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 saw this one over at The Happy Nappy Bookseller – looks good.

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When they meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the two loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special kind of friendship–the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime.

I am a huge fan of Michelle Harrison’s THIRTEEN trilogy and I can’t wait for her next book, Unrest:

Seventeen-year-old Elliott hasn’t slept properly for months. Not since the accident that nearly killed him. Sometimes he half-wakes, paralysed, while shadowy figures move around him. Other times he is the one moving around, while his body lies asleep on the bed. His doctors say sleep paralysis and out of body experiences are harmless – but to Elliott they’re terrifying.

Convinced that his brush with death has attracted the spirit world, Elliott secures a job at a reputedly haunted museum, determined to discover the truth. There, he meets the enigmatic Ophelia. But, as she and Elliott grow closer, Elliott draws new attention from the dead. One night, during an out of body experience, Elliott returns to bed to find his body gone. Something is occupying it, something dead that wants to live again . . . and it wants Ophelia, too . . .

Keeping the Castle seems to be a Historical RomCom and I really like the sound of it…

Seventeen-year-old Althea is the sole support of her widowed mother, young half-brother, and two stepsisters—and she must maintain Crawley Hall. Althea, in short, must marry well. But there are few wealthy suitors—or suitors of any kind—in their small Yorkshire town of Lesser Hoo. Then Lord Boring comes to stay with his aunt and uncle. Althea sets her cap to become Lady Boring. There’s only one problem; his friend and business manager Mr. Fredericks keeps getting in the way. And, as it turns out, Fredericks has set his own cap.

After reading Code Name Verity by E Wein last week, I went on a binge and bought some of her previous books. I hear this one starts a series-within-a- series that mixes Arthurian legend and sixth century Ethiopian history (I KNOW, right?) with a hero that is reminiscent of Megan Whalen Turner’s Eugenides. HURRY UP POSTMAN!

Telemakos is the grandson of two noble men: Kidane, member of the parliament in the African kingdom of Aksum, and Artos, the fallen High King of Britain. Telemakos is also an exceptional listener and tracker, resolute and inventive in his ability to discover and retain information. Now his aunt Goewin, the British ambassador to Aksum, needs his skill. Plague has come to Britain, and threatens Aksum. Disguised, Telemakos must travel to the city of Afar where salt—the currency of sixth century Africa—is mined, and discover the traitor who has ignored the emperor’s command, spreading plague with the salt from port to port. This challenge will take all of Telemakos’s skill, strength, and courage—because otherwise it will cost him his life.

The Sunbird is the third in Elizabeth E. Wein’s ongoing Arthurian/ Aksumite cycle. Its striking, spare language, riveting plot, and all-too-human characters are unforgettable.

Charles Benoit (author of YOU) has a new book coming out in May. I am interested:

Grace always has a plan. There’s her plan to get famous, her plan to get rich, and—above all—her plan to have fun.

Sawyer has plenty of plans too. Plans made for him by his mother, his father, his girlfriend. Maybe they aren’t his plans, but they are plans.

When Sawyer meets Grace, he wonders if he should come up with a few plans himself. Plans about what he actually wants to be, plans to speak his own mind for a change, plans to maybe help Grace with a little art theft.

Wait a minute—plans to what?

On Thea’s Radar:

First up , a novel I received in the mail this week, for which I am pretty excited. I’ve read the first books in Michelle Sagara West’s Cast series but couldn’t really get into them – I’m hoping that Silence brings better luck!

“It began in the graveyard. Ever since her boyfriend Nathan died in a tragic accident Emma had been coming to the graveyard at night. During the day she went through the motions at her prep school, in class, with her friends, but that’s all it was. But tonight was different. Tonight Emma and her dog were not alone in the cemetery. There were two others there—Eric, who had just started at her school, and an ancient woman who looked as though she were made of rags. And when they saw Emma there, the old woman reached out to her with a grip as chilling as death….”

