Cover Reveals, Tor Teen

A Neon Darkness by Lauren Shippen Cover Reveal

Over at Den Of Geek on April 17, the cover was revealed for Lauren Shippen’s second installment in The Bright Sessions series, inspired by her science fiction podcast of the same name titled, A Neon Darkness.

The Bright Sessions is told through the therapy session recordings of everyday people with superpowers called Atypicals. However the show also discusses mental health, alongside delving deep into each character of the series and their story. There’s conspiracy, romance, and its a show celebrated not only for its stellar representation of mental health, but for featuring a lot of Queer characters and diverse cast.

A Neon Darkness is a standalone which will follow who listeners know as Damien, but whose real name is Robert Gorham and his life at 18 years old. He has the ability to manipulate people’s minds and impose his want onto others.

Alongside the cover reveal was also an excerpt of the prologue and first chapter. The artwork is done by Victor Ngai and cover design is done by Esther Sarah Kim.

Los Angeles, 2006. Eighteen-year-old Robert Gorham arrives in L.A. amid the desert heat and the soft buzz of neon. He came alone with one goal: he wants to see the ocean. And Robert always gets what he wants.

At a very young age, Robert discovered he had the unusual ability to make those close to him want whatever he wants. He wanted dessert instead of dinner? His mother served it. He wanted his Frisbee back? His father walked off the roof to bring it to him faster. He wanted to be alone? They both disappeared. Forever.

But things will be different in L.A. He meets a group of strange friends who could help him. Friends who can do things like produce flames without flint, conduct electricity with their hands, and see visions of the past. They call themselves Unusuals and finally, finally, Robert belongs.

When a tall figure, immune to their powers, discovers them, the first family that Robert has ever wanted is at risk of being destroyed. The only way to keep them
all together is to get his powers under control.

But control is a sacrifice he might not be willing to make.

A Neon Darkness by Lauren Shippen is set to be released September 29, 2020!

To see what you can expect in the first book, The Infinite Noise you can check out my full review Here!

Book List, Tor Teen

5 Audio Drama Podcast Recommendations For Readers Of Young Adult

The Infinite Noise by Lauren Shippen is officially out today! Inspired by her science-fiction podcast, The Bright Sessions, her debut follows a fan-favorite couple from the show: Caleb and Adam!

Lauren Shippen’s YA debut is a dual-perspective story following the relationship that develops between popular football player Caleb Michaels and lonely Adam Hayes, which runs parallel to the first few seasons of the podcast! Centering around their own introspective journeys, they’re navigating high school and learning more about themselves!

However, Caleb is Atypical meaning he has supernatural abilities and his is extreme empathy, which means he can sense the feelings of everyone around him and they get amplified through him! However, in the rough wave of high school emotions, Adam’s emotions allow him to find that peace he desperately needs.

His therapist, the mysterious Dr. Bright encourages him to pursue a friendship with Adam and as they grow closer, they learn more about each other and especially their own internal emotions!

On The Booked Shelf, I’ll be recommending 5 audio drama podcasts for readers of Young Adult!

If you don’t know, audio dramas are essentially fiction stories, which are told episodically through audio. They have a full cast, sound design, and are incredibly immersive forms of storytelling.

Also, the beauty of audio dramas is the diversity and variety of stories being told that you can’t really get with any other medium. If your looking for new and compelling stories, check out these podcasts!

1.The Bright Sessions created by Lauren Shippen

Told through therapy session (and other audio) recordings, The Bright Sessions follows therapist Dr. Bright and her patients, who have supernatural abilities (also known as “Atypicals”). As the story unravels, the listener learns more about each of these unique patients and the mysterious Dr. Bright. The Bright Sessions is an incredibly character-driven story that also discusses and explores mental health, government conspiracies, and so much more! If you’re new to the world of audio dramas, The Bright Sessions is the perfect podcast to start with.

2.Girl In Space created by Sarah Rhea Werner

X is a girl alone in space. Aboard her parents research vessel alongside her friendly AI companion Charlotte, she lives out her everyday life continuing their work on the ship. But when a mysterious organization known as Caldwell Enterprises learns of her ship and takes over, she begins to learn more about its crew and its mysterious motives. Girl In Space is a fantastic audio drama if your looking for a thought-provoking story set in space!

3.The Elysium Project created by Natalie Van Sistine

The Elysium Project is set in a near-futuristic US, there’s a mysterious organization, genetics, and mystery! Emma Greyson’s life becomes more complicated when she gets injected with a mysterious formula that gives her telekinetic abilities. But throughout the podcast, she learns how this formula is connected to her father, his top-secret job, and escaped test subjects who are teens just like her.

The storytelling, characters, plot, dialogue–essentially all the elements of this podcast, come together perfectly! The Elysium Project is one of the most cinematic podcasts I’ve ever listened to.

4. Victoriocity written by Chris Sugden & Jen Sugden

Set in 1887, Even Greater London, Victoriocity is a detective comedy drama following detective Archibald Fleet and determined journalist Clara Entwhistle as they team up to investigate a murder, but get tangled up in a conspiracy!

If you love steampunk, clever humor, interwoven with murder mystery, utterly magnificent world building, and a unique cast of characters that perfectly cement themselves in this captivating and sprawling place of Even Grater London, start listening RIGHT NOW you will not be disappointed!

5.Flyest Fables created by Morgan Givens

This anthology-style audio drama focuses on black and brown protagonists who encounter a magical book with their names mysteriously engraved on the cover. Offering the protagonist a fictional character who juxtaposes them, they find the inspiring messages or words they need at that very moment.

They quickly get immersed into a fable that’s much more than it seems upon first glance, . The story of Flyest Fables merges contemporary with fantasy, filled with hope and positivity!

If your a reader of YA and looking for more Audio Drama content, check out my feature Literary Listens!

The Infinite Noise by Lauren Shippen is out today!