[Free Audiobooks] Keep This To Yourself by Tom Ryan & Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout [YA Thriller & Paranormal Fantasy with Romance]

AudioFile Magazine’s annual SYNC Summer of Listening program encouraging teen literacy by offering audiobooks in weekly themed pairings continues for one last week, free for a limited time courtesy of the magazine and participating publishers.

This final week’s selections, available to claim from Thursday, July 29th through Wednesday, August 4th, have a theme of “Secrets”.

  • Keep This To Yourself by Tom Ryan, narrated by Michael Crouch from Dreamscape. A standalone YA contemporary mystery/thriller starring a boy who finds a clue to the murder of his best friend who was the last victim of a serial killer, uncovering evidence with the help of a new friend which suggests that it wasn’t a random drifter just passing through their town.
  • Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout, read by Lauren Fortgang from Harlequin Audio. The 1st in her The Harbinger series of YA paranormal urban fantasy with strong f/m romantic elements apparently set in Washington, DC, starring a nearly-blind girl with a gift for spirit communication who’s been raised in a hidden enclave guarded by shapeshifting Wardens who protect humankind from demons, whose compound is breached by invading demons as a supernatural war is sparked and her people must learn to work together with the mysterious Wardens of another clan.

Offered free through Wednesday, August 4th (expires just before midnight Eastern Time), via the Overdrive Sora app for iOS & Android devices (requires account signup with valid email address, follow the instructions on AudioFile Magazine’s dedicated promo page to register for access and claim your books in the app every week). You’ll be able to keep them indefinitely in your account once you click “Borrow” on the featured book’s page (right hand side under the book cover icon) and redownload at any time.

NB: if you later need to free up space on your device, DO NOT use “Return” which will remove your access entirely and prevent you from redownloading. Follow the procedure to delete ONLY the stored downloaded files (skip the actual streaming step) in this Sora Help article.If the “Explore” page isn’t showing the weekly features properly, search for the books by title in the app once switched to the AudiobookSYNC collection. Apparently the Sora app may need to be reinstalled and logged back into if you’re encountering a bug (see Twitter announcement for details).

I hope you’ve enjoyed another year of the giveaway, and were able to get and listen to any titles you were interested in trying.

[Free eBooks] 12 manga volumes from Kodansha [Science Fiction, Fantasy, YA School Drama, Romance, Etc.]

As a special treat to tie in to their introductory series sale, Japanese publisher Kodansha is offering 12 first in series volumes of their English-translated manga, free for a limited time.

Each volume is a full compilation of the 1st storyarc, and series from many different genres and age levels are represented. The tie-in sale is for $0.99 USD or local equivalent for the 2nd volume, and $2.99 for the 3rd volume, available at various retailers until Monday, August 2nd.

Here’s their special promo page on their website: Free Volume 1s Sale.

The topmost links to participating retailers go to the full catalogue, generally, so here are some quick links to the promo specials or to filter for the freebies @ Comixology, Kobo (only free in certain countries including US & Canada; try changing the country code in the URL for your region), Amazon (apparently at least CA, US, and UK are free; changed the country code in the URL to check your location) for Kodansha Comics, Kodonasha Comics Digital-First!, and Vertical. imprints, Barnes & Noble (should be the first few rows).

For other retailers, you’ll have to search their catalogues manually for the participating titles (some stores may only carry a limited selection of the Vol. 1 freebies or only offer them in certain regions), which are:

  • Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama, the popular postapocalyptic future science fiction military drama
  • Chihayafuru by Yuki Suetsugu, a contemporary high school drama centred around players of a competitive card game
  • DAYS by Tsuyoshi Yasuda, a contemporary high school sports drama centred around a soccer club
  • Devil’s Line by Ryo Hanada, a supernatural urban fantasy mystery/crime with possible romantic elements, starring a college student who becomes aware of the existence of hidden devils in human society and the secret Tokyo police force tasked with dealing with related crimes
  • Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro by Nanashi, a contemporary high school romantic drama
  • Fairy Tail by Hiro Mashima, a fantasy adventure drama set in a world full of wizards and talking creatures
  • Parasyte by Hitoshi Iwaaki, a contemporary science fiction horror drama dealing with the aftermath of a secret alien invasion in which parasites infect the human populace nearly unseen, starring a high school student who bonds with a thwarted invader and forms a tentative resistance
  • Space Brothers by Chuya Koyama, a near-future science fiction drama starring two aspiring astronaut brothers aiming to join the crew of a base on Mars
  • Sweat and Soap by Kintetsu Yamada, contemporary office romantic comedy set at a personal care products company
  • Those Snow White Notes by Marimo Ragawa, an urban contemporary drama with possible romantic elements set in Tokyo, where two seemingly very different people form an unexpected friendship while striving for their dreams
  • To Your Eternity by Yoshitoki Oima, a philosophical emotional drama which apparently turns into some sort of fantasy epic in later volumes, initially starring a boy in the North American Arctic who befriends a wolf which is more than it seems, as they journey together and depend on each other to survive
  • Tokyo Revengers by Ken Wakui, a contemporary time travel drama set in Kanto, starring a man given a second chance at fixing his current dead-end mundane loser life by leaping back a decade to his middle school days to save his former girlfriend by apparently trying to take over the juvenile delinquent gang which will eventually be responsible for her future death

Offered free until (possibly through the end of, the promo wording is a little ambiguous) Monday, August 2nd in multiple regions worldwide, available from multiple retailers.

[Free eBook] The Dawn of the Deed: The Prehistoric Origins of Sex by John A. Long [Paleontology & Evolutionary Biology]

The Dawn of the Deed: The Prehistoric Origins of Sex by John A. Long, a paleontologist affiliated with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, is a scientific history, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free eBook of the Month for July, and is an accessibly and entertainingly written natural history account tracing the origins, evolution, and peculiar developments of mating and sexual reproduction in the animal kingdom, from ancient fossils through to modern oddities across many different species.

Offered free throughout July, available worldwide directly from the publisher’s website.

Currently free @ the publisher’s dedicated promo page (Adobe Digital Editions DRM-protected ePub format; requires newsletter signup with valid email address), and you can read more about the book on its regular catalogue page.

Description
We all know about the birds and the bees, but what about the ancient placoderm fishes and the dinosaurs? The history of sex is as old as life itself—and as complicated and mysterious. And despite centuries of study there is always more to know. In 2008, paleontologist John A. Long and a team of researchers revealed their discovery of a placoderm fish fossil, known as “the mother fish,” which at 380 million years old revealed the oldest vertebrate embryo—the earliest known example of internal fertilization. As Long explains, this find led to the reexamination of countless fish fossils and the discovery of previously undetected embryos. As a result, placoderms are now considered to be the first species to have had intimate sexual reproduction or sex as we know it—sort of.

Inspired by this incredible find, Long began a quest to uncover the paleontological and evolutionary history of copulation and insemination. In The Dawn of the Deed, he takes readers on an entertaining and lively tour through the sex lives of ancient fish and exposes the unusual mating habits of arthropods, tortoises, and even a well-endowed (16.5 inches!) Argentine Duck. Long discusses these significant discoveries alongside what we know about reproductive biology and evolutionary theory, using the fossil record to provide a provocative account of prehistoric sex. The Dawn of the Deed also explores fascinating revelations about animal reproduction, from homosexual penguins to monogamous seahorses to the difficulties of dinosaur romance and how sexual organs in ancient shark-like fishes actually relate to our own sexual anatomy.

The Dawn of the Deed is Long’s own story of what it’s like to be a part of a discovery that rewrites evolutionary history as well as an absolutely rollicking guide to sex throughout the ages in the animal kingdom. It’s natural history with a naughty wink.

[Free eBook] Halfway Human by Carolyn Ives Gilman [Award-Nominated LGBT+ Science Fiction]

Halfway Human by Carolyn Ives Gilman, a recipient of the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, is a self-contained anthropological science fiction novel in her The Twenty Planets setting, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Phoenix Pick Press.