Then, there’s this forthcoming Tor steampunkish graphic novel that looks like a lot of fun (love the cover art):

If you’re visiting the flying city of Amperstam without the latest printing of The Lurker’s Guide, you might as well be lost. This one-sheet is written, edited, and printed by Ashe, a girl raised on the streets of the flying city, and is dedicated to revealing its hidden treasures and deepest secrets—including many that the overcontrolling government doesn’t want anyone to know. The stakes are raised when Ashe accidentally uncovers the horror of exactly how Amperstam travels among the skies and garners the attention of those who would rather that secret be kept in the hands of the city’s powerful leaders.

Soon Ashe is on the run from thugs and assassins, faced with the choice of imperiling her life just to keep publishing, or giving in to the suggestion of a rich patron that she trade in her voice and identity for a quiet, comfortable life. It’s a war of confusion for Ashe, but one thing is very clear: just because you live in a flying city, you can’t always keep your head in the clouds.

This next book looks to be a historical urban fantasy novel, but takes to revolutionary eighteenth century America instead of the more commonplace Britain. Awesome.

Boston, Province of Massachusetts Bay, August 26, 1765

A warm evening in colonial North America’s leading city. Smoke drifts across the city, and with it the sound of voices raised in anger, of shattering glass and splintering wood. A mob is rioting in the streets, enraged by the newest outrage from Parliament: a Stamp Tax . Houses are destroyed, royal officials are burned in effigy. And on a deserted lane, a young girl is murdered.

Ethan Kaille, a thieftaker of some notoriety, and a conjurer of some skill, is hired by the girl’s father to find her killer. Soon he is swept up in a storm of intrigue and magic, politics and treachery. The murder has drawn the notice of the lovely and deadly Sephira Pryce, a rival thieftaker in Boston; of powerful men in the royal government; of leaders of the American rebels, including Samuel Adams; and of a mysterious sorcerer who wields magic the likes of which Ethan has never encountered before.

To learn the truth of what happened that fateful night, Ethan must recover a stolen gem and sound the depths of conjurings he barely understands, all while evading Sephira and her henchmen, holding the royals and rebels at bay, and defending himself and those he loves from the shadowy conjurer.

No problem. Provided he doesn’t get himself killed in the process.

I am woefully behind on this series, but I loved The Magicians and Mrs. Quent, so I WILL get back to reading this series. Soon.

Even as her husband is about to attain undreamed-of power, Ivy Quent fears for her family’s safety. With war looming and turmoil sweeping the nation of Altania, Ivy finds the long-abandoned manor on the moors a temporary haven. But nowhere is really safe from the treachery that threatens all the Quents have risked to achieve. And an even greater peril is stirring deep within the countryside’s beautiful green estates. As Ivy dares an alliance with a brilliant illusionist and a dangerous lord, she races to master her forbidden talents and unravel the terrible truth at the heart of her land’s unrest—even as a triumphant, inhuman darkness rises to claim Altania eternally for its own.

The premise of this next book is intriguing, so I’m willing to look past the MAC ad cover (though the eyeshadow color IS very pretty):

Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She’s been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than the average person, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she’s closer to eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal. For Elyse, these things don’t make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she’s been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability. Or so she thinks. Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time. Among so many of her kind, she should not be very remarkable–except for the prophecy. Some believe she will put an end to traditions, safeguarded by violence, which have oppressed her people for centuries. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning–and she’s not entirely willing to play by their rules.(less)

I LOVE this cover, and the fact that it is a new pioneer scifi novel has my heart all aflutter. WANT.

Pattie and her family are among the last refuees to flee a dying Earth in an old spaceship. And when the group finally lands on the distant planet which is to be their new home, it seems that the four-year journey has been success. But as they begin to settle this shining world, they discover that the colony is in serious jeopardy. With supplies dwindling, Pattie and her sister decide to take the one chance that might make life possible on Shine.

