Fiction Previews, Jan. 2014, Pt. 5: Fantasy, Horror, & First Historicals

Clines, Peter. Ex-Purgatory. Broadway Bks: Crown. Jan. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780804136617. pap. $14. HORROR
Clines collected a huge fan base with Ex-Heroes and Ex-Patriots, small-press publications that were subsequently reissued in a big way by Broadway. This original title features George Bailey, a handyman by day who has wild and mysterious dreams at night. Then a wheelchair-bound girl tells him of another world succumbing to zombies in which he is one of humanity’s last superheroes. Is this just a fantasy?

Golden, Christopher. Snowblind. St. Martin’s. Jan. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9781250015310. $25.99. HORROR
Folks in the New England town of Coventry lost loved ones during a terrible blizzard 12 years previously. Now a new storm is arriving, and the ghosts are arriving, too. Two-time Bram Stoker Award winner Golden, who has written dozens of dark and fantastical tales for teens as well as adults, prepares to chill you to the bone.

Katsu, Alma. The Descent. (The Taker Trilogy, Bk. 3). Gallery: S. & S. Jan. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9781451651829. pap. $16. FANTASY
As Katsu wraps up her “Taker” trilogy, Lanore McIlvrae finds herself begging Adair to send her to the hereafter so that she can seek the release of her beloved Jonathan from the Queen of the Underworld. Tricky move, since she once imprisoned Adair behind a stone wall to save Jonathan. Now she’s got some big promises to keep. Fans are wildly anticipating.

Lawhon, Ariel. The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress. Doubleday. Jan. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780385537629. $25.95. HISTORICAL
The cofounder of the popular reading blog SheReads weighs in with her own first novel, inspired by the 1930 disappearance of Justice Joseph Crater. Lawhon imagines that after 39 years the judge’s elegant wife, Stella, is about to spill what she knows. Ambitious showgirl Ritzi and devoted maid Maria Simon figure in the mix, as do the judge’s alarming Tammany Hall and gangland connections. The Jazz Age setting is certainly hot.

Margulies, Phillip. Belle Cora. Doubleday. Jan. 2014. 608p. ISBN 9780385532761 . $28.95. HISTORICAL
The editor and author of numerous books on science, politics, and history for the YA crowd, Margulies goes adult with this first novel about real-life figure Belle Corre, orphaned at age nine, sent with her brother to live with devout relatives, and, when separated from her brother and her beloved, forced to work in a mill. Thereafter, she became a prostitute, a madam, a murderess, and, finally, one of San Francisco’s wealthiest women. The juicy story should attract readers.

Modesitt, L.E., Jr. Rex Regis. Tor. Jan. 2014. 448p. ISBN 9780765336347. $27.99. FANTASY
In the next in the New York Times best-selling Imager Portfolio, Imager Quaeryt, a commander in the forces of Lord Bhayar, is about to see the continent of Lydar unified when high treason intervenes. Lots of fans and lots of digital promotion—including on Pinterest.

Morden, Simon. Arcanum. Orbit. Jan. 2014. 688p. ISBN 9780316220101. pap. $17. FANTASY
Philip K. Dick Award winner Morden offers a historical fantasy novel of medieval Europe, set 1000 years after the barbarians used sorcery to bring down Rome. Things are peaceful now, but the ancient gods are stirring. Morden’s first journey into fantasy; let’s see how the fans react.

Myers, Alex. Revolutionary. S. & S. Jan. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9781451663327. $26. HISTORICAL
In this debut, Myers reenvisions the life of Deborah Sampson Gannett, America’s first female soldier, an indentured servant who ran away from small-town Massachusetts, cutting her hair and wearing men’s clothes to become Robert Shurtliff. The real test comes when she joins the Continental Army. Some off-the-book-page interest is possible, as Myers is a transgender activist who as the first openly transgender student at Harvard worked to expand the university’s nondiscrimination clause to cover gender identity.

Sanderson, Brandon. Words of Radiance. Tor. Jan. 2014. 864p. ISBN 9780765326362. $27.99. ebk. ISBN 9781429949620. CD: Macmillan Audio. FANTASY
Now that he’s finished the posthumous completion of Robert Jordan’s immortal fantasy series, “The Wheel of Time,” racking up three No. 1 New York Times best sellers in a row, Sanderson can devote his energies to his epic “Stormlight Archive,” launched in 2010 with The Way of Kings. Here, the humans in the magical land of Roshar find war with the Parshendi escalating, even as the slave Kaladin emerges as leader of the restored Knights Radiant.

Sigler, Scott. Pandemic. Crown. Jan. 2014. 432p. ISBN 9780307408976. $26. HORROR
Having scared us to death with the New York Times best-selling Infected and Contagious, Sigler gets one more chance with this finale to his trilogy. The alien intelligence that’s been trying to wipe out humanity has met a well-deserved end, but not before dropping a little canister of lethal germs deep underwater. Now, with one slight disturbance, a quarter of humanity is afflicted and near death. Fan demand.

Urquhart, Rachel. The Visionist. Little, Brown. Jan. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780316228114. $26. Downloadable: Hachette  Audio. HISTORICAL
After torching the family farm to be rid of her abusive father, 15-year-old Polly Kimbal settles with her brother at an 1840s Massachusetts Shaker community called the City of Hope. She’s then the first at the community to have the mystical visions experienced by girls at Shaker communities countrywide and must struggle to keep her past actions secret. The granddaughter of screenwriter Sidney Howard (Gone with the Wind), Urquhart vacationed with her family at a Shaker Meeting House he had bought and subsequently became intrigued with the community. A big push at BEA.

Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.