This is their featured Free eBook of the Month for July, and was originally published in 1998 by HarperCollins’ Avon Eos imprint. This placed 2nd on the Locus Awards list for Best First Novel, as well as garnering a nomination for the Otherwise (formerly known as the Tiptree) Award, and has been likened to the late Ursula K. Le Guin’s gender-exploring classic The Left Hand of Darkness. There’s also a tie-in discount offer for two other award-nominated novellas in the same universe.

The novel takes place in a future galactic setting of loosely affiliated worlds mostly settled by forms of humanity which have taken different paths. This story focuses on a refugee from an isolated planet which has evolved asexual individuals known as “blands” who are an oppressed servant class, gradually uncovering the tale of their hidden society’s shocking secrets with the help of an expert in alien cultures.

Offered free through July and probably until August 2nd (the freebie generally rotates on the first Tuesday of every month), available directly from the publisher’s website.

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Currently free @ the publisher’s dedicated promo page (DRM-free ePub & Mobi bundle, requires newsletter signup with valid email, follow the instructions on the page to reset the suggested price in the cart to $0.00)

There’s also a tie-in offer for two other self-contained novellas exploring different worlds in the same universe, for just $1.99 for a bundle of both: Arkfall (a Nebula Award-nominee originally published in the Magazine of Science Fiction & Fantasy and reprinted in Year’s Best SF 14 edited by Cramer & Hartwell) & The Ice Owl (nominated for both the Hugo and Nebula, and reprinted in four different “Best of” science fiction anthologies)

Description
Tedla is a ‘bland,’ an asexual class of people that exist only to serve their fellow beings. Val is an expert on alien cultures but has never seen a bland before.

They come together after Tedla is found light-years away from its home planet—alone, isolated and suicidal. Val’s mission is to help Tedla recover. But the more she learns about the beautiful alien being, the more she discovers about the torment Tedla and its kind suffer on their planet.

Little does the rest of the universe know of the hidden world of the blands, a world that hides shocking secrets and unspeakable crimes.

Halfway Human is a mesmerizing look at an intricately created alien world which is strange and distant, yet hauntingly familiar.

[Free Audiobooks] Not Your Sidekick by C. B. Lee & Spellsinger by Alan Dean Foster [YA Superhero Coming of Age & Vintage Comedic Fantasy]

AudioFile Magazine’s annual SYNC Summer of Listening program encouraging teen literacy by offering audiobooks in weekly themed pairings continues for another week, free for a limited time courtesy of the magazine and participating publishers.

This week’s selections, available to claim from Thursday, July 22nd through Wednesday, July 28th, have a theme of “Gleefully Familiar… Twisted”, featuring different and somewhat humorous takes on common fantastic tropes.

  • Not Your Sidekick by C. B. Lee, read by Emily Woo Zeller from Tantor Media. This is the 1st in the Sidekick Squad YA series of superhero coming of age novels, set in a near-future where WWIII has triggered genetic mutations which give some people superpowers, focusing on teenagers who wind up dealing with the assorted legacies of such. This installment (apparently with f/f romantic elements), stars an Asian-American teen who hasn’t inherited her parents’ powers, instead landing a dream internship working alongside her longtime secret crush, neither of whom are quite what they seem.
  • Spellsinger by Alan Dean Foster, read by Terence Aselford and a Full Cast from GraphicAudio. This is an “Audio Theater” enhanced production with music and sound effects of the eponymous 1st novel in his popular Spellsinger series of comedic portal fantasy adventures from the 1980s, starring a college law student pulled into a whimsical medieval-ish realm full of talking animals and eccentric personages, where he discovers that his musical ability translates into magical power.

Offered free through Wednesday, July 28th (expires just before midnight Eastern Time), via the Overdrive Sora app for iOS & Android devices (requires account signup with valid email address, follow the instructions on AudioFile Magazine’s dedicated promo page to register for access and claim your books in the app every week). You’ll be able to keep them indefinitely in your account once you click “Borrow” on the featured book’s page (right hand side under the book cover icon) and redownload at any time.

NB: if you later need to free up space on your device, DO NOT use “Return” which will remove your access entirely and prevent you from redownloading. Follow the procedure to delete ONLY the stored downloaded files (skip the actual streaming step) in this Sora Help article. If the “Explore” page isn’t showing the weekly features properly, search for the books by title in the app once switched to the AudiobookSYNC collection. Apparently the Sora app may need to be reinstalled and logged back into if you’re encountering a bug (see Twitter announcement for details).

