Week of April 18th New and Notable Audiobooks on Brian’s Book Blog

Welcome to Brian’s Book Blog’s weekly New and Notable Audiobooks Post for the Week of April 18th.

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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Sons of War by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Sons of War by Nicholas Sansbury Smith
Narrated by Ray Porter
Blackstone Publishing

Out of the embers, a lawless new empire will rise….

Across the world, the United States recalls troops to combat civil unrest after the biggest economic meltdown in history. Marine Sergeant Ronaldo Salvatore’s platoon comes home to a powder keg that could ignite a civil war.

While some see the coming collapse as the end, others see opportunity. Fleeing Naples after rival crime lords decimated his family, Don Antonio Moretti settles in Los Angeles to rebuild his criminal empire. But he is far from alone in his ambitions – the cartel and rival gangs all want the same turf, and they will sacrifice their own soldiers and the blood of innocents to get it.

As open warfare erupts across the states, Salvatore fights his way back to LA, where his son has joined the police in the battle for a city spiraling into anarchy. Family is everything, and the Morettis and Salvatores will do what they must to protect their own. But how far will they go to survive in a new economy where the only currency is violence?


Vagabonds by Hao Jingfang, Ken Liu - translator

Vagabonds by Hao Jingfang, Ken Liu – translator
Narrated by Emily Woo Zeller
Simon & Schuster

A century after the Martian war of independence, a group of kids are sent to Earth as delegates from Mars, but when they return home, they are caught between the two worlds, unable to reconcile the beauty and culture of Mars with their experiences on Earth in this spellbinding novel from Hugo Award-winning author Hao Jingfang.

This genre-bending novel is set on Earth in the wake of a second civil war…not between two factions in one nation, but two factions in one solar system: Mars and Earth. In an attempt to repair increasing tensions, the colonies of Mars send a group of young people to live on Earth to help reconcile humanity. But the group finds itself with no real home, no friends, and fractured allegiances as they struggle to find a sense of community and identity, trapped between two worlds.

Fans of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go and Naomi Alderman’s The Power will fall in love with this novel about lost innocence, an uncertain future, and never feeling at home, no matter where you are in the universe. Translated by Ken Liu, best-selling author of The Paper Menagerie and translator of Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem, Vagabonds is the first novel from Hao Jingfang, the first Chinese woman to ever win the esteemed Hugo Award.


Lost World by Kate L. Mary

Lost World by Kate L. Mary
Narrated by Holly Adams, Hillary Huber
Tantor Audio

With their shelter destroyed and their sense of security shattered, Vivian, Axl and the group set off in search of a safe place. But the group’s morale is at an all-time low, and they now know it’s not just the dead they have to fear.

Weeks of wandering brings sickness, death and loss to the survivors, and Vivian soon finds herself losing hope of ever discovering a safe place to live. To make matters worse, two members of the group go missing, leaving the others to wonder not only what happened to them, but if they will ever see their friends alive again.

After what happened in Vegas, Hadley feels like a stranger in her own body. When she and Jon get separated from the rest of the group, she finds herself confronted not only with the scars left behind by her ordeal, but facing the possibility of a new beginning with Jon at her side.

In a twist of fate, Vivian and Axl stumble upon a place that could be the group’s salvation, only to have hope slip through their fingers once again when they are met with the most devastating blow yet…


Watchers Test: A LitRPG Saga by Sean Oswald
Narrated by Peter Berkrot
Aethon Audio

This isn’t a game. This is his new life.

Dave has been wandering through life for a long time. His day job bores him and he never seems to be able to meet his family’s expectations. The only escape he’s ever had is his love of MMORPGs.

But when he becomes the subject of a test without even knowing it, he’s portaled into a game-world called Eloria with no way out. It’s a frequent daydream of his, however, in none of those dreams did his wife and daughter ever accompany him.

Now, Dave must balance protecting his family with exploring his dream…oh, and trying to stay alive. Monstrous beasts roam Elaria, worst of all, an undead army led by the vile Death Knight.

He’ll have to adapt fast and learn to cooperate if he hopes to make a new home for his family. And just maybe, along the way, he’ll find out why they’re living a life in exile.

