New and Notable Audiobook Releases for the Week of May 1st on Brian’s Book Blog

Welcome to Brian’s Book Blog’s weekly New and Notable Audiobooks Post for the Week of May 1st.

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

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The End of Men by Christina Sweeney-Baird

The End of Men by Christina Sweeney-Baird
Narrated by Cathleen McCarron, Aysha Kala, Denica Fairman, Penelope Rawlins, Debra Michaels, Julia Locascio, Sasha Alexis, Robert Bradley, Sara Lynam, Rebecca Perfect, William Hope
Penguin Audio

“The End of Men is a fiercely intelligent page-turner, an eerily prescient novel, at once thoughtful and highly emotive.” (Paula Hawkins, number-one internationally best-selling author of The Girl on the Train)

Set in a world where a virus stalks our male population, The End of Men is an electrifying and unforgettable debut from a remarkable new talent that asks: What would our world truly look like without men?

Only men carry the virus. Only women can save us all.

The year is 2025, and a mysterious virus has broken out in Scotland – a lethal illness that seems to affect only men. When Dr. Amanda MacLean reports this phenomenon, she is dismissed as hysterical. By the time her warning is heeded, it is too late. The virus becomes a global pandemic – and a political one. The victims are all men. The world becomes alien – a women’s world.

What follows is the immersive account of the women who have been left to deal with the virus’ consequences, told through first-person narratives. Dr. MacLean; Catherine, a social historian determined to document the human stories behind the “male plague”; intelligence analyst Dawn, tasked with helping the government forge a new society; and Elizabeth, one of many scientists desperately working to develop a vaccine. Through these women and others, we see the uncountable ways the absence of men has changed society, from the personal – the loss of husbands and sons – to the political – the changes in the workforce, fertility, and the meaning of family.

In The End of Men, Christina Sweeney-Baird turns the unimaginable into the unforgettable.

Sweetest in the Gale by Olivia Dade

Sweetest in the Gale by Olivia Dade
Narrated by Kelsey Navarro
Tantor Audio

Review of book one: Teach Me
Review of book two: 40-Love

Sweetest in the Gale: Candy Albright has always stomped confidently through the halls of Marysburg High, passionate and loud and entirely devoted to her students. From his first day as her colleague, Griff Conover couldn’t look away, despite his best efforts. After a summer apart, though, Candy returns to school a changed woman, bowed by grief. And when they’re thrown together to coordinate a poetry project, Griff can’t resist the urge to read between her lines once and for all-even if doing so means he’ll have to confront his own loss…and his own lonely, longing heart.

Unraveled: Math teacher Simon Burnham – cool, calm, controlled – can’t abide problems with no good solution. Which makes his current work assignment, mentoring art teacher Poppy Wick, nothing short of torture. She’s warm but sharp. Chaotic but meticulous. Simultaneously the most frustrating and most alluring woman he’s ever known. But the more tightly wound a man is, the faster he unravels….

Cover Me: Elizabeth Stone has no health insurance. No savings. No one to turn to when she finds a lump on her breast…except James Magnusson, her friend of over 20 years. When he offers her a marriage of convenience for healthcare coverage, she’d be a fool to say no. But given the emotions she’s buried for so long, saying yes might lead to a broken heart.

The Mars Strain by Alexia Chantel, A.C. Anderson

The Mars Strain by Alexia Chantel, A.C. Anderson
Narrated by Morgan Hallett
Recorded Books Inc.

We’ve colonized Mars, but we never should’ve come back.

When the first astronauts of the Mars Colony returned to Earth, they brought a mysterious, metal box they had found half-buried in the red dirt, called the Mars Cube. The scientists assigned to uncover its secrets tested it, scanned it, tried to blow it up, and everything in between. Then they accidentally opened it.

