Tuesday, July 26, 2011

07/26/11 - New Releases in Science Fiction, Fantasy, YA -

Big release week, particularly in Contemporary Fantasy.  This week's titles are headlined by Jim Butcher's new Dresden novel, Ghost Story, as well as Kelley Armstrong's new (and final) Otherworld novel, Spell Bound.  Backing up that impressive start is a slew of mass-market releases including a double release (from two different publishers) of Justin Gustainis's urban fantasy/detective fiction.

Ghost Story by Jim Butcher - When we last left the mighty wizard detective Harry Dresden, he wasn't doing well. In fact, he had been murdered by an unknown assassin.

But being dead doesn't stop him when his friends are in danger. Except now he has nobody, and no magic to help him. And there are also several dark spirits roaming the Chicago shadows who owe Harry some payback of their own.

To save his friends-and his own soul-Harry will have to pull off the ultimate trick without any magic...

Spell Bound by Kelley Armstrong - At last, in the novel every Kelley Armstrong fan will need to own, all the major heroines and heroes of Otherworld are united.

It's been ten years since Bitten, the first novel in Kelley Armstrong's New York Times bestselling Otherworld series. In that time hundreds of thousands of fans have ravenously devoured the adventures of Armstrong's witches, demons, and werewolves. Now, in Spell Bound, she brings them all together for her most sweeping tale yet.

Savannah Levine is in terrible danger, and for once she's powerless to help herself. At the heartbreaking conclusion of Waking the Witch, Savannah swore that she would give up her powers if it would prevent further pain for a young orphan. Little did she know that someone would take her up on that promise.

And now, witch-hunting assassins, necromancers, half-demons, and rogue witches all seem to be after her. The threat is not just for Savannah; every member of the Otherworld might be at risk. While most of her fellow supernaturals are circling the wagons at a gathering of the council in Miami, Savannah is caught on the road, isolated from those who can protect her and unable to use her vast spell-casting talent, the thing she counts on most. In a story that will change the shape of the Otherworld forever, Armstrong gathers Elena, Clay, Paige, Lucas, Jamie, Hope, and other beloved characters, who soon learn that the greatest threat to supernaturals just may come from within.

Black Night by Christina Henry - Madeline Black is an Agent of death, meaning she escorts the souls of people who have died to the afterlife. Of course, not everyone is happy to see her...

If obstinate dead people were all that Maddy had to worry about, life would be much easier. But the best-laid plans of Agents and fallen angels often go awry. Deaths are occurring contrary to the natural order, Maddy's being stalked by foes inside and outside of her family, and her two loves-her bodyguard, Gabriel, and her doughnut-loving gargoyle, Beezle-have disappeared. But because Maddy is Lucifer's granddaughter, things are expected of her, things like delicate diplomatic missions to other realms.

Heroes at Odds by Moira J. Moore - Shield Lee Mallorough and Source Shintaro Karish are steadfast in their commitment to protect Westsea no matter what disaster-natural or man-made-may befall it. But before our heroes can discern why so many people are suddenly interested in gaining control of Westsea, Lee's family arrives with some startling news. Long before she was trained as a Shield, she was betrothed as part of an alliance with another merchant clan-and her "fianc√©" is determined to see Lee fulfill her contract...

Shadowflame by Dianne Sylvan - It's been three months since musician Miranda Grey became a vampire and married David Solomon. But when a powerful force from David's past appears, Miranda begins to realize how little she really knows about her husband.

Stark's War by John G. Henry - In a brutal battle for control of Earth's satellite, Sergeant Ethan Stark must train his squadron to fight in an airless atmosphere against a desperate enemy. But ensuring survival means choosing which orders to obey-and which to ignore.

A Soldier's Duty by Jean Johnson - Ia is a precog, tormented by visions of the future where her home galaxy has been devastated. To prevent this vision from coming true, Ia enlists in the Terran United Planets military with a plan to become a soldier who will inspire generations for the next three hundred years-a soldier history will call Bloody Mary.

Bloodlands by Christine Cody - It was called the New Badlands, home to the survivors of a cataclysm that altered the entire nation. Then the vampires arrived, and it was rechristened the Bloodlands. Not because of the vampire, but because of the gun-for-hire who'd decided to slay every monster in the country by any and every means necessary.

Hard Spell by Justin Gustainis - Stan Markowski is a Detective Sergeant on the Scranton PD's Supernatural Crimes Investigation Unit.

Like the rest of America, Scranton's got an uneasy 'live and let unlive' relationship with the supernatural. But when a vamp puts the bite on an unwilling victim, or some witch casts the wrong kind of spell, that's when they call Markowski. He carries a badge. Also, a crucifix, some wooden stakes, a big vial of holy water, and a 9mm Beretta loaded with silver bullets.

