Cloaked, by Alex Flinn (Feb. 8, HarperTeen)
I'm not your average hero. I actually wasn't your average anything. Just a poor guy working an after-school job at a South Beach shoe repair shop to help his mom make ends meet. But a little magic changed it all. It all started with a curse. And a frognapping. And one hot-looking princess, who asked me to lead a rescue mission. There wasn't a fairy godmother or any of that. And even though I fell in love along the way, what happened to me is unlike any fairy tale I've ever heard. Before I knew it, I was spying with a flock of enchanted swans, talking (yes, talking!) to a fox named Todd, and nearly trampled by giants in the Everglades. Young Adult.
Deep State, by Walter Jon Williams (Feb. 7, Orbit)
By day Dagmar Shaw orchestrates vast games with millions of players spanning continents. By night, she tries to forget the sound of a city collapsing in flames around her. She tries to forget the faces of her friends as they died in front of her. She tries to forget the blood on her own hands. But then an old friend approaches Dagmar with a project. The project he pitches is so insane and so ambitious, she can't possibly say no. But this new venture will lead her from the world of alternate-reality gaming to one even more complex. A world in which the players are soldiers and spies and the name of the game is survival. Science fiction.
A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah E. Harkness (Feb. 8, Viking)
Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuriesand she is the only creature who can break its spell. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. Urban fantasy.
Father of Lies, by Ann Turner (Feb. 8, HarperTeen)
Fourteen-year-old Lidda has always known she was different. She longs to escape Salem Village and its stifling rules—to be free to dance, to sing, to live as she chooses. But when a plague of accusations descends on the village and witch fever erupts, Lidda begins to realize that she feels and sees things that others can't, or won't. But how will she expose the truth without being hung as a witch herself? Young Adult.
The Floating Islands, by Rachel Neumeier (Feb. 8, Knopf)
When Trei loses his family in a tragic disaster, he must search out distant relatives in a new land. The Floating Islands are unlike anything Trei has ever seen: stunning, majestic, and graced with kajurai, men who soar the skies with wings. Trei is instantly sky-mad, and desperate to be a kajurai himself. The only one who fully understands his passion is Araene, his newfound cousin. Prickly, sarcastic, and gifted, Araene has a secret of her own . . . a dream a girl cannot attain. Trei and Araene quickly become conspirators as they pursue their individual paths. But neither suspects that their lives will be deeply entwined, and that the fate of the Floating Islands will lie in their hands. Young Adult.
The Heroes, by Joe Abercrombie (Feb. 7, Orbit)
They say Black Dow's killed more men than winter, and clawed his way to the throne of the North up a hill of skulls. The King of the Union, ever a jealous neighbor, is not about to stand smiling by while he claws his way any higher. The orders have been given and the armies are toiling through the northern mud. Thousands of men are converging on a forgotten ring of stones, on a worthless hill, in an unimportant valley, and they've brought a lot of sharpened metal with them. Bremer dan Gorst, disgraced master swordsman, has sworn to reclaim his stolen honour on the battlefield. Prince Calder isn't interested in honour, and still less in getting himself killed. All he wants is power. Curnden Craw, the last honest man in the North, has gained nothing from a life of warfare but swollen knees and frayed nerves. He hardly even cares who wins any more, he just wants to do the right thing. Three men. One battle. No Heroes. Fantasy.
How to Be a Werewolf: The Claws-on Guide for the Modern Lycanthrope, by Serena Valentino (Feb. 8, Candlewick)
Celebrate your inner beast —and harness that newfound animal magnetism!— with this essential guide to the lycanthropic lifestyle. Are you subject to savage moods, extreme and unexplained buffness, and cravings for meat on the rare side? Do you long for super speed and reflexes, along with rapid healing and maybe a talent for telepathy? Welcome to the pack — and get ready to howl — as you sink your claws into this guide to everything life as a werewolf has to offer. Among its abundant fur-raising topics: A look at good, bad, and ugly transformation styles, including an answer to the question of what happens to your clothes. A quiz to determine if you’re a menace to society, and tips on taking precautions. Planning your social schedule around the lunar calendar. Dating hints, from the risks and rewards of cross-species romance to avoiding your sweetheart’s family pet. Young Adult.
