I had wrong expectations
This novel’s title is Boneyards and there on the cover is a woman I am sure is Boss the main protagonist striking a pose in front of what looks like a fleet of ship in a field of some sort. So it is plausible to expect the book to turn around that. That is not exactly what the blurb says but that’s what I expected. Expectations are good but also something you can trip on when the book you are reading delivers something different. I am afraid that is what happened to me here. I had the wrong expectations.
Now I think the title also is about what is left behind in the events described. In a way the empire’s research into stealth technology is a boneyard too. With all those victims.
As you might remember Boss was exploring the mysterious ‘Stealth’ technology (that killed her mother when she was a baby) in Diving into the Wreck and then stumbling on a working Dignity Vessel that was trapped in hyper with its crew in City of Ruins last year.
Now a few years have passed and things have happened that I would have liked to sample. This is where I feel the novel was a bit on the short side (beside the ending). Boss is already in a relationship with Coop, the captain of the Dignity Vessel. Where is the suspense in that? It is somewhat in character with Boss I admit but I want details. No, not those details get your brain out of the gutter. Character building details. As things progress I get some of that but I do feel a bit shortchanged.
We start with the expected search for the fleet which ends up just outside the aforementioned yard. But Boss leaves after a few pages without even crossing into the mysterious field. The rest of the story is about Squishy. I liked all the back story we got on Boss and her friend but multiple time lines that jump back and forth is not my favorite story telling device. It reminds me too much about the Event. And then the book ends without getting back to the great mystery. Frustrated was only the first word of what I was feeling right then.
Boss and Squishy do hit on fundamental questions about friendship and ethics and the length you are willing to go for them. That part was emotional and satisfying to read.
I remember from somewhere that this series was a trilogy but it can’t end here. There are too many unanswered questions! Edit: Kristine confirms that there will be another book on her blog.
I liked Boneyards but it is a bit on the short side, (I read the book on a work night in a few short hours). I will await the next book with even higher expectations (I know, I just do anyway). You should read it.
When multiple Hugo Award winner Kristine Kathryn Rusch decided to put her stamp on classic space opera, readers wanted more. Now Rusch’s popular character Boss returns in a whole new adventure, one that takes her far outside her comfort zone, to a sector of space she’s never seen before.
Searching for ancient technology to help her friends find answers to the mystery of their own past, Boss ventures into a place filled with evidence of an ancient space battle, one the Dignity Vessels lost.
Meanwhile, the Enterran Empire keeps accidentally killing its scientists in a quest for ancient stealth tech. Boss’s most difficult friend, Squishy, has had enough. She sneaks into the Empire and destroys its primary stealth tech research base. But an old lover thwarts her escape, and now Squishy needs Boss’s help.
Boss, who is a fugitive in the Empire. Boss, who knows how to make a Dignity Vessel work. Boss, who knows that Dignity Vessels house the very technology that the Empire is searching for.
Should Boss take a Dignity Vessel to rescue Squishy and risk losing everything to the Empire? Or should Boss continue on her mission for her other friends and let Squishy suffer her own fate?
Filled with battles old and new, scientific dilemmas, and questions about the ethics of friendship, Boneyards looks at the influence of our past on our present and the risks we all take when we meddle in other people’s lives.
Boneyards is space opera the way it was meant to be: exciting, fast moving, and filled with passion