Welcome to Brian’s Book Blog’s weekly New and Notable Audiobooks Post for the Week of May 8th.
Comment below on any I missed or what you’re excited about!
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Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
Narrated by Ray Porter
A lone astronaut must save the earth from disaster in this incredible new science-based thriller from the number-one New York Times best-selling author of The Martian.
Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission – and if he fails, humanity and the Earth itself will perish.
Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.
All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.
His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, he realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Alone on this tiny ship that’s been cobbled together by every government and space agency on the planet and hurled into the depths of space, it’s up to him to conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.
And thanks to an unexpected ally, he just might have a chance.
Part scientific mystery, part dazzling interstellar journey, Project Hail Mary is a tale of discovery, speculation, and survival to rival The Martian – while taking us to places it never dreamed of going.
PLEASE NOTE: To accommodate this audio edition, some changes to the original text have been made with the approval of author Andy Weir.
Immunity Index by Sue Burke
Narrated by Chloe Dolandis
Sue Burke, author of Semiosis and Interference, gives listeners a new near-future, hard SF novel. Immunity Index blends Orphan Black with Contagion in a terrifying outbreak scenario.
In a US facing growing food shortages, stark inequality, and a growing fascist government, three perfectly normal young women are about to find out that they share a great deal in common.
Their creator, the gifted geneticist Peng, made them that way – before such things were outlawed.
Rumors of a virus make their way through an unprotected population on the verge of rebellion, only to have it turn deadly.
As the women fight to stay alive and help, Peng races to find a cure – and the cover-up behind the virus.
A Macmillan Audio production from Tor Books
Sue Burke spent many years working as a reporter and editor for a variety of newspapers and magazines before writing her critically acclaimed Semiosis. A Clarion workshop alumnus, Burke has published more than 30 short stories in addition to working extensively as a literary translator. She lives in Chicago.
Firebreak by Nicole Kornher-Stace
Narrated by Carlotta Brentan
Simon & Schuster
One young woman faces down an all-powerful corporation in this all-too-near future science-fiction debut, a refreshing take on Ready Player One, with a heavy dose of Black Mirror.
Ready Player One meets Cyberpunk 2077 in this eerily familiar future.
“Twenty minutes to power curfew, and my kill counter’s stalled at 867 while I’ve been standing here like an idiot. My health bar is flashing ominously, but I’m down to four heal patches, and I have to be smart.”
New Liberty City, 2134.
Two corporations have replaced the US, splitting the country’s remaining 45 states (five have been submerged under the ocean) between them: Stellaxis Innovations and Greenleaf. There are nine supercities within the continental US, and New Liberty City is the only amalgamated city split between the two megacorps, and thus at a perpetual state of civil war as the feeds broadcast the atrocities committed by each side.
Here, Mallory streams Stellaxis’ wargame SecOps on BestLife, spending more time jacked in than in the world just to eke out a hardscrabble living from tips. When a chance encounter with one of the game’s rare super-soldiers leads to a side job for Mal – looking to link an actual missing girl to one of the SecOps characters. Mal’s sudden burst in online fame rivals her deepening fear of what she is uncovering about BestLife’s developer, and puts her in the kind of danger she’s only experienced through her avatar.
Author Kornher-Stace’s adult science-fiction debut – Firebreak – is loaded with ambitious challenges and a city to save.
Vanishing Waters by Eric Chance Stone
Narrated by Nick Sullivan
Rick Waters, part-time detective and wannabe boat captain, has just solved the biggest case of his life and bought the yacht of his dreams. As he embarks on a journey to start a charter business in Destin and track down a lost treasure supposedly buried in the Florida Keys, a new mystery appears in the form of Emily, an attractive gray-haired woman who claims to have been kidnapped and had her appearance surgically altered. Emily has been accused of murdering her late husband, and she begs for Rick’s help to prove she is innocent.
Intrigued by the case, Rick agrees to help her find the truth about what happened to her. Emily is sure the people behind her abduction want to take credit for her work as a scientist. She claims she has developed a drug that may be the cure to mankind’s deadliest disease. The trail leads Rick from Florida to Grand Cayman and all the way to Switzerland, as he uncovers clues about the man Emily believes killed her husband and stole her drug. The skilled detective must prove who Emily really is and release her miraculous drug before the people who abducted Emily figure out he’s on to them.
Lost Contact by Nathan Hystad
Narrated by Ray Porter
Rex Walker always wanted to be like his father: a daring, adventurous man, traveling the world in pursuit of mysterious relics. Now Rex is the same age his father was when he disappeared without a trace.
