Here are this week’s (Week of May 12th) new and notable audiobooks featuring Post-Apocalyptic, Sci-Fi, Thrillers, and more from Brian’s Book Blog.
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Obscura by Joe Hart
Narrated by Christina Traister
She’s felt it before…the fear of losing control. And it’s happening again.
In the near future, an aggressive and terrifying new form of dementia is affecting victims of all ages. The cause is unknown, and the symptoms are disturbing. Dr. Gillian Ryan is on the cutting edge of research and desperately determined to find a cure. She’s already lost her husband to the disease, and now her young daughter is slowly succumbing as well. After losing her funding, she is given the unique opportunity to expand her research. She will travel with a NASA team to a space station where the crew has been stricken with symptoms of a similar inexplicable psychosis—memory loss, trances, and violent, uncontrollable impulses.
Crippled by a secret addiction and suffering from creeping paranoia, Gillian finds her journey becoming a nightmare as unexplainable and violent events plague the mission. With her grip weakening on reality, she starts to doubt her own innocence. And she’s beginning to question so much more—like the true nature of the mission, the motivations of the crew, and every deadly new secret space has to offer.
Merging thrilling science-fiction adventure with mind-bending psychological suspense, Wall Street Journal bestselling author Joe Hart explores both the vast mysteries of outer space and the even darker unknown that lies within ourselves.
Afterwar by Lilith Saintcrow
Narrated by Jeremy Arthur
History is written by the victors; but when you’ve been fighting your fellow patriots, your own brothers and sisters, does anyone really win?
A harrowing gut-punch of a novel, Afterwar tells the story of a dark future where America has been devastated by a second civil war. As the fighting draws to a close, the camps are liberated, the fascist regime crumbles and the work of rebuilding begins. But can a population that’s spent years divided and hell-bent on victory at any cost ever be truly reunited?
Afterwar is best-selling author Lilith Saintcrow’s answer to the dystopian genre: a timely and all-too-realistic glimpse of a future that we hope never comes to pass.
Side Life by Steve Toutonghi
Narrated by T. Ryder Smith
Dazzling, paranoid literary sci-fi for fans of Blake Crouch and Philip K. Dick
Vin, a down-on-his-luck young tech entrepreneur forced out of the software company he started, takes a job house-sitting an ultra-modern Seattle mansion whose owner has gone missing. There he discovers a secret basement lab with an array of computers and three large, smooth caskets. Inside one he finds a woman in a state of suspended animation. There is also a dog-eared notebook filled with circuit diagrams, beautiful and intricate drawings of body parts, and pages of code.
When Vin decides to climb into one of the caskets to see what happens, his reality begins to unravel, and he finds himself on a terrifying journey that asks fundamental questions about reality, free will, and the meaning of a human life.
Aftermath of Disaster: It Has Begun by Kevin Barry Maguire
Narrated by Kevin L. Knights
Could you survive a postapocalyptic world?
Jack and Diane were two average Americans living in small towns, or so it seems. Jack is a prepper and has been most of his life. The day started out like any other; Diane and Jack started their morning routines and equipped their everyday carry items. Survival is for the prepared.
But when disaster strikes the US, Jack’s lifetime of preparing will be put to the test. Grabbing their two dogs and their bug-out bags, the duo must escape their hometowns and find a safe place to seek shelter. What really happened, and will Jack’s years of prepping be enough to keep them all safe?
Maze by Tony Bertauski
Narrated by A.J. Carter
Grey isn’t sleeping.
Sunny Grimm finds a strap around her son’s head with an embossed symbol between his eyes. This is the mark of awareness leaping, where players launch into alternate realities and anything goes. Investors make millions. Critics, however, refuse to call it a game. They argue that reality confusion will end humanity. Labels aside, there are many who play. And many who lose.
Sunny Grimm goes on a mad search for her son and the people responsible for allowing him to play. The only way she will find him is to not lose herself in the search. The Maze is more than a game.
The Evil That Men Do by Robert Gleason
Narrated by Stephen Graybill
Robert Gleason brings his A-game to The Evil That Men Do, a terrorism thriller audiobook steeped with equal parts terror and wit.
Income inequality and the offshore hoarding of illicit black funds have reached such extremes that the earth’s democracies are in peril. The oligarchs are taking over. The people worldwide, however, are rising up, and they demand that the UN seize and redistribute all that illegal filthy lucre. But it will not be easy. The world’s oligarchs will not go gentle. Mikhail Putilov, Russia’s strongman; J. T. Tower, the American president; and Wahid al-Waheed, the Saudi ambassador to the United States will do anything to stop and destroy this global expropriation moment – even if it means nuking the UN.
