Truth to be told, 2014 has not been a very good year for new books so far. There are some major releases to look forward to this year, like the 2 new novels by Stephen King and Anne Rice’s recently announced return to vampires and Lestat, but there is little doubt that the independent press has saved the new book releases for me this year. Unfortunately, April looks like more of the same for the major publishers but there are great things due in April from the independent press.
ChiZine Publications will check in with a trio of books from Nancy Baker. “A Terrible Beauty” is an original and strange twist on the classic fairy tale as a son must journey to the wilderness to fulfill his father’s debt. “The Night Inside” is the tale of a grad student, Ardeth Alexander, who finds herself the captive victim of a vampire who is using her as a source of blood. “Blood and Chrysanthemums” finds Ardeth Alexander struggling to adjust to her new life as a vampire while an ancient vampire is searching for her. All three of these books should be top-notch fiction as I have come to expect from ChiZine.
DarkFuse will release four books in April as is their normal publishing schedule. “I Am the New God” by Nicole Cushing is a novella about what happens when a religious zealot becomes convinced that a mentally unstable college student is becoming a god. Michael McBride has been an author that I have followed for years and “Ancient Enemy” is another very good novel by the author about a young man who must face down an evil that has plagued his ancestors for generations. While both of those books are very good, the other two releases by DarkFuse are definitely contenders to be the best book that I have read this year. “Severed” by Gary Fry brings death and destruction to London when a mysterious virus separates the body from the soul and the bodies are left to act without morals while the souls circle overhead. “When We Fall” by Peter Giglio is a great novella that is a mix of a coming of age story and a somewhat traditional ghost story as a couple of teenagers must face the harsh realities of life. DarkFuse’s monthly selection of new books is always strong but the books it has slated for release in April are even better than the publisher’s normal high standards.
April 1 will bring the release of “Frog Music” by Emma Donoghue that is a historical mystery set in San Francisco as it approaches the dawn of the 20th century. “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” by Mary Higgins Clark will also be released on April 1st and is the story of a mother trying to solver her husband’s murder when her three-year-old son was the only witness. The only book that really catches my interest on April 8th is “Family Life” by Akhil Sharma which relates the story of an Indian family’s adjustment to moving from India to the United States in the last 1970’s. “The Collector” by Nora Roberts is the only real book of note on April 15th from the mass market press. The last couple release dates for the big publishing houses close out with a couple thrillers. “The Target” by David Baldacci is scheduled to be released on April 22nd with “Live to See Tomorrow” by Iris Johansen hitting bookshelves on April 29th.
I am happy that there are going to be seven books released in April from the two best independent publishers as there is very little to look forward to from the major presses in April. My pick for the one book to read in April is probably the hardest one that I have had to pick so far with both “Severed” by Gary Fry and “When We Fall” by Peter Giglio both getting my highest possible recommendation. I have to give “When We Fall” the nod by a ghostly hair. If you only have time to read one book this month, “When We Fall” is as good as it gets (but make time to squeeze “Severed” in as well).