Bone Silence – Alastair Reynolds

“It had begun as a distant glimmering dot; now it was unmistakably a world.”

Following on from Revenger and Shadow Captain, we rejoin the Ness sisters in the final part of the trilogy. Usual warning that merely mentioning characters in the third instalment could be spoilers for who survives the first two, etc.

Fura and Adrana ran away from home, have survived horrors, and now are in charge of their own ship and free to pursue the questions that haunt them: what are quoins, really – seemingly more than mere currency. And why do Occupations (re-populating the solar system) happen with the odd irregularity that they do – is something responsible for starting them… or, ending them?

But the rest of the Congregation seems intent on blaming the Nesses for crimes they didn’t commit. Answers might prove a harder fight than they want…

From the get-go, I’ve enjoyed these books but not in the same way as Alastair Reynolds’ other, less-YA, work. The story is interest rather than gripping, the characters not entirely involving, somehow. Perhaps because the narration has shifted once again, from Fura in book one and Adrana in book two, we now get a third person narrative, highly necessary as the stories diverge.

Still, there was no way I wasn’t going to finish the trilogy, and hopefully get some answers. And we do, and they aren’t bad, and yet I didn’t feel entirely satisfied somehow. One ‘reveal’, about the alien race of Clackers, seems accepted by all based on evidence I wasn’t sure might not have meant something else – at least enough to provoke at least one character to questions? And on the bigger mysteries, we’ve scratched a surface but there’s clearly much, much more going on – and that’s almost more infuriating than knowing nothing.

It’s well-written, I don’t regret picking up the series, but tbh I’m not entirely sure I’d recommend it. Go read Revelation Space instead!

Hardback: 602 pages / 33 chapters
First published: 2020
Series: Revenger book 3 (of 3)
Read from 12th February – 8th March 2020

My rating: 6.5/10

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