Saturday, April 7, 2012

Boneyards by Kristine Kathryn Rusch - review

Kristine Kathryn Rusch


cover - space ships in the background, tough looking lady in the forground...not sure what's up with the fist, but I'm liking the muscles - now here's an arm of someone who works - the arm matches the character. Y'know how some covers have these pretty thin people with some very thin undefined arms of women who are supposed to be proficient with knives, swords and guns.... This is pretty much what led me to pick up the book for at least three bookstore visits. It's a trade sized ppb, meaning it costs $16, so I hesitated a few times, but finally just went for it.

A long time ago....a very, very long time ago....I picked up a novel by Kristine Kathryn Rusch and tried to read it. Nothing at all wrong with the narrative, but I was in my mid thirties with young children and some of the descriptions of character skinning someone so they could wear their skin and look like them grossed me out so much that I was actually a little nauseaus. Not sure if I would react so strongly now, but I've never felt like going back to that particular series. I want to reiterate here, that the writing itself was excellent in that long ago novel, I just couldn't handle that one character. I hesitated quite a bit while trying to decide whether or not to buy this novel. Obviously I decided to buy it, and I haven't regretted it. It's SciFi, and yet there weren't a lot of techie terms, so it's not overwhelming for someone new to SciFi. There's a pretty good story between the covers also. In fact, there is really three stories going on...

In first person narrative, Boss {female} interacts with Coop who has ended up 500 years in his future. He's been trying to find clues to what happened to his fleet and the rest of his race. Luckily he was on his ship when he did end up 500 years in the future, so he has company - his crew. Coop and crew end up in the future, and end up working for Boss...

Boss has apparently built up a huge successful business - from a small diving co to a pretty respectably sized business. They are in the business of salvage - they mine wrecked ships and seem to also explore a bit on other planets. She has a driving need to find out exactly what and how this thing called an Anacapa Drive - something that helps a ship move back and forth in time and space. In fact, this might have something to do with Coop's being 500 years in the future. Boss is also trying to keep this drive a secret from....

The Enterran Empire, which happens to be a huge empire that accidently kills many scientist because they are trying to discover how a certain "stealth tech" works...and they don't really know what they're dealing with. The third part of this story comes into play here. Intersecting between chapters of the first person narrative of Boss {who, by the way, is trying to stay under the radar of the empire} is the third person narrative of Squishy with flashbacks of the time she was known as Rosealma}. Squishy is on a long mission in the depths of the Empire when something goes wrong...

It's very intriguing - the way this novel is written. You start out knowing nothing about these characters {like usual, right?} and slowly bits and pieces come out, not in the form of informaional dumps, but in flashbacks, conversations and inner thoughts. I enjoyed the way the story was presented, enjoyed reading the different pov's and enjoyed the story in its entirety. Suspense and mystery combined to keep the novel flowing. I'm hoping that there will be a sequel to this. As it is, this novel stands on it's own, and yet I can see where it would make a part of a great series. In fact, there is a prequel of sorts available on Smashwords titled Becalmed. I read the excerpt - it's good. One day soon, I might buy the short story just so I can find out what else happens.

After reading Boneyards, I looked up some things. Ms Rusch has written other SciFi novels...a series called The Retrieval Artists. She also writes under the names of Kristine Grayson, Kris Nelson and Kristine Dexter. wow. just wow.

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