Biosafety level-4 laboratories, BSL4, hold the most deadly viruses on the Earth, and Juliet handled them daily. Her research at the CDC landed her a position on the Mars Cube Investigative Team in the world’s only BSL-5 lab. The only drawback: Her ex was one of the astronauts that brought back the Cube.

What was held inside the Cube shouldn’t have gotten out. It shouldn’t have ever been exposed to our planet because the Mars Strain is now loose and killing at a 100 percent mortality rate. Juliet is fighting for our very existence, Jake is working with the Mars Colonists to decipher the Cube’s holographic message for a clue, and someone wants to take over the Mars Program for themselves. They’re all watching the clock, and it’s about to run out.

Shadows of Ash by Adrian J. Smith

Shadows of Ash by Adrian J. Smith
Narrated by Raphael Corkhill
Blackstone Publishing

To survive hell, you must make a deal with the devil….

In the aftermath of a global catastrophe that has killed billions, old enemies become allies in order to survive. When Ryan Connors and his former recon team, the Nameless, form an alliance with the Yakuza, they learn of a new plot that could lead to countless more deaths. Armed with this knowledge, and driven by revenge, Ryan and his team launch a desperate bid to stop OPIS from executing their plans to destroy the world.

In America, prisoner Zanzi Connors is offered a way out and a chance to find her father and join the fight. But her freedom comes at a cost, forcing her to do something that goes against everything she believes – take another life.

Like father, like daughter, even though they are separated by fate, Ryan and Zanzi are bonded by a common mission to save humanity – no matter what the personal cost, even if it means their own lives.

Surface Tension by Gerald M. Kilby

Surface Tension by Gerald M. Kilby
Narrated by Nicol Zanzarella
Self Published

A devastating dust storm. A colony on the edge of extinction. Only one person can save them. But first, they need to start a revolution.

In the midst of the most devastating dust storm in the history of Mars, the survival of the half million people who call it home is hanging in the balance.

Yet, for Major Mia Sorelli of the Mars Law and Order Department, it’s just another sol at the office – another sol trying to keep the desperate and angry citizens from tearing themselves apart.

But when she’s sent to investigate the death of a fellow officer in the lawless industrial city of Syrtis, she begins to suspect that the endless dust storm may not be the only thing threatening their survival.

With the help of her semi-sentient droid Gizmo, they uncover a plot so heinous that her faith in humanity is almost shattered – and the only way for her to get it back, and save the colony, is to start a goddamn revolution.

About Surface Tension:

This is the fifth book in a sci-fi series set in a human colony on Mars, but it can also be listened to as a stand-alone novel. The science depicted is, for the most part, plausible. In other words, what’s technically possible with either current technology or taking experimental research a step or two further. That said, you won’t need a calculator or a slide-rule to enjoy the story.

The Bright Fight by Alex Knowles

The Bright Fight by Alex Knowles
Narrated by Steve Campbell
Self Published

Review of book one: The Bright Lord
Review of book two: Retaliate

One rescue complete. Forced onto an unwanted path. Tytan and the Moeru-hi fight back.

Saving Rair had a steep price; Tytan and RJ are separated from their loved ones and only have a short time to recover before they must embark on an even more dangerous mission.

Racing back to Kraydon to save the sacred Lanthian, Tytan is brought to the razor’s edge of sanity by the Mara’s torture of Sin and Anders. Time is again running out for the Bright Lord and those he loves.

“To kill a god, you must become a god,” echoes in his mind. There’s only one problem.

To save everyone, to achieve apotheosis, Tytan must first die. For good.

Jungle Up by Nick Pirog

Jungle Up by Nick Pirog
Narrated by Johnny Heller
Blackstone Publishing

“Please find me, Thomas! Please!”

Two years ago, Dr. Gina Brady broke Thomas Prescott’s heart, but now her panic-stricken satellite phone call starts it beating again with a fury. Thugs kidnapped the good doctor from the remote jungle village where she was working, and now the retired homicide detective’s expert skills are desperately needed to save her.

