This month science fiction and fantasy new releases are keeping readers on their toes. Lisa Searin’s All Spell Breaks Loose wins a rare rating of a Gold RT Top Pick! During this month’s genre roundup, we suggest a must-read new fantasy series. The we report on Mira Grant’s chilling Newsfeed series. And finally we highlight a horror novel with a cover that may have you thinking twice before you dive into the terrifying tale.
THE GOLD STANDARD
In the world of RT ratings, a Top Pick Gold! is very rare. More than the 4 ½ star Top Pick, the books that earn a Gold rating are few and far between. This is the highest honor that an RT reviewer can give a book. These gold-rated novels that don’t just deserve a spot on your keeper shelf, they are phenomenal reads in a class by themselves. Simply put, these are the creme de la creme of genre fiction.
All Spell Breaks Loose by Lisa Shearin won this highest of ratings from RT’s Senior Reviewer Jill M. Smith. This novel marks the end of the author’s popular Raine Benares series. In this finale, the now-powerless Raine was able to break her addiction to a soul-sucking rock before the stone falls into the hands of an all-powerful goblin. But to recapture the artifact, Raine must face dangers all around and the prospects look grim. Want to learn more? Check out what Jill said about this twisted story of suspense:
“When a fantastic series comes to a close in such a spectacular fashion there is pure pleasure for the exceptional experience and a touch of sadness for good things coming to an end. Over the course of the Raine Benares series, Shearin has proven herself to be an expert storyteller with the enviable ability to provide both humor and jaw-dropping action. I am very much looking forward to Shearin’s next endeavor and hope that she revisits this world again in the future. Brava!”
If you haven’t had a chance to try N.K. Jemisin’s books, we suggest that you pick up her Dreamblood books. This series began with May 2012’s The Killing Moon and June marks the release of the series second, The Shadowed Sun, which received an RT Top Pick! These tales are the perfect way to get a taste of the author’s critically-acclaimed world-building skills most notably her ability to create complex religions. The Dreamblood series takes place in the fictional desert city of Gujaareh. The first tale begins as a priest and his apprentice discover that their peaceful society is actually teetering on the brink of war. And the saga continues in book two when, ten years later, a priestess and a prince struggle to save their city.
SCI FI SERIES OF DISTINCTION
Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire) has made a name for herself with the Newsflesh series. The books follow the zombie “Rising” that has taken over the USA with one all consuming need, to feed. The novels revolve around journalist blogger Shaun and his sister Georgia who work at After the End Times, trying to alert the rest of the world about all that is taking place post-outbreak. These books are more than fast-paced, they are edge of your seat rides that are downright nail-biting. And now that the first three novels have fed readers’ voracious taste for the series, we are thrilled to pass along the news that fans can expect three Newsflesh novellas: "Countdown", "San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats" and "How Green This Land, How Blue This Sky." (Readers can find “Countdown” in stores now.)
Making this news even sweeter is the fact that Grant has also sold a new duology consisting of two science fiction medical thrillers: Parasitology and Symbiogenesis. These stories were sold in the vein of Jurassic Park meets Frankenstein, but the author says she thought of them more as James Tiptee Jr.’s "The Only Really Neat Thing to Do" novella mashed up with Carnisaur. No matter what these stories sound like to you, to us they sound like one thing for sure: auto-buys!
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A HELPING OF HORROR
If you’re jonesing for something a little more dark and menacing this month’s new release Timeless Innocents is sure to satisfy your craving for gore. Janis Susan May tells a tale that already has us checking under our beds at night. In the grand (and grotesque) tradition of the Chucky series, Dean Koontz’ Tick Tock and The Regulators by Stephen King, May’s Timeless Innocents allows readers into the world of alarmingly life-like dolls coming to life to carry out a murderous agenda.
We are particularly intrigued — or is it terrified? — by this cover which gives us what looks like a doll’s-eye-view of the world. But to find out if the creepy child-like doll is gazing at other living dolls, potential victims or previously murdered people … well you’ll have to read the story!
Want more like this book? RT’s Liz suggests that you check out the Twilight Zone and Night Gallery episodes written by Rod Serling with nightmare-inducing little dolls.