Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Debris [novel] by Jo Anderton

Debris [novel] (edition 2010)

by Jo Anderton

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
135888,991 (3.36)1 / 8
Title:Debris [novel]
Authors:Jo Anderton (Author)
Info:Oxford, UK : New York : Angry Robot ; Distributed in the U.S. by Random House, [2011], c2010.
Collections:m-books, R-LQ partly read, L-unowned, Read but unowned
Tags:fiction, novel, SF, female protagonist

Work details

Debris by Jo Anderton



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I was a little worried that this book might be too shallow, but I actually rather enjoyed it! The only thing I really didn't like was the creepy lover, who seemed bad news to me at once, and towards whom the protagonist seems to feel mostly guilt. Sounds like a good reason to break it of to me... The whole relationship seemed unreal to me in any case. The protagonist didn't seem to be the kind of woman who would get into a relationship that quickly.
But other than that, I was impressed by the main character. Her whole world gets turned around, but she manages fairly well and doesn't give in to despair. That doesn't mean that her decisions are always the greatest: clearly she should have given up on her apartment long before she actually did. But hey, she has been through a lot, she is allowed some leeway when it comes to making rational decisions. So sure, she needs some assistance a few times, but she also develops a new skill, questions the workings of the world and makes new friends. Big pluses for me: she is in her thirties, she is highly educated, and whenever she needs help, it's because she goes from the high end of society to the low, not because she is a woman (and no-one ever implies that that might be the reason). I believe there is one mention somewhere of some profession being more likely held by men than by women, but that's it. I hope Mrs. Anderton keeps this up in the sequel! ( )
  zjakkelien | Jun 16, 2014 |
...Debris has more than a few things going for it. If you like your Fantasy with a twist, or are looking for a book that does things just a bit differently this is probably as good a read as you'll be able to find. It's not a novel of huge complexity or unfathomable depth but it will hold your attention from the first page an not let go until the final chapter has been read. I have some issues with the novel, especially the development of the main character, but that doesn't take away from the fact that I found Debris to be a entertaining read. Not a bad way at all to conclude this year's reading challenge.

Full Random Comments review ( )
  Valashain | Dec 8, 2013 |
As usual, I love the way Angry Robot select the books they publish. Whatever faults each book has, there's something intriguing and worth taking a gamble on at the core. Whatever my doubts about whichever individual book, pretty much all of them are compelling, compulsive reads.

Debris suffered because it felt like set-up, really. It mostly builds a world, establishes the rules, and sets up for the later plot. The main character -- and narrator -- has a lot of setbacks, a bumpy ride down from the heights of society to the lows, and that isn't that compelling a story when you don't sympathise with the character, or understand her. E.g. I knew a certain character was a creep from minute one, and for someone we're told is so gifted and intelligent she takes a long time to grasp what seemed to me obvious.

I've read reviews of this book and the next that suggest the set-up is worth it, so perhaps when I get chance I'll pick up the next book, but I'm not in a hurry. Nonetheless, Debris was easy to read, and the central ideas are intriguing. ( )
  shanaqui | Aug 21, 2013 |
This books is, in many ways, difficult to categorize. It's not traditional fantasy, because the setting is futuristic rather than medieval, but it's not really science fiction, because the fantastical elements are more like a magic system than a scientific gadget or principle. It's not really a YA title, but it has many elements usually found in that genre, and is driven by a coming-of-age type character arc. Despite being quite difficult to classify it is an enjoyable book, although not without flaws. I enjoyed Tanyana's development as a person throughout the story - she can be quite frustrating at times, because she is flawed, but her flaws make her more real than many female leads I've read. Her narration (she has a distinctive and enjoyable 'voice') and her growth made this story really worth it for me. The parts that didn't work as well were some of the other characters: Devich was underdeveloped and the resolution to his relationship with Tanyana was (to me) pretty obvious from a long ways off, and the twins, Natasha and Sophia were barely developed at all. Another flaw was that Anderton really needed to give the reader more information about how it all worked - too many things about the world, the history, the mythology, and the pions were thrown at me with no explanation or backing detail, which made it hard to really deeply comprehend what they were about. Still, the world building was fascinating, and I've love to know more about Movoc-under-Keeper. Overall this debut novel was enjoyable, and I'll definitely check out the follow up to see if some of the issues here are resolved. ( )
  alchemie | Sep 5, 2012 |
I enjoyed Debris by Jo Anderton.

