June is audiobook month! We’re celebrating by listening to our favorite science fiction and fantasy audiobooks old and new. Whether you’re a fan of epic sagas like Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive, or you’re looking for an inventive retelling like Nghi Vo’s The Chosen and the Beautiful, we hope you’ll join us in celebrating these authors and narrators who bring new worlds to life.
- THE WITNESS FOR THE DEAD by Katherine Addison | read by Liam Gerrard
Katherine Addison returns to the glittering world she created for her beloved novel, The Goblin Emperor, in this stand-alone sequel
When the young half-goblin emperor Maia sought to learn who had set the bombs that killed his father and half-brothers, he turned to an obscure resident of his father’s Court, a Prelate of Ulis and a Witness for the Dead. Thara Celehar found the truth, though it did him no good to discover it. He lost his place as a retainer of his cousin the former Empress, and made far too many enemies among the many factions vying for power in the new Court. The favor of the Emperor is a dangerous coin.
Now Celehar lives in the city of Amalo, far from the Court though not exactly in exile. He has not escaped from politics, but his position gives him the ability to serve the common people of the city, which is his preference. He lives modestly, but his decency and fundamental honesty will not permit him to live quietly. As a Witness for the Dead, he can, sometimes, speak to the recently dead: see the last thing they saw, know the last thought they had, experience the last thing they felt. It is his duty use that ability to resolve disputes, to ascertain the intent of the dead, to find the killers of the murdered.
Celehar’s skills now lead him out of the quiet and into a morass of treachery, murder, and injustice. No matter his own background with the imperial house, Celehar will stand with the commoners, and possibly find a light in the darkness.
Katherine Addison has created a fantastic world for these books – wide and deep and true.
- THE GOBLIN EMPEROR by Katherine Addison | read by Kyle McCarley
A vividly imagined fantasy of court intrigue and dark magics in a steampunk-inflected world, by a brilliant young talent
The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an “accident,” he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir.
Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment.
Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favor with the naïve new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody. Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the specter of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor. All the while, he is alone, and trying to find even a single friend . . . and hoping for the possibility of romance, yet also vigilant against the unseen enemies that threaten him, lest he lose his throne–or his life.
Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor is an exciting fantasy novel, set against the pageantry and color of a fascinating, unique world, is a memorable debut for a great new talent.
- WHEN THE SPARROW FALLS by Neil Sharpson | read by Jake Fairbrother
Neil Sharpson’s When the Sparrow Falls illuminates authoritarianism, complicity, and identity in the digital age, in a darkly-funny, frightening and touching story that recalls Philip K. Dick, John LaCarré and Kurt Vonnegut in equal measure.
Welcome to the Caspian Republic. The last bastion of true humanity in a world given over to artificial intelligence.
Stray from the path towards anything “machine” and the state will correct you.
When propagandist Paulo Xirau dies, and is discovered to himself be a “machine,” State Security Agent Nikolai South is given a new assignment he could hardly want less: chaperone the widow, Lily, the only “machine” visitor ever invited from the outside world, and help her determine what happened to her husband.
Nikolai knows it will be nearly impossible to complete the job without running afoul of the Party—but when he sees that Lily bears an eerie resemblance to his late wife, Nikolai stumbles on a larger plot, one that exposes all the lies he’s told himself and which may bring down the Republic for good.
- THE CHOSEN AND THE BEAUTIFUL by Nghi Vo | read by Natalie Naudus
Immigrant. Socialite. Magician.
Jordan Baker grows up in the most rarefied circles of 1920s American society—she has money, education, a killer golf handicap, and invitations to some of the most exclusive parties of the Jazz Age. She’s also queer and Asian, a Vietnamese adoptee treated as an exotic attraction by her peers, while the most important doors remain closed to her.
But the world is full of wonders: infernal pacts and dazzling illusions, lost ghosts and elemental mysteries. In all paper is fire, and Jordan can burn the cut paper heart out of a man. She just has to learn how.
Nghi Vo’s debut novel The Chosen and the Beautiful reinvents this classic of the American canon as a coming-of-age story full of magic, mystery, and glittering excess, and introduces a major new literary voice.
- A CHORUS RISES by Bethany C. Morrow | read by Eboni Flowers and Cherise Boothe
Meet Naema Bradshaw: a beautiful Eloko, once Portland-famous, now infamous, as she navigates a personal and public reckoning where confronting the limits of her privilege will show Naema what her magic really is, and who it makes her.
Teen influencer Naema Bradshaw has it all: she’s famous, stylish, gorgeous—and she’s an Eloko, a charismatic person gifted with a melody that people adore. Everyone loves her—until she’s cast as the villain who exposed a Siren to the whole world.
Dragged by the media, and canceled by her fans, no one understands her side: not her boyfriend, not her friends, not even her fellow Eloko. Vilified by those closest to her, Naema heads to the Southwest where she is determined to stage a comeback … to her family, her real self, and the truth about her magic. What she finds is a new community in a flourishing group of online fans who support her.
