Smugglivus Smugglivus Guest Author

Smugglivus 2011 Guest Author (& Giveaway): N.K. Jemisin

Welcome to Smugglivus 2011! Throughout this month, we will have daily guests – authors and bloggers alike – looking back at their favorite reads of 2011, and looking forward to events and upcoming books in 2012.

Who: Nora (N.) K. Jemisin, the multiple Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy award-nominated author! Ana fell in love with her first novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Thea did too), shooting the lovely Ms. Jemisin to the top of our Smuggler Favorite Authors list.

Recent Work: Nora is the author of the Inheritance Trilogy: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Broken Kingdoms, and The Kingdom of the Gods.

Give it up for Nora, ladies and gents!

I haven’t had a ton of time to read this year. Cranking out five novels in a 3-year span will do that to a girl. Still, partly because my reading time is so limited, I’m very quick to discard a book if it doesn’t capture me immediately — so what’s listed here are the books that have swallowed me whole and only occasionally let me out for fresh air before swallowing me again. Consider everything here massively recommended, in no particular order.

And if there’s one perk of being a published author that I shamelessly take advantage of, it’s getting my hands on the good stuff early. So apologies in advance, but this list contains a lot of stuff that’s not out yet. More for you to anticipate!

Kate Griffin’s The Neon Court

First up is the latest in the Matthew Swift chronicles, a magnificent urban fantasy series from UK author Kate Griffin that started in 2009. (The series starts with A Madness of Angels; this is book 3.) I really don’t understand why this series hasn’t gotten more attention; the books have all the fun of the Dresden Files but are written with Mievillian (yeah it’s a word ’cause I made it up) magnificence of prose, and a level of imagination that I think is just pure Griffin herself. In this latest outing, Matthew Swift — itinerant and essentially homeless urban sorcerer who also happens to house a couple of other entities beneath his rather hapless skin — must stop a war between magical gangs in London. But meanwhile he also has to save his frenemy, the sorcerer-hating assassin Oda, who seems to be transforming into an entity of her own… and threatening to take all of London with her.

I love these books. For serious: I went to London last year to visit relatives, and while I was there I did my own personal “Matthew Swift” tour of the city. I love Griffin’s elegaic, brutal prose. I love the wildly imaginative magic; for example, in this book Matthew’s apprentice teleports him out of danger using postage stamps — yeah, she mails him with magic. Speaking of Matthew’s apprentice Penny, I love that these books are full of the true diversity of London — ethnically, racially, economically, and otherwise. Penny is not a background character, and she’s not a “sidekick”, there solely to reflect the hero’s brilliance. Oda is beautifully badass, as sympathetic as she is frightening — a real person, like so many of the women in these books. This is urban fantasy that defies the cliches and dubsteps all over the formulas. Book 4 (The Minority Council) is due out in March, and I’m already driving my editor nuts to try and get a copy.

Kate Elliott’s Spiritwalker Series

(Note to self: avoid overuse of phrases like I LOVE THIS.)

I — uh. Hmm. OK. I like these books with the fiery ferocity of ten thousand raging volcanoes. Hope that gets the point across.

So, take the standard formula for European history. Usually consists of classical history (Greeks and Romans, Hannibal crossing the Alps, etc.) + some Dark Ages and stuff + colonialism + some wars and stuff. In this case, subtract everything after the classical era, replace the Europe-dominating-the-world colonialism with Africa-dominating-Europe colonialism, and multiply by spirit-world-dominating-real-world colonialism. Remember to factor the stuff in parentheses first: Malian mysticism times Celtic mythology dialed up to eleven. Then change “Europe” to “Europa” ’cause it ain’t the same anymore, add fire and ice magic, and shake (don’t stir).

The result is an utterly cracktastic cocktail in which an intrepid young woman must face off against tyranny in both the real and spirit worlds while trying not to fall in love with her husband-by-arranged-marriage and also dealing with her crazy relatives, one of whom is a horny were-cat. (Sabretooth, specifically.) If that’s not enough to interest you, try this: Warrior maidens! Hilariously vain well-dressed men! Napoleon (sorta)! Taino political drama! (Actually there’s all kinds of political drama.) Zombies! Griots! STUFF! BLOWING! UP!!!

…Yeah, so, read it. First two books are out already; I can’t wait for Cold Steel, the forthcoming book 3.

Martha Wells’ Books of the Raksura

I always want to bust out LL Cool J when I think about Martha Wells: Don’t call it a comeback/I’ve been here for years. Wells has had a long and distinguished career up to this point… and to my shame and horror, I never heard of her before this book. But that’s OK, because this book hooked me like a hooky thing and I’m now a raging fan. Next year, I imagine, I’ll have some of her older books to recommend.

But let me tell you about that moment of hook. I was stuck on a long flight from one country or another — France, I think — cranky, jetlagged, bored mindless. I’d bought the ebook of The Cloud Roads after reading a sample chapter and deciding it might be sufficient to keep me awake on the flight, but not really hoping for more than that. I started reading — and then suddenly, irritatingly, I was in New York and had to stop reading so I could get off the plane. WTF, who told the pilot to land? I wasn’t finished.

