Welcome to Brian’s Book Blog’s weekly New and Notable Post for the Week of July 20th.
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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Chilling Effect by R.J. Pineiro
Narrated by D.C. Newman
In Chilling Effect, R.J. Pineiro’s newest thriller, William Kiersted is committed to accelerating the effects of climate change through frightening acts of ecological terrorism.
Global climatologists Doctors Natasha Shakhiva and Konrad Malone join forces with Rachel Daly from the CIA’s new global climate counterterrorist unit, as well as its Russian counterpart, in an attempt to spoil Kiersted’s plan to cripple humanity, if not outright destroy it.
Across three continents, the battle rages as Kiersted manages to stay one step ahead of his pursuers while executing a plot so grim, yet so compellingly real, it sounds like tomorrow’s headlines.
This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone
Narrated by Cynthia Farrell, Emily Woo Zeller
Two time-traveling agents from warring futures, working their way through the past, begin to exchange letters – and fall in love in this thrilling and romantic audiobook from award-winning authors Amal-El Mohtar and Max Gladstone.
Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading.
Thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hell-bent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, grows into something more. Something epic. Something romantic. Something that could change the past and the future.
Except the discovery of their bond would mean death for each of them. There’s still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win that war. That’s how war works. Right?
Cowritten by two beloved and award-winning sci-fi writers, This Is How You Lose the Time War is an epic love story spanning time and space.
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
Narrated by JD Jackson, Colson Whitehead
In this bravura follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning number one New York Times best seller The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.
As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to heart: He is “as good as anyone.” Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South of the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides “physical, intellectual and moral training” so the delinquent boys in their charge can become “honorable and honest men.”
In reality, the Nickel Academy is a grotesque chamber of horrors where the sadistic staff beats and sexually abuses the students, corrupt officials and locals steal food and supplies, and any boy who resists is likely to disappear “out back.” Stunned to find himself in such a vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold onto Dr. King’s ringing assertion “Throw us in jail and we will still love you.” His friend Turner thinks Elwood is worse than naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble.
The tension between Elwood’s ideals and Turner’s skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades. Formed in the crucible of the evils Jim Crow wrought, the boys’ fates will be determined by what they endured at the Nickel Academy.
Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for 111 years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers.
Bionic Bug by Natasha Bajema
Narrated by Tia Rider
What would you sacrifice to save thousands of innocent lives?
Washington, DC, October 2027
A rookie private investigator must put her fledgling business at risk to stop a rogue scientist from unleashing the ultimate biological weapon – a deadly swarm of bionic bugs.
When Lara Kingsley starts up her private investigation business to install surveillance systems for wealthy clients, she never imagines having to solve any grisly murders. That is, until her best friend and fellow private investigator drops dead before her eyes.
Lara begins a harrowing search for her friend’s killer and uncovers far more than she bargains for. Racing to unravel the mystery, she finds herself becoming deeply entangled in a new technological world of drones, gene editing, and the dark web – the notorious underground of the internet.
To solve the murder, she must enlist the help of the scientist himself while trying to stop him from killing thousands of innocent people.
Bionic Bug is the first audiobook in the Lara Kingsley Series, which weaves together elements of mystery, techno-thriller, and science fiction. If you like action-packed mystery novels, then you’ll love this new series from longtime national security expert Natasha Bajema.
Buy Bionic Bug to join Lara on her exciting journey today!
All City by Alex DiFrancesco
Narrated by Eboni Flowers, Eileen Stevens, Jayme Mattler, Timothy Andrés Pabon
All City is more than a novel, it’s a foreshadowing of a world to come.
In a near-future New York City ravaged by climate change and economic inequality, a superstorm hits, leaving behind only those who had nowhere else to go and no way to get out. Among those who remain are 24-year-old Makayla, who works in the city’s most ubiquitous convenience store chain, and Jesse, an 18-year-old, genderqueer anarchist living in an abandoned IRT station in the Bronx. In the aftermath of the storm, Jesse joins Makayla’s group of remainders in an abandoned luxury condo building, carving out a small sanctuary in the midst of a destroyed city.
Meanwhile, mysterious, colorful murals begin to appear throughout NYC, bringing hope to the forsaken and left-behind. But the storm’s castaways aren’t the only ones who find beauty in the art: the media, having long abandoned the supposedly hopeless metropolis, “discovers” the emergence of the murals. When one appears on Makayla and Jesse’s repurposed luxury condo, it is only a matter of time before the landlord class comes back to claim the city for themselves.
Buried by Ellison Cooper
Narrated by Danielle Deadwyler
In Ellison Cooper’s suspense thriller Buried, an FBI neuroscientist is on the trail of a serial killer who’s turned up the heat on a cold case….
Senior Special Agent Sayer Altair studies the minds of psychopaths. But even she didn’t expect to uncover a killer within the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Rooting him out and exposing internal corruption got her a bullet wound and six months of desk duty. Now, she’s finally back in the field, called in when an off-duty FBI agent and his cadaver dog fall into a sinkhole filled with human bones.
