“On The Smugglers’ Radar” is a 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:
From the awesome minds behind the Illuminae files trilogy, comes another series I CANNOT WAIT TO READ. And it’s out so so soon:
The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…
A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering
And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.
They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.
I feel like this year is going to be the Year of the Time Travel for me (SO. MANY. TIME. TRAVEL. BOOKS) and there is one time travel novella that was out late last year that I somehow missed but I am on it now:
It’s 1788 and Alice Payne is the notorious highway robber, the Holy Ghost. Aided by her trusty automaton, Laverna, the Holy Ghost is feared by all who own a heavy purse.
It’s 1889 and Major Prudence Zuniga is once again attempting to change history?to save history?but seventy attempts later she’s still no closer to her goal.
It’s 2016 and . . . well, the less said about 2016 the better!
But in 2020 the Farmers and the Guides are locked in battle; time is their battleground, and the world is their prize. Only something new can change the course of the war. Or someone new.
Little did they know, but they’ve all been waiting until Alice Payne arrives.
There was a fun cover reveal extravaganza over at Penguin Teen last week and the pretty. IT WAS TOO MUCH. Two books specially made their way into my TBR:
Seventeen-year-old Eva is a princess, born with the magick of blood and bone–a dark and terrible magic that hasn’t been seen in so long, the knowledge on how to wield its power has been lost to history. She wants nothing to do with the magick or with the Ivory Throne and heavy responsibility of leading her fractured country. But she has little choice. If she can’t learn to harness the magick inside her by her nameday, she’ll die at the hands of the Rival Heir. Her older sister Isadore, whose magick of light and persuasion is more glamorous but no less dangerous than Eva’s, holds the hearts and alliances of the Court, and is widely favored to win the crown. Because in the Queendom of Myre, only the strongest, most ruthless rulers can ascend to the throne, and princesses kill for the right to do so.
When an assassin attacks Eva weeks before the competition is set to begin, she discovers there is more to the attempt on her life than meets the eye–and it isn’t just her sister who wants to see her dead. Although humans have ruled Myre since the Great War, with fey holding only the illusion of power, bloodkin banned from noble society, and the despised khimaer forced to live in the Enclosures, unrest is growing, and someone is using the naming of the True Heir as a smokescreen for political gain.
As tensions escalate, alliances are tested and family secrets are revealed, and Eva turns to the help of an instructor of mythic proportions and a mysterious khimaer prince to grow her magick into something to fear. Because despite the love she still has for her sister and the childhood memories they share, Eva will have to choose: Isa’s death, or her own; her freedom, or the Queendom.
Two sisters are torn apart by war and must fight their way back to each other in a futuristic, Black Panther-inspired Nigeria.
The year is 2167 and the place is a futuristic, war-torn Nigeria. High-speed, souped up maglevs fly across the country, and battles are fought with deadly, flying robots.
Sixteen-year-old Onyii has created a technologically advanced camp that serves as a refuge for former child soldiers and girls orphaned by the fighting and political unrest.
Onyii is protective of all the girls, but she will do anything to keep her little sister, Ify, safe. Ify is brilliant and dreams of becoming a pilot and escaping to the Space Colonies, far from the war. Onyii worries that Ify’s ambition will one day get her into trouble.
When one of Ify’s tech projects inadvertently sends a signal to enemy soldiers, Onyii’s concerns tragically come true. A bomb is dropped. The camp is decimated. And Onyii and Ify are ripped apart, forced onto opposite sides of the civil war.
Now, their battle begins. The girls make it their mission to fight their way back to each other against all odds.
I am also up for this story about a lost astronaut:
My name is Gary Rendell. I’m an astronaut. When they asked me as a kid what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said, “astronaut, please!” I dreamed astronaut, I worked astronaut, I studied astronaut.
I got lucky; when a probe sent out to explore the Oort Cloud found a strange alien rock and an international team of scientists was put together to go and look at it, I made the draw.
I got even luckier. When disaster hit and our team was split up, scattered through the endless cold tunnels, I somehow survived.
Now I’m lost, and alone, and scared, and there’s something horrible in here.
Lucky, lucky, lucky.
On Thea’s Radar:
First up on my radar, some good ol’ horror:
Boys are being trained at one school for geniuses, girls at another. Neither knows the other exists—until now. The New York Times bestselling author of Bird Box invites you into a world of secrets and chills in a coming-of-age story like no other.
One of Elle’s “Best Books to Read in Spring 2019” • “Josh Malerman is a master at unsettling you—and keeping you off-balance until the last page is turned.”—Chuck Wendig, New York Times bestselling author of Blackbirds
J is a student at a school deep in a forest far away from the rest of the world.