This is the kind of fantasy that made me start writing fantasy. I don’t mind the usual vaguely-historical-Europe setting — see above rave re Kate Elliott — but what I truly treasure about this genre is its potential to go, well, where no one has gone before. The science fictional allusion is apt here because there’s a skiffy quality to the worldbuilding: none of the people in the Three Worlds are human. (Wells uses a deceptively simple storytelling style that emphasizes their alienness in subtle ways while keeping them otherwise “human” and easily relatable.) What makes it solidly fantasy is that magic is plausibly built into everything: the ecology, the societies, the technology, the characters’ daily lives. It’s epic fantasy, but the stakes are nothing so paltry as the fate of a kingdom. Even as Moon and his people struggle to survive, they do so amid the ruins of dozens of other civilizations which have failed and whose people have gone extinct. It’s a deliciously Darwinian epic fantasy that reminds me a little of C. S. Friedman’s Coldfire trilogy and Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis/Lilith’s Brood series, multiplied by Miyazaki’s Nausicaa. And if that sounds awesome to you, that’s because it is.

I pestered the author ’til she let me read an advance copy of the second book, The Serpent Sea, which is due out in January, and I’m happy to report that it’s even better — the politics of empire writ in tooth and claw, delightfully twisty gender role shenanigans, a gaslight city on the back of a floating leviathan. Better still, Wells is working on the third book! I’m trying my damnedest not to hover around her blog and ask every 5 minutes, “Is it done yet? Is it? Huh? And can I see it when it is?” ‘Cause that would be, y’know, creepy.

Delia Sherman’s THE FREEDOM MAZE

I confess I don’t read many books in the middle grade range, and I don’t usually feel qualified to talk about them as a result. But I’m recommending this one because it wowed me, never mind who its target audience is.

I’m a New York girl these days, but I grew up in the American South — Alabama and Louisiana, specifically. Most families there have some version of this in their history: the child whose skin color hints at an unwanted intrusion somewhere in the lineage, sometimes generations forgotten, sometimes just the (figurative) other day. In my own case it was my great grandmother, who had blue eyes and straight hair and never, ever spoke of the man who had fathered her. In most families the story of this intrusion remains untold, except perhaps in whispers and snide remarks. Sherman takes this delicate, possibly-painful subject matter and not only exposes the story; she weaves it into quintessentially Southern trickster mythology a la Bre’r Rabbit. The result is beautiful, breathtaking, painful, and still fundamentally a fairy tale — one that’s powerfully perfect for our time.

Innocent Sophie, a white child growing up in 1960s Louisiana, knows only that her mother and grandmother constantly lament the texture of her hair and admonish her to stay out of the sun. Bored and obsessed with fairy tales, she encounters a strange creature who grants her wish to go on an adventure, and she is thus transported a hundred years into the past. In this time, her grandmother’s rambling old estate is a thriving plantation — and in this world, where no one politely overlooks Sophie’s obvious not-quite-whiteness, she is assumed to be a slave.

What follows is not a history lesson, although Sherman’s treatment is clearly well-researched and accurate. The story stays front and center, as Sophie is forced to grow up quickly and to see the world through very different eyes — her own eyes, that is, suddenly reduced to three-fifths of their original value. There are some none-too-subtle digs at the racial subtext of fairy tales, and at the whole portal-fantasy subgenre and its tendency to assume that any traveler to a fantasy world will be welcomed with honors and privilege. But ultimately I’m recommending this one because I couldn’t stop reading it, even when it made me cry.

Genevieve Valentine’s MECHANIQUE

I have no interest in the sub-subgenre of circus fiction, mostly because I’ve never liked circuses; as a child they bored me, and as an adult they disturb me on multiple levels. But the circus of Valentine’s novel is far stranger and more disturbing than anything that exists in our world — and way, way more interesting.

In the hazy future in which this story takes place, war has destroyed the world, yet the world goes on. The Circus Tresaulti travels through the ruins, bringing cheap, tarnished moments of beauty into the lives of shattered, beaten-down people — but the circus holds a secret. Its gimmick is that its performers are half mechanical — just ordinary people wearing made-up brass limbs and steam-engine shoulders. And brass-pipe bones, and clockwork wings that really fly, and bodies that never age or die. The members of the Circus Tresaulti family are people, with all the epic interpersonal dramas of any circus family — but they aren’t ordinary by any stretch. This becomes clear when they are threatened by “the government man”, a truly chilling adversary who realizes the circus’ secret and tries to claim it for himself.

This is a funhouse mirror of a novel: eerie and frustrating in fragments, surreal and entrancing as a whole. It was not an easy book to read; readers will have to work to engage with it fully. But if you put forth the effort, it will invade you, like hollow metal bones. It will remake you, a la China Mieville; it will take you somewhere very strange, a la Ursula Le Guin. And every moment of pain will be repaid by sheer beauty.

Check out Valentine’s short fiction too, when you get a chance. I recommended this one for a Nebula last year.

E. C. Myers’ FAIR COIN

Eugene’s in my writing group, and I’ll admit I probably never would’ve heard of this book otherwise — but that’s mostly because it’s not out yet. I got to read an advance copy of it and its sequel, Quantum Coin, and let me tell you — by next year you’ll definitely have heard all about this book.

