On the Radar

On the Smugglers’ Radar

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:

OH MY GOD. Look at the cover of the new David Levithan! And read how it came to be – it’s a great story.

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

STOP THE PRESSES! STOP THE PRESSES! Elizabeth Vein’s “sequel” to THE AWESOME Code Name Verity has a cover! a blurb! AND A RELEASE DATE! (or, at least it does in Canada) *buys boxes of tissues*

Rose Under Fire

While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women’s concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that’s in store for her?

Elizabeth Wein, author of the critically-acclaimed and best-selling Code Name Verity, delivers another stunning WWII thriller. The unforgettable story of Rose Justice is forged from heart-wrenching courage, resolve, and the slim, bright chance of survival.

ANOTHER STOP THE PRESSES BOOK! Catherynne M Valente’s third entry in her excellent Fairyland series is also looking all kinds of AWESOME: SEPTEMBER IS GOING TO THE MOON! SOAR, SEPTEMBER, SOAR!

The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland

September misses Fairyland and her friends Ell, the Wyverary, and the boy Saturday. She longs to leave the routines of home, and embark on a new adventure. Little does she know that this time, she will be spirited away to the moon, reunited with her friends, and find herself faced with saving Fairyland from a moon-Yeti with great and mysterious powers.

Here is another rich, beautifully told, wisely humorous, and passionately [layered] book from New York Times-bestselling author, Catherynne M. Valente.

I came across The Waiting Tree, a LGBT YA novel coming out in May on Netgalley and immediately requested it:

The Waiting Tree

Four brothers struggle to find peace amid conflict

The real me? I thought. What was I now, the fake me? Would I suddenly wake up and discover I’d dreamt up this entire year or had been in some sort of coma? Eighteen-year-old Simon Peters wants to stand up for the truth about who he is. His love for Stephen is unwavering, but does he have the courage to defend it when his entire church community, including his eldest brother Paul, have ostracized him? Will Stephen’s feelings change now that he’s been banished to the Waverly Christian Center to learn how to be “normal” again? Trapped in a cashier’s job he hates, struggling to maintain peace with his brothers after their parents have died, and determined to look after his mute twin and his friend Tina, Simon puts everyone else’s needs before his own. It takes a courageous act on the part of Jude, his devoted twin, to change both of their lives forever. Jude, who is wiser than anyone ever knew. Jude, who understands that the meaning of the fig tree blooming in their scrappy backyard can finally set them free.

Lindsay Moynihan has had a passion for storytelling since her early childhood in Toronto, Canada. At eighteen, she moved to upstate New York to study at the Culinary Institute of America where she penned the text to Cake Art for the school’s publishing division. Moynihan currently lives in Orlando, Florida, where she attends the University of Central Florida, volunteers with local LGBTQ organizations, and continues to write about the struggles and successes of today’s young adults. The Waiting Tree is her first novel.

I’ve seen a couple of great reviews for this title from Small Beer Press and I plan to read it soon as it sounds really cool:


Translated by Amalia Gladhart.

When you run into Trafalgar Medrano at the Burgundy or the Jockey Club and he tells you about his latest intergalactic sales trip, don’t try to rush him. He likes to stretch things out over seven double coffees. No one knows whether he actually travels to the stars, but he’s the best storyteller around, so why doubt him?

Trafalgar, a novel-in-stories, was originally published in Argentina in 1979. It starts off light and refreshing right from the very first short Who’s Who in Rosario listing for Trafalgar, although there are occasional clouds that pass through Trafalgar Medrano’s bright and happy stories.

I was checking the BEA Editor’s Buzz lists and came across this Middle Grade novel that I NEED TO HAVE because it looks and sounds excellent.

The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates

Hilary Westfield has always dreamed of being a pirate. She can tread water for thirty-seven minutes. She can tie a knot faster than a fleet of sailors.She particularly enjoys defying authority, especially if that authority orders her to wear a petticoat. She wouldn’t be caught dead eating tiny, crustless sandwiches, and she already owns a rather pointy sword. There’s only one problem: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates refuses to let any girl join their ranks of scourges and scallywags.

