Welcome to Brian’s Book Blog’s weekly New and Notable Post for the Week of January 19th.

We share the 10 books from this week that caught our eye featuring Post-Apocalyptic, Horror, Sci-Fi, Thrillers, and more. Enjoy!

Comment below on any I missed or what you’re excited about!

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Missions from the Extinction Cycle, Vol. 1 by Nicholas Sansbury Smith – foreword, various authors, Jeff Olah, Mark Tufo, Rachel Aukes, Anthony Melchiorri, Russell Blake
Narrated by Bronson Pinchot
Blackstone Audio, Inc.

The best-selling Extinction Cycle series by Nicholas Sansbury Smith first introduced listeners to a world ravaged by an engineered virus that turned men into monsters. Billions died, civilization collapsed, and the human race teetered on the brink of extinction. Humanity’s only hope was not a cure, but another bioweapon. When deployed, it killed 90 percent of the infected, but the remaining 10 percent transformed into even more terrifying creatures called Variants.

Heroes have risen up to meet these abominations. Men like Master Sergeant Reed Beckham of Delta Force Team Ghost and Marine Corporal Joe Fitzpatrick. Women like Dr. Kate Lovato and firefighter Meg Pratt. Throughout the world, survivors band together to fight the evolving monsters in an effort to save humanity.

Now, for the first time ever, comes a collection of Extinction Cycle short stories that explore the human spirit and the fight for survival in the face of overwhelming odds from some of the leading voices in the post-apocalyptic genre.

Featured authors include:

Mark Tufo – “Extinction Trippin'”
Anthony Melchiorri – “Darkness Evolved”
Jeff Olah – “The Bone Collector”
Russell Blake – “Extinction Thailand”
Rachel Aukes – “The Fall of Fort Bragg”

The Post by Kevin A. Muñoz

The Post by Kevin A. Muñoz
Narrated by Rebecca Gibel
HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

Ten years after the world’s oil went sour and a pandemic killed most of the population, Sam Edison is the chief of police of The Little Five, a walled-in community near Atlanta, Georgia. Those who survived share the world with what are known as hollow-heads: creatures who are no longer fully human.

A man and a pregnant teenager arrive at the gate and are welcomed into the town. They begin to settle in when suddenly both are murdered by an unknown assailant. In the course of investigation, Chief Edison discovers that the girl was fleeing a life of sexual slavery, and that some members of the Atlanta community were complicit in the human trafficking network that had ensnared her.

In retaliation for Edison’s discoveries, agents of the network abduct the stepdaughter of the town’s mayor. Sam Edison and three companions track the kidnappers to Athens, Georgia, where they discover that the entire city is engaged in human trafficking. By the time Edison has recovered the kidnapped girl, the other three rescuers have been killed, leaving Edison alone to bring the mayor’s stepdaughter home. Further complicating their return is Sam’s realization that a prominent member of the community is in truth the ringleader of the slave-trading network.

The Night Agent by Matthew Quirk

The Night Agent by Matthew Quirk
Narrated by Chris Andrew Ciulla

To find a Russian mole in the White House, an FBI agent must question everything…and trust no one.

To save America from a catastrophic betrayal, an idealistic young FBI agent must stop a Russian mole in the White House in this exhilarating political thriller reminiscent of the early novels of John Grisham and David Baldacci.

No one was more surprised than FBI Agent Peter Sutherland when he’s tapped to work in the White House Situation Room. From his earliest days as a surveillance specialist, Peter has scrupulously done everything by the book, hoping his record will help him escape the taint of his past. When Peter was a boy, his father, a section chief in FBI counterintelligence, was suspected of selling secrets to the Russians – a catastrophic breach that had cost him his career, his reputation, and eventually, his life.

Peter knows intimately how one broken rule can cost lives. Nowhere is he more vigilant than in this room, the sanctum of America’s secrets. Staffing the night action desk, his job is monitoring an emergency line for a call that has not – and might never – come.

Until tonight.

At 1:05 a.m., the phone rings. A terrified young woman named Rose tells Peter that her aunt and uncle have just been murdered and that the killer is still in the house with her. Before their deaths, they gave her this phone number with urgent instructions: “Tell them OSPREY was right. It’s happening….”

The call thrusts Peter into the heart of a conspiracy years in the making, involving a Russian mole at the highest levels of the government. Anyone in the White House could be the traitor. Anyone could be corrupted. To save the nation, Peter must take the rules into his own hands and do the right thing, no matter the cost. He plunges into a desperate hunt for the traitor – a treacherous odyssey that pits him and Rose against some of Russia’s most skilled and ruthless operatives and the full force of the FBI itself.

