BOOK CLUB: The Raven’s Song

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The Raven’s Song is the product of a collaboration between Zana Fraillon and Bren MacDibble, two multi-award-winning authors coming together to write a story of friendship and courage.

12-year-old Shelby and her best friend Davy live in a Government-controlled closed community made up of three hundred and fifty people living on seven hundred hectares. This is the scientifically calculated number of people who can live sustainably on the land.

They live a simple life with solar power and near-zero pollution. They are brought up with kindness to each other and kindness to the land.

Shelby’s life is busy with chores on their egg farm and attending school.

They must live in these sustainable communities until the natural world, which borders on the fenced perimeter, heals.

When Shelby’s unfettered sense of adventure leads them through the perimeter fence and into the wild and natural world what she and Davy find is beyond their wildest imagination.

Zana and Bren have together created an outstanding Government-controlled world in which Shelby and Davy live happily with only a scattering of information from the past. It, at first, seems like an ideal world.

Shelby’s story is told in alternating narration with Phoenix, a 12-year-old boy living with his siblings, grandmother, and aunt. Phoenix has visions and dreams that he isn’t sure are real or not. A sixth sense, his grandmother calls it. He’s inexplicably drawn to the bog and an old local folk song about a girl who is trapped in the bog forever.

Phoenix’s story has a science fiction element to it and is just a little bit creepy.

I loved the short chapters, with each ending on a cliffhanger that had me eager to read on.

Both Shelby and Phoenix’s stories were totally absorbing and I was intrigued to see how the two stories would connect, never imagining what would actually come next!

Zana and Bren have combined multi-layered moral messages with a science fiction narrative that will have the reader transfixed.

I haven’t read much science fiction but I must say The Raven’s Song had me spellbound and quite often holding my breath while reading.

The Raven’s Song is a powerful and haunting read, best suited for ages 12+

5 /5 stars

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club members are reading The Raven’s Song. You can read their thoughts in the comments below, or add your own review.

6 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Raven’s Song

  1. This book was a lovely surprise, as I don’t read many YA books, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The premise of pandemics and environmental destruction is very topical, and the world the governments chose to create, where the earth is honoured and there is zero pollution, is unique and fascinating. (We do have to accept that all governments are in accord and willing to work together!)
    There are two sets of characters, twelve-year-old children living 100 years apart, and the chapters alternate between these narratives. There’s magic, ancient objects, stories from the past, and a huge scientific discovery that brings them together. The voices of the main characters are distinctive and authentic. The ending provides a beautiful connection between the two time frames.
    Overall, an imaginative and thought-provoking read. Thanks to Allen & Unwin and Beauty &Lace for the chance to read and review it.

  2. The Raven’s Song by Zana Fraillon and Bren MacDibble is an intriguing story of two 12 year old’s living close to a century apart. This is a Young Adult/Teen book given told from the perspective of two twelve year olds.

    Shelby Jones lives in the now on a sustainable 700 hectares of land with exactly 350 people on it. Phoenix Ticerat lives on the edge of a big city in the 2020’s, about 100 years before Shelby. It is in Phoenix’s time that a pandemic hits and the solution is to move people out of cities onto the sustainable 700 hectare lots where they only interact with the other 350 people who reside there.

    Shelby and Phoenix’s worlds collide when Shelby finds a hole in the fence of her 700 and goes to explore.

    While I didn’t love this book, I have no doubt that if I was the prime demographic for this book, I would have. I did like the way the two seemingly separate stories were written and how they came to be intertwined and I really liked the main characters. I will certainly be recommending this book to teens/young adults I know.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Allen & Unwin for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  3. Thank-you Beauty & Lace for giving me the chance to read and review ‘‘The Raven’s Song by Zana Fraillon and Bren MacDibble ’.
    This adolescent fiction entwins the stories of two sets of children living in the same place 100 years apart. Phoenix and his family are part of the past where an unknown danger is about to wreak havoc on all of society, ultimately causing dramatic lifestyle changes for the whole world. Shelby and her friend Davy are a part of the new future where life is simpler, living within your means sustainably is the norm. A broken fence leads to an adventure that will turn all their lives upside-down.
    I enjoyed this book and feel the demographic it is aimed at will thoroughly enjoy with its interesting characters and the unusual storyline, with a little bit of science fiction thrown in. Thank-you ‘Beauty & Lace Bookclub’ for the opportunity to read ‘The Raven’s Song by Zana Fraillon and Bren MacDibble ’.

  4. The Ravens Song by Zana Fraillonand Bren MacDibble..
    I am gob smacked at this well written and thought provoked novel.
    The writers have gone above and beyond with there imagination .
    A great story and something different .
    This story is about two completely different 12 year olds living in the same world but 100 years apart .
    Each childs story tells of there different upbringings and how different each live . Shelby is from the future where life is slower and controlled by the government and everything is more sustainable. Phoenix is from the past and things are very different to Shelby’s sheltered easy going living.
    They both meet up when Shelby finds a hole in her government controlled world and meets up with Phoenix this is when two worlds collide and the adventures begin .
    As much as i liked reading this book I think it is more suited for Young Adults .

  5. Wow, does this book take me back. It reminds me of the first time I was introduced to fantasy novels in primary school. It was books like this that started me on my love of books.
    A Ravens Song is a beautifully spun story of apocalyptic style events which lead to the past and the future being linked in ways that unfold over the aventures taken by a brave young girl in the future who wants to find out what is beyond the perimeter fence. Definitely a good young adult book to draw you in and wanting a sequel.

  6. Thank you so much for allowing my daughter and I to review The Ravens Song.
    It was a lovely surprise to when I opened this book because I didn’t think it would resonate with me but it was so well written and the principles of the novel were fantastic.
    We loved the fact that the characters were living 100 years apart and the different experiences they had but they were still able to come together and share their experiences.
    It was very well written and I highly recommend this book.

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