Top Twenty Most Anticipated Novels of June 2013

This month, The Ranting Dragon again brings you a list of the twenty most anticipated science fiction and fantasy novels coming out. Composed by our team with blurbs written by Ashik, Rebecca, Janea, Marnie, Cameron, and myself, this list aims to aid you in finding your next book to read.

With such a wonderful month, it seems nigh impossible not to find a good book, no matter what genre you prefer. From popular authors to debutants, from science fiction to epic fantasy, and from urban fantasy to steampunk, June has it all!

Here are the twenty most anticipated novels of June 2013, according to The Ranting Dragon:

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1. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Like every other Neil Gaiman story I’ve seen, the synopsis alone comes across as mystical and poetic. Gaiman carries such an air of fabled storytelling that even the bizarre seems more magical and beautiful than it would without his name accompanying it. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a story about a man, the awakened forces of darkness, and the three women who live in a house at the end of the lane; “the youngest of them claims that her duckpond is ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.”
Published by William Morrow on Jun 18.
Blurb written by Ashik.
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2. Hunted by Kevin Hearne
After the massive time jump in Trapped, the revised apocalypse is rapidly approaching, and Atticus’s usual tools that allow him to run and hide are cut off, though he has a second druid to watch his back now. On top of that, two goddesses of the hunt are after him, there is an insane trickster god on the loose, and he has pissed off the dark elves/vampires/everybody. The sixth book in Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles promises explosive amounts of wit, hound, and action, with a bonus of gratuitous pop culture references.
Published by Del Rey on Jun 25.
Blurb written by Ashik.
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3. The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
South African author Lauren Beukes received much praise for her debut novel Moxyland, and even more for Zoo City. Thus, it should come as no surprise that her newest novel, The Shining Girls, was sold to British publisher HarperCollins in a five-way auction, landing Beukes a six-figure deal. If that doesn’t spark your interest in this novel, perhaps this will: this is a story of a time-traveling serial killer who is impossible to trace—until one of his victims survives. The Shining Girls promises a masterful twist on the classic serial killer tale and is intriguingly marketed as The Time Traveler’s Wife meets The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
Published by Mulholland on Jun 4.
Blurb written by Stephan.
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4. Abaddon’s Gate by James S.A. Corey
James S.A. Corey is the pseudonym for the collaboration of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, who have created the highly acclaimed science fiction series Expanse. In Abaddon’s Gate, the third installment in the series, humanity’s space frontier faces the possibility of expansion through an alien artifact. With a complex plot, interplanetary politics, and classic space opera action, Abaddon’s Gate looks to be one of the year’s most promising science fiction titles.
Published by Orbit on Jun 4.
Blurb written by Ashik.
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5. Requiem by Ken Scholes
Ken Scholes’ debut novel, Lamentation, opened the Psalms of Isaak series. Now this sweeping fantasy epic draws near to a close in Requiem, the long-awaited, penultimate novel in the series. The world has changed since the cataclysmic Devastation that opened the series; secrets are coming to light and nothing is as it seems. As the characters struggle to overcome a maze of intrigue, they discover lands beyond their knowledge, while the Crimson Empress conquers the Named Lands.
Published by Tor on Jun 18.
Blurb written by Rebecca.
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6. A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel: Volume Two
Thanks to the successful HBO series, George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire enjoys spectacular fame right now. The show isn’t the only adaptation of this fantasy work, however. From the pen of renowned fantasy author Daniel Abraham and the pencil of illustrator Tommy Patterson comes the second volume of the graphical version of A Game of Thrones. If the quality of the first volume is sustained, this beautiful graphical translation will again be a great work of art and a must-read for any fan of George R.R. Martin’s gruesome world.
Published by Bantam on Jun 11.
Blurb written by Stephan.
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7. Before the Fall by Francis Knight
Francis Knight’s debut novel, Fade to Black, came out in February. It was widely acknowledged as a debut of great quality, receiving such descriptions as “intensely realized,” “gripping,” “vibrant,” and “emotionally powerful.” In Before the Fall, Knight continues the dark and urban epic fantasy story about a mysterious city built upwards instead of across, and an outlawed pain-mage discovering its secrets lurking in the shadows.
Published by Orbit on Jun 18.
Blurb written by Stephan.
