Welcome to Brian’s Book Blog’s weekly New and Notable Audiobooks Post for the Week of January 23rd.
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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The Milk Wagon by Michael Hewes
Narrated by Lyle Blaker
The Milk Wagon is a 90,000-word John Hughes-meets-John Grisham coming-of-age thriller set in the 1980s involving four teenage boys, a down-on-her-luck FBI agent, and a series of murders related to a money laundering scandal that ties them all together.
Matt Frazier, Jason “Hop” Hopkins, and Mark Ragone have been friends since elementary school. They played ball together, they hung out together, and they somehow managed to (mostly) work their way through the awkward years of junior high together. Now, they are finally starting to come into their own as they prepare to start their junior year, but on the first day of school, a new kid named Nate Mayes arrives and, with him, a secret.
Nate appears to be polished, flush with cash, and looks to be a potential lady killer, but as the boys get to know him, they soon realize he also lacks certain social skills, is ill at ease in crowds, and has an air of naiveté about him that makes him hard to read. They soon discover that something terrible is going on at home with Nate’s father, Dr. Ford Mayes.
FBI special agent Kathryn Cooper believes Dr. Mayes has personally had a hand in several deaths related to a money laundering scandal involving compounding pharmacies, dirty physicians, and the United States government. Her attempts to arrest him, however, have been foiled by an insider working both sides of the fence. With her career – and social life – suffering, agent Cooper turns to her new boyfriend, Chief of Police Rick Papania, to help her out, but he may not be the cure-all she imagined.
After finding a piece of evidence that ties Dr. Mayes both to the money laundering investigation and the death of his mother some 14 years prior, Nate concocts a plan to get back at his dad, once and for all. He enlists Matt and his friends to help carry it out, with each making decisions that, individual and collectively, have unexpected and life-altering consequences for everyone.
Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor
Narrated by Adjoa Andoh
“Narrator Adjoa Andoh captivates listeners with a stunning new sci-fi novella set in a near-future Ghana. Andoh is perfectly in tune with Okorafor’s compelling story, smoothly switching between her British accent as the narrator and the intonations of the vibrant characters she brings to life.” (AudioFile Magazine, Earphones Award winner)
An alien artifact turns a young girl into Death’s adopted daughter in Remote Control, a thrilling sci-fi tale of community and female empowerment from Nebula and Hugo Award-winner Nnedi Okorafor
“She’s the adopted daughter of the Angel of Death. Beware of her. Mind her. Death guards her like one of its own.”
The day Fatima forgot her name, Death paid a visit. From hereon in she would be known as Sankofa – a name that meant nothing to anyone but her, the only tie to her family and her past.
Her touch is death, and with a glance a town can fall. And she walks – alone, except for her fox companion – searching for the object that came from the sky and gave itself to her when the meteors fell and when she was yet unchanged; searching for answers.
But is there a greater purpose for Sankofa, now that Death is her constant companion?
A Macmillan Audio production from Tor.com
Shipped by Angie Hockman
Narrated by Inés del Castillo, Angie Hockman
Simon & Schuster
Goodreads Most Anticipated 2021 Romances
LibraryReads January 2021 Pick
CNN Best Books for January 2021
The Unhoneymooners meets The Hating Game in this witty, clever, and swoonworthy novel following a workaholic marketing manager who is forced to go on a cruise with her arch-nemesis when they’re up for the same promotion.
Between taking night classes for her MBA and her demanding day job at a cruise line, Marketing Manager Henley Evans barely has time for herself, let alone family, friends, or dating. But when she’s shortlisted for the promotion of her dreams, all her sacrifices finally seem worth it.
The only problem? Graeme Crawford-Collins, the remote social media manager and the bane of her existence, is also up for the position. Although they’ve never met in person, their epic email battles are the stuff of office legend.
