Friday, May 1, 2009

Urban Fantasy, Paranormal and SF&F Book Releases for May 2009

May continues this years strong showing of new releases of urban fantasy, paranormal romance and fantasy with over 45 new titles profiled. Also remember that Mark Chitty from the always excellent Walker of Worlds sci-fi blog is also guesting here at SciFiGuy.ca with some terrific suggestions from the upcoming science fiction releases for the month of May. Apologies to any authors whose books I may have missed; feel free to let me know about any ommissions or errors. Generally the release dates listed are those quoted on Amazon.com. A few April titles may be included if they were missed from last months listing.



Urban Fantasy & Paranormal


ANTHOLOGIES:

Witch Way to the Mall
(Harry Turtledove, Sarah A. Hoyt, Jan and S.M. Stirling, K. D. Wentworth, Esther Friesner)
05/26/09

Move over, urban fantasy—here comes suburban fantasy. What self-respecting witch, vampire, or werewolf would be caught dead—or undead—anywhere but the Big City, you may ask? Look, let’s give the uncanny crew a little credit for intelligence: If they had the smarts to see the advantage in packing up and moving into the cities, why wouldn’t they have the smarts to move out of said cities if it looked like they could get a better quality-of-life/death elsewhere? (Tough enough going about your otherworldly business and evading the occasional mob wielding halogen torches and designer pitchforks, but have you ever seen city real estate prices?)

So let’s welcome our first group of supernatural suburbanites, the witches. Their powers are awesome, their methods of coping with the lumps, bumps, and idiosyncrasies of Suburbia are ingenious, and they always bring the loveliest gingerbread to the PTA bake sale. But whatever you do, don’t try telling them that life in a non-city setting is bland, banal and boring, or you might get turned into . . . ribbit!
NOVELS:

Adrian, Lara
Ashes of Midnight
(Breeds #6)
05/19/09

A woman driven by blood. A man thirsting for vengeance. A place where darkness and desire meet... As night falls, Claire Roth flees, driven from her home by a fiery threat that seems to come from hell itself. Then, from out of the flames and ash, a vampire warrior emerges. He is Andreas Reichen, her onetime lover, now a stranger consumed by vengeance. Caught in the cross fire, Claire cannot escape his savage fury—or the hunger that plunges her into his world of eternal darkness and unending pleasure. Nothing will stop Andreas from destroying the vampire responsible for slaughtering his Breed brethren . . . even if he must use his former lover as a pawn in his deadly mission. Blood-bonded to his treacherous adversary, Claire can lead Andreas to the enemy he seeks, but it is a journey fraught with danger—and deep, unbidden desires. For Claire is the one woman Andreas should not crave, and the only one he’s ever loved. A dangerous seduction begins—one that blurs the lines between predator and prey, and stokes the flames of a white-hot passion that may consume all in its path. . . .

Bangs, Nina
Eternal Craving
(Gods of Night #2)
28/04/09

THE ELEVEN—an alliance of ultimate predators. Primal, lethal, irresistible.
THE PROPHECY—an ancient Mayan prediction that the world will end on 12-21-12.
THE PREY—where can you hide from pure evil?
Lies. He’s been promised a new life as the hunter he once was. But Al soon learns that all the rules have changed. Now he must control his most basic urges—the need to kill, to feed, to mate. And the woman he wants looks at him with both heat and fear in her eyes. Jenna Maloy doesn’t buy the story that he’s come to Philadelphia to save souls. She seems to see through the layers of deception to the primitive heart of him. With her beside him, Al stalks the dark forces that crouch in the city’s night shadows. But the real battle rages in his heart. Love is a formidable opponent. How can he ask her to stay with him after she’s seen the savagery of his beast? He only knows that if she turns from him he’ll be cursed with an Eternal Craving.
Eleven Gods of the Night…

The only creatures more deadly are the ones they’ve been summoned to destroy.

Bardsley, Michele
Over My Dead Body
(Broken Heart #5)
05/05/09

Moving into Broken Heart seemed like the perfect transition for Simone Sweet and her young daughter, Glory. With her ex-husband gone after attempting to murder Simone, and Glory being mute since the incident, it is one place where she can feel safe, and almost forget she's a ravenous vampire... No one is without secrets, but Simone's are big. She'd hate to have them interfere with what's developing with local hunk Braddock Hayes. When not turning her legs to jelly, he's building an Invisi-shield around Broken Heart and helping Glory speak again. But when Simone's past resurfaces, it threatens to ruin her second chance...

