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. 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 will start with a rant. I love Meljean Brook’s books like you wouldn’t believe. Her Guardian series is AWESOME and I love the most recent covers a lot. But then she started her new Steampunk series and I loved the first two entries (the novella Here There Be Monsters and the novel The Iron Duke) but man, was the cover of The Iron Duke horrendous. And I hoped that the cover of the second book would be better but no such luck:

I hate man-titty. A Lot. But the main reason why I dislike the cover so intensely is because this is Lady Corsair’s book. SHE is the character that appeared a lot in the stories so far, SHE is the character I want to read about, SHE is the character who should be on the cover!!!!!! Having said that, I found this on Goodreads and there is no mention of this cover on the author’s website and since it is early days and the book is not out until November, maybe they will change it. Please? /end of rant.

Still speaking of Meljean Brook, she has a Guardian novella coming out on this anthology. I will read it because her novellas are AMAZING. (I did mention I was a fan, didn’t I?) :

Without a doubt, Prospero Regained by L Jagi Lamplighter is one our most anticipated books of 2011. The cover has been released and it is perhaps a bit different from the others in the series but I love it:

Prospero, the sorcerer on whose island of exile William Shakespeare set his play, The Tempest, has endured these past many centuries. His daughter Miranda runs the family business, Prospero, Inc. so smoothly that the vast majority of humanity has no idea that the Prosperos’ magic has protected Earth from numerous disasters. But Prospero himself has been kidnapped by demons from Hell, and Miranda, aided by her siblings, has followed her father into Hell to save him from a certain doom at the hands of vengeful demons. Time is running out for Miranda, and for the great magician himself. Their battle against the most terrifying forces of the Pit is a great fantasy adventure.


Aaaaand another cover for another favourite ongoing UF series.

I first saw Ashfall on NetGalley and was intrigued and I requested an ARC.

Under the bubbling hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park is a supervolcano. Most people don’t know it’s there. The caldera is so large that it can only be seen from a plane or satellite. It just could be overdue for an eruption, which would change the landscape and climate of our planet.

Ashfall is the story of Alex, a teenage boy left alone for the weekend while his parents visit relatives. When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts unexpectedly, Alex is determined to reach his parents. He must travel over a hundred miles in a landscape transformed by a foot of ash and the destruction of every modern convenience that he has ever known, and through a new world in which disaster has brought out both the best and worst in people desperate for food, water, and warmth. With a combination of nonstop action, a little romance, and very real science, this is a story that is difficult to stop reading and even more difficult to forget.

On Thea’s Radar:

I gotta say, Prospero Regained and Ashfall look freaking AWESOME and I cannot wait to read both of these books! So first up on my list of highly desirable books is the second novel in Kate Elliott’s Spiritwalker series, Cold Fire. I *loved* book 1, so am really, really excited for this second book.

Cat and her cousin are key players in a drama of dragons and politics. Everyone wants something from them – including the warlord who’s conquering all Europa and the Cold Mages who dare defy him. But the Master of the Wild Hunt is most dangerous of all. He will command Cat’s loyalty using what she holds most dear.

In a world where science and magic are at war, one girl must save those she loves, or lose everything.


Ana informs me that my copy of this title JUST came in the post, and dear readers, I can barely contain myself. How freaking AWESOME does this look? Did anyone love the Alvin Schwartz Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books? I cannot wait to get my greedy mitts on this book.

The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming… The monster in his back garden, though, this monster is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.

Costa Award winner Patrick Ness spins a tale from the final idea of much-loved Carnegie Medal winner Siobhan Dowd, whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself. Darkly mischievous and painfully funny, A Monster Calls is an extraordinarily moving novel of coming to terms with loss from two of our finest writers for young adults.

After being disappointed earlier this week with The Company Man, I was thinking of George Mann’s books – lo and behold, a new cover is out for the third book in his Newbury & Hobbes series:

Welcome to the bizarre and dangerous world of Victorian London, a city teetering on the edge of revolution. Its people are ushering in a new era of technology, dazzled each day by new inventions. Airships soar in the skies over the city, whilst ground trains rumble through the streets and clockwork automatons are programmed to carry out menial tasks in the offices of lawyers, policemen and journalists. But beneath this shiny veneer of progress lurks a sinister side. For this is also a world where lycanthropy is a rampant disease that plagues the dirty whorehouses of Whitechapel, where poltergeist infestations create havoc in old country seats, where cadavers can rise from the dead and where nobody ever goes near the Natural History Museum. The Immorality Engine is the third in the Newbury and Hobbes series.

Just got this in the mail, and as I’ve heard nothing but praise for this debut, I am thrilled (even if the US cover is a little…well, cheesy):

Drothe has been a member of the Kin for years, rubbing elbows with thieves and murderers in the employ of a crime lord while smuggling relics on the side. But when an ancient book falls into his hands, Drothe finds himself in possession of a relic capable of bringing down emperors-a relic everyone in the underworld would kill to obtain.