In Fair Coin, Ephraim is a typical angsty teenage boy — obsessed with sex, obsessed in particular with hot-girl classmate Jena, struggling with his mother’s depression. He finds a lucky coin and uses it to make a wish only to discover that it actually works, changing his entire life for the better… but only when it lands on heads. I can’t talk about it much more than that — spoilers — but this one reminded me a lot of Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies: realistic and compelling characters, a world whose creepiness only gradually reveals itself, awesome adventure. But don’t take my word for it: preorder it and read for yourself!


While we’re on the subject of stuff by people in my writing group, I should also note that I’m looking forward to this book, which just got a starred review at Publishers Weekly. I haven’t read it, but I’ve read lots of Saladin’s Nebula-Nominated short fiction, so I’m very much looking forward to his first try at a novel. And look at that cover art! Can’t go wrong with ghouls (or ghuls, a la Arabian folklore), badass old monster hunters, badass female shapeshifters, and badass stiffnecked religious guys. You can preorder that one too.

Mira Grant’s Newsflesh trilogy

I have a confession to make: I’m bored with zombies. Yeah, I watch The Walking Dead, laughed at Zombieland, read the classics as well as the new kids on the block. But really, after awhile all the libertarian survivalist fantasies start to feel old. I don’t even play the Resident Evil games anymore, and they used to be favorites (at least before they went off the rails into Failville, anyway). There’s just only so much you can do with the same material.

Which is why I was completely surprised by Mira Grant’s Feed. It’s not a zombie novel, despite the presence of zombies. It’s very much a post-9/11 novel exploring the political usage of fear, and the dangers of a co-opted media machine that plays games with the truth. Ultimately it’s a journalism drama — but what makes it work is its crew of intrepid bloggers who battle the military-industrial complex the way Buffy and the Scoobies faced off against the forces of evil. It’s snarky, frightening, and heartbreaking… and yeah, I guess it matters that there’s zombies. But the zombies are very much beside the point.

Another confession: this book and mine were competitors for the Hugo this year, and although neither of us won, when the final votes were counted Feed beat The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by a solid margin. And I don’t mind at all. Because I loved the hell out of this book, and who could mind losing (figuratively speaking) to something they love?

The second book of the series (Deadline) hooked me even more firmly into the universe, and now I’m waiting on tenterhooks for book 3 (Blackout). Hurry and catch up before it comes out!

::whew:: OK, that’s enough raving. Got plenty of work to do, after all, on my next novel. Speaking of which, anyone who comments on this post will get a chance to win an ARC of The Killing Moon, book one of the Dreamblood, my forthcoming duology!


Courtesy of the author, we are running a giveaway of an ARC of The Killing Moon. In order to enter, you must leave a comment here – contest is open to ALL and will run until December 17 2011, 11:59 PM (PST). Good luck!


  • Christine
    December 12, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Yay! This was probably my favorite post of Smugglivus so far! The descriptions of these books were otherworldly. They’re all pretty much fast-tracked to my to-read pile.

  • Schneider
    December 12, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Ah, I ADORE Jemisin’s work! Fantastic stuff, really. Sign me up for THE KILLING MOON giveaway, please!

  • MarieC
    December 12, 2011 at 10:35 am

    I dont’ think anyone could overuse a phrase when talking about a great book! I was quite happy to recognize several of the books, but now it seems I need to add more to be TBR stack!

  • Ashley
    December 12, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Really looking forward to reading The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms – please sign me up for The Killing Moon giveaway!

  • Theresa
    December 12, 2011 at 11:01 am

    I want to read EVERY ONE of the books she recommended! I’m going to be very busy in 2012, I can already tell.. 🙂

    I haven’t picked up Jemisin’s books yet either, so I hope I win the ARC!

  • Alice
    December 12, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Great post! That phrase can never be overused!! And thank you for the new introduction to more awesome books. Already put The Freedom Maze on my list to buy…Thanks! 🙂

  • hapax
    December 12, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Omigosh, N.K. Jemisin knows my tastes *exactly*!

    (Maybe that’s why I would also love a copy of THE KILLING MOON)

  • Serenity
    December 12, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Great recs, I’m definitely adding most of those to my to-read list! Also, I am SUCH a big fan of your Inheritance books – I just finished The Broken Kingdoms and god, I’m still recovering from the experience (in a good way!). I have the Kingdom of Gods on order and can’t wait to read it!

    So basically, it would pretty much make my year if I could get an ARC of your new book 🙂

  • Peta
    December 12, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Huge fan so loved reading your post! Fabulous selection of book recommendations too and I am sooooo going to hunt out Kate Griffin’s books now! Thanks.

  • Kay-Kay-Bay
    December 12, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Cool. Cool, cool, cool.
    Kate Elliot has been on my To-Read list for ever, but I haven’t managed to get to her yet. Hopefully this has given me the incentive.

  • pscott
    December 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    FYI, the Cloud Roads by Martha Wells is free (FREE!!) in the U.S. kindle store today. Perfect timing!

  • Justin
    December 12, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Yes, please. <3 Jemisin.

  • SandyG265
    December 12, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    I’m looking foward to reading Blackout too.

  • Evamaria
    December 12, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Oh boy, I sure hope friends/family will take pity on my suddenly much longer book wishlist…. 🙂

  • Sheila
    December 12, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Enter me, please!

