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The Bone Season | [Samantha Shannon]

The Bone Season

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people's minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant, and in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.... It is raining the day her life changes forever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford - a city kept secret for 200 years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, August 2013 - 21-year-old British author Samantha Shannon has been generating a lot of buzz for her debut novel The Bone Season, Book 1 in a projected seven book series. Not surprisingly, a lot of comparisons are already being drawn between Shannon and a certain other British author of a seven book series – J.K. Rowling. Shannon, however, deserves recognition in her own right for creating a fresh, unique world that is simultaneously fascinating and intimidating. The year is 2059, and Paige Mahoney is a clairvoyant living in dystopian London. After unintentionally using her rare gift to commit murder, she is kidnapped by the Rephaim, an otherworldly race who have been secretly controlling the government for two centuries. Much like Paige, I found myself unable to escape the reality of the book – I simply could not put it down. Shannon’s epic debut – complete with suspense, paranormal gifts, rebellion, and even a little romance – already has me anxiously awaiting Book 2. In the meantime, I can’t wait to dive back into her world and experience The Bone Season in audio. —Katie, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people's minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant, and in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes forever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford - a city kept secret for 200 years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom, she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and also an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.

©2013 Samantha Shannon-Jones (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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  •  
    linda United States 08-21-13
    linda United States 08-21-13 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Engaging, Room for Improvement"


    Much like the author, I am a card-carrying member of the Harry Potter generation.

    I grew up between the pages of JK Rowling’s world of witchcraft and wizardry and eagerly awaited each consecutive installment with the kind of fervor usually reserved for drug addicts and starving men. Given this, it’s not surprising that the media campaign, which toted Ms. Shannon’s series as the new Harry Potter, caught my attention in a powerful way.

    After listening to the Bone Season however, I’d have to say that the comparison is unfair to the reader and to the author (and honestly, to JK Rowling too – it seems like there should be a rule against bestowing her name on another writer while she’s still around to claim it).

    While Shannon has a dazzling creativity, she hasn't developed the balanced hand that built Hogwarts – so after that initial letdown, I abandoned any preconceptions and considered the book's merits in the context of its own genre.

    The novel centers on Paige Mahoney, a reserved young woman who is born into a persecuted class known as the voyants. Outwardly, it seems that the British government has been systematically executing these supernaturally gifted individuals – but as it often goes, not everything is as it appears. When Paige (exceptional even among a population known for its supernal talents) is finally captured, she is not tortured and hung as expected but sent to Oxford. There, a cruel, humanoid race known as the Raheim have enslaved her and her kind for their own purposes.

    Ms. Shannon’s expansive world spills out across the pages of The Bone Season in straightforward, confident prose. She constructs an elaborate, dark fantasy through the eyes of a sympathetic and fierce protagonist.


    When set against other young adult, dystopian fantasies, this book is a cut or two above the rest.

    But, in the end, it lacked universal appeal.


    Her characterization and style is occasionally formulaic and often romantic. She relies heavily on familiar archetypes: there’s tall-dark-and-handsome, beautiful-but-evil, rat-faced-schemer - just to name a few. Even her plucky protagonist falls prey to jumbled motives, arbitrary stubbornness, and (repeatedly) the clichéd scene of gravely injured but rescued by a conveniently placed, attractive man.

    Fortunately, Shannon is a good story teller - even when relying on worn out tropes, and there are bright patches of a fresh and darkly captivating narrative which make it worthwhile.


    Ultimately, would I recommend this book? Yes, whole-heartedly to fans of the genre. Shannon is articulate and intelligent. She possesses a rare and coherent creativity that will no doubt engender a legion of loyal fans.


    Will I continue to read the series? I’m undecided.

    All told, the Bone Season is a promising start to a career. Shannon is a gifted writer and I have no doubt that the rough edges of her work will smooth out as she grows into her own.

    83 of 91 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steph United States 09-05-13
    Steph United States 09-05-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fabulous but mismarketed - its not Harry Potter"

    This is a dark but good book. I'm impressed at Samantha Shannon's talent as a debut author. I have read reviews that state that this is the next Harry Potter and it is to be a 7 book series. I've also read reviews that say it is overhyped and for teenagers. I wasn't aware of the hype when I read it, but I will say that if I expected it to be the next Harry Potter I would have been disappointed for a couple of reasons. One it is not for children nor about children. The only similarity I see is that is takes place in an alternative London with a magic system and it will be a seven book series. I believe it is unfair to the book and to Samantha Shannon to set that expectation.

