New Book Releases, Week of February 12, 2012

Here’s a list of all the fantasy, sci-fi and horror coming out this week. To see the covers, click on the titles.

Released Monday February 13, 2012

The Fourth Wall, by Walter Jon Williams

Dagmar Shaw got out of the game… and into the movies.

Sean is a washed-up child actor reduced to the lowest dregs of reality television to keep himself afloat. His life was a downward spiral of alcoholism, regret, and failure… until he met Dagmar.

Except Sean has secrets, dark even for the Hollywood treadmill of abuse, addiction, and rehab. And Dagmar is a cipher. There are dark rumors about her past, the places she’s been, the things she was involved in. People tend to die around her and now, she wants Sean for something. A movie, she says, but with her history, who’s to say what her real game is?

Released Tuesday February 14th, 2012

The Wolf Gift, by Anne Rice

The time is the present.

The place, the rugged coast of Northern California. A bluff high above the Pacific. A grand mansion full of beauty and tantalizing history set against a towering redwood forest.

A young reporter on assignment from the San Francisco Observer . . . An older woman welcoming him into her magnificent family home that he has been sent to write about and that she must sell with some urgency . . . A chance encounter between two unlikely people . . . An idyllic night—shattered by horrific unimaginable violence, the young man inexplicably attacked—bitten—by a beast he cannot see in the rural darkness . . . A violent episode that sets in motion a terrifying yet seductive transformation, as the young man, caught between ecstasy and horror, between embracing who he is evolving into and fearing what he will become, soon experiences the thrill of the wolf gift.

As he resists the paradoxical pleasure and enthrallment of his wolfen savagery and delights in the power and (surprising) capacity for good, he is caught up in a strange and dangerous rescue and is desperately hunted as “the Man Wolf” by authorities, the media, and scientists (evidence of DNA threatens to reveal his dual existence) . . . As a new and profound love enfolds him, questions emerge that propel him deeper into his mysterious new world: questions of why and how he has been given this gift; of its true nature and the curious but satisfying pull towards goodness; of the profound realization that there may be others like him who are watching—guardian creatures who have existed throughout time who possess ancient secrets and alchemical knowledge. And throughout it all, the search for salvation for a soul tormented by a new realm of temptations, and the fraught, exhilarating journey, still to come, of being and becoming, fully, both wolf and man.

The Message, by Lisa Rusczyk

I came to this time through a time hole and I’m told I’m always in the present. That’s what the Yar Sirray said. She also said the time holes were destroying the Yars’ lives, that their world was plagued by them. They escaped and came here. People in this time on Earth accept the Yars as companions, but I don’t trust them. It’s something about their flat black eyes and sandy, scaly skin. Their answers to my questions are half-truths. I can tell. The people in this time have the message, so they say. It makes them happy, peaceful, all similar. They don’t know how it started. All they know is how it’s transmitted – through bodily fluids. A simple kiss can do it. Azja seems different to me. He’s not as confident, not as limited. I want to go home, away from the people and Yars with the message. I want to go back into the past, to my time in the twentieth century. I think I found someone who can help me, Leatherwood, but he seems to have plans of his own. Azja’s not the only one who stands out from the others. Something about the message doesn’t seem right, but I can’t figure out what it is. I need to leave this world before I give in to my desire for Azja. I can never so much as kiss him or I will be infected too, and I don’t want that. Not right now, not with what I am discovering about the Yars.

Cold Light of Day, by Paul Cave

Josh Sawyer’s passionate encounter with Anna, a beautiful and mysterious young woman, was one that would change his life forever. Josh must come to terms with Anna’s deep, dark and terrifying secrets – that thrust him into a nightmare of violence and bloodlust. Suspected of grisly multiple murders, the couple are forced to flee Chicago, with the police and FBI hot on their heels. But a more deadly and evil threat is tracking them – Jonus an adversary from Anna’s past. Anna has something that Jonus wants – her soul, or that of anyone else who gets in his way…

The Crystal Pool, by Thomas Bingham

Johnny Matheson can’t wait to visit his cousins Ben and Patty at the old trading post where they live. Johnny has high hopes of spending a fun summer canoeing, fishing, and exploring the nearby lake at this old family home in eastern Canada. But before Johnny even arrives, events transpire to let him know this won’t be a typical summer vacation.

