Top Ten (+2) Must Read Titles of June 2013 (SF/F/Horror)

There’s a ton of awesome new releases ahead for June in the SF/F/Horror category! Here are a few that I’m especially looking forward to (in no particular order)!

I also couldn’t help but add 2 extra titles I’m very excited about, LEXICON by Max Barry, and LUPUS REX by John Carter Cash. LUPUS REX is also the very first title of Rebellion’s brand new YA and children’s fiction imprint, Ravenstone!


theshininggirlsThe Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes (Mulholland-June 4th)
Synopsis-THE GIRL WHO WOULDN’T DIE HUNTS THE KILLER WHO SHOULDN’T EXIST.

The future is not as loud as war, but it is relentless. It has a terrible fury all its own.”

Harper Curtis is a killer who stepped out of the past. Kirby Mazrachi is the girl who was never meant to have a future.

Kirby is the last shining girl, one of the bright young women, burning with potential, whose lives Harper is destined to snuff out after he stumbles on a House in Depression-era Chicago that opens on to other times.

At the urging of the House, Harper inserts himself into the lives of the shining girls, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. He’s the ultimate hunter, vanishing into another time after each murder, untraceable-until one of his victims survives.

*For me, ZOO CITY was one of the best books of 2011, so I expect this one will be a knockout!

In fact, here’s my review!


theyearofthestormThe Year of the Storm by John Mantooth (Berkley-June 4th)_
Synopsis-In this haunting, suspenseful debut novel, John Mantooth takes readers to a town in rural Alabama where secrets are buried deep, reality is relative, and salvation requires a desperate act of faith.

When Danny was fourteen, his mother and sister disappeared during a violent storm. The police were baffled. There were no clues, and most people figured they were dead. Only Danny still holds out hope that they’ll return.

Months later, a disheveled Vietnam vet named Walter Pike shows up at Danny’s front door, claiming to know their whereabouts. The story he tells is so incredible that Danny knows he shouldn’t believe him. Others warn him about Walter Pike’s dark past, his shameful flight from town years ago, and the suspicious timing of his return.

But he’s Danny’s last hope, and Danny needs to believe….


shapeshiftedShapeshifted by Cassie Alexander (St. Martins-June 4th)
Synopsis-Nurse Edie Spence is once again called upon to save a life…and this time, it’s personal. Can her new community of zombies, vampires, and shapeshifters come to her rescue when she needs them most?

When Edie was fired from her paranormal nursing job at County Hospital, her whole world came crashing down. Now she’s is once again shaken to her core. Her mother is deathly ill and there’s only one thing that will save her: vampire blood. But with the paranormal community shunning Edie, where can she obtain it…without losing her own life in the process?

Edie hopes to procure it at her new job at the clinic across town, where the forces of evil loom large. Vampire gang wars are rampant. Old underground enemies are rising to the surface. And Edie’s zombie ex-boyfriend has arrived at the scene—but is he the same man he used to be? And what should she make of the enigmatic doctor with whom she shares an unexpected connection? She’ll have to figure it out soon, because all hell is about to break loose—literally—and time is running out…


eckorisingEcko Rising by Danie Ware (Titan-June 11th)
Synopsis-In a futuristic London where technological body modification is the norm, Ecko stands alone as a testament to the extreme capabilities of his society. Driven half mad by the systems running his body, Ecko is a criminal for hire. No job is too dangerous or insane.

When a mission goes wrong and Ecko finds himself catapulted across dimensions into a peaceful and unadvanced society living in fear of ‘magic’, he must confront his own percepions of reality and his place within it.

A thrilling debut, Ecko Rising explores the massive range of the sci-fi and fantasy genres, and the possible implications of pitting them against one another. Author Danie Ware creates an immersive and richly imagined world that readers will be eager to explore in the first book in this exciting new trilogy.

*I had the pleasure of reviewing Ecko Rising for Library Journal, and it’s actually been posted on the Barnes and Noble listing for the book, if you’d like to check it out. It most definitely qualifies as a must read!


gameboardofthegodsGameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead (Penguin-June 4th)
Synopsis-In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.


deadbeatDeadbeat-Makes You Stronger by Guy Adams (Titan-June 11th)
Synopsis-Max and Tom are old, old friends, once actors. Tom now owns a jazz nightclub called Deadbeat which, as well as being their source of income, is also something of an in-joke. In a dark suburban churchyard one night they see a group of men are loading a coffin into the back of a van.

But, why would you be taking a full coffin away from a graveyard and, more importantly, why is the occupant still breathing? Tom and Max are on the case. God help us…


thepirateswishThe Pirate’s Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke (Strange Chemistry-June 18th)
Synopsis-After setting out to break the curse that binds them together, the pirate Ananna and the assassin Naji find themselves stranded on an enchanted island in the north with nothing but a sword, their wits, and the secret to breaking the curse: complete three impossible tasks. With the help of their friend Marjani and a rather unusual ally, Ananna and Naji make their way south again, seeking what seems to be beyond their reach.

Unfortunately, Naji has enemies from the shadowy world known as the Mists, and Ananna must still face the repercussions of going up against the Pirate Confederation. Together, Naji and Ananna must break the curse, escape their enemies — and come to terms with their growing romantic attraction.


theshudderingThe Shuddering by Ania Ahlborn (47North -June 18th)
Synopsis-Ryan Adler and his twin sister, Jane, spent their happiest childhood days at their parents’ mountain Colorado cabin—until divorce tore their family apart. Now, with the house about to be sold, the Adler twins gather with their closest friends for one last snowboarding-filled holiday. While commitment-phobic Ryan gazes longingly at Lauren, wondering if his playboy days are over, Jane’s hopes of reconciling with her old boyfriend evaporate when he brings along his new fiancée. As drama builds among the friends, something lurks in the forest, watching the cabin, growing ever bolder as the snow falls…and hunger rises.

