Whew! It’s April, and while some deals from March are still valid, here’s this month’s roundup of (mostly) new deals. [Editor’s note: Since this series continues to draw some new readers/listeners who may be unfamiliar with Whispersync for Voice, in brief: after (or at the same time as) buying the Kindle edition you can add on the narration if an enabled Audible edition exists, often for a steep discount on even the member/credit price.]
I’ll start with Monthly Deals for $3.99 or Less listings:
The Last Passenger by Manel Loureiro (Author), Andrés Alfaro (Translator), Angela Dawe (Narrator) for $1.99+$1.99 — Nazi cruise-ship time travel. “Reporter Kate Kilroy accepts an assignment to travel on the Valkyrie, a German ship veiled in secrecy for decades after it was discovered adrift in 1939 with only one passenger aboard, a baby boy named Isaac Feldman. Obsessed with understanding his origins, Feldman has spent a small fortune restoring the Valkyrie to try to solve the mystery. Assembling a team of experts and sparing no expense, he aims to precisely recreate the circumstances of theValkyrie’s doomed final voyage. Little does Feldman or his team know that the ship has an agenda of its own. As the Valkyrie begins to weave its deadly web, Kate realizes that she must not only save herself, but the world as she knows it.”
The Woodcutter by Kate Danley (Author), Sarah Coomes (Narrator) for $1.99+$1.99 — “Deep within the Wood, a young woman lies dead. Not a mark on her body. No trace of her murderer. Only her chipped glass slippers hint at her identity. The Woodcutter, keeper of the peace between the Twelve Kingdoms of Man and the Realm of the Faerie, must find the maiden’s killer before others share her fate. Guided by the wind and aided by three charmed axes won from the River God, the Woodcutter begins his hunt, searching for clues in the whispering dominions of the enchanted unknown. But quickly he finds that one murdered maiden is not the only nefarious mystery afoot: one of Odin’s hellhounds has escaped, a pixie-dust drug trade runs rampant, and more young girls go missing. Looming in the shadows is a malevolent, power-hungry queen, and she will stop at nothing to destroy the Twelve Kingdoms and annihilate the Royal Fae…unless the Woodcutter can outmaneuver her and save the gentle souls of the Wood.”
Phoenix Island by John Dixon (Author), Kirby Heyborne (Narrator) for $1.99+$3.99 — The inspiration for the CBS TV show Intelligence—a thrilling adventure that’s “Lord of the Flies meets Wolverine and Cool Hand Luke” (F. Paul Wilson, creator of Repairman Jack) — “A champion boxer with a sharp hook and a short temper, 16-year-old Carl Freeman has been shuffled from foster home to foster home. He can’t seem to stay out of trouble – using his fists to defend weaker classmates from bullies. His latest incident sends his opponent to the emergency room, and now the court is sending Carl to the worst place on earth: Phoenix Island. Classified as a “terminal facility”, it’s the end of the line for delinquents who have no home, no family, and no future. Located somewhere far off the coast of the United States – and immune to its laws – the island is a grueling Spartan-style boot camp run by sadistic drill sergeants who show no mercy to their young, orphan trainees. Sentenced to stay until his 18th birthday, Carl plans to play by the rules, so he makes friends with his wisecracking bunkmate, Ross, and a mysterious gray-eyed girl named Octavia. But he makes enemies, too, and after a few rough scrapes, he earns himself the nickname “Hollywood” as well as a string of punishments, including a brutal night in the “sweatbox”. But that’s nothing compared to what awaits him in the “Chop Shop” – a secret government lab where Carl is given something he never dreamed of. A new life…. A new body. A new brain. Gifts from the fatherly Old Man, who wants to transform Carl into something he’s not sure he wants to become. For this is no ordinary government project. Phoenix Island is ground zero for the future of combat intelligence.”
