Category Archives: Science Fiction/Fantasy

Jennifer Estep. Dark Frost. New York: Kensington, 2012.

Gwen Frost is supposed to be a normal high school student, or at least as normal as any of the superhero-like kids she attends the Mythos Academy with can be. Unbeknownst to the residents of Asheville, the elite private boarding school nearby isn’t filled with rich kids, but with the descendants of mythological warriors.  Unfortunately, the Greek goddess Nike has chosen Gwen to be her champion. This means that the evil Reapers, servants of the Norse chaos god Loki, want her dead. Or at least she thinks that’s why.

Gwen’s mother was also Nike’s champion, until she was killed in a car crash two years ago. As Gwen soon discovers, the car crash was no accident, and her mother was guarding a dagger of terrible power that the Reapers want more than anything. Convinced that Gwen knows its whereabouts, Loki’s mysterious and wicked champion plays a deadly game of cat and mouse, trying to trick her into revealing its hiding place. Gwen knows nothing, other than that she must find the dagger before the Reapers. But with her best friend Daphne in crisis, a pregnant Fenrir wolf on her hands, and confused teenage love on her mind, it’s hard to focus. Will Gwen be able to overcome her personal demons in time to face the very real demons?

Young adult readers ages 13 and up will enjoy this third book in the Mythos Academy Novels.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Buncombe, Children & Young Adults, Estep, Jennifer, Mountains, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Science Fiction/Fantasy

Jennifer Estep. Kiss of Frost. New York: Kensington Publishing Corp., 2011.

High school is a hard time for a lot of kids, and Gwen is no different. The popular girls tease and snub her, and the handsome boy she has a crush on is dating an Amazon. Literally– Savannah is an Amazon, a direct descendant of those powerful ancient warriors, just as her boyfriend (and Gwen’s crush) Logan Quinn is a Spartan. At the Mythos Academy high in the mountains above Asheville, ancient mythology is still alive and well in the several hundred young men and women who attend school there. At Mythos, they learn fighting skills and the history of their illustrious ancestors. After, many go on to become the heroes that defeat the very real monsters living on into the modern age.

Gwen isn’t a hero, or at least she doesn’t think she is. As a Gypsy, Gwen has the power of psychometry: she can read others’ memories and emotions simply by touching them or their belongings. Logan and his warrior buddies are trying to teach her how to fight, but it’s not working very well. Then the whole school heads off to a resort in the Smoky Mountains for Winter Carnival, a yearly holiday where students ski, drink hot chocolate, and like typical high school students, go to wild parties. Gwen doesn’t want to go– she’d rather stay at Mythos and read in her room. But Daphne, Gwen’s best friend, refuses to let her stay behind. Soon, they’re all on a bus to the fancy resort, and Gwen should be excited…except something sinister is going on. Last year, a Reaper, one of the chief enemies of heroes like the Mythos Academy students, tried to kill Gwen and failed. Maybe it’s paranoia, but Gwen is getting the distinct feeling that it’s happening all over again. Will her winter holiday end in disaster, or even death? Will Logan Quinn ever notice her? And, worst of all, will Daphne drag her to all the late-night parties?

Young adult readers ages 13 and up will enjoy this second installment in the Mythos Academy Novels.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

 

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Buncombe, Children & Young Adults, Estep, Jennifer, Mountains, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Science Fiction/Fantasy

Ryan Jakubsen. Portals III: Band of Rogues. Kernersville: Alabaster Publishing Company, 2011.

portals In Ryan Jakubsen’s conclusion to the Portals trilogy, the Pierce brothers, dropped  on Grandfather Mountain by a tornado and lost in other-world realms linked by portals, move through one final gateway. Their mission?  To find home.

Having fixed the portal that will transport them stateside, brothers Axel, Alex, and Exile are ready to say goodbye to their brother Jacob, the new warrior king of wolf-man hybrids, a faction of “manimals.” Joined by Lucy and Jackellel, the group ventures on, this time in a dimension where trees have eyes, ancient Pierce kin reign, manimal spiders joust, and the “shrockney” beatle conjures instant death. But control of the portals is unstable, and a War of the Rogues is blooming. When a written message from the Pierces to their hosts disappears by way of courier concussion, the company’s safety is jeopardized. The addition of mysterious newcomers Araknia and The Dark One keeps suspicion, lies, and allegiances ever-puzzling and occasionally deadly while the Pierces travel.

Told by cosmic, animal, and human voices, the brothers’ story imaginatively beams from a spaceless battlefield to North Carolina locations like the UNC School of Law and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Families and their journeys are taken to new worlds in fifth-grader Ryan Jakubsen’s last installment of this series for young adult readers. Follow the portal home? If only it were that simple.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library Catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Avery, Caldwell, Children & Young Adults, Jakubsen, Ryan, Mountains, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Orange, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Watauga

Jennifer Estep. Touch of Frost. New York: Kensington Publishing Corp., 2011.

