• Awakening

  • By: Sharon Bolton
  • Narrated by: Alison Reid
  • Length: 14 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 03-09-11
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Go
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.4 (11 ratings)

Regular price: $25.68

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Publisher's Summary

How did it all begin? I suppose it would be the day I rescued a new-born baby from a poisonous snake, heard the news of my mother’s death and encountered my first ghost…
Veterinary surgeon Clara Benning is young and intelligent, but practically a recluse. Disfigured by a childhood accident, she lives alone and shies away from human contact wherever possible. But when a man dies following a supposed snake bite, the victim’s post mortem shows a higher concentration of venom than could ever be found in a single snake. Assisted by her softly spoken neighbour and an eccentric reptile expert, Clara unravels sinister links to a barbaric ancient ritual, an abandoned house and a 50-year-old tragedy that left the survivors fiercely secretive. Then the village’s inventive attacker strikes again, and Clara’s own solitary existence is brutally invaded. For someone the truth must remain buried in the past…even if they have to kill to keep it there.
©2009 S J Bolton (P)2010 Random House Audio Go
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Dallas on 09-13-13

Loved it

This was recommended to me by a fellow audible listener. Its pretty well non-stop action from the word go. Although there are a few details about Australian snakes which aren't quite right, and she does go into a bit of detail about them in a couple of section, the story is good. It keeps going in a fast paced way and I kind of liked the heroine of the piece as well. I will listen to this again at some point.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Jennifer on 06-20-12

Good Story, Irritating Protagonist

Awakening is another good suspense offering by S.J. Bolton.

The protagonist, Clara Benning, is a vet who has severe facial scarring and who prefers the company of animals to people. When people in her village start being bitten by poisonous snakes, she becomes involved by virtue of her experience as a vet, and things snowball from there.

The plot is full of interesting twists and turns. Trying to keep the family members straight is a little difficult, but that's part of the mystery. Bolton manages to deftly weave aspects of charismatic US snake-handling religious sects into small rural English village life. Most small villages have their idiots, and the unnamed village (which for no ascertainable reason is not identified by name) has more than its share of offerings.

As with her other work, Bolton manages to cast doubt on several characters who appear to be the bad guys. But as with her other books, the endings and the characters are surprising.

It's a good book and an interesting read. Clara Benning's experience and education don't seem to tally with her stated age in the story. She's also an irritating character in some ways, as she vacillates between dithering and refusing to take action and then taking completely unrealistic and uncharacteristic risks. The story behind her facial disfigurement is only revealed toward the end of the book, but there's no reason for it to have been kept hidden and secret for so long.

The tension and history between Clara and her alcoholic mother (who dies shortly after the book opens) isn't well developed. It's clear that Clara has serious issues about her mother, but there's not enough of that back story developed to justify the odd emphasis placed on the mother/daughter relationship in the book.

At first it was refreshing to see a book where the female lead isn't beautiful, but that doesn't last long. Clara is described as being beautiful despite the scarring, and she does indeed seem to end up having two potential romantic interests.

The narration by Alison Reid is not as good as the narration by Lisa Coleman. She tends to mispronounce words ("vetinary" as opposed to "veterinary", for example) and her American accent is not well done at all and detracts from the performance.

Audible has just started to add the S.J. Bolton works, and this is a good solid offering, even if it isn't the best example of her writing. It's a solid 4-star book, with a 3.5 star performance.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Sue on 04-01-11

Excellent story

An enthralling well read story, but not for anybody with a snake phobia. An unusual plot well worth listening to. I will definitely down load another book by this author.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Rob Balcomb on 06-22-13

Boring

What disappointed you about Awakening?

I found it a very boring story with poor plot weak characters ,to many situations overplayed like I lost count how many times someone or something was lurking in the dark shadows or that crash of something or other . It never gripped me and I found it impossible to get into the story
I was so glad just to make it to the end as it was so painful at times , especially when she liked to go technical on you, it was like sitting through a science class.

Has Awakening put you off other books in this genre?

Yes

Would you be willing to try another one of Alison Reid’s performances?

No

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Yes I was happy just to get to the end

Any additional comments?

This book is peppered with condescending lectures it's like the author is telling you "look at all the research I have put in" Like the male mute swan is a Cobb, to quote just one. The story never moves up a gear it just chugs along like a old lumbering bus which to me was going uphill all the way , there was no excitement to this book the most boring book to date

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 03-12-18

unsuspecting

i loved another of her books and its wonderful unknown! please keep up the wonderful work sharon!

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