Welcome to Brian’s Book Blog’s weekly New and Notable Audiobooks Post for the Week of September 4th.

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

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Black Stars by Nisi Shawl, Nnedi Okorafor, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, C. T. Rwizi, Nalo Hopkinson, Victor LaValle

Black Stars by Nisi Shawl, Nnedi Okorafor, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, C. T. Rwizi, Nalo Hopkinson, Victor LaValle
Narrated by LeVar Burton, Naomi Ackie, Nyambi Nyambi, Indya Moore, Adenrele Ojo, Brian Tyree Henry
Brilliance Audio

The sky is not the limit. From an alley in New York to an interstellar wormhole, the path to the future looks different for everyone. These cosmic short stories from some of today’s most influential Black authors reveal a universe of possibilities.

2043…(A Merman I Should Turn to Be) by Nisi Shawl

African-descended USians are finally obtaining reparations – underwater. Take a deep breath and enjoy this politically sharp short story that dives into fantastic new territory. Plunge into the action of a visionary future by the award-winning author of Everfair, with narration by LeVar Burton (Star Trek: The Next Generation).

The Black Pages by Nnedi Okorafor

By fate and fire, a being four millennia old is reborn in Mali in a short story of contemporary African life and ancient secrets by the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of the Binti trilogy.

The Visit by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

As a powerful matriarchy reshapes the world, two men – old friends – confront the past and future in a bracing speculative short story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of Americanah.

These Alien Skies by C.T. Rwizi

Accidents happen in the strange realms of the African Union system. One of them sends two humans to the far side of a star gate in a thrilling short story of hope, survival, and new dimensions.

Clap Back by Nalo Hopkinson

A past struggle for racial equity could achieve a profound future victory in this audacious short story about technology, hoodoo, and hope by a Nebula Award-winning author.

We Travel the Spaceways by Victor LaValle

Otherworldly interference in real-world New York City? Or delusions? For the answer, follow two loving strangers in an astonishing short story of faith and hope by a World Fantasy Award winner.

Constance by Matthew FitzSimmons

Constance by Matthew FitzSimmons
Narrated by January LaVoy
Brilliance Audio

See my review of Constance here

Check out my reviews of other titles narrated by January LaVoy

A breakthrough in human cloning becomes one woman’s waking nightmare in a mind-bending thriller by the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Gibson Vaughn series.

In the near future, advances in medicine and quantum computing make human cloning a reality. For the wealthy, cheating death is the ultimate luxury. To anticloning militants, it’s an abomination against nature. For young Constance “Con” D’Arcy, who was gifted her own clone by her late aunt, it’s terrifying.

After a routine monthly upload of her consciousness – stored for that inevitable transition – something goes wrong. When Con wakes up in the clinic, it’s eighteen months later. Her recent memories are missing. Her original, she’s told, is dead. If that’s true, what does that make her?

The secrets of Con’s disorienting new life are buried deep. So are those of how and why she died. To uncover the truth, Con is retracing the last days she can recall, crossing paths with a detective who’s just as curious. On the run, she needs someone she can trust. Because only one thing has become clear: Con is being marked for murder – all over again.

A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins

A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins
Narrated by Rosamund Pike
Penguin Audio

The scorching new thriller from the number one New York Times best-selling author of The Girl on the Train.

“A Slow Fire Burning twists and turns like a great thriller should, but it’s also deep, intelligent and intensely human.” (Lee Child)

“Only a clairvoyant could anticipate the book’s ending.” (New York Times)

With the same propulsion that captivated millions of readers worldwide in The Girl on the Train and Into the Water, Paula Hawkins unfurls a gripping, twisting story of deceit, murder, and revenge.

When a young man is found gruesomely murdered in a London houseboat, it triggers questions about three women who knew him. Laura is the troubled one-night stand last seen in the victim’s home. Carla is his grief-stricken aunt, already mourning the recent death of yet another family member. And Miriam is the nosy neighbor clearly keeping secrets from the police. Three women with separate connections to the victim. Three women who are – for different reasons – simmering with resentment. Who are, whether they know it or not, burning to right the wrongs done to them. When it comes to revenge, even good people might be capable of terrible deeds. How far might any one of them go to find peace? How long can secrets smolder before they explode into flame?

