Ten Spring Reads To Watch For

Yeah, the shift toward warmer weather and cool evenings sipping beer after some grueling lawncare is great and all, but for me the best part of spring is the blossoming of new books. From the looks of things, there's a boatload of promising intrigue, blood-curdling chills, and action-packed adventures ahead. While it's a sure bet I have plenty of other books in my TBR and review pile, here's the Top 10 spring reads I am most looking forward to.

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One Way by S.J. Morden

April 10, 2018 | Orbit

When the small crew of ex cons working on Mars start getting murdered, everyone is a suspect in this terrifying science fiction thriller from bona fide rocket scientist and award winning-author S. J. Morden.

It's the dawn of a new era - and we're ready to colonize Mars. But the company that's been contracted to construct a new Mars base, has made promises they can't fulfill and is desperate enough to cut corners. The first thing to go is the automation . . . the next thing they'll have to deal with is the eight astronauts they'll send to Mars, when there aren't supposed to be any at all.

Frank - father, architect, murderer - is recruited for the mission to Mars with the promise of a better life, along with seven of his most notorious fellow inmates. But as his crew sets to work on the red wasteland of Mars, the accidents mount up, and Frank begins to suspect they might not be accidents at all. As the list of suspect grows shorter, it's up to Frank to uncover the terrible truth before it's too late.

Dr. S. J. Morden trained as a rocket scientist before becoming the author of razor-sharp, award-winning science fiction. Perfect for fans of Andy Weir's The Martian and Richard Morgan, One Way takes off like a rocket, pulling us along on a terrifying, epic ride with only one way out.

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They Feed by Jason Parent

April 15, 2018 | Sinister Grin Press

The night uncovers all we wish not to see.

A troubled man enters a dusky park before sunset. A young woman follows, hidden in shadow. Both have returned to the park to take back something the past has stolen from them, to make right six long years of suffering, and to find justice or perhaps redemption—or maybe they'll settle for some old-fashioned revenge.

But something evil is alive and awake in those woods, creatures that care nothing for human motivations. They’re driven by their own insatiable need: a ravenous, bottomless hunger.

The campgrounds are full tonight, and the creatures are starving. Before the night is over, they will feed.

An unrelenting tale of terror from Jason Parent, acclaimed author of People of the Sun and What Hides Within.

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Breaking the World by Jerry Gordon

April 17, 2018 | Apex Books

Cyrus doesn't believe in David's predictions, and he's not interested in being part of a cult. But after the sudden death of his brother, his parents split up and his mom drags him to Waco, Texas against his will. At least he's not alone. His friends, Marshal and Rachel, have equally sad stories that end with them being dumped at the Branch Davidian Church.

Together, they're the trinity of nonbelievers, atheist teens caught between a soon to be infamous cult leader, an erratic FBI, and an epidemic that may confirm the worst of the church's apocalyptic prophecies. With tanks surrounding the Branch Davidians and tear gas in the air, Cyrus and his friends know one thing for certain: They can't count on the adults to save them.

In his debut novel, Jerry Gordon takes readers deep inside the longest standoff in law enforcement history for an apocalyptic thriller that challenges the news media's reporting of the event, the wisdom of militarizing domestic law enforcement, and the blurry line between religion and cult.

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The Atrocities by Jeremy C. Shipp

April 17, 2018 | Tor.com

Jeremy Shipp brings you THE ATROCITIES, a haunting gothic fantasy of a young ghost's education

When Isabella died, her parents were determined to ensure her education wouldn't suffer.

But Isabella's parents had not informed her new governess of Isabella's... condition, and when Ms Valdez arrives at the estate, having forced herself through a surreal nightmare maze of twisted human-like statues, she discovers that there is no girl to tutor.

Or is there...?

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Forsaken (A Unit 51 Novel) by Michael McBride

April 24, 2018 | Pinnacle

IT HAS SURVIVED
At a research station in Antarctica, scientists discovered a strange and ancient organism. 
They thought they could study it, classify it, control it. They couldn’t.
 
IT HAS THRIVED
Six months ago, a secret paramilitary team called Unit 51 was sent to the station.
They thought the creature was dead, the nightmare was over. It wasn’t.
 
IT HAS EVOLVED
In a Mexican temple, archeologists uncover the remains of a half-human hybrid. They believe
it is related to the creature in Antarctica, a dark thing of legend that is still alive—and still evolving. They believe it needs a new host to feed, to mutate, to multiply. They’re right. And they’re next. And the human race might just be headed for extinction  . . .

