June, and summer, have finally arrived along with the summer reading season that will kick off in a big way with the release of a new Stephen King book. Hopefully the rest of the month will live up to that start. Here are the books scheduled to be released in June that I am looking forward to reading.
I start, as always, with DarkFuse and its three releases scheduled for June. “Cold as Hell” by David Searls is the story about a family torn apart the day before Christmas when the children suddenly disappear. “Skinshift” by Lisa von Biela is the story of a man left for dead in the Mojave Desert who learns a deadly secret about survival and is not afraid to release this power for his own vengeful purposes. In addition to those two novellas, DarkFuse will also release “Shadowshift” by Peter Giglio. This novel is about a father and daughter with strange powers and the family curse that looms over their heads. “Shadowshift” is a very good novel and the novellas both look good as well, especially “Skinshift” as Lisa von Biela has become a favorite of mine.
ChiZine Publications has two books scheduled for a June release through its imprint, ChiTeen. “Dead Girls Don’t” by Mags Storey has Liv coming to a horrifying realization about her strange boyfriend when the kids that bully her at school start to turn up dead. Now Liv must not only face her boyfriend but the ghosts of her dead classmates as she struggles to avoid becoming the latest victim. In “The Good Brother” by E.L. Chen, Tori drops out of university and finds a job at a book store in Toronto so that she can start a new life away from her past and the specter of her dead brother that had always hung over her. When she is faced with three ghosts that do not approve of her new life, Tori must come to grips with her past and discover just what her future holds for her. If, in fact, she does have a future. ChiTeens previous releases have been of the same high quality as ChiZine’s, so both of these books are sure to be good.
Samhain Publications has a novella and two novels scheduled to be released in June and all three are very good. The novella, “Agony” by E. Michael Lewis, is the story of a mall haunted by the ghost of a serial killer due to a hidden secret. “Spore” by Tamara Jones is a novel about the dead returning to life but this is not just another zombie story (in fact, there are no zombies) but a well-constructed tale of what has caused the dead to live again and the effect that this has on the living. “White Knuckle” by Eric Red is a very good story about a truck-driving serial killer that is equal parts horror and crime procedural. You cannot go wrong with any of these books.
The month kicks off with a bang on June 2nd for the mainstream publishers with “Finders Keepers” by Stephen King. This novel promises to be a thrilling story of an obsessed fan becoming too obsessed with an aging writer and coming into possession of some of the writer’s unpublished works. June 9 brings Terry Brooks new stand-alone Shanarra novel, “The Darkling Child,” which is the second book in “The Defenders of Shanarra” series but which is not directly connected with any other books so is a good place for new readers to try getting into the series and for fans to recapture the magic. A new Jack Ryan Jr. novel arrives on June 16 with “Tom Clancy: Under Fire” by Grant Blackwood. James Patterson and Howard Roughan bring us “Truth or Die” on June 22 in a tale of a lawyer and his journalist girlfriend who unwittingly uncover a secret that everyone would covet but which may do nothing but destroy them. The 22nd also brings the fourth novel in Terry Prachett and Stephen Baxter’s “Long Earth” series: “The Long Utopia.”
That is it for the month of June. While Stephen King does not pack the punch that he once did, “Finders Keepers” is still my one book to read for the month if for no other reason than to hope that it captures some of the old King magic that has been missing from many of his newer books. Happy reading in June.