On the Radar

On the Smugglers’ Radar

“On The Smugglers’ Radar” is a new feature for books that have caught our eye: books we heard of via other bloggers, directly from publishers, and/or from our regular incursions into the Amazon jungle. This is how the Smugglers’ Radar was born, and because there are far too many books that we want than we can possibly buy or review (what else is new?) we thought we could make it into a weekly feature – so YOU can tell us which books you have on your radar as well!

On Thea’s Radar:

This week, Kris of Voracious YAppetite put up an awesome post about 9 upcoming YA titles that haven’t really seen a lot of attention online – and I immediately fell into book GREED with these:

From the internationally bestselling author who brought us Ender’s Game, a brand-new series that instantly draws readers into the world of Rigg, a teenager who possesses a secret talent that allows him to see the paths of people’s pasts.

Rigg’s only confidant is his father, whose sudden death leaves Rigg completely alone, aside from a sister he’s never met. But a chance encounter with Umbo, another teen with a special talent, reveals a startling new aspect to Rigg’s abilities, compelling him to reevaluate everything he’s ever known.

Rigg and Umbo join forces and embark on a quest to find Rigg’s sister and discover the true depth and significance of their powers. Because although the pair can change the past, the future is anything but certain…

And this one:

In the city of Lovecraft, the Proctors rule and a great Engine turns below the streets, grinding any resistance to their order to dust. The necrovirus is blamed for Lovecraft’s epidemic of madness, for the strange and eldritch creatures that roam the streets after dark, and for everything that the city leaders deem Heretical—born of the belief in magic and witchcraft. And for Aoife Grayson, her time is growing shorter by the day.

Aoife Grayson’s family is unique, in the worst way—every one of them, including her mother and her elder brother Conrad, has gone mad on their 16th birthday. And now, a ward of the state, and one of the only female students at the School of Engines, she is trying to pretend that her fate can be different.

Aaaaand this one:

Fifteen-year-old Katey (aka Kid) goes to school in the Game—a mall converted into a “school” run by corporate sponsors. As students play their way through the levels, they are also creating products and being used for market research by the Game’s sponsors, who are watching them 24/7 on video cameras.

Kid has a vague sense of unease but doesn’t question this existence until one day she witnesses a shocking anticorporate prank. Intrigued, she follows the clues to uncover the identity of the people behind it. They are a group who call themselves the Unidentified.

Drawn to their counterculture ideas and their enigmatic leader, Kid begins to spend more time with them. But when the Unidentified pranks get co-opted by the corporate sponsors, Kid decides to do something bigger—something that could change the Game forever.

Ana brought me books 1 and 2 in the Terra Incognita series when we met up at BEA, and I keep meaning to get a move on these wonderful sounding books. Here’s book 1:

Terra Incognita – the blank spaces on the map, past the edge of the world, marked only by the words “here be monsters.”

Two nations at war, fighting for dominion over the known, and undiscovered, world, pin their last hopes at ultimate victory on finding a land out of legend.

Each will send their ships to brave the untamed seas, wild storms, sea serpents, and darker dangers unknown to any man. It is a perilous undertaking, but there will always be the impetuous, the brave and the mad who are willing to leave their homes to explore the unknown.

Even unto the edge of the world…

Kevin J. Anderson’s spectacular fantasy debut is a sweeping tale of adventure on the high seas, as two warring kingdoms vie for the greatest treasure of them all.

And this looks irresistible. You know I’m a sucker for hard scifi….

Jean le Flambeur is a post-human criminal, mind burglar, confidence artist and trickster. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his exploits are known throughout the Heterarchy – from breaking into the vast Zeusbrains of the Inner System to steal their thoughts, to stealing rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of the Moving Cities of Mars. Except that Jean made one mistake. Now he is condemned to play endless variations of a game-theoretic riddle in the vast virtual jail of the Axelrod Archons – the Dilemma Prison – against countless copies of himself.

Jean’s routine of death, defection and cooperation is upset by the arrival of Mieli and her spidership, Perhonen. She offers him a chance to win back his freedom and the powers of his old self – in exchange for finishing the one heist he never quite managed . . .

