Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Mini-Review: Updraft by Fran Wilde

Updraft by Fran Wilde was released with a fair bit of critical fan-fair in 2015 and I read it a few months post-release based largely on that the good word of many of those I follow in the blogging world. My thoughts on the book are somewhat mixed, though I believe that to be largely a result of relatively high expectations I had from reading other reactions. 

In short, I liked the book, I really enjoyed the turns the plot takes, a few of the surprises that are thrown about, and the more political machinations. Where I struggled a bit is with the whole flying thing and the general weirdness of the world.

It’s not that I don’t like a good, weird world of fantasy, it’s just that I was never completely sold on it. I’ve seen the comparisons to this book and worlds created by the likes of China Miéville and I just can’t take things that far. Yes, Miéville creates some very weird worlds, but those creations aren’t questioned in my reading of them, just marveled at. And the very weirdness of those creations usually serves an important point in the thematic goals of the writing. It’s not Wilde doesn’t do these things with her world, it’s just that it didn’t completely work for me. I understand that keeping the origins of these mysteries is key, and I also get that this is fantasy, so fantastic and unexplainable things are around. But it still didn’t gel the way I would have like to see.

However, I don’t want to dwell on these, as they didn’t really bother me all that much. I did like the book. I am looking forward to reading the sequel. And I’m happy to recommend the book to readers at the blog here. Updraft is a coming-of-age story, it is the story of a child seeking information about a parent, there are secrets, and what I enjoyed most is that it’s a story about a moment of upheaval in a society that can and will likely end in a very different place. Plus, living bone towers and people flying around way above a distant, fog-covered ground – it might not have completely worked for me, but is still sounds pretty awesome.  

Updraft is the first novel in a planned trilogy in the Bone Universe. The second novel, Cloudbound is forthcoming in September, 2016.

Bone Universe

Updraft: Amazon
Cloudbound: Amazon

1 comment:

Ron Buckmire said...

I must admit the YA thing has me a little scared but I loved Wes Chu's Tao series and that is mostly YA (but also fast-paced, action-packed sci-fi).

However, the multiple Nebula nominations have definitely gotten my attention. It looks like people like this one hit or miss. The fact that you say you WILL read the sequels means that you probably did like it enough that I will eventually get to it.
That being said, there's so much else on my TBR pile: Daniel Abraham's The Spider's War, Marcus Sakey's A Better World, Robert Jackson Bennet's City of Stairs and Patrick Tomlinson's Trident's Forge immediately come to mind that it may be awhile before I get around to this.

I'd love to see your review of The Last Mortal Bond when you're done. I think Staveley rules!!


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