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

I really enjoyed reading Zoe Marriott’s Shadows on the Moon last year and have been meaning to read her backlist ever since. I am really interested in the previously published Daughter of the Flames as well as the upcoming Frostfire. Don’t they look – and sound – awesome?

What if your deadliest enemy were the only one who could save you?

Inside an ancient temple in the mountains, fifteen-year-old Zira trains in the martial arts to become a warrior priestess who can defend the faith of the Ruan people. Bearing a scar on her face from the fire that killed her parents, the orphaned Zira is taught to distrust the occupying Sedornes. Terror strikes when the forces of the tyrannical Sedorne king destroy the only home she knows. To survive, Zira must unravel the secrets of her identity, decide her people’s fate — and accept her growing feelings for a man who should be her enemy.

Frost is cursed – possessed by a wolf demon that brings death everywhere she goes. Desperate to find a cure, she flees her home, only to be captured by the Ruan Hill Guard. Trapped until she can prove she is not an enemy, Frost grows increasingly close to the Guard’s charismatic leader Luca and his second in command, the tortured Arian. Torn between two very different men, Frost fears that she may not be able to protect either of them … from herself.

Another Fantasy title that sounds interesting is Shadow’s Edge:

Sixteen-year-old Leah Spencer didn’t mind being a natural-born Shaman to the Créatúir. Until she broke Rule #1 and traveled to the Other Realm, where she quickly lost time. Like, a whole year of time. She missed out on everything—holidays, school, her sixteenth birthday, the boyfriend who ditched her. So Leah swore to leave all things magical behind her and lead the life of a normal high school girl.

But when a mysterious dark force starts offing the Créatúir, both Light and Dark, Leah must choose between her new life and “getting all CSI” on the Other Realm murder spree. With the help of her three sisters (each with their own magical gift), and three gorgeous guys—who may or may not be part of the evil magic—Leah must vanquish an ancient dark force that is connected to her family in unimaginable ways.

I got a review copy of this book last week and thought it looks good – set during the Children Crusade:

‘There’s going to be a crusade. A boy came to the cathedral and preached. He’s going to lead a crusade of children. And we’ll take Jerusalem because we’re innocent, we’re closer to God. We’ll be soldiers for Christ.’ Rufus is an apprentice in his father’s goldsmith workshop in Cologne, Gemany. One day he hears a boy, Nick, preach in the city centre. Nick’s message and words are mesmerising and Rufus is spellbound. He is overcome with the desire to follow the flawed yet charismatic young Crusade leader on his journey to the Holy Land. And Rufus is not alone. Many children are captivated just as Rufus is, and leave their homes and families having fallen under Nick’s spell. But what begins as a journey of innocence turns, terribly, into a journey of sorrow and despair. An extraordinary tale based on a historical event that has resonated through the ages.

On Thea’s Radar

I’ve read some excellent reviews of this new novel, so I’m excited to give it a try.

“To understand what it meant to be a Hathaway, you’d first have to see Aurelia.”

For generations, Aurelia was the crowning glory of more than three thousand acres of Iowa farmland and golden cornfields. The estate was a monument to matriarch Lavinia Hathaway’s dream to elevate the family name – no matter what relative or stranger she had to destroy in the process. It was a desperation that wrought the downfall of the Hathaways – and the once prosperous farm.

Now the last inhabitant of the decaying old home has died – alone. None of the surviving members of the Hathaway family want anything to do with the farm, the land, or the memories.

Especially Meredith Pincetti. Now living in New York City, for seventeen years Lavinia’s youngest grandchild has tried to forget everything about her family and her past. But with the receipt of a pleading letter, Meredith is again thrust into conflict with the legacy that destroyed her family’s once-great name. Back at Aurelia, Meredith must confront the rise and fall of the Hathaway family… and her own part in their mottled history.

“Our farm was like the world when people still thought it was flat. And when you left it, it was as if you had simply sailed too far and fallen off the surface into the void.”

I kind of love this wood print looking cover, and it’s been a while I’ve been drawn in by a YA high fantasy. Hopefully I will be able to get my hands on this book soon!

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty’s anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen’s Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

In her exquisitely written fantasy debut, Rachel Hartman creates a rich, complex, and utterly original world. Seraphina’s tortuous journey to self-acceptance is one readers will remember long after they’ve turned the final page.

I abhor this cover, but I am so excited for this book. Blood Red Road was one of my favorite books of 2011 and I cannot wait to continue Saba’s story in Rebel Heart.

The Tonton have been defeated. Lugh has been rescued.

The heartstone has brought Saba and Jack together.

Now, Saba and her family head west to meet him and start a new life. All should be well.

But shadows of the dead are stalking Saba.

And another kind of shadow is creeping over the dustlands.

Then a messenger shows up.

With news of Jack.

Another case of TERRIBLE cover, but I’m excited for this book because I really enjoyed Glow.