Teen: Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine (Author), Alexandra Bailey (Narrator) for $1.99+$3.47 — An honorable mention in my list of most missing teen sf/f titles from 2014 which was released in audio in February: “This love story for the ages, set in a reimagined industrial Asia, is a little dark, a bit breathless, and completely compelling. Sixteen-year-old Wen assists her father in his medical clinic, housed in a slaughterhouse staffed by the Noor, men hired as cheap factory labor. Wen often hears the whisper of a ghost in the slaughterhouse, a ghost who grants wishes to those who need them most. And after one of the Noor humiliates Wen, the ghost grants an impulsive wish of hers – brutally. Guilt-ridden, Wen befriends the Noor, including the outspoken leader, a young man named Melik. At the same time, she is lured by the mystery of the ghost. As deadly accidents fuel tensions within the factory, Wen is torn between her growing feelings for Melik, who is enraged at the sadistic factory bosses and the prejudice faced by his people at the hand of Wen’s, and her need to appease the ghost, who is determined to protect her against any threat – real or imagined. Will she determine whom to trust before the factory explodes, taking her down with it?” Book 2, Of Dreams and Rust, is due out in August.
Teen: City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments Book 1) by Cassandra Clare (Author), Mae Whitman (Narrator) for $2.99+$3.99 — The 2007 debut novel that launched Clare into the best-selling stratosphere, now a major motion picture: “When 15-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder – much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing – not even a smear of blood – to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy? This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…”
Fiction: We Are Not Ourselves: A Novel by Matthew Thomas (Author), Mare Winningham (Narrator) for $1.99+$3.99 — On several year’s best lists from 2014: “Born in 1941, Eileen Tumulty is raised by her Irish immigrant parents in Woodside, Queens, in an apartment where the mood swings between heartbreak and hilarity, depending on whether guests are over and how much alcohol has been consumed. When Eileen meets Ed Leary, a scientist whose bearing is nothing like those of the men she grew up with, she thinks she’s found the perfect partner to deliver her to the cosmopolitan world she longs to inhabit. They marry, and Eileen quickly discovers Ed doesn’t aspire to the same, ever bigger, stakes in the American Dream.”
Fiction: Before I Go by Colleen Oakley (Author), Kirby Heyborne (Narrator), Rebecca Lowman (Narrator) for $1.99+$3.99 — Debut novel just published in early January: “On the eve of what was supposed to be a triumphant “Cancerversary” with her husband Jack to celebrate four years of being cancer-free, Daisy suffers a devastating blow: her doctor tells her that the cancer is back, but this time it’s an aggressive stage four diagnosis. She may have as few as four months left to live. Death is a frightening prospect—but not because she’s afraid for herself. She’s terrified of what will happen to her brilliant but otherwise charmingly helpless husband when she’s no longer there to take care of him. It’s this fear that keeps her up at night, until she stumbles on the solution: she has to find him another wife. With a singular determination, Daisy scouts local parks and coffee shops and online dating sites looking for Jack’s perfect match. But the further she gets on her quest, the more she questions the sanity of her plan. As the thought of her husband with another woman becomes all too real, Daisy’s forced to decide what’s more important in the short amount of time she has left: her husband’s happiness—or her own?”
Historical fiction: The Moonlight Palace for $1.99+$1.99 — “Agnes Hussein, descendant of the last sultan of Singapore and the last surviving member of her immediate family, has grown up among her eccentric relatives in the crumbling Kampong Glam palace, a once-opulent relic given to her family in exchange for handing over Singapore to the British. Now Agnes is seventeen and her family has fallen into genteel poverty, surviving on her grandfather’s pension and the meager income they receive from a varied cast of boarders. As outside forces conspire to steal the palace out from under them, Agnes struggles to save her family and finds bravery, love, and loyalty in the most unexpected places. The Moonlight Palace is a coming-of-age tale rich with historical detail and unforgettable characters set against the backdrop of dazzling 1920s Singapore.” Note: For those who prefer physical media, the MP3-CD edition is $3.03.
Historical mystery: The King’s Hounds (The King’s Hounds series Book 1) and Oathbreaker (The King’s Hounds series Book 2) by Martin Jensen (Author), Tara Chace (Translator), Napoleon Ryan (Narrator) for $1.99+$1.99 — “The year is 1018 and the war with England is finally over, but the unified kingdom ruled by Cnut of Denmark is far from peaceful. Halfdan has lost everything to the war but his sense of humor. Once a proud nobleman, now he wanders the country aimlessly powered only by his considerable charm and some petty theft. When he finds an unlikely ally in Winston, a bookish former monk, the two set out together for Oxford, the seat of the new king. The pair’s arrival in court coincides with news of a murder, and Cnut has an idea only a king could get away with: Why not enlist Halfdan and Winston – the Danish womanizer and the upright Saxon intellectual – to defuse a politically explosive situation? They’re given just two days to solve the murder and they set off to uncover the truth, on the order of the king and with the reluctant assistance of the agitated townspeople.” Note: Book 2’s Whispersync upgrade is a bit “wonky”; for some reason it isn’t enabled right on the Kindle page, but after purchasing if you head to the Audible edition you’ll get the $1.99 add-on price.
