Week of June 20th 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 June 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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Extinction Darkness by Nicholas Sansbury Smith, Anthony J. Melchiorri

Extinction Darkness by Nicholas Sansbury Smith, Anthony J. Melchiorri
Narrated by R.C. Bray
Blue Heron Audio

Darkness descends over the survivors of the Extinction Cycle….

With nowhere left to run, the Allied States fortifies their few remaining outposts and relocates Central Command to prepare for their final stand. President Jan Ringgold and her generals know beating the enemy on the battlefield is impossible. The only path to victory seems to be taking down the leader of the New Gods, a sinister Chimera known as the Prophet, before he can complete his campaign to enslave humanity.

While Captain Reed Beckham trains new troops, his wife Doctor Kate Lovato returns to the tunnels to infiltrate the bioengineered enemy communication network. Injured and exhausted, Master Sergeant Fitzpatrick and Team Ghost make their way back from Canada with a Chimera prisoner that might be the key to finding the Prophet and raising a new army.

In this thrilling conclusion to the Extinction Cycle series, humanity bands together one last time against the Variants. But time has run out for the heroes of the first war to save what remains of the Allied States and, perhaps, the world.


First Strike by Christopher G. Nuttall

First Strike by Christopher G. Nuttall
Narrated by Jeffrey Kafer
Podium Publishing

The best defense….

Starting a war with an enemy 100 times stronger is insane. It’s desperate. And it’s Earth’s only hope.

A massive alien power looms over humanity, claiming Earth as its territory and humanity as its slaves. The Hegemony has already taken over one colony, yoking hundreds of thousands under their brutal rule. Every tactical exercise, every war game, and every simulation gives humanity zero chance in a defensive campaign.

Earth’s only chance to win the coming war – is by striking first.


Firefly: The Ghost Machine by James Lovegrove
Narrated by James Anderson Foster
Blackstone Publishing

The third original novel from the much-missed space Western Firefly, produced with Joss Whedon as consulting editor, set between the TV series and the movie Serenity.

Some hot property

Mal’s crew desperately need another payday, but not desperately enough to transport a Blue Sun flightcase to Badger, no questions asked, when the area is swarming with Alliance spacecraft equally keen to regain the stolen property. Yet Jayne refuses to miss out and sneaks the case aboard Serenity.

Lucid dreams

Within hours of secreting the case Jayne suddenly finds himself back on the Cobb homestead with his brother, Matty, miraculously cured of the damplung. Wash is at the controls of the highest-spec cruiser money can buy, the billionaire head of a ’verse-spanning business empire. All of the crew but River are soon immersed in vivid hallucinations of their deepest desires, while their bodies lie insensible on the ship.

Fantasies gone sour

Wash’s empire begins to crumble; the Cobb ranch is under attack by merciless bandits. As everyone’s daydreams turn nightmare, Serenity floats on a crash course toward a barren moon, with only River standing between the crew and certain oblivion.


Hella by David Gerrold

Hella by David Gerrold
Narrated by Travis Baldree
Tantor

Hella is a planet where everything is oversized – especially the ambitions of the colonists.

The trees are mile-high, the dinosaur herds are huge, and the weather is extreme – so extreme, the colonists have to migrate twice a year to escape the blistering heat of summer and the atmosphere-freezing cold of winter.

Kyle is a neuro-atypical young man, emotionally challenged, but with an implant that gives him real-time access to the colony’s computer network, making him a very misunderstood savant. When an overburdened starship arrives, he becomes the link between the established colonists and the refugees from a ravaged Earth.

The Hella colony is barely self-sufficient. Can it stand the strain of a thousand new arrivals, bringing with them the same kinds of problems they thought they were fleeing?

Despite the dangers to himself and his family, Kyle is in the middle of everything – in possession of the most dangerous secret of all. Will he be caught in a growing political conspiracy? Will his reawakened emotions overwhelm his rationality? Or will he be able to use his unique ability to prevent disaster?


Something No One Knows by Joshua Gayou

Something No One Knows by Joshua Gayou
Narrated by Kirby Heyborne, Vikas Adam, Khristine Hvam
Audible Originals, LLC

From the award-winning author of the Commune series and All Gifts Bestowed comes this mind-bending new science fiction novel.

