Author: Asa Tait
Narrator: Christopher Harbour
Length: 7 hours and 49 minutes
Publisher: The Parliament House
Released: Jul. 13, 2020
Genre: Science Fiction
"In his pursuit of the occult, the Third Reich opened the Gate to a realm of magic and brought the world to ruin. The Gate was eventually closed, but they were already in our world, and they were hungry." (The Lost History, Library of Avergard) Azure "Azzy" Brimvine lives in a world decimated by magic, where humans have retreated underground from the overwhelming dangers of the surface. But Below is no safer than Above. Magic-borne plagues continue to eat away at the remaining human cities - a sickness that doesn’t merely kill, but creates aberrations from the stricken. People twisted by magic into something dark, dangerous, and powerful. It is an existence of fear and constant dread. When Azzy’s brother Armin is infected and cast out into the Above, she sets out after him, determined to be there for him, no matter what he becomes. The world Above is full of monsters, both wild and cunning, some more human than Azzy was led to believe. Armin is captured and bound for the auction block of Avergard - a ruthless city of inhuman lords and twisted creatures. To reach him, Azzy must brave the perils of the Above and the chaotic life forms created by the Gate. To reach him, she must find allies and forge new bonds in this broken world. And Azzy must reach him, before Armin’s new power is used to open the Gate once more.
Author Asa Tait's Top 10 Literary Inspirations
- Hyperion by Dan Simmons, for effortlessly combining pulp genres into something new and fascinating
- The Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone, for digging deep into characters as a way to fully build out the world they inhabit.
- Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett, which I consider the pinnacle of noir fiction and the beleaguered detective in over his head. This is easily the book I’ve read the most times in my life.
- One for the Money by Janet Evanovich, another detective WAY in over her head, which has a much lighter touch when it wants to.
- The Futurological Congress by Stanislaw Lem, which is the underpinning of the future society that is inhospitable to humans as we understand them.
- 100% by Paul Pope, a graphic novel that lives and breathes with the people just scraping by on the mean streets of a grimy future.
- Money Shot by Christa Faust, which is crackerjack noir that finds a moral center that not all noir strives for.
- Sleeper by Ed Burbbaker and Sean Phillips, a superpowered espionage tale that literalizes emotional pain in the most brutal and beautiful ways.
- Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller, for the fantastic worldbuilding.
- Concrete Island by J.G. Ballard, which isn’t sci-fi really, but is about the inherent isolation of people from their physical environment and each other by modern society - a conversation we’ve clearly been having for 50+ years.