Welcome to Brian’s Book Blog’s weekly New and Notable Post for the Week of June 1st.
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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Hero by Tom Abrahams
Narrated by Kevin Pierce
As far as the east is from the west…
Marcus Battle is tired of the world. And he’s certain the world is tired of him.
But when an old friend needs his help, he steps back into the violence and corruption he’s fought for so long to avoid.
A decade after he disappeared north of the wall that separated his Texas from the rest of what used to be his country, an oppressive government threatens the only people alive for whom he cares and who care about him.
He’ll sacrifice everything to keep them safe, and he’ll travel one more time to places no man should have to go.
Primordial Threat by M.A. Rothman
Narrated by Tim Campbell
The year is 2066, and the world is oblivious to the threat it faces.
The fate of humanity lies on the shoulders of Burt Radcliffe, the new head of NASA’s Near Earth Object program. He’s been rushing the completion of DefenseNet, a ring of satellites that are both part of an early-warning system, as well as the means to eliminate incoming threats.
Yet Burt knows that despite the world’s best efforts, nothing can be done about the alert he’s just received. Coming out of deep space is a danger that’s been approaching since the dawn of time. A black hole. An unstoppable threat that promises death for all in its wake.
Dave Holmes was a modern-day Einstein. As the original architect of DefenseNet, he’d had visions of this Primordial Threat before he disappeared, yet he’d left behind no details on how the problem might be solved. Can Holmes be found, and if so, will his solution even work?
The world has less than a year to find out.
Thin Air by Lisa Gray
Narrated by Amy Landon
She investigates missing persons – now she is one.
Private investigator Jessica Shaw is used to getting anonymous tips. But after receiving a photo of a three-year-old kidnapped from Los Angeles twenty-five years ago, Jessica is stunned to recognize the little girl as herself.
Eager for answers, Jessica heads to LA’s dark underbelly. When she learns that her biological mother was killed the night she was abducted, Jessica’s determined to solve a case the police have forgotten. Meanwhile, veteran LAPD detective Jason Pryce is in the midst of a gruesome investigation into a murdered college student moonlighting as a prostitute. A chance encounter leads to them crossing paths, but Jessica soon realizes that Pryce is hiding something about her father’s checkered history and her mother’s death.
To solve her mother’s murder and her own disappearance, Jessica must dig into the past and find the secrets buried there. But the air gets thinner as she crawls closer to the truth, and it’s getting harder and harder to breathe.
Into the Jungle by Erica Ferencik
Narrated by Jayme Mattler
In this pulse-pounding thriller from the author of the “haunting, twisting thrill-ride” (Megan Miranda, New York Times best-selling author) The River at Night, a young woman leaves behind everything she knows to take on the jungle of Bolivia, but her excursion abroad quickly turns into a fight for her life.
Nineteen-year-old Lily Bushwold thought she’d found the antidote to endless foster care and group homes: a teaching job in Cochabamba, Bolivia. As soon as she could steal enough cash for the plane, she was on it.
When the gig falls through and Lily stays in Bolivia, she finds bonding with other broke, rudderless girls at the local youth hostel isn’t the life she wants, either. Hustling and world-weary already, crazy love finds her in the form she least expects: Omar, a savvy, handsome local man who’d abandoned his life as a hunter in Ayachero – a remote jungle village – to try his hand at city life.
When Omar learns that a jaguar has killed his four-year-old nephew in Ayachero, he gives Lily a choice: Stay alone in the unforgiving city or travel to the last in a string of ever-more-isolated river towns in the jungles of Bolivia. Thirty-foot anaconda? Puppy-sized spiders? Vengeful shamans with unspeakable powers? Love-struck Lily is oblivious. She follows Omar to this ruthless new world of lawless poachers, bullheaded missionaries, and desperate indigenous tribes driven to the brink of extinction. To survive, Lily must navigate the jungle – its wonders as well as its terrors – using only her wits and resilience.
Primal, gripping, and terrifying, Into the Jungle features Erica Ferencik’s signature “visceral, white-knuckle” (Entertainment Weekly) prose that will sink its fangs into you and not let go.