    I mentioned this is not a children's book. This is about a 19 year old clarvoyant who works for a criminal underground syndicate. Clairvoyance is unnatural and those with the various abilities are hunted and arrested. There are many twists and turns as you find out why it is outlawed and hunted. It is not simply due to fear of the talent. This book is predominantly about what happens to our protagonist once she is caught.

    You need to get through the first few chapters of set up before the story really unfolds. Alana Kerr gives a dry, detached performance that fits the character of the protagonist impeccably. This is one I would prefer to listen to rather than read but you do have to pay attention. Stick to mundane tasks so you can pay attention to the detail.

    I found this to be a fresh, not a formulaic dystopian fiction novel, with a unique magic system. I'm excited for the next book and definitely recommend it.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael New Orleans, LA 08-21-13
    Michael New Orleans, LA 08-21-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Delicious Future-Fantasy Dystopian Rush!"

    Lately there have been a menage of literary genre crossovers, such as vampire-heroes, steampunk-aliens, and fantasy detectives. Tragically, many of them are shallow, at best, and frankly are Audible credit wasters. The initial concept may have validation, but either the overall delivery is tepid, or the author gets lost in the created genre, and writes a confusing, three hundred page diatribe explaining the new genre, and the work loses its audience. Hence, many are epic failures.

    Not so in "The Bone Season," I'm glad to write.

    Here you have a future, fantasy and dystopian mix that never falls short, that sweeps you along, and one audio listen that I heartily recommend.

    Okay, I'll quote Audible's description, because if I DON'T, I'm definitely going to give away some very important plot lines that you deserve to discover in the listening of this fantastic audiobook. Here goes, and I quote:

    "The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people's minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant, and in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing."

    "It is raining the day her life changes forever."

    I don't dare add to this - It's that good. This is one time when I WANT to do so. It's a delicious, juicy dystopian rush and romp you won't soon forget, and not want to put down. The heroine is complex and a joy to experience, the characters add wonderfully to the storylines' dynamic, the world created is rich and textured, and the storyline is both unusual and engaging. Overall, a wonderful listen.

    This is a rare Audible listener's treat - It's Shannon's first work, and you can say you were there when it happened. In fact, I highly recommend that you listen to this wonderful first book in the series twice.

    That's right. TWICE.

    You'll better appreciate the author's rich world-building future-fantasy, and love it even more.

    It's almost inconceivable that the 21-year-old Shannon wrote "The Bone Season" between classes at Oxford while an undergraduate at the respected university. But, remember, a number of authors have received inspiration from its hallowed halls and quasi-fantasy architecture. Authors such as Ballard, Pullman, and other well known authors have hailed from there, as well. C.S. Lewis and other famed authors have taught there. And that's just touching on the "fantasy" authors. So, she was educated in a hotbed of writing potential, and it obviously rubbed off quite well.

    So well that she has a contract for seven books in the Bone series. Well done.

    The one drawback to this triumph of a first novel is the narrator. Kerr's good at times, but a bit too lilting occasionally, and the accents tend to mix a bit. However, she doesn't cause a major distraction. Let's hope she improves over time.

    This first effort by Shannon has "best-seller" written all over it. My sincere hope is that the seven books in the series fare as well.

    57 of 67 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brett Charlotte, NC, United States 03-30-14
    Brett Charlotte, NC, United States 03-30-14 Member Since 2007

    “Be awesome! Be a book nut!” — Dr. Seuss

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "YA stew"

    The first book of a seven book series, The Bone Season, is a derivative YA tale with just enough of a twist to attract a big audience. Its a stew of Harry Potter, Twilight, and Hunger Games. Overall this novel had the temperment of a teenager: moody, melodramatic, and self-centered. Toss into this mix a little sexuality, violence, and drug use and there you have it.

    As a middle aged man, I am definately not the demographic that this writer was trying to reach. I say skip it unless you are way into the YA genre. Despite all of the hype, I don't believe that The Bone Season has the strength to crossover to a wider audience like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games did.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Basehor, KS, United States 08-22-13
    Ron Basehor, KS, United States 08-22-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just the beginning"

    This isn't bad for a debut attempt by a young writer. Samantha Shannon has a seven book deal to continue this series so there will be plenty more books to come. The Bone Season's film rights were bought by The Imaginarium film studios so we will soon see this book brought to the big screen.

