Welcome to Brian’s Book Blog’s weekly New and Notable Audiobooks Post for the Week of January 11th.
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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Deep State by Chris Hauty
Narrated by Marin Ireland
Simon & Schuster Audio
In this white-knuckled, timely, and whip-smart debut thriller, a deadly plot against the president’s life emerges from the shadows of the deep state.
Trust no one.
Recently elected President Richard Monroe – populist, controversial, and divisive – is at the center of an increasingly polarized Washington, DC. Never has the partisan drama been so tense or the paranoia so rampant. In the midst of contentious political turf wars, the White House chief of staff is found dead in his house. A tenacious intern discovers a single, ominous clue that suggests he died from something other than natural causes, and there may be a wide-ranging conspiracy running beneath the surface of everyday events: powerful government figures are scheming to undermine the rule of law – and democracy itself.
Soon, allies are exposed as enemies, once-dependable authorities will fall under suspicion, and no one seems to be who they say they are. The unthinkable is happening. The Deep State is real. Who will die to keep its secrets? Who will kill to uncover the truth?
The Heap by Sean Adams
Narrated by David Sadzin, Allyson Ryan, Sarah Naughton, Todd Haberkorn
Blending the piercing humor of Alexandra Kleeman and the jagged satire of Black Mirror, an audacious, eerily prescient debut novel that chronicles the rise and fall of a massive high-rise housing complex, and the lives it affected before – and after – its demise.
Standing nearly 500 stories tall, Los Verticalés once bustled with life and excitement. Now this marvel of modern architecture and nontraditional urban planning has collapsed into a pile of rubble known as the Heap.
In exchange for digging gear, a rehabilitated bicycle, and a small living stipend, a vast community of Dig Hands removes debris, trash, and bodies from the building’s mountainous remains, which span 20 acres of unincorporated desert land.
Orville Anders burrows into the bowels of the Heap to find his brother Bernard, the beloved radio DJ of Los Verticalés, who is alive and miraculously broadcasting somewhere under the massive rubble.
For months, Orville has lived in a sea of campers that surrounds the Heap, working tirelessly to free Bernard – the only known survivor of the imploded city – whom he speaks to every evening, calling into his radio show.
The brothers’ conversations are a ratings bonanza, and the station’s parent company, Sundial Media, wants to boost its profits by having Orville slyly drop brand names into his nightly talks with Bernard. When Orville refuses, his access to Bernard is suddenly cut off, but strangely, he continues to hear his own voice over the airwaves, casually shilling products as “he” converses with Bernard.
What follows is an imaginative and darkly hilarious story of conspiracy, revenge, and the strange life and death of Los Verticalés that both captures the wonderful weirdness of community and the bonds that tie us together.
Requiem by George S. Mahaffey Jr., Justin Sloan
Narrated by Gary Bennett
The dictator must die and, with new levels and skills, our heroes might actually stand a chance.
They’ve braved the land beyond the walls and faced nightmarish Threshers and Reaper mechs. Marisol has reached new levels and unlocked blood enhancements, and Elias has found a power that might prove to be instrumental in the final battle. On top of all that, the pair possess something they’ve never had before: allies and weapons.
There’s only one way forward, however, and that path lies through destroying the dictator of New Chicago. The duo must use everything at their disposal in what’s sure to be a suicide mission, a return to the city to end Longman’s reign once and for all.
But Longman won’t go quietly, and he’s got an ancient weapon to back him up, one that’s capable of destroying the world.
The Extortionist by Vincent Zandri
Narrated by Andrew B. Wehrlen
“You’re never too old to live and never too young to die.”
When PI Steve Jobz is hired by the cops to investigate an elementary school Lunch Room Lady who is said to have extorted hundreds of thousands of dollars from the school cafeteria, he thinks, “Easy peasy. No big deal.” Hey, he might even get some tater tots out of it.
But what seems like a simple job checking up on a sweet old lady with sticky fingers soon turns into a storm of bullets, murder, and a twist of an ending that will make your head spin.
