And just like this, here comes my last review of the year…
I received an e-copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank the publisher.
From Lipsyy : I started doing ‘lazy Saturday reviews’ as a way of getting reviews done in just 30 mins, and they proved to be quite popular. They are quick and snappy, and concentrate less on the plot (or content) and writing and more on my overall feelings about said book. They generally end up being a bit of a rant. My fave!
Ps: My lazy reviews are more often good ones than rants, haha!
Title: The Stone Song
Author: Tom Bale
Narrator: Razza Jaffrey
Publisher: Audible Original
Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
Release date: 7th November 2019
Source: I received a copy from the author
Welcome to the village of Stenhurst. Home to a butcher, baker and a terrorist cell, apparently. Sealed off from the world by sinister government agents, four teens discover that this official story is just that, a story. The truth behind the lockdown lies in a mysterious creature labelled CatX – and they will stop at nothing to locate her. Brilliantly performed by Raza Jaffrey, this thrilling Audible Original is the perfect listen for fans of Stranger Things.
Tom Bale is famous for his intense thrillers. I have most of them on my TBR, but you know what it is like… When I first heard of The Stone Song, I was curious. I love it when authors venture into different genres and prove us their talent has many faces. When Tom asked me if I wanted to listen to his newest book, I didn’t hesitate. Call it instinct? I don’t know what it was, but I was on the lookout for my next audiobook, hoping for something different and captivating. Well, I found it.
Two siblings in the dead of night, a helicopter crash, different voices. It didn’t take long for me to be hungry with answers I tend to stay away from teenagers, they’re the reason why I gave up on the idea of teaching, but Lily and Jack didn’t get on my nerves. No. They sounded like your normal, not-so-stupid youngsters who happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Or were they?
The narration makes it obvious that there is more than meet the eye, in a strong and clever way. The parallel perspectives filled me with dread, fear, questions. But the first chapters didn’t prepare me for what was to come.
Stenhurst is your usual quiet village. But events are about to make it famous to the world.
As the cast of protagonists grew, so did my interest. Tom Bale has done a great job in capturing the bad guys, the good but clumsy ones, the worried parents, the crowd effect, and the general anxiety people feel rising when words are muttered.
To hide the secret recapture of a specimen called CatX, the authorities wave the terrorism threat. Something in me reacted so violently I stopped reading for a second. Isn’t this so plausible it becomes scary?
When the town is sealed under the pretense to find those terrorists, Lily, Jack, and their friends Erin and Oliver are faced with a choice – help the poor creature being hunted or turn their head and lock the door. This is when I knew I would love those kids. This is no easy decision, but Lily stands up and decides to show the CatX that all humans are not evil. Getting to know the CatX allows Tom Bale to show us what we are capable of. How do we react to what is different from us? Don’t lie. We can’t lie. When afraid, we run. The first thing that comes to mind is us VS them. The author really does a great job at fighting this idea with heart but also realism. I am not one for paranormal stuff. But The Stone Song never actually felt so supernatural that I had to roll my eyes. In fact, I didn’t do it once. Because although the CatX is something different and her story is beyond what I knew, for me, this book is about mankind. Power. The face of our society. Countries battling to get the big fish. Secrets. At what cost? When did we become so afraid we lost our empathy and allowed guns to replace thoughts?
I disagree if you think The Stone Song is a simple YA thriller. This novel is a strong and engaging novel with characters to root for, baddies that earn their name, a sharp tension ready to keep the reader on their toes, and a deadly race for life.
The narrator absolutely nails every character and brings the story to life.