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  • Writer's pictureDean Asquith

Stars And Bones By Gareth L. Powell Review

Writer: Gareth L. Powell

Publisher: Titan Books

Publish Date: 1st March 2022

Pages: 352

Reviewed By: Dean Asquith

My Rating: 🏹🏹🏹🏹🏹


Seventy-five years from today, the human race has been cast from a dying Earth to wander the stars in a vast fleet of arks—each shaped by its inhabitants into a diverse and fascinating new environment, with its own rules and eccentricities.

When her sister disappears while responding to a mysterious alien distress call, Eryn insists on being part of the crew sent to look for her. What she discovers on Candidate-623 is both terrifying and deadly. When the threat follows her back to the fleet and people start dying, she is tasked with seeking out a legendary recluse who may just hold the key to humanity’s survival.

Gareth L. Powell’s Embers of War won the 2018 BSFA Award for Best Novel and was shortlisted for the 2019 Locus Awards and the 2021 Seiun Awards in Japan. Its sequels, Fleet of Knives and Light of Impossible Stars, were both shortlisted for the BSFA Award for Best Novel, and Fleet of Knives was also shortlisted for the 2020 Locus Awards.

My Opinion

A lightning paced, space thriller that will have you at the edge of your seat, refusing to stop reading!

Stars and Bones by Gareth L. Powell had me gripped from the beginning. The story is so enticing, finding its place in current human fears and problems that are facing the world, whether that be the fear of nuclear war or environmental destruction or both! Throughout every chapter Gareth had me considering the world we live in and how we must do better as a species or risk total annihilation or expulsion! Who knows what lurks out in the farthest reaches of space! Maybe our own real life angels of benevolence are watching us with intrigue, awaiting a moment in which they must take action.

The lead character Eryn is superb, with such a rich backstory and intriguing personality traits, Eryn scouts her way into your heart and stays there throughout each page! I really enjoyed Eryn’s relationship with the Furious Ocelot scout ship. Dream linking is such an interesting aspect to their dynamic. With such a personal connection, I couldn’t help but be as drawn in and connected to Furious Ocelot as I was with Eryn. Their relationship growing throughout the story underpinned the entirety of the experience for me.

I won’t go into too much detail about the perils and enemies Eryn et al will face. I felt so many emotions as the story and dangers grew, that it would be wrong for me to spoil it for people who haven’t read it yet.

The layout of the chapters was fantastic too, It was interesting to see the story through multiple characters' eyes with varying perspectives of each situation. They were also fairly short which I always approve of because it allows me to read a chapter here and there and not have to worry about having to stop mid chapter. That isn’t to say I wanted to stop though, this space epic grips you and refuses to let go.

Gareth L. Powell surely has a sci-fi best seller on his hands with what is sure to be a classic in the genre. Please make sure you read this whether you are a fan of sci-fi or not. The characters, their relationships and the message regarding humanity's arrogant existence is key to this novel and will have you thinking about life as we know it.

Thank you Titan Books for inviting me onto the blog tour and for the ARC for Stars and Bones, it was an honour to review and take part in.

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