cover image New York City

New York City

Mur Lafferty. Orbit, $14.99 trade paper (300p) ISBN 978-0-316-22117-7

Surviving in New York City is tricky even if one doesn’t encounter paranormal entities, but Lafferty’s charming debut offers a helping hand for coterie (“monster is pejorative”) and humans alike. Desperate for work after a disastrous affair sends her back from Raleigh, N.C., to New York, guidebook expert Zoë Norris applies for a gig with Underground Publishing and lands an interview with a company rep who turns out to be a vampire. Undeterred, she quickly takes to her job as managing editor for a coterie guidebook to New York. She becomes fast friends with a water sprite and a death goddess, has to fend off the attentions of an incubus, and starts self-defense training with Granny Good Mae, a homeless assassin with connections to the government anticoterie department called Public Works. Zoë’s romance with a Public Works agent lacks credibility, but excerpts from the guide and adventures at coterie hangouts make the novel an enjoyable tour of the city’s supernatural side. (June)