New Book Roundup: The Start of a World-Ending Epic Fantasy, Explosive Short Stories, and So Long Kitty

crosswaysFavorite series end, continue, and (perhaps) begin in this week’s new books, which also, of course, include a number of one-and-dones. Take your pick!

Kitty Saves the World, by Carrie Vaughn
The long-running series following the exploits of Kitty Norville, werewolf and late-night radio talk show host, comes to an end with its 14th installment. When Kitty and her allies fail in their attempt to assassinate Dux Bellorum, the sinister lord of the vampires, the stage is set for him to move forward with his world-destroying endgame. Naturally, it’s up to Kitty to save the day one final time, and the climactic showdown will prove immensely satisfying for all the readers who have followed her this far.

Magic Shifts, by Ilona Andrews
The eighth novel in the urban fantasy series following Kate Daniels, mercenary-turned-investigator, and her werewolf mate Curran Lennart in a world still experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of a magical apocalypse. The pair has broken off from Lennart’s pack and are trying to figure out how they live now, but are soon pulled back into the thick of things as they investigate the disappearance of one of Kate’s old mercenary friends, and discover something rotten is going on within the Mercenary Guild, something that indicates an ancient evil has arisen and has a taste for destruction.

The Contrary Tale of the Butterfly Girl, by Ishbelle Bee
The adventures of Mirror, a young girl living in Victorian England (if not the one we know) alongside her clanking clockwork companion Goliath continue, following The Singular & Extraordinary Tale of Mirror & Goliath. Subjected to a strange experiment by her grandfather, Mirror is no longer quite human, a quality that makes her—or at least, her flesh—irresistible to  the demonic Mr. Fingers, who wants nothing more than to eat her up. Literally. To track her down, he has enlisted the reluctant aid of his adopted son John Loveheart. With shades of sci-fi and touches of fantasy, this enticing dark fairy tale is a sinister delight.

The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin 
The author of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms begins the Broken Earth, a new epic fantasy trilogy set in a world rent by a series of apocalyptic events. Essun and her children are orogenes, sharing the magical ability to control natural forces. Orogenes are hated and feared in equal measure, and shortly after Essun’s secret is revealed, her husband murders her son and her daughter disappears. Essun sets off to find her, and her journey will take readers across a ravaged, sparsely populated landscape and deep into her hidden past, as she fights to save at least one small part of a world already lost.

The Sword of the South, by David Weber
The first installment of a new epic fantasy set in the same universe as Weber’s War God series. Kenhodan doesn’t know his name, and doesn’t remember his past. He’s covered in scars, possesses fearsome skills in battle, and feels compelled by a terrible purpose…only he’s not sure what it is. Wencit of Rm, the world’s most powerful wizard, holds the key to unlocking the warrior’s past, but refuses to give him the answers he seeks, lest it upset his role in a centuries-long battle to protect the world from the poison of dark magic. Kenhodan must choose who to trust—and who to fight—and if he chooses wrong, it could mean the end of everything.

The Veil, by Chloe Neill
The author of the Chicagoland Vampire novels launches a new urban fantasy series in a new city. But this is hardly the New Orleans we know: seven years have passed since a magical cataclysm collapsed the Veil between the human and otherworldly realms. A supernatural war has ravaged the U.S., and though the Veil has been patched, evil wraiths still haunt the land, magic is outlawed, and the Big Easy is divided, with all those with paranormal powers confined to a walled area known as the District. Claire Connolly has a secret—she is a Sensitive, changed by the magic seeping through the Veil. Because revealing the truth would force her relocation to the District, Claire keeps quiet, even as her powers grow unchecked. Then she makes the mistake of using her magic to save a human in public, an act witnessed by Liam Quinn, a bounty hunter with no love for weak-minded Sensitives. He agrees to look the other way as long as Claire finds the teacher she needs, but the increasing frequency of wraith attacks around the city means time may have already run out.

