“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:
I received a copy of this book in the post and it looks so great:
Nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide.
Yesterday, Amanda Back’s life was flawless: the perfect social credit score, the perfect job, the perfect home.
Today, Amanda is a target, an enemy of the system holding information dangerous enough to disrupt the world’s all-consuming tech – a fugitive on the run.
But in a world where an un-hackable blockchain links everyone and everything, there is nowhere to run…
This YA Mystery novel is described as “Jane Austen meets The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue” and I am intrigued:
Lady Victoria Aston has everything she could want: with an older sister happily wed and the future of her family estate secure, she has few obligations and ample opportunity to while her time away in the fields around her home.
But Vicky’s comfortable, idyllic life is overturned, and she must quickly marry—or find herself and her family destitute. Armed only with the wisdom she has gained from her beloved novels by Jane Austen, Vicky enters society’s season in a flutter of silks, dances, and pretty words.
Sadly, Miss Austen has little to say about Vicky’s exactcircumstances: whether the gorgeous and roguish Mr. Carmichael is indeed a scoundrel, if her former best friend—the much-grown and very handsome Tom Sherborne—is out for her dowry or for her heart, or even how to fend off the attentions of the foppish Mr. Silby, he of the bright-orange waistcoat.
Most unfortunate of all, Vicky’s books are silent on the topic of the mysterious accidents cropping up around her . . . ones that could prevent her from surviving until her wedding day.
Clever and charming, studded with intrigue and mystery, this historical romance from debut author Jennieke Cohen is one readers won’t be able to put down!
I am a sucker for pretty covers and this one is *chef’s kiss*
In this mesmerizing YA fantasy mash-up of The Road meets The Amazing Race, one girl chooses to risk her life in a cutthroat race in order to win her freedom.In Lanoria, Outsiders, who don’t have magic, are inferior to Enchanteds, who do. That’s just a fact for Astrid, an Outsider who is indentured to pay off her family’s debts. She serves as the surrogate for the princess—if Renya steps out of line, Astrid is the one who bears the whipping for it.
But there is a way out: the life-or-death Race of Oblivion. First, racers are dosed with the drug Oblivion, which wipes their memories. Then, when they awake in the middle of nowhere, only cryptic clues—and a sheer will to live—will lead them through treacherous terrain full of opponents who wouldn’t think twice about killing each other to get ahead. But what throws Astrid the most is what she never expected to encounter in this race: A familiar face she can’t place. Secret powers she shouldn’t have. And a confusing memory of the past that, if real, could mean the undoing of the entire social structure that has kept her a slave her entire life.
A Horror title for the upcoming fall:
A genre-bending epic horror-fantasy, inspired by the legend of Faust, that spans generations as an ancient evil is uncovered–perfect for fans of Kendare Blake and Ransom Riggs.
Before the birth of time, a monk uncovers the Devil’s Tongue and dares to speak it. The repercussions will be felt for generations…
Sixteen-year-old photography enthusiast Zoey has been fascinated by the haunted, burnt-out ruins of Medwyn Mill House for as long as she can remember–so she and her best friend, Poulton, run away from home to explore them. But are they really alone in the house? And who will know if something goes wrong?
In 1851, seventeen-year-old Roan arrives at the Mill House as a ward–one of three, all with something to hide from their new guardian. When Roan learns that she is connected to an ancient secret, she must escape the house before she is trapped forever.
1583. Hermione, a new young bride, accompanies her husband to the wilds of North Wales where he plans to build the largest water mill and mansion in the area. But rumors of unholy rituals lead to a tragic occurrence and she will need all her strength to defeat it.
Three women, centuries apart, drawn together by one Unholy Pact. A pact made by a man who, more than a thousand years later, may still be watching…
I came across this title on Goodreads and am interested:
Hope had abandoned them to the wrath of all the waters.
At the end of the twenty-first century, the world has changed dramatically, but life continues one thousand feet below the ocean’s surface. In Great Britain, sea creatures swim among the ruins of Big Ben and the Tower of London, and citizens waver between fear and hope; fear of what lurks in the abyss, and hope that humanity will soon discover a way to reclaim the planet.
Meanwhile, sixteen-year-old Leyla McQueen has her own problems to deal with. Her father’s been arrested, accused of taking advantage of victims of the Seasickness—a debilitating malaise that consumes people, often claiming their lives. But Leyla knows he’s innocent, and all she’s interested in is getting him back so that their lives can return to normal.
When she’s picked to race in the action-packed London Submersible Marathon, Leyla gets the chance to secure his freedom; the Prime Minister promises the champion whatever their heart desires. The race takes an unexpected turn, though, and presents her with an opportunity she never wanted: Leyla must venture outside of London for the first time in her life, to find and rescue her father herself.
Now, she’ll have to brave the unfathomable waters and defy a corrupt government determined to keep its secrets, all the while dealing with a secretive, hotheaded companion she never asked for in the first place. As she discovers a world drowning in lies, how much longer can Leyla hold out hope for the truth? If she fails, or falls prey to her own fears, she risks capture—or worse. And her father might be lost forever.
On Thea’s Radar:
First up on this week’s radar, a P&P retelling that usually doesn’t fall into my reading preferences, but this looks so damn charming:
Award-winning author Sonali Dev launches a new series about the Rajes, an immigrant Indian family descended from royalty, who have built their lives in San Francisco…
It is a truth universally acknowledged that only in an overachieving Indian American family can a genius daughter be considered a black sheep.