Saw this one thanks to the lovely KMont of Lurv ala Mode! I *loved* book 1, The Doomsday Vault and cannot wait for this next installment:


Declared enemies of the Crown, Alice Michaels and Gavin Ennock have little choice but to flee in search of a cure for the clockwork plague ravaging Gavin’s mind. Accompanying them is Dr. Clef, a mad genius driven to find the greatest and most destructive force the world has ever seen:The Impossible Cube. If Dr. Clef gets his hands on it, the entire universe will face extinction.

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


  • Ana
    February 18, 2012 at 2:30 am


  • Katharine
    February 18, 2012 at 6:24 am

    I think The Green Book is a re-print – we have it on our elementary library shelf and I read it many years ago. Good story!

  • KT Grant
    February 18, 2012 at 6:29 am

    The Green Book came out in 1986 http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/252262.The_Green_Book

    Under 100 pages also. Is this one a middle grade? I love the new cover for it also.

  • Katharine
    February 18, 2012 at 7:04 am

    Good 4/5 readers will enjoy it and middle grade too if they like the scifi genre.

  • Katy
    February 18, 2012 at 7:10 am

    Unrest sounds so good! Anybody know the release date? I tried to find it on Amazon …

  • Estara
    February 18, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Well, Telemakos actually shows up as a major character for the first time in A Coalition of Lions, which has a female as protagonist, Goewin – the daughter of King Arthur and Guinevere – trying to get support from the Ethiopian Empire for a good choice of ruler in England – she is actually the most competent to inherit of the Arthur’s three children but is a woman – so she at least is trying to have a say in who will be good for her country.

    But the books that really center on Telemakos start with the Sunbird.

  • Estara
    February 18, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Also, yay for Ana trying more E.Wein 😮 and ENVYYYYYYYYYYYYYY for Thea already reading Silence 😈 !!! MSW has become one of my comfort rereads with almost all her series (I couldn’t get into the Sundered, but I adore the Elantra and Essalieyan universes), so I bet a YA contemporary gothic series – which I think this is – should be fascinating, too.

  • Bibliotropic
    February 18, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    “The Sunbird” definitely looks interesting, though I haven’t read any of the author’s other books yet, so maybe I ought to do that before looking too closely at this one.

    “Oppression” also sounds like it could be good, though the description puts me a bit in the mind of “The Goddess Test.”

    And “The Green Book” is one I definitely think I’m going to have to track down a copy of when I can, because it sounds right up my alley!

  • Charlotte
    February 18, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    The Green Book is an utterly mindblowing book for young readers–my eight year old had his socks knocked off. For the grown up first time reader, I think you have to be careful not to expect to much from it. I love it, and I’ve re-read it several times, but still always want it to be just a bit more than it is (for one thing, it’s too short! I wanted more!)

    It’s an interesting one from a modern book lovers perspective, in that books as physical objects and holders of stories are central to the story– no computers, let alone ereaders, in sight.

  • Tara
    February 18, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Ooh, Keeping the Castle looks really good! And also found, by way of that, another book that looks interesting by Kindl: Owl in Love.

  • erin b.
    February 18, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    _The Green Book blew my mind as a kid, and I’m really excited that it’s being reprinted.

    I hope kids today (god, I feel old just writing that) will still be able to relate to it, and won’t find the absence of computers and tech too unrealistic.

  • Linda Cohen
    February 18, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    I’m so happy to see all the love for The Green Book! I read and loved it back in High School, so like 30 yrs or so. Damn I don’t feel that old(then again my fellow bookseller read A Wrinkle in Time at 13 so that helps a little-lol)

  • Iris
    February 19, 2012 at 6:01 am

    Aristotle and Dante sounds very interesting 🙂

  • Chachic
    February 19, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Yes, Mr. Postman, please hurry because Ana needs to be introduced to Gen-in-Africa!

  • Laura
    February 21, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    I want Oppression and Thieftaker!

  • Gert
    May 31, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    The abiltiy to think like that shows you’re an expert

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