File Under: Urban Fantasy [ Dial V For Vampire | Forbidden Spells | Bite Club | Scranton By Night ]

[Editor's Note - I'll be reviewing this title later this week - along with another Angry Robot release: Debris.]

Restoration (World House Book 2) by Guy Adams - NONE WHO ENTER THE WORLD HOUSE LEAVE IT UNCHANGED. In some rooms, forests grow; animals roam and objects come to life. Great secrets and treasures await the brave or foolhardy. And at the very top of the house, the prisoner it was all built to contain sat behind a locked door waiting for the key to turn.

The day that happened, the world ended.

A sequel to the stunning "The World House".

Modern Fantasy [Worlds within Worlds | End of Days | A Prisoner Escapes | Dark Powers]

Citizens edited by John Ringo and Brian M. Thomsen - Legendary science fiction writers – and citizen warriors – deliver science fiction military adventure tales on a grand scale. Asimov, Heinlein, Clarke, Laumer, Wolfe, and other greats. Giants of science fiction. Plus all new fiction by recent vets who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Military veterans all. This is the Book of Dreams for anyone who enjoys military science fiction. Gritty takes on future combat. Penetrating looks into the warrior’s character, the harsh reality of a life under arms – and how society deals with those it desperately needs and often fails to honor as it should.

Genius-level storytelling at its very best – introduced and edited by multiple New York Times best-seller and U.S. Army veteran John Ringo and noted scholar Brian M. Thomsen.

Monster Hunter Alpha by Larry Correia - Dirty Harry meets Twilight. #3 in the break-out series and a follow-up to Monster Hunter International and Monster Hunter Vendetta.

Earl Harbinger may be the leader of Monster Hunter International, but he’s also got a secret. Nearly a century ago, Earl was cursed to be werewolf. When Earl receives word that one of his oldest foes, a legendarily vicious werewolf that worked for the KGB, has mysteriously appeared in the remote woods of Michigan, he decides to take care of some unfinished business. But another force is working to bring about the creation of a whole new species of werewolf. When darkness falls, the final hunt begins, and the only thing standing in their way is a handful of locals, a lot of firepower, and Earl Harbinger’s stubborn refusal to roll over and play dead.

Do Unto Others... by Michael Z. Williamson - The Prescot family were miners. At one time, they were contracted to develop technology for a mineral rich but uninhabitable system. Gradually, all the investors shied away. Then the Prescots broke through with the technology needed to exploit entire planets, and incidentally develop domed playgrounds for the perversely rich, including indoor ski slopes and cable cars over megavolcanos, casinos and rides. This created the economic problem of being the richest people in the universe, having more money than most governments and effectively unlimited resources. Money is a small blessing when enemies are quite willing to spend billions for the chance at trillions. Bryan Prescot and his daughter might as well have targets painted on their backs for the thugs, kidnappers, and assassins their competitors would throw at them. Bodyguards were necessary - highly trained bodyguards who could be bought once and be utterly loyal no matter the circumstances. Caron Prescot has only six bodyguards against an army, but she has two aces in the hole: The miners are on her side, and Elke, Ripple Creek's psychotic demolition expert, has a nuke. The problem with Elke having a nuke is that Elke WILL use it!

Nagash Immortal by Mike Lee - In the tunnels of Nagashizzar, a new threat to the realm of the undead is rising. Nagash must call upon all his reserves of power to defeat the skaven assault and continue his unholy reign. But when Nagash realises he can use his enemy for his own nefarious needs, an uneasy alliance is struck and a vast, nightmarish army is formed. The necromancer launches his final attack on the lands of Nehekhara, sweeping all before him. Only one man dare stand in his way – Alcadizzar, a peerless warrior and the leader of a defiant force. Their confrontation will not just decide the fate of Nehekhara, but of all the Old World.

Imperial Glory by Richard Williams - Tired and broken by war, the men of the Brimlock Eleventh Imperial Guard are a force on the verge of collapse. Having been stretched across the galaxy by their loyalty to the Emperor, they are presented with one final battle that will allow them reward they all seek: to colonise the distant world of Vorr and live out the rest of their days in peace. All that stands in their way is a force of savages – a plague of feral orks that has spread across the planet. But can the Brimlock’s battered bodies and minds hold up to this greenskin invasion?

Conan the Barbarian: The Stories That Inspired the Movie by Robert E. Howard - Conan the Barbarian is one of the greatest fictional heroes ever created—a swordsman who cuts a swath across the lands of the Hyborian Age, annihilating powerful sorcerers, deadly creatures, and whole armies of ruthless foes. Today his name is synonymous with the epic battles of ancient times, but Conan originated in the early decades of the twentieth century with one of the founding fathers of fantasy, the visionary Robert E. Howard. The unforgettable stories collected here form a thrilling adventure, following Conan from his mercenary youth to his bloody conquests on the frontier and even the high seas. Bold and enduring, the legend of Conan the Barbarian continues to grow in popularity and influence.