Only three people can stop them: the crusading, muckraking, investigative journalist Jules Meredith; ex-CIA agent Elena Moreno; and her boyfriend, the ex-Special Forces operative turned cybersecurity billionaire John C. Jameson. If these three fail, democracies around the world will die, and the age of the great global oligarchs will begin. If these the three friends fail, the nuclear fireballs will blaze, the UN will burn, and a new dark ages will ensue. People everywhere must hold their breath and wait.
On Hurricane Island by Ellen Meeropol
Narrated by Mary Beth Garber
Red Hen Press
As a major hurricane threatens the northeast, math professor Gandalf Cohen is abducted by federal agents and flown to a secret interrogation center off the coast of Maine. Austin Coombs, a young local resident, is a newly hired civilian guard assigned to the detention center. Henry Ames, a man of personal secrets, is the FBI special agent in charge of Gandalf’s case and doubts the professor’s terrorist involvement; Tobias, his second-in-command, disagrees, preferring violent interrogation. As the hurricane slams the shore, conflict detonates and each character must choose a side if they’re to survive the storm.
Told over the five days approaching the anniversary of 9/11, by varying voices on both extremes of the political divide, On Hurricane Island is both a fast-paced political thriller and a literary examination of the sociopolitical storm facing our society. How far should government go in the name of protecting our national security? What happens when governmental powers of surveillance and extra-legal interrogation are expanded? How free are we?
Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
Narrated by Kevin R. Free
The follow-up to the hugely popular science fiction action-adventure All Systems Red
Artificial Condition continues The Murderbot Diaries, a science fiction series that tackles questions of the ethics of sentient robotics. It appeals to fans of Westworld, Ex Machina, Ann Leckie’s Imperial Raadch series, or Iain M. Banks’ Culture novels. The main character is a deadly security droid that has bucked its restrictive programming and is balanced between contemplative self-discovery and an idle instinct to kill all humans. “As a heartless killing machine, I was a complete failure.”
It has a dark past – one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself “Murderbot.” But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more.
Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don’t want to know what the “A” stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue.
What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks.
The Crooked Staircase by Dean Koontz
Narrated by Elisabeth Rodgers
Jane Hawk – who dazzled listeners in The Silent Corner and The Whispering Room – faces the fight of her life, against the threat of a lifetime in this electrifying new thriller by number-one New York Times best-selling suspense master Dean Koontz.
“I could be dead tomorrow. Or something worse than dead.”
Jane Hawk knows she may be living on borrowed time. But as long as she’s breathing, she’ll never cease her one-woman war against the terrifying conspiracy that threatens the freedom – and free will – of millions. Battling the strange epidemic of murder-suicides that claimed Jane’s husband, and is escalating across the country, has made the rogue FBI agent a wanted fugitive, relentlessly hunted not only by the government but by the secret cabal behind the plot. Deploying every resource their malign nexus of power and technology commands, Jane’s enemies are determined to see her dead… or make her wish she was.
Jane’s ruthless pursuers can’t stop her from drawing a bead on her prey: a cunning man with connections in high places, a twisted soul of unspeakable depths with an army of professional killers on call. Propelled by her righteous fury and implacable insistence on justice, Jane will make her way from southern California to the snow-swept slopes of Lake Tahoe to confront head-on the lethal forces arrayed against her. But nothing can prepare her for the chilling truth that awaits when she descends the crooked staircase to the dark and dreadful place where her long nightmare was born.
Crash Test Girl by Kari Byron
Narrated by the author
Kari Byron – former host of the wildly popular, iconic cult classic MythBusters – shows how to crash test your way through life, no lab coat required.
Kari Byron’s story hasn’t been a straight line. She started out as a broke artist living in San Francisco, writing poems on a crowded bus on the way to one of her three jobs. Many curveballs, unexpected twists, and yes, literal and figurative explosions later, and she’s one of the world’s most respected women in science entertainment, blowing stuff up on national television and getting paid for it!
In Crash Test Girl, Kari reveals her fascinating life story on the set of MythBusters and beyond. With her signature gusto and roll-up-your-sleeves enthusiasm, she invites listeners behind the duct tape and the dynamite, to the unlikely friendships and low-budget sets that turned a crazy idea into a famously inventive show with a rabid fanbase.
The truth is, Mythbusters was never meant to be a science show. But attaching a rocket to a car, riding a motorcycle on water, or lighting 500 pounds of coffee creamer on fire requires a decent understanding of chemistry, physics, and engineering.
Thus, the cast and crew brought in the scientific method to work through each problem: Question. Hypothesize. Analyze. Experiment. Conclude.
And as Kari came to learn in her own life, not only is the scientific method the best approach for busting myths, it’s also the perfect tool for solving everyday issues, including:
Crash Test Girl reminds us that science is for everyone, as long as you’re willing to strap in, put on your safety goggles, hit a few walls, and learn from the results. Using a combination of methodical experimentation and unconventional creativity, you’ll come to the most important conclusion of all: In life, sometimes you crash and burn, but you can always crash and learn.