Gwendolyn Frost doesn’t think she’s anything particularly special. Sure, she’s a Gypsy: like all the women in her family, she has a special gift related to knowing secrets. Her grandmother can see the future, her mother could tell if someone was lying or not, and Gwendolyn can learn things about a person by just touching them or objects belonging to them. But Gwen doesn’t think this gift adds up to much, at least not compared to her classmates. Because Gwen attends the prestigious Mythos Academy, high in the mountains north of Asheville, North Carolina, and her classmates are all descendants of warriors or mythical beings: Spartans, Romans, Valkyries, Amazons…the list goes on and on. The only thing they can’t do, it seems, is befriend an awkward Gypsy girl. The only one who seems to pay any attention is Logan Quinn, the most gorgeous, and the baddest, guy in school. Gwen isn’t sure what she’s done to earn his scrutiny, but she’s more frightened than flattered.

But something odd is going on at Mythos Academy– something bigger than Gwen’s friend problems. One night, working late in the Library of Antiquities, Gwen finds Jasmine Ashton murdered. Jasmine was one of the most popular, and powerful, Valkyries at the Academy, but no one seems to care that she’s dead. Academy students die all the time– with their talents come great risks. But Gwen doesn’t see it that way. To this sensitive Gypsy girl, every life matters. Additionally, whoever murdered Jasmine stole the powerful Bowl of Tears, and may be trying to wake dark forces that will threaten Earth. Gwen decides it’s up to her to figure out who murdered Jasmine and bring him or her to justice, and to find the Bowl of Tears before it’s too late. Now if only she would stop running into Logan Quinn…

Young adult readers ages 13 and up will enjoy this mythological urban fantasy series.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Buncombe, Children & Young Adults, Estep, Jennifer, Mountains, Novels in Series, Science Fiction/Fantasy

Faith Hunter. Raven Cursed. New York: Roc, 2012.

The fourth book in the Jane Yellowrock Series, Raven Cursed sees the hardened vampire killer return to her home state of North Carolina. Jane Yellowrock, a Cherokee skinwalker bonded to the soul of a mountain lion called simply Beast, has been living and working in New Orleans for the past few years. At first she was a one-woman operation, hunting down rogue vampires, but lately she’s been working for Leo Pellissier, the vampire master of New Orleans and the entire southeast. While suspicious of her true nature (which Jane hides), the vampires see the value in her hunting down those rogues that threaten their uneasy peace with humans.

What brings Jane back to the Old North State is a vampire parley– a powerful vampire named Lincoln Shaddock wants to form his own clan in Asheville, but has to petition Jane’s boss for the right to do so. Jane is in charge of security, and while she isn’t thrilled, she has reason to hope that the parley will be over quietly and quickly with minimal fuss. But when Jane arrives in Asheville, she finds more than she bargained for: a pair of werewolves out for revenge, a pissed off grindylow, a coven of witches whose leader has gone insane, and something far more dark and dangerous that knows all about Jane. Will Jane and Beast survive their return to the Appalachians? Readers of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and fans of True Blood will be excited to find a modern, gutsy heroine in this supernatural thriller.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Buncombe, Hunter, Faith, Mountains, Novels in Series, Science Fiction/Fantasy

Teresa D’Amario. Shewolf. Culver City, CA: Freya’s Bower, 2007.

Veterinarian Anna Callaway has always had a special talent with animals. Beyond her skill with a scalpel, sutures, and other tools of the trade, Anna has some extra gifts. These include extremely sharp eyesight, more strength than she should have, and a sense of smell that allows her to detect things no one else can: moods, illness, and fertility.

These gifts that make her such an excellent vet do have their downsides: she can’t stand noisy, crowded places. One night, feeling obligated to attend a staff birthday party at a local bar, Anna seeks a respite from the smoke and pounding music in the parking lot. There, she is assaulted by two strange men who are determined to kidnap her, rape her, or both. What frightens Anna the most is their bodies: they seem to shift and become hairier, and their smiles are full of pointed canines. Does she see claws sprouting from their fingers? Suddenly, a third man materializes to rescue her…but Anna is horrified to find that he is just as strange as the others. Is she hallucinating?

Kieran Hunter only wanted to rescue the human woman from Ryland and Joshua, who were dangerously close to exposing their true nature as wolven: a species with the ability to take both human and wolf form. He doesn’t understand his immediate attraction to the female…until he realizes that she’s just like him. More than that, she’s The One–his True Mate. Kieran must fight wolven instinct, exercising all of his self control to educate Anna about herself and her heritage until she is ready to accept him as a True Mate, and with him, his way of life. Despite her almost uncontrollable attraction to Kieran, Anna is angry and confused, and at first reluctant to see the truth. But violence is stalking the handsome wolven’s normally peaceful pack, and Anna is directly in its path, motivating her to acknowledge her true nature (and needs) sooner instead of later.