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8. Wisp of a Thing by Alex Bledsoe
Alex Bledsoe’s 2011 novel The Hum and the Shiver is best described as rural, rather than urban, fantasy. It’s a quiet, contemplative novel for the most part, and the air of mystery that even the synopsis builds about the Tufa, who were inhabitants of the Appalachians even before it was colonized, is palpable. In Wisp of a Thing, Bledsoe shifts the focus away from Bronwyn Hyatt, the Tufa protagonist of the first novel, and instead focuses on Rob Quillen, an outsider seeking solace after a public tragedy. It’s a musical series, the Tufa themselves being an inherently music-oriented people, but it also features subtle power struggles and a sense of wildness that is lacking in most contemporary fantasy.
Published by Tor on Jun 18.
Blurb written by Ashik.
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9. The City by Stella Gemmell
A dark fantasy novel from the widow of the late author David Gemmell (Legend), Stella Gemmel shows how the prospects of a revolution turn grim when the emperor is immortal. To make matters worse, this emperor of the City sees himself fit to wage all manner of war, leaving devastation in his wake. The rebels of the City have had enough of the immortal emperor, and to stop him they seek one of the emperor’s formal generals, Shuskara. The time has come for him to return to the City and confront his former liege. Hinting at a dash of Joe Abercrombie and other gritty authors, The City will delight those who like their revolutions to come with sacrifices.
Published by Ace on Jun 4.
Blurb written by Cameron.
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10. Cold Steel by Kate Elliott
The steampunk fantasy trilogy Spiritwalker concludes with Cold Steel. Cat Barahal is plagued by treachery and magic. She must also deal with a kidnapped husband, a vengeful king, a homicidal fire mage, and a recruiting army general who won’t take no for an answer. If Cat and her cousin Bee can survive the revolution, they will have their work cut out for them. There are handsome men to rescue and enemies to crush.
Published by Orbit on Jun 25.
Blurb written by Rebecca.
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11. Earth Afire by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston
Fans of Card’s Ender’s Game rejoice: the second installment in the prequel trilogy to Ender’s Game, chronicling the first Formic War, releases this month. The first book, Earth Unaware, introduced us to the family and crew of the mining ship El Cavador as it moves beyond Pluto and becomes the point of contact between humanity and its first alien species. Victor Delgado beat the alien ship back to Earth, but not in time to convince human governments of the immediacy of the threat. Now it falls to Mazer Rackham and Mobile Operations Police to meet the threat before it’s too late.
Published by Tor on Jun 4.
Blurb written by Janea.
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12. The Long War by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter blew us away with 2012’s The Long Earth. The story continues with its sequel, The Long War. The Long Earth is a chain of parallel Earths, reachable by most people through an invention called a stepper, although some people don’t need the stepper, and can reach the Long Earth all on their own. Each of these parallel Earths is different, and after a generation of stepping migrations, trouble is brewing as differing conditions threaten the stability of human governance across the Long Earth.
Published by Harper on Jun 18.
Blurb written by Janea.
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13. iD by Madeline Ashby
Madeline Ashby’s vN, the First Machine Dynasty, was a gripping and philosophical science fiction novel about a world where self-replicating Androids played a significant role in society. That is, until the Androids started evolving and changing society themselves. The Second Machine Dynasty, iD, is a sequel dealing with the consequences of the first story, and it promises to continue the wonderful fusion of cyberpunk and urban fantasy that was vN.
Published by Angry Robot on Jun 25.
Blurb written by Stephan.
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14. Steadfast by Mercedes Lackey
Steadfast is the ninth installment in Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters series. The series is set in an alternative late-nineteenth century/early twentieth century England and features interlocking stories with differing protagonists. They are also usually (but not always) love stories, and typically are retellings of different fairy tales. Lionel Hawkins is an Elemental Magician whose powers are linked to air, and he uses them as a stage illusionist. His assistant, Katie Langford, is an untrained Fire Elemental Magician on the run from her abusive husband. While I wouldn’t call the Elemental Masters series Lackey’s best, they are usually satisfactory good reads with a few standouts in the series.
Published by DAW on Jun 4.
Blurb written by Janea.
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15. Sea Change by S.M. Wheeler
Continuing the recent tradition of weird fantasy, Sea Change tells the coming of age story of a small girl named Lily who befriends a Kraken. When the Kraken is kidnapped, it is up to Lily to get him back while avoiding a nefarious circus master, a questionable witch, and a host of other issues that growing up inevitably brings. This, most certainly, is a novel to look out for if you want a different, more modern, version of a coming-of-age tale.
