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Updraft by Fran Wilde


by Fran Wilde

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Bone Universe (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2991756,976 (3.54)31
  1. 00
    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (evymac)
    evymac: Strong female character set in a world that is much harsher than our own fights to survive.

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» See also 31 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
This book has so many great ideas. Bone towers in the skies? Tentacled flying monsters who are invisible--except the inside of their mouths? Crazy society that sings laws and flies in gliders? So. Cool.

But wow, the execution is sloppy. This book is kind of a hot mess. The characterization and plot both need work, and the lack of exposition or explanation made this amazing, crazy world confusing and difficult to understand.

But hey, great ideas.
( )
  miri12 | May 31, 2019 |
This novel was shortlisted for the Nebula Award for best novel and I assumed it as a nice recommendation. To say the truth, I was disappointed: it is one of the weaker entries for 2016.
Brief outline of the setting without spoilers: after unspecified disaster in the past, survivors of the cataclysm were able to grow (!) bone towers of extreme height – above the clouds. In order to communicate between towers, each of which specializes in one or other specific craft, all able adults use ‘wings’ (actually gliders). General defense and overwatch of the system is done by a specific group called Singers, whose actions shrouded in mystery. A young heroine attempts to survive and find out what really happens. While it is not explicitly stated, most likely this is a first volume of the larger series.
What I liked is a good world building: it is roughly in line with our physical world, e.g. wings are used only to glide, not actively use wings bird-like to fly (human mass to muscle strength doesn’t allow it). What I disliked is quite weak characters and not very bright – while it is fine with me to read about characters, who are not geniuses, but I prefer to have them roughly as smart as a reader: if you understand what’s happening pages before the protagonist, it actually slows you unnecessary.
( )
  Oleksandr_Zholud | Jan 9, 2019 |
Secrets surround Kirit, ambitious to fly with her trader mother from tower to tower, but an attack by a skymouth and her unexpected survival bring her to the attention of a Singer from Spire causes a complete change not only in her plans, but in her knowledge of herself. Most of the elements are common for the youth against a corrupted system except perhaps the ambiguity of some of those who support her.
What is bizarre is the setting which the reader senses as some great world sized beast growing towers like hairs with the occasional spire as center variation, with humans and monsters like bacteria and mites, but that the characters live in like fish in water, without even wondering about it, not even in hints of origin story. ( )
  quondame | Apr 23, 2018 |
Kirit is hoping to earn her glider wings and become a trader between Towers, like her mother. The Towers are living bone, part of the City above the clouds. Below is only death and destruction, and invisible skymouths stalk the skies; only Singers can protect the City from them and coax the Towers into growing larger to support a growing population. But when Kirit breaks the law and discovers that she has Singer talents, she stumbles into a deadly conspiracy and is forced to harm all she holds dear. I see why others found the worldbuilding interesting, but it wasn’t for me. ( )
  rivkat | Feb 1, 2018 |
Really great; great idea. 2nd (Cloudbound) was okay but skimmed last few chapters.
  suecrawford | Dec 9, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Publisher's Weekly Fall 2015 SF, Fantasy & Horror Top 10
added by sussura | editPublisher's Weekly (Jul 20, 2015)

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.
added by sussura | editPublisher's Weekly (Jun 1, 2015)
“… 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
added by sussura | editLocus, Liz Bourke (May 1, 2015)

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wilde, Franprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Arnold, TommyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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My mother selected her wings as early morning light reached through our balcony shutters.
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Book description
~ Welcome to a world of wind and bone, songs and silence, betrayal and courage. ~ 

A city of living bone rises high above the clouds, its past lost to legend. Danger hides in the wind. Laws have been broken. A great secret must be exposed.
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"Welcome to a world of wind and bone, songs and silence, betrayal and courage. Kirit Densira cannot wait to pass her wingtest and begin flying as a trader by her mother's side, being in service to her beloved home tower and exploring the skies beyond. When Kirit inadvertently breaks Tower Law, the city's secretive governing body, the Singers, demand that she become one of them instead. In an attempt to save her family from greater censure, Kirit must give up her dreams to throw herself into the dangerous training at the Spire, the tallest, most forbidding tower, deep at the heart of the City. As she grows in knowledge and power, she starts to uncover the depths of Spire secrets. Kirit begins to doubt her world and its unassailable Laws, setting in motion a chain of events that will lead to a haunting choice, and may well change the city forever--if it isn't destroyed outright"--… (more)

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Average: (3.54)
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