    There is a lot of hype surrounding this book with people proclaiming that Shannon is the next J.K. Rowling. I don't think that is fair to set the bar so high for this young author, proclaiming that this is going to be as big as J.K. and Harry Potter. I do see potential here but she reminds me more of the young Christopher Paolini and his The Inheritance Cycle series.

    I will keep an eye out for her next book in the series because I am interested to see how she develops as a writer and how this world she has created will expand.

    24 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthias Schüssler Winterthur 09-27-13
    Matthias Schüssler Winterthur 09-27-13 Member Since 2012

    Journalist, blogger, radio man. Visit me at clickomania.ch

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Lots of nice incredients. But the meat is lacking."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    There area lot of great ideas in the story. Interesting locations and characters I want to get to know better. But somehow, they did not come to life for me. This is a disadvantage, since I am not living in the æther, after all. There are many bones, but no meat in the soup.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    No clue. A better recommending system by Audible would be helpful. ;-)


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The performance is quite okay. I like readers with a broader ability for creating voices for the characters, though.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    First, couriosity, sometimes boredom and relief in the end.


    Any additional comments?

    I'll give one of the next books of Shannon a shot. She'll improve.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maoberb Iowa 09-03-13
    Maoberb Iowa 09-03-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Grabs you towards the end"

    As far as dystopian novels go, this one is very futuristic and very interesting. It takes a good while to get into the story. The character development isn't great in the beginning, but once the action starts to kick it, the book is hard to put away. Unfortunately, for me, that didn't happen until around chapter 14. You really have to pay attention to character names and personas in this book or it will leave you utterly confused. Chapter 25 had me in tears of empathy for the main character, Paige. Chapter 27 and 28 had me reeling. It's like Samantha Shannon turned a corner in the novel from background development and a sort of slow character development to full on fabulous story telling. I would recommend it, but you need to get through the first few slow chapters to get to the good stuff. It's coming! The narrator, though a tad "bland" is perfect for the part of Paige.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ashlee essendon, Australia 12-17-13
    ashlee essendon, Australia 12-17-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I couldn't put it down!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Bone Season the most enjoyable?

    The story was incredibly gripping and something completely different to anything I've ever read before, and the narration was fantastic


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Warden of course, closely followed by Liss


    Which character – as performed by Alana Kerr – was your favorite?

    Alana Kerr was fantastic with every character (although it did take me a little while to adjust to the Irish accent after listening to the Divergent trilogy). Nashira was by no means my favourite character, but Alana captured her brilliantly.


    Any additional comments?

    Before listening to this book I had heard a lot of comparisons between Samantha Shannon and JK Rowling which are completely unfair, they are completely different authors with different styles and different stories, though both are incredibly talented.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    German Cary, NC, United States 08-29-13
    German Cary, NC, United States 08-29-13 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I could not wait for this book to end"

    Don't believe the hype! I give the author credit for creating a somewhat interesting "spirit" world. However, once you get past the novelty of life in the non corporal realm, you quickly get bored with the plot. I also don't understand the infatuation with the narrator. She made the main character sound so depressing. I wish a had a remote to fast forward. Seriously. A seven book series? For me, it's one and done.

    26 of 34 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Fleming Alexandria, Virginia 09-20-13
    Anne Fleming Alexandria, Virginia 09-20-13 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Early promise gurgled to a premature demise . . ."
    What disappointed you about The Bone Season?

    . . . like your dreams!!! The early chapters laid solid groundwork for a complex world with interesting characters. I anticipated a book somewhere between Magic Study and the Hunger Games, but with a fresh perspective.

    However, relationships between characters remained shallow and wooden, and the unrelieved despair following the main character's imprisonment undermined the authenticity of the world, and pulled me out of the story. Foundational elements of the story were just completely unexplained: if this was deliberate, it was clumsy.

    Almost as bad: moments of stupid were not infrequent, and quite jarring. (*Spoiler* Really, you have to wait for the friggin train that only comes ever 10 years to escape??? What does the train run on? Does it run on AIR? Could it run on TRAIN TRACKS, perhaps? Could you maybe WALK on those tracks to escape?! Seriously. *End Spoiler*)

    The last third of the book was just drudgery.