The Shadow Side by Linda Castillo
Narrated by Ann Marie Lee
There is a dark side to every passion….
Cases of random violence have erupted across the country – murderous acts committed by previously non-violent people. Detective Adam Boedecker, grieving brother to one of the suicide-murderers, has discovered that all the suspects had taken a new breakthrough anti-depressant, Valazine.
Elizabeth Barnes has devoted her heart and soul to pharmaceutical research. She’s at the top of her game and slated to be awarded top honors for her latest breakthrough drug. Until a detective contacts her about a recent wave of homicides.
At first, Eli dismisses it as the wild accusations of a grieving, burnt-out cop. But after another mysterious death, and some investigating of her own, Eli realizes that this intense, driven man may be the only one who can stop the killings…and save her from the dark side of her work.
The Rift by Walter Jon Williams
Narrated by Kevin Kenerly
Fast-paced and terrifyingly real, The Rift is a blockbuster novel of destruction, heroism, and survival that is sure to grab fans of recent disaster movies.
It starts with the dogs. They won’t stop barking. And then the earth shrugs – 8.9 on the Richter scale. It’s the world’s biggest earthquake since Lisbon in 1755, and it doesn’t hit California or Japan or Mexico, but New Madrid, Missouri, a sleepy town on the Mississippi River. Seismologists had predicted the scope of the disaster – but no one listened.
For hundreds of miles around, dams burst, engulfing entire counties in tidal waves of mud and debris. Cities collapse into piles of brick and shards of glass. Hospitals and schools crumble. Bridges twist and snap, spilling rush-hour traffic into rivers already swollen with bodies. Within minutes, there is nothing but chaos and ruin from St. Louis to Vicksburg, from Kansas City to Louisville. Every bridge down, every highway torn, every house gone.
America’s heartland has fallen into the nightmare known as the Rift, a fault line in the earth that wrenchingly exposes the fractures in American society itself. As a strange white mist smelling of sulfur rises from the crevassed ground, the real terror begins for the survivors, who will soon envy the dead, including:
Jason Adams, a teenager separated from his mother;
Nick Ruford, an African-American engineer searching for his estranged daughter;
Noble Frankland, the television preacher whose visions of hell have become all too real;
Larry Hallock, a technician working frantically to prevent a nuclear meltdown at his power station;
And Omar Paxton, a sheriff and Ku Klux Klansman who seeks racial vengeance in the turmoil of disaster.
Walter J. Williams has created a modern American disaster saga, a story based on terrifying fact, filled with non-stop action, peopled with characters who are heartbreakingly real. Witnessing authentic heroes surfacing in the unlikeliest places, you will share their horror, feel their despair, and triumph with them in their struggle to survive. One thing you will know for sure: It can happen here. And sooner or later, it will.
Activate by I.I. Davidson
Narrated by Andrew Eiden
Despite coming from different ends of the world, John, Slack, Akane, and Salome, age 12, have plenty in common. They love computers, coding, hacking, gaming – it literally flows through their veins. One more thing: they are all technically dead. The group comes together at the Wolf’s Den in deepest Alaska, one of several top-secret schools for technological excellence around the globe. The place seems like a coder’s dream come true at first, but things take a dark turn when the group realizes they are not like the other kids there.
They uncover that the center is working on a potentially dangerous, secret project known as Project 31. What’s worse, the guinea pigs are the kids themselves. The gang realizes that John’s father implanted artificial intelligence in their bloodstream, in order to protect them, before going missing under mysterious circumstances. They are not only wanted by those in power, but are now being hunted. There’s only one way out: to escape across the brutal Alaskan tundra where the truth will be revealed.
Trading Reality by Michael Ridpath
Narrated by David Thorpe
Virtual reality is the technology of the future, and Mark Fairfax’s brother Richard runs the leading company in the field worldwide. He has also been murdered. Mark is a City trader: sharp, young, ambitious. He is left to pick up the pieces at his brother’s company in Scotland’s ‘Silicon Glen’. Struggling to keep the business in the black, and with corporate predators closing in, Mark must learn fast and trust no one. With his brother’s killer on the loose, bankruptcy may prove to be the least of his problems.
