- Series: Bone Universe (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition, First Printing edition (September 1, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765377837
- ISBN-13: 978-0765377838
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.3 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 109 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,038,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Updraft: A Novel (Bone Universe) Hardcover – September 1, 2015
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"... The world itself is as much a character as any of the individuals within its pages, and in the grand tradition of science fiction and fantasy, the main character's growth and struggles are bound up with learning more about the world. ... I galloped through it to find out what came next.... With Updraft, Fran Wilde has written a compelling debut, and I for one look forward to seeing what she does next." - Locus May 2015
STARRED REVIEW "Extraordinary worldbuilding and cascading levels of intrigue make Wilde's debut fantasy novel soar. ... The setting is marvelously unusual, a city grown from living bone and populated by everyday people who have left the ground far behind; though Wilde leaves many questions unanswered, this only adds to the mystery and delight, encouraging the reader to suspend disbelief and become immersed in Kirit's story. This well-written and fascinating exploration of a strange land is an extremely promising start for an exciting new writer." - Publisher's Weekly, June 1, 2015
Publisher's Weekly Fall 2015 SF, Fantasy & Horror Top 10
STARRED REVIEW "The world of the towers grown from bone, where residents strap on wings and soar the air currents, is captivating. As a coming-of-age story, Kirit's journey to find her place is satisfying, but the real draw is a world that readers will be anxious to revisit in future volumes of this exciting new series." - Library Journal, July 7, 2015
About the Author
Fran Wilde's short stories have appeared in Asimov's, Nature, Tor.com, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. She's taught writing and digital media at Loyola College, University of Baltimore, Carver Center for Arts and Technology, and the Johns Hopkins CTY Writing Program. She can often be found at GeekMom.com, on the Chesapeake Bay, in various airports trying to get home to Philadelphia, and on social media at Twitter @fran_wilde, Facebook @franwildewrites, and franwilde.net
Top customer reviews
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Set in a city made of living bone towers that continuously grows upward, all the action happens above the clouds. Kirit is the daughter of a trader who, with expertly made wings, flies about the city, as most citizens do. Trouble for Kirit begins during a skymouth migration (skymouths are invisible, predatory creatures who are not usually visible until they open their toothy mouths, which by then is too late), when all the citizens are ordered indoors. Kirit, breaking this Law, stays outside, thinking the worst of the migration is over. One, however, has remained, and has set its sights on her. Unable to get inside, Kirit screams…and drives the skymouth away.
Later, Kirit is visited by Wik, a Singer (the maker, and enforcer, of the Laws that rule the bone towers), who informs her that while she broke the law, he wants to take her to the Spire, the home tower of the Singers, to better ascertain how she drove off the skymouth. Kirit, fearing a trap, refuses to go. She is then, along with her friend Nat, given lawbreaker chips that need to be worked off. As time goes on, it becomes clear that Kirit and Nat’s lives are being manipulated to fail unless Kirit comes to the Spire.
Once there, Kirit’s life is turned upside down as she learns not just the secret history of the towers, but of the falsehoods she had been told concerning her own parents. As she fights to become a Singer in her own right, Kirit must face many deadly challenges, including a power struggle within the Spire that could spell the end of all the towers.
This is a fantastic, original world that Wilde has created. I’m looking forward to reading the second book in the series, “Cloudbound”!
When I first finished it, I didn't think I was very impressed, but thinking about it today I realize that the world building is quite impressive and not like anything else I've ever read before. The City in the novel consists of towers grown from living bone, and the people who live in them live above the clouds. The main mode of transportation is flying; all the adult residents get around gliding using wings attached to their arms. Some towers have bridges to other towers so the residents can interact with other towers, but not all do which is a disadvantage to the isolated towers. We meet the main character, Kirit, just before her wingtest, which is a rite of passage that will allow her to participate in society as a full-fledged adult (oops - inadvertent pun, but apt, so I'll leave it.
The City is a character just as important as the humans in my opinion, since the bone towers continue to grow. I found the towers fascinating, and one of the mysteries is how the people moved into the towers and what is below the clouds where no one ever goes any more.
While I was reading the book, I found Kirit rather annoying at times, but she is after all an adolescent and we know that young people can be impatient and sure that their way is the RIGHT way. Sigh - it's been a long time since I was a teenager, but I remember acting that way back then. But Kirit is also a loving person who is loyal to her family and friends, which creates difficulties for her after she goes to the Singers. And after reading Elizabeth Stroud's "Olive Kitteredge" I found that I don't have to like the main character to adore the book and the story itself.
Overall, I found the book to be an enjoyable read which kept me turning pages late into the night and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a well told tale that transports him or her to a world quite unlike our own.
Most recent customer reviews
lots of typos. feels a little slapped together.