Battis, Jes
A Flash of Hex
05/26/09

In our line of work, there were demons and necromancers, and then there were…other things. Older things without names that you didn’t ever want to meet. I swallowed a lump in my throat, knowing I was in the presence of evil…As an Occult Special Investigator, Tess Corday has seen her fair share of disturbing crime scenes--but nothing ever shocked her as much as the ritualistic murder of a drugged-out runaway kid, who she soon learns was not the first such victim. All the dead teens had traces of the dangerous magical drug called Hex in their bodies. All were the children of powerful mage families. All were killed with the sacred tools of mages. It adds up to the chilling possibility that the OSI is dealing with a serial killer, one who has incredible inhuman powers. To stop the slaughter, Tess and her partner Derrick will go anywhere and do anything—including seeking help from the necromancer Lucian Agrado, whom Tess is under orders to avoid . But as the deaths continue, Tess becomes convinced that the identity of the killer is locked inside her own head. And the question is—how many rules is she willing to break to get to the truth?

Butcher, Shannon
Burning Alive
(The Sentinel Wars #1)
05/05/09

First in an all-new paranormal romance series. CAUTION : readers MAY feel the heat coming off the pages. They are the Sentinels... Three races descended from ancient guardians of mankind, each possessing unique abilities in their battle to protect humanity against their eternal foes—the Synestryn. Now, one warrior must fight his own desire if he is to discover the power that lies within his one true love... Helen Day is haunted by visions of herself surrounded by flames, as a dark-haired man watches her burn. So when she sees the man of her nightmares staring at her from across a diner, she attempts to flee—but instead ends up in the man's arms. There, she awakens a force more powerful and enticing than she could ever imagine. For the man is actually Theronai warrior Drake, whose own pain is driven away by Helen's presence. Together, they may become more than lovers—they may become a weapon of light that could tip the balance of the war and save Drake's people...

Byrd, Rhyannon
Edge of Danger

(Primal Instinct #2)
05/01/09

Saige Buchanan travels the world studying her dark past, guided by a strange gift that enables physical objects to tell her their secrets. Yet nothing can protect her from her family's sadistic enemies. Until—in her hour of greatest need—she encounters a mysterious, impossibly sexy shape-shifter. Sent to find the woman whose darkness has yet to awaken, Michael Quinn battles his primal hunger for Saige. He alone can help her lay claim to her full powers. Yet in doing so, he will destroy her innocence, and mark her as his forever…

Carey, Jacqueline
Santa Olivia
05/29/09

Lushly written with rich and vivid characters, SANTA OLIVIA is Jacqueline Carey's take on comic book superheroes and the classic werewolf myth. Loup Garron was born and raised in Santa Olivia, an isolated, disenfranchised town next to a US military base inside a DMZ buffer zone between Texas and Mexico. A fugitive "Wolf-Man" who had a love affair with a local woman, Loup's father was one of a group of men genetically-manipulated and used by the US government as a weapon. The "Wolf-Men" were engineered to have superhuman strength, speed, sensory capability, stamina, and a total lack of fear, and Loup, named for and sharing her father's wolf-like qualities, is marked as an outsider. After her mother dies, Loup goes to live among the misfit orphans at the parish church, where they seethe from the injustices visited upon the locals by the soldiers. Eventually, the orphans find an outlet for their frustrations: They form a vigilante group to support Loup Garron who, costumed as their patron saint, Santa Olivia, uses her special abilities to avenge the town. Aware that she could lose her freedom, and possibly her life, Loup is determined to fight to redress the wrongs her community has suffered. And like the reincarnation of their patron saint, she will bring hope to all of Santa Olivia.

Devoti, Lori
Amazon Ink
(Amazon #1)
05/26/09

Meet Mel: Business owner. Dedicated mom. Natural-born Amazon. It's been ten years since Melanippe Saka left the Amazon tribe in order to create a normal life for her daughter, Harmony. True, running a tattoo parlor in Madison, Wisconsin, while living with your Amazon warrior mother and priestess grandmother is not everyone's idea of normal, but Mel thinks she's succeeded at blending in as human. Turns out she's wrong. Someone knows all about her, someone who's targeting young Amazon girls, and no way is Mel going to let Harmony become tangled in this deadly web. With her mother love in overdrive, Ms. Melanippe Saka is quite a force...even when she's facing a barrage of distractions — including a persistent detective whose interest in Mel goes beyond professional, a sexy tattoo artist with secrets of his own, and a seriously angry Amazon queen who views Mel as a prime suspect. To find answers, Mel will have to do the one thing she swore she'd never do: embrace her powers and admit that you can take the girl out of the tribe...but you can't take the tribe out of the girl.


Diver, Lucienne
Vamped
05/01/09

Gina Covello's Perks and Pitfalls of Vamp Life
1. Hello?! Eternal youth and beauty!
2. Free. Designer. Clothes.
3. My hot new boyfriend Bobby went from chess dud to vamp stud.
4. No reflection! First order of business: turn my own stylist to stop the downward spiral from chic to eek.
5. Vampire vixen Mellisande has taken an interest in my boyfriend, and is now transforming the entire high school into her own personal vampire army. If anyone's going to start their own undead entourage it should be me.

I guess I'll just have to save everyone from fashion disasters and other fates worse than death.

