Paranormal Picks: Kristina’s Top 12 for 2012

December 18, 2011 Paranormal Picks 7

There are just a few weeks left of 2011, so of course the bloggers at All Things Urban Fantasy are already anxiously awaiting some of the biggest releases of 2012.  Over the next three weeks, we’ll each be listing our Top 12 for 2012 titles as part of a new feature officially launching in 2012 called Paranormal Picks (more about that later).  Abigail’s picks were posted on Dec 4th and Julia’s were on Dec 11th.  These 12 titles (and a few honorable mentions that are scant on details but big on expectations) make up our most coveted releases, so it goes without saying that we would LOVE to review them.  Please contact Abigail directly AllThingsUrbanFantasy AT gmail DOT com and we’ll get back to you right away.

And my Top 12 are…

book cover of</p> <p>Let Them Eat Stake</p> <p> (Vampire Chef, book 2)</p> <p>by</p> <p>Sarah Zettel
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Available on April 3, 2012 from Signet
Description:
When Charlotte Caine caters a vampire wedding, she’s in for a rude reception…
It’s a dream for a “Vampire Chef” — cater the high-profile wedding of a 200-year-old vampire and a wealthy witch. So why did celebrity chef Oscar Simmons walk away from the gig? Charlotte agrees to take his place, even though she knows this event, thrown by power-hungry vampires and witches, could make (or break) her career, her restaurant, and her life.
But when Simmons turns up dead, the groom’s family starts vanishing, and the police start asking pointed questions, Charlotte fears she may have picked the wrong wedding to stake her reputation on…
Why it’s a Paranormal Pick:
I will admit that I haven’t read the first book in this series yet, but I saw this and decided to add it immediately after seeing that it involved a vampire chef.  The concept just seemed so oddly quirky and I hope it’s as amusing as I think it will be based on the description and cover.  Also it’s a combination of two genres I really enjoy: murder mysteries and urban fantasy.
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Available on March 6, 2012 from DAW
Description:

Discount Armageddon introduces us to Verity Price, journeyman cryptozoologist, ballroom dancer, and former reality television star. She’s on assignment in Manhattan, researching the local cryptid community while she pursues her dance career. It’s a cushy assignment…at least until local cryptids start disappearing, and all signs start pointing to a man from the Covenant of St. George. But is Dominic De Luca really to blame? And if she casts her suspicions in the wrong place, is she going to survive the experience?

Why it’s a Paranormal Pick:

The cover is really cool looking and I am secretly fascinated by cryptozoology so I’m quite excited about this book. Hopefully Nessie (aka the Loch Ness Monster) is in it somehow! I also wonder what type of reality show Verity was on? Perhaps something akin to Dancing with the Stars or Big Brother?

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Available on May 22, 2012 from St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Description:
Welcome to the secret wing of County Hospital—where vampires get transfusions, werewolves have silver allergies, and one nurse is in way over her head…
Nursing school prepared Edie Spence for a lot of things. Burn victims? No problem. Severed limbs? Piece of cake. Vampires? No way in hell. But as the newest nurse on Y4, the secret ward hidden in the bowels of County Hospital, Edie has her hands full with every paranormal patient you can imagine—from vamps and were-things to zombies and beyond…
NIGHTSHIFTED
Edie’s just trying to learn the ropes so she can get through her latest shift unscathed. Bu
t when a vampire servant turns to dust under her watch, all hell breaks loose. Now she’s haunted by the man’s dying words — Save Anna — and before she knows it, she’s on a mission to rescue some poor girl from the undead. Which involves crashing a vampire den, falling for a zombie, and fighting for her soul.
Gray’s Anatomy was never like this…
Why it’s a Paranormal Pick:
This book looks like a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see what type of messed up craziness happens in this hospital’s secret ward. I stopped watching Gray’s Anatomy and House awhile ago so I’m itching for some wacky hospital antics in any form. I haven’t checked but this could be a start of a series which would be pretty neat and defiantly doable.
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Available on April 8, 2012 from Flux
Description:
A paranormal mystery involving London’s most notorious killer
In 1888, following her mother’s sudden death, seventeen-year-old Arabella Sharp goes to live with her grandmother in a posh London neighborhood. At her grandmother’s request, Abbie volunteers at Whitechapel Hospital, where she discovers a passion for helping the unfortunate women and children there.
But within days, female patients begin turning up brutally murdered at the hands of Jack the Ripper. Even more horrifying, Abbie starts having strange visions that lead her straight to the Ripper’s next massacres. As her apparent psychic connection with the twisted killer grows stronger, Abbie is drawn into a deadly mystery involving the murders, her mother’s shadowed past, and a secret brotherhood of immortals—who’ll
stop at nothing to lure Abbie into its “humanitarian” aims.
Why it’s a Paranormal Pick:
I’ve always had a morbid curiosity about the real Jack the Ripper case.  It’s this open ended unsolved murder mystery that no one has closed and because of that it makes the story so creepy feeling.  I like seeing people’s theories on just who or even what Jack the Ripper was, and RIPPER sounds like the answer to that decades old question will be darkly complex.
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Available on August 7, 2012 from Orbit
Description:

