On the Radar

On the Smugglers’ Radar

On The Smugglers’ Radar” is a new feature for books that have caught our eye: books we have heard of via other bloggers, directly from publishers, and/or from our regular incursions into the Amazon jungle. Thus, the Smugglers’ Radar was born. Because we want far more books than we can possibly buy or review (what else is new?), we thought we would make the Smugglers’ Radar into a weekly feature – so YOU can tell us which books you have on your radar as well!

On Ana’s Radar

Yay, the return of the radar! It’s been a while since we last did one and I have been collecting loads of pretties. Like this one – Steampunk for Young Adults:

In an alternate London where magical creatures are preserved in a museum, two teens find themselves caught in a web of intrigue, deception, and danger. Vespa Nyx wants nothing more than to spend the rest of her life cataloging Unnatural creatures in her father’s museum, but as she gets older, the requirement to become a lady and find a husband is looming large. Syrus Reed’s Tinker family has always served and revered the Unnaturals from afar, but when his family is captured to be refinery slaves, he finds that his fate may be bound up with Vespa’s—and with the Unnaturals.

As the danger grows, Vespa and Syrus find themselves in a tightening web of deception and intrigue. At stake may be the fate of New London—and the world.

I loved Sarwat Chadda’s Billi SanGreal books and I can’t wait for his next series to start:

Weaves together contemporary and mythological India, about British-born Ash, whose father is offered a dream job in India, and discovers something is very wrong with mysterious millionaire Lord Savage, finding himself in a desperate battle to stop Savage’s master plan–the opening of the Iron Gates that have kept Ravana, the demon king, at bay for four millennia.

I recently read this FANTASTIC review of The Mighty Miss Malone at Slatebreakers (a new-to-me blog that I love) and I bought the book immediately and plan to read it soon:

“We are a family on a journey to a place called wonderful” is the motto of Deza Malone’s family. Deza is the smartest girl in her class in Gary, Indiana, singled out by teachers for a special path in life. But the Great Depression hit Gary hard, and there are no jobs for black men. When her beloved father leaves to find work, Deza, Mother, and her older brother Jimmie go in search of him, and end up in a Hooverville outside Flint, Michigan. Jimmie’s beautiful voice inspires him to leave the camp to be a performer, while Deza and Mother find a new home, and cling to the hope that they will find Father. The twists and turns of their story reveal the devastation of the Depression and prove that Deza truly is the Mighty Miss Malone.

So, I seem to be on a Historical kick and came across the next title Wentworth Hall on Goodreads and am intrigued:

A lush, historical novel about the secretive Darlingtons of Wentworth Hall!The prettiest people often have the ugliest secrets…

Eighteen-year-old Maggie Darlington has turned into an entirely different person. The once spirited teen is now passive and reserved. A change Lord and Lady Darlington can’t help but be grateful for.

It’s 1912, and the Darlingtons of Wentworth Hall have more than just the extensive grounds to maintain. As one of Britain’s most elite families, they need to keep up appearances that things are as they have always been…even as their carefully constructed faÇade rapidly comes undone.

Maggie has a secret. And she’s not the only one…the handsome groom Michael, the beautiful new French nanny Therese, the Darlingtons’ teenage houseguests Teddy and Jessica, and even Maggie’s younger sister Lila are all hiding something. Passion, betrayal, heartache, and whispered declarations of love take place under the Darlingtons’ massive roof. And one of these secrets has the power to ruin the Darlingtons forever.

When scandalous satires start appearing in the newspaper with details that closely mirror the lives of the Darlingtons, everyone is looking over their shoulder, worrying their scandal will be next. Because at Wentworth Hall, nothing stays secret for long.

Violins of Autumn features a girl trying to contribute to the War Effort during WWII. I love these typese of stories and as such I want to read this book. BUT I wouldn’t be lying if I didn’t say that the blurb sends alarm bells down my spine. We shall see.

Go behind enemy lines during World War II in this tale of romance and espionage…

Betty, an American teenager living in Britain, is determined to contribute to the cause when the Germans begin bombing London in World War II. Instead of collecting scrap metal or running air raid drills like most girls her age, Betty lies about her age and trains to become a spy and member of the Special Operations Executive. Now known by her secret agent persona, Adele Blanchard, she soon finds herself parachuting over German-occupied France in the dark of night to join the secret Resistance movement.

Adele’s missions in Paris and throughout the French countryside delivering top-secret messages, lead to several close calls with the Gestapo, but it’s when she crosses paths with a young American pilot that Adele fully realizes the brutality of this war and the seriousness of her circumstances. Plus her changing feelings for this pilot are as uncertain as their future. Can Adele elude the Gestapo long enough to enjoy the future they are trying to protect?

Will you look at this cover? I don’t even NEED to know what the book is about (ok, I lie – it’s Victorian London and Jack the Ripper!) in order to have this on my radar:

Spitalfields, 1840.

