Top 5 Most Anticipated Releases of April 2012

April is well underway, and we haven’t looked at its most anticipated science fiction and fantasy releases yet. Time to remedy that in this article. It’s a month of sequels, more than anything. How about Kevin Hearne’s newest Iron Druid Chronicle? Or the sequel to Bradley P. Beaulieu’s epic The Winds of Khalakovo? And what to think of a new Dark Tower novel by Stephen King?

That doesn’t mean that all we have are sequels, though. April has a lot to offer for fans of debuts, short story anthologies, series, and stand-alones in whatever speculative fiction subgenre you may prefer.

Without further ado, here are The Ranting Dragon’s top picks for April:

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1. Tricked by Kevin Hearne
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Tricked is the fourth book in the Iron Druid Chronicles, featuring charming Irish Druid Atticus O’Sullivan and his lovable wolfhound companion, Oberon, among a multitude of other memorable characters. Tricked picks up from the climax of the last book, Hammered, with Atticus on the run from vengeful thunder gods. When he seeks help from the Navajo trickster god, Coyote, he finds himself duped into facing yet another seemingly impossible task. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, after all. Especially when it comes to gods and deities. Overall, this promises to be another excellent installment in a much-loved urban fantasy series. If you haven’t already read Hounded, Hexed, and Hammered, then what are you waiting for? There’s still time to catch up before the April 24 release date.
Published by Del Rey on April 24.
2. The Straits of Galahesh by Bradley P. Beaulieu
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The Straits of Galahesh is the sequel to Beaulieu’s acclaimed debut novel The Winds of Khalakovo, and is the second installment in the Lays of Anuskaya trilogy. Like its predecessor, The Straits of Galahesh promises to be a sweeping epic fantasy set in a fascinating world and brimming with intrigue. Five years have passed since the events of the first book, but Anuskaya remains in peril. The wasting disease still runs rampant while powerful forces scheme against both the Landed and the Landless. Bitter enemies will have to join as allies if any are to survive the oncoming storm.
Published by Night Shade Books on April 3.
3. Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig
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This month, Angry Robot brings us Blackbirds, an unconventional urban fantasy by Chuck Wendig featuring heroine Miriam Black, who unwillingly foresees the death of anyone she meets. When she foresees the death of a man she just met, she is forced to attempt to prevent the inevitable. Louis will die calling her name. He will die because he met her. And if she doesn’t stop him from dying, then she will be next. Early reviews mark it as dark, intense, frenetically-paced, and very, very good. All in all, Blackbirds is definitely worth checking out.
Published by Angry Robot on April 24.
4. The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King
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The Wind Through the Keyhole sees King return to the world of his largest work and that which many fans may consider his magnum opus, The Dark Tower series. Chronologically, the events in The Wind Through the Keyhole take place between the end of book 4 of the series, Wizard and Glass, and the start of Book 5, Wolves of the Calla. We could say more; however, if you (like some of our reviewers) have already read and enjoyed seven hefty volumes, let’s face it, you are going to read it. Resistance is futile and, most likely, involves a lot less dark and disturbing Mid-World fun.
Published by Scribner on April 24.
5. Pandemonium: Stories of the Smoke edited by Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin
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Pornokitsch is one of our favorite genre blogs, and thus we were thrilled to learn that they were branching out with a new award and a series of short story anthologies. The second of these anthologies, Pandemonium: Stories of the Smoke, will be published in April and contains a mix of both new and well-known writers. Pandemonium: Stories of the Smoke brings you London as you’ve never seen it before—science fiction and fantasy in the great tradition of Charles Dickens. Among many others, Stories of the Smoke contains short stories written by Aliette de Bodard, Kaaron Warren, Lavie Tidhar, and our very own Michelle Goldsmith.
Published by Jurassic London on April 4.

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If you’re anything like we are, five books are not nearly enough. Luckily, there are many more new releases that are definitely worth a look despite not making our Top Five. We also suggest you look out for:

