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Extended Audio Sample The Boneshaker, by Kate Milford Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (644 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kate Milford Narrator: Erin Moon Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Thirteen-year-old Natalie Minks loves machines, particularly automata—self-operating mechanical devices, usually powered by clockwork. When Jake Limberleg and his traveling medicine show arrive in her small Missouri town with a mysterious vehicle under a tarp and an uncanny ability to make Natalie’s half-built automaton move, she feels in her gut that something about this caravan of healers is a bit off. Her uneasiness leads her to investigate the intricate maze of the medicine show, where she discovers a horrible truth and realizes that only she has the power to set things right.

Set in 1914, The Boneshaker is a gripping, richly textured novel about family, community, courage, and looking evil directly in the face in order to conquer it.
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Quotes & Awards

  • “This is one of those books that’s a delight from start to finish, quirky but grounded, with characters you’ll fall in love with.”

    Charles de Lint, author of Little (Grrl) Lost and The Blue Girl

  • “A sure-footed, slow-burning thriller…The tale is shrouded in mystery and explores themes of gaining confidence and recognizing evil, and Milford’s detail-rich prose makes it all the more haunting.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “An elaborate and intricate gearwork story…Both impressive and ambitious, Milford’s first novel rarely overreaches as it lays out an eerie and atmospheric vision of early-twentieth-century Americana, electrified by supernatural traces and a generously complex look at good, evil, and the wide swath between.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “The sinister undertones of this thriller are understated enough to leaves readers in a constant state of unease, even when it is not readily apparent why…Though Arcane teems with unusual and odd characters, none stand out more than Natalie herself. Intelligent, curious, and brave, Natalie…easily carries the story.”

    Children’s Literature

  • “This unusual story, with elements of folklore, tall tales and steampunk, has rich details of small-town Americana in the early twentieth century as well as the impact of budding technology. Natalie is a well-drawn protagonist with sturdy supporting characters around her. The tension built into the solidly constructed plot is complemented by themes that explore the literal and metaphorical role of crossroads and that thin line between good and evil.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Laura | 2/12/2014

    " I definitely liked this book. There's a lot to it. Historical fantasy with a devil-at-the-crossroads at its heart, some hints of the American Jack tales, and just the tiniest bit of steampunk. However it wasn't a fast read. It took awhile before it really grabbed my attention, but the ending was very creepy and exciting, and maybe even a little too fast-paced. I felt that it was over just as I was getting into it. It definitely made me interested in reading the prequel, The Broken Lands. And I think for the right reader, one familiar with all these kinds of stories, it's a great read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Afton Nelson | 2/11/2014

    " I really wanted to love this book which is supposed to be in the steampunk category. Maybe it was this distinction that ultimately lead to my disappointment. The steampunk elements seemed to be confined to the traveling medicine show, not every day life like they are in my one of favorite series "Airborn" by Kenneth Oppel. And in the end, the "magic" behind the medicine show's wonders doesn't even appear to be technological, but otherworldly. It took me several weeks to get through this book. I never really got into it, would fall asleep reading (which I never do when a book engages me) and didn't feel a really strong connection to any of the characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Melinda | 2/5/2014

    " This entertaining, quirky read offers good lessons about looking evil in the face and standing up to it - whether that evil be a bully, as in the beginning, or the Devil, as in the end. However, the verbal imagery is quite scary and may cause nightmares in more sensitive kids. Ages 11 and up. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Destinee Sutton | 2/2/2014

    " I just couldn't get into this. I picked it up and put it down dozens of times, but it never stuck. "

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About the Author
Author Kate Milford

Kate Milford is the author of The Boneshaker, The Broken Lands, and Greenglass House along with companion novellas. Milford writes for stage and screen as well as writing as a travel columnist for the Nagspeake Board of Tourism and Culture. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her family.