“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:
It’s been such a long time since a book by Neesha Meminger came out and then I heard there is one in the works. I was delighted to hear the news:
Anji is holding on to big secrets. When she begins to spiral into a scary depression, she realizes she will need to do something drastic to bring herself out of it. With the help of a guidance counselor at school, Anji starts working through what, exactly, led her to the desperate feelings she’s now drowning in. She joins a group of other girls who’ve been through experiences of sexual assault and violence, and learns to face her secrets with the help of the girls and a caring group leader. Together, they help one another heal old wounds through art, creativity, mobilizing for social justice, and learning to trust again.
I never got around to reading Rebel Seoul and now there is a companion novel coming soon that looks just as awesome:
Warcross meets Final Fantasy in this companion novel to Rebel Seoul, in which a young telepath joins a rebel group on a secret mission to end a decades-long world war.
Neo Beijing, 2201.
To escape the ghosts of her past, eighteen-year-old telepath Ama works by day in a bakery and cafe, and moonlights as a lounge singer in a smoky bar at night. She’s anonymous, she’s safe from the never-ending world war, and that’s how she’d like to stay. But then a resistance group called PHNX recruits her to help save young girls from a government experiment exactly like the one she fled. Soon, Ama is traveling with the resistance on a series of dangerous missions, using her telepathic and telekinetic powers to infiltrate authoritarian Alliance operations and gain intelligence for the democratic resistance.
As they move closer and closer to the warfront, Ama hears about a brilliant new commander rising in the ranks of the Alliance, a young man rumored to have no fear of death. Her unit is assigned to dismantle his operation from the inside. But when Ama sees the commander for the first time, she discovers his identity: Alex Kim, the boy who once broke her heart.
The plan is for Ama to use her telepathic abilities to fool everyone and pose as an officer in Alex’s elite guard. But as the final battle approaches, she struggles with her mission and her feelings for Alex. Will she be able to carry out her task? Or will she give up everything for Alex again–only to be betrayed once more?
Part heist novel, part love story, Rogue Heart will appeal to fans of Marie Lu’s Warcross and Marissa Meyer’s Renegades.
Alternating between past and present, Phoebe struggles to unravel the mystery of the Rust Maidens—and her own unwitting role in the transformations—before she loses everything she’s held dear: her home, her best friend, and even perhaps her own body.
The new book from Sarah Lotz sounds fantastic too:
Reclusive bookseller Shaun Ryan has always believed that his uncle Teddy died in a car accident twenty years ago. Then he learns the truth: Teddy fled his home in Catholic, deeply conservative County Wicklow, Ireland, for New York and hasn’t been heard from since. None of Shaun’s relatives will reveal why they lied about his uncle’s death or why they want Shaun to leave the whole affair alone.
But Shaun has a burning need to find out the truth. His search is unsuccessful until he’s contacted by Chris Guzman, a woman who runs a website dedicated to matching missing-persons cases with unidentified bodies. Chris and her team of cold-case obsessives suspect that Shaun is looking for the “Boy in the Dress,” one victim in a series of gay men murdered by the same killer.
But who are these internet fanatics really, and how do they know so much about a case that has stumped police for decades? Soon armchair sleuths and professional investigators are on a collision course with a sadistic serial killer who’s gotten away with his crimes for far too long—and now they’re in his sights.
This book, about characters escaping from books into the real world sounds like a hoot:
For his entire life, Charley Sutherland has concealed a magical ability he can’t quite control: he can bring characters from books into the real world. His older brother, Rob — a young lawyer with a normal house, a normal fiancee, and an utterly normal life — hopes that this strange family secret will disappear with disuse, and he will be discharged from his life’s duty of protecting Charley and the real world from each other. But then, literary characters start causing trouble in their city, making threats about destroying the world… and for once, it isn’t Charley’s doing.
There’s someone else who shares his powers. It’s up to Charley and a reluctant Rob to stop them, before these characters tear apart the fabric of reality.
On Thea’s Radar:
Let’s talk about awesome ARCs in the mail, shall we? First up on the list:
In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut.
In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.
Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.
Lush and richly imagined, a tale of impossible journeys, unforgettable love, and the enduring power of stories awaits in Alix E. Harrow’s spellbinding debut–step inside and discover its magic.
