Thank you to Titan Books and Netgalley for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion in anyway.
Book: Stars and Bones (Continuance 1) by Gareth L. Powell
Release Date: March 1st 2022
Tags: Adult | Sci-Fi | Dystopia | Aliens | Alien Planets | Infestations | Space | Space Ship | Sentient Space Ships
Trigger/Content Warnings: Mass Death | Mass Infestation
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.
Stars and Bones grabbed my attention to read for its dystopian setting in space and the contact with aliens the synopsis promised us. It gave us this but I was as a whole not quite satisfied.
The story in itself is basic. They find a threatening alien that gets taken back to the arc ships and starts a infestation that doesn’t seem to be able to be stopped. And it is up to our crew to stop it. In itself there is a lot of room for play and depth which I think wasn’t utilized enough.
We meet Eryn, our mc, on her space ship the Ocelot. The Ocelot is a sentient space ship that can walk around using an envoy (a human look a like). They are bonded and their bond clearly shows through their interactions. The Ocelot would do anything to keep Eryn safe. There were other sentient ships with envoys including the arc ships the humans inhabit. They were a super awesome bit of this story! As was Sam the cat who got a piece of technology to talk to the humans. All pets have this.
Eryn and Ocelot are our main mc and who we get the most point of views of. However there are quite a few more point of views to the story that in places felt quite pointless. There was Haruki who told us the story of how we as a species came onto the arc ships and had to leave our Earth behind. But it was told in 3 chapters and it was a lot of tell not show. When he does come into the now he has no real role to play. Then we get Victory from that period with a point of view that had no addition. And a Tessa whose point of view was also not needed for the small role she played. It made the whole of the story feel chaotic.
And then there was Li, a character who was present from the start who was quite one dimensional and only served as Eryn’s love interest. A love that I didn’t quite feel either. There was more feel in Eryn for an ex that could have been instead of the actual love interest in front of her.
Having said that, I did enjoy reading the story and I see so much potential in this setting for other stories. Especially with the ships and envoys.