Their boss tasks each of them with drafting a proposal on how to boost bookings in the Galápagos – best proposal wins the promotion. There’s just one catch: They have to go on a company cruise to the Galápagos Islands…together. But when the two meet on the ship, Henley is shocked to discover that the real Graeme is nothing like she imagined. As they explore the Islands together, she soon finds the line between loathing and liking thinner than a postcard.
With her career dreams in her sights and a growing attraction to the competition, Henley begins questioning her life choices. Because what’s the point of working all the time if you never actually live?
Perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Sally Thorne, Shipped is a fresh and engaging rom-com that celebrates the power of second chances and the magic of new beginnings.
Code of Honor by April White
Narrated by Neil Shah, Stephanie Wyles
A painting, a panic room, a thief, and her lover…whose job is to catch her.
There are three things you need to know about Anna. 1) She’s a bounty hunter with adrenaline junkie habits, 2) She’s the “awkward” twin, and 3) She’s a thief – kind of.
Darius designs security systems for Cipher Security, and the strange and remarkable woman he met the night the painting was stolen is as intriguing a mystery as his hunt for the thief is.
But the lady has no filter, and she knows she can’t lie to the man who looks like a Disney prince and kisses like fairytales are true, so she runs from the one person who may actually see her as the heroine of her own story.
Contains mature themes.
The Bay Area Butcher by Brian O’Sullivan
Narrated by Liam DiCosimo
A sadistic serial killer brings Quint along for the ride….
After almost losing his life at sea, Quint Adler has been enjoying the downtime with his beautiful girlfriend, Cara. But the carefree days come to a crashing halt.
Bay Area police receive a letter. A man claims he’s about to start a killing spree that will go down in history. And he mentions Quint by name, drawing him into the case.
The killings begin and comparisons to The Zodiac abound, but it’s clear The Bay Area Butcher will surpass him in both victims and notoriety.
He continues sending letters, mocking the police, needling Quint, even giving the date that each set of murders will be carried out. It becomes an international story with The Butcher’s fascination with Quint at the forefront.
The Bay Area Butcher brings Quint face to face with the worst serial killer the country has seen in decades. Possibly ever.
A House at the Bottom of a Lake by Josh Malerman
Narrated by Taylor Meskimen, Ozzie Rodriguez
Random House Audio
From the New York Times best-selling author of Bird Box and Malorie comes a haunting tale of love and mystery, as the date of a lifetime becomes a maddening exploration of the depths of the heart.
“Malerman expertly conjures a fairy tale nostalgia of first love, and we follow along, all too willingly, ignoring the warning signs even as the fear takes hold.” (Lit Reactor)
The story begins: Young lovers, anxious to connect, agree to a first date, thinking outside of the box. At 17 years old, James and Amelia can feel the rest of their lives beginning. They have got this summer and this summer alone to experience the extraordinary. But they didn’t expect to find it in a house at the bottom of a lake. The house is cold and dark, but it’s also their own.
Caution be damned, until being carefree becomes dangerous. For the teens must decide: Swim deeper into the house – all the while falling deeper in love?
Whatever they do, they will never be able to turn their backs on what they discovered together. And what they learned: Just because a house is empty doesn’t mean nobody’s home.
Parched by Lou Cadle
Narrated by Cody Roberts
Ten years after the end of oil, no one has the bullets left to shoot at Dev and Sierra or their neighbors. But the climate seems determined to kill them with drought and relentless heat. As the irreplaceable technologies of the civilized world break down, survival becomes more and more of a struggle – and more of an imperative, as they have a daughter, Zoe, to care for now.
When a battered family escaping a terrible situation moves in down the hill at their grain farm, the neighbors have a tough choice to make. Do they drive the strangers away, doing what is expedient? Or do they lend them a helping hand? The first choice won’t guarantee their survival, but the second choice will cost them the last shreds of their humanity and Zoe her innocent trust in her family.