An erotic romance novel set in and around the Uwharrie National Forest in Montgomery County, North Carolina, Teresa D’Amario’s steamy tale (a 2008 Prism Finalist) takes readers on a wild adventure. Due to the nature of the content, this book is recommended for mature readers only.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, D'Amario, Teresa, Montgomery, Novels in Series, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship, Science Fiction/Fantasy

Vicki Lane. The Day of Small Things. New York: Dell Books, 2010.

In the remote mountains of Dark Holler, North Carolina in 1922, a girl is born to a bitter mother who vows to keep her last child all to herself. Least, as the girl is called, grows up with very little affection from her mother and few interactions with others. Neighbors are told that she is a simple child, and she learns neither to read nor to write.

When Granny Beck, her maternal grandmother, comes to live with Least and her mother, light is cast upon Dark Holler. Granny Beck secretly teaches her skills to the girl and captivates her with old mountain stories and Cherokee legends. Granny Beck tells Least that she has magical “Gifts and Powers” to save herself and to protect others. As Least matures, she feels a kinship to the Little People (Yunwi Tsunsdi). However, some people are suspicious of her Gifts and Powers; they see them as contrary to Christianity. Luther Gentry, Least’s sweetheart, is one of those doubters. When the two marry, Least promises to part with her old life, which includes her magic as well as her cheerless name. She becomes Birdie Gentry and, for once, lives in a home of unconditional love.

When she is an elderly woman of eighty-five, she is faced with a difficult choice. A relative is in trouble, and her Gifts and Powers are needed – fast. Miss Birdie must weigh the promise she made to her husband and to herself so many years ago against the safety of a young boy.

Interspersed throughout the novel are images of artifacts from Birdie’s life, including hymns and advertisements.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Lane, Vicki, Madison, Mountains, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Yancey

Eileen Wilks. Mortal Sins. New York: Berkley Sensation, 2009.

Murder is a heinous crime that is often described as being thoughtless and illogical. When death magic – the extraction of power through killing – is involved, there are even more unknowns.

FBI agent Lily Yu is in Halo, North Carolina, for personal reasons when Rule Turner, her werewolf boyfriend, discovers three bodies in a shallow grave. When Lily arrives at the crime scene, she realizes that her expertise as a member of the FBI’s Magical Crimes Division will be necessary. Lily is “touch sensitive,” and detects death magic on all three bodies. Lily can exonerate the local sheriff’s prime suspect, but time is running out for her to find the criminal using his or her magical powers to make innocent people commit terrible crimes.

As Lily investigates the case, she must also help Rule deal with a custody battle with his son’s mother and his internal debate on whether to bring the boy into the world of the Lupi.

This is the fifth novel in Wilks’ The World of the Lupi series; the earlier books are not set in North Carolina.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Suspense/Thriller, Wilks, Eileen

Warren Rochelle. The Called. Urbana, IL: Golden Gryphon Press, 2010.

At the end of Harvest of Changelings, the tetrad of Hazel, Malachi, Jeff, and Russell crossed over into Faerie after defeating the Fomorii.  As this new novel opens, Malachi and Hazel go back to earth, along with two other magicals, Ben and Larissa.  Malachi and Hazel settle in the Triangle, a center of the magical rights movement. Malachi becomes a champion of the magicals, defending them in the media and in his community against the prejudice that is developing against them.  That prejudice is stoked on by undercover members of the Fomorii who are using unsuspecting human allies.

The Fomorii have plans to capture the magicals, and when they kidnap Malachi, Jeff and Russell return to earth to help Hazel find her husband.  But the Fomoriis’ diabolical scheme extends to humans as well, as they foment the overthrow of state governments and the federal government (headed by President Gore).  The action in the novel moves across the state, from Cherokee to Manteo, but some of the most gripping scenes take place on or near the UNC campus, where Malachi is held prisoner beneath Gimghoul Castle.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Coast, Orange, Piedmont, Rochelle, Warren, Science Fiction/Fantasy

Shirley Damsgaard. The Seventh Witch. New York: Avon, 2010.

Ophelia has mixed feelings about going to the Blue Ridge Mountains for her great-aunt’s 100th birthday party. Although she spent part of her childhood at the family homestead there, she feels more at home in her quiet village of Summerset, Iowa, where she lives with her grandmother and serves as the librarian. Ophelia would prefer to lead a normal life, but her status as a psychic witch dictates that she interact with the extreme – curses, ghosts, and even murder.

In North Carolina, Ophelia expects a carefree vacation, but she quickly discovers that her family’s secrets have put them in danger. Her quirky aunts, who are all witches and healers, help Ophelia piece together reasons why another witch in the area wants to do harm to their family – and to kill her beloved grandmother, Abby. By using her psychic abilities and with the assistance of her love-interest, Ethan, Ophelia exposes a crime committed against the people of the community, sets some family history straight, and saves Abby.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Damsgaard, Shirley, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Science Fiction/Fantasy