On the Radar

On the Smugglers’ Radar

“On The Smugglers’ Radar” is a new feature for books that have caught our eye: books we 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 Thea’s Radar:

This new cover was released recently on the Orbit blog, and I think it looks fantastic. (And also, I love Edinburgh)

Mixing real history and historical figures with magics and conspiracies, this novel imagines the Edinburgh of 1827, populated by mad alchemists who treat Frankenstein as textbook rather than novel, and by a criminal underclass prepared to treat with the darkest of powers.

The plot follows the progress of an officer of the recently formed Edinburgh City Police as he follows a trail of undead hounds, emptied graves, brutal murders and mob violence into the deepest and darkest corners of Edinburgh’s underworld – both literal and magical – and back again to the highest reaches of elegant, intellectual Edinburgh society.

This is the Australian cover (I think?), and I’m kind of ashamed that I haven’t read this book yet. Or Jellicoe Road. I have a feeling Finnikin of the Rock is probably more up my alley – I mean to get crackin’ on it soon.

At the age of nine, Finnikin is warned by the gods that he must sacrifice a pound of flesh in order to save the royal house of his homeland, Lumatere.

And so he stands on the rock of three wonders with his childhood friend Prince Balthazar and the prince’s cousin, Lucian, and together they mix their blood. And Lumatere is safe.

Until the ‘five days of the unspeakable’, when the King and Queen and their children are slaughtered in the palace. And an imposter king takes the throne.
And a curse is put on Lumatere, which traps those caught inside and forces thousands of others to roam the land as exiles, dying of fever and persecution in foreign camps.

But ten years later Finnikin is led to another rock to meet the young novice, Evanjalin. A girl plagued by dark dreams, who holds the key to their return to the Land of light…

This cover looks ridiculously cheesy, but the blurb sounds interesting…so here’s to hoping!

When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

Night Shade Books is coming out with new title Yarn, which looks awesome – and led me to find Grey, an apparently awesome dystopian novel from the same author. Now I have the greed for BOTH.

In a world pushed beyond the moral simplicity of black and white, all that survives is Grey.

High fashion, corporate malfeasance, celebrity culture, and an obsessed media collide with exuberant violence and volatile intensity in Grey, the explosive debut novel by newcomer Jon Armstrong.

For Michael Rivers, life is perfect. Michael has everything; tall, handsome, and famous, he is worshipped by billions of fans around the globe. He is wealthy beyond measure, the heir apparent to RiverGroup, one of the handful of high-tech corporations that controls the world. He is fashionable, setting trends with his wardrobe of immaculate designer suits, each a unique and celebrated work of art. And Michael is in love, perfect love, sharing a private language based entirely on quotes from the latest fashion magazine advertisements, with Nora, his beautiful, witty, and equally perfect fiancee, the only woman with whom he can see surgically-altered monochromatic eye to eye.

When an assassin s bullets pierce Michael s body before the unblinking eyes of cameras, reporters, and viewers at a press junket, everything changes, forcing Michael to question everything about his previously perfect world. Illusions shattered and forcibly separated from Nora, Michael seeks to uncover the reasons behind the attempted assassination, embarking on a quest that leads him to question his relationships with his loud, pro-fane, and narcissistically ltra father; his estranged mother; and the perilous, contaminated, neo-feudalistic world that lies beyond the safe and protected bubble of corporate family life.

Michael must delve deep into his past, finding that all paths he uncovers seem to lead to the now-closed PartyHaus, and to a time when he was the golden boy, dancing furiously to the beat of notorious all-night Rage parties thrown by his father.

From the neo-feudalistic slubs and cornfields of his youth to his apprenticeship among the saleswarriors of Seattlehama – the sex-and-shopping capital of the world – to the rarefied heights of power that Tain now treads, Yarn takes its readers on a roller coaster ride through his life. Vada, the stylish revolutionary and love of Tane’s life, draws him back into a world he had thought was long behind him. The swirling threads of violence and passion threaten to destroy him and the world he has made for himself.

