Welcome to Brian’s Book Blog’s weekly New and Notable Post for the Week of February 23rd.
We share the 13 books from this week that caught our eye featuring Post-Apocalyptic, Horror, Sci-Fi, Thrillers, and more. Enjoy!
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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Space Force by Jeremy Robinson
Narrated by Jeffrey Kafer, Emily Woo Zeller, Machelle Williams
Five years ago, the US Space Force became a reality. And while those writing the checks took things very seriously, the other military branches did not. As a result, Space Force was populated by undesirables: men and women who made too many mistakes, didn’t follow the rules, or…slept with the wrong general’s daughter. Three times. On camera. It was a mistake, okay?
My name is Captain Ethan Stone, a decorated member of SEAL Team Six turned Space Force “recruit”. While the powers that be attempted to make Space Force an embarrassment, they also sent some of the very best minds, fighters, and pilots to the program, because sometimes the best of us decide to take a stand against those same powers. Yeah, yeah. Not me. Though I seem to recall I was standing when…sorry. It’s a distracting memory.
Flash forward five years and between tenses. President West is in office. Power has shifted. And Space Force is defunded. With just a handful of us still living on base, we find ourselves being evicted. But before all of us can leave, aliens invade. Really ugly ones, too. Super nasty. I don’t think I could describe them here without getting the audiobook banned.
Anywho, using their advanced technology, they seal off Space Force Command behind a shrinking force field and kick off a battle royale to the death. Human vs. alien. To the victors goes the Earth. While my boy Frank Taylor and I throw down inside the force field, my main squeeze, First Lieutenant Jennifer Hale, leads an international strike team into freakin’ space. It’s nuts. Crazy action. Super funny, too, in like a Deadpool way, if that’s your thing.
The only way to really know what went down is to snag a copy of this audiobook and listen to it for yourself…before it’s too late. Or wait for the movie. There is going to be a movie, right?
Hale and I agreed to let “best-selling”* author Jeremy Robinson tell our tales. He’s not my favorite person in the world, but I think he captured our voices and the reality of what happened, printing every word we spoke, no matter how offensive, blunt, disgusting, or violent it was. If you’re upset by what you hear in this audiobook, first, lighten up, but then blame me. Jeremy Robinson is a fragile flower. He’s only to blame for hackneyed writing.
*Best-selling is in quotes because the only best seller status that matters is New York Times. Doesn’t matter if it’s not a true reflection of actual sales, popularity, or quality. Everyone knows that, Robinson.
Mutiny: A Post-Apocalyptic Thriller by Lee West
Narrated by John David Farrell
Joe and Meg Birch have saved for years to take the trip of a lifetime. On the last night of their cruise, while most of the passengers are sleep – the unthinkable occurs. A suspected electromagnetic pulse (EMP) damages most of the cruise ship’s critical systems, forcing the crew to divert the remaining power to essential systems.
While the massive ship struggles in rough seas, the seasick passengers grow increasingly uneasy about their situation. The flow of food and drinks has been significantly reduced, air conditioning is non-existent and the ship’s security team is visibly armed. What they don’t know is that the ship has lost contact with the mainland, and their Captain is on the verge of making life-altering decision for all of them.
Skeptical of the conditions onshore and unwilling to pull into the ship’s homeport without the assistance of local pilot craft, the Captain elects to leave the area and seek safe harbor to the south. There’s just one catch. The ship only carries enough food and fuel to last a few more days – and their destination remains uncertain. The geographical scope and magnitude of the damage caused by the mysterious event remains unknown to the crew.
With Joe and Meg’s prospect of returning home about to slip away, the Birch’s face an agonizing choice. Stay with the ship and take a chance on the Captain – or steal a lifeboat and try to return home. Joined by likeminded passengers and a few salty crewmembers, they decide to make their own destiny – despite the unknown dangers.
The Mutiny chronicles this impossible, gut-wrenching journey to get home, where it quickly becomes obvious that their story is far from over!
Masters of Mayhem by Franklin Horton
Narrated by Kevin Pierce
Conor Maguire and his daughter, Barb, planned to weather the apocalypse by keeping to themselves, hidden from the world in their compound deep in the Appalachian Mountains. Their approach failed, allowing bad men to get too close and kidnap Barb. After rescuing her in a violent bloodbath that decimated the kidnappers, Conor realized it was time to enlist his community to work together to improve their security. They had better work fast.
