Marshall Conrad's superpowers could save the world...if he ever figures out how to use them.
There's talk of a serial killer terrorizing the good people of Greenfield. Finding him should be easy for a guy with superpowers, but it's not that simple: Flying's not all it's cracked up to be, and this particular villain seems immune to Marshall's tricks.
Marshall's only helpers are an overweight shopkeeping witch, an old Siamese cat, and a hard drinking senior citizen who can lift automobiles. A crazy cast of corrupt cops, Ogres and other Netherworld surprises is all par for the course when you have to save a city from a baneful and simmering evil about to be unleashed.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
UPDATE (0304): Final versions of the US and UK covers have been posted here.
Another bestselling collection of original Vampire Romance stories from the finest writers of the genre.
A wonderful variety of compellingly original vampire stories, many of them wholly unexpected, from award-winning, New York Times bestselling authors.
There are typical vampires who would be right at home in a horror story or a gothic romance; historical vampires; contemporary, gritty, urban vampires; fang-in-cheek comedy; boy-meets-girl sweetheart stories (if a little bloodier!); and erotic tales of inhuman passions and midnight pleasures.
Look out, too, for stand-alone stories relating to existing series and characters of contributing authors, or stories which develop more fully characters who have only walk-on parts in those authors’ longer fiction.
For Nikki Donovan, being a teenager can be hell. Literally. As if trying to fit in at a new school and navigating the social scene isn’t enough stress for her, sixteen-year-old Nikki Donovan just found out that her long-lost father is, in fact, the demon king of the Shadowlands — the world that separates and protects ours from the Underworld. When she is brought there by the mysterious — and surprisingly cute — messenger Michael, she learns that her father is dying, and that he wants her to assume the throne. To complicate matters, a war is brewing between the Shadowlands and the Underworld, her half-demon qualities are manifesting, and her growing feelings for Michael are forbidden. Ruling a kingdom, navigating a secret crush, and still making it home by curfew — what’s a teenage demon princess to do?
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Carrie Vaughn states over on her blog that she is currently writing Book 7 in the Kitty Norville series to be called Kitty’s House of Horrors for January 2010 release. Why do I think of the Simpsons when I hear that title?
New Urban Fantasy Anthology
Ellen Datlow is completing the finishing touches on a new anthology of urban fantasy stories called Naked City: New Tales of Urban Fantasy by a great line-up of fantasy writers. The contents are listed below with apparently one more story to be added. Ellen Datlow says – “It's a very mixed bag covering cities from Berlin to New York to Mexico City (and some imaginary ones) and it's got ghoul lovers, city destroyers, a story featuring the Seattle troll, and the real reason for the curse on the Chicago Cubs!”
Contents of Naked City: New Tales of Urban Fantasy
- Curses Jim Butcher
- How the Pooka Came To New York City Delia Sherman
- On the Slide Richard Bowes
- The Duke of Riverside Ellen Kushner
- Oblivion by Calvin Klein Christopher Fowler
- Picking up the Pieces Pat Cadigan
- Underbridge Peter S. Beagle
- Priced To Sell Naomi Novik
- The Bricks of Gelecek Matthew Kressel
- Weston Walks Kit Reed
- The Projected Girl Lavie Tidhar
- The Way Station Nathan Ballingrud
- And Go Like This John Crowley
- Noble Rot Holly Black
- Daddy Long Legs of the Evening Jeffrey Ford
- The Skinny Girl Lucius Shepard
- The Colliers’ Venus Caitlín R. Kiernan
- King Pole, Gallows Pole, Bottle Tree Elizabeth Bear
You can win a White Witch, Black Curse T-Shirt and T4 Packets of Tomato seeds by clicking here or on the sidebar.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
This is a great opportunity to try out some titles if you don’t normally read in the genre or to help select some excellent reading if you do. There is also a direct link to Mark’s site where he does a full posting of new releases focused on science fiction. I hope to try out some of Mark’s picks myself and do the occasional review. Let us know what you think.
Urban Fantasy & Paranormal
24 new short stories from the hottest names. Fall in love with someone out of this world. .If love transcends all boundaries then paranormal romance is its logical conclusion. From the biggest names around, here are 24 tales to take you to another time and place. Let Alyssa Day, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Cheyenne McCray, Jeaniene Frost, Ilona Andrews, Kelley Armstrong, Maria V. Snyder, Carrie Vaughn, Allyson James Marland and others show you powers beyond your wildest imaginings. Within these pages mythical beasts, magical creatures of all shapes and sizes, heart-stoppingly handsome ghosts, angels, and mortals with extra-sensitive sensory perception play out the themes of extraordinary desires
Drafted into working for the Order of Merciful Aid, mercenary Kate Daniels has more paranormal problems than she knows what to do with. And in Atlanta, where magic comes and goes like the tide, that's saying a lot. But when Kate's werewolf friend Derek is discovered nearly dead, she must confront her greatest challenge yet.