Look what you started.

Arisen: Raiders Volumes 1-2 by Michael Stephen Fuchs

Arisen: Raiders Volumes 1-2 by Michael Stephen Fuchs
Narrated by R.C. Bray
Podium Audio

Check out my reviews of other titles narrated by R.C. Bray

Contains volumes one and two of the Arisen: Raiders series.

The Collapse, Volume 1

Two teams of pipe-hitting special-operations Marines left to die in the fall of North America. One nuclear supercarrier strike group; humanity’s last best hope for survival. And seven billion ravening dead guys, rampaging across an overrun planet. For the JFK strike group and its MARSOC guardians, two years of the horrors and glories of Zulu Alpha on the high seas and the fallen world’s ports and coasts. Now, their story will finally be told.

Tribes, Volume 2

One nuclear supercarrier strike group, perhaps the last operational military unit on a fallen planet. Two teams of spec-ops Marines, the only warriors dauntless enough to dare the missions required to keep the others alive. And one Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman, battling to do an impossible job and find his place on a team knit tight as steel cable. Doc Yaz, Gunny Blane, and the rest of the Raiders are safely back on the Kennedy. But they are nearly instantly thrust back onto shore, out into the worst of the Zulu Alpha, in order to secure the critical supplies the strike group needs to survive even another week – and then the weapons and ammo the Marines need to keep fighting for the others.

Hold your breath as these shore missions go from simple, to stupid, to suicidal, all with breathtaking speed and violence.

The Last Guests by JP Pomare

The Last Guests by JP Pomare
Narrated by Sarah Mollo-Christensen
Mulholland Books

Check out my reviews of other titles narrated by Sarah Mollo-Christensen

A wife finds herself racing for answers when the decision to rent out her family vacation home takes a deadly turn in this “twisty thriller” perfect for fans of Megan Miranda (Megan Goldin, author of The Escape Room).

Ever have the feeling you’re being watched?

Newlyweds Lina and Cain don’t make it out to their property on gorgeous Lake Tarawera as often as they’d like, so when Cain suggests they rent the house out to vacationers, Lina reluctantly agrees. While the home has been in her family for generations, they could use the extra money. And at first, Lina is amazed at how quickly guests line up, and at how much they’re willing to pay.

But both Lina and Cain have been keeping secrets, secrets that won’t be put off by fresh paint or a new alarm system. And someone has been watching them – their mundane tasks, their intimate moments. When a visit takes a deadly turn, Lina realizes someone out there knows something they shouldn’t…and that welcoming strangers into your home is playing a dangerous game.

Felonious Monk by William Kotzwinkle

Felonious Monk by William Kotzwinkle
Narrated by Chris Henry Coffey
Blackstone Publishing

Publishers Weekly Pick

Meet Tommy Martini, the monk with an anger management problem. Since killing somebody with a single punch is not a needed talent in a monastery, he spends his time praying, meditating, and taking his anger management medicine. But his meditations are interrupted by a legacy from his uncle, a crooked priest.

Arriving in a New Age Arizona town to claim his inheritance, Brother Tommy meets a charismatic, smoking-hot cult leader who claims that women are being impregnated by alien beings while they sleep. Tommy’s own sleep is disturbed – by cartel hitmen, Mafia bill collectors, and women intrigued by his vow of chastity. He loses his anger management medicine in time to deal with the hitmen, but the women present an uphill battle.

William Kotzwinkle’s quicksilver touch has produced an effervescent piece of entertainment filled with suspense, turns you won’t see coming, and the humor for which he is famous.

The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang

The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang
Narrated by Brian Nishii, Natalie Naudus
Dreamscape Media

Check out my reviews of other titles narrated by Natalie Naudus

When violinist Anna Sun accidentally achieves career success with a viral YouTube video, she finds herself incapacitated and burned out from her attempts to replicate that moment. And when her longtime boyfriend announces he wants an open relationship before making a final commitment, a hurt and angry Anna decides that if he wants an open relationship, then she does, too. Translation: She’s going to embark on a string of one-night stands. The more unacceptable the men, the better.