Waverly and Kieran are finally reunited on the Empyrean. Kieran has led the boys safely up to this point, and now that the girls are back, their mission seems slightly less impossible: to chase down the New Horizon, and save their parents from the enemy ship. But nothing is truly as it seems…Kieran’s leadership methods have raised Seth’s hackles— and Waverly’s suspicions. Is this really her fiancé? The handsome, loving boy she was torn from just a short time before? More and more, she finds her thoughts aligned with Seth’s. But if Seth is Kieran’s Enemy No. 1, what does that make her?

In one night, a strange explosion rocks the Empyrean—shooting them off course and delaying their pursuit of the New Horizon—and Seth is mysteriously released from the brig. Seth is the most obvious suspect for the explosion, and Waverly the most obvious suspect for releasing him. As the tension reaches a boiling point, will Seth be able to find the true culprit before Kieran locks them both away—or worse? Will Waverly follow her heart, even if it puts lives at risk? With the balance of power precarious and the clock ticking, every decision counts… every step brings them closer to a new beginning, or a sudden end…

My theme of the day is compelling blurbs with terrible covers, I guess! Here’s another case of a book that I was quick to pass by, until I forced myself to read the synopsis. I like the underwater versus surface dweller type of story, too.

Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.

But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie. Her memories have been altered. Her mind and body aren’t under her own control. And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.

Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb… and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.

Another one! I’m usually leery of the amnesiac heroine, but after reading and loving The Rook, I’m feeling much more charitable towards the trope.

Miranda North wakes up alone on a park bench with no memory. In her panic, she releases a mysterious energy that incites pure terror in everyone around her. Except Peter, a boy who isn’t at all surprised by Miranda’s shocking ability.

Left with no choice but to trust this stranger, Miranda discovers she was trained to be a weapon and is part of an elite force of genetically-altered teens who possess flawless combat skills and powers strong enough to destroy a city. But adjusting to her old life isn’t easy—especially with Noah, the boyfriend she can’t remember loving.

Then Miranda uncovers a dark truth that sets her team on the run. Suddenly her past doesn’t seem to matter…when there may not be a future.

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


  • Elizabeth
    January 28, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Zira needs a giant scar on her face, if that’s her on the cover of DAUGHTER OF THE FLAMES. And that is the best Jennifer Lawrence doppelganger I have ever seen on the cover of FROSTFIRE.

  • Memory
    January 28, 2012 at 10:10 am

    SERAPHINA is on NetGalley, and it. Is. Awesome.

  • JL
    January 28, 2012 at 10:45 am

    I would never in a million years have realized by looking at the cover for Rebel Heart that it was the sequel to Blood Red Road. I really liked the first book, though I wish there wasn’t the obligatory romance in it (which dropped it from freakin fabulous to better than okay for me). But that cover is awful I’m tempted not to read it.

    As for False Memory, after that sh*t storm on good reads, I’m going to stay far, far away from this author. Anyone with that little respect for readers doesn’t deserve my time or money.

  • Emily's Reading Room
    January 28, 2012 at 10:46 am

    SERAPHINA looks super! Thanks to Memory for the heads up on the Netgalley presence. I’ve added the rest to my goodreads shelves.

  • Stephanie
    January 28, 2012 at 10:50 am

    The cover for Rebel Heart is disappointing to the extreme, but I would read it with any cover. Blood Red Road was one of my favorites of last year.

  • Sean Wills
    January 28, 2012 at 12:04 pm


    Ahem. Yes, I think I’ll be keeping an eye out for that one.

  • Estara
    January 28, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Daughter of the Flames does look and read really good. A poc heroine? I shall investigate further *starts doing so*

  • Zoë Marriott
    January 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    On the Book Smuggler’s Radar two years in a row? Now I know I’ve really made it! Whooo!

    Just a note: that’s actually the amazing Elizabeth May, photographer and writer extraordinaire, on the cover of FrostFire (http://www.elizabethmayphoto.com/). Giving Credit where it’s due, there. And Zira’s scar is on the left side of her face (her left) which is why you don’t see it there on the cover. ‘Cos my lovely publisher is really good about stuff like that.

  • Heidi
    January 28, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    I love how the covers of Frostfire and Daughter of the Flames contrast with one another! One is so rich and full of color, and the other so devoid and cold. I was so excited to finally get my hands on Shadows on the Moon this week, so assuming that goes well, I’ll certainly be checking these out!

  • Allison (Allure of Books)
    January 28, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Daughter of the Flames is a fantastic read! I definitely think you’ll love it.

  • azteclady
    January 28, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    The Broken Road sounds extremely intriguing

  • Malika
    January 28, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    The ‘False Memory’ book sounds very mich like Rob Thurman’s Chimera series, in the sense of both the main characters being genetically altered kids with extreme skills and powers to kill/destroy.
    Just a thought.

  • curiousnomad
    January 30, 2012 at 11:27 am

    DAN KROKOS? that’s the guy who insulted the reviewers on goodreads who didn’t like the books. he was a real jerk about it too and twittered how about how someone could have the balls to NOT like his book etc. etc.

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