One of my favorite things about going to Comic-con is learning about new genre reads, be it at the book booths, the publisher panels, or just from random conversations with people while waiting in line. Comic-con is where I first discovered Carrie Vaughn, where I first heard of Cherie Priest, and where I first was introduced to Seanan McGuire as Mira Grant – and there were no lack of discoveries this year!
Ripper by Stefan Petrucha
Release Date: March 1, 2012
The son of Jack the Ripper plays a cat and mouse game with his father – but whom will catch whom? I love everything about this idea!
Stefan says of his book:
“Don’t know how much I should say about this so early, but it’s sort of like Harry Potter, except without magic and with a serial killer.”
Dearly Departed by Lia Habel
Release Date: October 18, 2011
Is this Del Rey’s first foray into YA? Regardless it looks like an irresistible stew of genre craziness.
Love can never die.
Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?
The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune, and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.
But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.
In Dearly, Departed, steampunk meets romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.
Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding
Release Date (US): April 26, 2011
Basically the pitch was – if you like Firefly, you’ll love this. That is not a hard sell!
Frey is the captain of the Ketty Jay, leader of a small and highly dysfunctional band of layabouts. An inveterate womaniser and rogue, he and his gang make a living on the wrong side of the law, avoiding the heavily armed flying frigates of the Coalition Navy. With their trio of ragged fighter craft, they run contraband, rob airships and generally make a nuisance of themselves. So a hot tip on a cargo freighter loaded with valuables seems like a great prospect for an easy heist and a fast buck. Until the heist goes wrong, and the freighter explodes. Suddenly Frey isn’t just a nuisance anymore – he’s public enemy number one, with the Coalition Navy on his tail and contractors hired to take him down. But Frey knows something they don’t. That freighter was rigged to blow, and Frey has been framed to take the fall. If he wants to prove it, he’s going to have to catch the real culprit. He must face liars and lovers, dogfights and gunfights, Dukes and daemons. It’s going to take all his criminal talents to prove he’s not the criminal they think he is …
Dragon Soul by Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett
Release Date: May 24, 2011
Steampunk-style mechanical dragons – need I say more?
This stunning epic fantasy debut introduces two exciting new authors—and a world brimming with natural and man-made wonders, extraordinary events, and a crisis that will test the mettle of men, the boundaries of magic, and the heart and soul of a kingdom.
Thanks to its elite Dragon Corps, the capital city of Volstov has all but won the hundred years’ war with its neighboring enemy, the Ke-Han. The renegade airmen who fly the corps’s mechanical, magic-fueled dragons are Volstov’s greatest weapon. But now one of its more unruly members is at the center of the city’s rumor mill, causing a distraction that may turn the tide of victory.
With Volstov immersed in a scandal that may have international repercussions, the Ke-Han devise an ingenious plan of attack. To counter the threat, four ill-assorted heroes must converge to save the kingdom they love: an exiled magician, a naive country boy, a young student—and the unpredictable ace airman who flies the city’s fiercest dragon, Havemercy.
But on the eve of battle, these courageous men will face something that could make the most formidable of warriors hesitate, the most powerful of magicians weak, and the most unlikely of men allies in their quest to rise against it….
Filled with adventure and discovery, treachery and betrayal, Havemercy is a thrill ride to the unexpected—and an unforgettable journey that will linger long after the fire of battle has cleared
White Tiger (Dark Heavens #1) by Kylie Chan
Release Date (US): August 30, 2011
Chinese mythology, martial arts, and urban fantasy – one of my favorite blends!
When 28–year–old Emma Donahoe becomes a nanny to John Chen’s daughter, Simone, she does not expect to be drawn into a world of martial arts, magic, and extreme danger, where both gods and demons can exist in the mortal world.
Emma gradually realises that John Chen is no ordinary businessman and that nearly all the demons in hell would like to see him dead. John and his American bodyguard, Leo, begin to teach Emma their particular brand of martial arts and special defensive techniques … they also begin to realise that there is something that is different about Emma but exactly what it is, nobody can say.
A fabulous, fast–paced and very entertaining fantasy adventure … a trilogy based on Chinese mythology, set in modern–day Hong Kong, where an ancient god falls in love with a young Australian woman …
Dead Mann Walking by Stefan Petrucha
Release Date: October 4, 2011
The second title from Stefan Petrucha to catch my eye – and I mean really, who can resist a zombie detective?
After Hessius Mann was convicted of his wife’s murder, suppressed evidence came to light and the verdict was overturned – too bad he was already executed. But thanks to the miracles of modern science Hessius was brought back to life. Sort of.
Now that he’s joined the ranks of Fort Hammer’s pulse-challenged population, Hessius attempts to make a “living” as a private investigator. But when a missing persons case leads to a few zombies cut to pieces, Hessius starts thinking that someone’s giving him the run-around-and it’s not like he’s in any condition to make a quick getaway…
Shadow Kin by M.J. Scott
Release Date: September 6, 2011
I asked Anne Sowards, editor of two of my favorite urban fantasy authors (Ilona Andrews and Patricia Briggs) to point me towards a fun new Urban Fantasy read, and she recommended this title (though she admits it leans more towards the traditional fantasy side). ‘Nuff said.
On one side, the Night World, ruled by the Blood Lords and the Beast Kind. On the other, the elusive Fae and the humans, protected by their steadfast mages…
Born a wraith, Lily is a shadow who slips between worlds. Brought up by a Blood Lord and raised to be his assassin, she is little more than a slave. But when Lily meets her match in target Simon DuCaine, the unlikely bond that develops between them threatens to disrupt an already stretched peace in a city on the verge of being torn apart…
The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett
Release Date: March 10, 2009
How on earth did I miss this one? The editors at the Del Rey booth were downright raving about this title – I can’t wait to check it out.
As darkness falls after sunset, the corelings rise—demons who possess supernatural 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 whose protection is terrifyingly fragile. It was not always this way. Once, men and women battled the corelings on equal terms, but those days are gone. 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. Together, they will stand against the night.
And there you have it – a delicious genre stack to top the TBR pile. Oh Comic-con, how I love you…