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Publisher's Summary

From the multi BSFA award-winner comes a stunningly inventive action-packed science-fiction epic adventure. A brand-new series for fans of Becky Chambers and Ann Leckie.

Seventy-five years from today, the human race has been cast from a dying Earth to wander the stars in a vast fleet of arks - each shaped by its inhabitants into a diverse and fascinating new environment, with its own rules and eccentricities.

When her sister disappears while responding to a mysterious alien distress call, Eryn insists on being part of the crew sent to look for her. What she discovers on Candidate-623 is both terrifying and deadly. When the threat follows her back to the fleet and people start dying, she is tasked with seeking out a legendary recluse who may just hold the key to humanity’s survival.

Gareth L. Powell’s Embers of War won 2018 BSFA Award for Best Novel and was shortlisted for the 2019 Locus Awards and the 2021 Seiun Awards in Japan. Its sequels, Fleet of Knives and Light of Impossible Stars, were both shortlisted for the BSFA Award for Best Novel, and Fleet of Knives was also shortlisted for the 2020 Locus Awards.

©2022 Gareth L. Powell (P)2022 W F Howes

Critic Reviews

"Gareth Powell drops you into the action from the first page and then Just. Keeps. Going. This is a pro at the top of his game." (John Scalzi)

"A headlong, visceral plunge into a future equal parts fascinating and terrifying." (Adrian Tchaikovsky)

What listeners say about Stars and Bones

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Beautiful new sci-fi novel

Stars and Bones is the newest science fiction novel by multi-BSFA award-winning author Gareth L. Powell. In this brand new series, Powell introduces us to a future where humanity travels the stars far from Earth aboard a fleet of sentient ships. It’s a beautiful vision, and the details of life among the stars are impressive. Stars and Bones is a great introduction to a future reality filled with possibilities.

When her sister’s long-range scouting vessel fails to return to the fleet, Eryn lobbies for her own ship, the Furious Ocelot, to investigate. The trail leads them to a planet known only as Candidate-623 and an alien beacon. First contact with a new species turned deadly, and Eryn must find a way to communicate with a hostile alien intelligence before it wipes out humanity.

By pure happenstance, I managed to get my hands on the audiobook version of Stars and Bones prior to the book’s release and listened to it three times before writing this review, enjoying the story more each time. I still pre-ordered a copy via Audible, it was that good. Narrated by Rebecca Norfolk, I highly recommend the audiobook version.

I look forward to reading future Continuance novels.

1 person found this helpful

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Juvenile writing and unlikable characters

I could only make it about halfway through this book before giving up. The writing has the feeling of being by someone quite young, at least emotionally, and the characters are almost universally unlikable. Not recommended.

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Great!

I enjoyed the story and though the narrator was fantastic. I particularly liked the sentient spaceships, especially the Ocelot character. At times there was a bit too much blood and guts for my taste, but the story was good enough for me to get through those parts. I hope this is the start of a series!

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  • P. G. Tite
  • 05-19-22

Sharp writing, poor reading

The latest book from Gareth, is a sharply written science fiction thriller, but it does borrow heavily from other writers especially Jeff Vandermeer and Adrian Tchaikovsky. Sadly what spoils this enjoyable romp, is the awful reading; littered with mispronouncing of common words, for example chasam is pronounced with a soft C rather than the typical hard C. The pronunciation issues grate on me, yet I struggled on with it, to get to the conclusion of the novel. I would think twice about listening to a book, being read by Rebecca Norfolk, very off putting.

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  • Judi Blakeburn
  • 04-17-22

Not a patch on Becky Chambers or Anne Leckie

To begin with I thought this may be a really absorbing story, but it quickly became plodding and predictable with a rather odd ending.
The narrator has a nice voice and I enjoyed listening to her but she had trouble pronouncing a number of words that in the end rather irritated me (damask, chasm & a few others).

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  • Steven
  • 03-23-22

A nice simple space adventure.

A nice simple space adventure with a good reader. I will check out the authors other books now.

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  • Elaine Brien
  • 03-06-22

Peter Hamilton-lite

A novel with a few good ideas but thin characters and a paint by numbers story. Struggled to finish but ploughed on until the end. Disappointing by a normally competent author.