Science Fiction/Fantasy Mass-Market Paperbacks of Note, March 15, 2012

Benson, Amber. How To Be Death: A Calliope Reaper-Jones Novel. Ace: Berkley. Mar. 2012. c.304p. ISBN 9781937007287. pap. $7.99. FANTASY

The fourth series entry by actor/writer Benson (actor, Buffy the Vampire Slayer ; co-writer & director, Ghosts of Albion ) sees Calliope Reaper-Jones, Death’s daughter, as the new president of the family business. When her father’s copy of How To Be Death: A Fully Annotated Guide disappears, she must figure things out on her own before the powers it contains destroy the world.

Downum, Amanda. The Kingdoms of Dust. Orbit: Hachette. (Necromancer Chronicles, Bk. 3). Mar. 2012. c.416p. ISBN 9780316068987. pap. $7.99. FANTASY

Exiled after her master’s death, necromancer Isyllt Iskaldur (The Drowning City; The Bone Palace ) seeks asylum in Assar, the empire she once spied on. When spirits long held captive begin to threaten the land, Isyllt takes to the desert to wage war against the gathering darkness in the third title in Downum’s exotic Middle Eastern fantasy.

Duncan, J.N. The Lingering Dead. Kensington. (Deadworld, Bk. 3). Apr. 2012. c.352p. ISBN 9780758255655. pap. $7.99. FANTASY

In this third outing ( Deadworld ; The Vengeful Dead ) of Duncan’s Chicago-set urban detective fantasy, Jackie Rutledge, head of the FBI’s paranormal unit, faces a powerful being bent on breaking up her team.

McCarthy, T.C. Exogene. Orbit: Hachette. (Subterrene War, Bk. 2). Mar. 2012. c.400p. ISBN 9780316128155. pap. $7.99. SF

Catherine, a genetically engineered elite soldier, has reached her expiration date at the age of 18 and, according to the rules of the sacred Modern Combat Manual , is scheduled to die. Instead, she seeks a longer life and more time to kill in the second title (after Germline ) in McCarthy’s military sf adventure with a feminine twist.

Pang, Allison. A Sliver of Shadow. Pocket: S. & S. (Abby Sinclair, Bk. 2). Mar. 2012. c.400p. ISBN 9781439198346. pap. $7.99. FANTASY

Abby Sinclair, a human TouchStone who helps OtherFolk like Princess Moira cross over between the Faery and human worlds, agrees to look after Moira’s half-angel child. When the Faery Queen suddenly closes the CrossRoads between the worlds, stranded OtherFolk begin to fade away as a war breaks out between Faery and Hell in this sequel to A Brush of Darkness.