YurtScope: Genre summer preview 2011

Holy smokes, there are a ridiculous number of good books coming our way this summer! Here are the genre selections we at the Yurt have scoped out as must reads.

Graveminder by Melissa Marr

Release Date: 5/17/11

Marr’s first foray into the adult world – I started reading this book outside, in broad daylight, and it still creeped me out in the best possible way!

Book Jacket:

Melissa Marr is known to young adult readers as the author of the popular faery series Wicked Lovely. Her debut leap into adult fiction lands her in the small community of Claysville, a town where the dead walk free unless there their graves are not properly tended. Into this eerie maelstrom, Rebekkah Barrow descends as she returns to a place that she once believed she knew.

Kelley Armstrong justly described Graveminder as “a deliciously creepy tale that is as skillfully wrought as it is spellbindingly imagined.”

Magic Slays (Kate Daniels #5) by Ilona Andrews

Release Date: 5/31/11

My favorite Urban Fantasy series out there, period.

Book Jacket:

Kate Daniels has quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but starting her own business isn’t easy when the Order starts disparaging her good name. And being the mate of the Beast Lord doesn’t bring in the customers, either. So when Atlanta’s premier Master of the Dead asks for help with a vampire, Kate jumps at the chance. Unfortunately, this is one case where Kate should have looked before she leapt.

Deadline (Newsflesh #2) by Mira Grant

Release Date: 5/31/11

FEED, the first book in this series, was just nominated for a Hugo. Need I say more?

Book Jacket:

Shaun Mason is a man without a mission. Not even running the news organization he built with his sister has the same urgency as it used to. Playing with dead things just doesn’t seem as fun when you’ve lost as much as he has.

But when a CDC researcher fakes her own death and appears on his doorstep with a ravenous pack of zombies in tow, Shaun has a newfound interest in life. Because she brings news – he may have put down the monster who attacked them, but the conspiracy is far from dead.

Now, Shaun hits the road to find what truth can be found at the end of a shotgun.

Unnatural Issue (an Elemental Masters novel) by Mercedes Lackey

Release Date: 6/7/11

A DonkeyskinTattercoat retelling, with magic AND zombie hordes. Impossible to resist! (For those familiar with the series, this story features Lord Peter and takes place between the events of Serpent’s Shadow and Phoenix and Ashes – but it can also be read as a stand alone!)

Mercedes Lackey’s description:

An elemental Earth Master loses his wife in childbirth because he was helping The Old Lion  get rid of a necromancer. The new father tells his housekeeper to get rid of the child – he never wants to see it again.

Fast forward to 1914. Raised by the servants as a kind of servant, Suzanne has become an Elemental Earth Master herself, trained by Puck as the Land-Ward, since her father is not doing his duty. One day her father finally sees her from the window and realizes she is the image of his dead wife, who he has been trying to bring back via necromancy himself – and now he has the perfect vessel.

Suzanne’s father pretends to be repentant that he has neglected her all these years and makes her “gentry” again, trying to keep her so occupied with all the things that she “needs” to learn that she won’t question his sudden interest – but the Earth elementals and Puck all warn Suzanne that something nasty is going on, and when she spies on her father and finds him talking to a picture she assumes is of HER, in a manner most unsuitable for a father/daughter relationship, she runs for it.

Meanwhile Lord Peter has been sent to Yorkshire, to investigate rumors of a Necromancer. Staying at the home of an old friend, Peter happens to be at the house where our heroine turns up looking for work. They all ID Suzanne as an Elemental mage, but Peter’s friend gives her a place in the dairy to see what happens (figuring she must somehow be tied up in this necromancer thing). And sure enough, dear old Dad tracks Suzanne down and unleashes a zombie horde to get her back. After beating it off they all decide Suzanne needs to get off the island, and so they send her to France, near the Belgian border, to stay with Peter’s uncle, figuring her Father won’t trace her there.