Three Moments of an Explosion, by China Miéville
Icebergs float in the sky above London, derelict oil rigs emerge from the sea,  and dead things refuse to stay buried in this chilling collection of short stories, Miéville’s first work for adults since 2011. These 28 tales of modern malaise, urban decay, environmental upheaval, and the unnameable, indefinable unease of existence will appeal to both longtime followers and mainstream readers of the likes of Kelly Link and George Saunders.

Supervillains Anonymous, by Lexie Dunne
In this quirky urban fantasy, the sequel to Superheroes Anonymous, just as Gail Godwin is settling into her role as Hostage Girl, Chicago’s newest superhero, her arch-nemesis escapes, her mentor shows up dead, and she’s been framed for the crime. She winds up in prison alongside all the city’s villains (the same villains who used to kidnap her so often, she earned her less-than-intimidating nickname). There seems to be a conspiracy afoot in the hero community, and Gail has no idea who to trust, which is par for the course. No one said superheroing would be easy, right?

Waterborne Exile, by Susan Murray
In this fast-moving sequel to romantic fantasy The Waterborne Blade, a traitor sits on the throne while Alwenna, the queen-in-exile, is in hiding with a community of merchants. But even there, she isn’t safe—her magic is feared, and the kingdom is rotting from within. As her faithful ally Alenn attempts to marshall sword in her support, and another attempts to restore her to the throne, an evil priestess continues a sinister effort to seek revenge against those she believes wronged her.

Crossways, by Jacey Bedford
In the second novel in the Psi-Tech space opera series, in which technologically-augmented telepaths scour the galaxy for resources on behalf of their corporate masters, Ben and Carla are still on the run, wanted for the secrets they hold about corruption in the Trust and Alphacorp, the corporations they are supposed to serve. They try to hide out on Crossways, a space station run by criminals who are nevertheless preferable to the alternative. The pair, along with a ragtag group of allies, has promised to locate a missing ship with 30,000 colonists aboard, a mission Alphacorp and Trust have no interest in seeing them complete.

Alice, by Christina Henry
If you ask me, there can never be too many twisted reworkings of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. In this worthy additional to the canon, Alice is a confused woman confined to a cruel mental institution, plagues with half-formed memories of a surreal trip to a strange wonderland, filled with potions, strange creatures, and an even stranger tea party. One night, she escapes, and sets off into the city in search of answers, and the Rabbit that might be able to help her find them. But something else was freed from the hospital that night, a darkness that is now spreading. To stop it, Alice will have to unlock the mysteries of her past.

Robin Hood: Mark of the Black Arrow, by Debbie Viguié and James R. Tuck
This fantasy twists the legend, casting Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham as demons with a desire to rule Britain (even if it means offering up the lovely Maid Marian as a blood sacrifice). To save herself, Marian must smuggle a magical artifact to Robin Hood and his band of Outlaws. This trilogy-starter pits a legendary hero against supernatural forces, proving there’s a darker side to the story you think you know.

The Edge of Dawn, by Melinda Snodgrass
The long awaited conclusion to Snodgrass’ urban fantasy series, which quite literally pits science and reason against one another in a world where the forces of magic and religious fanaticism (the Old Ones) go head-to-head with those of science (the Lumina). Recruited to serve as a Paladin for the Lumina, average cop Richard Oort continues to fight against the apocalyptic plans of the Old Ones. This time, he’s found an unexpected ally: a 9-year-old Navajo girl who has already lost everything. Saving the world, and himself, will mean protecting her, whatever the cost.

His Father’s Eyes, by David B. Coe
Justis Fearsson is a sorcerer battling the forces of darkness in Phoenix (the forces of darkness love hot weather), but his magical talents come with a marked downside: once a month, on the full moon, he loses his mind. Unfortunately, taking a day off in the midst of an investigation isn’t always the best way to crack a tough case. Especially one involving a league of dark wizards, a drug kingpin, a billionaire, multiple ritual murders, and an attempted terrorist attack. A hardboiled noir with a morally grey detective and apocalyptic stakes.

What are you reading this week?

Comments are closed.

Follow B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy