Welcome to Brian’s Book Blog’s weekly New and Notable Audiobooks Post for the Week of August 15th.
Comment below on any I missed or what you’re excited about!
Authors, narrators, producers, and publishers — any of the books featured here are prime candidates for review.
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Sentinel by Anthony J. Melchiorri
Narrated by R.C. Bray
From the ashes of the ancients, a cataclysmic new threat rises.
Born on a forsaken desert planet, Cole Shaw has two options – perish from starvation and disease, or enlist in the New World Republic’s armed forces. He chooses the military. For the first time, he thinks he has a shot at a better life. But survival is not guaranteed.
Leading an elite team of mech operators, he is deployed to a frozen planet called Ferrous where dangerous relics of a past war lurk beneath the ice and savage creatures prowl the barren wastelands. Scientists on Ferrous are chasing rumors of godlike technologies buried in the ruins of a long-extinct civilization. When Shaw and his team are assigned to protect the researchers, they face an unexpected, merciless new enemy desperate to stop them.
An ancient secret has been awakened on Ferrous. The deadly race to claim this terrifying power has only just begun.
Performed by Audie, Earphones, and SOVAS Award-winning R.C. Bray (Expeditionary Force, Galaxy’s Edge, Hell Divers), Sentinel is a must-listen for all military sci-fi fans in search of their next great series.
Apocalypse: Generic System by Macronomicon
Narrated by Steve Campbell
Jeb Trapper tried to kill himself. The gun jammed.
Two months later, the vet is now participating in underground trials of ecstasy to treat his PTSD. Everything seems to be going great until:
>>>The System Has Been Installed<<<
Jeb is teleported into a tutorial, along with everyone else on Earth. Now, he has to choose the level of difficulty. There’s just one problem: He’s high as a kite, and nothing seems impossible.
Substitute by Susi Holliday
Narrated by Esther Wane, James Langton, Simon Mattacks
Three people live. Three people die. You make the choice.
Like any mother, Chrissie wants to protect her family. She would do anything to keep them safe. So when a mysterious stranger turns up at her door, offering to prevent the deaths of the people she loves, it sounds too good to be true. The only problem: She must choose someone to die in their place. A substitute.
When her daughter Holly has a terrible accident, Chrissie has no option but to enter the programme. In that horrifying moment, she would do anything to save her. But even after Holly makes a miraculous recovery, Chrissie is convinced it’s just a coincidence. After all, who can really control the laws of life and death?
But as the dangers to her family escalate and her chosen substitutes begin to disappear, Chrissie finds herself in an underworld of hidden laboratories and secretive doctors. And the consequences of playing by their rules are far deadlier than she ever imagined…
Terms of Service: Subject to Change Without Notice by Craig W. Stanfill
Narrated by Gill Mills
This is not a typical SciFi blurb, because this is not a typical SciFi novel.
Start with 1984, add in a healthy dose of Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451, stir in a bit of The Matrix and Blade Runner, and you have Terms of Service. It is a thought-provoking exploration of the profound consequences to our society as the digital world and the all-powerful corporations who rule it play an ever-greater role in our lives and we all wonder, where does it end?
This audiobook presents one chilling possibility, and it is every bit as relevant to our world today as George Orwell’s masterpiece was in the aftermath of World War II.
This is a work of literary science fiction, one which has something important to say.
Stylistically, it is a work of mainstream fiction, focused on the journey of the protagonist and on the world in which she lives. It is surreal in places, heavily laced with satire, mystical realism, and even a bit of absurdism. In terms of subject matter, it lies squarely within the boundaries of the cyberpunk genre: Virtual reality and sentient artificial intelligences are omnipresent, and our characters live much of their lives within a VR system that sometimes seems more real than reality itself. The virtual world and the AIs who live within it act as a mirror, reflecting our own existence. It is also a solid work of hard science fiction: Everything it portrays is technologically feasible, and much of it is already part of our daily lives.
A slow burn with an explosive finish, this is not an audiobook you eill want to pause.
Most SciFi novels start out with a bang because the worlds and characters which they portray are already familiar to the listener. Not this one. The start of the audiobook is devoted entirely to world-building and to defining the main character, without which the rest of the story will be impossible to understand. Savor the writing, enjoy the world, and don’t worry: There is plenty of conflict and tension in store.
