Sunday, January 29, 2012

Book Review: Boneyards

The latest installment in the Diving series, Boneyards by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, finds wreck-diver Boss now the leader of a huge corporation researching the science behind Dignity Vessels and profiting from their discoveries. The Lost Souls company still seeks out wrecks of ancient Dignity Vessels, in part to keep them out of the hands of the Enterran Empire, and to rebuild them is possible for their own use.

Coop, the commander of a Dignity Vessel lost in time, returns with most of his crew and has Boss helping him track down the Dignity Fleet, if it still exists. Boss and Coop's crews work together in an uneasy relationship because they know the technology they're using can be deadly in the wrong hands.

Boss started as a solitary wreck-diver, exploring long-abandoned starship wrecks or leading tourists through them. With her exposure to Stealth Tech - Dignity Vessel technology - she's grown into the head of a large corporation and often has to rely on her team and people who know more than she does. She's still Boss though, no matter who she puts in charge of certain aspects of the company. Even though she tends to want to do everything herself, she knows her own weaknesses and struggles with letting others have control.

Diving the Wreck, the first novella in this series was fan-freaking-tastic, followed by City of Ruins, another good novel. Boneyards is good, not as good as those first two - but still a fun read and I want more in this universe. There are some short stories that I need to track down. Boneyards seems to be one of those bridging the story novels that sets up the next book that I'm sure will be another excellent entry in this series.

Like City of Ruins, Boneyards features two concurrent stories. One plot line follows Boss and Coop as they eventually find the titular Boneyard. The second storyline features Squishy, a former crewmate of Boss, as she returns to the Enterran Empire's Stealth Tech research program in order to destroy their data and prevent more lives from being lost.

The initial transition to Squishy's story seemed abrupt to me. There was a chapter end and an obvious new section starting, but it still felt like the transition could have been smoother. I'm not sure why I feel that way: City of Ruins had alternating story lines and I didn't have a problem with it there.

Squishy's storyline also moves back and forth between the current time and various periods in her past that have relevance to what she's going through now. That, too, kinda bothered me, but not enough to keep me from enjoying the book overall.

The two storylines come together explosively at the end. The Boneyard awaits. I like the play in the title of this book. The Boneyard is the place Coop and Boss are trying to find; Boss has also spent most of her life diving the boneyards that are the wrecked ships she explores.

Boneyards, by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, was provided to me by the publisher for review.

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