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Bone Song by John Meaney
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The author is too obsessed with his own ideas to get out of their way, and the prose isn't great either. I gave it ten pages and decided life was too short.
  jen.e.moore | Sep 22, 2014 |
John Meaney has rich and vivid imagination. He's created an alternative universe where cities are powered by the bones of the dead. Wraiths exist inside cars, motorcycles, even lamps, and seem to be a de-facto for artificial intelligence. I was often caught out by a description that was strange not only to me, but was impressive or different for the main character. I never felt I had an understanding of the rules of this world, I know show don't tell, but there wasn't enough showing. Things were strange, people died, and sometimes they came back. There was also a police procedural and hunt for a cadre of killers, but that aspect of this book was the least interesting. ( )
  wifilibrarian | Jul 29, 2014 |
I was very impressed and intrigued by the world that John Meaney created between the pages of this book. It was full of details that just made you want to know more about it and what else was going on. While it was marketed as Sci-Fi I would label it Urban Fantasy, there are a lot of things that go 'bump' in the night and the dreary days as well.

While I found the world created to be great the story did not quite meet the same standards as the scenery that it was taking place in. I suspect that books 2 and 3 will improve the storytelling aspect since the work of world building is mostly done. Good book, enjoyed it and want to read the next one. ( )
  readafew | Aug 21, 2013 |
An absolutely mind-blowing book, one of the best fantasies I've read in YEARS. Dark, dark, dark - this is a world powered by death, in a very literal sense. Wraiths and necromancy provide the security, technology, motivation, and power for the entire city...the entire world...and Meaney has developed an INCREDIBLY complex and engrossing cosmology around this concept. Add to that a very well-crafted police procedural/hardboiled crime novel, and you've got one of the most unique books I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Meaney pulls NO punches, and it's brilliant. ( )
  candlemark | Jul 18, 2011 |
The first of a series (The Tristopolis series) this novel features Donal, an investigator for Police Headquarters. Only this police dept is nothing like any department we might have. In fact, Tristopolis is nothing like any city we have on Earth. No, Tristopolis is a city that is powered by the bones of the dead....and apparently it's still a bit....uncomfortable. There are many species inhabiting this city - and working for the police dept. Deathwolves, wraiths, zombies....

In the beginning of the book Donal is given the task of protecting a visiting Diva from an apparent conspiracy...In preparation for this job, Donal is sent to the power company to do some research. The danger the Diva is in involves murder, appropriation of the murder victim's bones, and the apparent use of the bones. Bones sing. Not everyone can hear their song, but something happens to Donal during his visit to the power company and when he leaves, he finds that he frequently hears a voice inside his head that asks him "do you hear the..." He always interrupts the question, sometimes answering, sometimes telling it to shut-up. The thing I loved about this development is that throughout the whole novel, we hear from this voice...it's like a supporting cast.

There is complication - Donal fails in his protective mission (not a spoiler, this info is given on the back of the book), Donal ends up in a hospital and then is recruited by an elite squad within the police department, trying to find out if there is a traitor within the police department, if there is indeed a conspiracy, etc. There are many wonderful characters to read, and lots of great dialogue.

The worldbuilding is .....exquisite. Think of a blend of Gotham City (Batman), a fantasy setting with purple skies, furniture and appliances a la Beauty and the Beast (wraiths occupy them), steampunk-like gadgets run by magic or hexes and a wonderful array of characters that you could find in many fantasy and urban fantasy novel. It all works so well together in John Meaney's creation. Bone Song is rich in details, good writing, suspense and also has some chuckles.

This book was so interesting and entertaining that I found myself wondering halfway through if there was going to be a sequel. I've only felt like that with a few series.

Needless to say, I am looking forward to acquiring the sequel to this (Black Blood in the US and Dark Blood in the UK) and hope it will be soon. Both books, Bone Song and DarkBlood/Black Blood are available now.

I recommend this to lovers of fantasy and urban fantasy. ( )
  Mardel | Feb 10, 2011 |
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To Eileen Jenkins, my big hearted mother-in-law, whose home is a refuge and a place of healing, with all my love. Thanks, Eileen.
First words
Amber eyes watched from thick darkness beyond the stone steps.
Donal sketched a fingertip salute to the shadows beyond the stone steps.
Do you hear the bones?
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

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Book description
Imagine a city named Tristopolis, where tall towers rear beneath a dark, indigo sky, gargoyles glide overhead, while purple cabs drive along the streets. Elevators are powered by boundwraiths. Warmth and power come from reactor piles, deep inside Energy Authority complexes, where the bones of the dead are stacked. Necroflux replays the fragmented memories and feelings of two thousand corpses in each reactor, producing a chaos of mixed identities and suffering that the living would rather not know about.

Tough cop Lieutenant Donal Riordan is assigned to protect a visiting diva, Maria daLivnova, who may be a target for those who collect the bones of great performing artists.

But the dark cult is more powerful and secretive than anyone, even Donal's non-human allies, can suspect. And he has been touched by the bones.

Do you hear the bones?

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553590952, Mass Market Paperback)

In this darkly luminous thriller, John Meaney blends gritty futuristic noir with gothic fantasy to create a stunningly seductive world of death and desire. Here an honest cop must face his own darkest impulses as he hunts a perverse killer through a city of the dead.

There have been four celebrity murders already. Now it’s up to Lieutenant Donal Riordan to make sure that Tristopolis isn’t the scene of a fifth. But the necropolis’s vast underground network is already mobilizing for a battle of epic proportions against a powerful death cult whose dark influence reaches up to the highest echelons of Tristopolis’s elite. Riordan’s only hope is an unlikely alliance with a para-live female agent as they hunt—both aboveground and below—among gargoyles and zombies, spirit slaves and assassins, for the killers even the dead have reason to fear.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:33 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

There have been four celebrity murders already. Now Lieutenant Donal Riordan must make sure that Tristopolis isn't the scene of a fifth. But the necropolis's vast underground network is already mobilizing for a battle of epic proportions against a powerful death cult whose dark influence reaches up to the highest echelons of the elite. Riordan's only hope is an unlikely alliance with a "para-live" female agent as they hunt--both above ground and below--among gargoyles and zombies, spirit slaves and assassins, for the killers even the dead have reason to fear.… (more)

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