Welcome to Brian’s Book Blog’s weekly New and Notable Audiobooks Post for the Week of October 12th.
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 Raid by Steven Konkoly
Narrated by Thom Rivera
A Border Patrol murder exposes a high-level conspiracy in USA Today bestselling author Steven Konkoly’s explosive thriller.
After exposing and dismantling a deep-state conspiracy that nearly destroyed his life, Ryan Decker finds his covert skills have put him on the radar of influential Senator Steele. Now Steele needs his help. Two patrol agents were killed in a bizarre explosion near the US-Mexico border – and the evidence doesn’t line up with the official story.
Enlisted by Steele to run an undercover, off-the-books investigation, Decker and his partner, Harlow, head to the border town of Tecate. But when they’re caught in an ambush, Decker realizes they’ve stumbled onto something far more dangerous than any of them understood.
The cover-up is rooted deep in the Department of Defense itself. Fearful for their own lives and unable to trust anyone outside their small circle of skilled associates, Decker and Harlow set in motion a risky plan to stop a criminal conspiracy.
Forward by Veronica Roth, Blake Crouch, N. K. Jemisin, Amor Towles, Paul Tremblay, Andy Weir
Narrated by Evan Rachel Wood, Rosa Salazar, Jason Isaacs, David Harbour, Steven Strait, Janina Gavankar
For some, it’s the end of the world. For others, it’s just the beginning. With brilliant imagination, today’s most visionary writers point to the future in a collection curated by bestselling author Blake Crouch. These stories range from darkly comic to deeply chilling, but they all look forward. Featuring stories by Andy Weir, Amor Towles, Veronica Roth, N. K. Jemisin, Paul Tremblay, and Blake Crouch; with narration by Evan Rachel Wood, David Harbour, Jason Isaacs, Rosa Salazar, Steven Strait, and Janina Gavankar.
ARK by Veronica Roth
Read by Evan Rachel Wood (Westworld)
On the eve of Earth’s destruction, a young scientist discovers something too precious to lose, in a story of cataclysm and hope by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Divergent trilogy.
It’s only two weeks before an asteroid turns home to dust. Though most of Earth has already been evacuated, it’s Samantha’s job to catalog plant samples for the survivors’ unknowable journey beyond. Preparing to stay behind and watch the world end, she makes a final human connection.
SUMMER FROST by Blake Crouch
Read by Rosa Salazar (Alita: Battle Angel)
A video game developer becomes obsessed with a willful character in her new project, in a mind-bending exploration of what it means to be human by the New York Times bestselling author of Recursion.
Maxine was made to do one thing: die. Except the minor non-player character in the world Riley is building makes her own impossible decision – veering wildly off course and exploring the boundaries of the map. Soon Riley has all new plans for her spontaneous AI, including bringing Max into the real world. But what if Max has real-world plans of her own?
EMERGENCY SKIN by N. K. Jemisin
Read by Jason Isaacs (Star Trek: Discovery)
What will become of our self-destructed planet? The answer shatters all expectations in this subversive speculation from the Hugo Award-winning author of the Broken Earth trilogy.
An explorer returns to gather information from a climate-ravaged Earth that his ancestors, and others among the planet’s finest, fled centuries ago. The mission comes with a warning: a graveyard world awaits him. But so do those left behind – hopeless and unbeautiful wastes of humanity who should have died out ages ago. Get in. Get out. And try not to stare.
YOU HAVE ARRIVED AT YOUR DESTINATION by Amor Towles
Read by David Harbour (Stranger Things)
Nature or nurture? Neither. Discover a bold new way to raise a child in this unsettling story of the near future by the New York Times bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow.
When Sam’s wife first tells him about Vitek, a twenty-first-century fertility lab, he sees it as the natural next step in trying to help their future child get a “leg up” in a competitive world. But the more Sam considers the lives that his child could lead, the more he begins to question the choices he has made in his life.
THE LAST CONVERSATION by Paul Tremblay
Read by Steven Strait (The Expanse)
What’s more frightening: Not knowing who you are? Or finding out? A Bram Stoker Award-winning author explores the answer in a chilling story about human consciousness.
Imagine you’ve woken up in an unfamiliar room with no memory of who you are, how you got there, or where you were before. All you have is the disconnected voice of an attentive caretaker. Dr. Kuhn is there to help you – physically, emotionally, and psychologically. She’ll make sure you reclaim your lost identity. Now answer one question: Are you sure you want to?
RANDOMIZE by Andy Weir
Read by Janina Gavankar (True Blood)
In the near future, if Vegas games are ingeniously scam-proof, then the heists have to be too, in this imaginative and whip-smart story by the New York Times bestselling author of The Martian.
An IT whiz at the Babylon Casino is enlisted to upgrade security for the game of keno and its random-number generator. The new quantum computer system is foolproof. But someone on the inside is no fool. For once the odds may not favor the house.
The Grace Year by Kim Liggett
Narrated by Emily Shaffer
This program includes a bonus conversation with the author.