    And great post. My to-read list is ever growing.

    (Thanks for The Cloud Roads free-Kindle tip, pscott!)

  • Mieneke
    December 12, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    This post made me laugh so much and the book recs are awesome! I just finished Kingdom of Gods and just WOW! So I’m chomping at the bit for the Dreamblood duology, and I’d love to get my greedy mitts an ARC of The Killing Moon 🙂

  • Veronica H. (Parnassus Reads)
    December 12, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    I would love to receive an advance copy of The Killing Moon! I just finished The Kingdom of Gods and loved it! I can’t wait for her new series, so please sign me up for the chance to get one early.

    Thank you,

    Veronica @

  • Doret
    December 12, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Since this is third or fourth smugglivus to mention Kate Elliott’s books, I am offically adding the author to by tbr. Now that my finals are over I finally have time to read The Kingdom of Gods. Good Times.

  • Allison (Allure of Books)
    December 12, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I really need to read The Cloud Roads! It sounds so awesome.

    Also, yay for this giveaway because I’m dying for a copy of The Killing Moon.

  • NicoleL
    December 12, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I love these guest posts with book recommendations. My TBR list is getting out of control again!

  • Tiffany
    December 12, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I want in the contest too! My 2012 reading list keeps growing. Good thing I read fast.

  • Ginny
    December 12, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Awesome list by an amazing author. I want all of these books!

  • Jaime Callahan
    December 12, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    An ARC of THE KILLING MOON? I am SO in!

    I loved the Elliott, Grant, and Wells books on this list — definitely have to check out the other recommendations. Thanks for the list!

  • Katherine
    December 12, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I am so very interested in this giveaway book, lol 🙂

  • Martha Hubbard
    December 12, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    I love have Jemisins work since reading a short story of hers in Clarkesworld. I would love to be abl to post a review in my blog or maybe in the Innsmouth magazine for which I frequently review.

  • Katherine
    December 12, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Do want!

  • Axie
    December 12, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Wonderful post!

  • Jamie
    December 12, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Oh, me please! Sign me up.

  • Jessica C
    December 12, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Mmmmm… yes please!!!

  • Tamlane
    December 12, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    I’ll have to check some of these out! 😀

  • rhapsodyinbooks
    December 12, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    I’d love to win this! I have been wanting to read Jemisin for some time!

  • Jennifer
    December 12, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Ooh, entering for the giveaway right now. I love this author. 😀

  • Pippi55
    December 12, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Amazing books. Sing me up

  • Daniela
    December 12, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    I love Jemisin’s writing! Reading her blog has quickly made her one of my favorite authors, so I was very happy to see her guest post here. That said, all the books she’s recommended have just been added to the top of my tbr list!.

    P.S. Definitely sign me up to win an ARC of The Killing Moon! I’ve been dying to read it ever since I finished The Kingdom of Gods!

  • kara-karina
    December 12, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Thank you for a wonderful post,N.K.! I loved your Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and I loved Feed just as much’m looking forward to reading the books you’ve mentioned nex year 🙂

  • Anastasia @ Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog
    December 12, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Eeek! So, basically, I want to read all the books listed here (besides the ones I’ve already read, I mean)! Because they all looks so good! And I actually just got The Cloud Roads– it’s free at Amazon right now.

    And yay for a new NKJ book!

  • K
    December 12, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Hee! The title of your post made it look like you’re giving away N. K. Jemisin herself. But enter me in the contest anyway?

  • Ellie
    December 12, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    So excited to read The Killing Moon!

  • Vivienne
    December 12, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Loved the Inheritance trilogy. Can’t wait to see what Ms Jemisin does next!

  • Lillian
    December 12, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    As if my TBR pile wasn’t big enough already… *adds books to it*

  • MD
    December 12, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Now I want to read every one of the books mentioned! And yes, I’d love to win the giveaway book, too 😉

  • mary anne
    December 12, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Must be a sign of how popular she is…had to page down a LOT till I could get to my spot to “leave a comment.” Everybody wants to be a winner!

  • Na
    December 12, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Thank you very much for the giveaway. So many new authors to add to my reading list.

  • Diana
    December 12, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    I can’t wait to read The Killing Moon, it looks awesome. ^_^

  • Gemma
    December 12, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    I was really looking forward to this post since Jemisin was guest posting! Awesome recommendations! And I really, REALLY hope I get a copy of The Killing Moon! Thank you so much for doing this!

  • Izzy M
    December 12, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    N. K. Jemisin soared to the top of my favorites list in the past few years. Her blog also turned me on to Kate Elliott’s Spiritwalker series and the Circus Tresaulti, which also became instant favorites. I will definitely be trying some of these others books on for size… you haven’t steered me wrong yet! (And yes please the Killing Moon!)

  • Maegan Morin
    December 12, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Thanks for the great giveaway!! Looks like a great book 😀

  • reading mind
    December 12, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    My TBR pile has just got bigger and bigger and bigger! Wow, how many titles! ANd would love to win the ARC 🙂

  • Laura
    December 12, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    I so want this. 😀

  • Breanne M.
    December 12, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Even more books to add to the TBR pile! Thanks for the post and the giveaway!