Also: Michael Stackpole's novelization of the film: Conan the Barbarian

After America by John Birmingham - The world changed forever when a massive wave of energy slammed into North America and wiped out 99 percent of the population. As the United States lay in ruins, chaos erupted across the globe.

Now, while a skeleton American government tries to reconstruct the nation, swarms of pirates and foreign militias plunder the lawless wasteland where even the president is fair prey. In New York City, armies of heavily armed predators hold sway—and hold off a struggling U.S. military. In Texas, a rogue general bent on secession leads a brutal campaign against immigrants. And in England, a U.S. special ops agent enters a shadow war against a deadly enemy who has made the fight personal. While the president ponders a blitz attack on America’s once greatest city, the forces of order and anarchy wage all-out war for postapocalyptic dominance—and a handful of survivors must decide how far to go to salvage whatever uncertain future awaits . . . after America.

Bearers of the Black Staff by Terry Brooks - Five hundred years have passed since the devastating demon-led war tore apart the United States and nearly exterminated humankind. Those who escaped the carnage were led to sanctuary in an idyllic valley, its borders warded by powerful magic against the horrors beyond. But the cocoon of protective magic surrounding the valley has now vanished. When Sider Ament, the only surviving descendant of the Knights of the Word, detects unknown predators stalking the valley, he fears the worst. And when expert Trackers find two of their own gruesomely killed, there can be no doubt: The once safe haven has been made vulnerable to whatever still lurks in the outside wasteland. Together, Ament, the two young Trackers, and a daring Elf princess spearhead plans to defend their ancestral home. And in the thick of it all, the last wielder of the black staff and its awesome magic must find a successor to carry on the fight against the cresting new wave of evil.

Tattoo by Kirsten Imani Kasai - In an environmentally fragile world where human and animal genes combine, the rarest mutation of all—the Trader—can instantly switch genders. One such Trader, the female Sorykah, is battling her male alter, Soryk, for dominance and the right to live a full life.

Sorykah has rescued her infant twins from mad Matuk the Collector. Her children are safe. Her journey, she believes, is over, but Matuk’s death has unleashed darker, more evil forces. These forces, led by the Collector’s son, cast nets of power that stretch from the glittering capital of Neubonne to the murky depths below the frozen Sigue, where the ink of octameroons is harvested to make addictive, aphrodisiacal tattoos. Bitter enemies trapped within a single skin, Sorykah and Soryk are soon drawn into a sinister web of death and deceit.

Cold Magic by Kate Elliott - The Wild Hunt is stirring - and the dragons are finally waking from their long sleep...

Cat Barahal was the only survivor of the flood that took her parents. Raised by her extended family, she and her cousin, Bee, are unaware of the dangers that threaten them both. Though they are in beginning of the Industrial Age, magic - and the power of the Cold Mages - still hold sway.

Now, betrayed by her family and forced to marry a powerful Cold Mage, Cat will be drawn into a labyrinth of politics. There she will learn the full ruthlessness of the rule of the Cold Mages. What do the Cold Mages want from her? And who will help Cat in her struggle against them?

Stormlord's Exile by Glenda Lark - SHALE is finally free from his greatest enemy. But now, he is responsible for bringing life-giving rain to all the people of the Quartern. He must stretch his powers to the limit or his people will die-if they don't meet a nomad's blade first. And while Shale's own highlords and waterpriests plot against him, his Reduner brother plots his revenge.

TERELLE is Shale's secret weapon, covertly boosting his powers with her own mystical abilities. But she is compelled by the strange magic of her people and will one day have to leave Shale's side. No one knows what waits for her across the desert, but her people gave the Quartern its first Stormlord and they may save Shale and his people once again-or lead them to their doom.

This is the final volume of the epic Stormlord series.

Eye of the Tempest by Nicole Peeler - Nothing says "home" like being attacked by humans with very large guns, as Jane and Anyan discover when they arrive in Rockabill. These are professionals, brought into kill, and they bring Anyan down before either Jane or the barghest can react. Seeing Anyan fall awakens a terrible power within Jane, and she nearly destroys herself taking out their attackers.

Jane wakes, weeks later, to discover that she's not the only thing that's been stirring. Something underneath Rockabill is coming to life: something ancient, something powerful, and something that just might destroy the world.

Jane and her friends must act, striking out on a quest that only Jane can finish. For whatever lurks beneath the Old Sow must be stopped...and Jane's just the halfling for the job.

Shadow Fall by Seressia Glass - Kira Solomon’s life has never been simple. Battling against the Fallen, serving the Egyptian goddess Ma’at, becoming romantically involved with a 4,000-year-old Nubian warrior—these are now everyday realities. But something is changing. Kira’s magic is becoming dangerously unpredictable, tainted by the Shadow she has been trained to destroy.