A speculative thriller in the vein of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Power. Optioned by Universal and Elizabeth Banks to be a major motion picture!
“A visceral, darkly haunting fever dream of a novel and an absolute page-turner.” (Libba Bray, New York Times best-selling author)
Survive the year.
No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.
In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their 16th year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.
Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life – a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make their fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.
With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.
Level Up by Craig Anderson
Narrated by Peter Noble
Virtual is reality.
What would the world be like if video game rules suddenly applied?
Marcus is about to find out. After a freak accident, he finds himself stuck between a game and the real world. He’ll need to fight his way through football hooligans, carnies, and the dreaded RNG to get to the final boss and save the world. Anything less means it’s game over for good.
Along the way, he’ll learn new skills, chase epic loot, and, most importantly of all, level up!
If you love light LitRPG, you’ll be sure to enjoy this humorous take on the genre.
The Patience of a Dead Man by Michael Clark
Narrated by Mark Harrietha
He just spent everything on a house in disrepair, but he didn’t know someone was waiting inside.
Tim Russell just put his last dollar on a handyman’s dream: a quaint but dilapidated farmhouse in New Hampshire. Newly single after a messy divorce, his plan is to live in the house as he restores it for resale. To his horror, as soon as the papers are signed and his work starts, ghosts begin to appear. A bone-white little boy. A woman covered in flies. Tim can’t afford to leave and lose it all, so he turns to his real estate agent Holly Burns to help him decide whether he has any shot at solving his haunted problem. Can they solve the mystery before he loses his investment…or maybe his life?
Destroyer of Planets by L.A. Johnson
Narrated by Sandra Murphy
Enter a galaxy full of snarky comebacks and inappropriate use of tentacles in this fast-paced, action-packed space romp.
The Neon Octopus Overlord has been challenged. Their galaxy will never be the same. Kirian, the mythological warrior agent known as the Destroyer of Planets, wants out of her contract. That’s a problem since she’s currently in the Neon Octopus Overlord’s elite, secret Celestial Force against her will.
In a desperate attempt to regain her freedom, Kirian defies her tentacled boss and secretly saves Ari, the human she is sent to kill. Ari is an underappreciated civil servant targeted for her intelligence. She turns out to be one of the few beings left in the galaxy capable of thwarting the Overlord’s corrupt plans. She just wants to go back to a normal life, but when the Overlord finds out that she’s not dead, all bets are off and she’ll have to fight to survive.
Can Ari and Kirian, aided by a few shady friends and a wannabe rock star, find a way to stay alive long enough to put a dent in the evil Neon Octopus Overlord’s plans?
Ghostlove by Dennis Mahoney
Narrated by Piper Goodeve, LJ Ganser, Sean Patrick Hopkins
“I’m an occultist living in a haunted brownstone in upstate New York.
The building is a ghostly double-image of itself, like a picture painted brightly over an older, weirder picture. It’s an equinox place, my mother once said, where dark and light things are equally in power.
I want to tell you, dear strangers, why I was there and what I found.
The three-winged pigeon. My cynical doppelgänger. The loneliness and marvels and confusions of the house. And most of all the ghost living in my bedroom.
We learned how to talk without using sound. She was secretive and scared and difficult to know. But she was also warm and playful, as willing to share the room in silence as to trace vulgar symbols on my hand to get a rise.
She helped me with the hundred-pound centipede, the hostile little man living in my basement, and the emptiness I’d felt since my mother lost her mind.
I tried to help her out of limbo with experiments and spells until I realized if they worked—if we succeeded—I would lose her.”
Behind the Dark by Adams Niven
Narrated by Michael J. Ferry
In a world where monsters walk amongst humans, The truth is rarely pure and never simple.
Only partly fabricated. As it always is. How do you think we got so far as where we are now without cutting out some parts and replacing them with something else, something more acceptable but not too incredulous and schemed to believe in? Of course, the truth is rarely pure. As everything else is. We plant corruption in every crevice, so how would you ever believe we have not planted it along with lies? Sometimes we can be pure fools. But this is not about it, is it? Who cares if we are? We know what is harder.
To face the truth raw is to face the ugliness of our being.
Letters from an Astrophysicist by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Narrated by Vikas Adam, Piper Goodeve, Allyson Johnson, Nick Sullivan
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has attracted one of the world’s largest online followings with his fascinating, widely accessible insights into science and our universe. Now, Tyson invites us to go behind the scenes of his public fame by unveiling his candid correspondence with people across the globe who have sought him out in search of answers. In this hand-picked collection of 100 letters, Tyson draws upon cosmic perspectives to address a vast array of questions about science, faith, philosophy, life, and of course, Pluto. His succinct, opinionated, passionate, and often funny responses reflect his popularity and standing as a leading educator.
Tyson’s 2017 best seller Astrophysics for People in a Hurry offered more than one million readers an insightful and accessible understanding of the universe. Now, revealing Tyson’s most candid and heartfelt writing yet, Letters from an Astrophysicist introduces us to a newly personal dimension of Tyson’s quest to understand our place in the cosmos.