Experience the epic first installment of a litRPG saga perfect for fans of C. M. Carney, Blaise Corvin, and Charles Dean.

Narrated by Peter Berkrot (Alpha World, Earth Force).


The Enigma Cube by Douglas E. Richards

The Enigma Cube by Douglas E. Richards
Narrated by Dan Bittner
Audible Studios

An alien object with breathtaking capabilities. And a life-and-death struggle for the future of humanity.

Dr. Kelly Connolly is part of a top-secret team studying the most important find in human history – the Enigma Cube, an alien artifact of incomprehensible power. A cube whose technology can catapult civilization to dizzying heights – or destroy it entirely.

After years of failed attempts to unlock the cube’s secrets, all hell suddenly breaks loose. Kelly and a black-ops commando, Justin Boyd, are soon fighting against all odds to stay alive, and to keep the cube out of enemy hands.

As the situation quickly goes from bad to worse, Kelly discovers that the cube is far more dangerous than even she had imagined. And that her actions could lead to nightmarish changes to the nature of reality itself.

The Enigma Cube is a masterful thriller. One crammed with breakneck action, unexpected twists, mind-blowing science, and ethical dilemmas listeners will be contemplating long after they’ve listened to the last minute.

“Richards is a worthy successor to Michael Crichton.” (SF Book dot com)


Titan’s Legacy by Rhett C. Bruno
Narrated by R. C. Bray
Audible Studios

It’s time for one last mission…

Ten years have passed since the end of the Titan Conflict. Now, the Titanborn stand on their own. And even though the war might be over, tensions between them and Earth have never been higher.

Malcolm Graves has spent the last decade living on Titan, the last place he’d ever expected to retire. But he’d made a vow to his daughter: protect her son Alann until his dying breath.

But when an old rival on Earth makes a threat against Alann’s claim as heir to the throne of Titan, it’s time to dust off the old pulse pistol and silence him. One problem. After he sets off to return to Earth for one last time, he awakens from cryo to find a stowaway. Desperate to see the worlds beyond Titan after spending his young, privileged life sequestered there, Alann had snuck aboard.

Together, they’ll have to survive the perils of Earth as enemies old and new gun for the future King of Titan. One wrong move, and it’ll be war again. A war that, this time, humanity may not survive.

Join ex-collector Malcolm Graves on one last mission in the fifth and final installment of the Children of Titan Series. To protect his grandson, there is nothing he won’t do.


Assassination Protocol by Andy Peloquin

Assassination Protocol by Andy Peloquin
Narrated by Bronson Pinchot
Aethon Audio

Nolan Garrett is Cerberus. A government assassin, tasked with fixing the galaxy’s darkest, ugliest problems with a bullet to the brain.

Armed with cutting-edge weapons and an AI-run cybernetic suit that controls his paralyzed legs, he is the fist in the shadows, the dagger to the heart of the Nyzarian Empire’s enemies.

Then he found Bex on his doorstep….

A junkie, high on the drug he’d fought for years to avoid, and a former elite soldier like him. So he takes her in to help her get clean – Silverguards never leave their own behind.

If only he’d known his actions would put him in the crosshairs of the most powerful cartel in New Avalon.

Facing an army of gangbangers, drug pushers, and thugs, Nolan must fight to not only carry out his mission, but to prevent the escalating violence from destroying everything he loves.

Cerberus: Assassination Protocol is the riveting, heart-pounding first book in the epic military sci-fi Cerberus series. If you like fearless heroes, nonstop futuristic action, and neck-breaking plot twists, you’ll love Andy Peloquin’s thrilling space opera series.

Buy Cerberus: Assassination Protocol now to watch an assassin fight to protect the innocent!


The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez

The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez
Narrated by Zachary Webber, Erin Mallon

From the USA Today best-selling author of The Friend Zone comes an adorable and fresh romantic comedy about one trouble-making dog who brings together two perfect strangers.