Girls belong at Miss Pimm’s Finishing School for Delicate Ladies, learning to waltz, faint, and curtsy. But Hilary and her dearest friend, the gargoyle, have no use for such frivolous lessons— they are pirates! (Or very nearly.)

To escape from a life of petticoats and politeness, Hilary answers a curious advertisement for a pirate crew and suddenly finds herself swept up in a seafaring adventure that may or may not involve a map without an “X,” a magical treasure that likely doesn’t exist, a rogue governess who insists on propriety, a crew of misfit scallywags, and the most treacherous—and unexpected—villain on the High Seas.

Will Hilary find the treasure in time? Will she become a true pirate after all? And what will become of the gargoyle?

On Thea’s Radar:


Ahem. With that said, here are some other books I’m greatly looking forward to. First up, the new book from Sara Grant:

Half Lives

I learned that surviving isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. If you survive, you’ve got to live with the guilt, and that’s more difficult than looking someone in the eye and pulling the trigger. Trust me. I’ve done both. Killing takes a twitch of the finger. Absolution takes several lifetimes.

Seventeen-year-old Icie’s parents have given her $10,000 in cash, a map of a top-secret bunker, and instructions to get there by any means necessary. They have news of an imminent viral attack and know that the bunker is Icie’s only hope for survival. Along with three other teens, she lives locked away for months, not knowing what’s happening in the outside world or who has survived. And are they safe in the bunker after all?

Generations in the future, a mysterious cult worships the very mountain where Icie’s secret bunker was built. They never leave the mountain, they’re ruled by a teenager…and they have surprising ties to Icie.

This high-stakes, original, and thought-provoking adventure from Sara Grant follows two unlikely heroes, hundreds of years apart, as they fight to survive.

This next book could be crap, or it could be brilliant. I’m hoping for the latter, and hoping this is some bland/generic jacket copy.


So what’s the game now? This, or the life I used to know?

When Miki Jones is pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game—her carefully controlled life spirals into chaos. In the game, she and a team of other teens are sent on missions to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures. There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Miki has only the guidance of secretive but maddeningly attractive team leader Jackson Tate, who says the game isn’t really a game, that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival, and the survival of every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn’t. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn.

LOOK! A new book from Sara Beth Durst! WHEEEEEEE!


Eve has a new home, a new face, and a new name — but no memories of her past. She’s been told that she’s in a witness protection program. That she escaped a dangerous magic-wielding serial killer who still hunts her. The only thing she knows for sure is that there is something horrifying in her memories the people hiding her want to access—and there is nothing they won’t say — or do — to her to get her to remember.

At night she dreams of a tattered carnival tent and buttons being sewn into her skin. But during the day, she shelves books at the local library, trying to not let anyone know that she can do things — things like change the color of her eyes or walk through walls. When she does use her strange powers, she blacks out and is drawn into terrifying visions, returning to find that days or weeks have passed — and she’s lost all short-term memories. Eve must find out who and what she really is before the killer finds her — but the truth may be more dangerous than anyone could have ever imagined.

Then there’s this book – more genetic tinkering and super-soldier creation attempts, but sounds like it could be fun. (Also, I’m into the clever use of decorative double helix on the cover!)

Wake up Missing

“This book is like a wild roller-coaster ride through the Florida swamps.” —Margaret Peterson Haddix

Einstein, Edison, DaVinci, Oppenheimer, Curie. The greatest minds in science are about to be illegally recreated—and Cat Grayson must stop it. After suffering a concussion, Cat is attending I-CAN, a groundbreaking facility that promises to cure her of constant headaches and lost memory. But I-CAN is state-of-the-art in its technology and its secrets, with a plan to implant DNA from great scientists into modern kids and use them to create a super-weapon. When Cat and her fellow patients discover the truth, they’re in serious danger and must make a daring escape through the Everglades to expose the secrets of I-CAN and save its subjects from losing themselves forever. For fans of Margaret Peterson Haddix and James Patterson, this fascinating adventure is sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats.

