This week in new hardcovers: The return of a soccer mom demon fighter; Drizzt returns to defend his friends; the last words of a mysterious woman puzzle a friend of Death; a prince tortured by his past seeks magic artifacts against a coming battle; vampires are being drawn directly out of fiction to attack libriomancers; evil threatens to destroy a magical nighttime realm; a ghost ship leads a detective toward a supernatural enemy; a gender-swapping malady is only the beginning of the horrors facing 1864 London; and more.
by John Ringo
Special Circumstances. "Soccer mom and demon fighter Barabara Everette is back in this intricately interwoven monster noir thriller, the sequel to bestselling Princess of Wands by eight times New York Times best-seller, John Ringo. Barbara Everette has a problem. It seems Janea, Barbara’s assistant and The Foundation for Love and Universal Faith's best operative, has been thrown into a coma by some very nasty magic she’s stirred up. Barbara must track down the perpetrators and break the spell or Janea's soul will be forever lost on the astral plane. Oh, and if she can't break the spell, zombies will destroy all mankind. Meanwhile, Janea, a high-dollar call girl, stripper and High Priestess of Freya when she isn’t fighting demons, must contend with a spiritual journey of her own. It’s a journey into Janea’s acceptance of herself in all her dimensions (and what dimensions they are!). Where to locate one’s true inner essence? At a science fiction convention, of course. But when rescuers pursue Janea into her vision of a geeky alternate reality, we find this is one science fiction convention where the Guest of Honor could turn out to be Death Himself." Baen, 352 pages, Aug 7.
by R.A. Salvatore
Neverwinter Saga, Book 3. "Drizzt draws his swords once more to aid his friends. His lover, Dahlia Sin’felle, can speak of nothing but the moment she will face the Netherese lord Herzgo Alegni once again. Drizzt has already followed a trail of vengeance beside Dahlia. Can he justify one more battle to settle a grudge he does not understand? Artemis Entreri too seeks vengeance. He offers to aid Dahlia in her mission to destroy Alegni. But Charon’s Claw, Alegni’s sentient sword, dominates Entreri’s movements—if not his mind. And then there’s the way Entreri looks at Dahlia. Can Drizzt trust his old foe?" Wizards of the Coast, 352 pages, Aug 7.
by Judy Clemens
Grim Reaper Series. "It’s been years since Casey Maldonado visited her hometown, and the only reason she’s returning now is to get her brother Ricky out of jail, where he sits after being arrested for the brutal murder of Alicia McManus, his girlfriend of several months. Casey believes in her brother’s innocence, but proving that to the cops is a different thing altogether. As Casey and her ever-present companion Death investigate Alicia’s murder, it becomes clear she was not who she claimed to be, from her name to her non-existent past. Instead of a solid history, she left only questions when she died. Where did she come from? What secrets did she know? And, most importantly, who were the three people she spoke of when Death carried her away?" Poisoned Pen Press, 250 pages, Aug 7.
by Mark Lawrence
The Broken Empire. "Prince Honorious Jorg Ancrath vowed when he was nine to avenge his slaughtered mother and brother—and punish his father for not doing so. When he was fifteen, he began to fulfill that vow. Now he is eighteen—and he must hold on by strength of arms to what he took by torture and treachery. King Jorg is a man haunted: by the ghost of a young boy, by a mysterious copper box, by his desire for the woman who rides with his enemy. Plagued by nightmares of the atrocities he committed, and of the atrocities committed against him when he was a child, he is filled with rage. And even as his need for revenge continues to consume him, twenty thousand men march toward the gates of his castle. His enemy is far stronger than him. Jorg knows that he cannot win a fair fight. But he has found, in a chamber hidden beneath the castle, ancient and long-lost artifacts. Some might call them magic. Jorg is not certain—all he knows is that the secrets they hold can be put to terrible use in the coming battle." Ace Hardcover, 464 pages, Aug 7.
by Jim C. Hines
Magic Ex Libris Book 1. "Isaac Vainio is a Libriomancer, a member of the secret organization founded five centuries ago by Johannes Gutenberg. Libriomancers are gifted with the ability to magically reach into books and draw forth objects. When Isaac is attacked by vampires that leaked from the pages of books into our world, he barely manages to escape. To his horror he discovers that vampires have been attacking other magic-users as well, and Gutenberg has been kidnapped. With the help of a motorcycle-riding dryad who packs a pair of oak cudgels, Isaac finds himself hunting the unknown dark power that has been manipulating humans and vampires alike. And his search will uncover dangerous secrets about Libriomancy, Gutenberg, and the history of magic." DAW Hardcover, 400 pages, Aug 7.
