• Notes from the Burning Age

  • By: Claire North
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 13 hrs and 2 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (109 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An NPR Best Book of 2021
A Washington Post Best Book of 2021

“A riveting tale of subterfuge and deadly self-indulgence” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) from award-winning author Claire North, Notes from the Burning Age presents an extraordinary vision of the future that puts dystopian fiction in a whole new light.

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.

“One of the best books I've read in recent years. Thought provoking, imaginative, and packs a hell of an emotional punch.” (Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of Children of Time)

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©2021 Claire North (P)2021 Orbit

Critic Reviews

"One of the best books I've read in recent years. Thought provoking, imaginative, and packs a hell of an emotional punch." (Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of Children of Time

"A fantastical nightmare so skillfully sketched that it felt like truth. And when it was done, I simply didn't want to leave... Compelling [and] beautiful." (NPR Books)

"A riveting tale of subterfuge and deadly self-indulgence in this postapocalyptic thrill ride.... North's convincing view of postapocalyptic society captivates, and the political intrigues will keep readers hooked right up until the explosive close." (Publishers Weekly, starred review) 

What listeners say about Notes from the Burning Age

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fantastic

Heavy on world building and definitely a slow build, but the climax pays off and Claire North once again delivers a book that centers around an enmity that is, ultimately, a friendship verging on brotherhood. She is one of the masters of modern science fiction, and will go down in literary history standing alongside such greats as Asimov and Scalzi. Her take on the post-apocalyptic world is unique and fascinating, and as usual the great events of the world ultimately form the backdrop for the entirely human and personal story of the main character.

6 people found this helpful

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Difficult but worth it

I wished there were a written list of characters. I had a problem keeping them straight. The rhythm of the prose is exquisite. The narration perfect. This would not have been an easy book to narrate. As mentioned. this is a slow build but so very worth it. I almost gave up but like a roller coaster, once the climb was achieved, the book was breathtaking and I couldn't put it down. The relationship between the two main characters kept me listening during those times I was tempted to give up. I will be thinking of Ven and Georg for a long time to come.

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Not her best work

Far from the top of her catalog. A large divert from the style we’ve grown to know and love. Her world building is weak. This comes from a big fan of her North/Webb’s usually work. I miss the “just to the left of everyday” that stirs the imagination. The story was as convoluted and hard to follow as the world of the story was.

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DNF

I tried. I Tried, really, I tried. I started it. Re listened to the first 4 chapters. Moved on from that, still not sure what I was listening to. Made it to chapter 21 and called it. UGH. I enjoy dystopian novels. I enjoy period pieces. I enjoy historic fiction. I enjoy mysteries. I did not enjoy this. 5 hours of my listening time gone forever...

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Notes From the Burning Age

What was this book about? A waste of listening time.

Terrible terrible Terrible terrible terrible