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:

You know, this week was a quite difficult one to find booksies for moi. Every single book I came across that sounded promising turned out to be a Thea-book and I sent her loads of links. Having said that, I did come across a few cool-sounding Ana-books.

Starting with Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan. I really can’t wait to read it and hey, LOOK! We are giving away an ARC right NOW.

Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the- Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?

Sarah Rees Brennan brings Gothic romance kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century with a funny, modern heroine who can take care of herself, an angry, beautiful boy who needs to be saved, and the mysterious forces that bring them together and tear them apart.

I saw Blue Thread and immediately added it to my I WANT THIS list. It is a historical about the suffrage movement in the US as well as a Time Travel story. The religious aspect makes me a bit wary BUT it has so much potential…

The women’s suffrage movement is in full swing in 1912 Portland, Oregon—the last holdout state on the West Coast. Miriam desperately wants to work at her father’s printing shop, but when he refuses she decides to dedicate herself to the suffrage movement, demanding rights for women and a different life for herself. Amidst the uncertainty of her future, Miriam’s attention is diverted by the mysterious Serakh, whose sudden, unexplained appearances and insistent questions lead Miriam to her grandmother’s Jewish prayer shawl—and to her destiny. With this shawl, Miriam is taken back in time to inspire the Daughters of Zelophehad, the first women in Biblical history to own land. Miriam brings the strength and courage of these women with her forward in time, emboldening her own struggles and illuminating what it means to be an independent woman.

Riveted the third Iron Seas book by Meljean Brook has a cover. FINALLY a cover that fits the tone of this series – I am so glad to see the man-titty covers go.

A century after a devastating volcanic eruption forced Iceland’s inhabitants to abandon its shores, the island has become enshrouded in legend. But the truth behind the legends is mechanical, not magical—and the mystery of the island a matter of life and death for a community of women who once spilled noble blood to secure their freedom.

Five years ago, Annika unwittingly endangered that secret, but her sister Källa took the blame and was exiled. Now Annika serves on an airship, searching for her sister and longing to return home. But that home is threatened when scientific expedition leader David Kentewess comes aboard, looking to expose Annika’s secrets. Then disaster strikes, leaving David and Annika stranded on a glacier and pursued by a madman, with their very survival depending on keeping the heat rising between them—and generating lots of steam.

A Tale of Time City by Diana Wynne Jones is being republished by Penguin with an intro by Ursula Le Guin. We like it.

Time City – built far in the future on a patch of space outside time – holds the formidable task of overseeing history, yet it’s starting to decay, crumble …. What does that say for the future of the world … for the past … for the present? Two Time City boys, determined to save it all, think they have the answer in Vivian Smith, a young Twenty Century girl whom they pluck from a British train station at the start of World War II. But not only have they broken every rule in the book by traveling back in time – they have the wrong person! Unable to return safely, Vivian’s only choice is to help the boys restore Time City or risk being stuck outside time forever…

On Thea’s Radar:

So, I LOVED Rae Carson’s first novel, The Girl of Fire and Thorns and I cannot wait for The Crown of Embers.

Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone’s power. That is not all she finds.

A breathtaking, romantic, and dangerous second volume in the Fire and Thorns trilogy.

Now, while I am super excited for this book and the cover fits the series look, I am just a tad bit distressed by the woman on the image…again. As we know, the ARC cover image was crazy whitewashed AND slimmed down. The final cover of The Girl of Fire and Thorns was modified to include just a face, which is an improvement, though not a very good one as the face looks not very much like our dark skinned heroine Elisa. This new cover is continuing that trend, unfortunately.

Thanks to the Banana for pointing out this book to me! A new Gemma Malley. Yay!

Everyone accepted that people were different physically. But inside? Inside, they were different too. You just had to know how to tell, what to look for.

Evil has been eradicated. The City has been established. And citizens may only enter after having the ‘evil’ part of their brain removed. They are labelled on the System according to how ‘good’ they are. If they show signs of the evil emerging, they are labelled a K . . . But no one knows quite what that means. Only that they disappear, never to be seen again . . .

Another dystopian novel brought to my attention by darling Ana:

Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home–and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.

Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia’s origin–a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.

Origin is a new way to look at an age-old desire: to live forever, no matter the cost. This debut novel blends the awakening romance of Matched with the mystery and jungle conspiracy of Lost.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series by Karsten Knight, so I’m excited for this sequel! And I do like the covers.

Ashline Wilde is about to discover that when you’re the reincarnation of a Polynesian volcano goddess, “new beginnings” are just a myth.