I haven’t read or heard of Dragonborn, but this companion novel sounds AWESOME. WANT.


The can’t-miss second book by an author reviewers heralded as akin to “Tolkien, Alexander, and Rowling”!

When an old, dying wizard steals magic from his young apprentice, Bee, he changes his own life and nearly destroys hers. But he also releases something new into the world—a wild magic that turns fields to flames and upsets the order of life. It will take another apprentice, Cabbage, to find Bee and try to set the world right again.

Remarkable for its dramatic prose and thrilling magical adventure, Toby Forward’s Dragonborn delighted critics and fans. This prequel, set in the same world in a different time, is a breathtaking work of magic and suffering, friendship, and transformation—and the new power that rises from the ashes of a terrible deed.

A tree in Ohio that is a portal to alternate realities and parallel universes? YES. Also, beautiful cover.


If you could step into a parallel universe, what would you give up for the perfect life?

If Ruby Wright could have her way, her dad would never have met and married her stepmother Willow, her best friend George would be more than a friend, and her mom would still be alive. Ruby knows wishes can’t come true; some things just can’t be undone. Then she discovers a tree in the middle of an Ohio cornfield with a wormhole to nine alternative realities. Suddenly, Ruby can access completely different realities, each containing variations of her life—if things had gone differently at key moments. The windshield wiper missing her mother’s throat…her big brother surviving his ill-fated birth…her Father never having met Willow. Her ideal world—one with everything and everyone she wants most—could be within reach. But is there such a thing as a perfect world? What is Ruby willing to give up to find out?

This next one is a nonfiction book, about the hunt for other habitable planets:

Mirror Earth

In the mid-1990s, astronomers made history when they detected three planets orbiting stars in the Milky Way. The planets were nothing like Earth, however: they were giant gas balls like Jupiter or Saturn. More than 500 planets have been found since then, yet none of them could support life.

Now, armed with more powerful technology, planet hunters are racing to find a true twin of Earth. Science writer Michael Lemonick has unique access to these exoplaneteers, as they call themselves, and Mirror Earth unveils their passionate quest. Geoff Marcy, at the University of California, Berkeley, is the world’s most successful planet hunter, having found two of the first three extra-solar planets. Bill Borucki, at the NASA Ames Research Center, struggled for more than a decade to launch the Kepler mission-the only planet finder, human or machine, to beat Marcy’s record. David Charbonneau, at Harvard, realized that Earths would be much easier to find if he looked at tiny stars called M-dwarfs rather than stars like the Sun-and that he could use backyard telescopes to find them!

Unlike those in other races, the competing scientists actually consult and cooperate with one another. But only one will be the first to find Earth’s twin. Mirror Earth is poised narrate this historic event as the discovery is made.

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

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  • Paige
    March 16, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Oh, that Elizabeth Wein cover is so pretty! Also: WANT.

    The book that’s suddenly shot onto my radar, though, as of yesterday, is Scott Lynch’s third Gentlemen Bastards novel, Republic of Thieves, which is FINALLY slated, really and truly, for publication this year in October.

    I dunno if either of you have read Lynch — I think I see a lot of Smugglivus postings mentioning him, but none of yours. It seems like surely someone must have mentioned him in the Old School suggestions (I should have!) but maybe we didn’t, since it’s tricky to recommend a series that ends with a partial cliffhanger and uncertainty about whether the third book would ever arrive.

    Anyway, as proof of Lynch’s general awesomeness, I’ll link to the most recent thing he did that went viral among fans — a response to a fan who wrote to complain that having a character who was a middle-aged black mother and also a badass pirate was unrealistic.

  • Paige
    March 16, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Oh, yes, and awesomesauce cover for the Lynch here, at Elizabeth Bear’s site.

