Books I am definitely getting this month:
Patricia Briggs’ “Hunting Ground” (urban fantasy): Second in the Anna and Charles series.
Mated to werewolf Charles Cornick, the son—and enforcer—of the leader of the North American werewolves, Anna Latham now knows how dangerous being a werewolf is, especially when a werewolf opposes Charles and his father is struck down. Charles’s reputation makes him the prime suspect, and the penalty for the crime is execution. Now Anna and Charles must combine their talents to hunt down the real killer—or Charles will take the fall.
I get the impression that Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series is more popular, but I think that the first A&C book (“Cry Wolf”) was slightly hampered as Anna and Charles’ story actually starts in the novella “Alpha and Omega” (in the “On the Prowl” anthology), and those who picked up “Cry Wolf” without having read A&O may have felt a bit lost at first. I think that’s a bit of a shame, but I’m not sure what either the publisher or the author could have done, apart from possibly including A&O as a freebie in the first novel?
Anyway, I love Ms Briggs’ writing and she is most definitely an autobuy for me. The other release she has coming out this month is the graphic novel “Homecoming” (above), which is a prequel to the Mercy books (and is a collection of the four graphic novels previously released). And finally, while on the topic, here’s the UK cover for “Cry Wolf” (left), which I’ve just seen.
Out August 25 (excerpt here)
Diana Peterfreund’s “Rampant” (YA fantasy): First in a new series. I’m excited about this one. And that was before the (really good) reviews started appearing.
The sparkly, innocent creatures of lore are a myth. Real unicorns are venomous, man-eating monsters with huge fangs and razor-sharp horns. And they can only be killed by virgin descendants of Alexander the Great.
Fortunately, unicorns have been extinct for a hundred and fifty years.
Astrid Llewelyn has always scoffed at her eccentric mother’s stories about killer unicorns. But when one of the monsters attacks her boyfriend in the woods – thereby ruining any chance of him taking her to prom – Astrid learns that unicorns are real and dangerous, and she has a family legacy to uphold. Her mother packs her off to Rome to train as a unicorn hunter at the ancient cloisters the hunters have used for centuries.
However, at the cloisters, all is not what is seems. Outside, the unicorns wait to attack. And within, Astrid faces other, unexpected threats: from crumbling, bone-covered walls that vibrate with a terrible power to the hidden agendas of her fellow hunters to – perhaps most dangerously of all – her growing attraction to a handsome art student… and a relationship that could jeopardize everything.
Out August 25 (excerpt here)
Jayne Castle’s “Obsidian Prey” (futuristic romance): Sixth in the Harmony series.
I am such a sucker for Jayne Castle’s futuristics. They’re my (not so) secret vice. Even though (or perhaps because) the plot and h/h are totally predictable, they’re total comfort reads. Even the Arcane Society* making an appearance in this one doesn’t upset me because there were already psychic powers from the start.
*Why, oh why, are paranormal storylines appearing in her previously-straight contemporaries (Jayne Ann Krentz) and historicals (Amanda Quick)?
Two hundred years after the closing of the energy Curtain that allowed interplanetary travel – cutting off all contact to Earth – the planet Harmony is thriving. Thanks to an abundant supply of amber, which powers not only electrical machines for everyday use but also psychic abilities in the colonists, Harmony has created a stable, progressive community. But when that stability is threatened, resolving an ancient family feud and a fresh lover’s quarrel might be the planet’s only hope.
Three months ago, Lyra Dore suffered a heartbreak and a hostile takeover – both at the hands of the same man. A descendant of her ancestors’ fierce rival. Cruz Sweetwater charmed his way into Lyra’s heart and gained access to her pet project, an amethyst ruin. Then he took over the project and took off. When Cruz walks back into her life and requests a private meeting, Lyra convinces herself he’s there to crawl and beg forgiveness. Wrong again – he just needs her help. With the project he stole from her.
Five innocent men are trapped inside a chamber in the amethyst ruin, and Lyra is the only one who can reopen the door. Reluctantly she agrees to help. Then Cruz wants her to apply her talents to the rest of the ruin – because no one else can work it. Lyra and Cruz are both harboring psychic secrets. Unknown – and dangerous – powers pulse within the amethyst ruin, and the closer Lyra gets to them, the more at risk she becomes. And now she must decide whether to trust her guts or her heart.
Out August 25 (no excerpt, but some book info here)
Richelle Mead’s “Blood Promise” (YA urban fantasy): Fourth in the Vampire Academy series.
The previous book “Shadow Kiss” ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, to put it mildly. Which pretty much means I will be getting this book to see how Ms Mead resolves things, although seeing that there are two more books in this series, I probably shouldn’t be expecting everything to be neatly tied up in this one.
Note the blurb has SPOILERS for the previous book.
Rose Hathaway’s life will never be the same.
The recent attack on St. Vladimir’s Academy devastated the entire Moroi world. Many are dead. And, for the few victims carried off by Strigoi, their fates are even worse. A rare tattoo now adorns Rose’s neck, a mark that says she’s killed far too many Strigoi to count. But only one victim matters . . . Dimitri Belikov. Rose must now choose one of two very different paths: honoring her life’s vow to protect Lissa—her best friend and the last surviving Dragomir princess—or, dropping out of the Academy to strike out on her own and hunt down the man she loves. She’ll have to go to the ends of the earth to find Dimitri and keep the promise he begged her to make. But the question is, when the time comes, will he want to be saved?
Now, with everything at stake—and worlds away from St. Vladimir’s and her unguarded, vulnerable, and newly rebellious best friend—can Rose find the strength to destroy Dimitri? Or, will she sacrifice herself for a chance at eternal love?
Out August 25 (excerpt here)
As for other August releases:
I’ve already bought (and read) Sherwood Smith’s “Treason’s Shore” (fantasy), which brings her Inda quartet to an end. I’m still gathering my thoughts on this book, but Ms Smith has also posted an epilogue of sorts on her website, which explains exactly what happens to the main characters after the end of the book. With Ms Smith’s books, I always get the impression she is retelling a story she knows (as opposed to coming up with one, if that makes sense), and getting such a detailed epilogue just adds to that impression.
I’ll probably get Moira J Moore’s “Heroes at Risk” (fantasy, fourth in the Heroes series, out August 25), but I have to say Ms Moore probably has the worst luck in covers. I thought the cover of the third book was a turn for the better (even though it was completely misleading), but I am left slightly speechless at this one. It doesn’t even have the saving grace of being similar to any of the previous ones in the series.
And finally, out August 27 is “Love Bites”, a follow up anthology to last year’s “The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance”, and also edited by Trisha Telep.
I’ve noticed most of these have August 25 release dates – which means I’ve the next couple of weeks to tackle some of my TBR pile books!