Author Jon Armstrong returns to the high fashion dystopia first glimpsed in Grey, weaving a stylish and scintillating tale of a dark past colliding with Tane’s supposedly safe and secure present.

And look, the new Meg Cabot! Pretty.

She knows what it’s like to die. Now Death wants her back.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce knows what happens to us when we die.

That’s how she met John Hayden, the mysterious stranger who’s made returning to normal life—or at least life as Pierce knew it before the accident—next to impossible.

Though she thought she escaped him—starting a new school in a whole new place—it turns out she was wrong. He finds her.

What does John want from her? Pierce thinks she knows… just like she knows he’s no guardian angel, and his dark world isn’t exactly Heaven. But she can’t stay away from him, either, especially since he’s always there when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she might find herself back in the place she fears the most.

Last one, I promise! I love the cover art for this one. (Again, way to go Orbit!)

On Ana’s Radar:

You guys should know by now how much of a Melissa Marr fan I am. I am waiting anxiously for the last book in the Wicked Lovely series next year but also for her first adult book, Graveminder, even more so now that I saw the covers. I don’t know if I prefer the US or the UK one! What about you?

Three sips to mind the dead . . .

Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the tender attention her grandmother, Maylene, bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn’t a funeral that Maylene didn’t attend, and at each Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words “Sleep well, and stay where I put you.”

Now Maylene is dead and Bek must go back to the place—and the man—she left a decade ago. But what she soon discovers is that Maylene was murdered and that there was good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in placid Claysville, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected. Beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D—a place from which the dead will return if their graves are not properly minded. Only the Graveminder, a Barrow woman, and the current Undertaker, Byron, can set things to right once the dead begin to walk.

I am SO late posting this next cover! After reading his excellent City of Ruin, I simply can’t wait for the next Mark Charan Newton book!

A new and corrupt Emperor seeks to rebuild the ancient structures of Villjamur to give the people of the city hope in the face of great upheaval and an oppressing ice age. But when a stranger called Shalev arrives, empowering a militant underground movement, crime and terror becomes rampant.

The Inquisition is always one step behind, and military resources are spread thinly across the Empire. So Emperor Urtica calls upon cultists to help construct a group to eliminate those involved with the uprising, and calm the populace – the Villjamur Knights. But there’s more to Knights than just phenomenal skills and abilities – each have a secret that, if exposed, could destroy everything they represent.
Investigator Fulcrom of the Villjamur Inquisition is given the unenviable task of managing the Knights, but his own skills are tested when a mysterious priest, who has traveled from beyond the fringes of the Empire, seeks his help. The priest’s existence threatens the church, and his quest promises to unravel the fabric of the world. And in a distant corner of the Empire, the enigmatic cultist Dartun Súr steps back into this world, having witnessed horrors beyond his imagination. Broken, altered, he and the remnants of his order are heading back to Villjamur.

And all eyes turn to the Sanctuary City, for Villjamur’s ancient legends are about to be shattered…

I am in total cover lust with the cover of Luminous:

When sixteen-year-old Consuela discovers she can remove her skin, revealing a lustrous mother-of-pearl skeleton, she slips into a parallel world known as the Flow, a place inhabited by archetypal teens with extraordinary abilities. Crafting skins out of anything – air, water, feathers, fire – she is compelled to save ordinary people from dying before their time. Yet now someone is murdering them, one by one, and Consuela finds herself the focus of an intricate plot to end the Flow forever when all she really wants is to get back home, alive.

Then, visiting Tempting Persephone I saw these INCREDIBLE-looking books, a new trilogy that will be released back to back to back next year by Del Rey and I want them so much it’s not even funny:

Book 1:

Book 2:

I love Alex Bell’s books and I am really looking forward to the second Lex Trent adventure but I am not sure about the cover. Looks very MG-ish….

Lex Trent managed to win the last Games through skill, quick-wittedness and no small amount of outright cheating. And that’s exactly how he intends to win them this time round too. Particularly as he can select his own companion for these Games and won’t be lumbered with tiresome and decrepit lawyer Mr Schmidt.