Thriller: One Kick: A Novel (Kick Lannigan Book 1) by for $1.99+$3.99 — “Trained as a marksman, lock picker, escape artist and bomb maker by her abductor, Kick could not return to the life of the average young girl after her release. So, in lieu of therapy, she mastered martial arts, boxing, and knife throwing; learned how to escape from the trunk of a car, jimmy a pair of handcuffs, and walk without making a sound—all before she was thirteen. Kick has trained herself to be safe. But then two children go missing in three weeks, and an enigmatic and wealthy former weapons dealer approaches her with a proposition. John Bishop uses his fortune and contacts to track down missing children. Not only is he convinced Kick can help recover the two children—he won’t take no for an answer.”
Thriller: Devil Bones: A Novel (Temperance Brennan Book 11) by Kathy Reichs (Author), Linda Emond (Narrator) for $1.99+$3.99 — The 2008 novel in a series which is the basis of the Fox television series Bones: “In a house under renovation, a plumber uncovers a cellar no one knew about, and makes a rather grisly discovery – a decapitated chicken, animal bones, and cauldrons containing beads, feathers, and other relics of religious ceremonies. In the center of the shrine is the skull of a teenage girl. Meanwhile, on a nearby lakeshore, the headless body of a teenage boy is found by a man walking his dog. Led by a preacher turned politician, citizen vigilantes blame devil worshippers and Wiccans and begin a witch hunt, intent on seeking revenge. Forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan – “five-five, feisty, and 40-plus” – is called in to investigate, and a complex and gripping tale unfolds in this deadly mix of voodoo, Santeria, and devil worship.”
Not Pictured: Non-Fiction: Including Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions for $1.99+$3.99 and So You Want to Start a Brewery?: The Lagunitas Story for $1.99+$3.47.
Next up, titles pulled from the 50 Kindle Books for $2 listings, starting with 3 series:
Nightstalkers (Area 51: The Nightstalkers Book 1), The Book of Truths (Area 51: The Nightstalkers Book 2), and The Rift (Area 51: The Nightstalkers Book 3) by Bob Mayer (Author), Eric G. Dove (Narrator) for $2+$1.99 each — “Staff Sergeant Winthrop Carter has just been drafted into the Nightstalkers—an elite group of soldiers that… Actually, he’s not quite sure what they do. Born from the Area 51 initiative, the Nightstalkers defy sanity and decorum and include among their ranks Moms, a Black Ops trainee too extreme for Special Forces; Doc, a scientific crackpot; Roland, the weapons enthusiast; and Mac, a contemporary MacGyver. All of them take their orders from the elusive Ms. Jones, who everyone claims is just a hologram. Those orders include tracking down and sealing tears in our reality that are releasing interdimensional beings known only as Fireflies—creatures that take control of both living and inanimate matter in order to unleash wanton destruction. Just as Carter is settling in, a rogue scientist triggers a fresh invasion of Fireflies that swarm a swanky gated community. Now it’s up to Carter and his new teammates to neutralize the threat while figuring out who’s behind the breach.”
Mercury Falls (Mercury Series Book 1), Mercury Rises (Mercury Series Book 2), and Mercury Rests (Mercury Series Book 3) by Robert Kroese (Author), Kevin Stillwell (Narrator) for $2+$1.99 each: “While on assignment in Utah, Christine Temetri isn’t surprised when yet another prophesied Apocalypse fails to occur. After three years of reporting on End Times cults for a religious news magazine, Christine is seriously questioning her career choice. But then she meets Mercury, a cult leader whose knowledge of the impending Apocalypse is decidedly more solid than most: he is an angel, sent from heaven to prepare for the Second Coming but distracted by beer, ping pong, and other earthly delights. After Christine and Mercury inadvertently save Karl Grissom—a film-school dropout and the newly appointed Antichrist—from assassination, she realizes the three of them are all that stand in the way of mankind’s utter annihilation. They are a motley crew compared to the heavenly host bent on earth’s destruction, but Christine figures they’ll just have to do. Full of memorable characters, Mercury Falls is an absurdly funny tale about unlikely heroes on a quest to save the world.”