That’s where tattooed, motorcycle-riding Quan Diep comes in. Their first attempt at a one-night stand fails, as does their second, and their third, because being with Quan is more than sex – he accepts Anna on an unconditional level that she has just started to understand herself.

However, when tragedy strikes Anna’s family, she takes on a role that she is ill-suited for, until the burden of expectations threatens to destroy her.

Anna and Quan have to fight for their chance at love, but to do that, they also have to fight for themselves.

Red X by David Demchuk

Red X by David Demchuk
Narrated by Salvatore Antonio, David Demchuk
Strange Light

A hunted community. A haunted author. A horror that spans centuries.

Men are disappearing from Toronto’s gay village. They’re the marginalized, the vulnerable. One by one, stalked and vanished, they leave behind small circles of baffled, frightened friends. Against the shifting backdrop of homophobia throughout the decades, from the HIV/AIDS crisis and riots against raids to gentrification and police brutality, the survivors face inaction from the law and disinterest from society at large. But as the missing grow in number, those left behind begin to realize that whoever or whatever is taking these men has been doing so for longer than is humanly possible.

Woven into their stories is David Demchuk’s own personal history, a life lived in fear and in thrall to horror, a passion that boils over into obsession. As he tries to make sense of the relationship between queerness and horror, what it means for gay men to disappear, and how the isolation of the LGBTQ+ community has left them profoundly exposed to monsters that move easily among them, fact and fiction collide and reality begins to unravel.

A bold, terrifying new novel from the award-winning author of The Bone Mother.

My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones

My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones
Narrated by Cara Gee
Simon & Schuster Audio

In her quickly gentrifying rural lake town, Jade sees recent events only her encyclopedic knowledge of horror films could have prepared her for, in this latest novel from the Jordan Peele of horror literature, New York Times best-selling author Stephen Graham Jones.

“Some girls just don’t know how to die….”

Shirley Jackson meets Friday the 13th in My Heart Is a Chainsaw, written by the author of The Only Good Indians, Stephen Graham Jones, called “a literary master” by National Book Award winner Tananarive Due and “one of our most talented living writers” by Tommy Orange.

Alma Katsu calls My Heart Is a Chainsaw “a homage to slasher films that also manages to defy and transcend genre”. On the surface is a story of murder in small-town America. But beneath is its beating heart: a biting critique of American colonialism, Indigenous displacement, and gentrification, and a heartbreaking portrait of a broken young girl who uses horror movies to cope with the horror of her own life.

Jade Daniels is an angry, half-Indian outcast with an abusive father, an absent mother, and an entire town that wants nothing to do with her. She lives in her own world, a world in which protection comes from an unusual source: horror movies…especially the ones where a masked killer seeks revenge on a world that wronged them. And Jade narrates the quirky history of Proofrock, as if it is one of those movies. But when blood actually starts to spill into the waters of Indian Lake, she pulls us into her dizzying encyclopedic mind of blood and masked murderers, and predicts exactly how the plot will unfold.

Yet, even as Jade drags us into her dark fever dream, a surprising and intimate portrait emerges…a portrait of the scared and traumatized little girl beneath the Jason Voorhees mask: angry, yes, but also a girl who easily cries, fiercely loves, and desperately wants a home. A girl whose feelings are too big for her body. My Heart Is a Chainsaw is her story, her homage to horror and revenge and triumph.

Chiral Justice by L.L. Richman

Chiral Justice by L.L. Richman
Narrated by Tom Taylorson
Podium Audio

Check out my reviews of other titles narrated by Tom Taylorson

The unthinkable has happened: An Akkadian assassin has helped broker peace between her star nation and the Alliance.

Micah Case and Task Force Blue watch the peace talks with guarded optimism – but they know one thing the rest of the settled worlds don’t: Clint Janus has vanished with the Alliance’s most closely held secret. And Micah Case holds the key.

Janus is now allied with Akkadia’s new premier, Asher Dent, and the man is not as peace-loving as he might seem. It’s going to be up to Micah Case and Task Force Blue to prevent Dent from achieving that which he wants most: total space supremacy over all the settled worlds.

Includes Operation Cobalt, a bonus novella from the Biogenesis Wars series.

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