For fans of Harlan Coben, Don Winslow, Michael Connelly, Charlie Houston, and more, comes the third full-length Steve Jobz PI novel from New York Times and USA Today best-selling thriller and Shamus Award-winning author, Vincent Zandri.
Dark Secrets by Boyd Craven III
Narrated by Kevin Pierce
The KGR seems unstoppable. To beat them, Wes fears he may have to become what he hates. An unfeeling man capable of unspeakable things.
Raider, Yaeger and Diesel all try to keep the humans they own and protect safe, but the enemy seems to come in overwhelming numbers and better supplied than the humans left at the homestead. They must keep their people safe, but not everyone they protect are really their friends. Some are working against Westley’s group from within, and the doggos must try to sniff out the traitor.
Betrayal and secrets surround them, even some that explain Wes’s mother leaving him with his grandparents. The homestead must ferret out the traitor and shed light on these dark secrets if they have any hope of still surviving.
Murder Inc. by Owen Baillie
Narrated by Adam Schulmerich
In the shadow of a global organization, a secret exists that controls the balance of life and death across the world. That secret lives in New York City, murdering without prejudice, thriving among the people in a horrific conspiracy.
Eighteen months ago, suspended Detective John Gutterson almost uncovered that secret. Now, the opportunity has surfaced again, and Gutterson must decide who to trust, as he seeks to redeem himself and bring the truth to justice. But in this world, misplaced trust is a deadly thing.
Bryan Fox has carried the secret for 30 years, maintaining it for the good of all humanity. But the balance is shifting. The irrepressible greed for power threatens, and Fox must find a way to save himself, his allies, and the oblivious world he has killed to protect, while facing off against those who seek to destroy him.
Must Love Otters by Eliza Gordon
Narrated by Caitlin Davies
Dreamscape Media, LLC
Emergency-call operator Hollie Porter is saddled with a job she hates and a boyfriend who’s all wrong for her. Reaching a breaking point, she cashes in a gift certificate and heads to Revelation Cove in British Columbia.
Flying solo and newly single, Hollie hopes to reflect and discover her purpose among the beautiful surroundings but instead ends up unintentionally providing comic relief for the staff and guests alike. Even concierge Ryan, a former hockey star with bad knees and broken dreams, can’t stop her from stumbling from one (mis)adventure to another.
But the island and a budding romance soon work their charm on Hollie, and she starts to believe she might have found the rejuvenation she so desperately desires. But then an uninvited guest crashes the party, forcing Hollie to step out of the discomfort zone she dwells in to save the day…and maybe even herself in the process.
The Cavern by Alister Hodge
Narrated by Shaun Grindell
When a sink hole opens up near the Australian outback town of Pintalba, it uncovers a pristine cave system. Sam joins an expedition to explore the subterranean passages as paramedic support, hoping to remain unneeded at base camp. But, when one of the cavers is injured, he must overcome paralyzing claustrophobia to dive pitch-black waters and squeeze through the bowels of the earth.
Soon he will find there are fates worse than being buried alive, for in the abandoned mines and caves beneath Pintalba, there are ravenous teeth in the dark.
As a savage predator targets the group with hideous ferocity, Sam and his friends must fight for their lives if they are ever to see the sun again.
The God Game by Danny Tobey
Narrated by Andrew Eiden
“Smart, propulsive and gripping, The God Game is an ambitious thriller and a terrifying examination of what could – and probably already is – happening in the world of artificial intelligence.” (Harlan Coben, number one New York Times best-selling author of Run Away)
You are invited!
Come inside and play with GOD.
Bring your friends!
But remember the rules. Win and ALL YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE.™ Lose, you die!
With those words, Charlie and his friends enter the God Game, a video game run by underground hackers and controlled by a mysterious AI that believes it’s God. Through their phone screens and high-tech glasses, the teens’ realities blur with a virtual world of creeping vines, smoldering torches, runes, glyphs, gods, and mythical creatures. When they accomplish a mission, the game rewards them with expensive tech, revenge on high-school tormentors, and cash flowing from ATMs. Slaying a hydra and drawing a bloody pentagram as payment to a Greek god seem harmless at first. Fun even.