by Aaron Allston
Star WarsX-Wing. "Three decades have passed since Wraith Squadron carried out its last mission. Taking on the most dangerous and daring operations, the rogues and misfits of the elite X-Wing unit became legends of the Rebellion and the Second Galactic Civil War, before breaking up and going their separate ways. Now their singular skills are back in vital demand—for a tailor-made Wraith Squadron mission. A powerful general in the Galactic Alliance Army, once renowned for his valor, is suspected of participating in the infamous Lecersen Conspiracy, which nearly toppled the Alliance back into the merciless hands of the Empire. With orders to expose and apprehend the traitor—and license to do so by any and all means—the Wraiths will become thieves, pirates, impostors, forgers . . . and targets, as they put their guts, their guns, and their riskiest game plan to the test against the most lethal of adversaries." LucasBooks, 416 pages, Aug 7.
by Elizabeth Brooks
"Where do you go at night, once you have turned out the light? Abigail Crabtree’s imaginary world a precious escape from the waking world. That is until one wintry night, when a sinister horseman appears to wrest it from her in the name of the King of Traumund. Desperate to save her realm, she turns to her godfather—the enchanting Mr. Montefiore—for help. She takes refuge in his desolate country house, where rumors of cruelty and murder abound. Abigail and her giant owl soar outside her imaginary world and into the vast universe of collective dreams. But even as she delights in Traumund’s bewildering beauty, she finds herself ever more seduced by the very evil that threatens to destroy it. How can Abigail remember what she is fighting for? How can she even be sure where her loyalties lie? And, most of all, will she ever be free of the intensely beguiling Mr. Montefiore?" MP Publishing, 304 pages, Aug 7.
by Kat Richardson
A Greywalker Novel. "A quarter century ago, the Seawitch cruised away from her dock and disappeared with everyone on board. Now, the boat has mysteriously returned to her old berth in Seattle and the insurance company has hired Harper to find out what happened. But Harper is not the only one investigating. Seattle Police Detective Rey Solis is a good cop, albeit one who isn’t comfortable with the creepy cases that always seem to end up in Harper’s lap. As they explore the abandoned vessel, Harper and Solis discover a cabin containing symbols drawn in human blood, revealing the ghost ship’s grave history. As Solis focuses on the possible murder of a passenger’s wife, Harper’s investigation leads her to a powerful being who may be responsible for the disappearance of the Seawitch’s passengers and crew. And while their searches lead Harper and Solis in different directions, they will need to put aside their differences to solve a deadly mystery twenty-five years in the making…" Roc Hardcover, 352 pages, Aug 7.
by T. Aaron Payton
Pimm and Skye. "1864. London is a city in transition. The Constantine Affliction–a strange malady that kills some of its victims and physically transforms others into the opposite sex–has spread scandal and upheaval throughout society. Scientific marvels and disasters, such as clockwork courtesans, the alchemical fires of Whitechapel, electric carriages, and acidic monsters lurking in the Thames, have forever altered the face of the city. Pembroke “Pimm” Hanover is an aristocrat with an interest in criminology, who uses his keen powers of observation to assist the police or private individuals–at least when he’s sober enough to do so. Ellie Skyler, who hides her gender behind the byline “E. Skye,” is an intrepid journalist driven by both passion and necessity to uncover the truth, no matter where it hides. When Pimm and Skye stumble onto a dark plot that links the city’s most notorious criminal overlord with the Queen’s new consort, famed scientist Sir Bertram Oswald, they soon find the forces of both high and low society arrayed against them. Can they save the city from the arcane machinations of one of history’s most notorious monsters." Night Shade Books, 320 pages, Aug 7.
by Sherrilyn Kenyon
"The Mayans aren’t the only ones with a 2012 prophecy. Long before recorded history, there was a warrior so feared that everyone trembled before his wrath. Only a brutal betrayal by the one closest to him could defeat him. But not even death was the end of a man so strong. Kateri Avani has been plagued her entire life with dreams she doesn’t understand. Images of places she’s never been and of a man she’s never seen. Her quest for answers has driven her to Las Vegas where she hopes to finally silence the demons in her mind." Piatkus Books, 0 pages, Aug 7.
by Michael Z. Williamson
Freehold. "Alex Marlow and Ripple Creek Security's best personal security detail return to action. This time, they really don't like their principal, World Bureau of State Minister Joy Herman Highland–a highly-placed bureaucrat with aspirations to elected office. Even worse, Highland’s assistant wants to publicize every movement and action for her boss’s pending campaign, which is anathema to good security. With a person of this status, it's not a case of someone wanting her dead. The only question is how many people want her dead, and what are they bringing to the fight? The enemies are from without, within and all over. They have resources, funding and political cover. Ripple Creek needs to be cautious. But the enemy also needs to worry. They’re going to be getting in each others' way in the process of carrying out their plans. And Ripple Creek has no qualms about explosions on galactic news. In fact, they enjoy it." Baen, 352 pages, Aug 7.