Welcome to Brian’s Book Blog’s weekly New and Notable Post for the Week of May 18th.
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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Breach by Eliot Peper
Narrated by Sarah Zimmerman
A hacker is drawn out of hiding and into an epic geopolitical showdown in the frighteningly plausible conclusion to Eliot Peper’s critically acclaimed Analog Series.
When you’ve betrayed your revolutionary cadre, an off-grid fight club on a remote tropical island is a good place to hide – or die.
For notorious ex-hacker Emily Kim, the outcome of each fight makes little difference. Black-market blood sport is the perfect self-imposed penance. But when she stumbles on a plot to overthrow the corporate empire that provides the ubiquitous global feed, Emily discovers her old friends have been targeted. Warning them will force her out into the open, back on-grid, and directly into danger. Emily can’t escape the past. But can she seize the future?
Emily’s quest for redemption spirals into an all-out shadow war. What constitutes justice in a world run by algorithms? The feed – and Emily – must be reinvented. Or destroyed.
Esoterrorism by C. T. Phipps
Narrated by Jeffrey Kafer
There are no good guys in the world of shadows…but maybe some bad men are better than others.
Derek Hawthorne was born to be an agent of the Red Room. Literally. Raised in a conspiracy which has protected the world from the supernatural for centuries, he’s never been anything other than a servant of their agenda. Times are changing, though, and it may not be long before their existence is exposed.
When a routine mission uncovers the latest plan of the magical terrorist, the Wazir, Derek finds himself saddled with a new partner. Who is the mysterious but deadly Shannon O’Reilly? What is her agenda? Couple this with the discovery the Red Room has a mole seeking to frame Derek for treason, and you have a plot which might bring down a millennium-old organization.
Can he stop the Wazir’s mission to expose the supernatural? And should he?
Pine Lakes by Christopher Motz
Narrated by Joe Hempel
Ted and Susan Merchant have been coming to the Pine Lakes resort for nearly 20 years. In that time, their annual getaway has become a tradition, a peaceful week nestled in the picturesque mountains of northern Pennsylvania. For them, it isn’t just a simple vacation spot, but a magical destination where time slows and they become one with nature’s magnificence.
When a freak summer storm forces Ted to lose control of their car and plummet off the road, they’re relieved just to have survived, but relief quickly turns to dread as they find out all too soon they’re not alone.
Strange lights in the forest, whispered warnings, the insurmountable threat of unseen forces lurking in the shadows; nothing could have prepared them for the horrors that lie ahead.
Escaping the wreck is just the beginning.
Is their love enough to save them, or will they become the latest victims on the road to Pine Lakes?
Titan’s Rise by Rhett C. Bruno
Narrated by R.C. Bray
Titan has declared its freedom. Keeping it is another story.
After inciting rebellion against Earth throughout Titan’s off-world colonies, Kale learns that leadership isn’t only about fighting. Keeping control of his people – even his own family – requires a different set of skills. Following a pivotal battle over Saturn, Kale travels deep into enemy territory under the guise of seeking peace, though peace is the last thing on his mind.
Malcolm Graves used to be an infamous Collector for a powerful Earther corporation, until he nearly lost his life on Titan. Now he’s retired. But when Kale’s wake of destruction follows Malcolm to Mars and claims the life of a friend, it’s time for the ex-Collector to dust off his pulse-pistol and leap back into a fight he thought he’d left behind.
With the solar system divided, heroes are few and short-lived…but someone has to put the self-proclaimed King of Titan in his place.
Get Book 3 in the best-selling Children of Titan Series today!
Comedy Sex God by Pete Holmes
Narrated by Pete Holmes
Part autobiography, part philosophical inquiry, part sacred quest – The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck for the spiritual seeker – a hilarious, profound, and enlightening romp around the fertile mind of standout stand-up comedian, host of the hugely successful podcast You Made It Weird, and star of HBO’s Crashing Pete Holmes.