    Has The Bone Season turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Alana Kerr?

    Lovely accent. Wasted on this story.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Bone Season?

    Everything after chapter four.


    Any additional comments?

    It is reassuring to know that the publishing industry isn't needed as a gatekeeping to sort the wheat from the chaff. As we move toward more self-pub., I won't have to worry about a decline in quality.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
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  • Ms Amanda Thompson
    Irthlingborough, Northamptonshire United Kingdom
    9/27/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "To be continued i hope ...."
    If you could sum up The Bone Season in three words, what would they be?

    An excellent story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I felt like i was a ghost character on a journey inside this story and on falling asleep i became part of it in my dreams.If you like the stories of Trudi Canavan then you will enjoy this. I hope the story doesn't end here as there is so much more that can be written about these characters

    if only the narrator had had the courage to become more than just a flat voice then the whole story would have had a life. Now i must read this book in its paper form to get my own feel for the characters and give them their own personalities.


    What didn’t you like about Alana Kerr’s performance?

    Sadly the performance was flat and deadpan, all the characters had the same voice and i didn't feel that any of the characters had life breathed into them.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    As the performance was so dull i was in a hurry to reach the end, the story was thrilling but i did not have an emotional reaction.


    Any additional comments?

    Read the book first before listening to the story on audio.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Colette
    Gorebridge, United Kingdom
    8/30/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Expected more"

    I'd been reading previews of The Bone Season for months and was really looking forward to it so I was delighted when it appeared on Audible so quickly. Maybe my expectations were raised too much but it took me quite some time to get in to the story. I very nearly returned it after the first 15 mins because I just don't like the narrator. Her voice is very expressionless and dull and really annoyed me. I persevered and slowly the story began to draw me in. In a new series when the world in which it is based is being established, I expect some level of detail while the basics are set out. In this book, there was just too much detail too early at the expense of the story. For me it didn't really begin to gather momentum until about half way through.

    I've finally reached the end now and on balance I would say I enjoyed it and will read the next in the series when it comes out. I won't be listening to it though because I just can't bring myself to go through the ordeal of the narrator again.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • W. Taylor
    Stourbridge, West Midlands United Kingdom
    2/1/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Don't buy audio, buy the book"

    I am sorry to pick on the narrator, but I feel obliged to warn anybody considering buying this audio book. This is the singularly worst narrated audio book which I have ever purchased. The narration is eye-stabbingly tedious with a constant monotonous tone which does not vary at any point to convey meaning, emotion or change of speaking character which meant that during exchanges between characters it was a real effort to keep track of who was speaking at any specific moment.

    Whoever was on the publisher's team must not have monitored the narration at any point as the awfulness of this product would have been apparent within a minute. I am tempted to return this purchase just in the hope that the number of returns is reported to the publisher, however, they clearly do not care about their audio customers anyway, so it is probably pointless.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • I Grok Frak
    United Kingdom
    9/3/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An Unexpected Gem"

    I am not sure what I was expecting, having seen people talking about the book on the television, and seeing Samantha's interview on the BBC Breakfast program, and, after a week or more of shall I, shan't I, I thought I would give it a go ...

    And I am glad that I did. If I had not heard about her recently, I would have said that Samantha Shannon was a seasoned author, and that this was a nom de plume for another author, one whose name would escape me for a long time ;-).

    The book brings to life an alternate timeline/reality for the modern world, beginning in an alternative reality of London and moving to Oxford. One in which the flavour of the world is drawn in rich detail, and clearly sets the scene for the future, whilst satisfyingly completing a portion of that journey.

    I found the protagonist to be intelligent and irritating all in one. A heroine that I was rooting for most of the time, but one that had me yelling out loud about the "wrong" moves that she was taking / making at other times. It fully engaged me, and I wanted the "bad guys" to lose, the "good guys" to win, not that it ends so cleanly.

    It is one of those books that I could not put down, except for the minimum requirements for life: sleep, food, etc.

    I look forward to the future of this young author, and the sequel of "The Bone Season", it will have a great deal to live up to.

    I also found Alana Kerr's narration to be very enjoyable and engaging and hope that she is able to voice the future tales.