Intrigued? Start listening, and follow Kim’s amazing journey as she rises from dull complacency to the heights of power and prestige before plunging into the abyss as she struggles with the demons of her past and learns far more than she ever wanted to about what really goes on in the centers of power. You won’t be disappointed!
A Different Dawn by Isabella Maldonado
Narrated by Roxanne Hernandez
For nearly thirty years a serial killer has been hiding in plain sight. So has the key to an FBI agent’s dark past.
A family is murdered as they sleep. FBI Special Agent Nina Guerrera and her new team are tasked with determining whether there is any link between this attack and another triple homicide from four years earlier and more than two thousand miles away. In the process, they’ll discover a serial killer so cunning that his grisly trail of death spanning nearly three decades has gone undetected. Each crime scene reminds Nina of the ghostly Latin folktale of La Llorona, which terrified her when she was an abandoned and vulnerable child. Now it’s back to haunt her.
Nina has known evil, but these macabre reenactments are as disturbing as they are baffling. Now she must uncover the meaning behind the rituals as the evidence leads her in an unexpected direction – far closer to home than anyone could have imagined. As the team narrows in on a suspect, the present collides with Nina’s past in a twist of fate that forces her to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Snow Falls by Gerri Hill
Narrated by Abby Craden
Jennifer Kincaid, on her way to a writer’s workshop in the Colorado mountain town of Lake City, gets lost and is stranded by an avalanche.
Catherine Ryan-Barrett, running from the fame and fortune of her family name, wants nothing more to spend the winter alone and sequestered in her high mountain cabin. She is not prepared for a party crasher.
After spending two months together, they form an unlikely friendship that deepens even further. But after the spring thaw, Jen returns to her life in Santa Fe – and to the man who wants to marry her. All she knows of the woman who rescued her is her name…Ryan.
Contains mature themes.
The Shimmering State by Meredith Westgate
Narrated by Ali Andre Ali, Emily Tremaine, Cassandra Campbell, Shaun Taylor-Corbett
Simon & Schuster
Named Vogue’s “Best Books to Read This Summer”
The Millions “Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2021 Book Preview”
“A shimmering, dreamlike experience of multiple lives that collide and repel through fate and coincidence.” (Lydia Kiesling, author of The Golden State)
A luminous literary debut following two patients in recovery after an experimental memory drug warps their lives.
Lucien moves to Los Angeles to be with his grandmother as she undergoes an experimental memory treatment for Alzheimer’s using the new drug, Memoroxin. An emerging photographer, he’s also running from the sudden death of his mother, a well-known artist whose legacy haunts Lucien.
Sophie has just landed the lead in the upcoming performance of La Sylphide with the Los Angeles Ballet Company. She still waitresses at the Chateau Marmont during her off hours, witnessing the recreational use of Memoroxin – or Mem – among the Hollywood elite.
When Lucien and Sophie meet at The Center, founded by the ambitious yet conflicted Dr. Angelica Sloane to treat patients who’ve abused Mem, they have no memory of how they got there – or why they feel so inexplicably drawn to each other. Is it attraction, or something they cannot remember from “before”?
Set in a city that seems to have no identity of its own, The Shimmering State is a graceful meditation on the power of story and its creation. It masterfully explores memory and how it can elude us, trap us, or set us free.
It’s Just Business by Summer Dowell
Narrated by Kathryn Lynhurst
“If I wasn’t careful, I would lose my heart to this dreamy, business-stealing man.”
Growing up, Haley Lane’s mom had more boyfriends than flowers have petals. A fact that has given Haley zero hope for love. It doesn’t exist. But when a charming man with an annoyingly perfect smile and a habit of volunteering keeps running into her, she wonders if she was wrong all along.
That is until she realizes he’s the one who stole her flower shop.
Austin Ryder is one of the good guys, and as they say, “Nice guys finish last.” But he’s determined to finally finish first, even if it injures a beautiful stranger. Good thing he’ll never see her again. Right?
Will Haley let things go and accept her feelings for Austin? Or will revenge be her only solution? In the end, it’s all just business, isn’t it?
Fallen Angels by Anna Mocikat
Narrated by Sean Duregger
Olympias City is shaken by a series of unspeakably brutal murders. No one is allowed to know the shocking truth about who the victims are: Guardian Angels.
Someone is hunting the almost invincible cyborgs with the neon-blue eyes. Someone who knows their secrets and who uses a formerly unknown technology.