Durgin, Doranna
Jaguar Night
05/01/09

At dusk he prowled the Southwest, a huge, sleek black jaguar with startling blue eyes and a man's thoughts. A shape-shifting Sentinel, Dolan Treviño projected an intensely animalistic aura that hid the scars of his past. Yet as fierce as his pride was, this immensely powerful guardian needed the intuition and spirit of an innocent horse trainer to find redemption. The moment he set foot on her ranch, Meghan Lawrence rejected the shape-shifter's protection—but she couldn't turn her back on her family legacy. Her mother had died protecting a magical manuscript that the Sentinels' dark counterparts would now do anything to recover. With an unbreakable will and all-consuming passion, only Dolan possessed the strength to save Meghan. But was she strong enough to tame the beast within?

Gilman, Laura Anne
Blood from Stone
(Retrievers #6)
05/01/09

Wren Valere's job is driving her crazy. She's still Manhattan's most sought-after Retriever, but after last year's deadly confrontation with the Silence, all this magic-user wants is a break. With her apartment going co-op and her relationship with the demon P.B. putting stress on her romance with partner Sergei, is Wren finally ready to settle down to a more stable existence? Not likely. Because when you're good, trouble always finds you. Wren's next assignment puts her on the wrong side of a child-snatcher—and a collision course with her past. But to save a friend—and protect her future—Wren must pull off the most important Retrieval of her life…and for once magic isn't on her side.

Haddock, Nancy
Last Vampire Standing
05/05/09

Second in the delightful series featuring a vampire princess in the Sunshine State, adjusting to life, undeath, and that brutal Floridian sun. 228-year-old Francesca Marinelli thought her past was dead—then a stranger from the Atlanta vampire nest crashes her home looking for sanctuary. A budding stand-up comic, Jo-Jo's running from an undead superior eager to drive a stake through the heart of his dream job. But Jo-Jo's bad jokes aren't the only dark clouds on the horizon. A psychotic vampire with a murderous agenda has followed Jo-Jo to Florida, putting everyone close to Francesca in danger.

Hallaway, Tate
Dead If I Do
(Garnet Lacey #4)
05/05/09

The spunky heroine of Romancing the Dead returns in this utterly bewitching series. Witch Garnet Lacey is ready to walk down the aisle with the super sexy vampire Sebastian. Besides the fact that he has no pulse, things couldn’t be more perfect. Until plans for the wedding start falling apart, and Sebastian’s zombie-slash-vampire-slash witch ex-lover decides that both of them should be six feet under. It’s just a matter of time before Garnet—who’s already sharing her body with a short-tempered goddess—morphs into Bridezilla.

Harris, Charlaine
Dead and Gone
(Southern Vampire #9)
05/05/09

For Sookie Stackhouse, the day to day activities of the vampire and were communities in and around Bon Temps, Louisiana, are of vital interest, She's blood-bound to the leader of the vamps, a friend to the local were pack, works for a man who is shifter, and has a brother who is a were-panther… But for most of the humans in Bon Temps, the vamps are mysterious seductive creatures-and they don't even know about the weres. Until now. The weres and shifters have finally decided to follow the lead of the undead and reveal their existence to the ordinary world. At first it seems to go well. Then the mutilated body of a were-panther is found in the parking lot of the bar where Sookie works. The victim is someone she knows, so she feels compelled to discover who-human or otherwise-did the deed. But what she doesn't realize is that there is a far greater danger than the killer threatening Bon Temps. A race of unhuman beings--older, more powerful and far more secretive than vampires or werewolves-- is preparing for war. And Sookie will find herself an all-too human pawn in their battle…

Harrison, Kim
Once Dead, Twice Shy
(Madison Avery #1)
05/26/09

Madison Avery's junior prom killed her-literally. She doesn't know why a Dark Reaper came after her‚ but that didn't stop her from stealing his amulet‚ which she discovered allows her soul to continue living on in a temporary body. But now she's being babysat by a disgruntled Light Reaper who's supposed to be training her‚ while angels try to figure out what's supposed to happen to her next. But Madison can't stay out of trouble for long‚ so along with her prom date Josh (who is getting cuter by the minute) and her guardian angel Grace‚ Madison takes matters into her own hands-only to discover that she is fated to become one of the most powerful leaders in the realm of the dark and light reapers. Well‚ if she believed in that stuff.

Hoffman, Nina Kiriki
Fall of Light
05/05/09

Opal LaZelle is a special effects make-up artist, transforming actors into fantastical and grotesque creatures. Unknown to the casts and crews of the films she works on, Opal is gifted in the art of magic—and she applies more than make-up when altering an actor's features. Her latest job requires turning Corvus Weather into a dark god of the forest. But when Corvus's performance becomes too convincing—on set and off—Opal realizes he's not acting. Something has taken possession of Corvus. Something sinister tied to the town's past, with the ability to absorb the very essence of life. Something Opal doesn't have enough power to confront, much less drive from the man she has fallen in love with.

