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There's some fascinating character relationships in this story. I loved the relationship between Kelsey and Jared and how it evolved and I'm keen to see how the revelations in the story impact the universe it's all set in. The story itself is pretty good, And is told at a pretty decent pace. I'm keen to read the next book when it comes out not just to find out where the story goes but to learn more about the world it's set in. There is a lot of history there which I hope will be revealed in the future books.
I zipped through the whole novel at a pretty good pace, but the last few chapters stepped up a gear and I couldn't put it down. Very keen to read the next novel :)
An extremely fun, fast paced romp across the stars from Terry Mixon, long-time contributor to the quite wonderful writing podcast Dead Robots Society. It is to Mr Mixon's credit that I enjoyed the book as thoroughly as I did, as yes, while I'm a big ol' sci-fi geek, I'm less John Ringo, more Douglas Adams. I'm wildly ambivalent when it comes to military fiction as well, but these hang ups disappeared the deeper I dug into Empire of Bones.
The real meat and potatoes of the story is an intriguing and initially deeply fractious sibling relationship between our two leads Jared and Kelsey. They are both well drawn characters, but I'd say its Kelsey's bored princess that has the biggest arc as she travels into the unknown. By the story's end, following a series of twists and turns, the established status-quo is left in pieces, and let's just say I'll definitely be picking up book two "Veil of Shadows".
I'm very appreciative of Mixon's balance of real world tech-speak and outright sci-fi technobabble. You'll never find long prosaic paragraphs dedicated to the nuts and bolts of How This S*** Works. The world-building is economical yet effective, and that actually speaks to a larger point in Mixon's favour; the pacing. Breezy without being lightweight, Mixon knows when to cut to the chase (before perhaps, cutting to an ACTUAL chase), offering a honed mix-tape of character beats, shocks, dread, and explosions.
Empire of Bones come highly recommended then, all be it with two very small caveats. Though the plot of this story is resolved, I'd say the emotional core is not. Mixon layers in many seeds that will no doubt come to glorious fruition in later books, and as long as you know that going in, you'll come away satisfied. Also, and this is more of a taste thing, there's a lack of conflict in Empire of Bones. Oh, there are formidable Bad Guys aplenty, but I'm talking about conflict amongst our heroes. The political and familial intrigue between an illegitimate son to the Emperor and his half-sister was very well set up, but the galaxy-hopping narrative quickly puts it on the back-burner- Jared and Kelsey quickly move past their supposed years of hatred. But what I'm actually getting at is the wider ensemble. Everyone gets along fabulously, gelling together into a likeable, but a touch forgettable, team. This could be a stylistic thing, or equally a trade off for the laser focus on our two leads.
Either way, Empire of Bones is probably best considered a hugely enjoyable taster, laying the essential groundwork for future complexities and nuance to come. Bravo.
I really enjoyed this story and will be downloading the next one as soon as I finish this review. I liked the characters and found them believable to the storyline. The detailed description of the technology was a bit overwhelming at times but went a long way to making this story entirely plausible. Cheers!
start of a new military space opera, engaging, light but includes some science. read all 5 books to find out there is a sixth. do yourself a favour and read this for an enchanting tale with developed characters, lots of tech, sibling rivalry, treachery and a decent story. well worth it.
Let me start off by saying that there is nothing new in this book. Every element of the story, from a reborn empire to lost technology, from the form of interstellar travel used to a lone ship trapped far from home, has been done before. Many times before. But just as the same cooking ingredients can be combined to form many different, great foods, this author has managed to take a wide variety of old scifi tropes and combined them into a unique and interesting tale. Even the editing is passable, and THAT'S something you see far too seldom in current ebooks. My only criticism is that the author needs to enroll in some writer's workshops to learn to fully pollish his style. Or find a top-notch editor to help him knock off the rough edges. I look forward to the rest of the series with great anticipation.