New book releases, week of March 25th: Period pieces are popular

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Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy:

The Cracks in the Kingdom: Book 2 of the Colors of Madeleine by Jaclyn Moriarty

cracks-in-the-kingdomThe second in Jaclyn Moriarty’s brilliant, acclaimed fantasy trilogy, THE COLORS OF MADELEINE!

Princess Ko’s been bluffing about the mysterious absence of her father, desperately trying to keep the government running on her own. But if she can’t get him back in a matter of weeks, the consequence may be a devastating war. So under the guise of a publicity stunt she gathers a group of teens — each with a special ability — from across the kingdom to crack the unsolvable case of the missing royals of Cello.

Chief among these is farm-boy heartthrob Elliot Baranski, more determined than ever to find his own father. And with the royal family trapped in the World with no memory of their former lives, Elliot’s value to the Alliance is clear: He’s the only one with a connection to the World, through his forbidden communications with Madeleine.

Through notes, letters, and late nights, Elliot and Madeleine must find a way to travel across worlds and bring missing loved ones home. The stakes are high, and the writing by turns hilarious and suspenseful, as only Jaclyn Moriarty can be.

Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano

Bones meets Fringe in a big, dark, scary, brilliantly-plotted urban thriller that will leave you guessing until the very end

Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother’s job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone’s skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn’t trust: the new guy at school–a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance. . . on her.

Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn’t figure it all out soon–she’ll be next.

Silver by Chris Wooding

The final exam is survival.

Paul is the new kid at Mortingham Boarding Academy, and he has a dark secret.
Caitlyn admires Paul from afar and resents that he only has eyes for Erika.
Erika thinks that she and Caitlyn are best friends, but she’s wrong.
Adam is a bully with a major chip on his shoulder.
Mark is outgrowing his old friends but doesn’t know how to make new ones.

In a few short hours, none of this will matter. Without warning, a horrifying infection will spread across the school grounds, and a group of students with little in common will find themselves barricaded in a classroom, fighting for their lives. Some will live. Some will die. And then it will get even worse.

Fast-paced and frightening, Silver is a tale set on the fringes of science and horror – a story about the struggle to survive in the face of impossible odds.

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

18166936Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga.

Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava — in all other ways a normal girl — is born with the wings of a bird. In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naive to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the summer solstice celebration. That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo. First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.

Wanderers (Wasteland) by Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan

Emmy Award nominee Susan Kim and Edgar Award–winning Laurence Klavan bring readers back to the Wasteland in this thrilling, action-packed sequel. Karin Slaughter, bestselling author of Criminal, called Wasteland “a Lord of the Flies for future generations. An irresistible page-turner.”

The former citizens of Prin are running out of time. Esther and Caleb must begin a harrowing journey in the hopes of finding find food and shelter—not to mention a way to make it past age nineteen. On the way, Esther must rally to take charge with the help of a blind guide, Aras. He appears unbelievably cruel, but not everything is as it seems in the Wasteland. . . .

In this sequel to Wasteland, the stakes are even higher for Esther, Caleb, and the rest of their clan. They’re pinning all their hopes on the road . . . but what if it’s the most dangerous place of all?

Where the Rock Splits the Sky by Philip Webb

The moon has been split, and the Visitors have Earth in their alien grip. But the captive planet? That’s not her problem. Megan just wants to track down her missing dad…

The world stopped turning long before Megan was born. Ever since the Visitors split the moon and stilled the Earth, permanent sunset is all anyone has known. But now, riding her trusty steed Cisco, joined by her posse, Kelly and Luis, Megan is on the run from her Texas hometown, journeying across the vast, dystopic American West to hunt down her father. To find him, she must face the Zone, a notorious landscape where the laws of nature do not apply. The desert can play deadly tricks on the mind, and the quest will push Megan past her limits. But to solve the mystery of not just her missing father but of the paralyzed planet itself, she must survive it–and an alien showdown.

Daughter of Chaos (Red Magic) by Jen McConnel

Daughter of ChaosThere comes a time in every witch’s life when she must choose her path. Darlena’s friends have already chosen, so why is it so hard for her to make up her mind? Now, Darlena is out of time. Under pressure from Hecate, the queen of all witches, Darlena makes a rash decision to choose Red magic, a path no witch in her right mind would dare take. As a Red witch, she will be responsible for chaos and mayhem, drawing her deep into darkness. Will the power of Red magic prove too much for Darlena, or will she learn to control it before it’s too late?

