Welcome to Brian’s Book Blog’s weekly New and Notable Post for the Week of May 25th
Comment below on any I missed or what you’re excited about!
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Vessel by Lisa A. Nichols
Narrated by Lisa Flanagan & George Newbern
An astronaut returns to Earth after losing her entire crew to an inexplicable disaster, but is her version of what happened in space the truth? Or is there more to the story….
A tense, psychological thriller perfect for fans of Dark Matter and The Martian.
After Catherine Wells’ ship experiences a deadly incident in deep space and loses contact with NASA, the entire world believes her dead. Miraculously – and mysteriously – she survived, but with little memory of what happened.
Her reentry after a decade away is a turbulent one: Her husband has moved on with another woman, and the young daughter she left behind has grown into a teenager she barely recognizes. Catherine, too, is different. The long years alone changed her, and as she readjusts to being home, sometimes she feels disconnected and even, at times, deep rage toward her family and colleagues. There are periods of time she can’t account for, too, and she begins waking up in increasingly strange and worrisome locations, like restricted areas of NASA.
Suddenly, she’s questioning everything that happened up in space: how her crewmates died, how she survived, and now, what’s happening to her back on Earth.
Smart, gripping, and compelling, this pause-resisting sci-fi thriller will leave you breathless.
Girl Gone Viral by Arvin Ahmadi
Narrated by Jorjeana Marie
Perfect for fans of Warcross and Black Mirror, Girl Gone Viral is the inventive and timely story of a 17-year-old coder’s catapult to stardom.
For 17-year-old Opal Hopper, code is magic. She builds entire worlds from scratch: Mars craters, shimmering lakes, any virtual experience her heart desires.
But she can’t code her dad back into her life. When he disappeared after her 10th birthday, leaving only a cryptic note, Opal tried desperately to find him. And when he never turned up, she enrolled at a boarding school for technical prodigies and tried to forget.
Until now. Because WAVE, the world’s biggest virtual reality platform, has announced a contest where the winner gets to meet its billionaire founder. The same billionaire who worked closely with Opal’s dad. The one she always believed might know where he went. The one who maybe even murdered him.
What begins as a small data hack to win the contest spirals out of control when Opal goes viral, digging her deeper into a hole of lies, hacks, and manipulation. How far will Opal go for the answers – or is it the attention – she’s wanted for years?
Rolling in the Deep by Mira Grant
Narrated by Teri Schnaubelt
When the Imagine Network commissioned a documentary on mermaids, to be filmed from the cruise ship Atargatis, they expected what they had always received before: an assortment of eyewitness reports that proved nothing, some footage that proved even less, and the kind of ratings that only came from peddling imaginary creatures to the masses.
They didn’t expect actual mermaids. They certainly didn’t expect those mermaids to have teeth.
This is the story of the Atargatis, lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy. Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the bathypelagic zone in the Mariana Trench…and the depths are very good at keeping secrets.
Evolution: A Science Fiction Thriller by Gerald M. Kilby
Narrated by Steven Jay Cohen
Commander Scott McNabb and the remaining crew of the ill-fated Hermes survey ship, journey to Earth to an area formally known as Death Valley, now an irradiated wasteland. Their mission is to connect the quantum intelligence, Athena, into the pan-solar communications network, enabling the QIs to rollback control of Earth by the seven and their AI servants.
But their shuttle is damaged as it enters Earth’s atmosphere and it lands far from their intended location. Worse, it has been spotted by the AI that controls the region, and security drones are now searching the area to find it. With little hope of repairing the shuttle, Scott makes the fateful decision for them to journey through the wasteland on foot, even though some of the crew argue that this would be reckless.
But Scott is driven by a deeper motivation. One forged by the singular desire to find out what happened to flight officer Miranda Lee and the child she was carrying. This is because Aria has made him a promise. The QI has assured him that once Athena is reconnected it can then analyze Earth’s vast data-stacks and find her location and, more importantly, find out if she is alive or dead.
Now, nothing else matters to Scott. He is willing to risk everything to achieve the mission and ultimately find Miranda – even if that means risking the lives of his friends.