Given that he knows one of the rounds will be taking place in the Wild West he’s determined to pass himself off as a cowboy so that he can scam his way into Dry Gulch house and get his hands on the legendary sword of life!

What about you? Any books on your radar lately?


  • Amy @ My Friend Amy
    November 20, 2010 at 12:32 am

    ooooh I’m really looking forward to Graveminder as well, thanks for posting the cover, I hadn’t seen it yet!

  • RK Charron
    November 20, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Hi 🙂
    Thank you for the excellent books/blurbs/covers.
    There were a few that really piqued my interest.
    On my radar is:

    HEXED out June 7th, 2011. Which has 4 novellas:

    Ilona Andrews has Jim and Dali’s story, told from Dali’s point of view, in MAGIC DREAMS.

    Jeanne C. Stein has bounty-hunter-turned-vampire Anna Strong in BLOOD DEBT.

    Yasmine Galenorn has Iris Kuusi, a Finnish house sprite living with the D’Artigo sisters, who must journey to the frozen Northlands to confront her former lover’s crazed shadow, so she can break the curse keeping her from marrying the man she loves, in ICE SHARDS.

    Allyson James has a story set in her Stormwalkers world called DOUBLE HEXED.

  • Michelle
    November 20, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    I totally just put the Meg Cabot on my wishlist. It looks fantastico!

  • Anonymous
    November 20, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    I find it ironic that you’re interested in Megan McCafferty’s Bumped. I adored her Jessica Darling novels and this seems like quite the departure from that, so it’ll be interesting to see her branch out. I know you guys blog on YA as well as a bunch of other genres, but I don’t think you’ve mentioned Megan McCafferty before. If anyone hasn’t read her earlier books, I do highly recommend the first two in the series, Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings.

  • Doret
    November 20, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Thea – Finnikin of the Rock is so freakin good. Its one of my favorites books of the year. I actually like the American cover better.

    Graveminder and Luminous sound great.

    I can’t wait for the new Meg Cabot. I miss reading Cabot. Her MG just doesn’t
    do it for me. But I love Cabot’s YA and fiction.

    Three books on my radar

    Rosebush by Michele Jaffe
    Solitary by Alexander Gordon Smith
    Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves

  • April (Good Books & Wine)
    November 21, 2010 at 9:50 am

    So much win with these covers, except for that bottom one, it doesn’t look like something I would pick up.

    BUT OMG Melissa Marr’s covers are awesome. I think I like the one with the white peeled paint building the best.

  • Heather Massey
    November 21, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    I just finished THE IRON DUKE and am very interested in learning about your take on it.

    As for books on my radar, I can’t wait to read ENEMY WITHIN by Marcella Burnard.

    I’m also looking forward to reading three forthcoming steampunk romances from Carina Press: THE MYSTERIOUS LADY LAW by Robert Appleton, ISLAND OF ICARUS by Christine Danse, and LIKE CLOCKWORK by Bonnie Dee.

    *And* I want to read the just released steampunk romances from Samhain Publishing’s SILK, STEEL, AND STEAM steampunk romance anthology.

    Hmm, I might have a thing for steampunk romance…

  • Angie
    November 22, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Oh, Thea. Read JELLICOE. Read JELLICOE!

  • Kate
    November 22, 2010 at 10:46 am

    DARN YOU. I just added like six books to my Goodreads queue because of this post. I don’t have time for all this reading! :-p

  • martialartiste
    November 23, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Grey is *fantastic*. I picked it up on a whim a few years ago because the cover was pretty, and I gulped it down in less than a day. I’m totally thrilled to see that Armstrong has a new novel coming out!

  • Mrs. DeRaps
    November 23, 2010 at 9:16 am

    I need to read Bumped! Love dystopias!

  • Ginny
    November 23, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    wow, a lot of these books look good…
    however, i can’t wait for the warlock by michael scott. that and water wars. really, i cannot wait any longer. 😀

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