Peter knows that the wider a secret is broadcast, the more dangerous it gets for the people at the center. With the fate of the country on the line, he and Rose must evade seasoned assassins and maneuver past jolting betrayals to find the shocking truth – and stop the threat from inside before it’s too late.

Zombie Slayer!!: A LitRPG Apocalypse by Cameron Milan

Zombie Slayer!!: A LitRPG Apocalypse by Cameron Milan
Narrated by Steve McCutcheon
Cameron Milan

The rules of reality have changed. All types of zombies have appeared with only one goal: Kill the living. Eric and his schoolmates must survive by adapting and growing stronger, but that’s easier said than done. The undead get stronger with every passing day, and that’s not even mentioning the blood moons. Even worse, the military and police seem to have disappeared. How will they acquire food? How will they survive? Find out now in this LitRPG apocalypse story.

The Borderland by Ambrose Ibsen

The Borderland by Ambrose Ibsen
Narrated by Joe Hempel
Ambrose Ibsen

Something is wrong with the Beacon estate.

Kim and Julian try to adjust to their new home, but reminders of the previous owners are many. For Kim, it’s difficult not to fixate on the mysterious disappearance of the house’s last tenants and she quickly grows obsessed with learning more about them. All the while, the house’s quirks and flaws become more than just an annoyance. They’re becoming frightening.

The strange door in the basement, which had been wallpapered over so as to keep it hidden, has opened of its own accord. The dead woods outside, though barren of animal life, seem to come alive at night with curious, masked onlookers. Kim feels like she’s losing her mind, and Julian is unsympathetic. What is it that ails her? Is the stress of the move merely wreaking havoc on her mind, or is she being plagued by something more sinister?

Kim begins to gather clues, digs deep to find answers to the questions that keep her up at night. The more she pieces things together however, the less she wishes she knew.

The Borderland is the second novella in the Black Acres serial by Ambrose Ibsen. It is approximately 23,000 words and contains adult language, scenes of horror, and a cliffhanger ending. Listener discretion is heavily advised.

Fractured Allegiance by Allen Manning, Brian Manning

Fractured Allegiance by Allen Manning, Brian Manning
Narrated by Roger Wayne
Tantor Audio

A man on the run, hunted by his allies.

John’s discovery of Project: Guardian reveals deeper levels of corruption than anyone knew. But when someone with considerable power shakes things up, John becomes a primary suspect, wanted for terrorist acts committed on American soil.

Forced into hiding, unable to trust his former teammates, John Stone must clear his name before a shadowy cabal undoes everything he and his team worked so hard to accomplish. To finish the job, John must confront a threat from his past.

Echo Chamber by A. C. Fuller

Echo Chamber by A. C. Fuller
Narrated by Annie Ellicott, Jeff Hays
Spoken Realms

After a lifetime of political disillusionment, Mia Rhodes created an alternative to the two-party system: Ameritocracy. Part American Idol, part Iowa Caucus, her online political competition will find the most popular independent candidate in America and give them a genuine shot to win the presidency.

Anyone can run….

The American people vote online….

The winner receives instant fame and a campaign warchest to battle the Democrats and Republicans in 2020.

In Echo Chamber, the third book, she sets out to transform American democracy. Now she’s afraid of what will happen if she succeeds.

Mia Rhodes created Ameritocracy to make it possible for anyone to become president. But as her online political competition races toward its finale, it’s poised to elect a Machiavellian manipulator with a winning smile, leaving Mia to wonder whether she’s changed anything at all. As the competition builds to its spectacular final debate in Washington, DC, Mia and her team must question everything they’ve done so far and defeat a threat to democracy they had never imagined.

The Soundbooth Theater team for this production:

Annie Ellicott – narration
Jeff Hays – Peter Colton, Halon Dixon, and the rest of the male cast
Dalton Lynne – editing and proofing
Griffin Malnar – editing and mastering

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker
Narrated by Cassandra Campbell
Random House Audio

An ordinary town is transformed by a mysterious illness that triggers perpetual sleep in this mesmerizing novel from the New York Times best-selling author of The Age of Miracles.

“This book is stunning.” (Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven)

Named one of the most anticipated books of 2019 by Vogue, Huffpost, Real Simple, PopSugar, Literary Hub, BuzzFeed, Bustle, and Vulture.

One night in an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a first-year student stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep – and doesn’t wake up. She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate, Mei, cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital. When a second girl falls asleep, and then a third, Mei finds herself thrust together with an eccentric classmate as panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. A young couple tries to protect their newborn baby as the once-quiet streets descend into chaos. Two sisters turn to each other for comfort as their survivalist father prepares for disaster.

Those affected by the illness, doctors discover, are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, higher than has ever been recorded before. They are dreaming heightened dreams – but of what?