The full list of narrators includes Victor Bevine, Gabriel Vaughan, Lauren Fortgang, Neil Hellegers, Kevin Free, Vikas Adam, Nick Sullivan, Gabra Zackman, Allyson Johnson, Brandon Rubin, and Piper Goodeve.
When Life Gives You Pears by Jeannie Gaffigan
Narrated by Liz Noth, Jeannie Gaffigan, Jim Gaffigan
Grand Central Publishing
In an audiobook that is The Big Sick meets Dad Is Fat, Jeannie Gaffigan, writer/director/producer/accused supermom and wife of best-selling author/comedian Jim Gaffigan, writes with humor and heart about the pear-sized brain tumor she had removed, the toll it took on her enormous family, and the priceless lessons she learned along the way.
In 2017, Jeannie’s life came to a crashing halt when she was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumor. As the mother of five kids – six if you include her husband – sat in the neurosurgery department in star-covered sweats too whimsical for the seriousness of the situation, all she could think was, “Am I going to die?”
Thankfully, Jeannie and her family were able to survive their time of crisis, and now she is sharing her deeply personal journey through this miraculous story: the challenging conversations she had with her children; how she came to terms with feeling powerless and ferociously crabby while bedridden and unable to eat for a month; and how she ultimately learned, re-learned, and re-re-learned to be more present in life.
With sincerity and hilarity, Jeannie invites you into her heart (and brain) during this trying time, emphasizing the importance of family, faith, and humor as keys to her recovery and leading a more fulfilling life.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.
Savage Species by Jonathan Janz
Narrated by Todd Boyce
Flame Tree Publishing
“Jonathan Janz does several things immaculately well in Savage Species, primarily crafting high-octane action sequences and creating antagonists that you can easily hate in the span of only a few short paragraphs…. Overall, Savage Species delivered the goods.” (High Fever Books)
Jesse thinks he’s caught a break when he, Emma (the girl of his dreams), and her friend are assigned by their newspaper to cover the opening weekend of a sprawling new state park. But the construction of the park has stirred an evil that has lain dormant for nearly a hundred years, and the three young people – as well as every man, woman, and child unlucky enough to be attending the Algonquin Falls grand opening – are about to encounter the most horrific creatures to ever walk the earth.
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.
Air and Dust by John F. D. Taff
Narrated by Linda Jones
John F. D. Taff’s apocalyptic novel, The Fearing, continues in book three, Air & Dust, as Adam and Jelnik make their way to a prophetic meeting and a mysterious darkness is creeping inward from the horizon, further threatening the lives of all who remain.
Amid the devastation of his Georgia church, a Baptist minister comforts an orphaned girl suffering from amnesia. All she knows is her name. Together, they confront the darkest of fears as they make their way to a gathering point for the remnants of society.
After a disastrous night of attacks at an abandoned airfield, a group of survivors plans its exodus. But their hopes are dashed when an autocratic leader arrives to seize control. Fears are one thing, but could this man represent something far worse?
Praise for John F. D. Taff:
“The Fearing isn’t only John F. D. Taff’s best book to date, it’s the kind you put on the shelf reserved for the ones that really did something to you, emotionally, intellectually, physically. A modern master at play.” (Josh Malerman, Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of the New York Times best-selling Bird Box)
“Of the current breed of authors riding the wave of digital liberation, John Taff is a standout talent. Literary, affecting, chilling, and indicative of that old-school mentality meets new-school daring.” (Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Turtle Boy, Kin, and Jack & Jill)
“John F. D. Taff has rapidly become one of my favorite writers in the horror genre. His horror is grounded in our day-to-day lives, in our families, our work, our most private thoughts. His stories vibrate with emotion and life and his prose is cathartic, deeply satisfying, like popping the bubbles in bubble wrap.” (Ray Garton, Grand Master of Horror and author of Live Girls and Ravenous)
Proudly presented by Grey Matter Press, the multiple Bram Stoker Award-nominated independent publisher.
Grey Matter Press: where dark thoughts thrive.
Seven Days by G. Michael Hopf
Narrated by Roger Wayne
First came the plague, then came the war.
When the guns went silent and the last bombs were dropped, billions were lost and the world had become unrecognizable.
Nine years later, Reid Flynn and his eight-year-old daughter, Hannah, live a protected life behind the walls and rules of their small hamlet, Deliverance. Life is hard there but safe…or so Reid thought, until Hannah showed the first symptoms of the plague.
Once someone was symptomatic with the plague, they’d die in a week’s time. With the clock ticking and only the rumor of a cure a thousand miles away, Reid must leave with Hannah in hopes that he’ll find the cure before the end of the seventh day.
- The Five-Year Hitch by Melissa de la Cruz (Narrated by Rachel Boston, Daniel di Tomasso) - January 27, 2021
- Refresh by Salim Lemelle (Narrated by Kevin Free) - January 25, 2021
- New and Notable Audiobook Releases for the Week of January 23rd on Brian’s Book Blog - January 23, 2021