Notes From The Burning Age by Claire North – A Book Review

Notes from a burning age


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.

Author: Claire North

Publisher: Orbit

Genre: Sci-Fi/Post-Apocalyptic

Pages: 394

Release Date: 20/07/2021

My Chosen Format: Kindle

My Rating of ‘Notes From The Burning Age’: 2 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon, Audible


I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This won’t be an overly long review as I just don’t have a great deal to say about this that won’t make me sound like I’m repeating myself.

I really loved the concept of this book. Having never read a book by the author, I had no idea what to expect (other than everyone I know who has read The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August really enjoyed it) so I was quite happy to get onto the Claire North bandwagon. Sadly, she just doesn’t seem to be the author for me, so I think I’ll be getting off said bandwagon at the first stop.

While the concept of this book had me excited, the execution genuinely had me falling asleep. The pacing was slow, the subject matter was uninteresting and, when things started to get a bit pacey … it just didn’t feel like they actually were due to the overall slowness of the book. I genuinely have few recollections of this book due to my attention wandering off and refusing to come back for large portions. Due to this, I found it very hard to care for any of the characters.

I enjoyed the religious side of things and the lore North has established in the wake of our world. I love the fact that those that come after us are sifting through corrupted data files to try and piece together just how we lived. It feels like watching future archaeologists at work sifting through the rubble of the world I currently live in. But everything that went into this piece surrounding the parts I liked just seemed to fall flat.

Another aspect I wasn’t thrilled about was how preachy this novel is. None of it ‘offended’ my beliefs or my political affiliations (it’s pretty hard to do so for me as I’m a pretty much a ‘believe what you want to’ kind of guy), I just felt like I was at a sermon about right and wrong for the entire thing. I pick up a book for some escapism from the real world, not to have the real world thrust at me.

I’ve read a couple of the negative reviews since writing this one and have noticed that what I picked up on as negative points were pretty universal for the negative reviews throughout the community. However, the positive reviews pretty much ate it up like it was a gourmet meal. So I suppose what I’m trying to say is, if you dislike the kind of things I have mentioned, this book probably won’t be for you. If you don’t mind/enjoy them, you’ll get on well with this.

8 thoughts on “Notes From The Burning Age by Claire North – A Book Review

  1. Whatever happened to just telling a good story? That art seems be losing out to wanktards like this person who feel it is their personal mission to preach some sort of “message” at their readers.
    And when they do it so ham handedly, like it appears was done here, it’s just eye rolling bad.

    On the plus side, you can cross off any more books by this author. Help that poor TBR list πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea, I doubt I’ll be trying her other work. Even if her other stuff isn’t as preachy, I’d not fancy another 400 pages of the same kind of slow pace.

      I think too many people want to go down the ‘literary & thought-provoking’ route. My opinion is, if you wish to be thought provoking, that’s what open letters/non-fiction essays are for πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry this one didn’t work out for you! I don’t think you should completely write North off just because you didn’t like this one book, buuut I’d definitely do it so πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

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