Guardian Riley Jenson always seems to face the worst villains. And this time’s no different. For it’s no ordinary sorceress who can raise the dead to do her killing. But that’s exactly what Riley expects to find at the end of a trail of female corpses used—and discarded—in a bizarre ritual of evil. With pressure mounting to catch one fiend, another series of brutal slayings shocks the vampire world of her lover, Quinn. So the last thing Riley needs is the heat of the upcoming full moon bringing her werewolf hormones to a boil—or the reappearance of a sexy bounty hunter, the rogue wolf Kye Murphy. Riley has threatened Murphy with arrest if he doesn’t back off the investigation, but it’s Riley who feels handcuffed by Kye’s lupine charm. Torn between her vamp and wolf natures, between her love for Quinn and her hots for Kye, Riley knows she’s courting danger and indulging the deadliest desires. For her hunt through the supernatural underworld will bring her face-to-face with what lurks in a darkness where even monsters fear to tread.
Old ghosts of different kinds come back to haunt Fix, in the fourth gripping Felix Castor novel. Names and faces he thought he'd left behind in Liverpool resurface in London, bringing Castor far more trouble than he'd anticipated. Childhood memories, family traumas, sins old and new, and a council estate that was meant to be a modern utopia until it turned into something like hell ...these are just some of the sticks life uses to beat Felix Castor with as things go from bad to worse for London's favourite freelance exorcist. See, Castor's stepped over the line this time, and he knows he'll have to pay; the only question is: how much? Not the best of times, then, for an unwelcome confrontation with his holier-than-thou brother, Matthew. And just when he thinks things can't possibly get any worse, along comes Father Gwillam and the Anathemata. Oh joy ...
Wanda Schwartz is raking in the dough selling Bobbie-Sue Cosmetics-and she's a pro at recruiting new saleswomen. So, she's shocked when a man comes to one of her in-home parties-a very hot man. Heath Jefferson is sure to put some extra spin into a lot of women's color wheels. When Wanda is diagnosed with a terminal illness, it doesn't have to be a death sentence. With a werewolf and a vampire for best friends, she has options that most ordinary people wouldn't. As Wanda ponders what to do about her mortality, Heath reveals he has secrets, and one of them is that his former bloodlust has turned into an old-fashioned lust-for Wanda. And he's already given up too much to lose the love of his lifetimes.
The good news: Zoey’s friends have her back again and Stevie Rae and the red fledglings aren’t Neferet’s secrets any longer. The bad news: Ancient evil with the face of an angel has been let loose – that and various other nasties (whose faces aren’t so angelic). Grandma Redbird is in trouble. Heath is in trouble. The House of Night is in trouble. Okay, let’s face it – Zoey’s whole world is in trouble! But when the trouble comes from a being who appears to be beauty personified, will the world believe it? Especially when only a teenager and a group of misfits are the only ones who really understand the danger he brings. Will Zoey have the strength and wisdom to reveal the truth? Especially when, in the House of Night, the truth is often hard to come by.
For generations, local residents have whispered about an evil menace lurking near the shore of the Lake of Tears. The recent murder of landowner Damien Gray's bride, Olivia, confirms the worst. Now, confused and heartbroken, Olivia's spirit survives death and seeks vengeance upon the man she desired more than life itself, the man she now suspects was her killer—Damien. But an angry shaman has his own vicious agenda, one that will bring Damien to understand his Native ancestry. Steamy passion and ancient vendettas will draw them ever deeper into a drama of a family's legacy, murder and a love so strong it can withstand even death.
To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters — never mind that enter-ing the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight. As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadow-hunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadow-hunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City — whatever the cost? Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the final installment of the New York Times bestselling trilogy The Mortal Instruments.
There's unlucky in love -- and then there's cursed. Still a virgin at twenty-four, Nia Youngblood just wants to find the right man to fulfill her hot dreams and sensual fantasies. And more important, a man who won't run away when she reveals her unconventional past as the daughter of a witch. Utterly seduced by Nia's sexy beauty, defense attorney David Wrightwood is a strong man who won't let anything come between their super-hot attraction. But when they make love, earthquakes, thunderbolts, and infernos are literally part of the deal -- because someone is trying to claim Nia as his own. Someone who won't let a mere mortal stand in the way of making Nia his bride...
Once, Maya Black was a kick-ass cop patrolling the streets of L.A. She still keeps the city safe, but nowadays her bad guys of choice include demons, werewolves, and assorted nocturnal scum. Something Maya knows a thing or two about. She's a vampire - and not thrilled about it. Payback meet bitch. Adam Brody hopes Maya is as dangerous as they say she is. He needs her to help rescue his niece Cammie from a ruthless band of vamps, and he's willing to pay - in blood. Trusting her is another matter. Adam has never met a vampire who doesn't lie. Then again, he's never met anyone like Maya, who fills him with a desperate need that ignites into explosive, no-holds-barred encounters.
Publishers Weekly - Evans's uneven urban fantasy debut includes plenty of fantasy creatures, exotic locales and raunchy sex, but fails to bring any of them to life. In 1750s London, Rose, Comtesse de Fournier, waits in a high society garden to lure and slay an evil ogre. When several more show up, handsome vampire Gareth Barrows, Lord Shenley, helps her dispose of the ogres while exchanging arch banter that soon leads to more physical foreplay. Rose reluctantly returns to her employer, raven-haired, stormy-eyed Ambrose Minuit, who has been her ogre-fighting partner for a century and resents her cavorting with Gareth. The ogres are also behaving oddly, leading Rose and Ambrose to discover a prophecy that threatens all of humanity, but not even portents of doom can make up for the insufficiency of wit and passion.