[Free eBook] Victories Greater Than Death by Charlie Jane Anders [YA Science Fiction Adventure]

Victories Greater Than Death by Charlie Jane Anders, a recipient of the Nebula, Locus, and Lambda Literary Awards, is the 1st novel in her Unstoppable series of young adult science fiction adventure thrillers, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Macmillan’s Tor Books imprint’s Tor Teen line.

This is their featured Free eBook of the Month Club offer and will only be available to download for one day, Wednesday, July 21st, and is being offered to help promote the upcoming 2nd novel, Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak.

The story stars a seemingly average human teenager who’s secretly the clone of a famous alien hero, raised in hiding on Earth to be ready for the summons from her interplanetary rescue beacon, who finds that her dreams of saving the galaxy don’t quite live up to the reality of having to fulfill a legendary legacy in the midst of a losing war.

Offered DRM-free through Wednesday, July 21st (expires just before midnight Eastern Time), available in Canada & the US directly from the publisher.

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Free for a limited time until July 21st @ the eBook Club’s special promo page (DRM-free ePub & Mobi available in return for newsletter signup; officially only offered to Canada & the US due to geographic publishing rights restrictions), and you can also read the blogpost announcement.

Description
Outsmart Your Enemies. Outrun the Galaxy.

“Just please, remember what I told you. Run. Don’t stop running for anything.”

Tina never worries about being ‘ordinary’—she doesn’t have to, since she’s known practically forever that she’s not just Tina Mains, average teenager and beloved daughter. She’s also the keeper of an interplanetary rescue beacon, and one day soon, it’s going to activate, and then her dreams of saving all the worlds and adventuring among the stars will finally be possible. Tina’s legacy, after all, is intergalactic—she is the hidden clone of a famed alien hero, left on Earth disguised as a human to give the universe another chance to defeat a terrible evil.

But when the beacon activates, it turns out that Tina’s destiny isn’t quite what she expected. Things are far more dangerous than she ever assumed—and everyone in the galaxy is expecting her to actually be the brilliant tactician and legendary savior Captain Thaoh Argentian, but Tina….is just Tina. And the Royal Fleet is losing the war, badly—the starship that found her is on the run and they barely manage to escape Earth with the planet still intact.

Luckily, Tina is surrounded by a crew she can trust, and her best friend Rachel, and she is still determined to save all the worlds. But first she’ll have to save herself.

[Free Audiobooks] The Ruinous Sweep by Tim Wynne-Jones & The Body Snatcher and Other Stories by Robert Louis Stevenson [YA Contemporary Mystery/Thriller & 19th C Classic Horror & Fantasy]

AudioFile Magazine’s annual SYNC Summer of Listening program encouraging teen literacy by offering audiobooks in weekly themed pairings continues for another week, free for a limited time courtesy of the magazine and participating publishers.

This week’s selections, available to claim from Thursday, July 15th through Wednesday, July 21st, have a theme of “The Chill of the Thriller”, featuring classic and modern tales of suspense, fear, and the supernatural.

  • The Ruinous Sweep by Tim Wynne-Jones, read by the author himself, from Candlewick on Brilliance Audio, and a winner of AudioFile Magazine’s own Earphones Award. The story is a standalone contemporary YA mystery/thriller told in alternating voices, starring a girl who refuses to believe in the story of her boyfriend’s apparent murder/suicide attempt and launches her own investigation into what really happened, and the hospitalized boyfriend’s unconscious musings from his bed in the ICU.
  • The Body Snatcher and Other Stories by 19th century classic author Robert Louis Stevenson (of Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde fame), read by Roy McMillan from Naxos Audiobooks. This is a trio of spooky and fantastic shorts, consisting of The Body Snatcher (a chilling look into the criminal ethics of the historical “resurrectionist” trade and its supposedly respectable medical clients), The Bottle Imp (a fairy tale about the obligatory cursèd artifact), and The Poor Thing (a magical fable with a touch of comedy). The publisher also offers a free PDF download of the audiobook’s liner booklet on their website, which has a nice introductory write-up about the author and the chosen tales.