Enormity, by W. G. Marshall

ENORMITY is the strange tale of an American working in Korea, a lonely young man named Manny Lopes, who is not only physically small (in his own words, he’s a “Creole shrimp”), but his work, his failed marriage, his race, all conspire to make him feel puny and insignificant – the proverbial ninety-eight-pound weakling.

Then one day an accident happens, a quantum explosion, and suddenly Manny awakens to discover that he is big – really big. In fact, Manny is enormous, a mile-high colossus!

Now there’s no stopping him: he’s a one-man weapon of mass destruction. Yet he means well.

ENORMITY takes some odd turns, featuring characters like surfing gangbangers, elderly terrorists, and a North Korean assassin who thinks she’s Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. There’s also sex, violence, and action galore, as Manny battles the forces the seek to seduce or destroy him.

Who will survive? Who will be annihilated? Read ENORMITY and find out!

Fractured Light, by Rachel McClellan

Llona Reese is used to living on the run. After the Vykens killed her parents, she knew they would eventually come for her too. But she never felt ready to face them until now. Defying the Auran Council and everything she s been taught, Llona must learn to use her power over light as a weapon if she wants to survive.

Ashes of Candesce: Book Five of Virga, by Karl Schroeder

A world of endless sky, with no land, no gravity:  this is Virga. Beginning in the seminal science fiction novelSun of Suns, the saga of this striking world has introduced us to the people of stubborn pride and resilience who have made Virga their home; but also, always lurking beyond the walls of the world, to the mysterious threat known only as Artificial Nature. In The Sunless Countries, history tutor Leal Hieronyma Maspeth became the first human in centuries to learn the true nature of this threat. Her reward was exile, but now, in Ashes of Candesce, Artificial Nature makes its final bid to destroy Virga, and it is up to Leal to unite the quarrelling clans of her world to fight the threat.

Ashes of Candesce brings together all the heroes of the Virga series, and draws the diverse threads of the previous storylines together into one climactic conflict. Blending steampunk styling with a far-future setting and meditations on the posthuman condition, Ashes of Candesce mixes high adventure and cutting-edge ideas in a fitting climax to one of science fiction’s most innovative series.

Blood Ocean (Afterbright Chronicles), by Weston Ochse

Survivors of the Cull, a Plague that wiped out people without the blood type O-neg, struggle in the floating Sargasso City jigsawed together with ships, submarines, barges and oil tankers off the coast of what was once known as California.

Separated by demarcations of turf, ethnicity and fear, it’s not so much living as existing. High above it all swing the Pali Boys: descendants of Hawaiian warriors, they desire to lift themselves and the spirits of the residents below by performing an increasingly impossible series of extreme stunts, designed to test their manhood, and demonstrate the vibrancy humanity once had.

But as a conspiracy of murder unfolds and blood attacks increase, Kavika a single under-sized Pali Boy must strive to overcome his lowly status and the condemnation of his peers in order to save them all from an enemy living within.

Arcadia Awakens Trilogy, by Kai Meyer

To New Yorker Rosa Alcantara, the exotic world of Sicily, with its network of Mafia families and its reputation for murder and intrigue, is just that—exotic, and wholly unknown. But when tragedy strikes, she must travel there, to her family’s ancestral home, where her sister and aunt have built their lives and where centuries of family secrets await her. Once there, Rosa wastes no time falling head over heels for Alessandro Carnevare, the son of a Sicilian Mafia family, whose handsome looks and savage grace both intrigue and unsettle her. But their families are sworn enemies, and her aunt and sister believe Alessandro is only using Rosa to infiltrate the Alcantara clan. And when Rosa encounters a tiger one night—a tiger with very familiar eyes—she can no longer deny that neither the Carnevares nor the Alcantaras are what they seem.

Ancient myths brought to life in the Sicilian countryside, dangerous beasts roaming the hills, and a long history of familial bloodlust prove to Rosa that she can’t trust anyone—not even her own family. Torn between loyalty to her aunt and love for her family’s mortal enemy, Rosa must make the hardest decision of her life: stay in Sicily with her new love . . . or run as far and as fast as she can.

Bewitching, by Alex Flinn

Bewitching can be a beast. . . .

Once, I put a curse on a beastly and arrogant high school boy. That one turned out all right. Others didn’t.

I go to a new school now—one where no one knows that I should have graduated long ago. I’m not still here because I’m stupid; I just don’t age.