Jewel, Carolyn
My Forbidden Desire
05/26/09

TORN BETWEEN...Alexandrine Marit is a witch in mortal danger. An evil mage craves the powerful, mysterious talisman that supplies her magic, and the only person who can keep her safe is a dark and dangerous fiend called Xia. With his fierce animosity toward witches, he's hardly the ideal bodyguard. Yet as days turn into nights, she can't deny the white-hot passion between them.
DESIRE AND TEMPTATION
Xia hates witches. They enslave and mercilessly kill his kind. But he's been ordered to protect Alexandrine, who, to his surprise, has a spirit he admires and a body he longs to possess. With the mage and his henchmen closing in, Alexandrine and her protector must trust the passion that can unite them...or risk losing everything to the enemies who can destroy them both.

Jones, Lisa Renee
Captive of the Beast

05/01/09

As a Knight of White, the demon warrior Rinehart has long struggled to keep the beast within him at bay. But his unyielding attraction to Dr. Laura Johnson—the dangerous woman he has sworn to protect—threatens to rip his soul apart. When Rinehart discovers that she has paranormal abilities of her own, he must choose: will he give in to his animal attraction to her or fulfill his duty to protect humanity from the rising army of evil? Will Laura prove to be his saving grace—or his final undoing?

Kantra, Virginia
Sea Lord
(Children of the Sea #3)
05/05/09

He was born of the sea... Selkie prince Conn ap Llyr denies his deeply sensual nature to rule over the immortal Children of the Sea. But when the Children of Fire threaten the Selkies' Sanctuary, Conn must obey his haunting visions—and seek a woman thousands of miles away... She was born on land... Schoolteacher Lucy Hunter knows nothing about her Selkie heritage or the prophecy that drives Conn to find her. She is content with her life on the quiet Maine island of World's End. That is, until a proud, compelling stranger appears to challenge her assumptions and awaken her desires... Their love will tear them between two worlds... To combat Fire, Conn needs Lucy's magic—even if this means stealing her away to Sanctuary. As the demon threat grows, so does their passion, overcoming Lucy's fears and Conn's guarded heart. But soon they face a devastating choice. Will their love be enough to save them? Or will their destinies tear them apart?

Knight, Angela
Guardian: The Time Hunters
05/05/09

Riane Arvid is a superhuman cop from the future, trapped in the year 2009 by group of murderous fanatics called the Xeran. Nick Wyatt is a handsome twentyfirst century warrior who has been a target of the Xeran his entire life. He's the only one Riane can turn to, but his intentions are as mysterious as his origins. In an attempt to discover the truth about each other, both Riane and Nick decide seduction is the best tactic.

Kurland, Lynn
Till There Was You
04/28/09

Zachary Smith is finished with high-maintenance women, impossible clients, and paranormal adventures. But when he walks through a doorway into a different century— and meets Mary de Piaget—he knows his life isn't going to turn out quite the way he planned.

Laurenston, Shelly
Here Kitty, Kitty
(Magnus Pack #3
)
05/01/09

Nikolai Vorislav likes his single life just as it is. Simple, relaxing, and quiet. What he doesn't need is some foul-mouthed Texas hellcat living in his house, eating his food, flirting with his idiot brothers, and shooting holes in his home with his granddaddy's gun. But those long legs, dark eyes, and lethal tongue are making Nik insane and he fears he may be caught in the sexiest animal trap ever. Angelina Santiago doesn't know how she got from Texas to North Carolina in a night or how she ended up in some hillbilly tiger's house wearing only a sheet. What she does know is that she doesn't like good ol' boys with slow, sexy drawls who can't seem to stop rubbing up against her. Yet in order to protect her friends, Angie has to stay with a cat who seems hellbent on finding all sorts of delicious ways to make her purr.

Lenox, Kim
So Still the Night
(Shadow Guard Series)
05/05/09

Marcus Helios was a member of the Shadow Guard until one reckless act changed it all. His hope for salvation lies in an ancient scroll, which is now in the possession of an enigmatic beauty named Mina, who has no intention of handing it over. But someone else has designs on the mystery of the scrolls, and on Mark. She is Jack the Ripper's jilted bride, whose own dark secrets will challenge the powers of everyone in her reach...

MacAlister, Katie
Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang
(Dark Ones #7)
05/05/09

For a woman married to the vampire of her nightmares, the honeymoon's over— and reality bites... Pia Thomason is torn between two Dark Ones: her husband Kristoff—who doesn't trust her—and his best friend, Alec, who is MIA. So Pia goes back to her humdrum Seattle life, but fate has other plans. And she realizes that if she and Kristoff are going to be shackled together for better or worse, she may as well start to enjoy it...

