Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Updraft: A Novel (Bone Universe) Hardcover – September 1, 2015
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
"... 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
"Wilde’s fantastical trilogy (after Cloudbound) takes on violent political divisions, ecological desolation, and the imminent death of the only world the characters have ever known....Fans of the series will be satisfied by its conclusion." ―Publishers Weekly on Horizon
"Cloudbound...is a thrilling and complex tale about the most difficult stage of a revolution: what do you do after you win? Highly recommended both for the story it tells as well as how it tells that story. Wilde takes risks that pay off hugely.”―Ken Liu, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author ofThe Grace of Kings
“A fantastic follow-up to Updraft―I liked it better than its predecessor, particularly for what it says about the politics of fear and prejudice, and how giving people what they want isn't always the best thing."―Aliette de Bodard, award-winning author of House of Shattered Wings
"Cloudbound represents the opposite of a sophomore slump. It's that rare bird, the follow-up to a highly praised first novel that doesn't just equal its predecessor's accomplishments, but exceeds them.” ―Locus
"The world of the towers grown from bone, where residents strap on wings and soar the air currents, is captivating...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, starred review, on Updraft
"A world with a detailed, believable history and society... rich with themes of tradition, progress, ambition, and class struggles that will resonate with readers." ―E.C. Myers, Norton-Award winning author, Silence of the Six, on Updraft
"A book that’s impossible to put down. [Wilde has] planted herself firmly in the “authors to watch” category."―Andrew Liptak on Updraft
EditCopy to TI
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
The series starts with the richly layered Updraft, where we discover a human society living far above the clouds, on tiers connected to large towers of living, growing bone.
Kirit Densira is an aspiring sky trader, hoping to soar on the air currents like her city-renowned mother. She dreams of flying from tower to tower on wings of delicate silk, bringing fortune to her family and fame to her tower. There's just one problem with this plan.
The humans aren't alone in the skies.
Cunning, invisible predators await them in the clouds, hidden to the eye and possessing mouths filled with with dagger sharp teeth. These creatures, called skymouths, are some of the more dangerous secrets lurking in the skies of Wilde's densely imagined and tightly written world. Another group shrouded in secrets is the city's protectors, the Singers, who possess extraordinary skills at sensing and protecting the city from skymouths.
And after a frightening encounter, the Singers realize that Kirit posesses a rare power that they must have. So begins a wild (ahem) journey of being ripped from one's dreams and shoved into a mystery that will threaten the very city itself.
Wilde's word craft is elegant, yet wrapped with multiple plot points and twists. It's a well paced thriller-action piece woven together with a deeper drama about a child's identity as she becomes a young woman whose abilities push her to go beyond the City's plans for her. The characters are living and breathing people with complex motives, all of which Wilde plays out like a master composer, building until the epic, climactic battle. Wilde's ability to humanize her protagonist as well as the villains really make you see the horrors these people face as they come to terms with Kirit's powers. When the twists come and the tables turn, expect to be cursing the betrayal as much as the characters themselves do.
What really made me happy on my read through was the way Wilde would tease out a subplot thread just enough to leave me thinking about it, as opposed to beating me over the head with it, and still tying up most of them before the end, in an organic fashion.
The few ties she left loose?
Well, that’s what sequels are for
Updraft is an original fantasy story set in a city of ever-growing Bone Towers, where the dwellers live above the clouds and the ground is but legend. To travel around the city of Towers you must fly using wings made of grand material, much in the way that hang gliders fly in our world, but danger lurks in the form of invisible Skymouths whose presence is unknown until they open their maws and devour unsuspecting flyers.
Each Tower is its own city, so to speak, with its own history and traditions. At the heart of the city of Towers is the Spires, where the mysterious Singers live.
Updraft is rife with politics and intrigue. The protagonist, Kirit, longs to follow in the footsteps of her mother, a famous trader who braves the space in between the Towers to spread food, medicine, and other valuable goods throughout the city of bone. But to follow her mother Kirit must first earn her wings, and that's when the story explodes.
Behind every character a mystery awaits, especially when it comes to light that the Singers are harboring a terrible secret. There are many layers to this story. Bind the layers of intrigue with the original world and Kirit's evolution from a timid girl to who she becomes at the end, and you have a book that I was often reluctant to put down.
This book is filled with great characters, many you will grow to love, and a few you will probably hate, but many more you will understand and be worried for, or pity, or feel frustrated with. Even relatively minor characters feel like they have their own lives and stories, they aren't just there to give the main character information or stand in her way.
And the world, well it's amazing. There is so much going on, so many layers of history and culture and geography that you catch glimpses of just behind the scenes. I'm sure there Ms. Wilde could write a dozen books in this universe. There is enough going on past, present and future and in all the other places we literally fly past over the course of the story, to keep us entertained for many stories to come.
This book gets my highest recommendation. There is a lot to love here, and I can't wait to see what other books Ms. Wilde has up her sleeve. I'm already looking forward to the next book in the series, it can't come soon enough.
Without overhyping the world building, not to ruin the plot for anyone because there's no Elvish linguistic intensity or 500 year genealogy tree prefacing this. I do feel like it could use a map. I like a book with a map. Doesn't everyone? All that said, I enjoyed being in unfamiliar territory and the fresh world Ms. Wilde created. Worth reading. Worth recommending to people I care about. And since I bought it, it won the Nebula award. So it seems that a few other people think it's worth reading, too.
Most recent customer reviews
(see what I did there?)