Blackquest 40 by Jeff Bond
Narrated by Natalie Duke
Deb Bollinger has no time for corporate training.
Her company’s top engineer at just 27, Deb has blocked off her day for the one project she truly cares about: the launch of Carebnb, an app that finds spare beds for the homeless. When she’s told all employees must drop everything for some busywork exercise called Blackquest 40, it’s an easy no.
Trouble is, her bosses aren’t really asking.
Blackquest 40 is the mother of all corporate trainings. A near-impossible project to be completed in 40 straight hours. No phones. No internet. Sleeping on cots. Nobody in, nobody out. Deb finds the whole setup creepy and authoritarian. When a Carebnb issue necessitates her leaving the office, she heads for the door. What’s the worst that could happen?
Armed commandos, HVAC-duct chases, a catastrophic master plan that gets darker by the hour – Blackquest 40 is a fresh take on the Die Hard formula, layering smart drones and a modern heroine onto the classic action tale.
Cyborg by JCH Rigby
Narrated by Thomas Bestwick
A military science fiction thriller portraying a dystopian future of corporation greed, exploitation, and deadly secrets.
It started as just another assignment.
Invited by big-hitting corporation ARTOK, combat journalist David Chambers is visiting the planet Parnassus to report on the “Human Enhancement Program” when he witnesses the unthinkable: the crash site of an alien ship.
The huge structure contains alien bodies and, more importantly, alien technology. But before Chambers can digest the scene, a rival corporation invades, and Chambers barely escapes with his life.
Chambers retreats to the safety of his habitat of Orchard accompanied by Richter and his team, but he’s unaware of the extent of the corporation’s reach. On their arrival, they’re arrested. Mysteriously, only Chambers is released, but not before he’s threatened into silence
Richter, however, needs to be heard. His avatar reaches out to Chambers with harrowing tales of special forces, secret missions, violence, and trickery, resulting in the creation of half-humans, half-machines – cyborgs like himself. Richter recruits Chambers to tell his story and expose the terrifying truth of the corporations’ despicable plans for humanity.
But with billions of dollars at stake, the two corporations can’t let the story break and will do everything in their power to keep their secrets safe.
Alien III by William Gibson
Narrated by Tom Alexander, Barbara Barnes, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, Lorelei King, Laurel Lefkow, Keith Wickham
Audible is bringing William Gibson’s uncovered Alien III script to life in audio for the first time, to mark the 40th Anniversary of the birth of the Alien franchise.
Alongside a full cast, Michael Biehn and Lance Henriksen reprise their iconic roles as Corporal Hicks and Bishop from the 1986 film Aliens.
Father of cyberpunk William Gibson’s original script for Alien III, written in 1987 as a sequel to Aliens, never made it to our screens, although it went on to achieve cult status among fans as the third instalment that might have been after being leaked online.
This terrifying, cinematic multicast dramatisation – directed by the multi-award-winning Dirk Maggs – is the chance to experience William Gibson’s untold story and its terrifying, claustrophobic and dark encounters between humans and aliens, as a completely immersive audio experience.
The story begins with the Sulaco on its return journey from LV-426. On board the military ship are the cryogenically frozen skeleton crew of that film’s survivors: Ripley, Hicks, Newt and Bishop.
We travel aboard and hear an alarm blare. Our heroes are no longer alone….
Starring: Tom Alexander, Barbara Barnes, Michael Biehn, Cliff Chapman, Samantha Coughlan, Ben Cura, Dar Dash, Harry Ditson, Mairead Doherty, Lance Henriksen, Graham Hoadly, Lorelei King, Laurel Lefkow, Martin McDougall, Sarah Pitard, Michael Roberts, David Seddon, Andrew James Spooner, Siri Steinmo, Dai Tabuchi, Keith Wickham, Rebecca Yeo.