Review: Stars and Bones Review by Gareth L. Powell

Stars and Bones Review
Stars and Bones Book Cover. It's a space scene of orange and red with a spaceship flying away from a fiery planet or sun.

Stars and Bones is a sci-fi with intriguing worldbuilding and an action-packed plot, but the characters could have been developed further.

Years after humanity are miraculously saved from nuclear war by a powerful extraterrestrial being and uplifted towards the stars, a spaceship makes a dangerous discovery. So dangerous that the entire crew are ripped to shreds. Eryn, whose sister was on the expedition, investigates and narrowly survives with her life. Whatever it was won’t let them escape so easily as it sets its goals on tearing through the entire human fleet

The worldbuilding in Stars and Bones is infinitely interesting and leaves me wanting more from the universe. With powerful, ancient extraterrestrial beings, exploration, an inspection of A.I., and the human race as a diaspora from Earth, the ideas Gareth L. Powell brings forwards are intriguing and imaginative. The writing is compelling and fun – you can tell the author has a lot of experience creating engaging stories. The characters were weaker. They lacked in-depth backgrounds, development, and relationship growth which dampened some of the emotional moments of the book. There’s a sapphic relationship here, but the love interest was a particularly one-dimensional character. The lack of strong characters is disappointing considering the potential this story had. Either way, it’s worth a read, and fans of popular science fiction such as The Expanse would have a particularly good time with this one.

Thanks to Titan Publishing and Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Author Information

Gareth L. Powell was born in Bristol, England. He began writing at school and university and was fortunate to count Diana Wynne Jones and Helen Dunmore as early mentors.

He has been writing stories for as long as he can remember, but it wasn’t until his mid-thirties that he began to seriously contemplate a career as an author.

Elastic Press published his first book, The Last Reef and Other Stories, in 2008, and his first novel, Silversands, followed from Pendragon Press in 2010, the year he turned forty.

In 2011, Solaris Books published his second novel, The Recollection, and followed it in 2013 with the alternate-universe thriller Ack-Ack Macaque, which won the 2013 BSFA Award for Best Novel (in a tie for first place with Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice) and was shortlisted for the 2016 Seiun Awards in Japan.

After two further ‘Macaque’ books, Gareth moved to Titan Books in 2018 with his novel Embers of War, which won the 2018 BSFA Award for Best Novel and was a finalist for both the Locus and Seiun Awards.

The sequels, Fleet of Knives and Light of Impossible Stars, were both shortlisted for the BSFA Award, and Fleet of Knives was also a finalist for the 2020 Locus Awards.

Meanwhile, Gareth’s small-town horror/crime novella Ragged Alice (published by TorDotCom) made the shortlists for both the 2019 BSFA Award for Best Shorter Fiction and the 2020 British Fantasy Award for Best Novella.

Gareth’s short stories have appeared in InterzoneClarkesworld, and Gardner Dozois’s Year’s Best Science Fiction, and his story ‘Ride The Blue Horse’ was a finalist for the 2015 BSFA Award. 

In 2019, Luna Press published his handbook About Writing: A Field Guide for Aspiring Authors, and a much-expanded version will be re-published by Gollancz in 2022.

In 2013, Gareth realised a childhood ambition when a five-page strip he’d written appeared in the British comic 2000 AD.

He has also written freelance articles, interviews and reviews for The GuardianThe Irish TimesAcoustic Magazine, and SFX magazine, among others, and is a regular monthly columnist for The Engineer. [Enquire here for commissions]

Gareth currently lives in North Somerset with his two children and is engaged to the American science fiction author J. Dianne Dotson.

His work has been published in French, German, Czech, Croatian, Italian, Russian, Spanish and Japanese, and he is represented in all professional matters by Alexander Cochran of the C&W literary agency

Get this book

If you want to remember to check out this book you should Add to Goodreads!

You can pre/order the book from major retail sites such as Waterstones & Blackwells!

I’d recommend checking out your local indie bookshop!

see you next time! Luminosity Library

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