Leaving the fiery ruins of her sophomore year behind her, Ash travels to the sizzling beaches of Miami, hot on the trail of the little sister she’s only seen in visions. But her happy family reunion isn’t all palm trees and paradise. A cult of evil gods-on-earth, known as the Four Seasons, has kidnapped her sister to use in its terrifying new religion. Soon, the streets of Miami erupt in chaos and violence…and Ash gets caught right in the tropical crossfire

Ash isn’t without help, however. Unexpected romance arrives in the form of Wes, an Aztec god of night with his own vendetta against the Four Seasons. As memories of Ash’s previous life begin to flicker into her dreams, the boundaries between ally and enemy, life and death, and love and hate all bleed together. And when a mysterious trickster from her past reappears to derail her new quest, Ash must choose between the echoes of a once-forgotten yesterday and the embers of an uncertain future.

Because when old flames return from the dead, even a volcano goddess can get burned.

I just reviewed A Posse of Princesses this week, and have made the executive decision that I need much more Sherwood Smith in my life. So many awesome commenters brought up this new forthcoming book from the lovely Ms. Smith, and I cannot wait to read it.

Princess Lasva is about to be named heir to her childless sister, the queen. But, when the queen finally bears an heir, Lasva’s future is shattered. Grief-stricken, she leaves her country of Colend and falls into the arms of Prince Ivandred of Marloven Hesea. His people are utterly different-with their expertise in riding, weaponry, and magic- and the two soon marry.

When the sensational news makes its way to Lasva’s sister, the queen worries for Lasva at the hands of the Marlovens, whose king’s mage is in league with the magical land of Norsunder-considered by Colendi to be their enemy. The queen orders Emras, a scribe, to guard Lasva.

But it may be too late-Lasva is already deeply involved with the Marlovens and their magic. War wages on, and all are forced to redefine love, loyalty, and power…

This next book looks and sounds awesome!

Sixteen-year-old Cleo has grown up in luxury, the royal heiress to a prosperous kingdom. But beneath her nation’s seemingly peaceful surface lies dangerous unrest. Whispers of war are growing ever louder—intensified by a murderous incident for which Cleo’s betrothed, Aron, is accused.

Amidst the ongoing intrigue, Cleo has a more desperate mission. She defies her father’s orders and sets off on a secret and perilous journey into a neighboring country, seeking a magic long thought to be mythical. If it’s real, it could be the cure that heals her ailing sister. If it’s only legend, Cleo will be stranded in a kingdom that has just declared war on her own.

This sensational series debut melds intricate storylines with unforgettable characters and vibrantly imagined magic. Falling Kingdoms is ideal for fans of Kristin Cashore, Cinda Williams Chima, and George R.R. Martin.

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


  • vicky
    March 17, 2012 at 12:26 am

    That’s a really nice collection that you have reviewed here. I haven’t read most of these books, after this review i am surely going to go through it. Personally i like review of “origin” here.

  • Alexa
    March 17, 2012 at 1:57 am

    I want to read Unspoken so much too! After reading this I can’t help but want to read EVERYTHING. Gah. Time.

    I’ve seen people around the Net spazzing about Something Like Normal, which I heard will be due later this year! That’s what’s been under my radar thus far.

    Great article, Smugglers! 😀 :

  • Karen Mahoney
    March 17, 2012 at 2:22 am

    I have DARK STAR by Bethany Frenette on my radar! Love the cover and it sounds great. (I think this could be an Ana book, though possibly a Thea book too?)



  • Amy @ Turn the Page
    March 17, 2012 at 3:32 am

    I think out of them, Falling Kingdoms is the one I’m really excited to read! 🙂

  • Amy @ My Friend Amy
    March 17, 2012 at 9:51 am

    The religious aspect makes me a bit wary
    I had a knee jerk reaction to you saying this (sorry). It looks like the publisher is a regional press affiliated with a university so it’s not a religious publisher, so I don’t think you have anything to worry about unless religion in general makes you uncomfortable.

    Also, it’s actually kind of cool there’s a story about these women of a religious sect and how they obtained their rights when that’s probably a story a lot of girls growing up in these religions don’t get to hear.

  • Emy Shin
    March 17, 2012 at 10:09 am

    FALLING KINGDOMS sounds so, so cool. The only down point is that it won’t be published until the end of the year. Alas.

  • Ana
    March 17, 2012 at 10:20 am


    I had a knee jerk reaction to you saying this (sorry). It looks like the publisher is a regional press affiliated with a university so it’s not a religious publisher, so I don’t think you have anything to worry about unless religion in general makes you uncomfortable.