While teaching anthropology at a Boston college, Rex attempts to bury the past, until he discovers a hidden clue he can’t ignore.
With the help of his sidekick Marcus, a former student turned protégé, he teams up with an alien-obsessed billionaire, and they search for the fabled Bridge.
As an unidentified object nears Pluto, speculation surges. Some hail it as the homecoming of a distant alien race, and this cult is unwavering in its efforts to usher our world into a new era.
Will Rex solve the puzzle before it’s too late? Find out in Lost Contact, the first installment of The Bridge Sequence by Nathan Hystad, the best-selling author of The Event.
The Watcher Girl by Minka Kent
Narrated by Saskia Maarleveld
A woman’s suspicions about her ex-boyfriend become a dangerous obsession in a twisting novel of psychological suspense by Washington Post and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Minka Kent.
Eight years ago, Grace McMullen broke Sutton Whitlock’s heart when she walked away. But it was only to save him from the baggage of her own troubled past. Now all she wants is to make sure he’s okay.
Only everything she learns about him online says otherwise. According to his social media accounts, he placed roots in her hometown, married a look-alike, and even named his daughter Grace. He clearly hasn’t moved on. In fact, it’s creepy. So Grace does what any concerned ex-girlfriend would do: She moves home…and watches him.
But when Grace crosses paths with Sutton’s wife, Campbell, an unexpected friendship develops. Campbell has no idea whom she’s inviting into her life. As the women grow closer, it becomes clear to Grace that Sutton is not the sentimental man she once knew. He seems controlling, unstable, and threatening. And what a broken man like Sutton is capable of, Grace can only imagine. It’s up to her to save Campbell and her baby now – but while she’s been watching them, who’s been watching her?
The Reincarnationist Papers by D. Eric Maikranz
Narrated by Bronson Pinchot, Michael David Axtell
“For fans of The Matrix and Memento, a twisty, exciting adventure!” (Diana Gabaldon, number-one New York Times best-selling author of the Outlander series)
The basis for the major motion picture Infinite
Discovered as three notebooks in an antique store in Rome at the turn of the millennium, The Reincarnationist Papers offers a tantalizing glimpse into the Cognomina, a secret society of people who possess total recall of their past lives.
Evan Michaels struggles with being different, with having the complete memories of two other people who lived sequentially before him. He fights loneliness and believes he is unique until he meets Poppy. She recognizes his struggle because she is like him, except that she is much older, remembering seven consecutive lives. But there is something else she must share with Evan – she is a member of the secretive Cognomina. They are, in effect, immortals – compiling experiences and skills over lifetimes into near superhuman abilities that they have used to drive history over centuries.
Poppy invites Evan into the Cognomina, but he must face their tests before entering this mysterious society as their equal.
The Manhattan Job by Jason Kasper
Narrated by Natalie Naudus
Severn River Publishing
The Manhattan Job is the third installment of the heart-stopping, suspenseful Spider Heist Thrillers series by USA Today best-selling author Jason Kasper.
Before she was a thief, Blair Morgan was an FBI agent…and her corrupt former boss sent her to jail as a scapegoat.
Now, she’s got all the evidence needed to take him down.
She just needs to steal it first.
But when her heist reveals that a master thief has beaten her to the punch, Blair finds her evidence up for sale in a bidding war between her crew, her enemy, and a mysterious figure known only as Fixer.
With 10 days until the auction, Blair’s crew must find a way to determine Fixer’s identity and join forces before the man who put her in jail goes free forever…and then comes after her.
The journey will take her crew from their LA hideout to Washington, DC, and ultimately Manhattan, where the final victor will be determined once and for all.
The Bookshop of Second Chances by Jackie Fraser
Narrated by Ell Potter
Random House Audio
A woman desperate to turn a new page heads to the Scottish coast and finds herself locked in a battle of wills with an infuriatingly aloof bookseller in this utterly heartwarming debut, perfect for listeners of Evvie Drake Starts Over.
Thea Mottram is having a bad month. She’s been let go from her office job with no notice – and to make matters even worse, her husband of nearly twenty years has decided to leave her for one of her friends. Bewildered and completely lost, Thea doesn’t know what to do. But when she learns that a distant great uncle in Scotland has passed away, leaving her his home and a hefty antique book collection, she decides to leave Sussex for a few weeks. Escaping to a small coastal town where no one knows her seems to be exactly what she needs.