I read a lot of fantasy, especially by Australian writers (no surprise that they’re dominating my reading so far this year). I’ve found that Australian fantasy is less likely to stick to clichéd convention and in that respect, Debris definitely does not disappoint.

The magical system Anderton has developed is focused around pions — bearing no resemblance to the mesons beloved by particle physicists, if you were wondering — tiny, glowing particles that permeate reality and which can be manipulated by people sufficiently skilled and trained. Some people can bind pions to their will, some can’t even see them. The debris of the title is magical matter left over from pion binding; useless refuse that disrupts crucial pions if not cleared away. Overall, the world has a little bit of a steampunk feel to it, mostly because that was the level of technology the society reached before the pion revolution something like 200 years before the start of the story.

The main character, Tanyana, is a highly skilled pion binder architect before she falls — both literally and metaphorically — in the first chapter. Or was she pushed? Forced to live the life of a lowly debris collector when her former lifestyle is lost to her, Tanyana struggles to find some explanation for what happened to her. Because she is convinced something else was there, when she fell, something that pushed her but that no one else could see.

I enjoyed Tanyana as a character. She is arrogant, but I didn’t see that as a bad thing. It made her interesting. She is both realistic and self-deluded about different things (for example, she’s not trying to get her life back, rather to find answers, but on the other hand, she tries to cling to the trappings of her old life a little too long). Most of all, when everything is taken from her, she is a survivor. She finds something else to be a part of. Of course, she doesn’t enjoy it at first, but she accepts it fairly quickly.

The other characters weren’t painted nearly as brightly as Tanyana. Mostly, this is due to the first person nature of the narrative. We know exactly what’s going on in Tanyana’s head all the time, but she doesn’t spend overly much time dwelling on other people (barring special exceptions). It was very much a one-woman show, with everyone else playing second fiddle, which isn’t a bad thing, given the external events also revolve about Tanyana. The only thing, characterisation-wise, that put me off a bit was her love interest. In the scene where they first hook up, I couldn’t really understand at the time why she interested in him, beyond the fact that he provoked her. It does make sense in retrospect, and the subsequent interactions between them worked well, but at the time that first scene left me ambivalent.

The conspiracy and the action in the latter half of the book had be eagerly turning the pages, however it started a more slowly and built up the world gradually. Also, while the climax was very much the most crucial scene in the book, I found the penultimate all-hell-breaks-loose disaster more exciting, in the action-packed sense.

As I said at the start, I enjoyed this book a lot. I am looking forward to reading the sequel out in July this year.

I am also about to go off and read Grandeur, a prequel short story which you can find on Jo Anderton’s website here.

Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars ( )
  Tsana | Jan 19, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jo Andertonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harman, DominicCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
The great silver bones of Grandeur's hand reflected the morning light and it looked, for an instant, like the giant statue was holding the sun itself.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 085766154X, Mass Market Paperback)

Tanyana is among the highest ranking in her far-future society – a skilled pionner, able to use a mixture of ritual and innate talent to manipulate the particles that hold all matter together. But an accident brings her life crashing down around her ears. She is cast down amongst the lowest of the low, little more than a garbage collector. But who did this to her, and for what sinister purpose? Her quest to find out will take her to parts of the city she never knew existed, and open the door to a world she could never have imagined. 
File Under: Science Fiction [ Meets The Eye | Fantastic Journey | Hidden Powers | Life Meaning ]

e-book ISBN: 9780857661555

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:07 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

After being exposed to radioactive particles as part of a clean-up gang in the depths of space, Tanyana develops an ability to understand the apparently sentient stuff. Powerless, penniless, and scarred, Tanyana must adjust to her new life collecting magical garbage--but she soon realizes this debris is more important than anyone could guess.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
5 wanted2 pay5 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.36)
1 1
1.5 1
2 3
3 15
3.5 1
4 10
4.5 2
5 3


An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 100,845,696 books! | Top bar: Always visible