    Also, it’s actually kind of cool there’s a story about these women of a religious sect and how they obtained their rights when that’s probably a story a lot of girls growing up in these religions don’t get to hear.

    It’s not religion in general that makes me uncomfortable but the prospect of being preached at. I am not religious at all so I am always wary about it. Having said that, I completely agree with you and that’s why the book is on my radar as well.

  • Estara
    March 17, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Banner of the Damned and Riveted FTW! 😉

  • Diana Peterfreund
    March 17, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    I feel like it’s more disingenuous to ignore religion in books, especially books about historical America. I’m not religious either, but I love reading books where religion is a factor.

    I’m dying for Unspoken, and also Falling Kingdoms. I’ve been waiting for the latter ever since MIchelle announced it. LOVE the cover.

  • Charlotte
    March 17, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    I hadn’t heard of Banner of the Damned before now….(and now am very happy). If you have time, you might want to consider quickly reading A Stranger to Command, the story of Vidanric’s life in Malorvan Hess set just before the Crown Duel books. I really enjoyed it–it was very character driven, and very much a school story, which I like! (I find the cover unfortunate, though).

  • Paige
    March 17, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    It’s not the religion that puts me off in re: Blue Thread; more that the way the conflict is described sounds suspiciously didactic. Miriam goes back in time and learns VALUABLE KNOWLEDGE! I can’t even count the number of religious tapes, books, and movies marketed to kids with variations on that plot. (And full disclosure: I loved them many of them and spent my allowance on them at church summer camp.)

    But the message was always pretty simple: modern protagonist learns courage and loyalty from Queen Esther; modern protagonist learns about the importance of forgiveness from Joseph; etc. And the blurb for Blue Thread makes it sound exactly like one of those.

    But who knows? It might be the next Freedom Maze, just with bad advanced publicity.

  • Linda W
    March 17, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    I’m anxiously awaiting Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst and Grave Mercy by R. L. LaFevers 😀

  • Amy C
    March 17, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    I like the silhouette in Origin. Just because, yes, it’s in some way the ‘ideal’ figure for a woman (bleh!), but it’s also not the ‘ideal’ that’s being projected all throughout media: a woman whose legs are so thin that the gap between them can encompass another pair of stick-thin legs. (Double bleh!) So, it’s good to say that the girl has some curves… although she could have more meat on her. xD

  • Iris
    March 18, 2012 at 4:26 am

    “The religious aspect makes me a bit wary”
    My first reaction was to comment: a religious setting usually makes me curious about a book, but then again, if a title is promoted as specifically Christian, or any other religion, fiction, I usually skip over it too (since I’m not religious myself and feel I might not do the book justice).
    Having read the summary, I kind of understand your reaction to the religious aspect. I’m not sure why, but it makes me hesitant to say that I’d love to read it.

  • Ana
    March 18, 2012 at 4:36 am

    Iris, I deleted your comments on the other post as you requested.

    I’ve been thinking about it and I think what makes me wary about this one in particular is how the blurb says that the main character is embolden by these women from the past and I wonder how will that connect with the religion.

    I just wanted to make sure I explain that when I say I am wary about stories with religious aspects, I am not saying that I avoid them altogether, only that I approach with caution.

    I love reading stories about a character’s personal connection with religion, but am turned off when the personal becomes UNIVERSAL.

    I just bought the book and will read it as soon as I can.

  • Jackie Kessler
    March 18, 2012 at 7:24 am

    I am SO looking forward to having time to actually read again. Thanks, as always, for posting what’s on your radar. I’m looking forward to spending stupid amounts of money on books. 🙂

  • April Books & Wine
    March 18, 2012 at 11:31 am

    I want ALL OF THE ABOVE!

    Seriously, this is a standout radar week, I want to read all of these ahaha.

  • Maya S
    March 18, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Oh my goodness, I absolutely LOVE “A Tale of a Time City.” It was actually quite confusing the first time I read it, and it is a bit more complex than many of her other stories (which is saying something for DWJ), but NO ONE can touch her for creative genius. Still mourning the stories we will never get to read 🙁

  • Emily's Reading Room
    March 20, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I didn’t see that FALLING KINGDOMS had a cover now. I am very highly anticipating that one, being the huge Cinda Williams Chima fan that I am.

  • Book Review: Blue Thread by Ruth Tenzer Feldman | The Book Smugglers
    April 23, 2012 at 5:56 am

    […] a few weeks ago and added it to my radar. I was going to get the book eventually but after my commentary on that post which sparked a number of comments, I thought I should read it […]

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