  • Eva C
    December 12, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Awesome list! And I would love a chance to win that ARC (:

  • jenmitch
    December 12, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    ack, i want to win this arc so badly! i have devoured all of miss jemisin’s books and am so looking forward to reading her new series.

    thanks so much for the post — these books are all going onto my TBR pile asap!

  • Heather R.
    December 12, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Ok, I literally busted out a note pad and scribbled down all the books she recommended. I have heard of The Inheritance Trilogy, as well as Cold Magic and Cold Fire, but they are now officially on my wish list. And I have a copy of Feed sitting on the bookshelf, so thanks for reminding me to read that asap too! Thank you for the chance to win the ARC:)

  • Kendra
    December 12, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Thanks for the post! The Cloud Roads has been on so many posts this smugglivus, and I am flying from London to San Francisco in a few days…it’s fate!

  • Victoria Zumbrum
    December 12, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    I would love to read this new series. Sounds very good. Please enter me in contest.

  • Becky C.
    December 12, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    I look forward to this book. It would nice to win it!

  • Meredith
    December 12, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    I love the Inheritance trilogy though I still haven’t read the third. It’s on my Christmas list, though. Can’t wait for this new series.

  • Gina Rinelli
    December 12, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    I loved your list! So many of those books I’m looking forward to as well, and I just finished Deadline about an hour ago and HOLY CRAP was it good. I can’t believe we have to wait until June for Blackout!

    I’d love to be part of the giveaway, thank you!

  • Stephanie
    December 12, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    I really need to read the Mira Grant series. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • darchole
    December 12, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    It seems that Smugglivus just brings out all the books on my TBR pile.

  • Cat
    December 12, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    REALLY hope I get this book give away!!

  • Alex
    December 12, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    I just received Cold Magic and Cold Fire in a book exchange, and now I am even more excited to finish A Game of Thrones and start on them than I already was. Ahem.

    I have also heard such great things about N.K. Jemison – I would love to try her new series out!

  • Kathleen
    December 12, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    great list! I finished The Cloud Roads on your blog rec not too long ago & I really enjoyed it. Looking forward to your new series!

  • Smuggle up some book recs | Epiphany 2.0
    December 12, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    […] a guest post over at The Book Smugglers today, in which I recommended some of my favorite books of the year. Some of ‘em you’ve […]

  • Katrina
    December 12, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Ooh, delicious!

  • paige
    December 12, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    The Cloud Roads is free on kindle right now!

  • de Pizan
    December 12, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    I’m looking forward to your new series. Most of these are already on my to read list, the rest are going on there now (especially The Freedom Maze).

  • moonshower
    December 12, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Yes to free book! Thanks for running a giveaway and the reviews-I added several of these to my “to be gotten” list.

  • Emily
    December 12, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Awesome list. I went out and grabbed samples of everything I hadn’t already read. Can’t wait to read your new series!

  • Shannon H
    December 12, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    I have been eyeing the Matthew Swift books for months now, my fingers are crossed that they will make an appearance at Christmas!

  • Evika
    December 12, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    I loved the Inheritance Trilogy and would really like a chance to win The Killing Moon. 🙂

  • draconismoi
    December 12, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Feed was one of my favorite books last year too! My copy has been borrowed so much that it is in tatters.

    I was very torn when I saw both you and Mira on the Hugo finals….how do you choose between the two? Tough call.

  • Megan
    December 12, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    This is such a great list of books. I am so looking forward to the Dreamblood duology!

  • sarac
    December 12, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    The Neon Court series looks so good! Will definitely check it out.

  • Mark W.
    December 12, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Great list of books! I’d love a copy of that ARC–I’m just finishing The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and can hardly wait for more!

  • Carrie
    December 12, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    I want your new book soooooooooooooooo badly! 😀

  • photon
    December 12, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Nice list– I’ve bookmarked them for later. I love Martha Wells, especially Death of the Necromancer.

  • Teri C
    December 12, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Those were some fabulous looking reads. I loved it. i enjoyed the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms series and cannot wait for this new adventure.

  • Kaya H
    December 12, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Wow, that increased mt TBR by a lot!
    I cannot wait for this new series by Jemisin, I thoroughly enjoyed her last trilogy.

  • Michell
    December 12, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    I love your books, even though every single (currently out) one made me cry for one reason or another. I need to read Cold Fire soon, everyone keeps talking about it and it keeps staring at me accusingly. Along with Deadline…

    The new book sounds wonderful. 🙂

  • Kimberly B.
    December 12, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Thanks for all the awesome recommendations! Looks like there are a lot of great books coming out. I enjoyed The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and I can’t wait to read more of your work. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  • Jill
    December 12, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    I’ve been eyeing N.K. Jesmin’s work for a while now….I’d love to try an ARC of The Killing Moon!

  • Fani
    December 12, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    I have heard many great things about Jemisin from friends of mine and I’d love the chance to read a book of hers! Plus, there are some great books in that list. Cold Fire and Cold Magic just got in my wishing list 😀 .

  • Frederikke
    December 13, 2011 at 12:34 am

    This looks like a really awesome book, and I’d be delighted to get a “you won”-email on my birthday. 🙂

  • K. Hill
    December 13, 2011 at 1:58 am

    I’d love to win this arc! It sounds really great!

  • Foz Meadows
    December 13, 2011 at 2:15 am

    Mmm, book recommendations. So tasty!

