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Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen Audiobook {5 Stars}

Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen is the first in a new series set in a ‘weird west’ that blends Western and fantasy with a blissfully diverse and prickly heroine and her Coyote sidekicks. I absolutely adored this audiobook both because the narration is fantastic and because the story is everything I wanted. If you want to put your money where your mouth is for #WeNeedDiverseBooks and read an addicting story, get Wake of Vultures.

Note: I received an audio copy of Wake of Vultures from the publisher. Listening to a book does impact my reading experience.

Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen Audiobook {5 Stars}

Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen
Narrated by Robin Miles
(The Shadow #1)
Published by Orbit on Oct. 27th, 2015
Genres: Western Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 342 pages
Audio Length: 10 hrs 47 mins
How I got my copy: Publisher
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A rich, dark fantasy of destiny, death, and the supernatural world hiding beneath the surface.

Nettie Lonesome lives in a land of hard people and hard ground dusted with sand. She's a half-breed who dresses like a boy, raised by folks who don't call her a slave but use her like one. She knows of nothing else. That is, until the day a stranger attacks her. When nothing, not even a sickle to the eye can stop him, Nettie stabs him through the heart with a chunk of wood, and he turns into black sand.

And just like that, Nettie can see.

But her newfound sight is a blessing and a curse. Even if she doesn't understand what's under her own skin, she can sense what everyone else is hiding -- at least physically. The world is full of evil, and now she knows the source of all the sand in the desert. Haunted by the spirits, Nettie has no choice but to set out on a quest that might lead to her true kin... if the monsters along the way don't kill her first.

5 Stars


  • I really love prickly heroines because so often I find myself forcing my face into a smile even if I want to be a grouch and it is nice to spend some time with a girl who doesn’t care what others think of her attitude! I think that Nettie and I would get along great because we’d both let each other just be ourselves <3.
  • I’m loving the weird west trend of fantasies set in Western settings, but I love even more that Bowen includes Native American myths into that setting. Coyotes have probably always been my favorite shapeshifters, but if they weren’t already, they would be now.
  • Nettie is half-black, half-Native American, gender queer and interested in both men and women. I ADORE HER! It’s like she’s a real person with all our messy, can’t-be-put-in-one-box selves. And guess what, all those different aspects of her don’t define her story. Her story is about gentling horses and fighting scary monsters in the deserts of the wild west!
  • The narration for the audiobook is wonderful. It took me about an hour of listening to realize that it is the same narrator as The Fifth Season, hence why I loved her voice acting. She does male voices great, she does different voices for each character, and she even does spooky monster voices!
  • The pacing of this story worked really well for me. I was never bored and didn’t really think there were any slow spots. I was always excited to find out what Nettie was going to do next since she always stumbled into another situation that needed solving with or without guns.
  • I don’t normally read author’s notes, but Bowen’s note at the end of this book literally made me tear up. It is a very lovely discussion of why she chose to tell this story and make Nettie the person she is. Don’t skip it.


  • There is a massive cliffhanger just after a big reveal and it is KILLING MEEEEEEEEEEE! 2016 arrive now!!


Wake of Vultures is young adult fantasy how it should be. I love the main character, I love the setting, I love the magic, and I love the pacing. Despite a torturous cliffhanger, I had a fantastic time accompanying Nettie on the first stage of her adventures and I obviously am dying for book two.

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya


 Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen

© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. Ahhh, this is one on my to-read list and now you’ve re-kindled all my excitement about it!! Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait until next year for my copy to arrive… :P
    Sharry recently posted…4 reasons why you should read Noelle Stevenson’s wicked funny, heart-melty story, NIMONAMy Profile

  2. I missed something on this one. It had all these elements I liked but the overall picture never came together to me. In the end I found it a by-the-numbers Urban Fantasy… in the old west. I will give the protagonist my blessing though, she was pretty cool.

    • Sorry to hear that! Sometimes I think that listening on audio really changes how I feel about characters since the intonations the narrator makes can shape the character differently if that makes sense. I also just really love weird west and urban fantasy haha

  3. I was debating between this and Silver on the Road, both which sounded sort of similar at that time. Your cliffhanger comment made me pick this. :P

    I really, REALLY enjoyed this! The setting stood out but most of all I loved Nettie’s voice. Definitely going to try out the audiobook next year when I need a refresh before book 2.

  4. oooh never heard of this book before but it sounds FANTASTIC! I’ll have to add it to the TBR.

  5. This is my first time hearing of it. It sounded great until I read your summary. A cliffhanger? I’m still mentally traumatized by the last book I read that had a cliffhanger. It wasn’t a very good book to begin with, and then it ended in what I thought was a very bad spot too. I can only hope this book won’t be the same.

    • So the cliffhanger is about a small thing that seems really big in the moment, but the plot does get concluded nicely, it’s kind of just a build up for book two ya know? I think you should still go for it ;-)

  6. You have totally cemented my desire for this book! I need to find a bookstore today and BUY it:-) Thanks for your enthusiastic review!
    Tammy @Books, Bones & Buffy recently posted…Over-Booked [41] – A Book Haul PostMy Profile

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