The Book Smugglers

Wed, 12 Jun 2019 12:37:26 +0000
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 Anas Radar: It’s been such a long time since a book by Neesha Meminger came out and then I heard there is one in the works. I was delighted to hear the news: Anji is holding on to big secrets. When she begins to spiral into a scary depression, she realizes she will need to do something drastic to bring herself out of it. With the help of a guidance counselor at school, Anji starts working through what, exactly, led her to the desperate feelings she’s now drowning in. She joins a group of other girls who’ve been through experiences of sexual assault and violence, and learns to face her secrets with the help of […]

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Tue, 11 Jun 2019 11:26:43 +0000
Book Review: With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Title:With the Fire on High Author: Elizabeth Acevedo Genre:Contemporary YA Publisher:Harper TeenPublication date:May 7 2019Hardcover:400 pages With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesnt have enough time for her schools new culinary arts class, doesnt have the money for the classs trip to Spain and shouldnt still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life and all the rules everyone expects her to play by once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free. Stand alone or series:


Fri, 07 Jun 2019 15:31:41 +0000
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 Anas Radar: I loved The Epic Crush of Genie Lo which I read earlier this year and can’t wait for the sequel, The Iron Will of Genie Lo Genie Lo thought she was busy last year, juggling her academic career with protecting the Bay Area from demons. But now, as the Heaven-appointed Guardian of California, shes responsible for the well-being of all yaoguai and spirits on Earth. Even the ones who interrupt her long-weekend visit to a prestigious college, bearing terrible news about a cosmos-threatening force of destruction in a nearby alternate dimension. The goddess Guanyin and Genies boyfriend, Quentin Sun Wukong, do their best to help, but its really the Jade Emperor whos supposed […]

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Thu, 06 Jun 2019 03:25:04 +0000
Over at Kirkus: Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey

It’s Friday and we are over at Kirkus with a review of Sarah Gailey’s novel Magic for Liars Go over to Kirkus for the full scoop.

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Tue, 04 Jun 2019 12:58:33 +0000
Over at Kirkus: SFF Titles from BookExpo/BookCon 2019

We are over at Kirkus today for our regular column! It’s Thea’s turn today, getting into the spirit of BookExpo and BookCon with a list of most coveted science fiction and fantasy titles at the show. (OK, so the shows are over, but it doesn’t change the awesomeness of theses books!) Head over to Kirkus to get the full list.

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Wed, 29 May 2019 13:00:19 +0000
Book Review: Unraveling by Karen Lord

Title: Unraveling Author: Karen Lord Genre: Fantasy Publisher: Daw BooksPublication date: June 4 2019Hardcover: 304 pages Dr. Miranda Ecouvo, forensic therapist of the City, just helped put a serial killer behind bars. But she soon discovers that her investigation into seven unusual murders is not yet complete. A near-death experience throws her out of time and into a realm of labyrinths and spirits. There, she encounters brothers Chance and the Trickster, who have an otherworldly interest in the seemingly mundane crimes from her files. It appears the true mastermind behind the murders is still on the loose, chasing a myth to achieve immortality. Together, Miranda, Chance, and the Trickster must travel through conjured mazes, following threads of memory to locate the shadowy killer. As they journey deeper, they discover even more questions that will take pain and patience to answer. What is the price of power? Where is the path to redemption? And how can they stop the man–or monster–who would kill the innocent to live forever? Stand alone or series: Stand alone How did I get this book: Review copy from publisher Format (e- or p-): ebook Review As she walks back home from work one night, forensic therapist […]

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Tue, 28 May 2019 13:01:43 +0000
Book Review: THE INVITED by Jennifer McMahon

Title:The Invited Author: Jennifer McMahon Genre: Horror Publisher: DoubledayPublication Date: May 2019Hardcover: 353 pages A chilling ghost story with a twist: theNew York Times bestselling author ofThe Winter Peoplereturns to the woods of Vermont to tell the story of a husband and wife who don’t simply move into a haunted house, they start building one from scratch, without knowing it, until it’s too late . . . In a quest for a simpler life, Helen and Nate abandon the comforts of suburbia and their teaching jobs to take up residence on forty-four acres of rural land where they will begin the ultimate, aspirational do-it-yourself project: building the house of their dreams. When they discover that this charming property has a dark and violent past, Helen, a former history teacher, becomes consumed by the legend of Hattie Breckenridge, a woman who lived and died there a century ago. As Helen starts carefully sourcing decorative building materials for her home–wooden beams, mantles, historic bricks–she starts to unearth, and literally conjure, the tragic lives of Hattie’s descendants, three generations of “Breckenridge women,” each of whom died amidst suspicion, and who seem to still be seeking something precious and elusive in the present day. […]