  • Matthew
    December 13, 2011 at 2:18 am

    Recommendations and an ARC? Hurrah!

  • Helle
    December 13, 2011 at 2:32 am

    Awesome giveaway – count me in! 😀

  • Nicole R
    December 13, 2011 at 4:44 am

    I’m so in love with her writing! Please count me in 🙂

  • Kelly
    December 13, 2011 at 5:55 am

    Thanks for all the awesome reccies! I will definitely be checking them out. As for entering for an ARC I would totally love one! However – I won’t blog it, though I will use what little social media I have available to spread my opinion, and I live in Australia. So I totally understand if I’m not picked…Still wanna read the story though heh 😆

  • Mary Preston
    December 13, 2011 at 6:19 am

    Brilliant list. I would love to read THE KILLING MOON thank you.


  • Bo Balder
    December 13, 2011 at 7:28 am

    Thanks, Nora! I’m currently enjoying Kingdom of Gods, so I’m inclined to take your recs seriously.
    Kate Elliott is a longtime favorite of mine, but I’ve added Kate Griffing to my Amazon basket. Recommendations, preferably from authors I like, is the only way I read these days…..

  • Nikki Egerton
    December 13, 2011 at 7:58 am

    I would positively love a copy of The Killing Moon! I’m a huge fan of The Inheritance Trilogy and can’t wait to read this!

    Thanks for the awesome post. I really need to get hold of Feed, it’s been on my list for ages.

  • Su
    December 13, 2011 at 8:02 am

    N.K. Jemisin on The Book Smugglers?!?! That’s like getting peanut butter in my chocolate or chocolate in my peanut butter! *fangirl swoon*

    Thank you so much for this giveaway. I know this book will be an insta-buy when it is released, but I’d love to get my grubby little mitts on it early.

  • blodeuedd
    December 13, 2011 at 8:09 am

    I would love to win, I have just started your other series and loved it 🙂

  • KarenB
    December 13, 2011 at 8:25 am

    An ARC for this huge fan would go down a treat!

  • Vanessa
    December 13, 2011 at 8:27 am

    I want. That is all.

  • Mia
    December 13, 2011 at 8:32 am


    I just added almost all of these books to my goodreads TBR list (minus the ones I’ve read already). Thanks for the recommendations!

  • Scott
    December 13, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Would be great to win a copy.

  • Sofija
    December 13, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Great list! I’ve read some of the books from it and almost all were very good. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Jeremy
    December 13, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Good timing! In about a week, I’ll actually be able to sneak in a little pleasure reading.

    Nora recommended Feed on her blog quite some time back, for which I’ve been extremely grateful — Newsflesh is an outstanding series, and I’m eagerly awaiting the third book. I’ll be keeping all of these in mind, but given how much I and several friends of mine enjoy the Dresden Files, it sounds like Kate Griffin has to be next on my list.

  • Lynna Landstreet
    December 13, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Thanks for the wonderful list of recommendations! A lot of them I’ve already read (and loved – we seem to have very similar tastes), but even with those it was fun reading Nora’s comments about them, because she such a knack for entertaining descriptions. And the ones I haven’t read yet are now definitely on my list.

    And I would love, love, love to win a copy of The Killing Moon!

  • Rachel
    December 13, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Wonderful recommendations– I already have many of them on my to-read list. I loved the Inheritance Trilogy, and I can’t wait for the Dreamblood books!

  • Sarah
    December 13, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Oooh, I’m so excited to see this list! I went into a SF/F bookstore last month after finishing up Kingdom of Gods and asked them what I should read next and they really had no idea what to recommend to me. So I’m sooo excited to be getting recommendations directly from you N.K! Thanks!

  • Christina Black
    December 13, 2011 at 11:02 am

    I look forward to this read!

  • Melody
    December 13, 2011 at 11:09 am

    These look like some great books. Now my kindle is full of samples for the Christmas season.


  • Iris
    December 13, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Thank you for the terrific recommendations.

  • bigfoot24
    December 13, 2011 at 11:36 am

    This looks like an amazing book!

  • Lindsay Elizabeth
    December 13, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    N.K. Jemisin, I love your books with the fiery ferocity of ten thousand raging volcanos. I would love, love, love, to get another one.

  • Karen
    December 13, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Thanks for this–I just loaded up my Goodreads. (And Cloud Road was recently offered free for Kindle, as a promo to the next title–not sure if it’s still there, but worth a look.)

  • janicu
    December 13, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    I’m really really interested in the Martha Wells books. Hmm. Also THE FREEDOM MAZE sounds pretty good (I was going to say amazing, but yeah). 🙂

  • Samantha
    December 13, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    These all look great! Glad to know some aren’t out yet – it narrows down the choices just a little bit.

  • Vivian
    December 13, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this post, full of humorous comments on books that also intrigue me. Looking forward to starting her books!

  • lindevi
    December 13, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    ARC?!?! Count me in! XD

  • sarah webster
    December 13, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Wow, thank you for the giveaway :)This book does look awesome.

  • Susan
    December 13, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    What impresses me most about this list is how many of these books Goodreads recommended to me yesterday (I do want to read A Madness of Angels, mainly for the title and cover. Also – the Felix Castor books by Mike Carey are my default recommendation for people who’ve read the Dresden Files and want something else. Something better! 😀), and how much the commentary made me smile. Thank you for this!