Soul Screamers Vol. 4 by Rachel Vincent

Saving the world has never come easy— and Kaylee Cavanaugh’s died to prove it… 

The final collection of New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent’s Soul Screamers series is packed with emotion, with intrigue, with secrets,  with family—and above all, with love.

Don’t miss  WITH ALL MY SOUL FEARLESS NIEDERWALD and a brand-new novella, LAST REQUEST

Saving the world has never come easy—and Kaylee Cavanaugh’s died to prove it… 

The final collection of New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent’s Soul Screamers series is packed with emotion, with intrigue, with secrets, with family—and above all, with love. 

Witchfall (The Tudor Witch Trilogy) by Victoria Lamb

Her darkest dreams are coming true

In Tudor England, 1555, Meg Lytton has learned how powerful her magick gift can be. But danger surrounds her and her mistress, the outcast Princess Elizabeth. Nowhere is safe in the court of Elizabeth’s fanatical sister, Queen Mary. And as the Spanish Inquisition’s merciless priests slowly tighten their grip on the court, Meg’s very dreams are disturbed by the ever-vengeful witchfinder Marcus Dent.

Even as Meg tries to use her powers to find guidance, something evil arises, impervious to Meg’s spells and hungry to control England’s fate. As Meg desperately tries to keep her secret betrothed, the Spanish priest Alejandro de Castillo, out of harm’s way, caution wars with their forbidden desire. And with her most powerful enemy poised to strike, Meg’s only chance is a heartbreaking sacrifice.

Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy:

The Burning Dark (Spider War) by Adam Christopher

BurningDark_3passAdam Christopher’s dazzling first novel, Empire State, was named the Best Book of 2012 by SciFi Now magazine. Now he explores new dimensions of time and space in The Burning Dark.

Back in the day, Captain Abraham Idaho Cleveland had led the Fleet into battle against an implacable machine intelligence capable of devouring entire worlds. But after saving a planet, and getting a bum robot knee in the process, he finds himself relegated to one of the most remote backwaters in Fleetspace to oversee the decommissioning of a semi-deserted space station well past its use-by date.

But all is not well aboard the U-Star Coast City. The station’s reclusive Commandant is nowhere to be seen, leaving Cleveland to deal with a hostile crew on his own. Persistent malfunctions plague the station’s systems while interference from a toxic purple star makes even ordinary communications problematic. Alien shadows and whispers seem to haunt the lonely corridors and airlocks, fraying the nerves of everyone aboard.

Isolated and friendless, Cleveland reaches out to the universe via an old-fashioned space radio, only to tune in to a strange, enigmatic signal: a woman’s voice that seems to echo across a thousand light-years of space. But is the transmission just a random bit of static from the past—or a warning of an undying menace beyond mortal comprehension?

Lockstep by Karl Schroeder

When seventeen-year-old Toby McGonigal finds himself lost in space, separated from his family, he expects his next drift into cold sleep to be his last. After all, the planet he’s orbiting is frozen and sunless, and the cities are dead. But when Toby wakes again, he’s surprised to discover a thriving planet, a strange and prosperous galaxy, and something stranger still—that he’s been asleep for 14,000 years.

Welcome to the Lockstep Empire, where civilization is kept alive by careful hibernation. Here cold sleeps can last decades and waking moments mere weeks. Its citizens survive for millennia, traveling asleep on long voyages between worlds. Not only is Lockstep the new center of the galaxy, but Toby is shocked to learn that the Empire is still ruled by its founding family: his own.

Toby’s brother Peter has become a terrible tyrant. Suspicious of the return of his long-lost brother,  whose rightful inheritance also controls the lockstep hibernation cycles, Peter sees Toby as a threat to his regime. Now, with the help of a lockstep girl named Corva, Toby must survive the forces of this new Empire, outwit his siblings, and save human civilization.

Karl Schroeder’s Lockstep is a grand innovation in hard SF space opera.

The Midnight Witch by Paula Brackston

Midnight is the most bewitching hour of them all…

From Paula Brackston, the New York Times bestselling author of The Witch’s Daughter and The Winter Witch, comes a magical tale that is as dark as it is enchanting.  Set in high society Edwardian England, The Midnight Witch is the story of a young witch who faces the choice between love and loyalty to her coven…

“The dead are seldom silent. All that is required for them to be heard is that someone be willing to listen. I have been listening to the dead all my life.”

Lady Lilith Montgomery is the daughter of the sixth Duke of Radnor. She is one of the most beautiful young women in London and engaged to the city’s most eligible bachelor. She is also a witch.