Emma Bannon, Prime sorceress in the service of the Empire, has a mission: to protect Archibald Clare, a failed, unregistered mentath. His skills of deduction are legendary, and her own sorcery is not inconsiderable. It doesn’t much help that they dislike each other, or that Bannon’s Shield, Mikal, might just be a traitor himself. Or that the conspiracy killing registered mentaths and sorcerers alike will just as likely kill them as seduce them into treachery toward their Queen. In an alternate London where illogical magic has turned the Industrial Revolution on its head, Bannon and Clare now face hostility, treason, cannon fire, black sorcery, and the problem of reliably finding hansom cabs.

The game is afoot…

Why it’s a Paranormal Pick:

This looks like The Avengers/Sherlock Holmes with an added paranormal flair which sounds like a pretty cool concept. I am also a sucker for alternate histories so I want to see what this author decides to do with magic affecting the Industrial Revolution. Hopefully like The Avengers and Sherlock Holmes they get into many fun and dangerous situations.

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Available on June 5, 2012 from St. Martin’s Griffin
Description:
In the magical world that lies hidden beneath our own, witches and conjurers exact sweet revenge on those who dare to cross them. They know just the right spell to punish an ex-boyfriend—and the perfect hex to bring rivals to their knees. But what if you’re the unlucky soul who falls victim to a conjurer’s curse? And if you had the power to cast a magic spell of your own, would you use it?
In this bewitching collection, nine of today’s hottest paranormal authors tell otherworldly tales featuring spell-spinners who cast deadly hexes—and stories of their hapless, and not-so-hapless, victims. Chock full of paranormal hijinx, this fantastic collection will hold readers spellbound—and enchant readers everywhere with its irresistible hex appeal!
Why it’s a Paranormal Pick:
With the number of authors I love involved with this anthology I had to add it to my list.  I’m looking forward to the various types of tales of witches and hexes.  And just look at that cover. How can you not want to
read it!
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Available on May 29, 2012 from Berkley Hardcover
Description:
No full description yet but we do know it involves Riaz and Adria, who appeared in previous books. Plus there is an excerpt available in place of a description at Nalini Singh’s website here.
Why it’s a Paranormal Pick:
I actually spent the week of Thanksgiving  reading the first few books of The Psy-Changling series which I had skipped for no good reason. Then I decided to just skim through all of the really good bits of the books I already had read. What I’m saying is I really enjoy this series. It’s isn’t as dark as the Guild Hunter series but it’s just as intricate and sexy.  I love learning about the emotionless Psy and their increasingly dangerous motives. Also, I don’t think there is one character that I don’t like in this series. I look forward to getting to know two more characters and seeing the growing conflict between Psy and Changlings in this book.
Fair Game (Alpha & Omega, #3)
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Available on March 6, 2012 fro
m Ace Hardcover
Description:
They say opposites attract. And in the case of werewolves Anna Latham and Charles Cornick, they mate. The son-and enforcer-of the leader of the North American werewolves, Charles is a dominant alpha. While Anna, an omega, has the rare ability to calm others of her kind.
Now that the werewolves have revealed themselves to humans, they can’t afford any bad publicity. Infractions that could have been overlooked in the past must now be punished, and the strain of doing his father’s dirty work is taking a toll on Charles.
Nevertheless, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston, when the FBI requests the pack’s help on a local serial killer case. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves-all of them were. Someone is targeting their kind. And now Anna and Charles have put themselves right in the killer’s sights…
Why it’s a Paranormal Pick:
As with most of Patricia Briggs’ books, I fell in love with these characters and Briggs’ take on werewolf mythology in the Alpha and Omega series. The concept of the Omega wolf was really interesting to me and I am enjoying following Anna’s character growth as she learns about being an Omega werewolf.  I am excited to see what is in store for Anna and Charles in this book.
Timeless
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Available on March 4, 2012 from Orbit
Description:
Alexia Tarabotti, Lady Maccon, has settled into domestic bliss. Of course, being Alexia, such bliss involves integrating werewolves into London High society, living in a vampire’s second best closet, and coping with a precocious toddler who is prone to turning supernatural willy-nilly. Even Ivy Tunstell’s acting troupe’s latest play, disastrous to say the least, cannot put a damper on Alexia’s enjoyment of her new London lifestyle.
Until, that is, she receives a summons from Alexandria that cannot be ignored. With husband, child, and Tunstells in tow, Alexia boards a steamer to cross the Mediterranean. But Egypt may hold more mysteries than even the indomitable Lady Maccon can handle. What does the vampire Queen of the Alexandria Hive really want from her? Why is the God-Breaker Plague suddenly expanding? And how has Ivy Tunstell suddenly become the most popular actress in all the British Empire?
Why it’s a Paranormal Pick:
This series is to blame for my “To Be Read” pile filling up with steampunk books.  I started the Parasol Protectorate series on a whim and I was not disappointed!  I love it’s absurdly quirky characters, wit, and entertaining plots.  And since this is the last in a beloved series, I am eagerly anticipating it and will defiantly be watching for more books by Gail Carriger.
Angels' Flight (Angels' Pawn #0.5, Angels' Judgment #1.5, Angel's Wolf #4.5, Angels' Dance #4.75)
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Available on Berkley February 28, 2012 from Berkley
Description:
In Angel’s Wolf a vampire becomes fascinated with the seductive angel who rules Louisiana. But all is not what it appears to be in her court.
In Angels’ Judgment a hunter must track one of her own gone bad, while surviving the deadly tests placed in her way by the archangels themselves. Unexpected backup comes from a stranger who might just be the most lethal threat of all…
Plus FIRST TIME IN PRINT
In Angels’ Pawn a vampire hunter faces off against two rival factions and the angel manipulating them both, and a vampire whose help is not entirely selfless…
And NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED
In Angels’ Dance an angel trapped in the mountain stronghold of the Refuge finds herself under siege by a warrior a
ngel from a martial court.
Why it’s a Paranormal Pick:
I adore the angel mythology in this series which helps to feed my slight fascination with angels that I’ve had since I was very young.  The imagery in each book is wonderful and the characters are all compelling, beautiful, and awesome in so many ways.  The Guild Hunter series is dark and sexy with plots that twist and turn and make for great stories. I am excited to dip back into this world with this book.