Two years after losing her fiancé, Sloan Monroe still can’t seem to get her life back on track. But one trouble-making pup with a “take me home” look in his eyes is about to change everything. With her new pet by her side, Sloan finally starts to feel more like herself. Then, after weeks of unanswered texts, Tucker’s owner reaches out. He’s a musician on tour in Australia. And bottom line: He wants Tucker back.

Well, Sloan’s not about to give up her dog without a fight. But what if this Jason guy really loves Tucker? As their flirty texts turn into long calls, Sloan can’t deny a connection. Jason is hot and nice and funny. There’s no telling what could happen when they meet in person. The question is: With his music career on the rise, how long will Jason really stick around? And is it possible for Sloan to survive another heartbreak?


Hard Rain by Irma Venter, Elsa Silke - translator

Hard Rain by Irma Venter, Elsa Silke – translator
Narrated by Sarah Zimmerman, Steve West
Brilliance Publishing

Chaos, murder, and a hint of sizzling romance descend on East Africa in this electrifying thriller of a mystery.

Journalist Alex Derksen’s new assignment in Tanzania should be easy, but he soon finds himself on the wrong side of the news. It starts when he meets Ranna, a beautiful photographer with something to hide. Alex stopped believing in love a long time ago, yet here in the middle of East Africa, it’s found him again.

Alex knows a thing or two about chaos – wherever he goes, it follows. When an IT billionaire washes up onshore after seasonal flooding, he finds himself at the center of an investigation with Ranna as the main suspect. It turns out she may have a good reason for hiding her past.

Wherever she goes, murder follows.

Alex should be used to these cat-and-mouse games, but this time it’s different. Should he listen to his heart and help Ranna hide the bloody trail leading to her? Or should he use his head and run for his life?


Die Next by Jonathan Stone

Die Next by Jonathan Stone
Narrated by Angelo Di Loreto
Grand Central Publishing

From best-selling author Jonathan Stone comes a pulse-pounding thriller for the digital age that will make you question everything that you have ever saved on your phone.

In a crowded coffee shop, Zack Yellin swaps identical-looking cell phones with the businessman next to him. It’s an honest mistake – and a deadly one. Because the “businessman” is actually a professional – and highly volatile – hit man named Joey Richter, and his phone is filled with bombshell evidence.

If Zack takes Joey’s phone to the police, will they believe his swapped cell phone story? Would they even be able to protect him? Because the hit man now has Zack’s phone with the phone numbers and addresses of Zack’s new girlfriend Emily, his best friend Steve, and all the texts and information from Zack’s life.

Whether he keeps the phone or ditches it, Joey will kill him for what he now knows. In cat-and-mouse twists, turns, and continually mounting terror, one thing is clear: Zack is next on the hit man’s list.


Wild at Heart by K. A. Tucker

Wild at Heart by K. A. Tucker
Narrated by Rebekkah Ross
Audible Studios

From the internationally best-selling author of The Simple Wild comes the continuation of a woman’s journey to Alaska and a life she never imagined for herself.

Calla Fletcher returns to Toronto a different person, struggling to find direction and still very much in love with the rugged bush pilot she left behind. When Jonah arrives on her doorstep with a proposition she can’t dismiss, she takes the leap and rushes back to Alaska to begin their exciting future together.

But Calla soon learns that even the best intentions can lead to broken promises, and that compromise comes with a hefty price – a log cabin in rural Alaska that feels as isolating as the western tundra.

With Jonah gone more than he’s home, one neighbor who insists on transforming her into a true Alaskan, and another who seems more likely to shoot her than come to her aid, Calla grapples with forging her own path. In a world with roaming wildlife that has her constantly watching over her shoulder and harsh conditions that stretch far beyond the cold, dark, winter months, just stepping outside her front door can be daunting.

This is not the future Calla had in mind, leaving her to fear that perhaps she is doomed to follow in her mother’s fleeing footsteps after all.


Bubblegum by Adam Levin

Bubblegum by Adam Levin
Narrated by Mark Deakins, Michael Crouch, Julia Whelan
Random House Audio

“Adam Levin is one of our wildest writers and our funniest, and Bubblegum is a dazzling accomplishment of wit and inventiveness.” (George Saunders)

The astonishing new novel by the NYPL Young Lions Fiction Award-winning author of The Instructions.