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Mon, 27 May 2019 13:21:31 +0000
I LOVE YOU SO MOCHI: Sarah Kuhn on Inspirations & Influences (and a giveaway)

We are huge fans of Sarah Kuhn’s, especially her Heroine Complex series, and were thrilled when we learned she was writing a Japan-set romantic comedy novel. Today, we’re delighted to have her as our guest to discuss I Love You So Mochi, and the inspirations and influences behind the book. Whenever I take a trip, I plan at least half my itinerary around food. Or maybe its more like seventy five percent. Ninety percent. Okay, fine, its most of my itinerary and sometimes theres a spreadsheet with little googly-eyed food stickers. I love how certain flavors transport me immediately to certain places and conjure the most vivid memories. Spicy, garlicky shrimp might take me back to a windy strip of beach in Maui, questing for a sought after food truck that serves spicy, garlicky shrimp alongside fluffy rice and that perfect mayonnaise-y dollop of mac salad. Hearty meat sauce of any kind sends me to a tiny, always-packed Vietnamese place in San Francisco, where the Aunties ladle scrumptious meat sauce with a welcome heavy handand where I happily inhaled multiple helpings after road-tripping through the pouring rain with one of my BFFs. That, in turn, sends me back to childhood, […]

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Fri, 24 May 2019 20:10:46 +0000
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 Anas Radar: This YA mystery novel from Ann Aguirre sounds up my alley: Heartwood Box


Tue, 21 May 2019 03:09:34 +0000
Over at Kirkus: Caves & SFF

We are over at Kirkus today for our regular column! It’s Ana’s turn today, this time with a few mini-reviews… Apparently, caves are a thing in SFF these days. Get the full scoop over at Kirkus.

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Tue, 14 May 2019 10:13:24 +0000
Over at Kirkus: MIDDLEGAME by Seanan McGuire

We are over at Kirkus today for our regular column! It’s Thea’s turn today, this time with a review of Middlegame by Seanan McGuire. An alchemical fairy tale, Middlegame is the story of not-quite-human twins–Roger and Dodger–who created in a laboratory and separated at birth. They also embody the power of the universe and who may one day cause the end of the world. Head over to Kirkus to get the full scoop.

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Mon, 13 May 2019 12:20:19 +0000
Non-Binary Authors to Read May/June 2019

Non-Binary Authors To Readis a regular column from A.C. Wise highlighting non-binary authors of speculative fiction and recommending a starting place for their work. Welcome to another Non-Binary Authors to Read! This time around, I have four short stories to recommend by four wonderful authors. By coincidence, all four stories deal with longing, loss, and pain, and the way we find and make meaning in our lives. Alex Yuschik is an author and a Ph.D. candidate in mathematics. My recommended starting place for their work is “The Girl With All the Ghosts” recently published at Glittership. Go-Eun works at the Six Resplendent Suns Funeral Palace and House of the Dead, a containment facility designed to ease people’s minds so they can rest assured their beloved family members and friends won’t return as vengeful ghosts. The world Go-Eun inhabits has a post-apocalyptic feel, a world of scarcity plagued by ghosts who are torn apart by giant mechs if they get out of hand. This creates a vicious cycle, as sometimes mech pilots die in the line of duty, ultimately returning as the very thing they fought in life. It’s a bleak life, one that doesn’t seem to offer much hope, but […]

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Fri, 10 May 2019 14:37:06 +0000
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 Anas Radar: This YA mystery novel sounds good: With a touch, Lexi can sense how and when someone will die. Some say its a gift. But to Lexi its a curseone that keeps her friendless and alone. All that changes when Lexi foresees the violent death of a young woman, Jane, outside a club. But Jane doesnt go to the afterlife quietly. Her ghost remains behind, determined to hunt down her murderer, and she needs Lexis help. In life, Jane was everything Lexi is notoutgoing, happy, popular. But in death, all Jane wants is revenge. Lexi will do anything to help Jane, to make up for the fact that she didntcouldntsave Janes life, and to […]

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Tue, 07 May 2019 04:08:28 +0000
Over at Kirkus: Anticipated Summer Reads

It’s Friday and we are over at Kirkus with a list of anticipated summer reads. Get your wallet/library cards ready and GO Go over there for the full scoop

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Mon, 06 May 2019 11:51:30 +0000
Joint Review: The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling

Title: The


Sat, 04 May 2019 13:55:09 +0000
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 Anas Radar: Fans of Sarah Gailey’s distinctive work and voice, rejoice! New from Tor.com in February: Esther is a stowaway. Shes hidden herself away in the Librarians book wagon in an attempt to escape the marriage her father has arranged for hera marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend. Her best friend who she was in love with. Her best friend who was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda. The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing. Stealing from Thea’s book of faves, a new book from Juliet Marillier: Eighteen-year-old Liobhan is a powerful singer and […]

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Mon, 29 Apr 2019 14:02:18 +0000
May the Fourth Be With You! (Over at Kirkus)

We are over at Kirkus today for our regular column! In celebration of May the Fourth, aka Star Wars day, it is Thea’s turn, with a list. In celebration of Star Wars, Thea shares a list of three recently devoured and loved books in the expanded universe (all brand new canon entries, all taking place in the prequel era). Head over to Kirkus to get the full scoop. And May the Fourth be with you all!

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Fri, 26 Apr 2019 15:24:10 +0000
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 Anas Radar: I received a copy of this book in the post and it looks so great: Nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide. Yesterday, Amanda Backs life was flawless: the perfect social credit score, the perfect job, the perfect home. Today, Amanda is a target, an enemy of the system holding information dangerous enough to disrupt the worlds all-consuming tech a fugitive on the run. But in a world where an un-hackable blockchain links everyone and everything, there is nowhere to run This YA Mystery novel is described as “Jane Austen meetsThe Gentlemans Guide to Vice and Virtue” and I am intrigued: Lady Victoria Aston has everything she could want: with an older sister […]

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Wed, 24 Apr 2019 12:03:12 +0000
Over at Kirkus: ATLAS ALONE by Emma Newman

It’s Friday and we are over at Kirkus with a review of Atlas Alone by Emma Newman Go over to Kirkus to hear more about it.

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Mon, 22 Apr 2019 04:01:34 +0000
Book Review: SHERWOOD by Meagan Spooner

Title:


Wed, 17 Apr 2019 14:36:50 +0000
Over at Kirkus: A CURSE SO DARK AND LONELY by Brigid Kemmerer

We are over at Kirkus today for our regular column! It’s Thea’s turn, with a review of romantic YA fantasy novel A


Tue, 16 Apr 2019 10:57:13 +0000
Book Review: THE DEAD QUEENS CLUB by Hannah Capin

Title: The DeadQueensClub Author: Hannah Capin Genre: Contemporary YA Publisher: Inkyard PressPublication date: January 29 2019Hardcover:464 pages What do a future ambassador, an overly ambitious Francophile, a hospital-volunteering Girl Scout, the new girl from Cleveland, the junior cheer captain, and the vice president of the debate club have in common? It sounds like the ridiculously long lead-up to an astoundingly absurd punchline, right? Except its not. Well, unless my life is the joke, which is kind of starting to look like a possibility given how beyond soap opera its been since I moved to Lancaster. But anyway, heres your answer: weve all had the questionable privilege of going out with Lancaster High Schools de facto king. Otherwise known as my best friend. Otherwise known as the reason Ive already helped steal a car, a jet ski, and one hundred spray-painted water bottles when its not even Christmas break yet. Otherwise known as Henry. Jersey number 8. Meet Cleves. Girlfriend number four and the narrator ofThe Dead Queens Club, a young adult retelling of Henry VIII and his six wives. Cleves is the only girlfriend to come out of her relationship with Henry unscathedbut most breakups are messy, right? And sometimes […]

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Fri, 12 Apr 2019 17:21:26 +0000
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 Anas Radar: I loved Children of Blood and Bone and can’t wait for the sequel. The cover is truly STUNNING: The conceit for this novel sounds out of this world awesome: “A determined young woman sets out to rescue her kidnapped girlfriend by stealing a dragon from the corrupt emperor” Raised among the ruins of a conquered mountain nation, Maren dreams only of sharing a quiet life with her girlfriend Kaiauntil the day Kaia is abducted by the Aurati, prophetic agents of the emperor, and forced to join their ranks. Desperate to save her, Maren hatches a plan to steal one of the emperors coveted dragons and storm the Aurati stronghold. If Maren is to […]

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Wed, 10 Apr 2019 12:04:55 +0000
Over at Kirkus: SAL AND GABI BREAK THE UNIVERSE

It’s Friday and we are over at Kirkus! Today I review Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez It’s such a great book! Go over there to read the review.

