Welcome to Brian’s Book Blog’s weekly New and Notable Post for the Week of July 6th.
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 Solar War by A. G. Riddle
Narrated by Edoardo Ballerini, Amanda Leigh Cobb
Hear the second book in The Long Winter trilogy!
They decimated Earth during the Long Winter. Now the Grid has returned, and they won’t stop until the human race is extinct. On a ruined world, humanity’s last survivors fight against impossible odds. In their darkest hour, they discover a new hope for survival. But it comes at an unthinkable price, with consequences that will change everything.
We thought the war was over. We were wrong. After the Long Winter, Emma Matthews and James Sinclair hoped life would get back to normal. They’ve settled down in Camp Seven and welcomed their first child, a daughter. And they have waited and watched the sky for any signs of the Grid’s return. When NASA discovers that several asteroids have broken from the Kuiper Belt and are headed for Earth, James instantly realizes the truth: the Grid is back.
And this battle will be one to the very end. As he and his team prepare for humanity’s last stand in space and on the ground, Emma makes a discovery closer to home, one that will change life for her and James once again. With war raging around them, Emma and James fight to keep their family alive.
In the cold darkness, humanity splinters. New alliances emerge. At every turn, Emma and James face new dangers and question whom to trust. Just when it seems that all hope is lost, James uncovers what may be the key to humanity’s survival. But it comes with enormous risks. To implement his plan, he and Emma will have to survive the Grid and another, even more deadly enemy. One thing is certain: their gambit will change the future of the human race forever.
Predators by Michaelbrent Collings
Narrated by Justine Eyre
Evie Childs hoped the all-expense-paid trip to Africa would give her a chance at adventure. Maybe it would even let her forget a past that haunts her and find safety from a husband who abuses her.
But when a group of “freedom fighters” kidnaps her safari tour group, intent on holding them for ransom, the adventure turns to nightmare.
Now, Evie and the rest of the survivors must travel across miles of the harshest, most dangerous environment on Earth. No food. No water. No communications. And they’re being hunted.
A pack of Africa’s top predators have smelled the blood of the survivors, and will not stop until they have fed. Because in this place, you can be either one of the prey, or one of the predators.
Fat Vampire by Johnny B. Truant
Narrated by Joe Hempel
Be sure to check out the entire series in the strip below!
Death Has a Whole New Appetite.
When overweight treadmill salesman Reginald Baskin finally meets a co-worker who doesn’t make fun of him, it’s just his own bad luck that tech guy Maurice turns out to be a 2,000-year-old vampire.
And when Maurice turns Reginald to save his life, it’s just Reginald’s further bad luck that he wakes to discover he’s become the slowest, weakest, most out-of-shape vampire ever created…doomed to “heal” to his corpulent self for all of eternity.
But as Reginald struggles with the downsides of being a fat vampire (too slow to catch people to feed on, mocked by those he tries to glamour, assaulted by his intended prey and left for undead), he discovers rare powers in himself that few vampires have…and just in time, because the Vampire Council wants him destroyed as an inferior representative of their race.
Perfect for fans of Rick Gualtieri’s Tome of Bill series or Drew Hayes’ Fred the Vampire Accountant series, Fat Vampire is the story of an unlikely hero who, after having an imperfect eternity shoved into his grease-stained hands, must learn to turn the afterlife’s lemons into tasty lemon danishes.
Rising Water: A Jesse McDermitt Novel by Wayne Stinnett
Narrated by Nick Sullivan
When a group of strangers purchase land on Tortola and Norman Island to set up a commune, the locals simply write them off as an odd sort – until one of their bloated bodies washes up on the shore of a nearby resort island.
As luck would have it, Jesse McDermitt is visiting a friend on Norman Island after tracking a terrorist submarine from the Windward Islands. The sub was destroyed by locals on the Dutch island of Saba, so Jesse had nothing much else to do. What he wasn’t looking for was a murderous cult at the center of a drug manufacturing and distribution ring.
If a person didn’t succumb to the rules of this cult, they might end up riding the chum sluice. If they did, they might meet Jesse.
Growing Things and Other Stories by Paul Tremblay
Narrated by Sean Crisden, Graham Halstead, Cassandra Campbell, Sarah Naughton, Michael Crouch, Caitlin Kelly
A chilling collection of psychological suspense and literary horror from the multiple award-winning author of the national best seller The Cabin at the End of the World and A Head Full of Ghosts.
A masterful anthology featuring 19 pieces of short fiction, Growing Things and Other Stories is an exciting glimpse into Paul Tremblay’s fantastically fertile imagination.
In “The Teacher”, a Bram Stoker Award nominee for best short story, a student is forced to watch a disturbing video that will haunt and torment her and her classmates’ lives.
Four men rob a pawn shop at gunpoint only to vanish, one by one, as they speed away from the crime scene in “The Getaway”.
In “Swim Wants to Know If It’s as Bad as Swim Thinks”, a meth addict kidnaps her daughter from her estranged mother as their town is terrorized by a giant monster…or not.
Joining these haunting works are stories linked to Tremblay’s previous novels. The tour de force metafictional novella Notes from the Dog Walkers deconstructs horror and publishing, possibly bringing in a character from A Head Full of Ghosts, all while serving as a prequel to Disappearance at Devil’s Rock. “The Thirteenth Temple” follows another character from A Head Full of Ghosts – Merry, who has published a tell-all memoir written years after the events of the novel. And the title story, “Growing Things”, a shivery tale loosely shared between the sisters in A Head Full of Ghosts, is told here in full.