After a blizzard leaves the group stranded, the true test of their love and loyalty begins as the hideous creatures outside close in, one bloody attack at a time. Now Ryan, Jane, and their friends must fight—tooth and nail, bullet and blade—for their lives. Or else surrender to unspeakable deaths in the darkened woods.

*Ania Ahlborn’s novel, SEED, was chilling, so this one is sure to be just as scary! Can’t wait!


huntedHunted by Kevin Hearne (DelRey -June 25th)
Synopsis-“It may be possible that Hearne and Atticus are the logical heir to Butcher and Dresden.”―SFFWorld

For a two-thousand-year-old Druid, Atticus O’Sullivan is a pretty fast runner. Good thing, because he’s being chased by not one but two goddesses of the hunt—Artemis and Diana—for messing with one of their own. Dodging their slings and arrows, Atticus, Granuaile, and his wolfhound Oberon are making a mad dash across modern-day Europe to seek help from a friend of the Tuatha Dé Danann. His usual magical option of shifting planes is blocked, so instead of playing hide-and-seek, the game plan is . . . run like hell.

Crashing the pantheon marathon is the Norse god Loki. Killing Atticus is the only loose end he needs to tie up before unleashing Ragnarok—AKA the Apocalypse. Atticus and Granuaile have to outfox the Olympians and contain the god of mischief if they want to go on living—and still have a world to live in.


seachangeSea Change by SM Wheeler (Tor-June 18th)
Synopsis-The unhappy child of two powerful parents who despise each other, young Lilly turns to the ocean to find solace, which she finds in the form of the eloquent and intelligent sea monster Octavius, a kraken. In Octavius’s many arms, Lilly learns of friendship, loyalty, and family. When Octavius, forbidden by Lilly to harm humans, is captured by seafaring traders and sold to a circus, Lilly becomes his only hope for salvation. Desperate to find him, she strikes a bargain with a witch that carries a shocking price.

Her journey to win Octavius’s freedom is difficult. The circus master wants a Coat of Illusions; the Coat tailor wants her undead husband back from a witch; the witch wants her skin back from two bandits; the bandits just want some company, but they might kill her first. Lilly’s quest tests her resolve, tries her patience, and leaves her transformed in every way.

A powerfully written debut from a young fantasy author, Sea Change is an exhilarating tale of adventure, resilience, and selflessness in the name of friendship.


lexiconLexicon by Max Barry (Penguin-June 18th)
Synopsis-At an exclusive school somewhere outside of Arlington, Virginia, students aren’t taught history, geography, or mathematics—at least not in the usual ways. Instead, they are taught to persuade. Here the art of coercion has been raised to a science. Students harness the hidden power of language to manipulate the mind and learn to break down individuals by psychographic markers in order to take control of their thoughts. The very best will graduate as “poets”: adept wielders of language who belong to a nameless organization that is as influential as it is secretive.

Whip-smart orphan Emily Ruff is making a living running a three-card Monte game on the streets of San Francisco when she attracts the attention of the organization’s recruiters. She is flown across the country for the school’s strange and rigorous entrance exams, where, once admitted, she will be taught the fundamentals of persuasion by Brontë, Eliot, and Lowell—who have adopted the names of famous poets to conceal their true identities. For in the organization, nothing is more dangerous than revealing who you are: Poets must never expose their feelings lest they be manipulated. Emily becomes the school’s most talented prodigy until she makes a catastrophic mistake: She falls in love.

Meanwhile, a seemingly innocent man named Wil Jamieson is brutally ambushed by two strange men in an airport bathroom. Although he has no recollection of anything they claim he’s done, it turns out Wil is the key to a secret war between rival factions of poets and is quickly caught in their increasingly deadly crossfire. Pursued relentlessly by people with powers he can barely comprehend and protected by the very man who first attacked him, Wil discovers that everything he thought he knew about his past was fiction. In order to survive, must journey to the toxically decimated tow nof Broken Hill, Australia, to discover who he is and why an entire town was blown off the map.

As the two narratives converge, the shocking work of the poets is fully revealed, the body count rises, and the world crashes toward a Tower of Babel event which would leave all language meaningless. Max Barry’s most spellbinding and ambitious novel yet, Lexicon is a brilliant thriller that explores language, power, identity, and our capacity to love—whatever the cost.


lupus rexLupus Rex by John Carter Cash (Ravenstone-June 4th)
Synopsis-An astonishing new tale for children from John Carter Cash in the tradition of Watership Down, The Rats of Nimh, Redwall and Duncton Wood. Ysill and Cormo are two quail who must risk their lives when they are driven from their home by crows, and find they must make common cause with a other creatures, if they are to find safety in a world full of perils and adventure.

The crow king is dead, and in the field below all the creatures tremble as the Murder gathers to choose a new king from the rival sons Sintus, Milus and Nascus. When the crows drive everyone from the field to keep the reckoning secret, the quail Ysil, Cormo and Harlequin believe they must simply follow their elders to safety. But when the crows turn against each other, the forest becomes full of danger. In the confusion the last wolf, Asmod, shucks off his isolation and begins to raise an army to claim the kingdom for his own. As hidden truths are brought to light and enormous sacrifices are made Ysil and his friends must make an epic journey and an unthinkable alliance if the lesser animals are to survive.

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