YA Iskari Launch Lands Mackie at HarperAudio

Kristen Ciccarelli’s debut YA novel, The Last Namsara, kicks off the fantasy Iskari trilogy, which stars Asha, a dragon slayer—or Iskari—in a land where dangerous dragons are drawn to those who tell stories, which are forbidden. Actress Pearl Mackie, who played Bill Potts, companion to Dr. Who in the most recent season of the BBC TV series, has recorded the audiobook edition. The HarperTeen hardcover of The Last Namsara was simultaneously released on October 3 and boasted a 100,000-copy first printing.

Dust Settles at Listening Library with Michael Sheen

Nearly two decades after the success of the His Dark Materials trilogy that began with The Golden Compass (Knopf, 1996), Philip Pullman introduces La Belle Sauvage, the first title in the new companion trilogy known as the Book of Dust. Pullman has called his latest work an “equel,” not a sequel or a prequel; the story takes place in the world of The Golden Compass, 10 years prior to Lyra’s adventures in the original series. Welsh actor Michael Sheen (Masters of Sex, Frost/Nixon) was behind the microphone to record the new book for Listening Library. The audiobook and the Knopf hardcover, with a first printing of 500,000 copies, both go on sale October 19.

Cara Mentzel and Sister Idina Let It Go for Macmillan Audio

Tony Award–winning actress and singer Idina Menzel (Wicked), also known for her voice role as Queen Elsa in Frozen, has been described since childhood as having a big voice. No one knows that better than Cara Mentzel, her younger sister, who often found herself in the shadow of such a large presence. Cara shares her experience growing up with the beloved sibling she still calls “Dee,” and reveals how she found her own successful but very different path in life, in the memoir Voice Lessons: A Sisters Story, out from Macmillan Audio on October 10. Both sisters were in the studio as Cara read her memoir, and Idina recorded the foreword to the book. Bonus content exclusive to the audio edition includes an interview with the sisters, as well as the pair performing a duet of the song “Never Never Land.” The simultaneously released hardcover will be published by St. Martin’s Press.

Audible Scores ‘Artemis’ Exclusive

Actress Rosario Dawson will step into the studio to narrate the near-future thriller Artemis by Andy Weir, the follow-up to his bestselling novel The Martian. The audiobook will be available November 14 exclusively on Audible, and the hardcover goes on sale the same day from Crown. Dawson voices Jazz, a resourceful and enterprising smuggler based in Artemis, the moon’s only city, who’s involved in a risky heist. Movie rights have already been acquired by 20th Century Fox and New Regency, with Simon Kinberg and Aditya Sood, two producers from the film version of The Martian, attached to the project.

Hachette Studio Hosts Bush, Orbison Siblings

Two sets of siblings were in the Hachette Audio studios in September. Former first daughters Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush recorded their memoir Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life, and their mother, former first lady Laura Bush, joined the party to record the foreword. The book shares stories from their years in the White House, as well as their childhood in Texas. Sisters First goes on sale October 24; the print edition is being published by Hachette’s Grand Central imprint.

Also stepping up to the microphone for Hachette were Alex Orbison, Roy Orbison Jr., and Wesley Orbison, the three sons of legendary musician and vocalist Roy Orbison. “Roy’s Boys,” as they are known, recorded The Authorized Roy Orbison, which they wrote with Jeff Slate. Their account reveals family stories as well as insight into the elder Orbison’s career, which spanned four decades from his hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s (“Oh, Pretty Woman,” 1964) to his time as cofounder of the supergroup the Traveling Wilburys (with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and Tom Petty) in 1988, shortly before his death that same year. The Hachette Audio edition of The Authorized Roy Orbison comes out October 17 along with the hardcover from the company’s Center Street imprint.