Led by a colorful, but perhaps untrustworthy local guide, Prescott journeys deep into the Bolivian Amazon, plunging into a world where the only thing more dangerous than the gun-toting drug traffickers and the ruthless tribesmen, is the jungle itself.

When Gina’s trail leads to a chance encounter with an archaeological expedition, the search for the missing doctor takes on even deadlier consequences. But Prescott will not relent in this punishing quest until, once again, he holds Gina in his arms.

The books in The Thomas Prescott series can be enjoyed in any order, so grab Jungle Up and get started today.

Unmasked by L.T. Ryan, Gregory Scott

Unmasked by L.T. Ryan, Gregory Scott
Narrated by Scott Brick
Liquid Mind Media

Driven by a promise. Haunted by regret. They never saw him coming.

The first book in a riveting new thriller series by USA Today best seller L.T. Ryan and former Detective Gregory Scott, Unmasked is a gripping thriller, loaded with suspense and non-stop action.

A heinous crime leads the FBI in search of answers.

Blake Brier finds himself sucked back into the life he left behind.

Blake grows more entangled in the plot of a hacktivist group turned terrorist organization.

And when it becomes personal, Blake will stop at nothing to find the truth.

Fans of Tom Clancy, Vince Flynn, Robert Ludlum, David Baldacci, and Lee Child will love the Blake Brier thriller series.

Tales of Yog-Sothoth by C. T. Phipps, Matthew Davenport, David Hambling, David Niall Wilson, David J. West

Tales of Yog-Sothoth by C. T. Phipps, Matthew Davenport, David Hambling, David Niall Wilson, David J. West
Narrated by Joshua Saxon
Crossroad Press

C.T. Phipps Reviews
David Niall Wilson Reviews

Yog-Sothoth, known as the Key and the Gate and a host of other names, is H.P. Lovecraft’s most enduring creation after the Necromnomicon and Great Cthulhu itself. An eldritch god that occupies all time and space, Yog-Sothoth is most known for his role as the antagonist in The Dunwich Horror but has played a role in many other Cthulhu Mythos stories, sometimes as a being invoked for spells, others as a monster trying to enter reality, and a few places as a giver of hidden wisdom.

Tales of Yog-Sothoth features several stories centered around the creepy deity and its monstrous intelligence. Featuring the work of several Neo-Mythos authors who have already dabbled in the world of cosmic horror. C.T. Phipps (Cthulhu Armageddon), David Niall Wilson (The Call of Distant Shores), David Hambling (Harry Stubbs), Matthew Davenport (Andrew Doran), and David J. West (Let Sleeping Gods Lie).

Whether pulpy heroes punching evil cultists, robed assassins hunting unnatural monsters, or rednecks dealing with monsters in their back yard, you won’t be disappointed with the results. This book is a follow-up to Tales of the Al-Azif.

When Sparks Fly by Kristen Zimmer

When Sparks Fly by Kristen Zimmer
Narrated by Lynn Norris

The room is dark, except for the streetlights coming through the blinds. I can barely see her, but I feel her. She pushes me up against the wall, and we kiss harder than we ever have before. I’ve been waiting so long for it to happen, and finally, it’s going to. Then the bedroom door flies open, and someone screams her name….

Britton Walsh has never had a home. After a lifetime in the care system, she doesn’t expect she’ll ever find one. But beginning her senior year with new foster parents, in a new city, means starting over – yet again. Tom and Cate Cahill seem okay. The hitch? Their daughter, Avery.

Beautiful, popular, and cool, Avery is everything Britton is not. She’s all Britton could ever ask for in a sister, or even a friend – but having survived without either for so long, Britton knows the way her heart races whenever Avery enters the room can only mean one thing….

But Avery has a secret. Something that is eating away at her and stopping her from letting anyone in, least of all Britton. Will Avery’s insistence on punishing herself for a mistake in her past make Britton’s last year of high school, and finding a place to call home, impossible? Can two people so different ever find common ground, friendship, or maybe even something more?

