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Near the Bone  By  cover art

Near the Bone

By: Christina Henry
Narrated by: Lisa Flanagan
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Publisher's summary

A woman trapped on a mountain attempts to survive more than one kind of monster, in a dread-inducing horror novel from the national best-selling author Christina Henry.

Mattie can't remember a time before she and William lived alone on a mountain together. She must never make him upset. But when Mattie discovers the mutilated body of a fox in the woods, she realizes that they’re not alone after all. 

There’s something in the woods that wasn’t there before, something that makes strange cries in the night, something with sharp teeth and claws. 

When three strangers appear on the mountaintop looking for the creature in the woods, Mattie knows their presence will anger William. Terrible things happen when William is angry.

©2021 Christina Henry (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"It's full of magic and passion and courage, set against a convincing historical backdrop.... Henry's spare, muscular prose is a delight. I loved this novel." (Louisa Morgan, author of A Secret History of Witches)

"Multiple twists keep the reader guessing, and the fluid writing is enthralling.... This is a fine addition to the shelves of any fan of children's classics and their modern subversions." (Publishers Weekly)

"This wild, unrelenting tale, full to the brim with the freedom and violence of young boys who never want to grow up, will appeal to fans of dark fantasy." (Booklist)

“Near the Bone features compelling and creative characters, descriptions of snow so realistic that they'll make you reach for a blanket and a monster so terrifying that it is sure to haunt the dreams of even the most stoic reader.... Near the Bone is a terror-ridden yet poetic hike that will leave your nerves frazzled and heart.” (BookPage)

What listeners say about Near the Bone

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

45 minutes of a woman speaking like a 3-year-old

The book itself is pretty good, but it has sections of excruciating narration. Most of it is fine, but during the flashback scenes, the narrator (of whom I was previously a big fan) used the most terrible, whining voice for the 8-year-old main character that I had to skip forward. It was extremely infantalized, which I dislike when people do for children. I have to wonder whether the narrator even tried to remember what it was like to be eight years old. I can remember. You're not in diapers anymore.

I grit my teeth and tried to wait it out the best I could, but there was one section toward the end that was about 45 minutes long, and I had to skip it after fifteen. I simply could not listen to another minute of the whimpering voice from this adult narrator playing a supposed 8-year-old who was characterized by the author as brave and strong, but who in the hands of the narrator sounded like a meek toddler. The personality conveyed by the writing and the terrible, infantile voice did not correspond to each other at all. Not to mention the basic fact that when adults do baby voices it always just sounds sickening. They are *not* children, and you know it.

It would have been slightly better if the voice had only happened during child's dialogue, but no - the narrator held it for the ENTIRE chapter as part of her performance. It was so bad that I didn't care what the revelations were in that chapter. I just wanted it to stop.

Beyond that, I would say the publisher's summary gives a very good idea of what the book is going to be like, except for me it focuses a bit too much on the past. I would have liked more suspense related to the immediate creature situation and less of the painfully childish flashbacks.

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15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

A book for people who hate themselves

I feel so bad for giving a bad review, but this book was truly awful and a waste of time as well as money.
**** Spoilers****
Maddie/Martha/Samantha is a victim who was abducted when she was 8 year's old by her mom's boyfriend. They live on a mountain where he beats her for every inconvenience including not giving him sons. We are trapped inside Maddie/Martha/Samantha's head and let me tell you. It's dull. It was reminiscent of the batman vs superman movie where they are constantly saying "Martha."

Other annoying dialogue that filled up the majority of the book:

Martha.
My name's not Martha.
Your name is Martha.
My name's not Martha.

You're my wife.
She's your wife?
I'm his wife.

William. William. William.
We need to keep going.
Let's set up our tent here.
We can't stop here.
I think this is a good place to stop.
Run.
Go. Go. Go.
Shh. Shh. Shh.
Maybe we should be quiet.
William. William. William.


I thought this was going to be a cool story about cryptids. Instead it was a very sad story about abuse with a random creature protecting their child. Super boring with mind numbing repetition. 10/10 would not recommend.

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12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

not at all like what I expected

if you are looking for something like this authors other book Alice this isn't it

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Suspenseful quick read/listen

Enjoyed the continuous suspense, slow reveal of when the story takes place and imagery of the creature. Dialogue was a bit corny/campy at times.
Would recommend.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

dark story fantastically done

the book is DARK! I loved it! the narrator did a fantastic job of adding suspense when needed!

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

I read many good reviews but found myself extremely annoyed by the main character. The ending was also unsatisfying.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

interesting premise but horrible performance

i’m really sorry to have to say this. i’ve never even left a review on audible, much less a negative one. but the way in which this book was narrated, particularly mattie/samantha’s both inner and regular dialogue, made me want to put my head through a wall. i made it through the entire thing but it was a miserable time. and it’s unfortunate, because you have to be invested in her survival in order to maintain interest in this book, but the way she was voiced made her extremely unlikable.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

five stars very riveting

I recommend this book to anybody that wants to be intrigued through the whole book not too scary but super suspenseful..

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good

I liked the story but it was difficult to listen to her whine all the time. In reference to the story it makes absolute sense but still difficult to listen to every chapter. The narration was excellent. I love this author and will definitely listen to more books by her.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

WOW! WHAT A NARRATOR!

The storyline was engrossing and chilling, but I need to give a five star review for the performance only because I can't give more. I have been listening to audible books for many years and have never been so immediately drawn into a story as quickly as I was with this performer. Altogether excellent!

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1 person found this helpful