The Iron Witch, by Karen Mahoney (Feb. 8, Flux)
When she was seven, a fey attack killed Donna Underwood’s father and drove her mother mad. Her own nearly fatal injuries were fixed by alchemy—the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. Now seventeen, Donna feels like a freak, doomed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. Only her relationship with her best friend, Navin, is keeping her sane. But when vicious wood elves abduct Navin, Donna is forced to accept her role in the centuries-old war between human alchemists and these darkest outcasts of Faerie. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous guy with faery blood running through his veins and secrets of his own, Donna races to save Navin—even if it means betraying everything her parents fought to the death to protect. Young Adult.
Kindred, by Tammar Stein (Feb. 8, Knopf)
The first time I meet an angel, it is Raphael and I am eighteen. Miriam is an unassuming college freshman stuck on campus after her spring break plans fall through. She's not a religious girl--when pressed she admits reluctantly to believing in a higher power. Truth be told, she's about as comfortable speaking about her faith as she is about her love life, which is to say, not at all. And then the archangel Raphael pays Miriam a visit, and she finds herself on a desperate mission to save two of her contemporaries. To top it all off, her twin brother, Mo, has also had a visitation, but from the opposite end of the good-evil spectrum, which leaves Miriam to wonder--has she been blessed and her brother cursed or vice versa? Young Adult.
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Sausages, by Tom Holt (Feb. 12, Orbit)
Polly is a real estate solicitor. She is also losing her mind. Someone keeps drinking her coffee. And talking to her clients. And doing her job. And when she goes to the dry cleaner's to pick up her dress for the party, it's not there. Not the dress - the dry cleaner's. And then there are the chickens who think they are people. Something strange is definitely going on - and it's going to take more than a magical ring to sort it out. From one of the funniest voices in comic fiction today comes a hilarious tale of pigs and parallel worlds. Urban fantasy.
Shadow Walkers, by Brent Hartinger (Feb. 8, Flux)
Zach lives with his grandparents on a remote island in Puget Sound in Washington State. With only his little brother, Gilbert, to keep him company, Zach feels cut off from the world. But when Gilbert is kidnapped, Zach tries the only thing he can think of to find him: astral projection. Soon, his spirit is soaring through the strange and boundless astral realm—a shadow place. While searching for his brother, Zach meets a boy named Emory, another astral traveler who's intriguing (and cute). As Zach and Emory track the kidnappers from the astral realm, their bond grows—but each moment could be Gilbert's last. Even worse, there's a menacing, centuries-old creature in their midst that devours souls and possesses physical bodies. And it's hungry for Zach. Young Adult.
Thirteen Years Later, by Jasper Kent (Feb. 8, Pyr)
It’s 1825, and Europe--and Russia--have been at peace for ten years. Bonaparte is long dead and the threat of invasion is no more. For Colonel Aleksei Ivanovich Danilov, life is peaceful. His duty is still to serve and to protect his tsar, Aleksandr the First, but now the enemy is human. However the Tsar knows that he can never be at peace because he knows there is something that threatens to bring damnation upon him, his family and his country. The Tsar has been reminded of a promise: a promise born of blood...a promise that was broken a hundred years before. Now the one who was betrayed by the Romanovs has returned to exact revenge for what has been denied him. Alternative history.
So there ya have it! To win your choice, just tell me which one piques your interest--out of this group, the description for The Iron Witch caught my eye--and I’ll have reviews up for both The Iron Witch and Shadow Walkers--and ARC giveaways--later this week. As always +1 for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for Tweet or Retweet. Happy reading!