Bone Silence by Alistair Reynolds
Gollancz, HB, £18.99
Reviewed by Sarah Deeming
The Congregation’s Thirteen Occupation is built upon the value of quoins, currency that keeps people like the Ness sisters risking their life hunting space for alien technology and treasure. Now the quoins have lost their value, the Thirteenth Occupation is starting to decline, and Adrana and Fura Ness are fighting for their lives to uncover the truth behind the Occupations and what is the true purpose of the quoins. This is a journey that will lead them to team up with the different species of alien, traitors, and bauble crackers like them, just looking for an honest, well honest-ish, living if they want to survive.
Bone Silence picks up where Shadow Captain left off with the Ness sisters as joint captain of the Revenger. Their attempts at clearing their names are halted when by Incer Stannis, a bone reader more talented than them, attacks them on behalf of the Congregation, determined to bring Fura in dead or alive. What follows is an all-or nothing chase in space, Fura forced to use all her cunning to stay one step ahead of Stannis who is every bit as ruthless as she is.
What made this book for me, is that Adrana and Fura’s intelligence is not enough. Stannis is worse than Bosa Sennan who began the Ness sister’s misadventure in Revenger. Bone Silence is filled with sacrifice and last-ditch schemes, making this a non-stop action page turner.
This is not a book that can be read in isolation, however. While there is enough explanation of what is going on, a richer understanding comes from having read the books before which I can highly recommend. Revenger was the first Alistair Reynolds book I read and now he’s one of my favourite authors.
Bone Silence feels like the end of the Ness sisters which is a little sad. Although there are still some questions left unanswered, the ones that began the journey in Revenger have been resolved. There could be more adventures, and I would be excited to see where they go next, but if not Bone Silence is a satisfying conclusion for the sisters. I would highly recommend all three books, Revenger, Shadow Captain, and Bone Silence to any fans of sci-fi and space opera, in particular.