    I will not compare it to other books as that would give certain expectations. But if you like your fiction with an edge of fantasy (assuming you don't believe in E.S.P., ghosts, etc.), then this is a tale for you.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Joy
    St. Albans, United Kingdom
    9/26/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Up with the greats!"

    If this is genuinely Samantha's first book she has a huge career ahead of her. The story is well thought out and the personal relationships well expressed, I felt what she was portraying; I love/hated Warden. I was truly frightened for Clairy, I found myself switching off to take a break and get my emotions in check.
    Altogether a very good book and I'm looking forward to the next one.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    Hay-on-Wye, United Kingdom
    9/15/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Improve the quality of the storyline which could have been read in a more animated tone of voice.


    What will your next listen be?

    Mr Slaughter by Robert McCammon, read by Edoardo Ballerini


    Would you be willing to try another one of Alana Kerr’s performances?

    No


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Bone Season?

    Capture of Paige.


    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • sharon
    Falmouth, United Kingdom
    8/22/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absorbing Dystopian Fantasy...."

    Samantha Shannon sure has one hell of an imagination, what a début!
    Paige's character is one of being a very tough cookie, she has had to be, Scion wants rid of all those who are Voyant, they are the lowest of the low, criminals to be feared,to be distrusted, to be hunted down like vermin.
    Constantly monitored the net is ever tightening around this terrorised community.

    Paige is a criminal and makes money from her dreamwalker gifts, she works for a crime lord who constantly pushes her to use her gifts, failing is not an option you have to earn your keep to stay alive.
    Things don't go to plan as she is captured and transported to Oxford, to an even more brutal place from where she has come from, humans are nothing, a disgusting species to be used and moulded for her captors needs.
    The chilling telling is of dog eat dog, survival of the fittest and Paige realising that the Scion is not so all powerful as she first thought, her only thought is of escape, she is being manipulated from many sides and working out who to trust and to stay alive to be able to make her and others to escape looks more than impossible.
    The positives far out way any niggles, some parts where a little too laboured and overly long, but this is small point. I am looking forward to see where this very individual dystopia saga leads to next.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Sedgefield, South Africa
    5/16/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "New author, new world"

    An entirely coherent new world created by Samantha Shannon. I can't wait for the next book. What if, aliens were among us and we never new. An interesting premise and a fascinating tale. Great characters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • lynsey
    Manchester, United Kingdom
    4/25/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Please Read This Book!"

    I totally loved this book and genuinely can not wait for the next installment.
    Yes, its a dystopian young adult book and Yes there are so many of these hitting the shelves at the moment but No its not the new Hunger Games and No its not the same as all the others that have followed!
    People always tend to put certain book styles( especially young adult books) in the same bag and forget that although they may have a few things in common that they are vastly different, for instance people would never say Lee Child and Micheal Robotham are the same even though they are crime thriller writers with strong yet flawed male protagonists who write in the present day...........and thats because they are totally different!
    This tale is wonderfully creative and filled with captivating characters, set in London in the future this story is filled with so many things,survival, cruelty and hatred, poverty and crime, friendship and love with a little bit of paranormal all wrapped up in science fiction.It is hard to describe and should not just be categorized as a dystopian thriller, or at least I don't believe so.
    I did not have a problem with the narrator as others seem to have had and I had read this book before I listened. So I would not let it put you off (do try it out first though) I quite liked her voice for the gutsy female lead.
    As you would guess I highly recommend this book in either or both forms, it is a riveting story and a fantastic debut x

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Phillippa
    Birmingham, United Kingdom
    12/4/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not worth your time"
    Would you try another book written by Samantha Shannon or narrated by Alana Kerr?

    No


    Would you ever listen to anything by Samantha Shannon again?

    No


    What didn’t you like about Alana Kerr’s performance?

    She had a monotonous voice.


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    There are absolutely no redeeming features for this book.


    Any additional comments?

    I was excited to listen to this immediately on purchase. I had seen Samantha Shannon being interviewed on Breakfast TV and thought it was definitely worth a listen. Maybe I was on the wrong wavelength but the book was totally meaningless. The whole story went nowhere, had little substance and it was a struggle to listen to the end. There was hope throughout that it would brighten up, and the ending in the last five minutes was a relief and a "wrap" but that was all. There are no relationships worth worrying about in the book, it is a monotonous monologue of utter boredom and absolutely not worth my time in listening to it.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
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