As Shadows FadeDirectly descended from the very first vampire hunter in the Gardella family, Victoria knows she must continue the lineage so humanity will have protectors against the undead.While Sebastian Vioget appears to be both the perfect warrior and lover to ensure the Gardella Legacy, Victoria cannot forget Max Pesaro - the former slayer still haunted by the vampire queen Lilith's obsession with him.But it is Lilith's obsession that may save all of humanity. Demons, enemies of both mortals and the undead, have found their way to earth. To defeat them, vampires and slayers must fight side by side. But Lilith wants Max in return for her cooperation; a small price for the world, but too high a price for Victoria.
The vampire in me was closer to the surface . . . Evernight Academy: an exclusive boarding school for the most beautiful, dangerous students of all—vampires. Bianca, born to two vampires, has always been told her destiny is to become one of them. But Bianca fell in love with Lucas—a vampire hunter sworn to destroy her kind. They were torn apart when his true identity was revealed, forcing him to flee the school. Although they may be separated, Bianca and Lucas will not give each other up. She will risk anything for the chance to see him again, even if it means coming face-to-face with the vampire hunters of Black Cross—or deceiving the powerful vampires of Evernight. Bianca's secrets will force her to live a life of lies. Yet Bianca isn't the only one keeping secrets. When Evernight is attacked by an evil force that seems to target her, she discovers the truth she thought she knew is only the beginning. . . .
Hollywood stuntwoman-turned-vampire-hunter Dawn Madison, along with her comrades, managed to wipe out the Los Angeles Vampire Underground - and uncovered not only her own dark family heritage but also a terrible truth about the man she loves. Now she's determined to find the next vampire lair, hoping it will help her to make more sense out of her life. When a new Underground is found in England, Dawn and a vampire-fighting team are dispatched to carry the fight to the enemy in London. Dawn knows by now how deceiving appearances can be-and she is about to find out that it's not only the beautiful people of Hollywood who are willing to bargain with evil . . .
When Half Moon Hollow's children's librarian Jane Jameson is fired by her beastly boss and handed a Shenanigan's gift certificate instead of a severance check she goes on a bender of legendary proportions. On her way home, she's mistaken for a deer, shot, and left for dead. And thanks to the mysterious stranger she met while chugging neon-colored cocktails, she wakes up with a decidedly unladylike thirst for blood. Now Jane's life-after-lifestyle is taking some getting used to. Her deceased favorite aunt is now her ghostly roommate. She has to fake breathing and endure daylight to avoid coming out of the coffin to her family. She's forced to forgo down-home Southern cooking for bags of O negative. Her relationship with her sexy, mercurial vampire sire runs hot and cold. And it looks like someone in Half Moon Hollow is trying to frame her for a series of vampire murders. What's a nice undead girl to do?
The daughter of two vampires, Lady Daniela is considered aristocracy in the vampire world. Still, she has to fight for what she wants—especially since what she wants is to depose a brutal territory overlord. For that she'll need the help of Devlin, a handsome, brave human who inflames her desire far more than any man or beast. Even though she could easily lay her claim and take Dev on as a fully marked servant, she resists the urge—especially since Dev is still tormented by something in his past. But when her enemy makes an unexpected appearance, Dev surprises them both by yielding completely to his feelings for Danny and showing her the devotion of a true servant—until she decides to take his freedom without asking...
Forbidden Temptations…Serena Kelley is an archaeologist and treasure hunter—and a woman with a secret. Since she was seven, she’s been the keeper of a powerful charm that grants her health and immortality . . . as long as she stays a virgin. But Serena isn’t all that innocent. And when a dangerously handsome stranger brings her to the brink of ecstasy, she wonders if she’s finally met the one man she cannot resist. Fatal Desires…Wraith is a Seminus demon with a death wish. But when an old enemy poisons him, he must find Serena and persuade her to give him the only known antidote in the universe—her charm. Yet, as she begins to surrender to his seductions, and Wraith senses the cure is within his grasp, he realizes a horrible truth: he’s falling for the woman whose life he must take in order to save his own
THE ONE MAN SHE CAN'T TRUST.Two hundred years have passed since Anna Randal gave herself to Conde Cezar in a night of relentless passion. Since then, Anna has become filled with unearthly power she can't begin to comprehend. And the sexy, charming vampire responsible has eluded all of her efforts to track him down, until now.
IS THE ONLY ONE.Cezar's blissful encounter with Anna cost him two centuries of penance. But one thing hasn't changed-his body's response to her is as urgent as ever. Now, commanded by the Oracles to keep watch over Anna, Cezar finds himself torn between his need to protect her-and to possess her.
WHO CAN KEEP HER SAFE.Someone wants Anna dead. And as an ancient enemy prepares to wage a terrifying battle, Anna must decide whether to succumb to a dark, burning desire-and accept a destiny that could change the world forever.