The Hangman’s Daughter (A Hangman’s Daughter Tale Book 1), The Dark Monk (US Edition) (A Hangman’s Daughter Tale Book 2), The Beggar King (US Edition) (A Hangman’s Daughter Tale Book 3), and The Poisoned Pilgrim (US Edition) (A Hangman’s Daughter Tale Book 4) by Oliver Pötzsch (Author), Lee Chadeayne (Translator), and Grover Gardner (Narrator) for $2+$1.99 each: “Germany, 1659: When a dying boy is pulled from the river with a mark crudely tattooed on his shoulder, hangman Jakob Kuisl is called upon to investigate whether witchcraft is at play in his small Bavarian town. Whispers and dark memories of witch trials and the women burned at the stake just 70 years earlier still haunt the streets of Schongau. When more children disappear and an orphan boy is found dead – marked by the same tattoo – the mounting hysteria threatens to erupt into chaos. Before the unrest forces him to torture and execute the very woman who aided in the birth of his children, Jakob must unravel the truth. With the help of his clever daughter, Magdelena, and Simon, the university-educated son of the town’s physician, Jakob discovers that a devil is indeed loose in Schongau. But it may be too late to prevent bloodshed.”
Seed by Ania Ahlborn (Author), Eric G. Dove (Narrator) for $2+$1.99 — “With nothing but the clothes on his back – and something horrific snapping at his heels – Jack Winter fled his rural Georgia home when he was just a boy. Watching the world he knew vanish in a trucker’s rearview mirror, he thought he was leaving an unspeakable nightmare behind forever. Now, years later, the bright new future he’s built suddenly turns pitch black, as something fiendishly familiar looms dead ahead. Surviving a violent car crash seems like a miracle for Jack’s family, but Jack knows there’s nothing divine about it. The profound evil he uncovered as a boy has finally found him again. The thing that crouched at his bedside with soulless eyes and grinning, razor-sharp teeth is back with plans for Jack and his angelic youngest daughter, and a chilling promise: I’ve always been here, and I’ll never leave.”
Overdraft: The Orion Offensive by John Jackson Miller (Author), Luke Daniels (Narrator) for $2+$1.99 — “In the twenty-second century, humanity has journeyed to the stars, and found them open for business. And when it comes to protecting that business, Chief Bridget Yang and Surge Team Sigma – her squad of heavily armed space marines – are up to the task. Unfortunately, Jamie Sturm is one problem they can’t just vaporize. When Jamie’s financial schemes bankrupt their expedition, Bridget and her crew refuse to let the rogue stock trader walk away. To save their jobs, the soldiers drag him out from behind his desk – and onto a seemingly hopeless mission to the frontier, seeking to open the most dangerous parts of the Orion Arm to trade. But in turning over every alien rock looking for profit, the hapless trader and his reluctant protectors uncover something that endangers humanity itself…”
Third, a pair of “fishy” audiobooks for young readers from the 25 Kids Books for $1.99 Each listings:
The Secret of the Water Knight by Rusalka Reh (Author), Cris Dukehart (Narrator) for $1.99+$1.99 — “Ten-year-old Kat has a terrible fear of swimming. She’s tried everything, but to no avail: The feeling of water closing over her head sends her into a panic every time. So when her parents plan a summer vacation to an island, Kat is understandably less than thrilled. Yet the moment she arrives on the beach, she senses there is something very unusual about this place. When she finds a strange whistle floating in the surf, she knows her instinct is right: From that moment on, she can understand the island’s animals when they speak. And what they have to say is extraordinary….”
Fishtale by Hans Bauer (Author), Catherine Masciola (Author), Adam Verner (Narrator) for $1.99+$1.99 — “What might have been an ordinary fishing trip becomes an unforgettable adventure when 12-year-old Sawyer Brown pursues a legendary giant catfish and a stolen ring that may hold the key to his mother’s life.”