J is one of only twenty-six students, all of whom think of the school’s enigmatic founder as their father. J’s peers are the only family he has ever had. The students are being trained to be prodigies of art, science, and athletics, and their life at the school is all they know—and all they are allowed to know.
But J suspects that there is something out there, beyond the pines, that the founder does not want him to see, and he’s beginning to ask questions. What is the real purpose of this place? Why can the students never leave? And what secrets is their father hiding from them?
Meanwhile, on the other side of the forest, in a school very much like J’s, a girl named K is asking the same questions. J has never seen a girl, and K has never seen a boy. As K and J work to investigate the secrets of their two strange schools, they come to discover something even more mysterious: each other.
And another horror novel (soon to be a movie):
“Mother knows best” takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman, Grimms’ Fairy Tales, and Aimee Molloy’s The Perfect Mother.
Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things.
A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley—to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies.
Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.
Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some of our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking—and rechecking—your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.
And then there’s this apocalyptic novel that sounds pretty good:
Don’t miss the exhilarating new novel from the author of Fat Girl on a Plane, featuring a fierce, bold heroine who will fight for her family and do whatever it takes to survive. Fans of Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life As We Knew It series and Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave series will cheer for this fast-paced, near-future thrill ride.
If you’re going through hell…keep going.
Seventeen-year-old coder Jinx Marshall grew up spending weekends drilling with her paranoid dad for a doomsday she’s sure will never come. She’s an expert on self-heating meal rations, Krav Maga and extracting water from a barrel cactus. Now that her parents are divorced, she’s ready to relax. Her big plans include making it to level 99 in her favorite MMORPG and spending the weekend with her new hunky stepbrother, Tyrell.
But all that disaster training comes in handy when an explosion traps her in a burning building. Stuck leading her headstrong stepsister, Makeeba, and her precocious little brother, Charles, to safety, Jinx gets them out alive only to discover the explosion is part of a pattern of violence erupting all over the country. Even worse, Jinx’s dad stands accused of triggering the chaos.
In a desperate attempt to evade paramilitary forces and vigilantes, Jinx and her siblings find Tyrell and make a break for Mexico. With seemingly the whole world working against them, they’ve got to get along and search for the truth about the attacks—and about each other. But if they can survive, will there be anything left worth surviving for.
Next up, a novel I received in a book swap and I CANNOT WAIT TO READ IT based on the awesome description (not so impressed by the cover, though);
Inception meets True Detective in this science-fiction thriller of spellbinding tension and staggering scope. The Gone World follows a special agent into a savage murder case with grave implications for the fate of mankind.
Shannon Moss is part of a clandestine division within the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. In Western Pennsylvania, 1997, she is assigned to solve the murder of a Navy SEAL’s family–and to locate his teenage daughter, who has disappeared. Though she can’t share the information with conventional law enforcement, Moss discovers that the missing SEAL was an astronaut aboard the spaceship U.S.S. Libra–a ship assumed lost to the darkest currents of Deep Time. Moss knows first-hand the mental trauma of time-travel and believes the SEAL’s experience with the future has triggered this violence.
Determined to find the missing girl and driven by a troubling connection from her own past, Moss travels ahead in time to explore possible versions of the future, seeking evidence or insight that will crack the present-day case. To her horror, the future reveals that it’s not only the fate of a family that hinges on her work, for what she witnesses rising over time’s horizon and hurtling toward the present is the Terminus: the terrifying and cataclysmic end of humanity itself.
Luminous and unsettling, The Gone World bristles with world-shattering ideas yet remains at its heart an intensely human story.
And last but not least, this Chinese classic, translated and available in English for the first time:
The epic Chinese classic and phenomenon published in the US for the first time!
A fantastical generational saga and kung fu epic, A Hero Born is the classic novel of its time, stretching from the Song Empire (China 1200 AD) to the appearance of a warlord whose name will endure for eternity: Genghis Khan. Filled with an extraordinary cast of characters, A Hero Born is a tale of fantasy and wonder, love and passion, treachery and war, betrayal and brotherhood.
And then a hero is born…
After his father, a Song patriot, was murdered, Guo Jing and his mother fled to the plains and joined Ghengis Khan and his people. Loyal, humble and driven, he learned all he could from the warlord and his army in hopes of one day joining them in their cause. But what Guo Jing doesn’t know is that he’s destined to battle an opponent that will challenge him in every way imaginable and with a connection to his past that no one envisioned.
With the help and guidance of his shifus, The Seven Heroes of the South, Guo Jing returns to China to face his foe and carry out his destiny. But in a land divided by treachery and war, betrayal and ambition, he’ll have to put his courage and knowledge to the test to survive.
And that’s it from us! What books do you have on YOUR radar?