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:

A much older title that was brought to my attention last week by Renay – I got the book and will read ASAP. It sounds amazing:

The Steerswoman

The Steerswoman is the first novel in the Steerswoman series. Steerswomen, and a very few Steersmen, are members of an order dedicated to discovering and disseminating knowledge. Although they are foremost navigators of the high seas, Steerswomen are also explorers and cartographers upon land as well as sea. With one exception, they are pledged to always answer any question put to them with as truthful a response as is possible within their own limitations. However, they also require anyone of whom they ask questions to respond in the same manner, upon penalty of the Steerswomen’s ban; those under the ban do not receive answers from the steerswomen.

In this novel, Rowan is a Steerswoman who is interested in some strange jewels which have been found distributed in an unusual pattern. These jewels are made of strange materials bonded onto metal. Some think that such jewels are magically produced.

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I came across this upcoming title called The Root and immediately decided to read it:

The Root

A dark, gritty urban fantasy debut set in modern-day San Francisco, filled with gods, sinister government agencies, and worlds of dark magic hidden just below the surface.

When a secret government agency trying to enslave you isn’t the biggest problem you’re facing, you’re in trouble.

Erik, a former teen star living in San Francisco, thought his life was complicated; having his ex-boyfriend in jail because of the scandal that destroyed his career seemed overwhelming. Then Erik learned he was Blooded: descended from the Gods.

Struggling with a power he doesn’t understand and can barely control, Erik discovers that a secret government agency is selling off Blooded like lab rats to a rival branch of preternatural beings in ’Zebub—San Francisco’s mirror city in an alternate dimension.

Lil, a timid apprentice in ’Zebub, is searching for answers to her parents’ sudden and mysterious deaths. Surrounded by those who wish her harm and view her as a lesser being, Lil delves into a forgotten history that those in power will go to dangerous lengths to keep buried.

What neither Erik nor Lil realize is that a darkness is coming, something none have faced in living memory. It eats. It hunts. And it knows them. In The Root, the dark and surging urban fantasy debut from Na’amen Tilahun, two worlds must come together if even a remnant of one is to survive.

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I really want to get back into the groove of reading more ContempYA and this sounds like a great place to resume:

The Last Boy and Girl in the World

What if your town was sliding underwater and everyone was ordered to pack up and leave? How would you and your friends spend your last days together?

While the adults plan for the future, box up their possessions, and find new places to live, Keeley Hewitt and her friends decide to go out with a bang. There are parties in abandoned houses. Canoe races down Main Street. The goal is to make the most of every minute they still have together.

And for Keeley, that means taking one last shot at the boy she’s loved forever.

There’s a weird sort of bravery that comes from knowing there’s nothing left to lose. You might do things you normally wouldn’t. Or say things you shouldn’t. The reward almost always outweighs the risk.

Almost.

It’s the end of Aberdeen, but the beginning of Keeley’s first love story. It just might not turn out the way she thought. Because it’s not always clear what’s worth fighting for and what you should let become a memory.

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As above – another ContempYA that sounds interesting:

The Unexpected Everything

Andie has a plan. And she always sticks to her plan.

Future? A top-tier medical school.
Dad? Avoid him as much as possible (which isn’t that hard considering he’s a Congressman and he’s never around).
Friends? Palmer, Bri, and Toby—pretty much the most awesome people on the planet, who needs anyone else?
Relationships? No one’s worth more than three weeks.

So it’s no surprise that Andie’s got her summer all planned out too.

Until a political scandal costs Andie her summer pre-med internship, and lands both she and Dad back in the same house together for the first time in years. Suddenly she’s doing things that aren’t Andie at all—working as a dog walker, doing an epic scavenger hunt with her dad, and maybe, just maybe, letting the super cute Clark get closer than she expected. Palmer, Bri, and Toby tell her to embrace all the chaos, but can she really let go of her control?

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Finally, a picture book written by China Miéville and illustrated by Zak Smith…

The Worst Breakfast

A gorgeous and hilarious picture book about the most unusual breakfast two sisters ever ate.

Two sisters sit down for breakfast, and one remembers a really gross breakfast they once had, and reminds her sister about it. But her little sister doesn’t remember. So then she starts describing all of the really gross things that were in the worst breakfast they ever had, until all they can picture is a table piled sky high with the weirdest, yuckiest, grossest, slimiest, slickest, stinkiest breakfast two kids can ever have. And then they have a really good breakfast.