Promoted to Archangel, Nephilim is in charge of the investigation. It leads her into the underbelly of Olympias’ most notorious district, Oldtown, and also into the Inner Circle, where the elites reside.
Struggling with memory loss, Nephilim barely survives an attempt on her life.
It seems that the Guardian Angels have some very powerful enemies. If this wasn’t dangerous enough, the two other corporate global players, Rosprom and TogbuaXiang, scheme in the shadows to not only bring down the Angels but the entire city of Olympias.
Everything changes when Nephilim accompanies Metatron on a trip to Olympias City III, formerly Rio de Janeiro. There she discovers that nothing is what it seems and that Metatron is much more cunning and dangerous than anyone suspects.
Things get even more complicated when old friends from Nephilim’s past appear. Nephilim will have to decide on what side she wants to stand…
The Behind Blue Eyes saga continues!
Killer cyborgs, mega cities, corporate wars, cinematic action and plot twists that will leave you speechless.
The Other Me by Sarah Zachrich Jeng
Narrated by Nicol Zanzarella
“Black Mirror-esque rabbit hole.” (PopSugar)
Two lives. The one you wanted. The one that wanted you.
Her birthday should be like any other night.
One minute, Kelly’s a free-spirited artist in Chicago going to her best friend’s art show. The next, she opens a door and mysteriously emerges in her Michigan hometown. Suddenly her life is unrecognizable: She’s got 12 years of the wrong memories in her head and she’s married to Eric, a man she barely knew in high school.
Racing to get back to her old life, Kelly’s search leads only to more questions. In this life, she loves Eric and wants to trust him, but everything she discovers about him – including a connection to a mysterious tech start-up – tells her she shouldn’t. And strange things keep happening. The tattoos she had when she was an artist briefly reappear on her skin, she remembers fights with Eric that he says never happened, and her relationships with loved ones both new and familiar seem to change without warning.
But the closer Kelly gets to putting the pieces together, the more her reality seems to shift. And if she can’t figure out what happened on her birthday, the next change could cost her everything….
Monroe Doctrine: Volume II by James Rosone, Miranda Watson
Narrated by Marc Vietor
Through the cyber-fog of war, the national security advisor had one worry: Would he be able to save the US from defeat?
Blain serves at the pleasure of the president. Brought over from the last administration, there were few people more trusted. He knew the biggest threat was the deepfakes. China’s AI played war like a grand master.
In what seemed like an instant, the cyberattacks crippled networks, and then the world lost faith in everything on the internet. Global financial markets were in turmoil as supply chains ceased to function. The greatest propaganda campaign ever tore apart the fabric of society. Could China’s expansionist goals be contained?
The United States and NATO responded. The US and Royal Marines were called upon to do something they hadn’t done since the days of the Pacific War – wage an island-hopping campaign. Was a new alliance between old foes their only hope?
Includes a special note from the author.
Watcher Series Box Set: The Complete Series by AJ Eversley
Narrated by Steve Campbell, Chelsea Stephens
Hunt the bots. Avoid the carbons. Stay alive.
Sawyer’s life is simple, if not easy. Her home might be in ruins, but she can protect what’s left of it.
A city destroyed by the bots – that’s home. Humans have been hunted, but Sawyer is one of a few who have turned the tables. She’s a Watcher. Taking out the bots one by one. Protecting what’s left. It’s the carbons she needs to be wary of. Faster and stronger than humans, they’re dangerous. But Sawyer’s smarter. That will keep her alive.
At least, that’s what she believed. But the carbons are evolving, and their plans are ever more cunning. Suddenly, her friends are dying. Safety can no longer be taken for granted – not even for the Watchers. At least she has Kenzie. Love is a strong word, but whatever they have, it’s what keeps her going.
Embarking on a desperate mission to save humanity from extinction, Sawyer discovers that the line between friend and foe is no longer easily drawn when one of her own betrays them.
And when a horrific plan comes to fruition, Sawyer will have a choice: who to save, and who to let go.
That’s the first book in the Watcher series. With this box set of the series, you never need to put your book down to finish this science fiction action romance.
- Operation Brushfire by Rhett C. Bruno & James Wolanyk (Narrated by Lou Diamond Phillips) - September 21, 2021
- Hell Divers VIII: King of the Wastes by Nicholas Sansbury Smith (Narrated by R.C. Bray) - September 19, 2021
- New and Notable Audiobook Releases for the Week of September 18th on Brian’s Book Blog - September 18, 2021