing dreams haunt her sleep and leave her with very real injuries. There’s a dark tattoo weaving its way up her arms that wasn’t there before. Violet is determined to get some answers, but nothing could have prepared her for the truth. The guy she thought she could fall in love with has been keeping his identity a secret: he’s only half-human—oh, and same goes for her. First in a new series. Young Adult.
Sidney Westerbrook has always studied darkness and damnation from a sensible distance. Now to earn his place as a league Bookkeeper, he must discover why Chicago is such a battleground of soul-linked warriors. But the research becomes personal when he finds himself over his head, under attack, and at the mercy of waif Alyce Carver.
A Seal in Wolf’s Clothing (Heart of the Wolf, Book 9), by Terry Spear (March 6, Sourcebooks Casablanca)
While her overprotective brother’s away, Meara Greymere’s planning to play—and it wouldn’t hurt to find herself a mate in the process. The last thing she needs is one of his SEAL buddies spoiling her fun, even if the guy is the hottest one she’s ever seen. Finn Emerson is a battle-hardened Navy SEAL and alpha wolf. He’s a little overqualified for baby-sitting, but feisty Meara is attracting trouble like a magnet. As the only responsible alpha male in the vicinity, Finn is going to have to protect this intriguing woman from a horde of questionable men, and definitely from himself.
The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume Six, edited by Jonathan Strahan (March 6, Night Shade)
The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Yearis the only major “best of” anthology to collect both fantasy and science fiction under one cover. This edition features work by Stephen Baxter, Cory Doctorow, Jeffery Ford, Karen Joy Fowler, Neil Gaiman, Nalo Hopkinson, Kij Johnson, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Kelly Link, K.J. Parker, Bruce Sterling, Michael Swanwick, and Catherynne M. Valente.
Half-human/half-monster Cal Leandros knows that family is a pain. But now that pain belongs to his half-brother, Niko. Niko’s shady father is in town, and he needs a big favor. Even worse is the reunion being held by the devious Puck race—including Leandros’ friend Robin—featuring a lottery that no Puck wants to win. As Cal tries to keep both Niko and Robin from paying the ultimate price for their kin, a horrific reminder from Cal’s own past arrives to remind him that blood is thicker than water—and that’s why it’s so much more fun to spill.
Rifter leads the pack, embracing the lifestyle and ethics of an outlaw biker even as he battles an ancient enemy who has become a new, powerful force. But when he meets a gorgeous blonde drinking alone in a bar that caters to both human and inhuman, Rifter’s instinct is to claim her. Gwen has her own desires. She hopes a passionate night with the Harley-riding biker will ease her suffering. The seizures that have wracked her body her entire life are incurable—and they’re killing her. But none of that will matter if Rifter can’t stop the growing threat to them all–trappers determined to enslave humankind. First in a new series.
The High Lord of the Immortal Darkyn has sent his most trusted warrior, Korvel, to retrieve a coveted scroll that’s rumored to contain maps to Templar treasures and the secrets to eternal life. Uniting with Korvel to recover the dangerous artifact is Simone Derien, the daughter of the scroll’s guardian, and a woman with many deadly secrets. First in a new series.
After a brutal attack on the Manticoran home system, Honor Harrington and the Star Kingdom she serves battle back against a new, technologically powerful, and utterly nefarious enemy. And as if that weren’t task enough, Honor must also face down a centuries-old nemesis in the crumbling, but still mighty, Solarian League.
By her wits, blood, and sacrifice, so far Drew has survived the intensive training on the Isle of Night. As a second-year Acari, her ultimate goal is to become a Watcher, and now she has a shot at her first mission. Except nothing is as it seems. The vampire Alcántara is as sinister as he is sexy, Ronan is more distant than ever, and it turns out there are other vampires out there. Bad ones. Ancient, bloodthirsty, and powerful, these undead are really old-school. They’ve captured one of the Watcher vamps and are torturing him for information. But, when their vampire prisoner turns out to be a gorgeous bad boy, Drew’s first mission turns into more than she bargained for.
Decisions, decisions! As always, four entries possible: +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. Contests end at midnight CDT U.S., and winners are announced on Sunday’s blog. It’s the responsibility of the winner to contact me with their mailing info. Unclaimed books will go into a general giveaway pile.