Growing up as evangelical Christian outside Boston, Pete Holmes was taught that drugs, alcohol, and premarital sex were serious transgressions. Faithful to the tenets of his faith, Pete did not swear, did not drink, did not smoke, and did not fornicate. He did devote himself to one woman, married her, and moved to the country to start a simple life and build a family. Then the wife he pledged himself to cheated on him very publicly. Thanks for nothing, God.
When his attempt at a picture-perfect life failed, Pete was forced to reexamine his beliefs. But neither atheism, Christianity, nor copious bottles of Yellow Tail led to enlightenment. Longing for a model of faith that served him and his newfound uncertainties about the universe – you know, the little things – the scorned believer embarked on a soul-seeking journey that has become the foundation of his work today. Comedy Sex God is his funny, thoughtful, straight-from-the-heart mediation on life, creativity, love, God, and the things that matter to him – and to us all.
Pete ponders the most valuable spiritual truths he’s picked up in his post-religion life and shares a few personal stories – of professional success, failure, and the pain in his balls. Comedy Sex God is celebration of losing something to find something else – a void that became a door to spiritual exploration – a glorious journey into the mind-blowing unknown that never would have begun if your wife hadn’t cheated with a guy named Rocco.
Victors of Liberty by T.A. Ward
Narrated by Desmond Manny
In a world blighted by Obcasus gas, no war is fair.
The United States has been plunged into a moral darkness unmatched in its entire history. When totalitarian President Bryan Powell issues a universal death penalty for all living inexorables, war, or surrender become the only choices for the cohort struggling to topple his regime. Even worse, A.K., the symbol of hope for the rebellion and the world’s first cured Inexorable, begins to buckle under the dark and deadly burdens of war when his comrades need him most.
Darkness lurks just as much inside of A.K.’s own mind as it does in the outside world. If the cohort has any hope of survival and A.K. has any chance of winning the war his father began, sacrifices must be made, lies must be told, and betrayals must be confronted head-on. Victors of Liberty is the final book in the Children of Wrath Trilogy.
Worms by James R. Montague
Narrated by Hannibal Hills
The Norfolk coast made for a perfect holiday – as long as the sun still shone. But when the rain came, the creatures left the shadows….
Spectres from the past tortured James Hildebrand’s mind. His blackest nightmares were crowded with malevolent, coiling images of decay. Then, suddenly, he knew the threat was real.
The dead alone could not quench their hunger. And, for the living, the horrors that fed and multiplied in the darkness of the night became more terrible with the dawn….
Written by screenwriter Christopher Wood (The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker) under the pseudonym James R. Montague – an homage to the great ghost story writer M. R. James – Worms (1979) is a rediscovered horror gem that will make your skin crawl.
Domino Island by Desmond Bagley, Michael Davies
Narrated by Paul Tyreman
Discovered after more than 40 years, a vintage action-adventure novel by one of the world’s most successful thriller writers, involving murder, corruption and a daring hijack in the Caribbean.
Bill Kemp, an ex-serviceman working in London as an insurance investigator, is sent to the Caribbean to determine the legitimacy of an expensive life insurance claim following the inexplicable death of businessman David Salton. His rapidly inflated premiums immediately before his death stand to make his young widow a very rich lady!
Once there, Kemp discovers that Salton’s political ambitions had made him a lot of enemies, and local tensions around a forthcoming election are already spilling over into protest and violence on the streets.
Salton also had friends in unexpected places, including the impossibly beautiful Leotta Tomsson, to whom there is much more than meets the eye. Kemp realises that Salton’s death and the local unrest are a deliberate smokescreen for an altogether more ambitious plot by an enemy in their midst, and as the island comes under siege, even Kemp’s army training seems feeble in the face of such a determined foe.