Mead, Richelle
Succubus Heat
(Georgina Kincaid #4)
05/26/09

Georgina Kincaid has been a bad, bad succubus... which should be a good thing. But lately, thanks to her foul mood over breaking up with bestselling writer Seth Mortensen, she's been so wicked that Seattle's über-demon Jerome, decides to "outsource" Georgina to a rival—and have her spy for him in the process. Being exiled to the frozen north—okay, Vancouver—and leaving Seth in the cozy clutches of his new girlfriend is unpleasant enough. Then Jerome is kidnapped, and all immortals under his control mysteriously lose their powers. One bright spot: with her life-sucking ability gone, there's nothing to keep Georgina from getting down and dirty with Seth—nothing apart from his girlfriend that is. Now, as the supernatural population starts turning on itself, a newly mortal Georgina must rescue her boss and figure out who's been playing them—or all hell will break loose...

Monk, Devon
Magic In the Blood
(Allie Beckstrom #2)
05/05/09

Working as a Hound—tracing illegal spells back to their casters—has taken its toll on Allison Beckstrom. But even though magic has given her migraines and stolen her recent memory, Allie isn't about to quit. Then the police's magic enforcement division asks her to consult on a missing persons case. But what seems to be a straightforward job turns out to be anything but, as Allie finds herself drawn into the underworld of criminals, ghosts, and blood magic.

Rose, Esri
Stolen Magic
05/05/09

Romance Can Be Tricky...In a world where humans are displacing elves in alarming numbers, Adlia spends her days working at elf headquarters. But with no artistic talent of her own, and orphaned too young to have known her parents, Adlia is an outsider even among her own elven kind. Only Mark, her human photography instructor, sees that beneath her sarcastic humour lies a vulnerable soul - and a desirable young woman...Especially When An Elf Is Involved. But while relationships with humans are pleasurable, they're also complicated, as Adlia is about to discover. For somewhere between her mind-blowing first human kiss and falling in love, a mysterious memory loss strikes the elf population. Now Adlia has to save her people and herself before she forgets everything. If she succeeds, she may also solve an important piece of her personal puzzle and find that Mark fits perfectly.

Saintcrow, Lilith
Strange Angels
05/14/09

Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called "the touch." (Comes in handy when you're traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.) Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she's next. Even worse, she's got two guys hungry for her affections, and they're not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever—or whoever— is hunting her?

Schreiber, Ellen
Royal Blood
(Vampire Kisses #6)
05/19/09

Summer break is over, and Raven is hardly eager to be returning to Dullsville High. Not only does school mean daily interaction with preppy pest Trevor Mitchell, but her sleep-filled days and romantic nights with her immortal boyfriend, Alexander, must come to an end. Plus the shock of morning classes isn't the only change in store. An unexpected letter turns up at Alexander's mansion—announcing his parents will be coming to town. And once they arrive, just about everyone has had a sighting of the macabre couple except Raven. What could be delaying Alexander from introducing Raven to them? Could Alexander be hiding something about his parents' homecoming? When Raven is finally invited to the most thrilling dinner party of her life, the next turn of events could transform her entire future with Alexander. The sixth book in Ellen Schreiber's bestselling Vampire Kisses series takes an unusual twist in the continuing romance of Raven and Alexander.

Shayne, Maggie
Bloodline
05/01/09

Lilith awakens cold, naked and alone, knowing nothing—not even who she is—except that she has to run, run for her life…because someone is after her. When Ethan discovers the terrified woman hiding on his ranch, he knows immediately not only who she is, but what. He's never forgotten her, not in all the time since he escaped their joint prison, a clandestine CIA facility where humans are bred into vampires willing to kill on command. He refused to accept that fate, and since he won his freedom he's become a legend to those he left behind. With her own escape, Lilith has become a legend, too, and now—together—they have no choice but to fight those who would become a legend by killing one.

Sheckley, Alisa
Moonburn
(Northside Werewolves #2)
05/19/09

Some instincts are too powerful to deny.In the past year, veterinarian Abra Barrow has gone through some major changes: She’s left Manhattan for the deceptively quiet small town of Northside, ditched her cheating husband, and discovered that he has infected her with the rare werewolf virus. Now Abra is finally beginning to feel as if she has her life under control–except when the moon is full. But then, all of a sudden, Abra starts losing her temper–and her inhibitions–even when the sun is shining. Her new man, shape-shifting wildlife expert Red Mallin, seems to know more about her condition than he’s letting on, but he’s a little preoccupied with strange creatures that have been crossing the dimensional border. With her hormones in overdrive, Abra finds herself releasing the beast in all the men around her. As life in Northside becomes increasingly more peculiar–and more perilous–she must decide whom she can trust . . . when she’s not even sure she can trust herself.