The Quantum Thief is a dazzling hard SF novel set in the solar system of the far future – a heist novel peopled by bizarre post-humans but powered by very human motives of betrayal, revenge and jealousy. It is a stunning debut.

Speaking of scifi…

Durango will take on any mission—as long as it is dangerous, impossible, and hopeless. As long as it pays enough for him and his crew to get by. He doesn’t have a death wish, exactly, but he’s got a lot to run from and a whole lot to forget.

Fortunately for Durango, he’s also got Mimi, a symbiotic nano-implant, to keep him on the straight and narrow (and to keep readers laughing along with the adrenaline rush), and a crew of loyal buddies—male, female, and other.

Readers of The Hunger Games and Pratchett’s Nation—from casual fans of future dystopia to hardcore gamers who like fiction with depth—will enjoy this action-jammed, cinematic saga set on a terraformed Mars.

Aaaaaaand one last one:

Rose has given up. She’s given up on friendship, on happiness, on life being anything other than black, black, black.

Yrena wants out. She’s a dancer who doesn’t want to dance, a prisoner in her own home, a resident of New York who never gets to see the city.

To Rose, Yrena has always been the Russian girl who lives next door, seen through the window but never spoken to. At least not until Yrena crashes into Rose’s room-and Rose’s life-and sets in motion a night in New York City that none of them will ever forget.

From YA superstar Cecil Castellucci, this is the story of cold hearts and cold wars warmed by simple human connection and the liberty of being young and free in the early hours of a new day.

On Ana’s Radar:

HA! That post from Kris had both of us drooling. I want this:

“I only know one man who might be able to tell me where I come from, and that man is a liar and a fraud.”

As far back as he can remember, the orphan Grady has tramped from village to village in the company of a huckster named Floyd. With his adolescent accomplice, Floyd perpetrates a variety of hoaxes and flimflams on the good citizens of the Corenwald frontier, such as the Ugliest Boy in the World act.

It’s a hard way to make a living, made harder by the memory of fatter times when audiences thronged to see young Grady perform as “The Wild Man of the Feechiefen Swamp.” But what can they do? Nobody believes in feechies anymore.

When Floyd stages an elaborate plot to revive Corenwalders’ belief in the mythical swamp-dwellers known as the feechiefolk, he overshoots the mark. Floyd’s Great Feechie Scare becomes widespread panic. Eager audiences become angry mobs, and in the ensuing chaos, the Charlatan’s Boy discovers the truth that has evaded him all his life—and will change his path forever.

and this:

Jay Li should be in Chicago, finishing high school and working at his family’s restaurant. Instead, as a born member of the Yellow Dragon Clan–part human, part dragon, like his grandmother–he is on a quest even he does not understand.

His journey takes him to Santo del Vado Viejo in the Arizona desert, a town overrun by gangs, haunted by members of other animal clans, perfumed by delicious food, and set to the beat of Malo Malo, a barrio rock band whose female lead guitarist captures Jay’s heart.

He must face a series of dangerous, otherworldly–and very human–challenges to become the man, and dragon, he is meant to be. This is Charles de Lint at his best!

Aidan revealed the final cover art for Dreadnought by Cherie Priest – which is different from the cover we have in our ARCs. We love both!

Nurse Mercy Lynch is elbows deep in bloody laundry at a war hospital in Richmond, Virginia, when Clara Barton comes bearing bad news: Mercy’s husband has died in a POW camp. On top of that, a telegram from the west coast declares that her estranged father is gravely injured, and he wishes to see her. Mercy sets out toward the Mississippi River. Once there, she’ll catch a train over the Rockies and—if the telegram can be believed—be greeted in Washington Territory by the sheriff, who will take her to see her father in Seattle.

Reaching the Mississippi is a harrowing adventure by dirigible and rail through war-torn border states. When Mercy finally arrives in St. Louis, the only Tacoma-bound train is pulled by a terrifying Union-operated steam engine called the Dreadnought. Reluctantly, Mercy buys a ticket and climbs aboard.

What ought to be a quiet trip turns deadly when the train is beset by bushwhackers, then vigorously attacked by a band of Rebel soldiers. The train is moving away from battle lines into the vast, unincorporated west, so Mercy can’t imagine why they’re so interested. Perhaps the mysterious cargo secreted in the second and last train cars has something to do with it?