Unseen for more than 40 years and believed lost, Domino Island was accepted for publication in 1972 but then replaced by a different novel to coincide with the release of The Mackintosh Man, the Paul Newman film based on Bagley’s earlier novel The Freedom Trap. It is a classic Bagley tour de force with an all-action finale.
Outland by Dennis E. Taylor
Narrated by Ray Porter
When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, it’s up to six college students and their experimental physics project to prevent the end of civilization.
When an experiment to study quantum uncertainty goes spectacularly wrong, physics student Bill Rustad and his friends find that they have accidentally created an inter-dimensional portal. They connect to Outland – an alternate Earth with identical geology, but where humans never evolved. The group races to establish control of the portal before the government, the military, or evildoers can take it away.
Then everything changes when the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts in an explosion large enough to destroy civilization and kill half the planet. The team has just hours to get as many people as possible across to Outland before a lethal cloud of ash overwhelms them.
Nothing has prepared the refugees for what they find – a world of few resources and unprecedented dangers. Somehow, they must learn to survive, because Outland may not just be a safe haven – it could be their new home.
Enhancer 3 by Wyatt Kane
Narrated by Chris Graves
Ty Wilcox has leveled up. Unfortunately, so have his enemies.
Ty is no longer the loser he had once been. He’s gone from zero to superhero, all thanks to a device on his wrist that brings a hidden power out into the light.
Before Ty came along, only a few of the devices existed. But a secretive villain has learned how to make them, and one of New Lincoln’s most dangerous crime lords has a supply of them as well.
And now, super-powered villains even stronger than Ty are stepping out of the dark.
The balance of power is changing, and not for the better.
Does Ty have the power to stop it, even with his growing team of super heroines at his side?
Deep Past by Eugene Linden
Narrated by Gabra Zackman
If nature could invent intelligence of our scale in a blink of geologic time, who’s to say it hasn’t been done before….
A routine dig in Kazakhstan takes a radical turn for 32-year-old anthropologist Claire Knowland when a stranger turns up at the site with a bizarre find from a remote section of the desolate Kazakh Steppe. Her initial skepticism of this mysterious discovery gives way to a realization that the find will shake the very foundations of our understanding of evolution and intelligence.
Corrupt politics of Kazakhstan force Claire to take reckless chances with the discovery.
Among the allies she gathers in her fight to save herself and bring the discovery to light is Sergei Anachev, a brilliant but enigmatic Russian geologist who becomes her unlikely protector even as he deals with his own unknown crisis.
Ultimately, Claire finds herself fighting not just for the discovery and her academic reputation, but for her very life as great power conflicts engulf the unstable region and an unscrupulous oligarch attempts to take advantage of the chaos.
Drawing on Eugene Linden’s celebrated nonfiction investigations into what makes humans different from other species, this international thriller mixes fact and the fantastical, the realities of academic politics, and high-stakes geopolitics – engaging the listener every step of the way.
House of Skin by Jonathan Janz
Narrated by David Peters
Myles Carver is dead. But his estate, Watermere, lives on, waiting for a new Carver to move in. Myles’s wife, Annabel, is dead too, but she is also waiting, lying in her grave in the woods. For nearly half a century she was responsible for a nightmarish reign of terror, and she’s not prepared to stop now. She is hungry to live again…and her unsuspecting nephew, Paul, will be the key. Julia Merrow has a secret almost as dark as Watermere’s. But when she and Paul fall in love they think their problems might be over. How can they know what Fate – and Annabel – have in store for them? Who could imagine that what was once a moldering corpse in a forest grave is growing stronger every day, eager to take her rightful place amongst the horrors of Watermere?
- House on Fire (Nick Heller #4) by Joseph Finder (Narrated by Holter Graham) - January 22, 2021
- Night Rain, Tokyo by John W. Feist (Narrated by Michael Kramer) - January 20, 2021
- Atonement Camp for Unrepentant Homophobes by Evan J. Corbin (Narrated by Christopher Solon) - January 18, 2021