Offered free through Wednesday, July 21st (expires just before midnight Eastern Time), via the Overdrive Sora app for iOS & Android devices (requires account signup with valid email address, follow the instructions on AudioFile Magazine’s dedicated promo page to register for access and claim your books in the app every week). You’ll be able to keep them indefinitely in your account once you click “Borrow” on the featured book’s page (right hand side under the book cover icon) and redownload at any time.

NB: if you later need to free up space on your device, DO NOT use “Return” which will remove your access entirely and prevent you from redownloading. Follow the procedure to delete ONLY the stored downloaded files (skip the actual streaming step) in this Sora Help article.If the “Explore” page isn’t showing the weekly features properly, search for the books by title in the app once switched to the AudiobookSYNC collection. Apparently the Sora app may need to be reinstalled and logged back into if you’re encountering a bug (see Twitter announcement for details).

[Free Audiobooks] The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar & Saints and Misfits by S. K. Ali [YA Contemporary Drama & LGBT Romance]

AudioFile Magazine’s annual SYNC Summer of Listening program encouraging teen literacy by offering audiobooks in weekly themed pairings continues for another week, free for a limited time courtesy of the magazine and participating publishers.

This week’s selections, available to claim from Thursday, July 8th through Wednesday, July 14th, have a theme of “Romance and Relationships”, featuring multicultural interaction, as well as dealing with topics including bullying and assault.

  • The Henna Wars by Abida Jaigirdar, read by Priya Ayyar from Listening Library. The story is a YA contemporary coming of age novel with f/f romantic elements, starring an Irish-Bangladeshi teenager who must navigate the changes in her life after coming out as a lesbian to her traditionally-inclined family, as well as dealing with a crush on an old childhood friend who’s now reentered her life as a rival in a school competition.
  • Saints and Misfits by S. K. Ali, read by Ariana Delawari from Listening Library. This is a William C. Morris Award-finalist YA contemporary drama with f/m romantic elements, 1st in an eponymous series following a self-described misfit Muslim teenager and the two sides of her divorced family. In this story she develops a crush on an equally misfit non-Muslim boy but also runs afoul of the golden boy at her local mosque who hides his bad side behind a good reputation.

Offered free through Wednesday, July 14th (expires just before midnight Eastern Time), via the Overdrive Sora app for iOS & Android devices (requires account signup with valid email address, follow the instructions on AudioFile Magazine’s dedicated promo page to register for access and claim your books in the app every week). You’ll be able to keep them indefinitely in your account once you click “Borrow” on the featured book’s page (right hand side under the book cover icon) and redownload at any time.

NB: if you later need to free up space on your device, DO NOT use “Return” which will remove your access entirely and prevent you from redownloading. Follow the procedure to delete ONLY the stored downloaded files (skip the actual streaming step) in this Sora Help article.If the “Explore” page isn’t showing the weekly features properly, search for the books by title in the app once switched to the AudiobookSYNC collection. Apparently the Sora app may need to be reinstalled and logged back into if you’re encountering a bug (see Twitter announcement for details).

[Free Audiobooks] Dust by Kara Swanson & The Raven’s Tale by Cat Winters [YA Classics SFnal Retellings]

AudioFile Magazine’s annual SYNC Summer of Listening program encouraging teen literacy by offering audiobooks in weekly themed pairings continues for another week, free for a limited time courtesy of the magazine and participating publishers.

This week’s selections, available to claim from Thursday, July 2nd through Wednesday, July 7th, have a theme of “Back Stories” and feature riffs on classic tales.

  • Dust by Kara Swanson, read by Natasha Soudek from Oasis Audio. This is the 1st in the “Heirs of Neverland” YA contemporary fantasy series which picks up where J. M. Barrie‘s classic novel Peter Pan left off, set in modern-day London starring a girl with a dangerous gift searching for her missing brother, and Peter Pan himself, stuck in the city and hoping to find a means to return to Neverland.
  • The Raven’s Tale by Cat Winters, read by Michael Crouch & Natalie Wood, from Recorded Books. This is a standalone YA historical biographical novel with fantasy/horror elements, inspired by Edgar Allan Poe‘s poem “The Raven”, starring a teenaged Poe in 19th century Virginia who longs to escape his overbearing foster father, and the dark Muse who manifests to him in the form of a girl named Lenore, driving his obsessive passion for macabre and fantastic tales.