Unbeknownst to Conor, the kidnappers he killed had a boss, and he’s none too happy about the loss of his men. He’s marching in their direction and building an army as he goes, determined to find this Mad Mick who everyone is talking about and hang his head from a stick.
The Titan Probe by Brandon Q. Morris
Narrated by Doug Tisdale Jr.
In 2005, the robotic probe “Huygens” lands on Saturn’s moon Titan. 40 years later, a radio telescope receives signals from the far away moon that can only come from the long forgotten lander.
At the same time, an expedition returns from neighbouring moon Enceladus. The crew lands on Titan and finds a dangerous secret that risks their return to Earth. Meanwhile, on Enceladus a deathly race has started that nobody thought was possible. And its outcome can only be decided by the astronauts that are stuck on Titan.
Emergence by AJ Sikes
Narrated by Bronson Pinchot
Most will run, but the brave will fight….
A deadly virus is sweeping through America’s cities, pitting the worst humanity has to offer against its best warriors and scientists in a race against extinction. The virus doesn’t just kill – it transforms and creates monsters of men and women called Variants.
New York firefighter Meg Pratt is among those trapped in New York City. Together with her fellow rescue workers and the scattered elements of America’s frontline military fighters, Meg fights to survive and hope to save civilians from the coming apocalypse.
Across the city, Marine Corps washout Jed Welch is on his own path to survival, and it intersects with Meg and her ragtag group of survivors. If they are lucky, they will see the help they need emerge from within, just as everything around them is coming to an end.
Buried in Black by J.T. Patten
Narrated by Steve Marvel
Deeper Than Deep State
In this explosive new series, former intelligence expert J. T. Patten takes you deep inside the top-secret operations you’ll never see on the news: our deadliest weapons in the war against terror….
Buried in Black
In the clandestine world of shadow ops, he’s known as The Man from Orange. A master of surveillance, signals intelligence – and silent killing – special operative Drake Woolf has been groomed and trained by the old-guard intel community after his CIA father and mother were murdered in Tunisia. Now he works for Task Force Orange, handling cases the government doesn’t want its fingerprints on. Woolf can always be relied on to carry out an assignment with surgical precision – and exterminate a threat with extreme prejudice.
But his latest mission is different. Woolf knows the targets personally. He trained them in Iraq to be the perfect killing machines. Known as the “Mohawks”, these Iraqi rebels know our secrets, our strengths, and our weaknesses. And they’re using this knowledge to launch the deadliest attack the world has ever seen – on American soil….
Trump Sky Alpha by Mark Doten
Narrated by Christina Delaine
A novel on the political madness of our time and the internet’s deep workings, by the author of The Infernal.
Twice a week, the president pilots his ultraluxury airship Trump Sky Alpha (seats start at $50,000), delivering, as he travels between D.C., New York City, and Mar-a-Lago, a streaming YouTube address to the nation, in which he trumpets his successes and blasts his enemies – until the day his words plunge the world into nuclear war. One year later, with 90 percent of the world’s population destroyed, a journalist named Rachel has taken refuge in the Twin Cities Metro Containment Zone. Rachel goes on assignment to document the final throes of humor on the internet in those moments before the end, hoping along the way to discover the final resting place of her wife and daughter.
What she uncovers, hidden amid spiraling memes and Twitter jokes in a working archive of the internet’s remnants, are references to a little-known book that inspired a shadowy hacktivist group called the Aviary. Their role in the downfall of the internet, and the enigmatic presence of a figure known only as Birdcrash, take on immense and terrifying dimensions as Rachel ventures further into the ruins of the internet.
Mark Doten, a satirist of unparalleled vision, brilliantly details how the internet has infiltrated every aspect of our lives, laying the groundwork for the tumult of our current political moment, and, in the kaleidoscopic, queer, all-consuming, parallactic swirl of Trump Sky Alpha, for the future headed our way.
The Burning by Laura Bates
Narrated by Heather Long, Susie Riddell
Fire is like a rumour. You might think you’ve extinguished it, but one creeping, red tendril, one single wisp of smoke is enough to let it leap back into life again. Especially if someone is watching, waiting to fan the flames….
New school. Tick.
New town. Tick.
New surname. Tick.
Social media profiles? Erased.
There’s nothing to trace Anna back to her old life. Nothing to link her to the ‘incident’.
At least that’s what she thinks…until the whispers start up again. As time begins to run out on her secrets, Anna finds herself irresistibly drawn to the tale of Maggie, a local girl accused of witchcraft centuries earlier. A girl whose story has terrifying parallels to Anna’s own….