SmileReceived for review

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Available on February 28, 2012, 2012 from Pocket Books
Description:
**Spoiler if you haven’t read the previous book**
Gin Blanco never thought she’d need a vacation from being an assassin. But a few weeks ago, she killed Mab Monroe, her nemesis and the most powerful Fire elemental in Ashland. Now, all the city’s lowlifes are trying to make a name for themselves by taking out the Spider. So she heads south to a swanky beach town, along with her baby sister, Bria, for a weekend of fun in the sun. But when an old friend of Bria’s is threatened by a powerful vampire with deadly elemental magic, it looks like Gin will have to dig the silverstone knives out of her suitcase after all. But this time, her special powers might not be enough to prevent her from coming home in a pine box…
Why it’s a Paranormal Pick:
I am looking forward to this installment because I’m very interested in seeing the aftermath of the events of the previous book and how if at all it affects the characters and the series as a whole.  I have some questions as to just what life will be like after Mab since I felt the previous book could have been the end of the series. Are we going to get a brand new main baddie or just random people going after Gin in the rest of this series? Who knows?
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Available on July 24, 2012 from Dutton Adult
Description:
No description yet.
Why it’s a Paranormal Pick:
Since this series is what got me started on the urban fantasy genre, I decided make the last book of the Otherworld series my number one pick regardless of having no description .  It’s been a wonderful ride filled with amazing mythology and engaging characters.  Hopefully this book is truly as ‘epic’ as the book’s cover says it will be. I’ve enjoyed reading each book and will be looking forward to reading more stories by Kelley Armstrong in the future.  I may have to read this one really really slowly to make it last longer though…

Honorable Mention:

These are the titles releasing later in 2012 that have neither covers nor descriptions yet, but they are the next installments or spin-offs of my favorite series, so even sight unseen, I’m already dying to read them:

Untitled (The Edge, #4) by Ilona Andrews – November 29th 2012 by Ace
Etiquette & Espionage (The Finishing School, #1) by Gail Carriger – 2012
by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Kitty Steals the Show by Carrie Vaughn- 2012 by Grand Central Publishing

What are your top Paranormal Picks for 2012?

7 Responses to “Paranormal Picks: Kristina’s Top 12 for 2012”

  1. Chantaal

    So many great picks!

    I'm really looking forward to Timeless the most, as I love the Parasol Protectorate series. Let Them Eat Stake looks fun, and I think I'll pick up that first book soon. :) Discount Armageddon and The Iron Wyrm Affair also look pretty good.

  2. Anonymous

    I always love these lists because often there are authors on it who I have not read before so I now will look into perhaps reading them. I was surprised, however, that Raven Cursed by Faith Hunter was not on it–even as an honorable mention. Her character, Jane Yellowrock, rocks! This book would be in my top 5 anywhere!

  3. Kristina

    Raven Cursed got pushed off eventually during the making of this list. It's #13! And since it has both a cover and a description I didn't add it to the honorable mentions.

  4. Byron

    Last year was disappointing, too many female oriented novels. When I search for new reviews I usually skip them when it shows a woman/girl(with some exceptions) or a bare breasted hunky dude on the cover. No offense to those who love reading those stuff but I just don't enjoy them. Thank God for Jim Butcher and others or else I'll be switching to Scifi permanently. This site could use a "for men's section"