Offered free through Wednesday, July 7th (expires just before midnight Eastern Time), via the Overdrive Sora app for iOS & Android devices (requires account signup with valid email address, follow the instructions on AudioFile Magazine’s dedicated promo page to register for access and claim your books in the app every week). You’ll be able to keep them indefinitely in your account once you click “Borrow” on the featured book’s page (right hand side under the book cover icon) and redownload at any time.

NB: if you later need to free up space on your device, DO NOT use “Return” which will remove your access entirely and prevent you from redownloading. Follow the procedure to delete ONLY the stored downloaded files (skip the actual streaming step) in this Sora Help article.If the “Explore” page isn’t showing the weekly features properly, search for the books by title in the app once switched to the AudiobookSYNC collection. Apparently the Sora app may need to be reinstalled and logged back into if you’re encountering a bug (see Twitter announcement for details).

[Free eBook] Darwin Deleted: Imagining A World Without Darwin by Peter J. Bowler [Science Discovery & Alternate History]

Darwin Deleted: Imagining A World Without Darwin by Peter J. Bowler, a professor emeritus of the history of science at Queen’s University Belfast and former President of the British Society for the History of Science, is his what-if science history book, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month selection for June. The book is a combination non-fiction history of ideas cum counterfactual speculative meditation on the potential development of the field of evolutionary biology, and the alternative pathways to discovery and ensuing societal viewpoints that might have been taken, in contrast to our current timeline’s understanding, if other prominent naturalists and scientists and their own hypotheses had stepped up in a missing Charles Darwin’s place.

Offered worldwide through June 30th, available directly from the publisher.

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Currently free @ the university’s dedicated promo page (Adobe Digital Editions-DRMed ePub, requires newsletter signup with valid email address), and you can read more about the book on its dedicated catalogue page here.

Description
The ideas and terminology of Darwinism are so pervasive these days that it seems impossible to avoid them, let alone imagine a world without them. But in this remarkable rethinking of scientific history, Peter J. Bowler does just that. He asks: What if Charles Darwin had not returned from the voyage of the Beagle and thus did not write On the Origin of Species? Would someone else, such as Alfred Russel Wallace, have published the selection theory and initiated a similar transformation? Or would the absence of Darwin’s book have led to a different sequence of events, in which biology developed along a track that did not precipitate a great debate about the impact of evolutionism? Would there have been anything equivalent to social Darwinism, and if so would the alternatives have been less pernicious and misappropriated?

In Darwin Deleted, Bowler argues that no one else, not even Wallace, was in a position to duplicate Darwin’s complete theory of evolution by natural selection. Evolutionary biology would almost certainly have emerged, but through alternative theories, which were frequently promoted by scientists, religious thinkers, and moralists who feared the implications of natural selection. Because non-Darwinian elements of evolutionism flourished for a time in the real world, it is possible to plausibly imagine how they might have developed, particularly if the theory of natural selection had not emerged until decades after the acceptance of the basic idea of evolution. Bowler’s unique approach enables him to clearly explain the non-Darwinian tradition—and in doing so, he reveals how the reception of Darwinism was historically contingent. By taking Darwin out of the equation, Bowler is able to fully elucidate the ideas of other scientists, such as Richard Owen and Thomas Huxley, whose work has often been misunderstood because of their distinctive responses to Darwin. Darwin Deleted boldly offers a new vision of scientific history. It is one where the sequence of discovery and development would have been very different and would have led to an alternative understanding of the relationship between evolution, heredity, and the environment—and, most significantly, a less contentious relationship between science and religion. Far from mere speculation, this fascinating and compelling book forces us to reexamine the preconceptions that underlie many of the current controversies about the impact of evolutionism. It shows how contingent circumstances surrounding the publication of On the Origin of Species polarized attitudes in ways that still shape the conversation today.