When werewolves from Nocturne City’s oldest packs start showing up shot through the head execution-style, police officer Luna Wilder must find out what’s killing them and why…before she becomes the next victim. Luna traces the killings to a band of shapeshifters made of smoke and shadow who drink the blood of their victims for strength. Believed to exist only in legend, their race is all too real—and now their leader, Lucas Kennuka, is out to wrest Luna’s heart from her beloved Dmitri. To make matters worse, Dmitri is suffering from a mysterious illness brought on by a demon bite, and his condition grows more grave with each passing day. Now Luna must rely on Lucas to defeat an invisible enemy—a serial were-killer bringing death and destruction to all who stand in its path. . .
When ghost hunter and medium M.J. Holliday appears on a television show called Haunted Possessions, she encounters an evil knife that releases a demon. Now all hell has broken loose in the haunted hotel where M.J. is staying—and it’s up to her to give the uninvited guest an early checkout.
Eric has lost his strip club, his Mustang, and even Marilyn, the love of his (mortal) life. Even his body was obliterated. In short, they almost got him. But when you're a vampire, "almost" is a very important word. With a little magical help from his friends, Eric is restored to corporeal form, but his treasured Mustang gets caught up in the sorcery as well and ends up with an unlife of its own. Now, along with "Fang the Stang," he's out to save Marilyn from one of Void-City's most powerful soul-stealing demons. But salvation comes at a high price, forcing Eric to venture into his own worst nightmare, Vampire High Society, to uncover the truth about the origin of his powers. At the same time, Eric's ex-girlfriend Tabitha, has begun to wonder exactly what it was that she admired about those High Society vampires in the first place. Her quest to find her own place in this deceptively vicious circle may lead her right back to Eric's side, if her little sister Rachel doesn't kill her first. Eric will need all the help he can get, because it looks like someone is out for his soul, too. Blood will flow, fangs will be bared, and the claws will come out, because revenge is never pretty... and Eric has plenty to pass around.
Four years ago, overcome by hunger, Blake Richards took too much from a young woman, and turned her to save her life. Now Meghan Thomas is like him, a vampire…and their initial attraction has turned to anger and distrust. She hates what he has made her, but when a vicious killer threatens Manhattan's vampire community, Meghan has no choice but to turn to him—her sire. Blake is reckless and brash. Meghan is young and untried. Alone, they are no match for the killer. But with the fates of humans and vampires alike depending on them, their only hope is to trust in their blood bond....
Staked, cursed, and still single…Newly-vamped Sarah Dearly wants her normal life back, but fate is fighting against her. She tries to get a nice, regular job and gets staked at the interview, only to be rescued by a masked vampire who calls himself the Red Devil. Then a wallflower-turned-witch curses her, making her a bloodthirsty, sun-allergic nightwalker — the worst vampire there is. As if all that weren’t bad enough, she can’t get married because her 600-year-old boyfriend, Thierry, is in a centuries-long marriage of convenience he can’t escape.…it’s enough to make a girl start biting. As Sarah’s nightwalker tendencies make her more dangerous, even to those she loves, she’ll have to counteract that curse, unmask the increasingly intriguing Red Devil, and — oh yeah – get a commitment from her man. But if that’s what it takes to secure her happiness, Sarah is ready…even if it means embracing her inner vamp to do it.
A vampire bite has Sheriff Sam Sheridan on the fast track to hell and demons are taking over Twilight Tennessee. He's battling not only to save both his soul and his town, but also his love for one woman, Emerald Linton. Emerald has a secret that could destroy both her and Sam. She is an angel, and if she can't save Sam from turning evil, then she'll have to kill him, no matter how much of her heart belongs to him. Sam is determined to take as many demons and vampires down with him as he can and to protect Emerald, but as the seductive dark power in him grows will he condemn Emerald to share his doomed fate, or will they both find a way out of hell.
Even vampires need a vacation. But Decker Argeneau's ends abruptly when he's asked to help hunt the group of rogue vampires targeting mortals -- one that might include a defector in his own family. Before he can worry about that, though, he's got to rescue the latest victim. It's all part of the job, including taking a bullet for a beautiful doctor. Dr. Danielle McGill doesn't know if she can trust the man who just saved her life. There are too many questions, such as what is the secret organization he says he's part of, and why do his wounds hardly bleed? However, with her sister in the hands of some dangerous men, she doesn't have much choice but to trust him. Except now Decker's talking about life mates and awakening a passion that's taking Dani beyond anything she's ever known. Being undead may not be half-bad... especially if it means spending forever with a man who would love her with his mind, body, and immortal soul.
He is Layel, king of the vampires, a master seducer no woman can deny. But since a rogue horde of dragons killed his beloved over two centuries ago, Layel has existed only for vengeance…until he meets Delilah.Wary of love, the beautiful Amazon wants nothing to do with the tormented vampire. Yet there's no denying their consuming desire every time he nears her. Neither trusts the other—nor can they survive alone. For in an impossible game of the gods' devising, they've been trapped on an island, about to face the ultimate challenge: surrender to the passion that will bind them forever…or be doomed to an eternity apart.