Ghost Mine by Hunter Shea
Narrated by John Chancer
Previously titled Hell Hole.
Deep in a Wyoming mine, hell awaits. Nat Blackburn is given an offer he can’t refuse by President Teddy Roosevelt. Tales of gold in the abandoned mining town of Hecla abound. The only problem – those who go seeking their fortune never return.
Along with his constant companion, Teta, a hired gun with a thirst for adventure, Nat travels to a barren land where even animals dare not tread. Black-eyed children, strange lights, and ferocious wild men venture from the deep, dark ghost mine…as well as a sinister force hungry for fresh souls.
The Gemini Experiment by Brian Pinkerton
Narrated by Lance C. Fuller
In a secret lab, a team of doctors and scientists funded by a mysterious billionaire create the first human replica entirely from technology. The robot is prepared to host the digitized consciousness of Tom Nolan, a family man suffering from a terminal illness.
But when Tom’s replica escapes before the transfer can take place, he is faced with the horrors of an alter ego bent on death and destruction. When the experiment draws the attraction of spies, Tom is caught up in an international crisis with a showdown that could change the course of the world.
Flame Tree Press is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018, the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.
The Island by Ragnar Jonasson
Narrated by Amanda Redman
“Narrator Amanda Redman gives an adept performance as she takes on the various characters in this Icelandic thriller.” (AudioFile Magazine)
The newest superstar on the Icelandic crime fiction scene has arrived with a superb follow-up to The Darkness.
Short-listed for the Crime Novel of the Year Award in Iceland
Third Place, Novel of the Year Award 2016 in Iceland, selected by booksellers
One of the best-selling novels in Iceland in 2016
Autumn of 1987 takes a young couple on a romantic trip in the Westfjords holiday – a trip that gets an unexpected ending and has catastrophic consequences.
Ten years later a small group of friends go for a weekend in an old hunting lodge in Elliðaey. A place completely cut off from the outside world, to reconnect. But one of them isn’t going to make it out alive. And Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir is determined to find the truth in the darkness.
Ragnar Jonasson burst onto the American scene with Snowblind and Nightblind, the first two novels in the Ari Thor thriller series, and the praise was overwhelming. With The Darkness, he launched a new series featuring a completely new sleuth, Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdottir of the Reykjavik police department. The Island is the second audiobook in this series.
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
Narrated by Rachel Dulude
The acclaimed modern science-fiction masterpiece, included on Library Journal’s Best SFF of 2016, the Barnes & Nobles Sci-Fi Fantasy Blog Best Books of 2015, the Tor.com Best Books of 2015, Reader’s Choice, as well as nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Kitschie, and the Bailey’s Women’s Prize.
Follow a motley crew on an exciting journey through space – and one adventurous young explorer who discovers the meaning of family in the far reaches of the universe – in this lighthearted debut space opera from a rising sci-fi star.
Rosemary Harper doesn’t expect much when she joins the crew of the aging Wayfarer. While the patched-up ship has seen better days, it offers her a bed, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and most importantly, some distance from her past. An introspective young woman who learned early to keep to herself, she’s never met anyone remotely like the ship’s diverse crew, including Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot, chatty engineers Kizzy and Jenks, who keep the ship running, and Ashby, their noble captain.
Life aboard the Wayfarer is chaotic and crazy – exactly what Rosemary wants. It’s also about to get extremely dangerous when the crew is offered the job of a lifetime. Tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet is definitely lucrative and will keep them comfortable for years. But risking her life wasn’t part of the plan. In the far reaches of deep space, the tiny Wayfarer crew will confront a host of unexpected mishaps and thrilling adventures that force them to depend on each other. To survive, Rosemary’s got to learn how to rely on this assortment of oddballs – an experience that teaches her about love and trust and that having a family isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the universe.
Lying Next to Me by Gregg Olsen
Narrated by Karen Peakes, Scott Merriman, Katie Koster, P. J. Ochlan
No matter what you see, no matter what you’ve heard, assume nothing.