An unforgettable new adult lesbian romance for fans of Keeping You a Secret by Julie Anne Peters, Her Name in the Sky by Kelly Quindlen, or Nancy Garden’s classic young adult coming-out novel, Annie on My Mind.

New adult novel: recommended for 17+ due to mature themes and sexual content.

The Seat Filler by Sariah Wilson

The Seat Filler by Sariah Wilson
Narrated by Kate Marcin
Brilliance Publishing

Roomaid by Sariah Wilson review

The movie star and the dog groomer are one kiss away from the perfect love story. That’s the hiccup in a warm and witty romance by the bestselling author of Roommaid.

The meet-cute award goes to dog groomer Juliet Nolan. It’s one of Hollywood’s biggest nights when she volunteers as a seat filler and winds up next to movie heartthrob Noah freaking Douglas. Tongue-tied and toes curling in her pink Converse, she pretends that she doesn’t have a clue who he is. It’s the only way to keep from swooning.

She’s pretty and unpretentious, loves his dog, and is not a worshipping fan. No way Noah’s giving up on her, even if his affectionate pursuit comes with a bump: Juliet has a pathological fear of kissing and the disappointments that follow. What odds does romance have without that momentous, stupendous, once-in-a-lifetime first smooch? Patient, empathetic, and carrying personal burdens of his own, Noah suggests a remedy: they rehearse.

The lessons begin. The guards come down. But there’s another hitch they weren’t betting on. As for that cue-the-orchestra-and-roll-credits happy ending? It might take more than practice to make it perfect.

Ice Hammer by Basil Sands

Ice Hammer by Basil Sands
Narrated by Basil Sands
Permuted Press

Ice Hammer: Invasion Review

In this omnibus edition of Basil Sands’ Ice Hammer series, Brad Stone does whatever it takes to keep his family alive through a dangerous war set in frigid Alaska.


When a new communist alliance invades North America, former Marine Brad Stone must do whatever it takes to keep his family alive, even become Ice Hammer – the most wanted man in Alaska.


Following the invasion of the previous year, Brad Stone has become the figure head of Alaska’s resistance movement. He’s now head of the largest militia in the former state, including the Chiknik Rangers, making him enemy number one to the Chinese leadership based in Anchorage.

At the same time, his sons, Ben and Ian, find themselves waging a bloody guerilla operation against Russian troops in the east. Unknown to any of them, Youngmi – whose mangled, dead body haunts Brad’s dreams – has become the mistress of General Zhang, head of the Chinese forces in Alaska, and a major player in the resistance movement, passing on information that could mean her real death if she’s caught.


The war is in its third year. No help is coming. America is no more.

Brad Stone could not escape the image of his first wife’s mangled body in the opening days of the invasion. Ben Stone has grown into a capable leader, his younger brother Ian, a bloodthirsty monster. The family is being pushed ever nearer to being reunited while Brad and the Chiknik Rangers plan their most ambitious mission to date, throwing their full strength against General Zhang’s forces before they get too close to the thousands of refugees under his protection, in this daring conclusion to Ice Hammer.

Rebel Blaze by A. R. Shaw

Rebel Blaze by A. R. Shaw
Narrated by Brian Callanan
Self Published

“As that old campfire song says.”

There’ll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight

From USA Today best-selling author AR Shaw!

Is it wrong to kill a killer?

Dane Talbot uses a world of civil unrest to her advantage, and avenges all those who’ve done her wrong.

In the near dystopian future, a quiet firefighter, Dane Talbot, achieves the coveted position of smokejumper, only to soon realize the nation is filled with domestic terrorism and worsening by the day. She sees an opportunity at last to right the wrongs of her past and seeks revenge. But the lawless world of vigilante justice works both ways. Will Dane achieve her goal or will she regret she ever tried.

Start the journey.

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