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City of Bones Hardcover – June, 1995
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Attention Science Fiction Fans
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From Publishers Weekly
Wells's second novel (after The Element of Fire) is a delight: an SF adventure with complex characters, archeological puzzles, a dash of mental magic and a lot of fast-paced action. Khat and his partner, Sagai, make their living finding relics that survived the destruction of the Ancients and selling them to the highest bidders. Khat is a Krisman (a bioengineered human whose race was designed for the grueling desert environment most of his world has become), which places him even lower on the social scale than his foreign-born partner. The two are coerced into working with the Patrician Warder, Elen, who is searching out a specific relic for her mentor, the Master Warder. Warders have certain mental powers, although overusing these powers can cause them to go mad. The Master Warder believes that this particular relic will enhance his powers without causing insanity, but Khat and Elen discover that there is a terrible price to be paid for using the artifact, one that may bring about the final destruction of their already ailing planet. This finely crafted novel expertly combines several genres?SF, fantasy, horror?and, perhaps most impressive of all, even manages to avoid an overly sentimental ending.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Wells' second novel is a reasonably original postholocaust fantasy. The holocaust in this case caused the sea to dry up and left a good number of relics of the ancient days. There has grown up a trade in the latter, and as in all times and climes, archaeology attracts criminals, pretenders, and well-meaning amateurs as well as strict professionals. Mix those kinds of characters up in palace intrigue with mad or at least obsessive wizards, beautiful maidens, and a hunt for the Secret of the Remnant, and you have the makings of a decent adventure tale with an Arabian Nights flavor that Wells has the technical skill, as well as the verve and wit, to bring off quite nicely. Roland Green
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Top Customer Reviews
My least favorite aspect was definitely the Kindle edition, which had numerous typos, spacing errors, and seemed to be missing some breaks within the chapter.
Of note, there is another book called City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare. That is NOT AT ALL THE SAME BOOK and be careful when purchasing!
This book is a refreshing change of pace. It creates a very intriguing, post-Apocalyptic world where life is harsh unless you are one of the privileged few. Within that world, there are some very interesting characters, some from a privileged background and the main characters from the lower segments of society - Khat belongs to a mutant/engineered race called Kris, who arent even accepted as having souls, by most of society. So from a worldbuilding point of view, this creates a really, really fresh background for the story.
The story itself is told quite differently as well - unlike a "omg, we must do X, Y, Z or the Dark Lord will take over the world" type of quest, the characters - and the reader - muddle along without knowing what's at stake: that is only revealed towards the end. The scale of this story is much smaller than "save the world"... it is Khat's struggle to save himself from whatever machinations he's gotten into. So yeah, in that context, the grand denouement isnt as taut or climactic as in other stories, but i dont see that as a fault: that is very much in keeping with the scale of the book.
And yes, between the original world setting and an equally original story that flows with ease and ample development, this is a book that was very hard to put down. I was hooked by page 3.
I rarely give books 5-stars but this is definitely a 5-star read for fantasy buffs, IMO.
As an adventure story, it did have a touch of Indiana Jones--including the fast pace, archaeologist/treasure hunter characters, and hints of irreverent humor in the face of action and adventure that made those movies so fun. However, I'm not saying that City of Bones was a knock off in any way, shape, or form. Wells definitely stretched her imagination to create these characters and the plot is entirely something else, and something (in my opinion) that's an absolute rip roaring good time.
My only complaint, and what kept me from giving this book 5 stars, was honestly the ending. The plot concluded, but--emotionally--I didn't feel enough closure concerning the relationships between the characters. It almost felt like the set-up for a sequel, but (alas) Ms. Wells's webpage states that there never was and are no current plans for any such thing.
Note to Ms. Wells: If you do ever write a sequel, and give me more closure, I am perfectly willing to upgrade this to 5++.
Khat does have human allies but even more enemies in the multi-tiered city of Charisat and navigating the complex politics while avoiding the more straightforward attempts on his live keep life a bit too exciting.
A gripping read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There are two reasons I'm not giving this five stars.Read more