Early praise for The Ten Thousand Doors of January:
“Many worlds, vanishing doors, mind-cracking magic: I clung to each page, searching for answers. This is one of the most unique works of fiction I’ve ever read!” –Tamora Pierce, New York Times bestselling author
“A gorgeous, aching love letter to stories, storytellers and the doors they lead us through…absolutely enchanting.” — Christina Henry, national bestselling author of Lost Boys and Alice
“With lush writing and a sense of wonder, The Ten Thousand Doors of January examines power, progress, and identity. It is an adventure in the best and grandest sense.” –Erika Swyler, national bestselling author of The Book of Speculation
I also just received a final copy of this book, that is being compared to The Stand (which, ok, big comparison but I’m excited):
A decadent rock star. A deeply religious radio host. A disgraced scientist. And a teenage girl who may be the world’s last hope. From the mind of Chuck Wendig comes “a magnum opus . . . a story about survival that’s not just about you and me, but all of us, together” (Kirkus Reviews,starred review).
Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and her sister are not alone. Soon they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And like Shana, there are other “shepherds” who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead.
For as the sleepwalking phenomenon awakens terror and violence in America, the real danger may not be the epidemic but the fear of it. With society collapsing all around them—and an ultraviolent militia threatening to exterminate them—the fate of the sleepwalkers depends on unraveling the mystery behind the epidemic. The terrifying secret will either tear the nation apart—or bring the survivors together to remake a shattered world.
I have been in a horror type mood, so this book sounds like a good fix:
THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE 2018 INTERNATIONAL THRILLER WRITERS AWARD FOR BEST HARDCOVER NOVEL
“The first great thriller of 2017 is here: Final Girls, by Riley Sager. If you liked Gone Girl, you’ll like this.”—Stephen King
Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls: Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.
Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.
That is until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit; and Sam, the second Final Girl, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.
This own voices Australian aboriginal novel from two sibling authors is supposed to be incredible–I cannot wait to read it.
This brilliantly written thriller explores the lives–and deaths–of two girls, and what they will do to win justice. Sure to be one of the most talked-about books of the year!
Nothing’s been the same for Beth Teller since the day she died.
Her dad is drowning in grief. He’s also the only one who has been able to see and hear her since the accident. But now she’s got a mystery to solve, a mystery that will hopefully remind her detective father that he needs to reconnect with the living.
The case takes them to a remote Australian town, where there’s been a suspicious fire. All that remains are an unidentifiable body and an unreliable witness found wandering nearby. This witness speaks in riddles. Isobel Catching has a story to tell, and it’s a tale to haunt your dreams–but does it even connect to the case at hand?
As Beth and her father unravel the mystery, they find a shocking and heartbreaking story lurking beneath the surface of a small town.
This novel–with a protagonist named Thea–sounds pretty interesting:
“Everything I love in a book.”—Victoria Schwab, author of #1 New York Times bestseller This Savage Song
“The kind of taut, atmospheric thriller that gets your heart racing and sets your imagination on fire. Sensational.”—Claire Legrand, New York Times-bestselling author of Furyborn
New York Times–bestselling author Jacqueline West captivates readers with a dark, hypnotic story about the cost of talent—and the evil that lurks just out of sight. Fans of Holly Black and Victoria Schwab will be mesmerized by this gorgeous, magnetic novel.
High school senior Anders Thorson is unusually gifted. His band, Last Things, is legendary in their northern Minnesota hometown. With guitar skills that would amaze even if he weren’t only eighteen, Anders is the focus of head-turning admiration. And Thea Malcom, a newcomer to the insular town, is one of his admirers. Thea seems to turn up everywhere Anders goes: gigs at the local coffeehouse, guitar lessons, even in the woods near Anders’s home.
When strange things start happening to Anders, blame immediately falls on Thea. But is she trying to hurt him? Or save him? Can he trust a girl who doesn’t seem to know the difference between dreams and reality? And how much are they both willing to sacrifice to get what they want?
Told from Anders’s and Thea’s dual points of view, this exquisitely crafted novel is full of unexpected twists and is for fans of Holly Black’s The Darkest Part of the Forest and Melissa Albert’s The Hazel Wood.
And that’s it from us! What books do you have on your radar?