The compelling YA debut from Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project and best-selling author of Girl Up.
She Dreams of Fire by M. K. Gibson
Narrated by Xe Sands
Agatha “Aggy” Grae was only 10 years old the night a witch of the Umbra Coven killed her mother and burned her home. Injured, she received a transfusion of blood tainted by witchcraft, and immediately her eyes were opened to the truths hidden from mundane eyes.
She saw a new world, a hidden world, one filled with darkness and secrets. And that new world was now aware of her.
Through the years, Aggy never quit hunting the mysterious coven. From the shadows she gathered information, stepping out only to hurt those who dared to hurt others. But everything changed the night she helped a familiar looking stranger.
Through magical means, Vanessa, a high witch of the Umbra Coven, has learned of Aggy. Following the orders of the coven’s leader, The Veiled One, Vanessa has begun her own hunt, one that can end only with Aggy’s blood.
She Dreams of Fire is a story of strength. In order to survive, Aggy must defeat her own doubts, addictions, and fears. In order to win, she has to endure everything the witches and the Hidden Folk throw at her. Partnered with a man from her past, the unlikely pair must learn to trust each other as they suffer betrayal, discover hidden truths about themselves, and battle the monsters in the dark. But does Aggy have the strength to walk through the fire?
A Killer’s Alibi by William L. Myers Jr.
Narrated by Adam Verner
For attorney Mick McFarland, the evidence is damning. And so are the family secrets in this twisty legal thriller from the Amazon Charts bestselling author of A Criminal Defense.
When crime lord Jimmy Nunzio is caught, knife in hand, over the body of his daughter’s lover and his own archenemy, he turns to Mick McFarland to take up his defense. Usually the courtroom puppeteer, McFarland quickly finds himself at the end of Nunzio’s strings. Struggling to find grounds for a not-guilty verdict on behalf of a well-known killer, Mick is hamstrung by Nunzio’s refusal to tell him what really happened.
On the other side of the law, Mick’s wife, Piper, is working to free Darlene Dowd, a young woman sentenced to life in prison for her abusive father’s violent death. But the jury that convicted Darlene heard only part of the truth, and Piper will do anything to reveal the rest and prove Darlene’s innocence.
As Mick finds himself in the middle of a mob war, Piper delves deeper into Darlene’s past. Both will discover dark secrets that link these fathers and daughters – some that protect, some that destroy, and some that can’t stay hidden forever. No matter the risk.
Fractured by Thomas Kelso
Narrated by Jack Clancy
Former Naval Special Warfare Development Group orthopedic trauma surgeon Mark Thurman and preeminent scientist Claire Hodgson have discovered how to create human bones and heal fractures in days. They test their revolutionary methods on Mark’s ex-SEAL Team colleague, John Bristow, who was shot and left for dead after an altercation at his farm. The search for suspects and a motive turns up hydrocracking extortionists, ex-military Special Forces, and agents of foreign governments. When things begin to go sideways it becomes apparent Bristow isn’t the person he appears to be. However, Thurman owes him a debt – and he’ll risk all to pay it.
House Call by Darden North
Narrated by Michael Robbins
In national award-winning author Darden North’s debut novel, House Call, a police investigation into the murder of a young hospital nurse rips through a Mississippi community consumed in self-indulgence, reverse sexual discrimination, and cut-throat medical politics. Before a psychopath can be stopped, another will die.
In House Call, Dr. Knox Chamblee joins a prominent medical clinic in a small southern town and soon finds himself the object of reverse sexual discrimination in the workforce. Worse yet, he is possibly a murder suspect.
There are no real leads in the stabbing of nurse Taylor Richards until police uncover tire prints in a driveway that lead them to an answer in backwoods Mississippi.
Forsaken World: Coming of Age by Thomas A. Watson
Narrated by Eric A. Shelman
When a meteor released a bacterium that caused the dead to rise, the world Ian and Lance knew was turned upside down. Forced to flee from the sulfurous Stinkers, the teenagers narrowly avoided their own demise on the way to an isolated cabin. With their parents lost to contact, the boys must lead their battered group in survival.
As the stench of death draws closer, Lance and Ian will face their most difficult challenge yet: a murderous gang of powerful thugs. With new threats looming, the boys must use every trick up their sleeves. But with little life experience, and no adult to turn to, will our heroes successfully endure the heavy mantle of leadership, or will they become the next victims in this forsaken world?