Mercy is just a frustrated nurse who wants to see her father before he dies. But she’ll have to survive both Union intrigue and Confederate opposition if she wants to make it off the Dreadnought alive.

The Serpent M’gulfn has been destroyed, its dark reign ended – but its death has unleashed dangerous energies that threaten the Earth of Three Planes anew. Journeying to Gorethria comes Melkavesh, daughter of Ashurek, determined to harness the new potential of sorcery for good. It seems she is too late, for a ruthless usurper, Duke Xaedrek, has already seized power. Aided by a demon with malign ambitions of its own, he is working to restore the evil Gorethrian Empire. To save the Earth, Melkavesh must defeat him – even though their conflict may bring other lands to ruin, claim innocent victims, and even cause the moons to fall. Melkavesh may avert disaster only if she heeds the mysterious Lady of H’tebhmella. But can she withstand the temptation to reclaim her birthright – the dark throne renounced by Ashurek – or resist the all-too-seductive charm of Xaedrek himself? Freda Warrington’s classic, weirdly atmospheric fantasies A Blackbird in Amber and A Blackbird in Twilight appear for the first time in a single, complete volume.

We got a copy of this book and I like the sound of it:

This story was supposed to be about Evie how she hasn’t made a friend in years, how she tends to stretch the truth (especially about her so-called relationship with college drop-out Jonah Luks), and how she finally comes into her own once she learns to just be herself but it isn’t. Because when her classmate Elizabeth “Zabet” McCabe’s murdered body is found in the woods, everything changes and Evie’s life is never the same again.

And we unveiled the cover for this one but it is so pretty and I want it so much, I am adding to the radar post just because:

Freak. That’s what they called seventeen year-old Donna Underwood in high school after a horrific fey attack that killed her father when she was just a child. Her injuries and rehabilitation resulted in magically enhanced strength, thanks to the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. As a child of the alchemists, she is both blessed and cursed with a magical heritage that permeates her life with duty and sacrifice.

Now, after ten years of wishing for a normal life, she finally has to
accept her role in the centuries-old war against the darkest outcasts
of Faerie: the Dark Elves. Aided by a gorgeous half-fey dropout, Donna must race to save her best friend’s life – even if it means betraying the secret of immortality and confronting the very thing that destroyed her family.

And that’s it for us! What do you have on your radars?

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  • Sabrina @ about happy books
    June 26, 2010 at 2:53 am

    Especially “The space between trees” and “The iron witch” sound great.

  • KMont
    June 26, 2010 at 8:09 am

    I just found and cover spotlighted one by Karl Schroeder called Cities of the Air, an omnibus of his first two Virga series novels. I loooove the premise of a world created inside a bubble in space. And it comes out July 6, so I’m definitely getting it. They’re described as scifi adventure.

  • Karen Mahoney
    June 26, 2010 at 9:45 am

    I want THE UNIDENTIFIED!!! Looks awesome.


    Also… *quietly squees again* 😉

  • John (Dreaming In Books)
    June 26, 2010 at 11:12 am

    The Iron Witch looks like cover lust for me…

    As for Orson Scott Card, I’ve been meaning to read him. That is, until I learned he said homosexuality was dead wrong ON HIS WEBSITE. Even if it doesn’t directly go into his books, an author that blatantly throws such a hurtful belief in their reader’s faces has no place on my bookshelf. Being a Mormon is fine – I’m great friends with a wonderful Mormon author – but being mean and suggestive when they hold a huge fanbase…That is unacceptable.

  • Kristen
    June 26, 2010 at 11:18 am

    The Quantum Thief and Black Hole Sun both look great and are going straight to the wishlist.

  • Mrs. DeRaps
    June 26, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    So, I just added most of these to my wishlist. It just keeps growing and growing…Thanks!

  • Diana Peterfreund
    June 26, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    Kinda curious where you guys have been hiding that you hadn’t heard anything about the Unidentified. It’s been featured in pretty much every article on YA trends in the past six months.

    Got a signed copy of Black Hole Sun at ALA today. W00T!

  • orannia
    June 28, 2010 at 2:34 am

    Oh, The Iron Witch and Iron Thorn sound so good! Thank you for the heads up!

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