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Tue, 09 Apr 2019 12:43:05 +0000
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 Anas Radar: I caught Attica Locke’s tweets about this upcoming thriller and immediately added it to a wish list: It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime.Delighted by a surprise invitation, Miriam Macy sails off to a luxurious private island off the coast of Mexico, with six strangersan ex-cop, a chef, a financial advisor, a nurse, a lawyer, a young widow. Surrounded by miles of open water in the gloriously green Sea of Cortez, Miriam is shocked to discover that she and the rest of her companions have been brought to the remote island under false pretensesand all seven strangers harbor a secret. Danger lurks in the lush forest and in the halls […]

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Mon, 08 Apr 2019 04:01:30 +0000
Fran Wilde: A Map of Inspirations and Influences for RIVERLAND

Hello everybody! We are delighted to welcome Fran Wilde back to the blog today to talk about the inspirations and influences behind her new – and first Middle Grade – novel Riverland. The last time I did an inspirations and influences post here, I drew you a literary family tree for Updraft. It got a little out of hand. (Carmina Burana and a taxidermied weasel qualify as out of hand.) This time, for Riverland, which is my first middle grade novel, I drew you a map. Just like with a real map, this one contains locations that influenced me, as well as places I didnt want to go (one in particular). Riverland is a portal fantasy about two sisters who fall into a dream river. Its also about surviving violence, learning to trust, making things look perfect, dreams, nightmares and the power of stories. There are real friends, theres a pony (made of towels), and a heron (made of beach glass and driftwood and garden shears), a lighthouse, and some monsters. Theres also glass magic (and real science – which I wrote about over here), and some ecology. But most of all, Riverland is a story where the two main […]

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Wed, 03 Apr 2019 15:11:59 +0000
Over at Kirkus: THE DEEPEST BLUE by Sarah Beth Durst

We are over at Kirkus today for our regular column! It’s Thea’s turn, with a review of Sarah Beth Durst’s newest fantasy novel, TheDeepestBlue. A spinoff novel set in the world of Renthia–in which elemental spirits try to kill all humans and are held only in check by a single queen–TheDeepestBlue follows brand new characters, and impossibly high stakes. Head over to Kirkus to get the full story.

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Tue, 02 Apr 2019 10:23:19 +0000
Mini-Reviews: THE DREAMERS by Karen Thompson Walker & THE FAMILIARS by Stacey Halls

Ive been reading quite a lot now that my commute is five hours long. Daily. I read two books recently, a mixed bag one, a literary fiction that left me cold, the other a historical fiction that was heartwarming. In an isolated college hall in California, a student falls asleep and doesnt wake up. She is alive but sleeping. Her roommate, Mei, is right there at the start of what can only be described as a surreal event that snowballs from there. Little by little, people start falling asleep a lot of them, other students from the same college, raising questions with regards to how this virus? Thing? spreads. The number of cases multiply, some of the affected end up dying and panic then spreads. There is a quarantine, they shut down the town and then one of them wakes up and it becomes clear that these people might be actually dreaming weird things in their slumber. I wanted to read The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker (Penguin Random House,


Mon, 01 Apr 2019 04:01:24 +0000
Book Review: THE TRUE QUEEN by Zen Cho

Title: TheTrueQueen Author: Zen Cho Genre: Fantasy Publisher: MacmillanPublication date: March 12 2019Hardcover: 384 pages The enchanted island of Janda Baik, in the Malay Archipelago, has long been home to witches. And Muna and her sister Sakti wake on its shores under a curse, which has quite stolen away their memories. Their only hope of salvation lies in distant Britain, where the Sorceress Royal runs a controversial academy for female magicians. But the pair travel via the formidable Fairy Queens realm, where Sakti simply disappears.To save her sister, Muna must learn to navigate Regency Londons high society and trick the English into believing shes a magical prodigy. But when the Sorceress Royals friends become accidentally embroiled in a plot involving the Fairy Queens contentious succession Muna is drawn right in. She must also find Sakti, break their curse and somehow stay out of trouble. But if Fairylands true queen does finally return, trouble may find her first . . . t Stand alone or series: Book 2 in the Sorceress Royal series but can be read as a standalone How did I get this book: Bought Format (e- or p-): Audiobook Review I cant believe its been four […]

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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 Anas Radar: Hello, my name is Ana Grilo and I am Frances Hardinge’s Number One Fan. NEW BOOK ALERT OH MY GOOD The gods were as real as the coastlines and currents, and as merciless as the winds and whirlpools.
: 55

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