And finally, Bill Willingham’s debut YA book!!!!!! Fully Illustrated! BILL WILLINGHAM!

Down the Mysterly River is the children’s book debut of Bill Willingham, the creator of the #1 New York Times bestselling graphic novel series Fables. Complete with illustrations by Fables artist Mark Buckingham, it is a spirited, highly original tale of adventure, suspense, and everlasting friendship.

Max “the Wolf” is a top notch Boy Scout, an expert at orienteering and a master of being prepared. So it is a little odd that he suddenly finds himself, with no recollection of his immediate past, lost in an unfamiliar wood. Even odder still, he encounters a badger named Banderbrock, a black bear named Walden, and McTavish the Monster (who might also be an old barn cat)—all of whom talk—and who are as clueless as Max.

Before long, Max and his friends are on the run from a relentless group of hunters and their deadly hounds. Armed with powerful blue swords and known as the Blue Cutters, these hunters capture and change the very essence of their prey. For what purpose, Max can’t guess. But unless he can solve the mystery of the strange forested world he’s landed in, Max may find himself and his friends changed beyond recognition, lost in a lost world…

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

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11 Comments

  • Ebony McKenna
    April 23, 2011 at 3:22 am

    Mike Mullin’s on my radar too, and there’s also a new Anna Campbell coming out this week I think.

    On the topic of man-titty, every time I see it I can’t help hearing Alan Rickman in his Galaxy Quest role: I see you’ve got your shirt off.

  • J
    April 23, 2011 at 4:37 am

    Re the Meljean Brook cover: I too hope Lady Corsair is on the cover. There is certainly precedent for female only covers in the last 3 of Meljean’s Guardians series. But my other objection is this: if you’re going to have mantitty, could the mantits not sag? Thank you.

  • Gerd D.
    April 23, 2011 at 5:17 am

    I’ve got mostly old stuff I try to get:

    To keep up on my LGBT lesbian literature reading I’m waffeling between
    “Pages for you: A Novel” / “Annie on my Mind”

    In romance I’ll try my luck with
    Laura Kinsella’s “Flowers from the Storm”

    Then I’ve got “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” on my plate and if that shouldn’t depress me enough I’ll head for “Feminism, Literature and Rape Narratives”

    And then, simply to get my sanity back “The pull of gravity” by Gae Polisner

  • KB/KT Grant
    April 23, 2011 at 7:20 am

    Lady Corsair’s hero doesn’t look like that at all. Or at least IMO. I would have liked to see a woman as well, one standing on top of a air ship with her goggles and a scarf on.

    Perhaps the publisher thinks man-titty and a long sword is more visually pleasing and will help people when deciding to buy the book?

    LOL @Jessica. Instead of droopy drawers, droopy man boobs?

  • Sylvia Sybil
    April 23, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Meljean Brook has said (I think on her blog?) that this is not the final cover and it could still change.

  • Bohemienne
    April 23, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Yikes on the Brook cover. I’ll admit, the cover is the only thing keeping me from reading The Iron Duke omgrightnow (I do most my reading on public transportation; I HAVE gotten creepy comments made to me when I read oddly-covered books). Anyway…

    I might explode if Teresa Frohock’s MISERERE doesn’t hurry up and come out. Or Tessa Gratton’s BLOOD MAGIC. I’m dying to read COLD MAGIC as well–so envious that you all are already on Book 2! I’m also intrigued, though not completely sold on, this new Courtenay Grimwood book–forget the name at the moment.

  • Charlotte
    April 23, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    I hadn’t heard of Down the Mysterly River yet–it sounds like one I should be on the look out for.

    And I’m looking forward to Cold Fire lots too, even though I wasn’t quite as enthusiastic about it as others were…

  • Jess Tudor
    April 23, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    SEANAN MCGUIRE! KATE ELLIOTT! SQUEE! The only thing I need to make this post complete is a new Black London from Caitlin Kittredge, really. 🙂 And she probably even has one; I’ve been too busy to check.

    Among Thieves has now been added to the TBR. There’s always one. 🙂

  • S. Eric Rhoads (WordTipping)
    April 23, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Read the first chapter of Among Thieves while killing time at a local Barnes and Nobles…bought it on the spot. Really enjoyed it and Drothe reminds me of Vlad Taltos…a good comparison in my mind.

  • Deirdre
    April 25, 2011 at 6:52 am

    I’m in the midst of reading Among Thieves. It’s a decent read. If I were to employ the Book Smugglers rating system, I’d probably give it a six–I like it, but with reservations.

  • Gae Polisner
    May 2, 2011 at 6:35 am

    Oh Gerd!

    If TPoG gets your sanity back, think of the marketing possibilities in it for me! Keep me posted at gdotpolisneratgmail.com 🙂 🙂 🙂

    – gae

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