From global catastrophe to the demons inside our heads, Tremblay illuminates our primal fears and darkest dreams in startlingly original fiction that leaves us unmoored. As he lowers the sky and yanks the ground from beneath our feet, we are compelled to contemplate the darkness inside our own hearts and minds.
Catch and Kill by J.D. Lasica
Narrated by Tom Taverna.
What happened to the girls?
Overnight, hundreds of teenage girls disappear from the streets of America.
Off the coast of Florida, a virtual reality theme park opens for the super-rich.
Are the two connected?
When two assailants accost 23-year-old Kaden Baker at an awards gala, she enters a maelstrom of high-tech international intrigue that pits her against a mysterious foe.
It will take all her covert ops and hacking skills as she allies with a group of family members to battle an enemy out to unleash a mass attack on the US and the West by stealth.
Can they bring the girls home and thwart the unthinkable?
Get it now! Catch and Kill is a roller-coaster thrill ride that appeals to both the head and the heart.
Perfect for fans of Michael Crichton, James Rollins, Matthew Mather, A.G. Riddle, and Tim Tigner.
“Heart-thumping.” (Thriller author Dan Petrosini)
The Rationing by Charles Wheelan
Narrated by Josh Hurley
Political backstabbing, rank hypocrisy, and dastardly deception reign in this delightfully entertaining political satire, sure to lift one’s spirits far above the national stage.
America is in trouble – at the mercy of a puzzling pathogen. That ordinarily wouldn’t lead to catastrophe, thanks to modern medicine, but there’s just one problem: the government supply of Dormigen, the silver bullet of pharmaceuticals, has been depleted just as demand begins to spike.
Set in the near future, The Rationing centers around a White House struggling to quell the crisis – and control the narrative. Working together, just barely, are a savvy but preoccupied president; a Speaker more interested in jockeying for position – and a potential presidential bid – than attending to the minutiae of disease control; a patriotic majority leader unable to differentiate a virus from a bacterium; a strategist with brilliant analytical abilities but abominable people skills; and, improbably, our narrator, a low-level scientist with the National Institutes of Health who happens to be the world’s leading expert in lurking viruses.
Little goes according to plan during the three weeks necessary to replenish the stocks of Dormigen. Some Americans will get the life-saving drug and others will not, and nations with their own supply soon offer aid – but for a price. China senses blood and a geopolitical victory, presenting a laundry list of demands that ranges from complete domination of the South China Sea to additional parking spaces at the UN, while India claims it can save the day for the US.
In the Shadow of Spindrift House by Mira Grant
Narrated by Jesse Vilinsky
For Harlowe Upton-Jones, life has never been a straight line. Shipped off to live with her paternal grandparents after a mysterious cult killed her mother and father, she has grown up chasing the question behind the curve, becoming part of a tight-knit teen detective agency. But “teen” is a limited time offer, and when her friends start looking for adult professions, it’s up to Harlowe to find them one last case so that they can go out in a blaze of glory.
Welcome to Spindrift House. The stories and legends surrounding the decrepit property are countless and contradictory, but one thing is clear: there are people willing to pay a great deal to determine the legal ownership of the house. When Harlowe and her friends agree to investigate the mystery behind the manor, they do so on the assumption that they’ll be going down in history as the ones who determined who built Spindrift House – and why.
The house has secrets. They have the skills. They have a plan. They have everything they need to solve the mystery. Everything they need except for time. Because Spindrift House keeps its secrets for a reason, and it has no intention of letting them go. Nature abhors a straight line. Here’s where the story bends.
Wanderers by Chuck Wendig
Narrated by Dominic Hoffman, Xe Sands
A decadent rock star. A deeply religious radio host. A disgraced scientist. And a teenage girl who may be the world’s last hope. From the mind of Chuck Wendig comes “a magnum opus…a story about survival that’s not just about you and me, but all of us, together” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).
Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and her sister are not alone. Soon they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And like Shana, there are other “shepherds” who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead.
For as the sleepwalking phenomenon awakens terror and violence in America, the real danger may not be the epidemic but the fear of it. With society collapsing all around them – and an ultraviolent militia threatening to exterminate them – the fate of the sleepwalkers depends on unraveling the mystery behind the epidemic. The terrifying secret will either tear the nation apart – or bring the survivors together to remake a shattered world.
Praise for Wanderers:
“This career-defining epic deserves its inevitable comparisons to Stephen King’s The Stand.” (Publishers Weekly)
“A suspenseful, twisty, satisfying, surprising, thought-provoking epic.” (Harlan Coben, number-one New York Times best-selling author of Run Away)
“Brilliant, incisive, inventive, true, and as painful as the punch that pops out a blackened tooth, Wanderers is as much a warning as it is a paean to hope and redemption. With this book, Chuck Wendig proves he’s the next Stephen King. Trust me: You’re not ready for this book.” (Delilah S. Dawson, New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Phasma)
Twisted Fate by Susan Mills Wilson
Narrated by Amanda Newcomb
Artist Brody Trent enjoys a simple life living and working in NoDa, an artsy district of Charlotte. He wakes one morning to find himself charged with the brutal assault on a young woman who now lies comatose, unable to testify to his innocence. A fluke accident allows him to escape custody. Now on the run, he travels to the Lowcountry of South Carolina to find Doctor Emily Parker, the one person who can lead him to the real assailant. Standing in her way is the wealthy and powerful Harrington family, who will do anything, including committing murder, to keep her from the truth.