Adam and Sophie Warner and their three-year-old daughter are vacationing in Washington State’s Hood Canal for Memorial Day weekend. It’s the perfect getaway to unplug – and to calm an uneasy marriage. But on Adam’s first day out on the water, he sees Sophie abducted by a stranger. A hundred yards from shore, Adam can’t save her. And Sophie disappears.
In a nearby cabin is another couple, Kristen and Connor Moss. Unfortunately, beyond what they’ve heard in the news, they’re in the dark when it comes to Sophie’s disappearance. For Adam, at least there’s comfort in knowing that Mason County detective Lee Husemann is an old friend of his. She’ll do everything she can to help. She must.
But as Adam’s paranoia about his missing wife escalates, Lee puts together the pieces of a puzzle. The lives of the two couples are converging in unpredictable ways, and the picture is unsettling. Lee suspects that not everyone is telling the truth about what they know – or they have yet to reveal all the lies they’ve hidden from the strangers they married.
The Dark Bones by Loreth Anne White
Narrated by Emily Sutton-Smith
She’s come back to solve the mystery of her father’s death and confront her own dark past.
When Detective Rebecca North left her rural hometown, she vowed never to return. Her father’s apparent suicide has changed that. The official report is that retired cop Noah North shot himself, knocked over a lantern, and set his isolated cabin ablaze. But Rebecca cannot believe he killed himself.
To prove it, she needs the help of Ash Haugen, the man she left behind. But Rebecca and Ash share more than broken hearts. Something darker lies between them, and the investigation is stirring it back to life. Clues lead them to the home of Olivia West and her deeply troubled twelve-year-old daughter, Tori. The child knows more about the murder than anyone can imagine, but she’s too terrified to say a word.
And as a cold-blooded killer resurfaces from the past, Rebecca and Ash begin to fear that their own secrets may be even harder to survive.
Galaxy on Fire: Publisher’s Pack by Craig Robertson
Narrated by Scott Aiello
Galaxy on Fire: Publisher’s Pack contains Books 1 and 2 of the Galaxy on Fire series.
Embers, Book 1:
Jon Ryan was supposed to be dead. He wanted to be dead. But Jon wakes up in the far future with an alien burrowing in his chest for salvage. Someone was going to pay for this. Check that. Lots of people were going to pay for this. Jon was the first astronaut to download to an android host to find the population of doomed Earth a new home. But that was so long time ago. He is now literally lost in time.
The far flung future is dominated by an unstoppable species, the Adamant. They have conquered most of the galaxy. No civilization has successfully resisted them. Brutally efficient, selflessly devoted to their empire, and callous to all other forms of life, the Adamant have advanced without boundaries. But they are about to run into a major problem. One very pissed off Jon Ryan stands in their way. He escapes their prison ship, rescues two teenage shapeshifters, and intends to protect them at all costs. Jon, Mirraya, and Slapgren race across the galaxy always just one step ahead of disaster. But the combined evil forces that pursue them tear the trio apart. The teens must fend on their own in a hostile universe. All the while, Jon runs for his life, hoping against all hope to locate the teens. In a galaxy burning with war, genocide, and hidden magic, can Jon Ryan pull of one more miracle?
Flames, Book 2:
For Jon Ryan, it always seems to be the hard way. But he likes it like that. When he finally wins, it’s all the more satisfying. A cataclysmic fight with his evil twin leaves Jon marooned on a desolate planet. He has no ship, no radio, and no one knows he’s there. Meanwhile the shapeshifter teens are spirited to the court of the Adamant emperor himself. Malraff, his torture master, takes control of the teens and is bent on finding the secret of their ability to transform. She will do anything to find out the truth, and she will revels in their suffering.
Somehow Jon must find his way out of his imprisonment and rescue the teens. But will there be anything left for him to save even if he can escape? A galaxy on fire with the destructive conquests of the Adamant empire still stands between Jon and any for chance of success. Without allies, recourses, or any reason for hope, his only path is to release the darkness that he is capable of. But can Jon triumph and and still be worthy of that victory?