When her father dies, her hapless brother Freddie takes on his title. But it is Lilith, instructed in the art of necromancy, who inherits their father’s role as Head Witch of the Lazarus Coven. And it is Lilith who must face the threat of the Sentinels, a powerful group of sorcerers intent on reclaiming the Elixir from the coven’s guardianship for their own dark purposes. Lilith knows the Lazarus creed: secrecy and silence. To abandon either would put both the coven and all she holds dear in grave danger. She has spent her life honoring it, right down to her engagement to her childhood friend and fellow witch, Viscount Louis Harcourt.

Until the day she meets Bram, a talented artist who is neither a witch nor a member of her class. With him, she must not be secret and silent. Despite her loyalty to the coven and duty to her family, Lilith cannot keep her life as a witch hidden from the man she loves.

To tell him will risk everything.

Truth and Fear (The Wolfhound Century) by Peter Higgins

Higgins-Truth&Fear_thumb[2]Investigator Lom returns to Mirgorod and finds the city in the throes of a crisis. The war against the Archipelago is not going well. Enemy divisions are massing outside the city, air raids are a daily occurrence and the citizens are being conscripted into the desperate defense of the city.

But Lom has other concerns. The police are after him, the mystery of the otherworldly Pollandore remains and the vast Angel is moving, turning all of nature against the city.

But will the horrors of war overtake all their plans?

Age of Shiva (Pantheon) by James Lovegrove

A team of godlike super-powered beings based on the ten avatars of Vishnu from Hindu mythology is assembled, but are they in fact a harbinger of apocalypse?

The latest standalone novel in the best selling Pantheon series.

Zachary Bramwell, better known as the comics artist Zak Zap, is pushing forty and wondering why his life isn’t as exciting as the lives of the superheroes he draws. Then he’s shanghaied by black-suited goons and flown to Mount Meru, a vast complex built atop an island in the Maldives. There, Zak meets a trio of billionaire businessmen who put him to work designing costumes for a team of godlike super-powered beings based on the ten avatars of Vishnu from Hindu mythology.

The Ten Avatars battle demons and aliens and seem to be the saviours of a world teetering on collapse. But their presence is itself a harbinger of apocalypse. The Vedic “fourth age” of civilisation, Kali Yuga, is coming to an end, and Zak has a ringside seat for the final, all-out war that threatens the destruction of Earth.

Dawn’s Early Light (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences) by Pip Ballantine

Working for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, one sees innumerable technological wonders. But even veteran agents Braun and Books are unprepared for what the electrifying future holds…

After being ignominiously shipped out of England following their participation in the Janus affair, Braun and Books are ready to prove their worth as agents. But what starts as a simple mission in the States—intended to keep them out of trouble—suddenly turns into a scandalous and convoluted case that has connections reaching as far as Her Majesty the Queen.

Even with the help of two American agents from the Office of the Supernatural and the Metaphysical, Braun and Books have their work cut out for them as their chief suspect in a rash of nautical and aerial disasters is none other than Thomas Edison. Between the fantastic electric machines of Edison, the eccentricities of MoPO consultant Nikola Tesla, and the mysterious machinations of a new threat known only as the Maestro, they may find themselves in far worse danger than they ever have been in before…

Path of the Archon (Dark Eldar Path) by Andy Chambers

81dAvvNYTqLFinal novel in the Dark Eldar Path trilogy

The eternal city of Commorragh is no longer beset by the horrors of the Dysjunction, but the scars of its passage remain. Now the supreme overlord, Asdrubael Vect, strives to reassert his authority over the anarchic city before hidden challengers can make their bid for power. The noble Yllithian frantically seeks new allies to put between himself and the overlord’s wrath, the Mandrake kings muster and Vect prepares to unleash his most fearsome weapons against his own people as Commorragh erupts into open war.

Shadowbound (A Novel of the Shadow World) by Dianne Sylvan

Spread throughout the dark corners of our world lies the Shadow World, a society of vampires who feed off the living. In Austin, Texas, one woman must quell the cravings rising within her, as the very fate of the world rests in her hands…

Ever since her Prime, David Solomon, returned from the dead, Miranda Grey has been hungry. The transformation from ordinary vampires into the ultrapowerful children of Persephone has left both Miranda and David craving the taste of death—and their appetites are growing.

Meanwhile, a formerly vague threat from a fringe group of humans has turned into a full-on war. The Order of the Morningstar has devoted itself to eradicating vampires and has begun to assassinate Primes all over the globe.