Shiver by Allie Reynolds
Narrated by Olivia Vinall
In this propulsive locked-room thriller debut, a reunion weekend in the French Alps turns deadly when five friends discover that someone has deliberately stranded them at their remote mountaintop resort during a snowstorm.
When Milla accepts an off-season invitation to Le Rocher, a cozy ski resort in the French Alps, she’s expecting an intimate weekend of catching up with four old friends. It might have been a decade since she saw them last, but she’s never forgotten the bond they forged on this very mountain during a winter spent fiercely training for an elite snowboarding competition.
Yet no sooner do Milla and the others arrive for the reunion than they realize something is horribly wrong. The resort is deserted. The cable cars that delivered them to the mountaintop have stopped working. Their cell phones – missing. And inside the hotel, detailed instructions await them: an icebreaker game, designed to draw out their secrets. A game meant to remind them of Saskia, the enigmatic sixth member of their group, who vanished the morning of the competition years before and has long been presumed dead.
Stranded in the resort, Milla’s not sure what’s worse: the increasingly sinister things happening around her or the looming snowstorm that’s making escape even more impossible. All she knows is that there’s no one on the mountain she can trust. Because someone has gathered them there to find out the truth about Saskia…someone who will stop at nothing to get answers. And if Milla’s not careful, she could be the next to disappear….
Into the Stars by James Rosone
Narrated by Jonathan Davis
The stars are within mankind’s reach…but what awaits in the void may end humanity.
Mars and the Moon have been colonized, piracy runs rampant in the asteroid belts, and a thriving society grows in the depths of space. Humanity prepares to embark upon its greatest journey – the colonization of Alpha Centauri.
Then, everything changes. A deep space reconnaissance probe discovers a new Earth-like planet 12 light-years from Earth’s sun. The probe also finds something unusual, something…unnerving. A new mission is created, a space fleet is formed, and humanity embarks on unravelling the greatest mystery of all – the origins of life itself.
Can the factions of Earth remain united, or will old rivalries and animosities destroy the fragile peace in the face of this terrifying existential threat? Will exploration prove to be a fatal mistake?
If you love new technologies, fast-paced action, and gut-wrenching turns of fate, you’ll love this military sci-fi series.
Capes Online Omnibus, Books 1-2 by Lucas Flint
Narrated by Joe Hempel
He didn’t want to be in the game. Now, he has to save it.
Killed on the first day on the job, 25-year-old police officer Nyle Maxwell finds his mind uploaded to Capes Online, the world’s biggest and most popular VRMMORPG. Yet, the one-way, mind-to-game upload process means that Nyle can never return to his physical body. Now, he must become a real superhero and protect Capes Online from both hostile players and malevolent AIs and NPCs alike that seek to destroy the game itself.
If you love superheroes and LitRPG, you’ll love this book. Buy your copy today!
Contains the first two Capes Online volumes, The Player Blackout and The Player Plague.
A Complicated Love Story Set in Space by Shaun David Hutchinson
Narrated by Gibson Frazier, Candace Thaxton, Kevin R. Free
Simon & Schuster
Black Mirror meets What If It’s Us in this gripping, romantic, and wildly surprising novel about two boys lost in space trying to find their way home – while falling in love – from the critically acclaimed author of We Are the Ants.
When Noa closes his eyes on Earth and wakes up on a spaceship called Qriosity just as it’s about to explode, he’s pretty sure things can’t get much weirder.
Boy is he wrong.
Trapped aboard Qriosity are also DJ and Jenny, neither of whom remember how they got onboard the ship. Together, the three face all the dangers of space, along with murder, aliens, a school dance, and one really, really bad day. But none of this can prepare Noa for the biggest challenge – falling in love. And as Noa’s feelings for DJ deepen, he has to contend not just with the challenges of the present, but also with his memories of the past.
However, nothing is what it seems on Qriosity, and the truth will upend all of their lives forever.
Love is complicated enough without also trying to stay alive.