China Miéville is the author of numerous books, including The City & The City, Embassytown, Railsea, and Perdido Street Station. His works have won the World Fantasy Award, the Hugo Award, and the Arthur C. Clarke Award (three times). He lives and works in London.

Zak Smith is an artist who first came to prominence with his mammoth work Pictures Showing What Happens on Each Page of Thomas Pynchon’s Novel Gravity’s Rainbow. Smith’s paintings and drawings are held in major public and private collections worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art. He lives and works in Los Angeles and tries to answer all of his mail.

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On Thea’s Radar:

First up on my radar this week, two books that I picked up last Saturday at Word Bookstore in Brooklyn! I had the pleasure of attending an event at the bookstore last week, and watched Leanna Renee Hieber, Sunil Patel, and Keffy R.M. Kehrli read from their work. It was awesome! So awesome, in fact, that I couldn’t resist buying the two books on the docket:

Clockwork Phoenix 5

The ground-breaking, boundary-pushing, award-nominated series of fantasy anthologies returns for a fifth incarnation, triumphantly risen from the ashes after another successful Kickstarter campaign. This is the largest installment yet, holding twenty new tales of beauty and strangeness. Each story leads you into unmapped territory, there to find shock and delight. With fiction from Jason Kimble, Rachael K. Jones, Patricia Russo, Marie Brennan, Benjanun Sriduangkaew, Rob Cameron, A. C. Wise, Gray Rinehart, Sam Fleming, Sunil Patel, C. S. E. Cooney and Carlos Hernandez, Holly Heisey, Barbara Krasnoff, Sonya Taaffe, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Shveta Thakrar, Cassandra Khaw, Keffy R. M. Kehrli, Rich Larson, and Beth Cato.

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And then this definitive edition of The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker and The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker:

Strangely Beautiful

Originally published as two books, (The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker & The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker) Strangely Beautiful unites Leanna Renee Hieber’s critically acclaimed novels in a single revised volume, restoring the author’s original vision for the work.

Miss Persephone Parker–known as Percy–is different, with her lustrous, snow-white hair, pearlescent pale skin, and uncanny ability to see and communicate with ghosts. Seeking to continue her education, Percy has come to Queen Victoria’s London, to the Athens Academy. What she will learn there will change her life forever. Athens Academy is the citadel of The Guard, an ancient order that battles the forces of evil. The Victorian Guard, led by professor Alexi Rychman, is incomplete. They cannot defeat Jack the Ripper– who is more than the serial killer he appears to be–or the greater monster his appearance heralds. Percy’s lifelong habit of concealment combined with Alexi’s fevered search for the Guard’s missing seventh nearly prove disastrous as ancient Greek myths begin playing out in modern, gaslit, Victorian London. Percy and her new friends and allies must overcome their preconceptions about each other and their own histories before they can set the world to rights. BOOKS 3 & 4 will release in 2017 & 2018

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In the mail this week, I received the following awesomeness. I wanna read it NOW:

Behind the Throne

Meet Hail: Captain. Gunrunner. Fugitive.

Quick, sarcastic, and lethal, Hailimi Bristol doesn’t suffer fools gladly. She has made a name for herself in the galaxy for everything except what she was born to do: rule the Indranan empire. That is, until two Trackers drag her back to her home planet to take her rightful place as the only remaining heir.

But trading her ship for a palace has more dangers than Hail could have anticipated. Caught in a web of plots and assassination attempts, Hail can’t do the one thing she did twenty years ago — run away. She’ll have to figure out how her mother became so ill and who murdered her sisters if she wants to survive.

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Next, I just picked up book 1 in this series–book 2 is coming out soon, so I figured might as well:

The Vagrant

The Vagrant is his name. He has no other. Friendless and alone he walks across a desolate, war-torn landscape, carrying nothing but a kit-bag, a legendary sword and a baby. His purpose is to reach the Shining City, last bastion of the human race, and deliver the sword, the only weapon that may make a difference in the ongoing war. But the Shining City is far away and the world is a very dangerous place.

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And last but not least, received yesterday from Orbit books. I really loved Feed, had conflicted dark feels about the rest of the books in the series–but I have always appreciated the conceit and Seanan McGuire’s writing. I can’t wait to dive in! (Also good grief, talk about a prolific writer–this book is huge!)

Rise

Collected here for the first time is every piece of short fiction from New York Times Bestseller Mira Grant’s acclaimed Newsflesh series, with two new never-before-published novellas and all eight short works available for the first time in print.

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

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