The Shadow World’s fate depends on the Circle of Signets descended from those who subdued Morningstar hundreds of years ago—but if even a single one is killed, the war is almost certainly lost. Now, with the help of a strange new ally, Miranda must put aside her hunger and access long-forgotten magic to save the Circle, but time is running out…

Star Trek: Enterprise: Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel by Christopher L. Bennett

The United Federation of Planets has weathered its first major crisis, but its growing pains are just beginning. Admiral Jonathan Archer hopes to bring the diverse inhabitants of the powerful and prosperous Rigel system into the Federation, jump-starting the young nation’s growth and stabilizing a key sector of space. Archer and the Federation’s top diplomats journey to the planetoid Babel to debate Rigel’s admission . . . but a looming presidential race heats up the ideological divide within the young nation, jeopardizing the talks and threatening to undo the fragile unity Archer has worked so hard to preserve.

Meanwhile, the sinister Orion Syndicate recruits new allies of its own, seeking to beat the Federation at its own game. Determined to keep Rigel out of the union, they help a hostile Rigelian faction capture sensitive state secrets along with Starfleet hostages, including a young officer with a vital destiny. Captain Malcolm Reed, Captain T’Pol, and their courageous crews must now brave the wonders and dangers of Rigel’s many worlds to track down the captives before the system is plunged into all-out war.

Sunstone (The Elemental Wars) by Freya Robertson

Sunstone-Freya-RobertsonThe Incendi elementals that dwell beneath the mountains have found a way to tap into the Arbor’s roots, which stretch not only across the land but also through time, and King Pyra is determined to crush the ancient tree.

Twenty-two years after the defeat of the Darkwater Lords, Chonrad’s widow Procella and their three children are drawn back to Heartwood to investigate the rumour of strange fires springing up across the land. Across three separate timelines, the heroes must battle to join together their ancient sunstones, to overcome the Incendi threat, and to protect the Arbor and make earth victorious once more.

Talus and the Frozen King by Graham Edwards

Meet Talus – the world’s first detective.

A dead warrior king frozen in winter ice. Six grieving sons, each with his own reason to kill. Two weary travellers caught up in a web of suspicion and deceit.

Meet Talus – the world’s first detective.

A dead warrior king frozen in winter ice. Six grieving sons, each with his own reason to kill. Two weary travellers caught up in a web of suspicion and deceit.
In a distant time long before our own, wandering bard Talus and his companion Bran journey to the island realm of Creyak, where the king has been murdered. From clues scattered among the island’s mysterious barrows and stone circles, they begin their search for his killer. But do the answers lie in this world or the next?
Nobody is above suspicion, from the king’s heir to the tribal shaman, from the servant woman steeped in herb-lore to the visiting warlord whose unexpected arrival throws the whole tribe into confusion. And when death strikes again, Talus and Bran realise nothing is what it seems.
Creyak is place of secrets and spirits, mystery and myth. It will take a clever man indeed to unravel the truth. The kind of man this ancient world has not seen before.

The Wicked: A Novel by Douglas Nicholas

A thrilling and intoxicating journey to a land of legend, where nothing is quite as it seems. . . .

Something evil has come to reside in a castle by the chill waters of the North Sea: men disappear and are found as horribly wizened corpses, knights ride out and return under an enchantment that dulls their minds. Both the townspeople and the court under Sir Odinell’s protection live in fear, terrorized by forces beyond human understanding. But rumors of a wise woman blessed with mysterious powers also swirl about the land. The call goes forth, and so it comes to be that young apprentice Hob and his adopted family—exiled Irish queen Molly, her granddaughter Nemain, and warrior Jack Brown—are pitted against a malevolent nobleman and his beautiful, wicked wife.

Richly set in the inns, courts, and countryside of thirteenth-century northwest England, The Wicked is a darkly spun masterpiece that will leave fans of epic fantasy thirsty for more.

Wrath of Lions (The Breaking World) by David Dalglish and Robert J. Duperre

In this second volume of the sprawling dark fantasy epic The Breaking World, gods and armies are on the move as all of Dezrel prepares for war…and nothing short of total subjugation will suffice.

In the east, Karak invades Paradise with an army twenty thousand strong. Meanwhile, Ashhur travels west along the Gods’ Road, gathering as many of his people as he can against the coming onslaught. In Mordeina, the Wardens raise a massive wall around their settlement with the assistance of spellcasters from the north. And in Dezerea, the Quellan elves move secretly to join the fray.

In the ensuing chaos, lines between hero and villain are eradicated, and deceit and betrayal dominate as brother gods vie for control over the fledgling human race.

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