It’s that time of the month again, time for “Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month”.
So what is “Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month”? It’s a round-up of speculative fiction by indie authors newly published this month, though some March books I missed the last time around snuck in as well. The books are arranged in alphabetical order by author. So far, most links only go to Amazon.com, though I may add other retailers for future editions.
Once again, we have new releases covering the whole broad spectrum of speculative fiction. We have retro science fiction, space opera, paranormal romance, epic fantasy, urban fantasy, horror, post-apocalyptic fiction, weird western, vampires, werewolves, wizards, demons, witches, time travel, zombies, alien invasions, flying saucers, god killers, superheroes, exiled princes, Wild West mages and much more.
As always, I know the authors at least vaguely, but I haven’t read all of the books, so Caveat emptor.
And now on to the books without further ado:
Realm of Mirrors by Sonya Bateman:
"The dead must answer to you, and no one else. Remember that, Gideon."
He may be the DeathSpeaker, but Gideon Black has no idea what he's doing. The job didn't come with an instruction manual. That's why his half-brother Taeral plans to bring him across the Veil to the Fae realm of Arcadia, to consult with an ancient Fae who knew the previous DeathSpeaker personally.
Those plans are violently interrupted when the royal Unseelie Guard invade their home, dragging Taeral and their father, Daoin, to Arcadia ahead of schedule. And Gideon will do anything to get them back.
But the concrete jungles of Manhattan are nothing compared to the threats waiting in Arcadia. Facing deadly wildlife, even deadlier enemies, and magic he never imagined possible, Gideon must learn quickly to wield his power as both a Fae and the DeathSpeaker -- before the vengeful Unseelie Queen can exact a cost higher than death from his family, and everyone he holds dear.
Double Feature by Cora Buhlert:
1956: Judy is the designated town slut of Stillwater Creek. After getting thrown out of a sock hop at the local high school, Judy winds up going to the movies with bad boy Hank instead, where a science fiction double feature is playing. However, before the first reel of the second movie is through, the night is interrupted by a very real invasion of flying saucers from outer space…
This is a novelette of 8500 words or approx. 30 print pages.
The Young Vampire's Survival Guide by Lucy Eldritch:
It started with his death.
Student Robert James never asked to be bitten. He didn't want to be the leader of a new breed of vampires. Thing is: he wasn't offered a choice.
Survival and destiny combine when Robert finds himself under threat from a mysterious cult known as the Dawn Warriors. Within months, many of those he cares about are dead and he vows to fight back without mercy. Robert unearths terrible truths and confronts eternal evils that threaten to break him. He may not succeed in defeating the Dawn Warriors, but he has no choice but to try.
'The Young Vampire's Survival Guide' is the first book in the 'New Breed Vampires' book series. Described as "Anne Rice meets Kelley Armstrong", it is set in London and Manchester and written in British English. It's gruesome, compelling, horrifying and uplifting vampire fiction.
In the Dark: A Novella of the Undying by Kera Emory:
Chase Covington and Anne Sheffield are on the run, but Chase isn't sure where they're going.
She's a centuries-old vampire, and he's been a werewolf hybrid for about three weeks. They've left a trail of bodies and a shattered supernatural treaty in their wake, and they're having major communication problems.
And when the full moon rises, things are going to get a whole lot worse.
From the author of YOUR NAME, IN FIRE, this stand-alone novella pays homage to classic Urban Fantasy traditions.
Assassin's Charge by Claire Frank:
A cold-hearted assassin. A boy with a price on his head.
Rhisia Sen is one of the Empire’s highest paid assassins. Living a life of luxury, she chooses her contracts carefully, working to amass enough wealth so she can leave her bloody trade. She is offered a new contract on the outskirts of civilization, and almost refuses—until she sees the purse. It could be the last job she ever has to take.
But when she reaches the destination, she discovers her mark is a child.
The contract, and her reputation, demand she kill the boy—if she can banish his innocent face from her mind. But another assassin has been sent to kill her, and a notorious bounty hunter is on her trail. She doesn’t know why the boy is a target, or why her former employer wants her dead. Saving the child could be her only chance at survival.
Assassin's Charge is a stand-alone novel, set in the same world as the Echoes of Imara series. It can be enjoyed with or without having read the other books in the series.
For the Wildings by Kyra Halland:
In the conclusion of Daughter of the Wildings, Silas and Lainie recover from their ordeal in Granadaia, while knowing that an evil is at work that threatens the freedom of the Wildings and that this peaceful interval is no more than a brief illusion. Then the unthinkable happens, the battle begins, and Lainie, the daughter of the Wildings, and Silas, the man she has claimed for herself and for the land, have to draw on all their power and strength - and on the life of the land itself - to protect their beloved Wildings and the people who make it their home.
Coronation by Kevin Hardman:
As the grandson of the alien princess Indigo, Jim (aka Kid Sensation) has always known that, technically, he’s royalty. That said, he’d be the first to admit that he’s never lived any kind of regal lifestyle – no titles, no castles, no crown jewels… However, the arrival of a courier from his grandmother’s homeworld changes all of that in an instant.