You see, I’m immortal. And I pretty much know everything after hundreds of years—except for when to take my powers and butt out.

I want to help, but things just go awry in ways I could never predict. Like when I tried to free some children from a gingerbread house and ended up being hanged. After I came back from the dead (immortal, remember?), I tried to play matchmaker for a French prince and ended up banished from France forever. And that little mermaid I found in the Titanic lifeboat? I don’t even want to think about it.

Now a girl named Emma needs me. I probably shouldn’t get involved, but her gorgeous stepsister is conniving to the core. I think I have just the thing to fix that girl—and it isn’t an enchanted pumpkin. Although you never know what will happen when I start . . . bewitching.

Brave New Love: 13 Dystopian Tales of Desire, edited by Paula Guran

Young love has always had its challenges, but even so, the world falling apart at its seams is a pretty big obstacle. This stellar collection of YA dystopian tales explores survival of the fittest in terms of love, passion, and humanity. When the survival of the human race is at stake, what will it take for the bond between two people to hold strong together?

Featuring some of the most well known and best-selling names of the dystopian genre, as well as the hottest up-and-coming authors, this anthology includes works from Jeanne DuPrau (City of Ember), Kiera Cass (The Selection), William Sleator (Interstellar Pig), Jesse Karp (Those That Wake), Diana Peterfreund (Secret Society Girl), Carrie Vaughn (The Kitty Norville Series), and Carrie Ryan (New York Times bestseller The Forest of Hands and Teeth).

The Nightmare Garden (The Iron Codex Book 2), by Caitlin Kittredge 

Everything Aoife thought she knew about the world was a lie. There is no Necrovirus. And Aoife isn’t going to succomb to madness because of a latent strain—she will lose her faculties because she is allergic to iron. Aoife isn’t human. She is a changeling—half human and half from the land of Thorn. And time is running out for her.

When Aoife destroyed the Lovecraft engine she released the monsters from the Thorn Lands into the Iron Lands and now she must find a way to seal the gates and reverse the destruction she’s ravaged on the world that’s about to poison her.

Scarlet, by A. C. Gaughen

Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance. Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in. It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.

Thief’s Covenant (A Widdershins Adventure), by Ari Marmell

Once she was Adrienne Satti. An orphan of Davillon, she had somehow escaped destitution and climbed to the ranks of the city’s aristocracy in a rags-to-riches story straight from an ancient fairy tale. Until one horrid night, when a conspiracy of forces—human and other—stole it all away in a flurry of blood and murder.

Today she is Widdershins, a thief making her way through Davillon’s underbelly with a sharp blade, a sharper wit, and the mystical aid of Olgun, a foreign god with no other worshippers but Widdershins herself. It’s not a great life, certainly nothing compared to the one she once had, but it’s hers.

But now, in the midst of Davillon’s political turmoil, an array of hands are once again rising up against her, prepared to tear down all that she’s built. The City Guard wants her in prison. Members of her own Guild want her dead. And something horrid, something dark, something ancient is reaching out for her, a past that refuses to let her go. Widdershins and Olgun are going to find answers, and justice, for what happened to her—but only if those who almost destroyed her in those years gone by don’t finish the job first.

Time Gangsters, by Berin L. Stephens

When Billy discovers a hidden cache of ancient coins, it isn’t long before a gang of thugs swipes them right from under Billy. Plotting to use the magical properties of the coins to seize power in the past, these power-hungry gangsters will do anything to reach their goal. Their future threatened, Billy and Danny must race through time to steal back the coins—before history is changed forever!

The Vanishing Game, by Kate Kae Myers

Jocelyn’s twin brother Jack was the only family she had growing up in a world of foster homes-and now he’s dead, and she has nothing. Then she gets a cryptic letter from “Jason December”-the code name her brother used to use when they were children at Seale House, a terrifying foster home that they believed had dark powers. Only one other person knows about Jason December: Noah, Jocelyn’s childhood crush and their only real friend among the troubled children at Seale House.

But when Jocelyn returns to Seale House and the city where she last saw Noah, she gets more than she bargained for. Turns out the house’s powers weren’t just a figment of a childish imagination. And someone is following Jocelyn. Is Jack still alive? And if he is, what kind of trouble is he in? The answer is revealed in a shocking twist that turns this story on its head and will send readers straight back to page 1 to read the book in a whole new light.