Catherine Sorgeiul lives with her Uncle in a rambling house in London’s East End. She has few companions and little to occupy the days beyond her own colourful imagination. But then a murderer strikes, ripping open the chests of young girls and stuffing hair into their mouths to resemble a beak, leading the press to christen him The Man of Crows. And as Catherine hungrily devours the news, she finds she can channel the voices of the dead … and comes to believe she will eventually channel The Man of Crows himself.

But the murders continue to panic the city and Catherine gradually realizes she is snared in a deadly trap, where nothing is as it first appears … and lurking behind the lies Catherine has been told are secrets more deadly and devastating than anything her imagination can conjure.

With an elegant style and thrilling plot, The Pleasures of Men reveals the dark, beating heart of corrupt London during Queen Victoria’s reign.

Last but not least, Zetta Elliott’s Ship of Souls finally has a cover!

On Thea’s Radar

I am also incredibly excited for the new Zetta Elliott (beautiful cover)! I don’t know about the cover of this book, but I’m intrigued by the premise:

“All superheroes get their powers from somewhere. A radioactive spider bite. A science experiment gone awry. I got mine from a surfing accident in Tofino. The ultimate wipeout. I woke up with the most powerful mind on the planet, but a body like a wet paper bag…”

Meet Westlake Soul, a twenty-three-year-old former surfing champion. A loving son and brother. But if you think he’s just a regular dude, think again; Westlake is in a permanent vegetative state. He can’t move, has no response to stimuli, and can only communicate with Hub, the faithful family dog. And like all superheroes, Westlake has an archenemy: Dr. Quietus – a nightmarish embodiment of Death itself. Westlake dreams of a normal life – of surfing and loving again. But time is running out; Dr. Quietus is getting closer, and stronger. Can Westlake use his superbrain to recover… to slip his enemy’s cold embrace before it’s too late?

I saw this next title on NetGalley and am excited to read it (a novel about apocalyptic grade world changes, but examining the people at the heart of the novel? Yes please.).

“It still amazes me how little we really knew. . . . Maybe everything that happened to me and my family had nothing at all to do with the slowing. It’s possible, I guess. But I doubt it. I doubt it very much.”

Luminous, haunting, unforgettable, The Age of Miracles is a stunning fiction debut by a superb new writer, a story about coming of age during extraordinary times, about people going on with their lives in an era of profound uncertainty.

On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life—the fissures in her parents’ marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behavior of her grandfather who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloging his possessions. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues.

With spare, graceful prose and the emotional wisdom of a born storyteller, Karen Thompson Walker has created a singular narrator in Julia, a resilient and insightful young girl, and a moving portrait of family life set against the backdrop of an utterly altered world.

I just saw that book 2 in this series, the sequel to last year’s The Game of Triumphs, is coming out very soon. I’ve had book 1 on my TBR for a shamefully long time, so I will definitely make a concerted effort to read both by the time Master of Misrule comes out!

When Cat and her friends put an end to the sinister Game of Triumphs, they thought they could simply collect their prizes and walk away. But in their haste to take down the old game-masters, they unwittingly created a monster. Before the dust has settled in Mercury Square, the self-proclaimed Master of Misrule is asserting his dominion over the Arcanum and Cat’s own world, engineering a sadistic lottery that will unleash the power of the Game onto an unsuspecting London. Misrule’s agenda of chaos threatens life as they know it, gambling away free will for fickle fortune, and shaking society to its very foundations. And his power has quickly grown to proportions they never could have imagined. It all comes down to one final play. Cat, Flora, Blaine, and Toby must go back into the Arcanum and take fate into their own hands. This time they have everything to lose.

This spine-tingling follow-up to Powell’s The Game of Triumphs is everything you could hope for in a sequel and more! It’s every bit as thrilling and complex as the first book, with higher stakes and even a hint of romance added to the mix.

I’m a sucker for fairy tale retellings, and I’m very interested to see how this take on the Ugly Duckling shakes out. Even though the cover is blah.

A lyrical and romantic reimaging of The Ugly Duckling for teens.

Emmeline Thistle has always had a mysterious bond with cows, beginning on the night of her birth, when the local bovines saved the infant cast aside to die in the forest. But Emmeline was unaware that this bond has also given her a magical ability to transform milk into chocolate, a very valuable gift in a kingdom where chocolate is more rare and more precious than gold or jewels. Then one day Owen Oak, a dairyman’s son, teaches Emmeline to churn milk into butter – and instead she creates a delicious chocolate confection that immediately makes her a target for every greedy, power-hungry person in the kingdom of Anglund. Only Owen loves Emmeline for who she truly is, not her magical skill. But is his love enough to save her from the danger all around her?

I’ve been in a thriller-y kind of mood, and this dystopian crossover sounds pretty cool.