Smith-Ready, Jeri
Bad to the Bone
(WVMP Radio #2)
05/16/09

TURN ON. TUNE IN. DROP DEAD. If you're just joining us, welcome to radio station WVMP, "The Lifeblood of Rock'n'Roll." Con-artist-turned-station-owner Ciara Griffin manages an on-air staff of off-the-wall DJs — including her new boyfriend Shane McAllister — who really sink their teeth into the music of their "Life Time" (the era in which they became vampires). It's Ciara's job to keep the undead rocking, the ratings rolling, and the fan base alive — without missing a beat. For Halloween, WVMP is throwing a bash sure to raise the dead. They've got cool tunes, hot costumes, killer cocktails — what could go wrong? Well, for starters, a religious firebrand ranting against the evils of the occult preempts the station's midnight broadcast. Then, when Ciara tracks down the illegal transmission, the broadcast tower is guarded by what appears to be...a canine vampire? And behind it all is a group of self-righteous radicals who think vampires suck (and are willing to stake their lives on it). Now Ciara must protect the station while struggling with her own murky relationship issues, her best friend's unlikely romance with a fledgling vampire, and the nature of her mysterious anti-holy powers. To make it to New Year's in one piece, she'll need to learn a few new tricks....

Van Eekhout, Greg
Norse Code
05/19/09

The NorseCODE genome project was designed to identify descendants of Odin. What it found was Kathy Castillo, a murdered MBA student brought back from the dead to serve as a valkyrie in the Norse god’s army. Given a sword and a new name, Mist’s job is to recruit soldiers for the war between the gods at the end of the world—and to kill those who refuse to fight. But as the twilight of the gods descends, Mist makes other plans. Journeying across a chaotic American landscape already degenerating into violence and madness, Mist hopes to find her way to Helheim, the land of the dead, to rescue her murdered sister from death’s clutches. To do so, she’ll need the help of Hermod, a Norse god bumming around Los Angeles with troubles of his own. Together they find themselves drafted into a higher cause, trying to do what fate long ago deemed could not be done: save the world of man. For even if myths aren’t made to be broken, it can’t hurt to go down fighting…can it?


FANTASY



ANTHOLOGIES:

Terribly Twisted Tales
Edited by Martin Greenberg
05/05/09

A few weak outings barely detract from the strong majority in Rabe and Greenberg's anthology of fairy tale retellings. Masterworks include Michael A. Stackpole's "The Adventure of the Red Riding Hoods" with its Holmesian wolf and Jody Lynn Nye's "No Good Deed," a science fiction re-envisioning of the thorn-stuck lion. Happily ever after isn't inevitable, as in Chris Pierson's compelling "Once They Were Seven," featuring an evil Snow White, and Paul Genesse's grim "Revenge of the Little Match Girl," but Brendan DuBois's "princess" Patti proudly rescues herself in the gritty urban "Rapunzel Strikes Back." The prose and ideas are outstanding; only a handful of poorly thought-out endings, as when Pinocchia the puppet returns to an abusive Gepetto in Ramsey "Tome Wyrm" Lundock's "Clockwork Heart," keep this anthology from the top tier.
NOVELS:

Aronica, Lou
Tamarisk
05/25/09

In this heartfelt fantasy of love and loss, a young girl's tragic illness leads her on a journey to a mystical dreamland, revealing truths that force her family to make the most difficult choice of their lives.

Barnes, Steven
Shadow Valley
05/05/09

In the great tradition of Jean Auel, this novel—the sequel to Great Sky Woman—imagines life in prehistoric Africa. Thirty thousand years ago, in the shadow of Kilimanjaro . . . Since the beginning of time, the peaceful Ibandi people had been sheltered by their god-mountains, Great Earth and Great Sky. When the savage Mk*tk threatened their way of life, their gods told Sky Woman—last of the true Dream Dancers—and her mate Frog Hopping to take the people north in search of new lands. As the Ibandi meet strange new peoples and discover a land of promise and plenty, the deeds of a man thought long dead will rouse the Mk*tk to a bloody frenzy and send them on a quest for vengeance that could shatter the Ibandi’s dreams. All is lost . . . unless Sky Woman can regain her power, unless Frog Hopping can become the first true warrior, and unless a dead man can find the heart to forgive. All their fates, and more, will be decided in the place called Shadow Valley.

Esslemont, Ian
Night of Knives
(Malazan Empire Series)
05/12/09

The small island of Malaz and its city gave the great empire its name, but now it is little more than a sleepy, backwater port. Tonight, however, things are different. Tonight the city is on edge, a hive of hurried, sometimes violent activity; its citizens bustle about, barring doors, shuttering windows, avoiding any stranger’s stare. Because tonight there is to be a convergence, the once-in-a-generation appearance of a Shadow Moon – an occasion that threatens the good people of Malaz with demon hounds and other, darker things … It was also prophesied that this night would witness the return of Emperor Kellanved, and there are those prepared to do anything to prevent this happening. As factions within the greater Empire draw up battle lines over the imperial throne, the Shadow Moon summons a far more ancient and potent presence for an all-out assault upon the island. Witnessing these cataclysmic events are Kiska, a young girl who yearns to flee the constraints of the city, and Temper, a grizzled, battle-weary veteran who seeks simply to escape his past. Each is to play a part in a conflict that will not only determine the fate of Malaz City, but also of the world beyond … Drawing on events touched on in the prologue of Steven Erikson’s landmark fantasy Gardens of the Moon, Night of Knives is a momentous chapter in the unfolding story of the extraordinarily imagined world of Malaz.