Wolf Blood, by N. M. Browne

A Celtic warrior girl is held captive and enslaved by a rival tribe. When fever takes her only friend, she knows she must escape, but she runs straight into the path of two Roman foot soldiers. Thinking they will kill a warrior instantly, the girl disguises herself as a beggar and asks to share their fire. Using her gift as a seer she discovers that one of the soldiers is not what he seems. Celtic blood courses through his veins too, but there is something else. He is a shapeshifter – a Versipellum. He shares his soul with that of the wolf. The girl needs to reach the leader of her dead friend’s tribe, and the boy must escape the Romans before they discover his true nature. Their only chance of survival is to help each other. But what will happen when their powers are combined?

Released Thursday, February 16th, 2012

From the Deep of the Dark (Jackelian 6), by Stephen Hunt

The sixth marvellous tale of high adventure and derring-do from the master of steampunk literature, set in the world of The Court of the Air. A daring underwater chase ends in a battle for the Kingdom itself! The streets of Middlesteel are under attack by an unseen enemy, leaving bloodless corpses in its trail. The newssheets scream vampire, but the truth is even more deadly than anyone knows. Charlotte Shades, Mistress of Mesmerism, is a thief — and a darned good one at that. When two mysterious men ask her to steal King Jude’s sceptre from the Parliament vaults, the challenge (and reward) is too great to pass up. After all, Charlotte’s natural charm and the magic of the gem she wears — the mysterious Eye of Fate — have never failed her before. Only consulting detective Jethro Daunt and his steamman companion Boxiron know there’s more to these two men than meets the eye. Yet even as they rescue Charlotte from a fate worse than death, they are thrown into a plot thicker than even they realize. They escape beneath the waves in an ancient submarine led by Commodore Jethro Black, where they encounter stiff resistance from the strange people who inhabit the vast underwater kingdoms. But man, woman, seanore and gill-neck alike must band together if they are to defeat a danger that might not even be from this world!

Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute (Johannes Cabal 3), by Jonathan L. Howard

Johannes Cabal and his rather inexact powers of necromancy are back once more. This time, his talents are purchased by The Fear Institute as they hunt for the Phobic Animus – the embodiment of fear. The three Institute members, led by Cabal and his Silver Key, enter the Dreamlands and find themselves pursued by walking trees plagued with giant ticks, stone men that patrol the ruins of their castles, cats that feed on human flesh and phobias which torment and devastate. The intrepid explorers are killed off one by one as they traipse through this obfuscating and frustrating world, where history itself appears to alter. Cabal, annoyed that the quest is becoming increasingly heroic, finds himself alone with the Institute’s only remaining survivor, and after a shockingly violent experiment, begins to suspect that not everything is quite as it seems…

Rise of the Taigethan (Elves 2), by James Barclay

THE ELVES ARE ENSLAVED Calaius is occupied by an implacable, relentless enemy. The great elven cities are little more than prison camps. Elven slaves are forced to destroy their beloved rainforest to harvest timber for their masters. The enemy has no mercy, no honour and little skill in battle. The enemy is Man. Those few elves who remain free are fragmented, in squabbling factions, and they must unite before they can take a stand against Man. Many believe that the battle is already lost, but Auum is not one of them. He knows Men’s numbers are great but their tactics are weak; he knows Men think the Elves are already beaten; he is convinced that his people must fight now, or see their race destroyed. Takaar disagrees. He believes Elven salvation lies in unlocking their magic, not in fighting pitched battles against Man. He is determined to save his people too, but his tactics are entirely different …and if some Elves must die now to ensure Calaius will be free of Man in the future, it’s a sacrifice he is willing to make. The Elves must choose their sides. Whatever they decide, victory will win their freedom …and failure will mean extermination …

Released Friday, February 17th, 2012

The Antithesis Book Three: Alpha, by Terra Whiteman

A storm has swept across The Atrium; one that brings famine, fear and the desperation of survival. Hell has declared war on Heaven. Qaira Eltruan has returned; chaotic, furious, and looking to take revenge on all those who have scorned him. But he soon discovers that his trials and tribulations are far from over. It will take both the cooperation of past foes and the help of new allies to achieve the annihilation of his new arch enemy; the only one who could ultimately destroy everything he’s ever held dear… Oraniquitis Loren, the Scarlet Queen.

 

All descriptions from Amazon.com.

Posted on by Lauren Zurchin