As a high school sophomore, Aiden Kelly’s biggest problems should be his failing grades, his abusive father, being a self-proclaimed loner, or getting pummeled by the football team. Instead, Aiden’s number one dilemma is a guy named Tony, a senior who seems to know all sorts of things that should be impossible to know.

Oh, and he may also be a sociopath. So, you know: No. Big. Deal.

When Aiden crosses Tony’s path in the vice-principal’s office, they form a mysterious connection, and only Tony knows the truth about it. But as their friendship grows, the strings of destiny tying their lives together slowly begin to unravel with deadly consequences.

Now, Aiden must decide which is worse: to return to his degenerate, loner existence, or experience the friendship of a lifetime – where one of them might not survive.

With a heavy foot grounded in realism and characters that leap out of the audio, Something No One Knows is perfect for fans of The OA, Sense8, and The Butterfly Effect.


Devolution by Max Brooks

Devolution by Max Brooks
Narrated by Judy Greer, Max Brooks, Jeff Daniels, Nathan Fillion, Mira Furlan, Terry Gross, Kimberly Guerrero, Kate Mulgrew, Kai Ryssdal, Steven Weber
Random House Audio

The number one New York Times best-selling author of World War Z is back with “the Bigfoot thriller you didn’t know you needed in your life, and one of the greatest horror novels I’ve ever read” (Blake Crouch, author of Dark Matter and Recursion).

As the ash and chaos from Mount Rainier’s eruption swirled and finally settled, the story of the Greenloop massacre has passed unnoticed, unexamined…until now. The journals of resident Kate Holland, recovered from the town’s bloody wreckage, capture a tale too harrowing – and too earth-shattering in its implications – to be forgotten. In this audiobook, Max Brooks brings Kate’s extraordinary account to light for the first time, faithfully reproducing her words alongside his own extensive investigations into the massacre and the legendary beasts behind it. Kate’s is a tale of unexpected strength and resilience, of humanity’s defiance in the face of a terrible predator’s gaze, and, inevitably, of savagery and death.

Yet it is also far more than that.

Because if what Kate Holland saw in those days is real, then we must accept the impossible. We must accept that the creature known as Bigfoot walks among us – and that it is a beast of terrible strength and ferocity.

Part survival narrative, part bloody horror tale, part scientific journey into the boundaries between truth and fiction, this is a Bigfoot story as only Max Brooks could chronicle it – and like none you’ve ever heard before.

The Cast:
Judy Greer as Kate Holland
Nathan Fillion as Frank McCray
Kimberly Guerrero as Josephine Schell

With
Jeff Daniels as Steve Morgan
Mira Furlan as Mostar
Kate Mulgrew as Hannah Reinhardt-Roth
Steven Weber as Tony Durant
and
Terry Gross and Kai Ryssdal as themselves
and
Max Brooks as the researcher


Black Sheep by Rachel Aukes

Black Sheep by Rachel Aukes
Narrated by Emily Woo Zeller
Aethon Audio

An alien ship. Stolen colonists. All Throttle wanted was a vacation….

Fifteen years into a 20-year voyage, war veteran Captain Throttle Reyne is looking forward to taking a break from dealing with malfunctions, glitches, and the hassles of monitoring 1,000 colonists in cryo-sleep.

But when her colony ship breaks down in the middle of nowhere, Throttle and her crew must leave the colonists behind to search for help. They find a ship that’s not only missing a crew…it’s clearly not from their star system.

It’s the discovery of a lifetime. All they need to do is tow the mysterious vessel back to their colony ship for further study and Throttle won’t ever have to work again. One problem. While they’re away, the colony ship is stolen – with the colonists still on board.

Throttle gives chase to a lawless star system on the outer rim. To get their colonists back, they must take on the pirates and ganglords who will do anything – and sell anyone – to make a buck.

They play dirty. But Throttle and her crew play dirtier.

Strap on your restraints and experience the start of this new space-opera thrill ride. It’s perfect for fans of Jay Allan, Jennifer Foehner Wells, and Star Wars.


