Welcome to Brian’s Book Blog’s weekly New and Notable Post for the Week of June 22nd.
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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The Bug Hunter by Ken Davenport
Narrated by Perry Daniels
Terrorists have turned nature itself into a devastating weapon. And only one man can stop it.
The year is 2026 and up and down the Eastern seaboard of the United States a virulent toxin is killing people. What was initially believed to be food poisoning turns out to be a terrorist attack using genetically modified insects to poison the American food supply.
For Gabriel Marx, news of the poisoning is eerily familiar. A Marine Corps veteran and trained viticulturist, Gabriel is now working as a vintner at Landmark Estates Winery in California, but was once part of a secret CIA effort to use insect vectors to destroy the Afghan Taliban’s poppy industry. He’s long feared that genetically synthesized toxins delivered by insects could be used as a terror weapon.
One day a stream of black SUVs carrying the Secretary of Homeland Security shows up at the vineyard, and Gabriel is recruited to help the government respond to the attack. He is drawn into a complex web of rogue scientists with links to ISIS and Chechen terrorists, and discovers that an even more devastating attack is imminent.
Merging cutting-edge synthetic biology with global politics and international terrorism, The Bug Hunter is both thriller and cautionary tale of how advances in technology can be used to turn nature itself into a devastating weapon.
Permafrost by Alastair Reynolds
Narrated by Natasha Soudek
Fix the past. Save the present. Stop the future. Master of science fiction Alastair Reynolds unfolds a time-traveling climate fiction adventure in Permafrost.
2080: at a remote site on the edge of the Arctic Circle, a group of scientists, engineers, and physicians gather to gamble humanity’s future on one last-ditch experiment. Their goal: to make a tiny alteration to the past, averting a global catastrophe while at the same time leaving recorded history intact. To make the experiment work, they just need one last recruit: an ageing schoolteacher whose late mother was the foremost expert on the mathematics of paradox.
2028: a young woman goes into surgery for routine brain surgery. In the days following her operation, she begins to hear another voice in her head…an unwanted presence which seems to have a will, and a purpose, all of its own – one that will disrupt her life entirely. The only choice left to her is a simple one.
Does she resist…or become a collaborator?
The Brink by James S. Murray, Darren Wearmouth
Narrated by James S. Murray
“Murray and Wearmouth’s latest THE BRINK is a white-knuckled rollercoaster. This novel is chocked full of everything I love: strange creatures, a world teetering on the edge, and heroes who I’d want at my side during any firefight. This isn’t just a story hopped on steroids – but one injected with nitrous and blazing on all cylinders. Give me more!” (James Rollins, number one New York Times best seller of Crucible)
The sequel to the international best seller (including number one Sunday Times best seller)
Awakened, by one of the stars of TruTV’s Impractical Jokers and a best-selling science fiction author.
Former NYC Mayor Tom Cafferty has been haunted by the horror of a single day. The opening of the brand new Z-train subway line beneath the Hudson River – the supposed shining moment of his tenure. But the ribbon-cutting ceremony turned deadly when the train carrying Cafferty’s wife and other citizens was attacked by a horde of hyper intelligent, bloodthirsty creatures previously unknown to humanity.
Everything changed for Cafferty, ex-NYPD officer Sarah Bowcut, and tech-expert Diego Munoz that day. They had uncovered the deadly truth: The attack was no accident. And now the creatures that wreaked havoc underneath New York have spread worldwide, and with a massive cover-up – and a secret organization holding nations hostage with the knowledge of how to kill them – Cafferty’s team must fight against impossible odds to save the entire planet from an apocalyptic scale disaster.
An explosive and thrilling international adventure, the stakes are even higher in the latest book from best-selling duo James S. Murray and Darren Wearmouth!
Missions from the Extinction Cycle, Vol. 2 by Amanda J. Spedding, Geoff Brown, Michael Patrick Hicks, G. Michael Hopf, Rachel Aukes, Eloise J. Knapp, various authors, Nicholas Sansbury Smith
Narrated by Bronson Pinchot
The best-selling Extinction Cycle series by Nicholas Sansbury Smith first introduced listeners to a world ravaged by an engineered virus that turned men into monsters. Billions died, civilization collapsed, and the human race teetered on the brink of extinction. Humanity’s only hope was not a cure, but another bioweapon. When deployed it killed 90 percent of the infected, but the remaining 10 percent transformed into even more terrifying creatures called Variants.
Heroes have risen up to meet these abominations. Men like Master Sergeant Reed Beckham of Delta Force Team Ghost and Marine Corporal Joe Fitzpatrick. Women like Dr. Kate Lovato and firefighter Meg Pratt. Throughout the world, survivors band together to fight the evolving monsters in an effort to save humanity.
Here’s a collection of Extinction Cycle short stories that explore the human spirit and the fight for survival in the face of overwhelming odds from some of the leading voices in the post-apocalyptic genre.
This collection includes:
“Outpost 46: Deadwood” by Rachel Aukes
“Extinction Bridge” by Amanda J. Spedding and Geoff Brown
“The White King” by Eloise J. Knapp
“Mother” by G. Michael Hopf
“From the Ashes” by Michael Patrick Hicks
Throwback by Edward J. McFadden III
Narrated by Jack de Golia
A space cloud of unknown composition is on a collision course with Earth as the world holds its breath.