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Fury From the Tomb: The Institute for Singular Antiquities Book 1 by S.J. Morden

May 1, 2018 | Angry Robot Books

Mummies, grave-robbing ghouls, hopping vampires, and evil monks  beset a young archaeologist, in this fast-paced Indiana Jones-style adventure

Saqqara, Egypt, 1888, and in the booby-trapped tomb of an ancient sorcerer, Rom, a young Egyptologist, makes the discovery of a lifetime: five coffins and an eerie, oversized sarcophagus. But the expedition seems cursed, for after unearthing the mummies, all but Rom die horribly. He faithfully returns to America with his disturbing cargo, continuing by train to Los Angeles, home of his reclusive sponsor. When the train is hijacked by murderous banditos in the Arizona desert, who steal the mummies and flee over the border, Rom – with his benefactor’s rebellious daughter, an orphaned Chinese busboy, and a cold-blooded gunslinger – must ride into Mexico to bring the malevolent mummies back. If only mummies were their biggest problem…

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Obscura by Joe Hart

May 8, 2018 | Thomas & Mercer

She’s felt it before... the fear of losing control. And it’s happening again.

In the near future, an aggressive and terrifying new form of dementia is affecting victims of all ages. The cause is unknown, and the symptoms are disturbing. Dr. Gillian Ryan is on the cutting edge of research and desperately determined to find a cure. She’s already lost her husband to the disease, and now her young daughter is slowly succumbing as well. After losing her funding, she is given the unique opportunity to expand her research. She will travel with a NASA team to a space station where the crew has been stricken with symptoms of a similar inexplicable psychosis—memory loss, trances, and violent, uncontrollable impulses.

Crippled by a secret addiction and suffering from creeping paranoia, Gillian finds her journey becoming a nightmare as unexplainable and violent events plague the mission. With her grip weakening on reality, she starts to doubt her own innocence. And she’s beginning to question so much more—like the true nature of the mission, the motivations of the crew, and every deadly new secret space has to offer.

Merging thrilling science-fiction adventure with mind-bending psychological suspense, Wall Street Journal bestselling author Joe Hart explores both the vast mysteries of outer space and the even darker unknown that lies within ourselves.

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Hell Divers III: Deliverance by Nicholas Sansbury-Smith

May 15, 2018 | Blackstone Publishing

Left for dead on the nightmarish surface of the planet, Commander Michael Everhart and his team of Hell Divers barely escape with their lives aboard a new airship called Deliverance. After learning that Xavier “X” Rodriguez may still be alive, they mount a rescue mission for the long-lost hero.

In the skies, the Hive is falling apart, but Captain Jordan is more determined than ever to keep humanity in their outdated lifeboat. He will do whatever it takes to keep the ship in the air—even murder. But when he learns the Hell Divers he exiled have found Deliverance, he changes course for a new mission—find the divers, kill them, and make their new ship his own.

In the third installment of the USA Today bestselling Hell Divers series, Michael and his fellow divers fight across the mutated landscape in search of X. But what they find will change everything.

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Blood Standard by Laird Barron

May 29, 2018 | G.P. Putnman's Sons

Award-winning author Laird Barron makes his crime fiction debut with a novel set in the underbelly of upstate New York that's as hardboiled and punchy as a swift right hook to the jaw--a classic noir for fans of James Ellroy and John D. Macdonald.

Isaiah Coleridge is a mob enforcer in Alaska--he's tough, seen a lot, and dished out more. But when he forcibly ends the moneymaking scheme of a made man, he gets in the kind of trouble that can lead to a bullet behind the ear. Saved by the grace of his boss and exiled to upstate New York, Isaiah begins a new life, a quiet life without gunshots or explosions. Except a teenage girl disappears, and Isaiah isn't one to let that slip by. And delving into the underworld to track this missing girl will get him exactly the kind of notice he was warned to avoid.

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The Woman in the Woods by John Connolly

June 12, 2018 | Atria/Emily Bestler Boks

From internationally bestselling author and “creative genius who has few equals in either horror fiction or the mystery genre” (New York Journal of Books) comes a gripping thriller starring Private Investigator Charlie Parker. When the body of a woman—who apparently died in childbirth—is discovered, Parker is hired to track down both her identity and her missing child.

In the beautiful Maine woods, a partly preserved body is discovered. Investigators realize that the dead young woman gave birth shortly before her death. But there is no sign of a baby.

Private detective Charlie Parker is hired by a lawyer to shadow the police investigation and find the infant but Parker is not the only searcher. Someone else is following the trail left by the woman, someone with an interest in much more than a missing child…someone prepared to leave bodies in his wake.

And in a house by the woods, a toy telephone begins to ring and a young boy is about to receive a call from a dead woman.


I'm also planning on digging into several titles that have been lingering in my review pile for quite a while, including the Bram Stoker Award-nominated Kill Creek by Scott Thomas. What's on your reading list for the next couple months ahead?

Michael Patrick Hicks

Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of the science fiction novels Convergence, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist, and Emergence. His work has appeared in several anthologies, and he has written for the websites Graphic Novel Reporter and Audiobook Reviewer. In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.


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