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Summary

From one of the most imaginative writers of her generation comes an extraordinary vision of the future.

Ven was once a holy man, a keeper of ancient archives. It was his duty to interpret archaic texts, sorting useful knowledge from the heretical ideas of the Burning Age - a time of excess and climate disaster. For in Ven's world, such material must be closely guarded, so that the ills that led to that cataclysmic era can never be repeated.

But when the revolutionary Brotherhood approaches Ven, pressuring him to translate stolen writings that threaten everything he once held dear, his life will be turned upside down. Torn between friendship and faith, Ven must decide how far he's willing to go to save this new world, and how much he is willing to lose.

Notes from the Burning Age is the remarkable and captivating new novel from the award-winning Claire North that puts dystopian fiction in a whole new light.

©2021 Claire North (P)2021 Hachette Audio UK

Critic reviews

"An impassioned, urgent and compelling new work that burns as bright as the fires of our own burning age. This is not to be missed." (Lavie Tidhar, World Fantasy Award-winning author)

"North's talent shines out." (Sunday Times)

"An original and even dazzling writer." (Kirkus)

"A gripping, utterly involving, dystopian eco-thriller that balances the intimacies of betrayal against global climate collapse." (Daily Mail)

What listeners say about Notes from the Burning Age

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  • Overall
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How exciting is this?

Pretty exciting. Peter Kenny does his usual excellent performance. What more can one say. Always quality.

I was not sure I was going to like this after noting some lower reviews. But actually it was great. Shades of George Smiley and WW2 escape stories. I was just waiting on Alastair Simms saying "I can see. Take me with you".

I had to mentally adjust to the setting but I was so taken in the end I was digging up map of Europe.

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A slight but notable shift in Clair' story telling

This is not a typical Clair North story and much more political in a way, as it relates to a possible aftermath of our very own global warming reality. > As I am typing this, I have Greek TV running in the background with round-the-clock coverage of their Greek forests burning.<
The story is a good one and very plausible. The question, how to deal with the archives of ‘lost’ human knowledge, good or bad, trivial, or scientific, which once set the planet ablaze is a poignant one, and from today’s perspective, the villains of the story should have been the good guys one would think.
The whole book in many ways reminded me of ‘The Second Sleep’ by Robert Harris, and I loved the rich and dense atmosphere it creates of this bleak and freezing ‘retro’ world.
The entire element of gods, priests, and superstition although very far from my own world, works very well in this story, as the social glue of this 'fear bound' phantasy world society. A good read and very enjoyable.
Clair is getting better and better at the mainstream craft of knuckle-biting storytelling but has lost out somewhat on a truly inspiring idea. Shame, but not a big shame at that.
Personally, I have had my problems with Peter Kenny as the narrator in ‘The Pursuit of William Abbey’ and ‘The End of Day’, but I found his performance in this audiobook almost agreeable.
Sadly, if one listens across the books mentioned before, his narration sounds like coming from one and the same character with no, or very little distinction... Maybe it is time for a change.

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No surprises but a well told story

If you like Claire's other books, you'll enjoy this. It's a good story well told.

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Lost interest

Managed to finish this book, but only just. It's got a great premise, and a promising start. However after the beginning it really started to drag for me, and bits of it didn't feel very believable. I suspect there was more symbolism than I picked up on, but I just wasn't really engaged enough to care that much, and honestly was very tempted not to finish it. I did finish it in the end, but it was a struggle!

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Another fun world from Claire North

I really like all of the books I've read by Claire North, and the performer on them (Peter Kenney) is always fantastic. This was another good book, compelling character driven story and a fun world to be in. It's based on the aftermath of climate change, after wars between struggling nations force the Kakwi to wake and subjugate the world. It's not my favourite premise from Claire North, but it is quaint. If you want a recommendation of one to read from her you should go with Touch.

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Exceptional

With this novel, I add Claire North to my list of favourite writes, which includes Gaiman, Rothfuss, Harkaway, Stephenson and Mieville.
There are a few others, but if you know the names above, you should be reading Claire's books.

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couldn't get in to it...

Too much detail and nothing happening...
I got to chapter 5 and gave up. not for me!

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Horribly prescient

I'm sure others will have said it, but story for our times this is.