The anomaly sails through the solar system, and the International Space Station, along with three astronauts and one cosmonaut, are thrown back to the Cretaceous period, where dinosaurs roam Earth hunting prey and great pterosaurs patrol the skies.
Supplies on the station run low and desperation takes hold, but morale grows when the crew sees a bright multi-colored light blinking on the surface below. The astronauts decide to evacuate the station in the Soyuz escape capsule and investigate. As the adventurers struggle to survive in the primordial jungle, the party discovers artifacts of an ancient civilization that could help them find the light beacon. If they can stay alive long enough.
Shark Wave by David F. Berens
Narrated by Theo Holland
A dead maid found in a closet full of drugs and money, a multi-million dollar mansion with a shady group of owners trying to elect the next Governor of Massachusetts and a couple of has-been strippers looking to make a quick buck.
What do they all have in common? Who knows, but you can be sure Troy Bodean will wind up in the middle of it all.
He’s back and livin’ large on Martha’s Vineyard when all the dirty dealings begin. He’s lost one girlfriend but maybe found another. And the multi-million dollar house he’s shacking up in just so happens to have a dead body stuck in a closet. Who committed the dastardly deed? The powerful political players, of course…but why?
He’s going to need some help to get through this one. Whom can he turn to? Could it be Daisy Mae and Ellie Mae Gallup, the twin sister strippers with the alleged love child of Troy? Yup. Hold onto your hats, this is going to be one wild ride.
You don’t want to miss this! Shark Wave revisits the zany suspenseful mastery of Troy’s first Tropical Thriller and blows the roof off.
Grab Shark Wave today, but watch out that you don’t become the chum. Fans of Hiaasen and Dorsey will love this book.
More in the Troy Bodean Tropical Thriller series:
Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked by Christa Carmen
Narrated by Rebekah Tyler
A young woman’s fears regarding the gruesome photos appearing on her cell phone prove justified in a ghastly and unexpected way. A chainsaw-wielding Evil Dead fan defends herself against a trio of undead intruders. A bride-to-be comes to wish that the door between the physical and spiritual worlds had stayed shut on All Hallows’ Eve. A lone passenger on a midnight train finds that the engineer has rerouted them toward a past she’d prefer to forget. A mother abandons a life she no longer recognizes as her own to walk up a mysterious staircase in the woods.
In her debut collection, Christa Carmen combines horror, charm, humor, and social critique to shape 13 haunting, harrowing narratives of women struggling with both otherworldly and real-world problems. From grief, substance abuse, and mental health disorders, to a post-apocalyptic exodus, a seemingly sinister babysitter with unusual motivations, and a group of pesky ex-boyfriends who won’t stay dead, Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked is a compelling exploration of horrors both supernatural and psychological, and an undeniable affirmation of Carmen’s flair for short fiction.
Ferocious by Jeff Strand
Narrated by Scott Thomas
From the Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of The Haunted Forest Tour and Wolf Hunt comes another action-packed over-the-top creature feature!
Rusty Moss has raised his niece Mia since she was a baby. Now that she’s almost 18, he’s worried that the life he’s given her – living off the grid in a cabin deep in the woods – is holding her back from her full potential. But that angst gets pushed aside when the undead forest animals arrive.
At first it’s just a squirrel – shockingly violent and almost impossible to kill. Followed by a grizzly bear, also aggressive and resilient, even when point-blank shotgun blasts to the face are involved.
Now the cabin is surrounded by all manner of zombie creatures. Rusty and Mia have no way to call for help. The truck that could take them to safety is three miles away, stuck in the mud.
But Rusty and Mia have their courage. They have their wits. And, most importantly, they have an ax and a fully fueled chainsaw…
Darwin’s Cipher by M.A. Rothman
Narrated by Tim Campbell
Juan Gutierrez, a cancer researcher, has spent years studying the genome of animals that exhibit immunity to some types of cancer. Over the course of his study, Juan discovers a pattern that allows him to predict the course of a species’ evolution across thousands of generations. Using the algorithm he’s developed from the pattern, Juan uncovers what he believes to be the key to conquering humanity’s susceptibility to cancer. Others are interested in using what Juan has dubbed “Darwin’s Cipher”; however, instead of cancer research, they see very different applications for the new genetic algorithm.
Nate Carrington, an FBI forensic analyst, has been struggling with several cold cases when he’s alerted to an incident at a nearby ranch. It’s a case of a newborn calf who is found in the middle of a herd of dead cattle. It provides a single link to Nate’s other cold cases: the DNA analysis of the calf doesn’t match anything in the FBI’s database.
Somewhere in a rural hospital in West Virginia, four hospital workers are dead and a newborn child has been transported to the NIH’s level-four bio-containment unit. It’s only when the NIH sends out an alert to all hospitals and law enforcement agencies that the world realizes the danger that faces them.
