Book info

Boneyards (2012)

Boneyards (2012)
Rating
3.75 of 5 Votes: 4
ISBN
1616145439 (ISBN13: 9781616145439)
languge
English
publisher
pyr
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Boneyards (2012)
Boneyards (2012)

About book: 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.

Boneyards picks up five years after the conclusion of City of Ruins, but the plot doesn't suffer for it. Rusch handles the inevitable changes in the characters over such a length of time, mainly because so much of it was set up in the previous book--did anyone not realize that Boss and Coop were going to end up together? Boss's team and the crew of the Ivoire have spent the last five years searching for some remnant of the civilization Coop and his crew left behind, five thousand years in the past, and constant failure has taken its toll on everyone. Rather than continue to search for still-active planet-based stations the Ivoire might use to get home, they decide to look to the stars--to seek out ancient starbases that might still have power, and possibly learn why so much of what they've found looks like it was destroyed in war.The primary storyline is as compelling as the last, with Coop's increasing irrationality as he faces the reality that he and his crew are never going home providing interesting conflicts with Boss. There's more exploration of the Nine Planets worlds and systems and a return to the Room of Lost Souls, and the ending is tense and, as before, has a lack of resolution that makes you eager to see what happens next.It's the secondary plot that I found most interesting, in which Squishy (a long-time friend of Boss's who was an important part of the first book) organizes a plan, without Boss's approval or help, to destroy the Empire's "stealth tech" research. Her execution of said plan alternates with scenes from Squishy's past that explain a lot about why she got involved in stealth tech in the first place, and what happened to make her so violently opposed to it. My problem is that Squishy was such a thoroughly unpleasant character in the first book, with her irrational and unexplained refusal to help Boss investigate the stealth tech in the first Dignity Vessel, that at first it felt like an attempt at rehabilitating her character. We learn, for example, that Squishy's absolute recalcitrance was because of a loyalty oath she'd sworn to the Empire when she first started working for them on stealth tech. That makes no sense to me. Keeping to an oath when you've already abandoned your committments, fled the Empire, given up completely on the research? When your silence is going to cost *more* lives? Not convincing. It seemed from the way Squishy's story was told that I wasn't supposed to have reacted to her in Diving Into the Wreck the way I did, that she wasn't intended to be so unpleasant, but it just didn't work for me. Despite this, I really enjoyed and admired the way past and present worked together; Rusch played out the revelations from the past at exactly the right pace.I am even more eager to see what happens next than I was with the last book, which promises not only new discoveries, but new conflicts both with the Empire (thanks to Squishy) and with new forces (thanks to Boss and Coop).
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Reviews
Paradoxical
What is it about these books that start off slow and make me think "Oh, disappointing, this is pretty average" until it creeps towards the end and all of the pieces start sliding together and I suddenly sit up and go, "Gimme more. Please. Right now. ...Please." Boneyards is much like the last book in format--it alternates between first person POV (Boss) and third person POV (Squishy in this book). Unlike the last book it focuses a lot on Squishy, which was a bit unfortunate because Squisy has never been one of my much beloved characters. Even in this book I just barely tolerated her, which meant that any chance we had at getting back to Boss I latched on and just didn't want to leave. Not exactly an ideal reading headspace.Also like the last book is that there's a pretty prominent time gap between book two and book three. Several years have gone by since City of Ruins and I'm of two minds about it. This, at least, helps speed the plot forward, but there is so much that we miss as readers that I wish I'd be able to read (such as the integration of Coop and his people, the fallout from the last book, and so on). In one plot line, Boss and Coop have basically teamed up and they're looking for more clues to Fleet's past--because the man desperately wants to meet up with the Fleet, no matter that they'd all be strangers (if they're still around). This isn't easy. This isn't any fun either, and tensions are rather high. The second plot line involves Squishy and her quest to eradicate the Empire's research of 'stealth' technology. Things don't go as planned. Heh (understatement).The characters are as complex as ever. One of my favorite things to read in the book is Coop and Boss's ever shifting dynamic--they're both strong leaders and there are times when one is better at a task than the other. Getting the other to realize this though... it takes a lot of (careful) juggling between the two. We also learn a lot more about Squishy and her motivations as well as her past. Nothing too jaw dropping (but like I said, I barely tolerate Squishy so anything she does tends to just make me shrug).Unfortunately, while I greatly enjoyed the ending, the middle bits were strictly average for me. The books aren't exactly furiously paced, but disinterest towards certain characters just made it drag in parts. The ending was exciting, but it was over pretty quickly. The actual actions bits were very short and some character decisions were a bit underwhelming. But I still liked it. Just not as much as the previous two books. On the other hand, the next book seems like it'll be a lot of fun, so I am looking forward to that. 3 stars.
Jim
Third in the series and does not live up to the first two. To her credit, she was trying something new (at least of the books I've read of hers) that didn't work for me. She was bouncing all over the timeline. I think it could have worked: maybe she'll try again and it'll work.I felt the storyline was thin because of the tangentials/bouncing. I will probably read the next to see where she takes it. Since I like her Retrieval Artist series and her 10th planet trilogy a lot, I may be giving her extra latitude because of them. (Hum, should 10th planet be renamed to 9th planet, now that Pluto is no longer classified as a planet--that dated a lot of books!)
Mervi
Boneyards opens five years after the end of City of Ruins. The crew of the Ivuar has had a rough time when they are adjusting to their new life. Some have resigned and left, and a few have killed themselves. However, some are still working for their Captain Coop. Boss has employed Coop and his crew, and together they are trying to find out what happened to the world Coop knew. They are also doing their best to keep all technology out of the hands of the Enterran Empire. They are researching all clues they can find about the Dignity Vessels and sector bases which where functional five thousand years ago. What or who destroyed a society powerful enough to build them?About half of the book focuses on Squishy. Twenty years ago she used to work for the Empire researching Stealth Tech but when she realized just how dangerous it was, she quit and left for wreck diving. She worked for a while with Boss. When the story starts, she’s infiltrated a Stealth Tech research station in order to destroy their work in the hope of saving lives of innocent people. Squishy is also a doctor and she cares a lot about other people’s lives. A lot of Squishy’s story is told in flashbacks some 20 years, back, some a year back. Unfortunately, this was sometimes a little hard to follow in the audio book when I can’t just flip a few pages back, but I enjoyed learning about Squishy’s back story in more detail.Most of the characters from previous books return and I enjoyed their interaction. However, the book doesn’t advance the overall plot about the anacopa drive much, except for the ending. I also enjoyed a lot that the time displacement wasn’t dealt with easily, as it usually is in Star Trek type stories. Instead the people are stranded and some are rather desperate because of it. Some, such as Coop, are trying to focus on their work and a few couldn’t handle it at all.Both Coop and Boss are leaders but they have worked together for a while and have a comfortable working relationship, but their personal relationship isn’t as comfortable. They are lovers, but they haven’t revealed that to their crews and Boss doesn’t even think of him much. They don’t interfere with each other’s crews. Coop’s people are military and they don’t sometimes like the way that the civilians work or can argue with their leader.Most of the characters are single minded in their goals and they are often also paranoid loners. Boss is somewhat more comfortable with her leadership position than before but she still wants to do everything herself. Boss’s crew and the crew from the past work together but sometimes one side lacks information that it very obvious to the other and this causes conflict.I liked the book a lot but it wasn’t as good as the City of Ruins. However, the ending promises really interesting things to come.
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