Nalini Singh introduces readers to a world of beauty and bloodlust, where angels hold sway over vampires. Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux is hired by the dangerously beautiful Archangel Raphael. But this time, it's not a wayward vamp she has to track. It's an archangel gone bad. The job will put Elena in the midst of a killing spree like no other-and pull her to the razor's edge of passion. Even if the hunt doesn't destroy her, succumbing to Raphael's seductive touch just may. For when archangels play, mortals break.
Lara Boucher will do whatever it takes to get that coveted promotion to detective. She knows that something strange was happening at the incredibly handsome Jack's party. Working that out will have to take a back seat to discover why so many college girls have gone missing. But the last thing she expects when she goes undercover at the so-called 'spa' is to run into Jack again - or to feel such a strong attraction. The last thing Jack wants is to become the kind of man his father was. But that's just what's required if he's going to bring down this latest ring of Malcontents. Drawing on his legendary Casanova lineage, Jack works his way into the group. But will he be able to show Lara the man he really is without jeopardizing their mission? And can Lara ever trust a man with so many secrets?
Terry Spear further develops her world of the lupus garou with a romantic tale that unfolds inside the dynamics of pack behavior. Silver Town is run by a pack of gray werewolves that isn't about to welcome any outsider. Fleeing from her red pack before the leader coerces her to mate his cruel brother, Lelandi Wildhaven arrives in Silver Town to find her sister. But her sister is dead, apparently a suicide. And everyone believes Lelandi's there to make a bid for her sister's widowed mate. Pack leader Darien Silver blames himself for his mate's death, and is tortured by doubts about and memories of her. When her twin arrives in his town, he finds himself bewitched, and when someone attempts to silence her, his entire pack and his way of life are in danger. Protecting the beautiful stranger might be his only way to protect his pack... and himself.
Chandra Walker has a secret hidden in her genes - she's a rare female werewolf. Now that her all-male pack has located her, it's her destiny to sample each man's pleasures and choose a mate from among them - a mate who will become pack leader. Soon the strongest alphas are competing to bring Chandra the most ecstasy, but only one man will claim her. Find out who in "Animal Attraction".
Gwen Dubois lives in Indiana, but her heart is in France with Marc Chevalier, a man she met online. Now he’s come to Big Knob to show Gwen the meaning of amour and spirit her back to Paris. But stiff competition is coming from another part of the world—if not exactly this world. Prince Leo of the Atwood fairy kingdom has his own plans for Gwen, creating a romantic mishap that only Big Knob’s resident witch and wizard can untangle.
Half-human Cal Leandros and his brother Niko are hired by the vampire Seamus to find out who has been following him—until Seamus turns up dead (or un-undead). Worse still is the return of Cal’s nightmarish family, the Auphe. The last time Cal and Niko faced them, they were almost wiped out. Now, the Auphe want revenge. But first, they’ll destroy everything Cal holds dear...
Ava Markham is beautiful, savvy, chic, and more at home with Kate Spade than with the idea of fangs and fur. She can’t get quite used to the fact that some of closest friends have crossed over to the Other side. Then one night she is attacked by a rogue vampire, and her deepest fears are realized when her body begins a dangerous transformation from human to immortal—a change she cannot survive without the help of an alluring stranger who comes to her rescue…Vladimir Rurikovich, an elite member of the European Council of Vampires, is on the prowl for a murderous vampire fugitive on the night he saves Ava from the clutches of death. It takes just one look for Dima to know he cannot live another eight centuries without the stunning and seductive Ava—until he discovers a secret about her bloodline that could change everything…
Feisty witch Stasi Romanov was one of 13 classmates at the Witches Academy who was expelled seven hundred years ago for bad behavior. Stasi has since then settled down a bit, owning a lingerie boutique while dabbling in a brisk side business of love charms. Sparks fly, however, when one of those charms goes awry, and Stasi finds herself in a preternatural lawsuit matching wits with devastatingly handsome wizard attorney Trevor Barnes. Then mysterious magic from an unknown enemy threatens to turn Stasi's quiet town into a modern day Salem, and Stasi's witchy friends from long ago gather for the fight. They need Trevor's powerful help. But every witch knows you can't trust a wizard, and soon Stasi is fighting for her life and her heart
FEBRUARY (Missed from last months list)
In the days when powerful witches used their magic to shield humanity from demons, their allies and guardians were a group of men gifted with preternatural abilities of their own–the witch guardians. But when a band of witches traded their humanity for demonic power, the ancient bond was broken, and the guardians became the hunters. Darcy MacAlister knows nothing of demons or magic. But this beautiful young woman is about to discover the truth about her past . . . and her future. For she is a witch–not just any witch, but the key to breaking the curse that has plagued witches and the men who hunt them. For if a hunter kills an innocent witch by mistake, the price is no less than a piece of his soul. Axel Locke, gorgeous leader of the Wing Slayer Hunters, has sworn never to shed the blood of the earth witches who have resisted the temptation of demonic power. But when his sister is cursed by a demon witch, he discovers that Darcy MacAlister may hold the cure–if she can master her newfound powers in time. When the chase begins and Axel and Darcy come face-to-face, this hunter must weigh his soul against his honor–and against his heart.