Found deep in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park, the skeletal remains date back almost two decades, the same time a beloved local teen disappeared. The cold case quickly heats up when Sayer’s team finds two fresh corpses among the bones. When a gruesome clue ties these new bodies to a woman recently kidnapped along with her young daughter, Sayer has to uncover the connection between the old bones and the new bodies before the mother and child become the next victims.
But the killer is one step ahead, attacking her team and sabotaging their efforts. With Sayer’s investigation compromised and unsure of who to trust, she receives unwanted help from Subject 037, one of the anonymous psychopaths she is currently studying. She has the chilling realization that he’s someone powerful in Washington DC, – and he is not about to let a mundane serial killer jeopardize his own ominous agenda for Sayer….
Task Lyst by Scott Hylbert
Narrated by Andrew Eiden
Elliot is a struggling musician who is trying to piece together enough cash every month to keep his dream of performing alive while also paying his rent. That’s when he discovered the new app TASK LYST. As a service provider, he sets his own hours, his funds are delivered covertly in bitcoin and the rates continue to grow…but so does his suspicion over the type of tasks that he is being asked to complete. Is the anonymous nature of app-based freelance work enough to abate Elliot’s suspicions…and conscious?
Meanwhile, the glossy new Task Lyst corporation is looking for start-up capital and perhaps an extra way to make the app profitable, by assisting the government in spying on users. Alice Seeger is a smart and beautiful executive who once had a promising future in Silicon Valley, but a few bad investments have put her on the edge of being fired and saddled with a lifestyle that she can no longer afford. At first glance, Task Lyst seemed like an app to pass on…until she discovers it’s dark underbelly which makes it more appealing financially while also being an enormous legal liability. She must test her own professional judgment against her morals in determining at what price she finds her own success.
This gig-economy thriller takes a look at the on-demand service industry, and it’s shady possibilities. Apps have become all-encompassing in our fast-paced modern lives and their utility is undeniable. In this gripping thriller, we follow the many sides, shades and shadows of the app economy and test the question: how far is too far?
Rules of War by Matthew Betley
Narrated by George Newbern
Following the events of the “fast, hard-hitting, and impossible to put down” (The Real Book Spy) Field of Valor, Logan West continues his mission to bring America’s traitorous vice president to justice, even as the clandestine group pulling all the strings makes one last deadly bid to regain their power.
The vice president of the US is missing, the director of the National Security Agency has been assassinated, and the mysterious organization orchestrating global instability is in tatters. While John Quick recovers from a gunshot wound that nearly killed him, Logan West is on the hunt to bring the vice president back to the US to face justice for his treason. The final stakes have never been higher, and Logan and his task force are left with little to no options. Will it be this warrior’s end?
“As a former Marine, Betley really knows his stuff” (Number-one New York Times best-selling author Kyle Mills), and rules of Rules of War is filled with the gripping, nonstop action thriller fans crave.
Conspiracy by Nancy Ann Healy
Narrated by Cassandra York
The past sins of fathers will return to haunt their daughters in the final installment of the Alex and Cassidy series.
What had started as a simple case three years earlier, forever altered the course of FBI Agent Alex Toles’ life. A committed investigator, Alex had always avoided personal entanglements. That was until she meet Cassidy O’Brien. Alex had been sent by President John Merrow to investigate threatening letters that had targeted Cassidy and her ex-husband Congressman Christopher O’Brien. Three years later, Alex finds herself a devoted wife and parent. Her life and her work center on Cassidy and their two children Dylan and Mackenzie.
Alex’s desire to protect her family and her need to uncover the truth about the past has led her to assume control of her father’s company, Carecom – a company that serves the Central Intelligence Agency. Now a CIA agent, Alex’s real mission has been to root out the foundations of a group her father once belonged to known as The Collaborative. In an effort to undermine The Collaborative’s resources, Alex has moved to acquire multiple companies that serve the intelligence complex. Her latest planned acquisition, a pharmaceutical company called MyoGen, has stirred the intelligence community into a frenzy.
As Alex moves to solidify the merger, her brother, Jonathan Krause finds himself pursuing a ghost from the past in a remote area of Siberia. What he discovers shakes the foundation of everything that everyone in Alex’s life thought they understood. The secrets held by MyoGen, the identities of Sphinx, and the man known only as Lynx will be revealed. Children will confront the lies created by their parents. And, parents will endeavor to protect their children when the roots of international conspiracies are uncovered.
Aftermath by Devon C. Ford
Narrated by John Lee
It is 1989 and the disease resulting from the testing of experimental bioweapons has ravaged much of the world. The UK and Europe are in chaos as the virus spreads uncontrollably. The US, nominally arriving in force to offer military and humanitarian assistance to their allies, are posturing dangerously with the east and failing to unite over the common enemy of humanity.
As command and control are ramping up operations over the British Isles and Europe, the remnants of Johnson’s Yeomanry and the scattered troops consolidate their position on their island stronghold and begin to look to the future, but events beyond their knowledge and control force them into desperate action.
Peter, alone by choice and oddly thriving, finds himself suddenly responsible for the life of someone other than himself. Adapting with ease, the young boy begins to show the difference between nature and nurture.
Elsewhere, other survivors stake their own claims to land and resources, but the inexplicable swarms of undead threaten to gather and dissipate constantly.