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Above by Leah Bobet
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Leah Bobet’s magical debut urban fantasy novel Above tells the tale of Matthew, who has loved Ariel from the moment he found her in the tunnels, her bee’s wings falling away. They live in Safe, an underground refuge for those fleeing the city Above, those like Whisper, who speaks to ghosts, and Jack Flash, who can shoot lightning from his fingers.
Published by Arthur A. Levine Books on April 1.
Alien Diplomacy by Gini Koch
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Alien Diplomacy continues the series that began with Touched by an Alien. Being newlyweds and new parents is challenging enough. But Jeff and Kitty Martini are also giving up their roles as super-being exterminators and Commanders in Centaurion Division while mastering the political landscape as the new heads of Centaurion’s Diplomatic Corps. Enter a shadowy assassination plot and a new set of anti-alien conspirators, and nothing will ever be the same…
Published by DAW on April 3.
The Burning Man by Mark Chadbourn
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In the second volume of Mark Chadbourn’s Kingdom of the Serpent, a quest of epic reach spans the globe under the mythologies of five great cultures. After a long journey across the ages, Jack Churchill has returned to the modern world, only to find it in the grip of a terrible, dark force that the population is unaware of.
Published by Pyr on April 24.
Champion of Mars by Guy Haley
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In the far future, Mars dies a second time. The Final War between man and the spirits is beginning. When an artifact is discovered deep in the caverns of the red planet, the actions of Holland and his team lead to tragedy, with profound consequences that ripple throughout time, affecting Holland’s present, the distant days of Yoechakanon, and the eras that bridge the aeons between.
Published by Solaris on April 24.
Faustus Resurrectus by Thomas Morrissey
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Faustus Resurrectus is Thomas Morrissey’s debut—an action-packed, urban occult thriller about Donovan Graham, part-time bartender, full-time occult scholar, who has just graduated college with a Master’s Degree in Philosophical Hermeneutics and has begun helping the NYPD investigate a particularly gruesome series of murders.
Published by Night Shade Books on April 3.
Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal
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From Mary Robinette Kowal comes the sequel to her charming and magical Jane Austen-influenced debut novel Shades of Milk and Honey, set in a world where magic is an every day occurrence. Glamour in Glass continues following the lives of beloved main characters Jane and Vincent, with a much deeper vein of drama and intrigue.
Published by Tor on April 10.
Lance of Earth and Sky by Erin Hoffman
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Lance of Earth and Sky is the sequel to Erin Hoffman’s sword and sorcery novel Sword of Fire and Sea. Elemental magic is awakening across the planet after centuries of dormancy, bringing with it magically powered wonders including flying ships and ancient automata.
Published by Pyr on April 24.
Rage of the Dragon by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
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From New York Times bestselling authors Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman comes Rage of the Dragon, the action-packed third book in their Dragonships fantasy series.
Published by Tor on April 24.
Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson
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As the junior wizard sentinel for New Orleans, Drusilla Jaco’s job involves a lot more potion mixing and pixie retrieval than sniffing out supernatural bad guys like rogue vampires and lethal were-creatures. DJ’s boss and mentor, Gerald St. Simon, is the wizard tasked with protecting the city from anyone or anything that might slip over from the preternatural beyond. Then Hurricane Katrina hammers New Orleans’ fragile levees, unleashing more than just dangerous flood waters.
Published by Tor on April 10.
Shadow Blizzard by Alexey Pehov
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Shadow Blizzard is the third book by the international bestselling fantasy author Alexey Pehov. Following Shadow Prowler and Shadow Chaser, Shadow Blizzard is a traditional epic fantasy story that follows Shadow Harold, Siala’s master thief, on his quest for the magic Horn that will restore peace to his world.
Published by Tor on April 24.
Summoning by Carol Wolf
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Night Shade Books never fails to bring us the best weird fiction the genre has to offer, and Carol Wolf’s Summoning promises to continue this habit. The World Snake is coming, devourer of Thrace and Atlantis… and the only one standing in its way is Amber, a sixteen-year-old runaway, recently arrived in Los Angeles.
Published by Night Shade Books on April 3.
Sword & Blood: The Vampire Musketeers by Sarah Marques
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In a world where vampires have taken every humble chapel, defiled every grand cathedral, subdued most nations, and treated every human as cattle, Dumas’ hero musketeers rise to a greater challenge than they ever met in their original adventures. Athos has spent a decade fighting vampires in the king’s musketeers.
Published by Prime Books on April 3.
Vengeance by Ian Irvine
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Ian Irvine is one of the lesser-known masters of fantasy. In his newest novel, Vengeance, a child has sworn revenge after witnessing her mother’s murder. Even though she is a slave, even though she is powerless, even though she is nothing in the eyes of those who live above ground, she will find her mother’s killers and bring them to justice.
Published by Orbit on April 3.

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Agree with this month’s choices? Disagree? Let us know what you’re anticipating on The Ranting Dragon forums. Whatever your interests, we wish you all a great month of reading!

About Stephan van Velzen

Stephan van Velzen
A 29 year-old Communications student, Stephan loves publicity and design, particularly web design. When he’s not designing websites, he’s busy being a total geek for fantasy. In The Ranting Dragon, he has found a way to combine these passions and discover a new love for writing too. Most of all, though, Stephan is just a crazy Dutch guy who enjoys doing things that people don’t expect.

View all articles written by Stephan van Velzen.

3 comments

  1. Thanks for listing BLACKBIRDS. Rock on, I appreciate that. Hope everybody digs it when it hits.

    — Chuck

  2. Yeah, I did like Straits and was lucky to get to read an ARC of it…

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