Lovers of paranormal and urban fantasy have a lot to be thankful for in this week's new sci-fi and fantasy book releases! For fans of True Blood and the Sookie Stackhouse novels comes a collection of every short story in the series. There's also another urban fantasy anthology featuring tales all set in New York, written by a who’s-who of New York Times bestsellers and Hugo and Nebula Award-winning writers including George R. R. Martin, Maria Dahvana Headley, Holly Black, and more.
On the sci-fi front, you'll find a near-future tale about a narcoleptic dreamhacker that sounds all kinds of awesome (especially if you loved Inception as much as I did), and a unique, satirical take on the apocalyptic genre exploring what happens when all humor is wiped off the face of the Earth in the form of a virus that obliterates the part of the brain where humor lives.
But what I'm most excited for this week is the return of Anne Rice! Writing with her son Christopher, this week brings the long-promised sequel to The Mummy, or Ramses the Damned. (Seriously, this was the third Anne Rice book I ever read a million years ago, and even then it was already yeas old! It's been that long.) Based on reviews, this book sounds like it's also a return to form for her, which makes my unabashed ride-or-die fangirl heart so happy!
Here are this week's new SFF books...
The Complete Sookie Stackhouse Stories
Paranormal | Urban Fantasy | Short Story Anthology
For the first time together in one volume, the complete short story collection starring Sookie Stackhouse—with a new introduction from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the series, Charlaine Harris.
For the first time together in one volume, here is the complete short story collection starring Louisiana’s favorite telepathic waitress, Sookie Stackhouse—from #1 New York Timesbestselling author Charlaine Harris. New fans can fill in the gaps in their Sookie lore while old friends can revisit some of their favorite moments and characters. From investigating the murder of a local fairy to learning that her cousin was a vampire, from remodeling her best friend’s house to attending a wedding with her shapeshifting boss, Sam, Sookie navigates the perils and pitfalls of the paranormal world.
Belly up to the bar at Bon Temps’s favorite watering hole and hear stories that will make you wish Sookie never left, including...
“One Word Answer”
“If I Had a Hammer”
“In the Blue Hereafter”
This definitive collection is the perfect binge read for people who like their stories with bite!
RATINGS & REVIEWS: goodreads (3.86 avg ★ ★ ★ ¾ | 37 ratings)
New York Fantastic: Fantasy Stories from the City that Never Sleeps
Paula Guran, editor
Paranormal | Urban Fantasy | Fantasy | Short Story Anthology
An intriguing but insular man with telekinetic powers becomes New York City’s greatest superhero . . . A love affair blossoms between the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building . . . There are tunnels under New York that do not appear on any map . . . Being a Manhattan real estate broker for supernaturals is a real challenge . . . Editor and anthologist Paula Guran collects a diverse array of unusual and memorable tales set in the Big Apple, from a who’s-who of New York Times bestsellers and Hugo and Nebula Award-winning writers including George R. R. Martin, Peter Straub, Naomi Novik, Maria Dahvana Headley, Holly Black, and many more. Anyone who’s visited New York, New York knows what a “magical” place it is; these stories reveal just how marvelous, extraordinary, mysterious, and even occasionally eerie a truly fantastic city can be.
RATINGS & REVIEWS: goodreads (3.0 avg ★ ★ ★ | 2 ratings)
Ramses the Damned: The Passion of Cleopatra
Ramses the Damned #2
Anne and Christopher Rice
Horror | Paranormal | Fantasy | Gothic
From the iconic and bestselling author of The Mummy and The Vampire Chronicles, a mesmerizing, glamorous new tale of ancient feuds and modern passions.
Ramses the Great, former pharaoh of Egypt, is reawakened by the elixir of life in Edwardian England. Now immortal with his bride-to-be, he is swept up in a fierce and deadly battle of wills and psyches against the once-great Queen Cleopatra. Ramses has reawakened Cleopatra with the same perilous elixir whose unworldly force brings the dead back to life. But as these ancient rulers defy one another in their quest to understand the powers of the strange elixir, they are haunted by a mysterious presence even older and more powerful than they, a figure drawn forth from the mists of history who possesses spectacular magical potions and tonics eight millennia old. This is a figure who ruled over an ancient kingdom stretching from the once-fertile earth of the Sahara to the far corners of the world, a queen with a supreme knowledge of the deepest origins of the elixir of life. She may be the only one who can make known to Ramses and Cleopatra the key to their immortality—and the secrets of the miraculous, unknowable, endless expanse of the universe.
RATINGS & REVIEWS: goodreads (4.03 avg ★ ★ ★ ★ | 126 ratings)
Siege of Shadows
YA | Fantasy
Maia and the other Effigies seek out the true origins of the Phantoms that terrorize their world in this thrilling follow-up to Fate of Flames, which Elise Chapman calls “an immersive and monstrously fun read.”
