Bone Silence is the third of the 3 Revenger series books by Alastair Reynolds, and continues the story of Arafura and Adrana Ness, and their rag-tag crew aboard the Revenger.
…potential spoiler warning for those who haven’t read the preceding novels…
After the unfortunate event with the quoins during Shadow Captain, Fura and Adrana Ness are now on the hunt for answers. Just what exactly have they set in motion, by bringing all of those quoins together in one place?
Meanwhile, Revenger is still a wanted ship, pursued by those with a bone to pick with the Ness sisters. Can they get their answers, before their past catches up with them?
First off, at about 600 pages Bone Silence is a long, long, seemingly endless book. The story itself isn’t very engaging and the narrative plods along at a rather repetitive snail’s pace, full of unnecessary dialogue and description.
Secondly, character points-of-view switch regularly between Arafura and Adrana, and with no discernible difference between them, which causes some confusion. It sometimes took me a little while to figure out which ship we were following, which sister was in control of the current piece of narrative, and also which crew members were on which ship, especially since there were some similarities in the names.
I found some aspects of the story interesting, such as the behaviour of the quoins and the different races of aliens, but there were a number of plot holes leaving me scratching my head in frustration. Along with a number of spelling and grammar errors, such as missing words and double spaces in the middle of sentences, slightly more than what I found while reading Shadow Captain.
All in all, at just 1 out of 5 stars, I found Bone Silence to be an extremely poor conclusion to a very mediocre trilogy, especially since the ending doesn’t really resolve the questions raised in the earlier books, leaving us with more questions than it does answers. Having read other novels by Alastair Reynolds, I know he can write much better sci-fi than this, and if he does ever decide to revive his interest in the Ness sisters and write more in this series, I most definitely won’t be bothering to read them. My advice, stop reading after book 1: Revenger.