    I am really looking forward to getting more of Ms Jemisin’s books – I spotted the latest one on the way out of a bookshop and may have had to be physically dragged away…

  • Amy @ My Friend Amy
    December 13, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Your description of Mira Grant’s books are perfect, they are not really zombie books. Well stated, I’m eager for Blackout as well.

  • Julie Andrews
    December 13, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    I really should read Freedom Maze, since it’s been sitting in (one of) my stack(s) of books since release day!

  • Anonymous
    December 13, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    I am a bit behind on the first trilogy, but, I am super excited that she already has another series going.

  • Cheryl
    December 13, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    I look forward to reading this!

  • Kate
    December 13, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Great list. Definitely will take note to come back to it when I’m looking for something new to try!

  • Rachele
    December 13, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    I’m in the middle of reading Cold Magic based on your recommendation. I’m absolutely in love. Can’t wait to finish and move on to Cold Fire.

    And I’m crossing my fingers for that ARC 🙂

  • jenn
    December 13, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    Wow I reaaaaaally want to read The Freedom Maze! xD
    I talked to Delia Sherman a few weeks ago (oh it several days before it was released i just realized!) and she mentioned The Freedom Maze… I was completely drawn in by the premise, so yeah… =)

  • Cat
    December 13, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    Wonderful sounding list! I’m looking forward to checking out the ones I have not already read.

  • Anna
    December 13, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    I’m going to have to check out the Kate Griffin books now… and probably everything else you’ve recommended here, except for Cold Magic/Fire, since I’ve already read those (and completely agree with your assessment!) 😀

    Cannot WAIT for The Killing Moon…

  • LAJ
    December 13, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    I’ve just started reading The Broken Kingdoms.
    Thanks for some new books for my reading list. I loved Mechanique, so we probably have similar taste in books.

  • Hannah
    December 13, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    I’ve been looking for some new books to read as I head off to house-sit in a land without internet (and take the time to detox from the internet while I’m there) – I can’t wait to read some of these!

  • Susan Voss
    December 13, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Ms. Jemisin – Thank you so much for such a great list of recommended books. I greatly enjoyed The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and the sequel. I’m still on the waiting list at the library for the third. But now I have some great recommendations while I am waiting!

  • Tom
    December 13, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    Great suggestions. Thanks and Happy Holidays!

  • Sarah B.
    December 14, 2011 at 3:18 am

    I’m going to be homeless if I have to keep adding books to my Amazon list.

  • Tara
    December 14, 2011 at 7:30 am

    Me, please! I just finished reading “Kingdom of Gods” and I’m completely obssessed with the whole series. N.K. Jemisin has become one of my favorite authors.

  • Halley Todd
    December 14, 2011 at 8:13 am

    I love N.K. Jemisin so much! Her blog is also awesome to read. I really like the heavy topics that she is not afraid to discuss.

  • Matthew
    December 14, 2011 at 8:40 am

    Great reviews, thanks!

  • Lucy
    December 14, 2011 at 10:50 am

    I would love that arc – torture waiting ’till summer!

  • tanya
    December 14, 2011 at 11:54 am

    thanks for the recs…just ordered the neon court series…i had been looking but needed a rec to take the next step.

  • nicanicnix
    December 14, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Oooh count me in please!!:)

  • curiousnomad
    December 14, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    am so in. WANT WANT WANT the book

  • Anonymous
    December 14, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    I loved,loved, loved the first two books of the inheritance trilogy, to the point of accepting on pure faith all the book recs this author has offered.

    Must get myself a copy of Book 3 for the holidays. Feeling all warm and fuzzy now, getting to know the author’s own book preferences better!

  • Maya M.
    December 14, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Well, darn. Forgot to add my deets in previous email’s giddy excitement! So I am the anonymous of comment at 9:38

  • Jacqueline C.
    December 15, 2011 at 12:15 am

    I’ve been meaning to purchase a lot of these books, but some of them I’ve never heard of (like The Freedom Maze). My wallet is going to be taking a hurting pretty soon and it’ll have nothing to do with holiday gifts!

  • Stephanie Burgis
    December 15, 2011 at 4:09 am

    I also love Kate Elliott’s Spiritwalker series and Delia Sherman’s The Freedom Maze! And I’d love to enter the giveaway.

  • Gisele Alvarado
    December 15, 2011 at 9:53 am

    I want to read FEED so badly! Thank you so much for the giveaway!

  • An Outcast Flower With A Secret | Literary Escapism
    December 15, 2011 at 11:04 am

    […] author of Unleashed – Tynga’s ReviewsNK Jemisin, author of The Kingdom of Gods – The Book SmugglersTara Lain, author of Deceptive Attraction – Paperback DollsTerry Spear, author of Dreaming of […]

  • Lauren
    December 15, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    I loved the Inheritance books! Excited to read the new series!

  • Katy
    December 15, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Thank you for so many recommendations Nora! I have added some books to my list based solely on your comments, books I probably never would have picked up otherwise.

  • reading mind
    December 15, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    wow, great recommendations! I must check them out! thanks so much!

