M.L. Brennan gives readers a vampire hero who isn't brooding but instead is a sarcastic film theory vegetarian student who can't hold down a job in "Generation V."
Fortitude Scott isn't your ordinary born vampire. He doesn't want to sprout fangs and drink blood, and in fact is trying to ward off the change from human to vampire for as long as he can. His very long-lived vampire mother and brother and sister indulge his "fantasy" for now, reminding him that one day the change will happen, whether he likes it or not. When a vampire comes to town to visit his mother, Fort is summoned to appear and finds the new vampire distasteful to say the least. He wants to rescue the very young girl being kept as a "pet" by the vampire, but cannot risk a fight. But when two young girls are kidnapped and their family murdered, Fort knows exactly who the culprit is. With the help of a lovely kitsune Suzume, a trickster shapeshifter, Fort is determined to save the girls without risking his mother's anger.
I loved the character of Fort, who is the complete opposite of any vampire hero ever. He can't keep a girlfriend, has a loser roommate who won't pay rent and isn't exactly charming and seductive - but is instead completely relatable. Readers will enjoy this twist in the vampire genre and I look forward to see what Fort will do next.
"Generation V" is published by Roc. It is $7.99 and 311 pages long.
A young adult book that will also appeal to adults comes in the next part of James Phelan's Alone series, "Survivor."
Jesse is an Australian teen who came to New York to take part in a teen U.N. But something has happened, turning most of the city into crazed attackers that Jesse has deemed Chasers, and everyone he knew is dead. Now trying to survive on his own and find other people, he stumbles upon a recording by a girl his age named Felicity, who is going to the park to try to look for others. On his way to find her, he meets a zookeeper named Rachel who didn't abandon her charges and a bookseller named Caleb who is hoping his family survived. Can Jesse and his new friends survive as the Chasers seem to be getting more intelligent? Or has New York become a deathtrap?
This is a new twist on the "zombie" genre, and the teen main character is sympathetic. Both adults and teens will enjoy this twisted tale.
"Survivor" is published by Kensington. It is $9.95 and 242 pages long. Look for the conclusion, "Quarantine" in October.
A dark romance about a town no one escapes from comes alive in Amanda Ashley's "As Twilight Falls."
Kadie Andrews is a photographer whose car breaks down outside of a small town. No one seems around and all Kadie needs is some gas and directions out of town. But that last part is a bit problematic. Little does Kadie know she has done what everyone else in the small town of Morgan Creek has done, accidentally stumbled into it and now can never leave. For the town of Morgan Creek is ran by vampires, who let the townspeople live in the houses and make a living for themselves in exchange for their blood. And Kadie is being "courted" by two of the town's vampires, Darrick, who acts as the town's sheriff, and the seductive Saintcrow, who is the leader of the town and wants to make Kadie his. Very wary at first, Kadie eventually gives into temptation.
But being with a vampire as powerful as Saintcrow comes with plenty of danger. Will Kadie ever got back to her old life or will she give up everything for Saintcrow?
This is a twisted love story, about a woman being held captive who falls for one of her captors. Saintcrow eventually wins Kadie (and the readers) over and the vampire plot is well-written. I liked the unconventional setting of the vampire town and the chemistry between Kadie and Saintcrow.
"As Twilight Falls" is published by Zebra. It is $7.99 and 360 pages long.
M.J. Rose tells a story of obsession and the afterlife in "Seduction."
Jac L'Etoile is getting over a broken heart and a lost pregnancy when she gets a letter from an old flame Theo Gaspard. He is living on his family's small island, the Isle of Jersey, with plenty of mythology attached to it, something Jac has studied. He found a book that suggests Druid work in the area and thought she would be interested to investigate. Jac is intrigued and meets with Theo, who is also looking for something of note, the transcripts of Victor Hugo's seances which occurred on the island. In attempts to contact his dead daughter, Hugo claimed to have spoken with all sorts of people - Plato, Galileo, Shakespeare and more, but the one that was most disturbing was the Shadow of the Sepulcher.
As Jac and Theo investigate, they find what dark work Hugo was tempted with - and what they will be tempted with from the same dark being.
This is a creepy thriller that will have you jumping at shadows at night as Rose weaves her dark tale.
"Seduction" is published by Atria Books. It is $24 and 365 pages long.
Contact Amy Phelps at firstname.lastname@example.org