  • Barbara
    March 16, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Thrilled about the ‘sequel’ to Code Name Verity. I just checked Amazon UK and they have listed a paperback edition of Rose Under Fire with a publication date of 3rd June 2013. Better than October!

  • Chachic
    March 16, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    I’m so excited for Rose Under Fire! I hope the US and UK editions will have pretty covers as well.

  • Eliza
    March 16, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    So excited for Rose Under Fire. When I first heard about it, I immediately went out and bought several boxes of tissues (Puffs, not Kleenex)that are reserved for this book. My understanding is that, other than taking place during WWII, there is not an overlap with Code Name Verity but my recollection may be wrong. Here’s Ms. Wein’s discussion of her next big thing, (i.e., Rose Under Fire) in her November 2012 blog post.

    Books I’m anticipating reading are her (Elizabeth Wein’s) earlier series The Lion Hunters: The Arthurian/Aksumite Cycle. They fit within the OSW guidelines, so maybe we’ll have to add the first book, The Winter Prince, to the read-along list? Has anyone read these books?

    Barbara – Code Name Verity also was released in the UK a few months earlier than in the US. The wait seemed to take forever, but not as long as the one will be for Rose Under Fire now that I know how good her books are.

    As usual, lots of other books here to add to my TBR list.

  • Sarah G.
    March 16, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Ahhh, I’m so happy to see that TRAFALGAR has been translated into English!! And I love that cover. Angélica Gorodischer is fantastic, and Trafalgar himself is… quite a memorable character. 😉

  • Ashleigh Paige
    March 16, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    I didn’t even know about Rose Under Fire until a friend showed me the cover. I promptly had to stop and do a little dance. SO EXCITED! Why does September have to be so far away?!

    I’m a little curious about Rush myself, bu I plan to wait until some friends review it. I know at least a few of them have it in their TBR pile. No use in jumping at the book when I’m unsure about it. I very rarely find good books when I use that method.

  • Linda W
    March 16, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    So many great books. I’m especially looking forward to Caroline Carlson’s book and the next September book by Catherynne Valente.

  • Estara Swanberg
    March 16, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    I got to check some details for EWein again, and therefore got to see a few lines: it’s going to be in its setting even darker than CNV. EWein went to a writerly event at Ravensbrück herself while writing the book. I wish it hadn’t been that far away from my town, or that she’d had time to come down, ah well.
    Post from Ravensbrück : http://eegatland.livejournal.com/95830.html
    One more from Ravensbrück : http://eegatland.livejournal.com/96109.html

    On my radar this month: Hopefully Andrea K Höst’s first FANTASY YA, Hunting, with its amazing Julie Dillon cover.

    Then of course there’s Frost Burned to be read and Julie Czerneda’s first fantasy A Turn of Light. I love her science fiction and space operas, so I hope this will be as great. She did a whole scaled model for the setting of the story, heh.

  • Estara Swanberg
    March 16, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    A propros Old School Wednesdays: Agent of Change, the first Liaden Universe novel, is currently free on Amazon and at the BAEN Free Elibrary, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Liaden Universe.

  • Megan no h
    March 17, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Ooooo, hadn’t seen the covers/blurbs for Rose Under Fire OR the new Fairyland. THANK YOU.

  • Thea
    March 17, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Estara – thank you for the tip about Agent of Change! I just got my copy from BAEN. Also, I’m very excited for A TURN OF LIGHT, too! Maybe I’ll wait for your review first 🙂

  • hapax
    March 17, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    If the Eve Silver who wrote RUSH is the same Eve Silver (aka Eve Kenin) who wrote two of my favorite adult science fiction romances, DRIVEN and HIDDEN, then I feel very optimistic that it will be closer to the “brilliant” than the “crap” side of the scale.

  • Sarah
    March 19, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Here’s my one thing about Two Boys Kissing – if they’re really boyfriends, what if they break up? Can you imagine living forever having you and an ex kissing on a book? If I had to see me smooching any of my ex’s on a book I’d be traumatized.

    Otherwise, hurray! 😀 I just finished Every Day two days ago.

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