Written in luminous prose, The Dreamers is a breathtaking and beautiful novel, startling and provocative, about the possibilities contained within a human life – if only we are awakened to them.

Havana Libre by Robert Arellano

Havana Libre by Robert Arellano
Narrated by Jonathan Davis
Blackstone Publishing

In this explosive follow-up to Havana Lunar, Dr. Mano Rodriguez takes an undercover assignment to the most dangerous city in Latin America: Miami.

During the summer of 1997, a series of bombings terrorize Havana hotels. The targets are tourists, and the terrorists are exiles seeking to cripple Cuban tourism and kill the revolution. After Mano finds himself helpless to save one of the victims, his nemesis Colonel Emilio Perez of the National Revolutionary Police recruits him into Havana’s top-secret Wasp Network of spies for a job that only he can perform – but for reasons he never would have believed or expected.

Let's Go Swimming on Doomsday by Natalie C. Anderson

Let’s Go Swimming on Doomsday by Natalie C. Anderson
Narrated by Kevin R. Free, Natalie C. Anderson
Listening Library

Forced to become a child soldier, a 16-year-old Somali refugee must confront his painful past in this haunting, thrilling tale of loss and redemption for fans of A Long Way Gone and What Is the What.

When Abdi’s family is kidnapped, he’s forced to do the unthinkable: become a child soldier with the ruthless jihadi group Al Shabaab. In order to save the lives of those he loves and earn their freedom, Abdi agrees to be embedded as a spy within the militia’s ranks and to send dispatches on their plans to the Americans. The jihadists trust Abdi immediately because his older brother, Dahir, is already one of them, protégé to General Idris, aka the Butcher. If Abdi’s duplicity is discovered, he will be killed.

For weeks, Abdi trains with them, witnessing atrocity after atrocity, becoming a monster himself, wondering if he’s even pretending anymore. He only escapes after he is forced into a suicide bomber’s vest, which still leaves him stumps where two of his fingers used to be and his brother near death. Eventually, he finds himself on the streets of Sangui City, Kenya, stealing what he can find to get by, sleeping nights in empty alleyways, wondering what’s become of the family that was stolen from him. But everything changes when Abdi’s picked up for a petty theft, which sets into motion a chain reaction that forces him to reckon with a past he’s been trying to forget.

In this riveting, unflinching tale of sacrifice and hope, critically acclaimed author Natalie C. Anderson delivers another tour de force that will leave listeners at the edge of their seats.

Birthday Suit by Lauren Blakely

Birthday Suit by Lauren Blakely
Narrated by Andi Arndt, Sebastian York, January Lavoy, Julia Whelan, R.C. Bray, Shane East, Joe Arden, Erin Mallon, Dion Graham, Savannah Peachwood, Jason Clarke, Robin Miles
Lauren Blakely Books

An all-star production of a brand new stand-alone romance from number one New York Times best-selling author Lauren Blakely, performed by a full cast of 12 narrators. The star-studded cast includes award winners and fan favorites: Andi Arndt and Sebastian York, with Joe Arden, RC Bray, Jason Clarke, Shane East, Dion Graham, January LaVoy, Erin Mallon, Robin Miles, Savannah Peachwood, and Julia Whelan. This audiobook also includes an exclusive backstage conversation between Andi Arndt and Sebastian York!

There is no rule in the Man Code as unbreakable as this: No matter how beautiful, smart, clever, and witty she is, do not – under any circumstances – fall in love with your best friend’s woman. Yeah. So there’s that. Look, it’s not like I didn’t know I screwed up by falling for her.

Also, for the record, unrequited love sucks big time. And, I might have cut myself some slack by now, given everything that went down in the last few years, but Lulu just walked back into my life in a big way.

There are three things I’ve never been able to resist – my friends, my family, and chocolate. Leo Hennessy? He was nowhere on that list. He’s been a true friend – a friend who walked through hell and back with me. Now, I’m stepping into my new future. I didn’t expect it to include a riddle-filled, race-against-the-clock scavenger hunt across New York City. With Leo.

Suddenly, I’m looking at this man with new eyes… But my life spun out because of a man once before, and I can’t risk my fresh start, no matter what the temptation. And Leo is most definitely a temptation of the sexiest, sweetest, and most dangerous variety. More irresistibly delicious than chocolate….

Performed by Andi Arndt and Sebastian York as Lulu and Leo. Supporting cast: Ginny: Erin Mallon, George: R.C. Bray, Kingsley: January Lavoy, Cameron: Dion Graham, Dean: Shane East, Tripp: Jason Clarke, Noah: Joe Arden, Tabitha: Julia Whelan, Mariana: Robin Miles, RaeLynn: Savannah Peachwood, Vivian: Robin Miles.


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