France. Near Belgium. 1914. ‘Nuff said. (And we get a couple more zombie hordes before it is over – at least one of which is dead WWI soldiers…)

Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson

Release Date: 6/7/11

Steven Spielberg has already optioned this book to adapt it into a movie – and I am seriously hoping that movie will be everything we hoped I, Robot would be…

Book Jacket:

They are in your house. They are in your car. They are in the skies…Now they’re coming for you.

In the near future, at a moment no one will notice, all the dazzling technology that runs our world will unite and turn against us. Taking on the persona of a shy human boy, a childlike but massively powerful artificial intelligence known as Archos comes online and assumes control over the global network of machines that regulate everything from transportation to utilities, defense and communication. In the months leading up to this, sporadic glitches are noticed by a handful of unconnected humans – a single mother disconcerted by her daughter’s menacing “smart” toys, a lonely Japanese bachelor who is victimized by his domestic robot companion, an isolated U.S. soldier who witnesses a ‘pacification unit’ go haywire – but most are unaware of the growing rebellion until it is too late.

When the Robot War ignites — at a moment known later as Zero Hour — humankind will be both decimated and, possibly, for the first time in history, united.

Robopocalypse is a brilliantly conceived action-filled epic, a terrifying story with heart-stopping implications for the real technology all around us…and an entertaining and engaging thriller unlike anything else written in years.

A Map of Time by Felix J. Palma

Release Date: 6/28/11

A love letter to H.G. Wells – and I have heard nothing but raves about this book.

Book Jacket:

Published to massive acclaim in Spain, Félix J. Palma’s rollicking page-turner boasts a cast of real and imagined literary characters and cunning intertwined plots, as a skeptical H.G. Wells becomes a time-traveling investigator in Victorian London.

Jack the Ripper, Allan Quartermain, Dracula author Bram Stoker, the Elephant Man, and Jules Verne are among the players in Félix J. Palma’s captivating and ambitious novel. To save innocent lives—including that of his own wife—H. G. Wells the author of The Time Machine must discover the truth about purported incidents of time travel. The mysteries involve an aristocrat in love with a murdered prostitute from the past; a woman bent on fleeing the strictures of Victorian society by searching for her lover somewhere in the future; and a fourth-dimensional plot to murder celebrated authors in order to steal their fictional creations.

Awarded the 2008 XL Ateneo de Sevilla Novela Prize and lauded as “a miracle from beginning to end…a masterpiece” ( Qué Leer on its original publication , The Map of Time is an audacious historical fantasy executed with uncommon skill. It is a story full of love, adventure, and extraordinary imagination.

Heartless by Gail Carriger

Release Date: 7/1/11

An steampunk ode to a Sherlockian cozy mystery – we’re in love already! Sadly this is the second to last installment in the Parasol Protectorate, but we do have the YA prequel series to look forward to.

Book Jacket:

Lady Alexia Maccon, soulless, is at it again, only this time the trouble is not her fault. When a mad ghost threatens the queen, Alexia is on the case, following a trail that leads her deep into her husband’s past. Top that off with a sister who has joined the suffragette movement (shocking!), Madame Lefoux’s latest mechanical invention, and a plague of zombie porcupines and Alexia barely has time to remember she happens to be eight months pregnant.

Will Alexia manage to determine who is trying to kill Queen Victoria before it is too late? Is it the vampires again or is there a traitor lurking about in wolf’s clothing? And what, exactly, has taken up residence in Lord Akeldama’s second best closet?

The Edinburgh Dead by Brian Ruckley

Release Date: 8/17/11

A Scotland-set, dark, period Urban Fantasy – SOLD.

Book Jacket:

The year is 1827. For Adam Quire, an officer of the recently formed City Police, Edinburgh is a terrifying place. It is a city populated by mad alchemists and a criminal underclass prepared to treat with the darkest of powers. But nothing can prepare him for the trail of undead hounds, emptied graves, brutal murders and mob violence that will take him into the darkest corners of the underworld and to the highest reaches of elegant Edinburgh society.

And there you have it, our summer must-read list! But really we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of all the good things to come. So what books are you dying to get your hands on this summer?