Written by: Beth Woodward, CC2K Books Editor
With 2013 almost halfway over, I’d like to take some time to talk about the book releases I’m most looking forward to for the remainder of 2013.
So, in order of release date:
How Beauty Loved the Beast by Jax Garren
I’m a sucker for Beauty and the Beast retellings, and this one is more creative than most: a burn-scarred man and a burlesque dancer work together in an anarchist organization called the Underlight, battling an evil group known as the Order. This is the third in the Tales of the Underlight Trilogy. With elements of paranormal romance and romantic suspense, this trilogy has something for fans of many different types of romance. (Hint: read the first two books, How Beauty Met the Beast and How Beauty Saved the Beast, first.)
Release date: Today!
Binding the Shadows by Jenn Bennett
Jenn Bennett’s Arcadia Bell series has become one of my new favorites. It’s fun, it has some great world building, and it has some of my current favorite characters in urban fantasy. The series deals equally in human and supernatural problems. Supernatural serial killers? No problem! Having a boyfriend who’s an Earthbound demon? Now, that gets tricky. I love that the series never shies away from exploring the complications of magician/bartender Cady dating a much older man (demon, really) with a teenage son. I also love that it never takes itself too seriously. Binding the Shadows is the third in the series. For maximum enjoyment, read Kindling the Moon and Summoning the Night first.
Release date: May 28
Tempest Reborn by Nicole Peeler
Peeler ended the fifth book in her Jane True series, Tempest’s Fury, with a cliffhanger from hell. Coming into the final installment, Jane finds herself without her strongest allies and with stakes higher than ever—especially for her. I love the journey Jane has gone through already, from meek, shy girl just learning about her supernatural heritage to kick-ass woman ready to conquer the world. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out for her.
Release Date: May 28
Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh
Singh’s Psy/Changeling series has become one of my favorite paranormal romance series. In both this series and her Guild Hunter series, Singh has demonstrated a knack for balancing romance with fun, exciting paranormal plots and dynamic world building. Both series have a book coming out later this year, but this one makes the list because of sheer mystery. Though the cover and blurb for the book were revealed months ago, we still don’t know who the hero and heroine will be. (The blurb obliquely talks around it.) Add to that the unknown identity of the “Ghost”—a Psy rebel who has been in and out of the series since the third book—and you have a fan base that is anxiously awaiting this one. (My current theory: the Ghost is former Councilor Kaleb Krychek, and Heart of Obsidian is his book.) The romances stand alone, but to get the effect of the greater plot twists, you need to start with Slave to Sensation and work your way through in order. Believe me, starting at the beginning is well worth it.
Release date: June 6
Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews
I don’t know what it is about Ilona Andrews, the pseudonym for husband-and-wife writing team Ilona and Andrew Gordon. It seems like every time they write a book, whether it’s part of their Kate Daniels series or their (now completed) Edge series, it is fast-paced and unputdownable. For the last several years, at least one Ilona Andrews book has ended up on my top 10 list. I suspect Magic Rises will make it this year. Now that Kate and Beast Lord Curran have mated, the series is coming into its final stretch. But before that, we’ll have to make it through a showdown between Kate and her ultra-powerful father. I don’t think it’ll be happening this book, but we’re getting there. I’ve grown to love not only the characters in this series, but also the strange and fascinating futuristic Atlanta, where magic and technology battle for dominance. Read the books in order, starting with Magic Bites.
Release date: July 30
Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire
After six books, Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series, about a half-fae private investigator, has made me laugh, made me cry, and made me do both at the same time. The books just keep getting stronger and stronger, with the last two, One Salt Sea and Ashes of Honor, being the best in the series. So it’s no wonder that I’m looking forward to continuing Toby’s adventures. These books are a bit of an investment: McGuire’s Faerie is a complicated place with a lot of rules and traditions, and the books feature a lot of characters. But in this case, the side characters are just as developed and fun as the protagonist, and eventually the odd Faerie world starts to make a weird kind of sense. Start with Rosemary and Rue, which has one of the best book beginnings ever.
Release date: September 3
Tempt the Stars by Karen Chance
I feel like I’ve been waiting FOREVER for the sixth book in Chance’s Cassandra Palmer series, about a clairvoyant young woman who becomes Pythia, a supernatural advisor able to travel through, and manipulate time. (She’s basically a blonde, female Dr. Who.) There are a lot of supernatural elements in this series, from vampires to demons to pissed-off gods. Chance throws a lot at you in each of these stories, and I must admit, I don’t always follow exactly what’s going on. But I love Cassie, and the way she has to learn about the supernatural world as she goes (with a lot of stumbling along the way). I also have a bit of a book crush on Pritkin, Cassie’s trainer/bodyguard who hides his demon half. Hunt the Moon left Pritkin in a bad spot, and I can’t wait to see how Cassie rescues him!
Release date: October 1