By royal edict, Jim is summoned “home” to the distant planet Caeles in order to claim an alien inheritance. Unfortunately, this is no warm and cuddly family reunion. Caeles is a hotbed of political intrigue, and Jim’s arrival has widespread ramifications. Not only are several factions attempting to utilize his very existence as leverage to advance their own agendas, but Jim himself is required to submit to an archaic trial known as a prexetus. Moreover, while some are content with simply trying to use him, it quickly becomes apparent that at least one shadowy individual just wants Jim out of the way – quickly, completely, and permanently.
Light years from Earth, with little family and fewer friends, Jim faces the daunting task of finding an enemy whose ultimate purpose is unknown and whose methods are extreme. Complicating matters even further is the fact that Jim’s much-heralded super powers are glitching, making him incredibly vulnerable for perhaps the first time in his life.
Let Go by Michael Patrick Hicks:
Widowed and with retirement drawing near, Everett Hart believes he has already lost everything - until the dead begin to rise.
Trapped in a cheap restaurant with a small band of other elderly survivors, Everett is forced to decide if he’ll fight for whatever scraps of a future remain, or if he will simply… let go.
LET GO is a short story of approximately 10,000 words.
Barrow Fiend by Amy Hopkins:
When Emma is approached by DCI Greyson to assist with a case, her first instinct is to say no. Still shaken by the attack on her life six months earlier, and balancing her friendships with a budding relationship, she'd prefer to stay clear of the danger.
However, circumstances force her hand and she throws herself into the investigation. She soon realises that her target isn't a mysterious creature, but a dangerous man without the slightest care for human life...
Can Emma survive the biggest risk she's ever faced, or will she have to sacrifice too much?
This Would Be Paradise, Book 2 by N.D. Iverson:
Community connotes safety and togetherness--or does it?
Bailey and Chloe head back on the road, where they come across strange markings belonging to a group intent on bloodshed and abduction. With this heinous enemy lurking in the shadows, they seek help in new and old friends along the way.
When they arrive at Hargrove, nothing is what it seems inside the makeshift, post-apocalyptic community. People are turning up dead, and for once, zombies aren't the ones to blame. Fingers are pointed, everyone is a suspect, and no one is safe outside or inside these walls.
Borrowed Tides by Paul Levinson:
The first starship to Alpha Centauri in 2029 uses a new technology which can move it through deep space at almost half the speed of light. But it requires an enormous amount of fuel, and can only carry enough for a one-way trip. A philosopher of science and his childhood friend, an anthropologist with a specialty in Native American culture, have a daringly bizarre plan, and talk the government into putting them in charge of the Light Through starship voyage.
The Men Who Killed God by J. Alex McCarthy:
This is it.
They have finally done it.
They have finally killed a god.
In August’s world, everything was created by a single, secular god. HE—the creator of everything. However, HE left the world to be ruled with a subtle, iron fist by less powerful gods.
It had been two years since August stepped foot into his hometown, Sotira. It had also been that long since he’d last visited his father, seen his crooked smile, and felt those familial ties.
He wished he didn’t have to return. However, at the request of his girlfriend and his family, he was heading back home. To a place where the foundations themselves were built with false truths, hidden behind the ‘utopia’ the gods supposedly created. He knew fear lay under all that outward, deceitful happiness—a terror that Sotira would be next to come under the wrath of the gods.
When August arrived home, he wasn’t prepared for what he found. His best friend had been hanged and turned into a monument in the middle of town by the order of his father and the gods. The world he thought he knew had been turned upside down. To turn it right again, August would do anything… even start down the path that would allow him to gain the power to kill God.
Doctor Wolf by Jenny Schwartz:
A werewolf in London romance.
Liz Jekyll might be the most wanted werewolf in London—wanted for dating, that is—but she doesn’t take it as a compliment. In fact, it’s a wretched nuisance because Liz has a vital secret to hide. What she needs is a disinterested werewolf who could pretend to be her boyfriend.
Carson Erving would be very interested in Liz if it weren’t for Gentiana Aeternae. The botanist werewolf from Alabama has found the legendary Elixir Gentian, and ruthless people will do anything, kill anyone, to get their hands on a plant that can grant an extra hundred years of life.
As danger explodes around them, two very independent werewolves will have to do the unthinkable and rely on one another. But when Liz’s secret is revealed, who will die?
Demon Magic & Mayhem by Stella Wilkinson:
You know that feeling when you think life is pretty darn perfect, and then a werewolf savages your best friend and a ridiculously sexy demon drags your boyfriend off to hell with her? No? Just me then…
Young witch Emily Rand is back doing what she does best - blundering her way through paranormal mishaps with limited magic and mixed luck. But with her crow on her shoulder, and a ghost by her side, Emily’s not about to let some demonic vixen kidnap and keep the hot werewolf that holds her heart.
This book also includes a bonus short story : All Hallows Eve