Corporate Gunslinger by Doug Engstrom

Corporate Gunslinger by Doug Engstrom
Narrated by Christina Delaine
HarperCollins Publishers

Doug Engstrom imagines a future all too terrifying – and all too possible – in this eerie, dystopic speculative fiction debut about corporate greed, debt slavery, and gun violence that is as intense and dark as Stephen King’s The Long Walk.

Like many Americans in the middle of the 21st century, aspiring actress Kira Clark is in debt. She financed her drama education with loans secured by a “lifetime services contract”. If she defaults, her creditors will control every aspect of her life. Behind on her payments and facing foreclosure, Kira reluctantly accepts a large signing bonus to become a corporate gunfighter for TKC Insurance. After a year of training, she will take her place on the dueling fields that have become the final, lethal stop in the American legal system.

Putting her MFA in acting to work, Kira takes on the persona of a cold, intimidating gunslinger known as “Death’s Angel”. But just as she becomes the most feared gunfighter in TKC’s stable, she’s severely wounded during a duel on live video, shattering her aura of invincibility. A series of devastating setbacks follow, forcing Kira to face the truth about her life and what she’s become.

When the opportunity to fight another professional for a huge purse arises, Kira sees it as a chance to buy a new life…or die trying. Structured around a chilling duel, Corporate Gunslinger is a modern satire that forces us to confront the growing inequalities in our society and our penchant for guns and bloodshed, as well as offering a visceral look at where we may be heading – far sooner than we know.


You Say It First by Katie Cotugno

You Say It First by Katie Cotugno
Narrated by Jorjeana Marie, Kirby Heyborne
HarperAudio

An addictive, irresistible YA novel about two teens from different worlds who fall for each other after a voter registration call turns into a long-distance romance – from Katie Cotugno, the New York Times best-selling author of 99 Days. Perfect for fans of Mary H.K. Choi, Robin Benway, and Nicola Yoon.

One conversation can change everything. Meg has her entire life set up perfectly: She and her best friend, Emily, plan to head to Cornell together in the fall, and she works at a voter registration call center in her Philadelphia suburb. But everything changes when one of those calls connects her to a stranger from small-town Ohio.

Colby is stuck in a rut, reeling from a family tragedy and working a dead-end job. The last thing he has time for is some privileged rich girl preaching the sanctity of the political process. So he says the worst thing he can think of and hangs up. But things don’t end there….That night on the phone winds up being the first in a series of candid, sometimes heated, always surprising conversations that lead to a long-distance friendship and then – slowly – to something more. Across state lines and phone lines, Meg and Colby form a once-in-a-lifetime connection. But in the end, are they just too different to make it work?

You Say It First is a propulsive, layered novel about how sometimes the person who has the least in common with us can be the one who changes us most.


The Last Monument by Michael C. Grumley

The Last Monument by Michael C. Grumley
Narrated by Scott Brick
Self Published

One small handwritten letter, sent from a dark, remote corner of the planet and lost in the system for 60 years, is about to change the entire human race.

Outside Denver, Colorado, Joe Rickards stands over a small aircraft wreckage, studying burnt remains still smoldering in a field of freshly fallen snow. He’s an investigator for the NTSB, working to carefully roll back the last several hours and identify the cause of the accident.

But this time, he can’t.

The details behind this tragedy don’t add up. Unlike every other investigation of Joe’s career, the facts make no sense. Each new piece of information only makes the accident more mysterious, and more baffling.

Why would a person receive an age-old letter and suddenly disappear into the thick of night…paying to be flown out of a closed airport in the worst possible weather conditions by a pilot who hadn’t had his hand on the stick in years? With the only surviving relative insisting her grandfather would never have climbed into a small airplane in the first place, even in perfect weather.

A bizarre string of events culminating in a horrible accident unlike anything Rickards has experienced. Leaving his only hope at understanding it in the hands of the victim’s sole remaining relative. Beginning with how a mysterious letter could turn up after being lost in the system for 60 years. Sent by someone who should have already been long-dead.

A single letter Joe Rickards is about to discover, with a secret that will change the entire world.


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