Francis, Diana Pharaoh
The Turning Tide
(Crosspointe #3)
05/05/09

They were the best of friends: Ryland, the son of the king, is bound by loyalty. Shaye is both a majicar and a Weverton, both rebellious factions. Fairlie, a fiery metal-smith, is the iron bond that held them all together. Until now. Crosspointe's greatest advantage at sea is its ship's compasses—but the compass makers are dying. Without them, Crosspointe will fall. To save his country and repel the coming Jutras invasion, the king orders Ryland to commit an unforgivable act. And soon Ryland, Shaye, and Fairlie find themselves at war...with each other.

Lebbon, Tim
The Island
05/19/09

Stoker-winner Lebbon returns to the magic-saturated land of Noreela (most recently the setting for 2008's Fallen) for this gripping adventure. Kel Boon deserted the Core, a secret organization that hunts the mysterious Strangers who spy on humans, after one mission went badly and his lover was butchered. Now settled in an isolated fishing village, Kel is shocked when the island of Komadia appears in the ocean after a devastating tsunami. Distrustful of the seemingly benign Komadians, Kel and his new inamorata, the young witch Namior, make a clandestine trip to the island. What they find ends Kel's dreams of safe anonymity. While slightly less intense than earlier Noreela tales that slid from dark fantasy into horror, this solidly constructed tale offers hope that the compelling protagonists can achieve believable heroism if they're willing to pay for it.

Marco, John
Starfinder
(Skylords #1)
05/05/09

A new fantasy series from the author of The Sword of Angels. Steam trains and electricity are rapidly changing the world. Moth of Calio is obsessed with the airships developed by his friend Fiona's grandfather Rendor, and dreams of taking to the air one day like his heroes, the Skyknights. But not everyone is happy to see humans reach the skies. For thousands of years, the mysterious and powerful race known as the Skylords have jealously guarded their heavenly domain. But Moth and Fiona are about to breach the magical boundary between the world of humans and the world of the Skylords.

McCullough,Kelly
Mythos
(Ravirn #4)
05/26/09

In the 21st century, magic has advanced with the times and gone digital. But when Ravirn—a computer savvy sorcerer—is thrown into a parallel world where magic runs on a different operating system, he’ll need mad skills to get out alive.

Mieville, China
The City & The City
05/26/09

When the body of a murdered woman is found in the extraordinary, decaying city of Beszel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks like a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad. But as he probes, the evidence begins to point to conspiracies far stranger, and more deadly, than anything he could have imagined. Soon his work puts him and those he cares for in danger. Borlú must travel to the only metropolis on Earth as strange as his own, across a border like no other. It is a journey as psychic as it is physical, a shift in perception, a seeing of the unseen, a journey to Beszel’s equal, rival, and intimate neighbor, the rich and vibrant city of Ul Qoma. With shades of Kafka and Philip K. Dick, Raymond Chandler and 1984, The City & The City is a murder mystery taken to dazzling metaphysical and artistic heights.

Pierce, Tamora
Bloodhound
(Beka Cooper #2)
04/15/09

Beka Cooper is finally a Dog—a full-fledged member of the Provost’s Guard, dedicated to keeping peace in Corus’s streets. But there’s unrest in Tortall’s capital. Counterfeit coins are turning up in shops all over the city, and merchants are raising prices to cover their losses. The Dogs discover that gamblers are bringing the counterfeit money from Port Caynn. In Port Caynn, Beka delves deep into the gambling world, where she meets a charming banking clerk named Dale Rowan. Beka thinks she may be falling for Rowan, but she won’t let anything—or anyone—jeopardize her mission. As she heads north to an abandoned silver mine, it won’t be enough for Beka be her usual “terrier” self. She’ll have to learn from Achoo to sniff out the criminals—to be a Bloodhound. . . .

Redick, Robert V. S
The Red Wolf Conspiracy
04/28/09

Scant years after a terrible war that shook empires, a six-hundred-year-old ship sets sail for enemy lands in an attempt to forge an enduring peace between the world’s two greatest monarchies. A vast city afloat, the ancient vessel bears a royal bride-to-be; a stowaway tribe of foothigh warriors; an honest young tarboy with a heritage of treason; a rat with a magical secret; and a dark conspiracy centered around the Red Wolf, a legendary and dangerous artifact. When the conspiracy is uncovered, the voyage takes a turn into perilous waters, and the sword-wielding young bride and her quick-witted tarboy companion must face deadly assassins, treacherous mermaids, and monstrous slavers to uncover secrets at the highest levels of power—secrets that will send heroes and traitors alike careening towards a mysterious destination that could destroy both empires at a stroke. A publishing sensation in England, The Red Wolf Conspiracy marks the debut of a remarkably gifted young writer.