Published by Tor on Jun 18.
Blurb written by Cameron.
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16. In Thunder Forged by Ari Marmell
Based on the award-winning role playing game, WARMACHINE, the iron kingdoms are locked in a seemingly never-ending war of guns and magic. Both sides seek a stolen alchemic formula to break this stalemate. To ensure success, a small group of Cygnar’s best is cobbled together and thrown into a struggle wrought with betrayal, war, and triumph.
Published by Pyr on Jun 4.
Blurb written by Cameron.
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17. The Pirate’s Wish by Cassandra R. Clarke
Cassandra Rose Clarke is a new face on the speculative fiction scene who shows incredible promise. This month marks the release of The Pirate’s Wish, the sequel to 2012’s The Assassin’s Curse. Ananna was born to a pirate clan, but doesn’t care for the fiance they choose for her. When she ran away, the clan hired assassin Naji to exact vengeance. During the ensuing action, Ananna triggered a curse that forced Naji and Ananna to become uneasy allies. Now stranded on an enchanted isle, they have the key to the curse and enroll the help of their friend Marjani. However, they are now on the run from Naji’s enemies as well as Ananna’s, making the completion of three impossible tasks in order to break the curse that much harder.
Published by Strange Chemistry, Jun 18.
Blurb written by Janea.
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18. Sidekicked by John David Anderson
Andrew “Drew” Bean is literally the most sensitive kid in sidekick middle school. His incredibly powerful senses—hearing, sight, taste, touch, and smell—may not be the stuff superheroes are made of, but he can still use his special abilities for good, fighting crime and standing up to supervillains… right? When his secret and his normal identities collide, the line between good and evil starts to blur. This middle grade novel is John David Anderson’s second book, and it promises to be a cute read.
Published by Walden Pond on Jun 25.
Blurb written by Rebecca.
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19. The Seven-Petaled Shield by Deborah J. Ross
Deborah J. Ross is perhaps best known for her work with Marion Zimmer Bradley (and her estate) on several Darkover titles, as well as numerous short stories. Despite a career that’s spanned more than two decades, The Seven-Petaled Shield marks Ross’s first novel with no co-author. Long ago, the Seven-Petaled Shield was used to defeat the primal forces of chaos and keep them at bay. Now, a greedy emperor has conquered the nation that safeguards the shield. In the aftermath, the Queen and her son are separated and believe each other dead. In retaliation, the young prince turns to chaos to exact his revenge. All that stands in his way are his mother (who holds the shield) and her unexpected allies. The second installment is already scheduled for release in December 2013.
Published by DAW on Jun 4.
Blurb written by Janea.
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20. Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead
Many of you are probably familiar with Richelle Mead from her YA series Vampire Academy or the spin-off series, Bloodlines. Gameboard of the Gods, is the first book in her new series, Age of X. Gameboard of the Gods takes place in a dystopian future that was ravaged by a deadly virus, greatly reducing the population. It follows the characters Justin March, a disgraced formal government official who is granted the chance to reclaim his former position and influence, and Mae Koskinen, a badass super soldier who is not all that she appears to be. Mae and Justin are assigned to work together to help solve a string of mysterious and seemingly supernatural murders, and their investigations lead them down a path filled with danger, romance, adventure, and powers beyond their imagining. Fans of Mead won’t be disappointed with this fast-paced, action-packed novel.
Published by Dutton on Jun 4.
Blurb written by Marnie.
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What do you think? Any books you are particularly looking forward to? Which are your favorites? Did we miss a book? Let us know in the comments below!

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The feature image is a mashup of the cover of The Ocean at the End of the Lane and the cover of Hunted (art by Gene Mollica).

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.

2 comments

  1. Some damn good titles being released this month, and seeing them on here reminds me that I’m rather behind with my reading and need to catch up so that I can enjoy what’s coming out soon!

  2. Thanks for posting this. I had no idea about the Game of Thrones graphic novel so I’m real excited to get my hands on that. I’m currently reading Casualties of War from Bennett R. Coles. http://www.bennettrcoles.com/works/casualties-of-war

    I loved Virtues of War so I’ve been waiting on this one and it hasn’t disappointed so far. As far as military fiction goes I think this one is going to be hard to top this year. If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading Bennett Coles’ work yet you are in for a treat.

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