Matters grow worse when an Atlanta museum exhibit based on the Egyptian Book of the Dead turns out to have truly sinister properties. As the body count rises, even long-trusted allies start to turn against Kira. She can hardly blame them—not when the God of Chaos is stalking her dreams and the shocking truth about her origins is finally coming to light. As one of the good guys, Kira was a force to be reckoned with. But if the only way to stop a terrifying adversary is to fight Shadow with Shadow, then she’s ready to find out just how very bad she can be. . . .

Sympathy for the Devil by Justin Gustainis - Senator Howard Stark wants to be President of the United States. So does the demon inside him. With the competing candidates dropping out due to scandal, blackmail, and ‘accidental’ death, Stark looks like a good bet to go all the way to the White House. And if he gets there, Hell on Earth will follow.

Occult investigator Quincey Morris and white witch Libby Chastain are determined to stop this evil conspiracy. But between them and Stark stand the dedicated agents of the US Secret Service – as well as the very forces of Hell itself. Quincey and Libby will risk everything to exorcise the demon possessing Stark. If they fail, ‘Hail to the Chief’ will become a funeral march – for all of us.

Dangerous Waters by Juliet E. McKenna - The Archmage rules the island of wizards. From here he enforces the Edicts of the Council of Wizardry. Foremost is the ban on magecraft in warfare. But there is a rumour of rogue wizardry in Lescar’s recent civil war. There’s the rise of Artifice, its adepts not subject to the Archmage’s edicts. Now the Emperor of Tormalin is offering them his protection. There are corsairs raiding the Caladhrian Coast, enslaving villagers and devastating trade. Barons and merchants beg for magical aid. But all help has been refused.

This is no comfort to Lady Zurenne whose husband has been murdered by corsairs. Now a man she doesn’t even know stands as guardian over her and her daughters. Corrain, former captain and now slave, knows that man is a rogue wizard, selling his skills to the corsairs. If Corrain can escape, he’ll see justice done. Unless Jilseth, magewoman and Archmage’s confidante, can catch the renegade first, before the full extent of his villainy is revealed.

If that happens, at a time when wizardry faces so many other challenges, the scandal could have dire consequences indeed!

Dangerous Waters is the first book in a stunning new fantasy series from a major voice in fantasy.

The Black Lung Captain by Chris Wooding - Deep in the heart of the Kurg rainforest lies a long-forgotten wreck. On board, behind a magically protected door, an elusive treasure awaits. Good thing Darian Frey, captain of the airship Ketty Jay, has the daemonist Crake on board. Crake is their best chance of getting that door open—if they can sober him up. For a prize this enticing, Frey is willing to brave the legendary monsters of the forbidding island and to ally himself with a partner who’s even less trustworthy than he is.

But what’s behind that door is not what any of the fortune hunters expect, any more than they anticipate their fiercest competitor for the treasure—a woman from Frey’s past who also happens to be the most feared pirate in the skies.

Succubus on Top by Richelle Mead - Love hurts, and no one knows it better than Georgina Kincaid. If she so much as kisses Seth Mortensen, the shy, sexy writer she's been dating, she'll drain his life force. Admittedly, the shapeshifting and immortality perks of a succubus are terrific, but it's completely unfair that a she-demon whose purpose is seduction can't get down with the one mortal who accepts her for who she is. . .

It's not just her personal life that's in chaos. Doug, Georgina's co-worker at a local bookstore, has been exhibiting bizarre behavior, and Georgina suspects something far more demonic than double espressos. She could use an assist from Bastien, an irresistibly charming incubus and her best immortal friend, but he's giving Georgina some highly distracting come-hither vibes. Georgina is going to have to work solo on this one—and fast, because soon, Doug's life won't be the only one on the line. . .

The Host by Stephanie Meyer - Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, didn't expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

As Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she's never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.

Featuring one of the most unusual love triangles in literature, THE HOST is a riveting and unforgettable novel about the persistence of love and the essence of what it means to be human.

The Seeker by Isabells Carmody - New from acclaimed fantasy author Isobelle Carmody comes The Seeker, an omnibus edition of the first two books in the dystopian fantasy the Obernewtyn Chronicles—Obernewtyn and The Farseekers!

Discover the adventure! Elspeth Gordie has a secret: she's a Misfit, born with mental powers that would mean her death if discovered. But she's not alone, and her exile to the mysterious compound known as Obernewtyn is just the beginning....

Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer - When Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemies, she’s certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer—one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack—and the man—she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive.

Wildefire by Karsten Knight - Every flame begins with a spark.

Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school—being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger—Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood…and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time… And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.
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As always, all new releases are at least 10% off at Kayleighbug Books. Order on our site or call toll-free 1-866-343-4516.

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