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Extended Audio Sample The Boneshaker Audiobook, by Kate Milford Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.57 out of 53.57 out of 53.57 out of 53.57 out of 53.57 out of 5 3.57 (28 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: May 2010 ISBN: 9781449866594
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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 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 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 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 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Richard | 2/1/2014

    " This is the definite leader for this year's Newbery Award "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate | 1/29/2014

    " I knew I loved this book when I was at the transportation museum and found myself looking for a Chesterlane Eidolon bicycle. An engrossing, supernatural-tinged mystery with an old-fashioned patina. The sense of sinister dread builds slowly, then explodes in a hair-raising climax. There's a couple of convenient plot developments where characters suddenly can do things right when they need to, and the denouement is a little dissatisfying, but those points are offset by some really great narrative moments, including some not-trite handholding (yes!) and a poignant dilemma for our heroine. Despite some weaknesses, I loved the hell out of this book. If you like eerie throwback stories, check this one out. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa | 1/9/2014

    " This book was strange. Interesting but strange... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbie Graham | 1/8/2014

    " Not a young kids' book - really for age 12 and up. Reads like Twain mixed with Pullman and Gaiman....folksy and creepy. Original read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kira Wizner | 1/3/2014

    " Very intricate, great story. An intense YA read or a totally good adult read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Noël DeVries | 1/2/2014

    " This is storytelling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kaye | 12/24/2013

    " If Tim Burton got ahold of this book, it'd definitely be a blockbuster. No kidding. A sinister traveling medicine show, deals with the Devil, a bicycle that can't be tamed and an unlikely thirteen-year-old heroine who has to deal with it all. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karen | 12/10/2013

    " I couldn't even finish this book. It wavered from really interesting to kinda boring, and I just gave up with about 50 pages left. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carrie | 12/9/2013

    " Sorry I didn't post as soon as I finished this, but life got busy. This is an excellent novel with complex characters who are inviting to both youth and adults. The plot is timeless and unique at the same time. I highly recommend to all readers and will definitely share with my students in the fall. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky Day | 4/22/2013

    " I loved this, it hit all my hot buttons - the period, creepy carnivals, crossroads bargains with demonic forces, and clockwork. I'm really looking forward to the next book in this series! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tamara Shantz | 1/29/2013

    " Read this on recommendation from a friend whose friend is the author! Took me a little while to get into it but the last half was a page turner. Quite enjoyable tale with a short of folkloric style to it - I'd definitely recommend it for a great summer read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 stillme | 12/29/2012

    " Great action and a convincing heroine. I liked that there were some really deep and noble ideas, but the tone was never didactic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maya Frank-Levine | 5/27/2012

    " The storytelling is fantastic, the climax is one of the best I've ever read, and the main character has secured her place in the awesome girl character hall of fame. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie Jane | 9/8/2011

    " Well-written and interesting, but I can't think of a single person to recommend it to. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 The_antichris | 5/14/2011

    " Genuinely delightful - sort of like what would happen if Elizabeth Enright and Neil Gaiman wrote a book together. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ashley | 4/26/2011

    " This was an interesting fantasy novel, but not one I would pick up again. I felt like the characters were a little flat and it took almost 1/2 the novel for me to really understand what the story was going to be about. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leslie | 4/12/2011

    " Ashby loved, loved, loved this book and has begged me to read it. I'm not very far in and it really hasn't grabbed me but I am going to stick with it she has assured me it will be worth it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meredith | 3/21/2011

    " I'm a huge fan of magical realism, it this book does a wonderful job with it. The voice of the heroine is honest and real, while at the same time the extraordinariness of her life is equally believable. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Aidan | 3/6/2011

    " There is a lot of interesting stuff going on in this book, but somehow it didn't come together for me. I lost interest halfway through and skimmed through the rest of the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mylisa | 3/3/2011

    " Enjoyed this more than I expected. Generally don't do books where the devil is one of the characters but this was written as a kind of folktale treatment and it didn't feel creepy at all to me. Crogy, probably not your book. I liked it though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fenty | 2/22/2011

    " awalnya agak bikin ngantuk,, tapi pas smua misteri muncul,,cerita jadi makin seru.
    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenn | 1/29/2011

    " Ug. Another dud. I just could not care about any of these characters at all. It just didn't interest me at all. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lori | 1/11/2011

    " I really did not enjoy this book. Sorry but I could not get into from the moment I started. I didn't like any of the characters and the story did not make sense. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lori | 1/5/2011

    " A little creepy, reminiscent of "Something Wicked This Way Comes". I'll never think of the early 20th century midwest small town the same again. "

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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. 

About the Narrator

Erin Moon has narrated dozens of audiobooks, including titles by Sharon Creech, Erin Hunter, and Jackson Pearce, and has won an AudioFile Earphones Award.