Daphne Forbes always knew the world was an odd place. Unlike most CPAs, she grew up the daughter of a druid. Unlike her father, she eschewed the supernatural. But magic was coming to trip her up. In the form of an enchanted cornerstone, it was set to knock Daphne's socks off-or at least one of her shoes-and the rest of her clothes were soon to follow. Magic filled Daphne, empowered her, shifted her shape and raged wild as a summer storm. Enter Tremayne. Whether the tormented newcomer was truly her guardian or something more sinister, one thing he wanted was clear. Daphne wanted him, too. She had spent her whole life with control but little power; this was just the opposite. She was suddenly between a magic stone and . . . someplace harder. And we're not (just) talking about Tremayne's abs.
With such novels as Queen of Dragons and The Dream Thief, Shana Abé has created a unique and vividly imagined world that exists side by side with our own—a realm populated by a race of supersensual men and women whose power to change shape permits them unlimited acts of pleasure…and ever-present danger. Now the survival of the drákon rests in the hands of a young woman with untried and unexpected powers—and the powerful Alpha male she must break every drákon law to save. The drákon are at war, surrounded by an enemy they have every reason to fear. The sanf inimicus are no ordinary human beings but the most dangerous of hunters. They’ve sworn to exterminate the shape-shifters whose presence they now can detect, and they’ve already claimed a prize prisoner: Lord Rhys Langford. It’s a blow the drákon clans feel from Darkfrith, England, all the way to the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania. But it strikes no one harder than Zoe Cyprienne Lane. A mere seamstress’s daughter, Zoe isn’t even in the same league as Rhys. In fact, as an unwed male in the Alpha line, according to drákon custom, he owns her. So nothing could be more outrageous—or personally ruinous—than the mere notion that she might set out on her own to find her childhood friend...and first true love. But the unexpected is exactly what Zoe intends to do. For years she’s been hiding two extraordinary Gifts that have set her apart from other drákon females: the power to become invisible and the power to feel others’ emotions.Now, guided by a link to Rhys—his presence and touch as electric as if he were beside her in the flesh—Zoe uses both Gifts to infiltrate the sanf inimicus. And for Rhys, whose time is running out, Zoe is his last lifeline to a world—and a love—he never thought he’d regain. Only together again, hunter and huntress, can they save the drákon from the traitor in their midst who would destroy them all.
Modern parables of love, death, and transformation are peppered with melancholy in this extraordinary collection of contemporary fantasy. Each short story cultivates a whimsical sense of imagination and reveals a mature, darker voice than previously experienced from this legendary author. In one tale the Angel of Death enjoys newfound celebrity while moonlighting as an anchorman on the network news, while in another the shortsighted ruler of a gentle realm betrays himself in dreaming of a "manageable war." Further storylines include an American librarian who discovers that, much to his surprise and sadness, he is the last living Frenchman, and rivals in a supernatural battle who decide to forgo pistols at dawn, choosing instead to duel with dramatic recitations of terrible poetry. Featuring several previously unpublished stories alongside a bevy of recently released works, this haunting compilation is appealing to both genre readers and mainstream literature lovers.
The wampyr has walked the dark streets of the world's great cities for a thousand years. In that time, he has worn out many names--and even more compatriots. Now, so that one of those companions may die where she once lived, he has come again to the City of London. In 1938, where the ghosts of centuries of war haunt rain-grey streets and the Prussian Chancellor's army of occupation rules with an iron hand. Here he will meet his own ghosts, the remembrances of loves mortal--and immortal. And here he will face the Chancellor's secret weapon: a human child.
Dena Nehele is a land decimated by its past. Once it was ruled by corrupt Queens who were wiped out when the land was cleansed of tainted Blood. Now, only one hundred Warlord Princes stand-without a leader and without hope. Theran Grayhaven is the last of his line, desperate to find the key that reveals a treasure great enough to restore Dena Nehele. But first he needs to find a Queen who remembers the Blood's code of honor and lives by the Old Ways. The woman chosen to rule Dena Nehele, Lady Cassidy, is not beautiful and believes she is not strong. But she may be the only one able to convince bitter men to serve once again.
The time has come to stand against the night. As darkness falls each night, the corelings rise–demons who well up from the ground like hellish steam, taking on fearsome form and substance. Sand demons. Wood demons. Wind demons. Flame demons. And gigantic rock demons, the deadliest of all. They possess supernatural strength and powers and burn with a consuming hatred of humanity. For hundreds of years the demons have terrorized the night, slowly culling the human herd that shelters behind magical wards–symbols of power whose origins are lost in myth and mystery, and whose protection is terrifyingly fragile. It was not always this way. Once, men and women battled the corelings on equal terms. Once, under the leadership of the legendary Deliverer, and armed with powerful wards that were not merely shields but weapons, they took the battle to the demons . . . and stopped their advance. But those days are gone. The fighting wards are lost. Night by night the demons grow stronger, while human numbers dwindle under their relentless assault. Now, with hope for the future fading, three young survivors of vicious demon attacks will dare the impossible, stepping beyond the crumbling safety of the wards to risk everything in a desperate quest to regain the secrets of the past. Arlen will pay any price, embrace any sacrifice, for freedom. His grim journey will take him beyond the bounds of human power. Crippled by the demons that killed his parents, Rojer seeks solace in music–only to discover that music can be a weapon as well as a refuge. Beautiful Leesha, who has suffered at the hands of men as well as demons, becomes an experthealer. But what cures can also harm. . . . Together, they will stand against the night.