At first, it feels like it used to—the fandom, the adoration, the community that takes her side—but when her online advocates start targeting other Black girls, Naema will realize that—for Black girls like her—even the privilege of fame has its limits. And only Naema can discover the true purpose of her power, and how to use it.
“A watery and melodic crossroads of the real and the mythic, A Chorus Rises lures readers with its seductive and beautifully Black siren song. An enthralling tale of Black girl magic and searing social commentary ready to rattle the bones.” —Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Belles series
A Chorus Rises is a timely confrontation of the evolving nature of popularity in a society that chooses “exceptions” and rewards “model minorities.”
- OATHBRINGER by Brandon Sanderson | read by Michael Kramer and Kate Reading
In Oathbringer, the third volume of the New York Times bestselling Stormlight Archive, humanity faces a new Desolation with the return of the Voidbringers, a foe with numbers as great as their thirst for vengeance.
Dalinar Kholin’s Alethi armies won a fleeting victory at a terrible cost: The enemy Parshendi summoned the violent Everstorm, which now sweeps the world with destruction, and in its passing awakens the once peaceful and subservient parshmen to the horror of their millennia-long enslavement by humans. While on a desperate flight to warn his family of the threat, Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with the fact that the newly kindled anger of the parshmen may be wholly justified.
Nestled in the mountains high above the storms, in the tower city of Urithiru, Shallan Davar investigates the wonders of the ancient stronghold of the Knights Radiant and unearths dark secrets lurking in its depths. And Dalinar realizes that his holy mission to unite his homeland of Alethkar was too narrow in scope. Unless all the nations of Roshar can put aside Dalinar’s blood-soaked past and stand together—and unless Dalinar himself can confront that past—even the restoration of the Knights Radiant will not prevent the end of civilization.
- THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE by V. E. Schwab | read by Julia Whelan
In the vein of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Life After Life, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is New York Times bestselling author V. E. Schwab’s genre-defying tour de force.
A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.
France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever—and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.
Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.
But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.
- REMOTE CONTROL by Nnedi Okorafor | read by Adjoa Andoh
An alien artifact turns a young girl into Death’s adopted daughter in Remote Control, a thrilling sci-fi tale of community and female empowerment from Nebula and Hugo Award-winner Nnedi Okorafor
“She’s the adopted daughter of the Angel of Death. Beware of her. Mind her. Death guards her like one of its own.”
The day Fatima forgot her name, Death paid a visit. From here on in she would be known as Sankofa—a name that meant nothing to anyone but her, the only tie to her family and her past.
Her touch is death, and with a glance a town can fall. And she walks—alone, except for her fox companion—searching for the object that came from the sky and gave itself to her when the meteors fell and when she was yet unchanged; searching for answers.
But is there a greater purpose for Sankofa, now that Death is her constant companion?
- THE LIBRARY OF THE DEAD by T. L. Huchu | read by Tinashe Warikandwa
Sixth Sense meets Stranger Things in T. L. Huchu’s The Library of the Dead, a sharp contemporary fantasy following a precocious and cynical teen as she explores the shadowy magical underside of modern Edinburgh.
WHEN GHOSTS TALK
SHE WILL LISTEN
Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghostalker – and they sure do love to talk. Now she speaks to Edinburgh’s dead, carrying messages to those they left behind. A girl’s gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone’s bewitching children – leaving them husks, empty of joy and strength. It’s on Ropa’s patch, so she feels honor-bound to investigate. But what she learns will rock her world.
Ropa will dice with death as she calls on Zimbabwean magic and Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. And although underground Edinburgh hides a wealth of dark secrets, she also discovers an occult library, a magical mentor and some unexpected allies.
Yet as shadows lengthen, will the hunter become the hunted?
- GIRL ONE by Sara Flannery Murphy | read by Jesse Vilinsky
Orphan Black meets Margaret Atwood in this twisty supernatural thriller about female power and the bonds of sisterhood
Josephine Morrow is Girl One, the first of nine “Miracle Babies” conceived without male DNA, raised on an experimental commune known as the Homestead. When a suspicious fire destroys the commune and claims the lives of two of the Homesteaders, the remaining Girls and their Mothers scatter across the United States and lose touch.
Years later, Margaret Morrow goes missing, and Josie sets off on a desperate road trip, tracking down her estranged sisters who seem to hold the keys to her mother’s disappearance. Tracing the clues Margaret left behind, Josie joins forces with the other Girls, facing down those who seek to eradicate their very existence while uncovering secrets about their origins and unlocking devastating abilities they never knew they had.
A spellbinding supernatural thriller, Girl One combines the provocative imagination of Naomi Alderman’s The Power with the propulsive, cinematic storytelling of a Marvel movie. In her electrifying new novel, Sara Flannery Murphy digs deep into women’s extraordinary power and reveals an unassailable truth: so much strength lies in numbers.
Check out the other amazing books you can listen to from our series with Macmillan Audio!
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