Almost instantly, Thea becomes enamored with the quaint cottage, comforted by its cozy rooms and lovely but neglected garden. The locals in nearby Baldochrie are just as warm, quirky, and inviting. The only person she can’t seem to win over is bookshop owner Edward Maltravers, to whom she hopes to sell her uncle’s book collection. His gruff attitude – fueled by an infamous, long-standing feud with his brother, a local lord – tests Thea’s patience. But bickering with Edward proves oddly refreshing and exciting, leading Thea to develop feelings she hasn’t experienced in a long time. As she follows a thrilling yet terrifying impulse to stay in Scotland indefinitely, Thea realizes that her new life may quickly become just as complicated as the one she was running from.
Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter
Narrated by Jesse Vilinsky
Simon & Schuster
In this rom-com about rom-coms, in the spirit of Kasie West and Jenn Bennett, a hopeless romantic teen attempts to secure a happily-ever-after moment with her forever crush, but finds herself reluctantly drawn to the boy next door.
Perpetual daydreamer Liz Buxbaum gave her heart to Michael a long time ago. But her cool, aloof forever crush never really saw her before he moved away. Now that he’s back in town, Liz will do whatever it takes to get on his radar – and maybe snag him as a prom date – even befriend Wes Bennet.
The annoyingly attractive next-door neighbor might seem like a prime candidate for romantic-comedy fantasies, but Wes has only been a pain in Liz’s butt since they were kids. Pranks involving frogs and decapitated lawn gnomes do not a potential boyfriend make. Yet, somehow, Wes and Michael are hitting it off, which means Wes is Liz’s in.
But as Liz and Wes scheme to get Liz noticed by Michael so she can have her magical prom moment, she’s shocked to discover that she likes being around Wes. And as they continue to grow closer, she must reexamine everything she thought she knew about love – and rethink her own ideas of what happily ever after should look like.
Only the Pretty Lies by Rebekah Crane
Narrated by Madeline Lake
A young love story about breaking painful legacies by the author of The Upside of Falling Down.
Convention doesn’t carry much weight in Alder Creek. It doesn’t in Amoris Westmore’s family either. Daughter of a massage therapist and a pothead artist, inheritor of her grandmother’s vinyl collection, and blissfully entering her senior year in high school, Amoris never wants to leave her progressive hometown. Why should she?
Everything changes when Jamison Rush moves in next door. Jamison was Amoris’s first crush, and their last goodbye still stings. But Jamison stirs more than bittersweet memories. One of the few Black students in Alder Creek, Jamison sees Amoris’s idyllic town through different eyes. He encourages Amoris to look a little closer, too. When Jamison discovers a racist mural at Alder Creek High, Amoris’s worldview is turned upside down.
Now Amoris must decide where she stands and whom she stands by, threatening her love for the boy who stole her heart years ago. Maybe Alder Creek isn’t the town Amoris thinks it is. She’s certainly no longer the girl she used to be.
Unrivaled by Radclyffe
Narrated by Keira Grace
Bold Strokes Books Inc
Zoey Cohen spent a lifetime learning to hide disappointment and loss behind a mask of unshakeable calm and control, even when her longtime friend-with-benefits lover moves on for true love.
Declan Black returns to Philadelphia Medical Center after an accident costs her the life she’d built and her career. She’s resolved to protect herself from ever being vulnerable to past mistakes by rebuilding her life around her new role as an ER attending, and that life does not include love.
Zoey will never accept second place in matters of the heart, even when her rival is a career, and Dec has nothing left to give – of herself or her heart. Sometimes change is a force more powerful than will.
Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee
Narrated by Logan Rozos
Felix Ever After meets Becky Albertalli in this swoon-worthy, heartfelt rom-com about how a transgender teen’s first love challenges his ideas about perfect relationships.
Noah Ramirez thinks he’s an expert on romance. He has to be for his popular blog, the Meet Cute Diary, a collection of trans happily-ever-afters. There’s just one problem – all the stories are fake. What started as the fantasies of a trans boy afraid to step out of the closet has grown into a beacon of hope for trans readers across the globe.
When a troll exposes the blog as fiction, Noah’s world unravels. The only way to save the Diary is to convince everyone that the stories are true, but he doesn’t have any proof. Then Drew walks into Noah’s life, and the pieces fall into place: Drew is willing to fake-date Noah to save the Diary. But when Noah’s feelings grow beyond their staged romance, he realizes that dating in real life isn’t quite the same as finding love on the page.
In this charming novel by Emery Lee, Noah will have to choose between following his own rules for love or discovering that the most romantic endings are the ones that go off script.