And a few pulled somewhat randomly from the “always a Whispersync deal” list and elsewhere, including SF Signal‘s run-down of Open Road Media’s post-apocalyptic ebook sale:
The Lost Fleet: Dauntless by Jack Campbell (Author, Narrator), Christian Rummel (Narrator) for $1.99+$3.99 — 2006 novel, first in the military sf series: “Captain John “Black Jack” Geary’s legendary exploits are known to every schoolchild. Revered for his heroic “last stand” in the early days of the war, he was presumed dead. But a century later, Geary miraculously returns from survival hibernation and reluctantly takes command of the Alliance Fleet as it faces annihilation by the Syndic. Appalled by the hero-worship around him, Geary is nevertheless a man who will do his duty. And he knows that bringing the stolen Syndic hypernet key safely home is the Alliance’s one chance to win the war. But to do that, Geary will have to live up to the impossibly heroic “Black Jack” legend…”
Bowl of Heaven by Larry Niven (Author), Gregory Benford (Author), Zach Villa (Narrator) for $3.99+$3.99 as part of the Tor Books $3.99 Space Opera eBook Sale — “In this first collaboration by science fiction masters Larry Niven (Ringworld) and Gregory Benford (Timescape), the limits of wonder are redrawn once again as a human expedition to another star system is jeopardized by an encounter with an astonishingly immense artifact in interstellar space: a bowl-shaped structure half-englobing a star, with a habitable area equivalent to many millions of Earths…and it’s on a direct path heading for the same system as the human ship. A landing party is sent to investigate the Bowl, but when the explorers are separated – one group captured by the gigantic structure’s alien inhabitants, the other pursued across its strange and dangerous landscape – the mystery of the Bowl’s origins and purpose propel the human voyagers toward discoveries that will transform their understanding of their place in the universe.”
Strength of Stones by Greg Bear (Author), Ray Chase (Narrator) for $3.82+$1.99 — “In a theocratic world far into the future, cities control their own movements and organization. Constantly moving, growing and decaying, taking care of every need their inhabitants might think of, the cities have decided that humans are no longer a necessary part of their architecture, casting them out to wander in the wilderness and eke out a meager subsistence. To the exiled humans, the cities represent a paradisiacal Eden, a reminder of all they cannot attain due to their sinful and unworthy natures.But things are beginning to change. People are no longer willing to allow the cities to keep them out, choosing instead to force an entry and plunder at will. The cities are starting to crumble and die because they have no purpose or reason to continue living without citizens. One woman, called mad by some and wise by others, is the only human allowed to inhabit a city. From her lonely and precarious position at the heart of one of the greatest cities ever, she must decide the fate of the relationship between human society and the ancient strongholds of knowledge, while making one last desperate attempt to save the living cities.”
Love in the Ruins: The Adventures of a Bad Catholic at a Time Near the End of the World by Walker Percy (Author), Grover Gardner (Narrator) for $3.82+$3.99 — “The auto age is defunct. Buicks, Chryslers, and Pontiacs disfigure the landscape. Vines sprout in Manhattan. Wolves are seen in downtown Cleveland. And psychiatrist, mental hospital outpatient, and inventor Dr. Tom More has created a miraculous instrument: the ontological lapsometer, a kind of stethoscope of the human spirit. With it, he plans to cure mankind’s spiritual flu. But first, he must survive Moira, Lola, and Ellen – and discover why so many living people are actually dead. Attempting to save the world from completely destroying itself, Tom ultimately begins to understand the quality and caprices of life and the uncontrollable vagaries of time and chance.”
Outlander: A Novel (Outlander, Book 1) by Diana Gabaldon (Author), Davina Porter (Narrator) for $1.99+$3.99 — “This stunning blend of historical romance and time traveling adventure has captured the hearts of millions of readers around the world and catapulted author Diana Gabaldon to the top of the New York Times best seller list. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love. In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. Their blissful reunion is shattered when she touches a boulder in an ancient stone ruin and is instantly transported to 1743 Scotland, a place torn by war and raiding border clans. Will Claire find her way back to her own time, or is her destiny forever linked with Clan MacKenzie and the gallant James Fraser?”
Teen: The Hunger Games (Hunger Games Trilogy, Book 1) by Suzanne Collins (Author), Carolyn McCormick (Narrator) for $2.99+$3.95 — “In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love. “