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:

This one – Sleeping Giants – I heard via @renay. It’s billed as The Martian meets World War Z and I am CURIOUS:

Sleeping Giants

World War Z meets The Martian. This inventive first novel will please devoted fans of sci-fi as well as literary readers hoping a smart thriller will sneak up on them.

17 years ago: A girl in South Dakota falls through the earth, then wakes up dozens of feet below ground on the palm of what seems to be a giant metal hand. Today: She is a top-level physicist leading a team of people to understand exactly what that hand is, where it came from, and what it portends for humanity. A swift and spellbinding tale told almost exclusively through transcriptions of interviews conducted by a mysterious and unnamed character, this is a unique debut that describes a hunt for truth, power, and giant body parts.


How gorgeous is the cover for Tahereh Mafi’s upcoming MG book Furthermore? SO gorgeous:



Also gorgeous is the cover for Nevernight. One word: REVENGE.


In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she wanders a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and its thugs. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the hearth of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. Treachery and trials await her with the Church’s halls, and to fail is to die. But if she survives to initiation, Mia will be inducted among the chosen of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the only thing she desires.



I’ve been hearing a lot of praise for Radiant Road:

Radiant Road

And sometimes the Strange came to visit Clare, and dreams walked through her waking life.

What if your house had a tree inside it? What if the tree were a gate between worlds–the gate that makes it possible for humans to dream and create?

When 15 year-old Clare returns to the Irish home where she was born, that’s what she finds. But now an ancient evil threatens to close the gate forever, and only Clare and a strange boy named Finn stand in the way.

An adventure story about dreaming, loving, and creating—whether writing, art, music, or invention—and what it takes to keep them alive.

There is no safety, and so we must touch and be touched, and we must fall and fly.


On Thea’s Radar:

First up on my radar is a book that I’ve posted about before–but it’s coming out next week and I’m really, really excited.

Morning Star

Red Rising thrilled readers and announced the presence of a talented new author. Golden Son totally changed the game and took the story of Darrow to the next level. Now comes the exhilarating conclusion to the Red Rising Trilogy: Morning Star.

Born a lowly Red in the mines of Mars, Darrow lost his beloved wife to the treacherous Gold overlords. Vowing to fight for the future that his wife believed in, Darrow joins a secret revolutionary group and is remade into a Gold so that he can infiltrate the ruling class and bring them down from the inside. Now, after years of hiding amongst the Golds, Darrow is finally ready to declare open revolution and throw off the chains of oppression. Nothing in Darrow’s world has been easily won, and this final fight will be the most harrowing of all.


Next up is this eco-speculative fiction novel that looks pretty good.

Bleeding Earth

Between Mother Nature and human nature, disasters are inevitable.

Lea was in a cemetery when the earth started bleeding. Within twenty-four hours, the blood made international news. All over the world, blood oozed out of the ground, even through the concrete, even in the water. Then the earth started growing hair and bones.

Lea wishes she could ignore the blood. She wishes she could spend time with her new girlfriend, Aracely, in public, if only Aracely wasn’t so afraid of her father. Lea wants to be a regular teen again, but the blood has made her a prisoner in her own home. Fear for her social life turns into fear for her sanity, and Lea must save herself and her girlfriend however she can.


This next book has a delightful cover and title–I would love to give this a shot.

The Custodian of Marvels

You’d have to be mad to steal from the feared International Patent Office. But that’s what Elizabeth Barnabus is about to try. A one-time enemy from the circus has persuaded her to attempt a heist that will be the ultimate conjuring trick.

Hidden in the vaults of the Patent Court in London lie secrets that could shake the very pillars of the Gas-Lit Empire. All that stands in Elizabeth’s way are the agents of the Patent Office, a Duke’s private army and the mysterious Custodian of Marvels.

Rod Duncan returns with the climactic volume ofThe Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire, the breathtaking alternate history series that began with the Philip K. Dick Award-nominated The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter.


Last but not least, there’s this forthcoming science fiction YA novel that sounds and looks ridiculous.


Solara Brooks needs a fresh start, someplace where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. The outer realm may be lawless, but it’s not like the law has ever been on her side.

Still, off-world travel doesn’t come cheap; Solara is left with no choice but to indenture herself in exchange for passage to the outer realm. She just wishes it could have been to anyone besides Doran Spaulding, the rich, pretty-boy quarterback who made her life miserable in school.

The tables suddenly turn when Doran is framed for conspiracy on Earth, and Solara cons him into playing the role of her servant on board the Banshee, a ship manned by an eccentric crew with their own secrets. Given the price on both Doran and Solara’s heads, it may just be the safest place in the universe.

It’s been a long time since Solara has believed in anyone, and Doran is the last person she expected to trust. But when the Banshee’s dangerous enemies catch up with them, Solara and Doran must come together to protect the ship that has become their home-and the eccentric crew that feels like family.


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

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  • Wendy
    February 6, 2016 at 12:14 am

    Nice round-up! If you haven’t seen it already, check out Rebel Genius, a MG novel by Michael Dante DiMartino (yes, co-creator of Avatar and Korra!) here. The cover, blurb and an excerpt JUST got released.

  • Ana
    February 7, 2016 at 6:59 am

    @ Wendy

    AAAAAAAA thank youuuu

  • Sigaloenta
    February 7, 2016 at 7:51 am

    Ooooh! So many books to go on my list! I’ve been conflicted about the Red Rising series, but of COURSE I need to find out how it ends, and I didn’t know that Morning Star was so close to release. And Sleeping Giants sounds intriguing, while Starlight looks like exactly the kind of space-opera hiinks that I love.

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