Wren MacAvoy works as a coal miner for a domed city that was constructed in the mid-19th century to protect the royal blood line of England when astronomers spotted a comet on a collision course with Earth. Humanity would be saved by the most groundbreaking technology of the time. But after nearly 200 years of life beneath the dome, society has become complacent and the coal is running out. Plus, there are those who wonder: Is there life outside the dome? Or is the world still consumed by fire?
When one of Wren's friends escapes the confines of the dome, he is burned alive and put on display as a warning to those seeking to disrupt the dome’s way of life. But Alex’s final words are haunting. "The sky is blue." What happens next is a whirlwind of adventure, romance, conspiracy, and the struggle to stay alive in a world where nothing is as it seems. Wren unwittingly becomes a catalyst for a revolution that destroys the dome and the only way to survive might be to embrace what the entire society has feared their entire existence.
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
This is the first Steampunk book I have listened to. It was an enjoyable little story, and it kept my interest, but it isn't one of my favorites. I would recommend it for a younger crowd, pre-teen and teen.
Would you recommend Ashes of Twilight to your friends? Why or why not?
I would recommend it for the teens because it was a fun adventure, had a little romance, some action, and the lead characters continued to make the right choices despite the fact that they were not always the easiest choices
What does Nicola Barber bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
I enjoyed listening to the narrator's voice and the different character voices
Was Ashes of Twilight worth the listening time?
I think teens would enjoy it more than I did, however I did like it enough to listen to the rest of the series.
Wren lives with her grandfather, in a community of coal miners. Her job is to lead the pony carts that transport the coal from the mine, coal that is used to keep the exhaust and intake fans running so that the dome has air that isn't full of choking smog. But the coal is running out, and a message from a friend - The sky is blue - has sparked a revolution. People want out. But the ruling class doesn't want them to leave.
The characters in Ashes of Twilight are beautifully drawn, their world rich and atmospheric, and their interactions with the animals that share their fate, is sweet. I've really enjoyed this book, and have started the next one, Shadows of Glass. Nicola Barber's beautiful narration really adds to the cinematic experience. (My only caveat is the cockney accent she uses for Wren sometimes sounds overdone. It didn't detract at all from my enjoyment of the book, however.)
I generally avoid YA, but every now and then I find one like this, that transcends the usual drill. Yes the characters are 17 and 18 years old, but the story is so well done, the world so vivid, that it should appeal to anyone who enjoys a good story. I was instantly drawn into the atmosphere of the world under the Dome and loved every minute of it.
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Any additional comments?
I thought the story was creative but lacked some depth. I was entertained most of the way through, except for the many times that Wren re-lives the same thoughts inside her head and keeps blaming herself for everything. That got really old by the end. Narrator was excellent!