Publishers Weekly - Concluding the fantasy trilogy begun in The Serpent and the Rose (2007) and The Golden Rose (2008), Averil, now queen of Lys, returns to claim her throne and heal the land. Though the king who sought to free the chaos-bringing Serpent is dead, the soulless armies he raised still roam. Averil must seek the sorcerer who commands them and assert her authority as even her most loyal defenders seek to keep her far from the action. Meanwhile, her soul mate and forbidden love, Squire Gereint, makes an unsettling discovery that explains his unusual magical talents. Bryan raises the stakes without descending into melodrama, highlighting the heroism of patience and making the Serpent more complicated than a standard Dark Lord. The effect is spoiled by a too-pat, shallow ending that rings false against the complex, nuanced story.
Readers unfamiliar with bestseller Dahlquist's 2006 debut, The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters, which is set in an alternate world similar to Victorian Europe, may have trouble following this complicated sequel, despite the "preparatory word on what has already happened" at the start. In The Glass Books, West Indies plantation heiress Celeste Temple, naval surgeon Abelard Svenson and criminal Cardinal Chang joined forces to combat an evil cabal that smelted a mineral into "a psychotropic blue glass" that "captures human memory." Temple, who survived the previous book's cinematic climax involving a gunfight in a sinking dirigible, finds herself suspected of a series of mysterious murders, while Svenson and Chang discover new enemies to thwart. Too much going on at the same time, including less than engaging confrontations with various over-the-top villains, undermines a clever concept that may yet be the basis for a solid adventure series.
Publishers Weekly - Dayton (The Eternal Rose) never quite makes good on the engrossing buildup of this lengthy tale set in an alternate 19th-century Europe. The Imperial Council of Magicians forbids women to practice magic, so hapless servant Jax has spent 200 years searching for an heir to the last blood sorceress; at last he finds her in hedge witch Amanusa Whitcomb. Reluctant and afraid, Amanusa lets Jax teach her about blood magic. When she finally uses her powers, she and Jax flee from the Inquisitors, encountering disturbing "dead zones" devoid of life and magic. The burgeoning love between Amanusa and Jax is well-crafted and honest, but Dayton allows it to overwhelm the complex plot and world-building, leaving hundreds of pages of foundation crumbling without a suitable capstone.
In a major new novel, Charles de Lint mingles Native American, Hispanic, and Celtic magic to invoke a world where classic hot rods and surf guitar mingle with brujeria and angry ghosts -- and where on nights when the barrier between the worlds is thin, the living and the dead can touch.
Hampered by arthritis, Nostradamus is in no mood for granting favors or running about looking for trouble. But when his apprentice Alfeo's mistress asks him to investigate the murder of her beloved courtesan mentor-and promises a fortune in payment-he comes around. It appears that someone is murdering the courtesans of Venice. All were well-known, admired for their skills-and somehow connected by a sinister event involving one of the great families of the city. While Nostradamus attempts to use the dark arts to solve riddles which confound explanation, Alfeo finds himself led by a possibly demonic force through a maze of deceit and death. And when the master and apprentice come to the end of their intertwined paths, there may be hell to pay.
The last golden days of Egypt.... The decadent court of the legendary queen.... Charmian is Cleopatra's half sister, daughter of Pharaoh and a woman of the harem. She shares with her a grace and a terrible burden -- to be the Hand of Isis Incarnate in Egypt's most desperate hour. From mysterious temples hidden in the desert to the perilous palaces of Rome, through ancient prophecies and dangerous intrigues, Charmian must battle foes seen and unseen to serve sister and goddess alike.
A. J. Harley brings us a fantasy with plenty of mystery and adventure, set in a mythical world reminiscent of Shakespearean England and told by a morally dubious apprentice actor called Will Hawthorne who finds himself in serious trouble with the local authorities and casts himself on the mercies of a band of principled adventurers.
From John Meaney, the author of Bone Song and “the most important new SF writer of the 21st century,”* comes a new novel, Black Blood. In it he offers his intoxicating blend of futuristic noir and gothic fantasy in a thriller that carries a cop with a personal vendetta across the barrier between life and death. Here, in a morbidly lush necropolis, he must stop a conspiracy of killers whose power is fueled by spilling… He’s lucky to be alive. That’s what everyone tells him. Except Tristopolitan police lieutenant Donal Riordan doesn’t feel lucky and he isn’t really alive. In one horrific moment not even death can erase from memory, Donal lost the woman he loved even as her ultimate sacrifice saved his life. Now it’s literally her heart that beats in his chest and her murder that Donal “lives” to avenge. While being a zombie cop has its upsides—including inhuman reaction time and razor-sharp senses—Donal’s new undead status makes him the target of Tristopolis’s powerful Unity Party, whose startling rise to power is built on a platform of antizombie paranoia and persecution. The Party is no friend, to be sure—but it’s the secret cabal known as the Black Circle and their stranglehold on the city’s elite that consume Donal’s black heart. For at the center of this ring of evil is the man responsible for his lover’s murder—a man Donal has already had to kill once before. Now, with ominous reports of white wolf sightings throughout the city and a dangerous sabotage attempt at police headquarters, all signs indicate that the BlackCircle is planning a magical coup d’état. And the terror will begin with a political assassination triggered by a necroninja already hidden… in a place no one expects. For Donal, it’s no longer a matter of life and death but something far more serious. How can he stop a killer who won’t stay dead and an evil that death only makes stronger?