Bubblegum is set in an alternate present-day world in which the internet does not exist and has never existed. Rather, a wholly different species of interactive technology – a “flesh-and-bone robot” called the Curio – has dominated both the market and the cultural imagination since the late 1980s. Belt Magnet, who as a boy in greater Chicago became one of the lucky first adopters of a Curio, is now writing his memoir, and through it we follow a singular man out of sync with the harsh realities of a world he feels alien to but must find a way to live in.

At age 38, still living at home with his widowed father, Belt insulates himself from the awful and terrifying world outside by spending most of his time with books, his beloved Curio, and the voices in his head, which he isn’t entirely sure are in his head. After Belt’s father goes on a fishing excursion, a simple trip to the bank escalates into an epic saga that eventually forces Belt to confront the world he fears, as well as his estranged childhood friend Jonboat, the celebrity astronaut and billionaire.

In Bubblegum, Adam Levin has crafted a profoundly hilarious, resonant, and monumental narrative about heartbreak, longing, art, and the search for belonging in an incompatible world. Bubblegum is a rare masterwork of provocative social (and self-) awareness and intimate emotional power.


The Book of Koli by M. R. Carey

The Book of Koli by M. R. Carey
Narrated by Theo Solomon
Hachette Audio

“A captivating start to what promises to be an epic post-apocalyptic fable” (Kirkus), The Book of Koli is the unforgettable story of a young boy struggling to find his place in a world where nature itself has turned against humanity.

Everything that lives hates us….

Beyond the walls of the small village of Mythen Rood lies an unrecognizable landscape. A place where overgrown forests are filled with choker trees and deadly seeds that will kill you where you stand. And if they don’t get you, one of the dangerous shunned men will.

Koli has lived in Mythen Rood his entire life. He believes the first rule of survival is that you don’t venture too far beyond the walls.

He’s wrong.


Masked Prey by John Sandford

Masked Prey by John Sandford
Narrated by Richard Ferrone
Penguin Audio

Lucas Davenport investigates a vitriolic blog that seems to be targeting the children of US politicians in the latest thriller by number one New York Times best-selling author John Sandford.

The daughter of a US Senator is monitoring her social media presence when she finds a picture of herself on a strange blog. And there are other pictures…of the children of other influential Washington politicians, walking or standing outside their schools, each identified by name. Surrounding the photos are texts of vicious political rants from a motley variety of radical groups.

It’s obviously alarming – is there an unstable extremist tracking the loved ones of powerful politicians with deadly intent? But when the FBI is called in, there isn’t much the feds can do. The anonymous photographer can’t be pinned down to one location or IP address, and more importantly, at least to the paper-processing bureaucrats, no crime has actually been committed. With nowhere else to turn, influential Senators decide to call in someone who can operate outside the FBI’s constraints: Lucas Davenport.


Savage Son by Jack Carr

Savage Son by Jack Carr
Narrated by Ray Porter
Simon & Schuster Audio

“A rare gut-punch writer, full of grit and insight, who we will be happily reading for years to come.” (Gregg Hurwitz, New York Times best-selling author of the Orphan X series)

In this third high-octane thriller in the “seriously good” (Lee Child, number-one New York Times best-selling author of Past Tense) Terminal List series, former Navy SEAL James Reece must infiltrate the Russian mafia and turn the hunters into the hunted.

Deep in the wilds of Siberia, a woman is on the run, pursued by a man harboring secrets – a man intent on killing her.

A traitorous CIA officer has found refuge with the Russian mafia with designs on ensuring a certain former Navy SEAL sniper is put in the ground.

Half a world away, James Reece is recovering from brain surgery in the Montana wilderness, slowly putting his life back together with the help of investigative journalist Katie Buranek and his longtime friend and SEAL teammate Raife Hastings. Unbeknownst to them, the Russian mafia has set their sights on Reece in a deadly game of cat and mouse.

In his most visceral and heart-pounding thriller yet, Jack Carr explores the darkest instincts of humanity through the eyes of a man who has seen both the best and the worst of it.


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