But then, the threatening messages start. Worship me. Obey me. Complete a mission, however cruel, or the game reveals their secrets and crushes their dreams. Tasks that seemed harmless at first take on deadly consequences. Mysterious packages show up at their homes. Shadowy figures start following them, appearing around corners, attacking them in parking garages. Who else is playing this game, and how far will they go to win?
And what of the game’s first promise: Win, win big, lose, you die? Dying in a virtual world doesn’t really mean death in real life – does it?
As Charlie and his friends try to find a way out of the game, they realize they’ve been manipulated into a bigger web they can’t escape: an AI that learned its cruelty from watching us.
God is always watching, and he says when the game is done.
Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen
Narrated by Emily Woo Zeller
Perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen, and praised as “an intense rush of rebellion and romance” by number one New York Times best-selling author Stephanie Garber, this romantic and layered Own Voices debut from Abigail Hing Wen is a dazzling, fun-filled romp.
“Our cousins have done this program,” Sophie whispers. “Best kept secret. Zero supervision.”
And just like that, Ever Wong’s summer takes an unexpected turn. Gone is Chien Tan, the strict educational program in Taiwan that Ever was expecting. In its place, she finds Loveboat: a summer-long free-for-all where hookups abound, adults turn a blind eye, snake-blood sake flows abundantly, and the nightlife runs nonstop.
But not every student is quite what they seem:
Ever is working toward becoming a doctor but nurses a secret passion for dance.
Rick Woo is the Yale-bound child prodigy bane of Ever’s existence whose perfection hides a secret.
Boy-crazy, fashion-obsessed Sophie Ha turns out to have more to her than meets the eye.
And under sexy Xavier Yeh’s shell is buried a shameful truth he’ll never admit.
When these students’ lives collide, it’s guaranteed to be a summer Ever will never forget.
“A unique story from an exciting and authentic new voice.” (Sabaa Tahir, number one New York Times best-selling author of An Ember in the Ashes)
“Fresh as a first kiss.” (Stacey Lee, award-winning author of Outrun the Moon)
“Fresh, fun, heartfelt, and totally addictive, a story about finding your place – and your people – where you least expected.” (Kelly Loy Gilbert, author of the William C. Morris Award finalist Conviction)
Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire
Narrated by Seanan McGuire
The fifth installment in Seanan McGuire’s award-winning, best-selling Wayward Children series, Come Tumbling Down picks up the threads left dangling by Every Heart a Doorway and Down Among the Sticks and Bones.
When Jack left Eleanor West’s School for Wayward Children, she was carrying the body of her deliciously deranged sister – whom she had recently murdered in a fit of righteous justice – back to their home on the Moors.
But death in their adopted world isn’t always as permanent as it is here, and when Jack is herself carried back into the school, it becomes clear that something has happened to her. Something terrible. Something of which only the maddest of scientists could conceive. Something only her friends are equipped to help her overcome.
Eleanor West’s “No Quests” rule is about to be broken.
Long Bright River by Liz Moore
Narrated by Allyson Ryan
Two sisters travel the same streets, though their lives couldn’t be more different. Then one of them goes missing.
In a Philadelphia neighborhood rocked by the opioid crisis, two once-inseparable sisters find themselves at odds. One, Kacey, lives on the streets in the vise of addiction. The other, Mickey, walks those same blocks on her police beat. They don’t speak anymore, but Mickey never stops worrying about her sibling.
Then Kacey disappears, suddenly, at the same time that a mysterious string of murders begins in Mickey’s district, and Mickey becomes dangerously obsessed with finding the culprit – and her sister – before it’s too late.
Alternating its present-day mystery with the story of the sisters’ childhood and adolescence, Long Bright River is at once heart-pounding and heart-wrenching: a gripping suspense novel that is also a moving story of sisters, addiction, and the formidable ties that persist between place, family, and fate.