Ruckley, Brian
Fall of Thanes
(Godless World #3)
05/03/09

The True Bloods are in disarray, their alliance crumbling and their armies humbled by the forces of the Black Road. Aeglyss, falling ever deeper into madness, casts a shadow across all. At the court of the High Thane, Anyara faces a savage struggle for survival against the na'kyrim's possessed agent: Mordyn Jerain, the Shadowhand. In the GlasValley, Kanin, the embittered Horin-Gyre Thane, plots a desperate rising against the halfbreed. But ultimately it will be Orisian, Thane of a Blood that no longer exists, who must stand face to face with a darkly transcendent Aeglyss and make the sacrifice - of himself and others - required to end the threat he represents. FALL OF THANES is the spectacular conclusion to the Godless World trilogy, a sweeping epic of war, politics and empire.

Sapkowski, Andrzej
The Blood of Elves
04/28/09

Watch for the signs! What signs these shall be, I say unto you: first the earth will flow with the blood of Aen Seidhe, the Blood of Elves... For over a century, humans, dwarves, gnomes, and elves have lived together in relative peace. But times have changed, the uneasy peace is over, and now the races are fighting once again. The only good elf, it seems, is a dead elf. Geralt de Rivia, the cunning assassin known as The Witcher, has been waiting for the birth of a prophesied child. This child has the power to change the world - for good, or for evil. As the threat of war hangs over the land and the child is hunted for her extraordinary powers, it will become Geralt's responsibility to protect them all - and the Witcher never accepts defeat. Following The Last Wish, BLOOD OF ELVES is the new novel starring Geralt de Rivia, the inspiration for the critically-acclaimed videogame The Witcher.


SCIENCE FICTION


There are a few releases this month that I'm really interested in for one reason or another, some of them out for the first time while others are having their paperback releases. I could list many of them that you should go out and buy, but I'll limit myself to four, simply because I think they merit a closer look than the others. So, without further ado...

Twisted Metal
by Tony Ballantyne
(Tor UK)


If you're going to pick up a book this month, this is the one to get. With an all robot cast this one is something a little different than the usual AI stuff you'll come across, but very readable with some excellent ideas!



Death's Head: Maximum Offence
by David Gunn
(Bantam)


I read Death's Head a while ago and loved it, the balls-to-the-wall action giving a quick and relentless pace that is completely enthralling. This is now coming out in the UK in mass market paperback and the opportunity to pick it up should be taken very seriously for those who like their sci-fi hard and fast!


The Grand Conjunction
by Sean Williams
(Orbit)


This is it - the big finale! When you're talking about a relatively small trilogy (the first two books coming in at around 400 and 320 apiece) and the time scale involved - millenia! - there is more than enough to look forward to. Book two was slightly laclustre, but the potential is here to finish on a high. (I know, second month in a row, but this time for UK readers!)


Heroes of the Space Marines
by Kyme & Priestley
(Black Library)


I've read a couple of Warhammer 40,000 stories in the past and think that the setting has such great potential to churn out excellent stories. I've not dipped my toe into the Space Marines section yet, but a short story collection is the perfect opportunity to get in there and see what's on offer. This one has stories by the best 40K writers - just what the doctor ordered!


For a comprehensive review of April science fiction releases visit me at Walker of Worlds.



12 comments:

  1. *TBR list expands dramatically*

    Um, thanks? ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. There are definitely some good ones on this list.

    I've already read Bloodhound, and for anyone thinking about this series, I most certainly have to say go for it. They may be YA books, but it doesn't matter. Tamora Pierce writes a great story regardless.

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  3. I see a LOT of new books I want. Thanks for the posts on new releases each month. It's extremely helpful with making my TBB lists!

    ReplyDelete
  4. LOL Chris the drool when I compile this list is not an attractive picture.

    Elena I have only read a few Pierce books, but what i have read I have enjoyed.

    Just sharing the book love Karen.

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  5. Oh dear, at this rate, I'm going to have to stop sleeping or something. :D

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  6. Great list. Need to forward it to my wife who loves to read urban fantasy.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for the list. There are a lot of good books coming out. My wish list is growing longer.

    delitealex

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  8. Pissenlit welcome to my world, I just placed my order for a batch of the April 28 releases and up to May 5 releases. No idea how I am going to find the time to read them all...but I still want them :)

    ediFanoB always glad to help. Hope she finds some goodies to her liking.

    delitealex you're welcome! I may start having to add a warning to my new release postings -
    DANGER TBR THREAT AHEAD

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  9. There so many books from good series coming out this May, you could nearly go bankrupt! Several of these are on my auto order list. Nice list, some here I didn't know about. Thanks!

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  10. I have read magic in the blood,dead and gone,bloodline,and last vampire standing. All were good, but I have to say Dead and gone was one of the best books I have ever read. Great list! I religiously check it several times every month.

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  11. Fantasy Dreamer May is a great month this year but I don't think it is going to be getting easier next month wither.

    Thanks Patrick!

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    ReplyDelete

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