Primacy of Darkness by Brock Deskins
Narrated by Brock E. Deskins
Jack the Ripper, sadistic madman of old London, once thought long dead, has returned to New York in an effort to quench his thirst for blood and mayhem. When the city’s vampire enclave finds itself insufficient to deal with a madman of Jack’s caliber, Vincent, the enclave head, enlists Leo Malone to put the maniac down before he reveals the existence of vampires as Jack throws the city into the throes of chaos and terror. Leo soon finds that Jack is not the only monster with which he must contend. A ghost from his past has also seemingly crawled from its grave and seeks to put an end to him and the rest of his kind.
The Lesson by Cadwell Turnbull
Narrated by Janina Edwards, Ron Butler
An alien ship rests over Water Island. For five years, the people of the US Virgin Islands have lived with the Ynaa, a race of super-advanced aliens on a research mission they will not fully disclose. They are benevolent in many ways but meet any act of aggression with disproportional wrath. This has led to a strained relationship between the Ynaa and the local Virgin Islanders, and a peace that cannot last.
A year after the death of a young boy at the hands of an Ynaa, three families find themselves at the center of the inevitable conflict, witness and victim to events that will touch everyone and teach a terrible lesson.
Extinction Series: The Complete Collection by James D. Prescott
Narrated by Gary Tiedemann
For eons, the truth about human evolution has remained hidden.
Geophysicist Jack Greer believes he may finally have found the resting place of the meteorite that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. A few miles off the Yucatán coast, Jack and a team of scientists tow an aging drilling platform over the impact crater with the aim of securing a sample. But buried deep beneath the earth lies a shocking discovery that threatens to shatter everything we think we know about our species.
A world away, geneticist Dr. Mia Ward receives a mysterious delivery from her former boss and mentor, Alan Salzburg. In it are clues of a dire warning hidden inside the human genome, one which foretells man’s very extinction.
His instructions to Mia are simple: Keep the information safe and, above all, trust no one – words all the more chilling after Alan turns up dead. But who wrote the message and what does it mean? Only Jack Greer holds the answers, but can she reach him in time to save the human race?
Dr. Jack Greer’s startling discovery beneath the Gulf of Mexico proved to the world we were not alone in the universe. But when images from the Voyager One space probe reveal an alien doomsday ship hurtling toward the earth, the human race seems marked for extinction.
As news of the approaching ship spreads panic around the globe, signs of a sinister plot begin to emerge – one that threatens to unravel the already fragile fabric of society and everything Jack and Dr. Mia Ward have fought for.
But could a mysterious signal emanating from inside Greenland’s ice sheet unlock the secrets hidden within our genome and prevent humanity’s destruction?
From the frozen fields of Greenland to the bustling Indian subcontinent and the cobbled streets of Rome, the race is on to stop the deadliest countdown to extinction the human race has ever known.
With the doomsday ship only days away from impacting the Earth, humanity’s demise seems all but assured. In every corner of the world, news of the impending destruction has led to chaos, looting, and the collapse of the rule of law.
As the foundations of civilization crumble around them, Jack and Mia must race to find answers to perhaps the most important questions of all time. Why have the Ateans repeatedly eradicated life on our planet? And could the key to ending the cycle of extinctions be locked somewhere within the Salzburg Chromosome?
Unraveling the mystery will mean journeying deep into the heart of a perilous alien world and facing off against the very beings who created us.
The Gun by Daniel Greene
Narrated by Keith Szarabajka
A new gritty origin short story in the End Time Saga universe
A dismembered body in the park….
Grand Rapids Detective Bill DeYoung is an old-timer riding it out until retirement. A ravaged body in the park and a drunken witness are about to change his plans; so is the end of the world.
The events happen concurrently with the first novel, End Time, but it can be heard at any point in the series to get exciting additional content on the origin of a main character.
Start the award-winning series filled with duty, treachery, honor, betrayal, and grim hope today!
Dust Devils by Jonathan Janz
Narrated by Paul Birchard
When traveling actors recruited his wife for a plum role, Cody Wilson had no idea they would murder her. Twelve-year-old Willet Black was just as devastated the night the fiends slaughtered everyone he loved. Now Cody and Willet are bent on revenge, but neither of them suspects what they’re really up against.
For the actors are vampires. Their thirst for human blood is insatiable. Even if word of their atrocities were to spread, it would take an army to oppose them. But it is 1885 in the wilds of New Mexico, and there is no help for Cody and Willet. The two must battle the vampires – alone – or die trying.
Flame Tree Press is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.
The Outside by Ada Hoffmann
Narrated by Nancy Wu
Humanity’s super-intelligent AI gods brutally punish breaches in reality, as one young scientist discovers, in this intense and brilliant space opera.
Autistic scientist Yasira Shien has developed a radical new energy drive that could change the future of humanity. But when she activates it, reality warps, destroying the space station and everyone aboard. The AI gods who rule the galaxy declare her work heretical, and Yasira is abducted by their agents. Instead of simply executing her, they offer mercy – if she’ll help them hunt down a bigger target: her own mysterious, vanished mentor.
With her homeworld’s fate in the balance, Yasira must choose who to trust: the gods and their ruthless post-human angels, or the rebel scientist whose unorthodox mathematics could turn her world inside out.
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