Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bone Song by John Meaney- review

Bone Song
John Meaney

published by Gollancz

See the cover? Over there----> Hell of a cover, and I sometimes wish urban fantasy books could have covers more like this...and then again, sometimes I actually enjoy the the typical urban fantasy cover. Go Figure. I love the feel of this cover as it represents the feel of the book.

I was given this book for a holiday gift and enjoyed it immensely. John Meaney has been writing for a long time, but before this I had never heard of him. Of course I have this weird thing about gravitating towards women writers, so even if I had come across his books before I might not have picked it up. There fore, I am very glad my gift giver decided on this as one of my gifts. The first of a series (The Tristopolis series) this novel features Donal, an investigator for Police Headquarters. Only this police dept is nothing like any department we might have. In fact, Tristopolis is nothing like any city we have on Earth. No, Tristopolis is a city that is powered by the bones of the dead....and apparently it's still a bit....uncomfortable. There are many species inhabiting this city - and working for the police dept. Deathwolves, wraiths, zombies....

In the beginning of the book Donal is given the task of protecting a visiting Diva from an apparent conspiracy...In preparation for this job, Donal is sent to the power company to do some research. The danger the Diva is in involves murder, appropriation of the murder victim's bones, and the apparent use of the bones. Bones sing. Not everyone can hear their song, but something happens to Donal during his visit to the power company and when he leaves, he finds that he frequently hears a voice inside his head that asks him "do you hear the..." He always interrupts the question, sometimes answering, sometimes telling it to shut-up. The thing I loved about this development is that throughout the whole novel, we hear from this's like a supporting cast.

There is complication - Donal fails in his protective mission (not a spoiler, this info is given on the back of the book), Donal ends up in a hospital and then is recruited by an elite squad within the police department, trying to find out if there is a traitor within the police department, if there is indeed a conspiracy, etc. There are many wonderful characters to read, and lots of great dialogue.

The worldbuilding is .....exquisite. Think of a blend of Gotham City (Batman), a fantasy setting with purple skies, furniture and appliances a la Beauty and the Beast (wraiths occupy them), steampunk-like gadgets run by magic or hexes and a wonderful array of characters that you could find in many fantasy and urban fantasy novel. It all works so well together in John Meaney's creation. Bone Song is rich in details, good writing, suspense and also has some chuckles.

This book was so interesting and entertaining that I found myself wondering halfway through if there was going to be a sequel. I've only felt like that with a few series.

Needless to say, I am looking forward to acquiring the sequel to this (Black Blood in the US and Dark Blood in the UK) and hope it will be soon. Both books, Bone Song and DarkBlood/Black Blood are available now.

I recommend this to lovers of fantasy and urban fantasy.

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