In 2027, destroying an embryo is considered first-degree murder. Fertility clinics still exist, giving hope and new life to thousands of infertile families, but they have to pass rigorous inspections by the United States Department of Embryo Preservation. Fail an inspection, and you will be prosecuted.

Brilliant young doctor Arianna Drake seems to be thriving in the spotlight: her small clinic surpasses every government requirement, and its popularity has spiked—a sudden, rapid growth that leaves the DEP chief mystified. When he discovers Arianna’s radical past as a supporter of an infamous scientist, he sends undercover agent Trent Rowe to investigate her for possible illegal activity.

As Trent is pulled into Arianna’s enigmatic world, his own begins to unravel. The secret he finally uncovers will deeply move him—and jeopardize them both. With the clock ticking her life away, he finds himself questioning everything he knows to be true, and then must summon the courage to take the greatest risk of all. Nothing less than human life—and a major scientific breakthrough—hang in the balance.

A thought-provoking thriller by debut author Kira Peikoff, Living Proof is a celebration of love and life that cuts to the core of a major cultural debate of our time.

I saw a signed copy of this next book at my local B&N and HAD to scoop it up. Look at the AWESOME cover! Not to mention the book is positioned as the JLA meets Boardwalk Empire. Ok. SOLD.

The stunning superhero-noir fantasy thriller set in the other New York.

It was the last great science hero fight, but the energy blast ripped a hole in reality, and birthed the Empire State – a young, twisted parallel prohibition-era New York.

When the rift starts to close, both worlds are threatened, and both must fight for the right to exist.

Adam Christopher’s stunning debut novel heralds the arrival of an amazing new talent.

And finally, there’s this forthcoming post-apocalyptic book. The blurb sounds a little cheesy BUT still compelling…plus the author’s name is Galaxy Craze. That’s kind of awesomely ridiculous.

Happily ever after is a thing of the past.

The year is 2090.

England is a barren land. Food is rationed. Oil has decimated the oceans. The people are restless.

A ruthless revolutionary enacts a plan to destroy the royal family, and in a moment, the king is dead. His heiress, Princess Mary, and her brother, Jamie, have been abducted, and no one knows their fate. Princess Eliza Windsor barely escapes, and finds herself scared and lost in London’s dangerous streets.

With a mind for revenge and the safe recovery of her siblings, Eliza joins the enemy forces in disguise. There she is tempted by her first taste of independence — and true love. Ultimately she must summon her courage and fight to ensure that she does not become… The Last Princess.

And that’s it from us! What books do you have on YOUR radar?


  • Ana
    January 21, 2012 at 2:21 am

    I so want Master of Misrule as well! Do you know, I requested it at NetGalley and they denied? 🙁

  • Estara
    January 21, 2012 at 7:19 am

    ANA *hopping up and down, waving* Code Name Verity is FINALLY coming out on February 6th in the UK – with the Estara stamp of approval for German Nazi behaviour (caveat: I have no idea if real life Nazis behaved like the ones in the book but I did check whether they behaved too American or British to be believable for that time period) – I thought Egmont UK also did a great book trailer using mostly paraphernalia and music of the times.

    Can I bookpush you into reading it by sponsoring your acquisition of said book? – just in case Egmont hasn’t sent you an ARC? You would need to get some hankies/tissues ready as well, if you are one of the readers (which I think you are, considering your reviews) like me who feel emotionally with the protagonists.

    Female bffs, two female protagonists and World War II female piloting included!

    If so, you could contact me via e-mail or GoodReads messaging ^^

  • Lisa (starmetal oak)
    January 21, 2012 at 7:27 am

    I read and reviewed Empire State a couple weeks ago and enjoyed it!

  • Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books
    January 21, 2012 at 10:44 am

    The Unnaturalists looks absolutely spectacular. I would love to read that novel! Thanks for the great suggestions girls 🙂

  • Emy Shin
    January 21, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    This is the first time I’ve heard of THE LAST PRINCESS, but it sounds awesome. I’d definitely read that.

  • Heidi
    January 21, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Yay! I’m so glad On the Radar is back, I missed it…though honestly I enjoyed having a bit of time to catch up on my TBR before flooding it again.

    Wentworth Hall looks like it’s totally riding the Downton Abby popularity train, and I am a-okay with that. Sign me up.

  • Mary
    January 21, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Just bought The Mighty Miss Malone this afternoon and can’t wait to read it. Also looked at The Game of Triumphs but didn’t buy that one — thinking I might just have to add it to the list though now that I know a second volume is coming!

  • Karen
    January 21, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    I’m going to check out the Galaxy Craze book. I read her first novel many years ago. The narrator was a girl (or teen, I can’t remember), but the story was really about her mother so I was marketed for adults. I liked it a lot, but I don’t remember why.

  • Cialina
    January 21, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Wow, wow, wow, Violins of Autumn sounds super fantastic. Definitely keeping an eye out for that one!

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