There’s nowhere to hide.
Not when you’re an Effigy. No matter where they go, Maia and the other Effigies can’t escape the eyes of the press—especially not after failing to capture Saul, whose power to control the monstrous Phantoms has left the world in a state of panic. It’s been two months since Saul’s disappearance, and there’s still no sign of him, leaving the public to wonder whether the Sect—and the Effigies—are capable of protecting anyone.
When Saul suddenly surfaces in the middle of the Sahara desert, the Sect sends Maia and her friends out after him. But instead of Saul, they discover a dying soldier engineered with Effigy-like abilities. Even worse, there may be more soldiers like him out there, and it looks like the Effigies are their prime targets.
Yet the looming danger of Saul and this mysterious new army doesn’t overshadow Maia’s fear of the Sect, who ordered the death of the previous Fire Effigy, Natalya. With enemies on all sides and the world turning against them, the Effigies have to put their trust in each other—easier said than done when secrets threaten to tear them apart.
RATINGS & REVIEWS: goodreads (4.2 avg ★ ★ ★ ★ ¼ | 20 ratings)
Charlie is a dreamhacker, able to enter your dreams and mould their direction. Forget that recurring nightmare about being naked at an exam - Charlie will step in to your dream, bring you a dressing gown and give you the answers. As far as she knows, she's the only person who can do this. Unfortunately, her power comes with one drawback - Charlie also has narcolepsy, and may fall asleep at the most inopportune moment.
But in London 2022, her skill is in demand. And when she is hired by a minor celebrity - who also happens to be the new girlfriend of Charlie's lamented ex - who dreams of a masked Creeper then sleepwalks off a tall building, Charlie begins to realise that someone else might be able to invade dreams.
RATINGS & REVIEWS: goodreads (4.0 avg ★ ★ ★ ★ | 6 ratings)
Until the Last Dog Dies
Sci-Fi | Post-Apocalyptic | Humor
What happens when all humor is wiped off the face of the Earth? Around the world, an unusual viral plague is striking the population. The virus attacks only one particular section of the brain. It isn’t fatal, but it results in the victim’s sense of humor being obliterated. No one is immune. Elliot Greeley, a young stand-up comedian starving his way through alternative comedy clubs in Los Angeles, isn’t even certain the virus is real at first. But as the pandemic begins to eat away at the very heart of civilization itself, the virus affects Elliot and his close knit group of comedian friends in increasingly personal ways. What would you consider the end of the world? Until the Last Dog Dies is a sharp, cutting satire, both a clever twist on apocalyptic fiction and a poignant look at the things that make us human.
RATINGS & REVIEWS: goodreads (3.5 avg ★ ★ ★ ½ | 2 ratings)
Who’s Afraid Too?
Tommi Grayson #2
Paranormal | Urban Fantasy
Tommi Grayson: all bark, all bite . . . and now she's BACK!
After the worst family reunion in history, Tommi needed some space. She's spent the last few weeks trying to understand her heritage - the one that comes with a side order of fur - as well as learning about her Maori ancestry and how she can connect to it. But she can only escape for so long.
When an unspeakable evil returns, Tommi will need every piece of knowledge and all the skills she has. With the help of allies old and new, frenemies both helpful and super-annoying, she's going to take the fight to the enemy . . .
RATINGS & REVIEWS: goodreads (4.18 avg ★ ★ ★ ★ ¼ | 99 ratings)
Winter of Ice and Iron
In this gorgeous, dark fantasy in the spirit of Jacqueline Carey, a princess and a duke must protect the people of their nations when a terrible threat leaves everyone in danger.
With the Mad King of Emmer in the north and the vicious King of Pohorir in the east, Kehara Raehema knows her country is in a vulnerable position. She never expected to give up everything she loves to save her people, but when the Mad King’s fury leaves her land in danger, she has no choice but to try any stratagem that might buy time for her people to prepare for war—no matter the personal cost.
Hundreds of miles away, the pitiless Wolf Duke of Pohorir, Innisth Eanete, dreams of breaking his people and his province free of the king he despises. But he has no way to make that happen—until chance unexpectedly leaves Kehara on his doorstep and at his mercy.
Yet in a land where immanent spirits inhabit the earth, political disaster is not the greatest peril one can face. Now, as the year rushes toward the dangerous midwinter, Kehera and Innisth find themselves unwilling allies, and their joined strength is all that stands between the peoples of the Four Kingdoms and utter catastrophe.
RATINGS & REVIEWS: goodreads (3.6 avg ★ ★ ★ ½ | 5 ratings)