Dr. Trisha Raje is San Francisco’s most acclaimed neurosurgeon. But that’s not enough for the Rajes, her influential immigrant family who’s achieved power by making its own non-negotiable rules:
- Never trust an outsider
- Never do anything to jeopardize your brother’s political aspirationsAnd never, ever, defy your family
Trisha is guilty of breaking all three rules. But now she has a chance to redeem herself. So long as she doesn’t repeat old mistakes.
Up-and-coming chef DJ Caine has known people like Trisha before, people who judge him by his rough beginnings and place pedigree above character. He needs the lucrative job the Rajes offer, but he values his pride too much to indulge Trisha’s arrogance. And then he discovers that she’s the only surgeon who can save his sister’s life.
As the two clash, their assumptions crumble like the spun sugar on one of DJ’s stunning desserts. But before a future can be savored there’s a past to be reckoned with…
A family trying to build home in a new land.
A man who has never felt at home anywhere.
And a choice to be made between the two.
Next up, a book pitched as Westworld meets The Handmaid’s Tale (cover to come):
Westworld meets The Handmaid’s Tale in this stunning fantasy adventure from debut author Charlotte Nicole Davis.
Aster, the protector
Violet, the favorite
Tansy, the medic
Mallow, the fighter
Clementine, the catalyst
THE GOOD LUCK GIRLS
The country of Arketta calls them Good Luck Girls—they know their luck is anything but. Sold to a “welcome house” as children and branded with cursed markings. Trapped in a life they would never have chosen.
When Clementine accidentally murders a man, the girls risk a dangerous escape and harrowing journey to find freedom, justice, and revenge in a country that wants them to have none of those things. Pursued by Arketta’s most vicious and powerful forces, both human and inhuman, their only hope lies in a bedtime story passed from one Good Luck Girl to another, a story that only the youngest or most desperate would ever believe.
It’s going to take more than luck for them all to survive.
And how about this horror novel:
The award-winning and critically-acclaimed master of horror returns with a pair of chilling tales—both never-before-published in print—that examine the violence and depravity of the human condition.
Bringing together his acclaimed novella The Sea Dreams It Is the Skyand an all-new short novel My Heart Struck Sorrow, John Hornor Jacobs turns his fertile imagination to the evil that breeds within the human soul.
A brilliant mix of the psychological and supernatural, blending the acute insight of Roberto Bolaño and the eerie imagination of H. P. Lovecraft, The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky examines life in a South American dictatorship. Centered on the journal of a poet-in-exile and his failed attempts at translating a maddening text, it is told by a young woman trying to come to grips with a country that nearly devoured itself.
In My Heart Struck Sorrow, a librarian discovers a recording from the Deep South—which may be the musical stylings of the Devil himself.
Breathtaking and haunting, A Lush and Seething Hell is a terrifying and exhilarating journey into the darkness, an odyssey into the deepest reaches of ourselves that compels us to confront secrets best left hidden.
Nicky Drayden has a new space opera forthcoming and it looks beautiful:
The Compton Crook award–winning author of The Prey of Gods and Temper returns with a dazzling stand-alone novel, set in deep space, in which the fate of humanity rests on the slender shoulders of an idealistic and untested young woman—a blend of science fiction, dark humor, and magical realism that will appeal to fans of Lauren Beukes, Ian McDonald, and Nnedi Okorafor.
Earth is a distant memory. Habitable extrasolar planets are still out of reach. For generations, humanity has been clinging to survival by establishing colonies within enormous vacuum-breathing space beasts and mining their resources to the point of depletion.
Rash, dreamy, and unconventional, Seske Kaleigh should be preparing for her future role as clan leader, but her people have just culled their latest beast, and she’s eager to find the cause of the violent tremors plaguing their new home. Defying social barriers, Seske teams up with her best friend, a beast worker, and ventures into restricted areas for answers to end the mounting fear and rumors. Instead, they discover grim truths about the price of life in the void.
Then, Seske is unexpectedly thrust into the role of clan matriarch, responsible for thousands of lives in a harsh universe where a single mistake can be fatal. Her claim to the throne is challenged by a rival determined to overthrow her and take control—her intelligent, cunning, and confident sister.
Seske may not be a born leader like her sister, yet her unorthodox outlook and incorruptible idealism may be what the clan needs to save themselves and their world.
I’ve been wanting to get into a new manga series and vol 7 of this one recently caught my eye. Here’s the first volume:
In a frozen dystopia where inhabitants eat flesh to survive, can the destructive powers of fire bring salvation?
In the not-too-distant past, the Ice Witch blankets the world in snow, starvation, and madness, leading the inhabitants to seek their salvation in fire. With that, an unusual destiny unfolds for two young orphans, Agni and Luna, blessed with the ability to regenerate. But will this ability prove to be more of a curse than a blessing?
Orphaned siblings Agni and Luna, like the Ice Witch who cursed their world, are two of the “blessed,” humans who hold special abilities. However, not all who are blessed are friendly, and after another of their kind attacks him and decimates his village, Agni fights to survive, vowing revenge.
And that’s it from us! What books do you have on your radar?