  • John M.
    December 15, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Thanks for the recommendations. I was looking for a few new reads and it’s always cool to know what your favorite authors are reading themselves.

  • Tracy
    December 15, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Great reviews—thank you! My to-read list just got a lot longer 🙂

  • Andrea H.
    December 15, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Oo, I’m looking forward to checking these out!

  • Review: The Kingdom of Gods by N.K. Jemisin | Parnassus Reads
    December 16, 2011 at 12:46 am

    […] guest blogged over at The Book Smugglers, and shared her must read list. You can find that post here. December 16th, 2011 | Tags: book review, N.K. Jemisin, The Inheritance Trilogy, The Killing Moon, […]

  • RebeccaS
    December 16, 2011 at 2:03 am

    Putting my name in the hat! I love the Inheritance Trilogy.

  • k.
    December 16, 2011 at 2:28 am

    Can’t wait to read The Killing Moon! I love love love (one for each book) the Inheritance Trilogy.

  • nick
    December 16, 2011 at 5:38 am

    oooooohhhhh would love to win this!

  • eveie
    December 16, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Thanks for the giveaway. I love the Inheritance Trilogy and am looking forward to the Killing Moon!

  • Anne Gray (@zer_netmouse)
    December 16, 2011 at 9:02 am

    I just put about half those books on my wish list and ordered one right away for my hubby for christmas!

    Thanks for the great reviews and recommendations, and yes, please put my name in the hat for the ARC.

  • Jenni
    December 16, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    N.K. Jemisin is one of my favourite authors! I absolutely adored The Inheritance Trilogy and can’t wait to get my hands on her next series!!

  • Heather H
    December 16, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Oooh, hadn’t heard about this one yet.

  • lindsay walsh
    December 16, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    the inheritance trilogy are my new favorite books of all time and i can’t even read a new book because i love it so much.

    i didn’t even know you were putting out a new book! i hope i get to read it!

  • Jessica Walden
    December 16, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Me, me! please pick me! I drove 25 miles to get to a bookstore the day the final book of the Inheritance trilogy went on sale. Needless to say, I’m a big fan.

  • Melissa Bee
    December 16, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Oh, man. I love these books. I love this author. I’d love to win this. 🙂 Thanks for the chance!

  • Suzanne B.
    December 16, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    So, I went into a store today and had an accident where I saw Kate Elliot’s Cold Magic and had an “accident” where I fell and my credit card swiped in the machine and before I knew it, I was outside with three books I hadn’t meant to purchase (I also grabbed A Game of Thrones, in order to find out if it’s worth the fuss). Whooops.

    And yes, please enter me into the ARC giveaway

  • Emily M.
    December 17, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Would love to read this one early…

  • Memory
    December 17, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    I’ve heard sooooo many people rave about Martha Wells over the past couple of months. My copy of THE CLOUD ROADS is getting closer and closer to the top of my great big list of Stuff To Read.

  • Susan
    December 17, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Got hooked on 100K Kingdoms through the excerpt in the back of Cold Fire. Looking forward to checking out most of the book on this list. Read a sample chapter of Crescent Moon and was sad I couldn’t find it at B&N – if it’s not out yet, mystery explained.

  • Kim
    December 17, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    I enjoyed the Inheritance Trilogy. I have not read any of your suggestions yet, but i will.

  • thanate
    December 17, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Ooh, count me in! (and my to-read list *may* have just increased by a couple books…)

  • Smugglivus 2011: Week 4 Schedule | The Book Smugglers
    December 18, 2011 at 3:28 am

    […] MICHELL […]

  • GoddessVirage
    December 19, 2011 at 9:48 am

    The Throne of the Crescent Moon sounds awesome- I love Arabian themed anything! Although I did read Feed, and I was rather put-off by what I saw as very flat characters. The premise was amazing, but I am very much a character girl (one of the reasons I love your books, your characters are so <3) and Feed just didn't do it for me. Her characters felt way more like plot devices than people I actually cared about. Kate Elliot's books though are definitely on my to-read list, they sound fantastic!


  • Jeanette
    December 19, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Note to Kindle users: The Cloud Roads is currently free. Zero dollars. It was a happy surprise.

  • Nicole
    December 19, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I’m ashamed to say I’ve never heard of any of these books. So… I guess I’ll just add them to the list!

  • Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Hope Santa Brings « Just Can't Know
    December 20, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    […] Jemisin: I’d heard this book’s praises sung all over the blogosphere, but it was Jemisin’s Smugglivus guest post that clinched it for me. Her recommendations were spot on, and everything she described, I wanted […]

  • fiercebadrabbit
    December 21, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Ooh, an ARC? Yes, please. For edifying and reviewing purposes, of course, as I am very sensible and not a slavering fan at all.

  • Serena
    December 21, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Would love a copy!

  • Book Review: The Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman | The Book Smugglers
    February 28, 2012 at 9:05 am

    […] did I read this book: N.K. Jemisin raved about the book in her Smugglivus Post and I bought it as soon as I read her post. It’s been sitting in my Kindle ever since but […]

  • Book Review: Fair Coin by E.C. Myers | The Book Smugglers
    March 5, 2012 at 12:01 am

    […] did I read this book: I first heard about this book from NK Jemisin when she recommended it in her Smugglivus post. I immediately put it on […]

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