Publishers Weekly - Modesitt (The Lord Protector's Daughter) launches a trilogy set in a brand new world with this straightforward, exposition-heavy story. Apprentice portraitist Rhennthyl finds out the hard way that he has the magical ability called Imaging: an explosion kills his master right after Rhenn wishes for just such an event. Rhenn's ability, which allows him to form objects from thin air and slay with a glance, appears to be quite strong, and he begins training as a covert operative. Just when he starts to relax into his new career, an unknown assassin tries to kill him. This uncomplicated narrative feels like a prequel, with plenty of setup but not much action. Readers will look to future installments for the derring-do promised by Rhenn's martial studies and frequent mentions of stormy international politics.
FEBRUARY (Missed from last months list)
600 years before the events in the Black Magician Trilogy, the world was a very different place - both simpler and harsher. Magical healing had not yet been discovered, no guild existed and all magicians were black magicians. But events are brewing that will lead nations into war, rival magicians into conflict, and spark an act of sorcery so brutal that its effects will be felt for centuries.
Between life and death, dreaming and waking, at the train stop beyond the end of the world is the city of Palimpsest. To get there is a miracle, a mystery, a gift, and a curse—a voyage permitted only to those who’ve always believed there’s another world than the one that meets the eye. Those fated to make the passage are marked forever by a map of that wondrous city tattooed on their flesh after a single orgasmic night. To this kingdom of ghost trains, lion-priests, living kanji, and cream-filled canals come four travelers: Oleg, a New York locksmith; the beekeeper November; Ludovico, a binder of rare books; and a young Japanese woman named Sei. They’ve each lost something important—a wife, a lover, a sister, a direction in life—and what they will find in Palimpsest is more than they could ever imagine.
In this lush, romantic retelling of one of the most enduring Irish legends, acclaimed Celtic historical author Jules Watson reignites the tale of Deirdre—the Irish Helen of Troy—in a story that is at once magical, beautiful, and tragic. She was born with a blessing and a curse: that she would grow into a woman of extraordinary beauty—and bring ruin to the kingdom of Ulster and its ruler, the wily Conor. Ignoring the pleadings of his druid to expel the infant, King Conor secrets the girl child with a poor couple in his province, where no man can covet her. There, under the tutelage of a shamaness, Deirdre comes of age in nature and magic…. And in the season of her awakening, the king is inexorably drawn to her impossible beauty. But for Deirdre, her fate as a man’s possession is worse than death. And soon the green-eyed girl, at home in waterfall and woods, finds herself at the side of three rebellious young warriors. Among them is the handsome Naisi. His heart charged with bitterness toward the aging king, and growing in love for the defiant girl, Naisi will lead Deirdre far from Ulster—and into a war of wits, swords, and spirit that will take a lifetime to wage. Brimming with life and its lusts, here is a soaring tale of enchantment and eternal passions—and of a woman who became legend.
March is looking like a great month in terms of Sci-Fi releases with a good selection across the board. I've picked a few out below, a couple that I think are essential reading for the year, a couple that have the background to be great and one that just stands out.
The Temporal Void
by Peter F. Hamilton
Del Rey, March 24th 2009
The second volume in Peter's epic Void Trilogy, this was released last October in the UK but those in the US have had to wait that extra six months to get their hands on it. As one of the best books Peter has written I can whole heartedly recommend this one for it's excellent combination of galaxy spanning Space Opera and fantasy-lite Void segments. This was my read of 2008 - enough said!
Seeds of Earth
by Michael Cobley
Orbit, March 5th 2009
This is the first volume in Mike Cobley's Humanity's Fire trilogy and he tackles big ideas on a big canvas. With many ideas and plot threads laid out this is both rewarding and extremely satisfying. Bring on the sequels!
by Ian Mcdonald
Gollancz, March 26th 2009
Although I haven't read this it's set in the same world as McDonald's highly praised River of Gods. Although a collection of several short stories this still has the promise to deliver a similar scale.
The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction Volume 3
edited by George Mann
Solaris, March 2nd 2009
Another collection from Solaris and with many of the big names in science fiction included within this could be one of the anthologies of the year. Early reviews I've read make this one to read and I can say that my own experience can back that up!
Journey into Space
by Toby Litt
Penguin UK, March 5th 2009
Looking at the sci-fi release for March this is the one title that stood out that I really want to read. I'm not sure if it's the synopsis or the kick-ass cover that did the job, but I'll be getting this without a doubt.
For a comprehensive review of March science fiction releases visit me at Walker of Worlds.