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"Shadow Scale" by Rachel Hartman
Seraphina has kept her mind safe from intruders, but that also means she’s held back her own gift. It is time to make a choice: Cling to the safety of her old life, or embrace a powerful new destiny? See more
$9.69 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

"Shadow Scale" by Rachel Hartman
Seraphina has kept her mind safe from intruders, but that also means she’s held back her own gift. It is time to make a choice: Cling to the safety of her old life, or embrace a powerful new destiny? See more

Product Details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Candlewick on Brilliance Audio; MP3 Una edition (November 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1480518727
  • ISBN-13: 978-1480518728
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,826,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up—Seth remembers dying. His remembers splitting his head on the rocks and drowning. But now he is awake again, naked and lost in his old home in England. Seth wanders the empty, desolate streets of town, eating spoiled food, looking for any signs of life, finally considering he may very well be in his own personal hell. When he attempts to sleep, his dreams are filled with vivid memories of despair. The memories are so terrible, in fact, that he begins to prefer this new world over the dreams, awful as it is. He's thinking about trying to end it all when he hears a car engine roar to life. Nick Podehl's expert narration portrays the characters' voices believably and with emotion. A few sexual situations and mild language make this appropriate for slightly older teens. Purchase where demand for dystopian fiction is high and Ness ("Chaos Walking" series) has a following. Listeners will be clamoring for a sequel.—Amanda Schiavulli, Finger Lakes Library System, NY --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist

“He dies.” So ends the first chapter of Ness’ latest meld of genre fiction and soul-searching prose, wherein 16-year-old Seth violently drowns in the ocean. There is, of course, a catch: Seth wakes up in his former England home, suffering near-total amnesia and covered in metallic bandages. The neighborhood appears long deserted, and so Seth begins to scrounge empty stores for food and clothing. It’s when he sleeps, however, that pieces of his past come rushing back: his culpability in the kidnapping of his little brother eight years earlier, his bespoiled sexual relationship with a boy from school, and even hints at how on earth he ended up here. Edging any further into plot is a minefield of spoilers, as the book’s chief propulsion tactic is the turning of unexpected corners. Ness’ knack for cliff-hangers, honed in the Chaos Walking series, remains strong, while the spare, gradual, anytime, anyplace quality of the story recalls A Monster Calls (2011). Repeated, similar battles with an antagonist feel like a distraction; nevertheless, Ness has crafted something stark and uncompromising. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Ness is in the midst of a major critical and commercial hot streak. An author tour and more will seek to extend it. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

It is a thought provoking and multi layered story with well written characters.
I didn't love the ending; it felt a little too ambiguous, and although it was clever, I would have liked something more.
Black Plum
One of the hallmarks of a good book (in my opinion) is that once you finish reading it, you want more.
J. Wiles Parker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Porter on October 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I absolutely adored Chaos Walking and--a bit less--A Monster Calls, so I'm sorry to say that this came as a real disappointment. Ness is an accomplished writer and it's all very well done, so much so that it almost felt slick or glib at times. The parts set in Seth's "before" life were mostly awesome. But as soon as I got to the big twist I thought, "Oh God no," and then, "Well, this is Patrick Ness. Maybe he can pull it off." Not really. The premise brings up so many potential problems that it starts to feel like Ness is spending a third of the book explaining them away--There's a hormone that stops your nails from growing!--while leaving the biggest issues unaddressed--like, um, how enough food for an entire comatose society is being produced and provided. In perpetuity.

I found it maddeningly repetitive, too. I couldn't stand Seth's solipsistic ruminations, which came up over and over again. I was painfully bored by the way the Driver kept jumping out at them, so much so that I almost put the book down thirty pages before the end because I could hardly bear to read yet another iteration of the same scene. Even Ness's prose became repetitive, hammering out variants of the same sentence three or four times in a row, piling up four verbs for one action. Maybe this was supposed to heighten the drama, but for me it was more alienating than engaging. I never really believed in the characters or the world.

But hey, lots of people love this book. You might be one of them.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Miss Bonnie on September 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
'Haven't you ever felt like there had to be more? Like there's more out there somewhere, just beyond your grasp, and if you could only get to it...'

Imagine you wake up unaware of where you are or how you got there but the last thing you remember is dying. You died, yet somehow you didn't because you're obviously still alive, right? But imagine that you wake up in a world that seems strange; off somehow. And you can't find a single soul, it's as if the world has been completely emptied leaving only you. This is the situation Seth finds himself in.

'He can feel himself teetering again, an abyss of confusion and despair looking right back at him, threatening to swallow him if he so much as glances at it.'

This is such an engrossing tale. I was riveted and couldn't put this down. I went into this with a completely different set of expectations but they were completely dashed. The beginning of this tale had the same feel of quiet desolation that The Road has and I was enthralled, but Ness turned this into a total game. Just when you think you finally have a grasp on what's really going on he not only removes some vital piece of evidence but completely transforms the landscape. And this happened many, many times. I was still attempting to get a good grasp on what was truly happening with only 5 pages remaining.

It's tagged as YA but involves such a sophisticated storyline that makes it vastly different than anything out there. I can't think of a single book to compare it to and that's a wonderful thing. I hope that the YA designation doesn't deter typical adult readers. I hope that the philosophical designation doesn't deter YA readers.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By B. J. Neary on October 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wow! This book was a thriller, very suspenseful, and at times, agonizing to me as I worried endlessly about Seth, Tomascz and Regine. I couldn't put this book down and I was compelled to read it (this book kind of reminded me of the angst I felt with Grant's Gone Series and Dashner's Maze Runner) so you know what I am talking about right? The book begins with a very vivid description of Seth's death and proceeds to him waking up with no injuries...and alive. Where is he? In Hell, an afterlife of some sort? The reader is compelled to follow Seth as he tries to figure out where he is and what is going on. I also listed this book as horror because Seth finds himself in some burned out world that looks like the neighborhood where he grew up with layers of dust, no food, no people and closed up houses and businesses. When he meets Regine and Tomascz and also "The Driver" that is where the horror really settles in and what wild ride!!!
Ness' characters, his descriptions of the worlds Seth explores and his hope/hopeless worlds are food for thought, a great read!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jeann @ Happy Indulgence on December 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This review originally appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews at: [...]

Actual rating: 4.5

More Than This is an incredibly deep and thought-provoking book, addressing philosophical questions such as: What happens to life after death? What happens if life isn’t what we think it is? What if all our beliefs are thrown out the window…is there more than this?

As the story opens with Seth drowning in an ocean, and then awakening in a strange but familiar place, we are struck with a powerful, enveloping sense of loneliness and confusion that he experiences. Seth’s emotions and reflection of his actions leading up to his death are told during flashbacks, with barely any dialogue. The flashbacks contain a wonderful contrast to the empty world where he awakens, they are so full of life and love with his friend Gudmund, his younger brother Owen, his parents and friends.

The story moves through several different stages, from Seth waking up alone and discovering strange paradoxes within the new world, to developing an unlikely friendship with other residents Regina and Thomasz, and encountering the secrets within the world and the ominous figure in a black van called “the Driver”. His new friends are the clue to discovering more about this world that he has woken up in, and their stories are poignant.

Throughout the book, the whole story was shrouded in a sense of mystery and painstaking suspense. One one hand, I wanted to savour the beautiful passages that I was witnessing, and on the other I just wanted to know what was going on. After trudging through vague memories and obscure conversations, and giving you hints through Seth’s observations and understandings, the book finally delivers the final piece to the puzzle.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

As a child
I was born on an army base called Fort Belvoir, near Alexandria, Virginia, in the United States. My father was a drill sergeant in the US Army, but much nicer than that makes him seem. I only stayed at Fort Belvoir for the first four months of my life and have never even been back to the East Coast of America. We moved to Hawaii, where I lived until I was almost six. I went to kindergarten there, and we used to have field trips down to Waikiki Beach. I once picked up a living sea urchin and got about a hundred needle pricks in the palm of my hand. I made up stories all the time as a kid, though I was usually too embarrassed to show them to anybody.

As an adult
I've only ever really wanted to be a writer. I studied English Literature at the University of Southern California, and when I graduated, I got a job as a corporate writer at a cable company in Los Angeles, writing manuals and speeches and once even an advertisement for the Gilroy, California Garlic Festival. I got my first story published in Genre magazine in 1997 and was working on my first novel, The Crash of Hennington, when I moved to London in 1999. I've lived here ever since. I taught Creative Writing at Oxford University for three years, usually to students older than I was.

As an artist
So far, I've published two books for adults, a novel called The Crash of Hennington and a short story collection called Topics About Which I Know Nothing, a title which seemed funny at the time but less so 10,000 mentions later... Here's a helpful hint if you want to be a writer: When I'm working on a first draft, all I write is 1000 words a day, which isn't that much (I started out with 300, then moved up to 500, now I can do 1000 easy). And if I write my 1000 words, I'm done for the day, even if it only took an hour (it usually takes more, of course, but not always). Novels are anywhere from 60,000 words on up, so it's possible that just sixty days later you might have a whole first draft. The Knife of Never Letting Go is 112,900 words and took about seven months to get a good first draft. Lots of rewrites followed. That's the fun part, where the book really starts to come together just exactly how you see it, the part where you feel like a real writer.

Things you didn't know about Patrick Ness
1. I have a tattoo of a rhinoceros.
2. I have run two marathons.
3. I am a certified scuba diver.
4. I wrote a radio comedy about vampires.
5. I have never been to New York City but...
6. I have been to Sydney, Auckland and Tokyo.
7. I was accepted into film school but turned it down to study writing.
8. I was a goth as a teenager (well, as much of a goth as you could be in Tacoma, Washington and still have to go to church every Sunday).
9. I am no longer a goth.
10. Under no circumstances will I eat onions.


Patrick Ness is the author of the Chaos Walking trilogy. The Knife of Never Letting Go, Book One of the trilogy, won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the Booktrust Teenage Prize. The Ask and The Answer, the second book in the trilogy won the Costa Children's Book Award 2009. The third book, Monsters of Men, is released in September 2010.

He has also written a novel (The Crash of Hennington) and a short story collection (Topics About Which I Know Nothing) for adults, has taught Creative Writing at Oxford University, and is a literary critic for the Guardian. Born in Virginia, he lives in London.

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