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Debris (The Veiled Worlds #1)

3.46  ·  Rating Details ·  684 Ratings  ·  148 Reviews
Tanyana is among the highest ranking in her far-future society—a skilled pionner, able to use a mixture of ritual and innate talent to manipulate the particles that hold all matter together. But an accident brings her life crashing down around her ears. She is cast down amongst the lowest of the low, little more than a garbage collector.

Who did this to her, and for what si
Paperback, 455 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by Angry Robot (first published January 1st 2011)
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Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
1.5 star

Why would someone who is so obviously not good at worldbuilding decide to write fantasy is beyond me. I wasted a lot of time trying to find something nice to say about this book, especially because Jo Anderton is a debut author and as such, deserves my best effort. So here it is: the IDEA for Debris was really very interesting. (view spoiler)

Everything was made up of pions, from the
Yeah, I'm not going to finish this one.

The thing is, I don't think this is a bad book, despite the middling rating here, where anything under, say, 3.75 stars indicates mixed reviews, at best. I thought it was fine. The world is unique, a blend of sci-fi and magic that posits that there are small pieces of energy (pions) in all living things that can be spoken to/manipulated and used to build stuff, move heavy things, generate electricity -- do pretty much anything -- and though many people have
Aug 21, 2013 Nikki rated it liked it
As usual, I love the way Angry Robot select the books they publish. Whatever faults each book has, there's something intriguing and worth taking a gamble on at the core. Whatever my doubts about whichever individual book, pretty much all of them are compelling, compulsive reads.

Debris suffered because it felt like set-up, really. It mostly builds a world, establishes the rules, and sets up for the later plot. The main character -- and narrator -- has a lot of setbacks, a bumpy ride down from the
Oct 30, 2013 Stefan rated it really liked it
Tanyana is a talented and celebrated architect. She’s one of the elite, someone who can control “pions,” allowing her to manipulate matter with a thought. She’s high up in the air, working on a towering statue, shaping the raw matter around her into art, when suddenly she finds herself under attack by strange, uncontrollable pions. When she regains consciousness after a horrible fall, it becomes clear that she has suffered more than just physical injuries: she’s lost the ability to see pions and ...more
Mar 09, 2012 Psychomacologist rated it did not like it
I was really disappointed with this book - it has such a promising premise and the world building is interesting, but by a quarter of the way in to it I wanted to punch Tanyana in the face for being such a self absorbed whiner.

Tanyana is constantly talking about how strong and self sufficient she is, yet she fails to display any of these qualities and at times is downright stupid. Her love interest, Devich, is obviously a massive creep who any self respecting woman would've kicked to the curb in
Ben Babcock
What do you do when you undergo an accident that leaves you unable to interact with the basic technology underpinning your society? What do you do when that accident leaves you fit for one task few others would care to assume? What do you do when your new status leaves your old friends uncomfortable and your new ones unimpressed with you?

What do you do when it turns out your accident was no accident, and no one will listen?

In Debris, Tanyana is among the elite of Varsnia. In her society, technol
Ranting Dragon
Oct 12, 2011 Ranting Dragon rated it really liked it
Shelves: michelle

Debris is the debut novel of Australian author Jo Anderton and the first in a projected trilogy, The Veiled Worlds, to be published by Angry Robot Books. Despite some minor flaws, Debris is quite a solid first novel and showcases Anderton’s substantial storytelling talent, marking her as a name to watch in the future.

What goes up must come down
Debris takes place in Movoc, a remarkable technologically advanced city that sits in the shadow of a symbolic moun
This has been a surprisingly compelling book that took over my reading a bit unexpectedly; I took a fast look when I got the earc from Angry Robot and I thought "I've seen this story hundreds of times before and this does not stand out" but the first person voice of the novel stayed with me so some days later when in the mood for such, I got back to the novel and once i opened I had to read it before I could move on to something else.

Not only that but I really liked it so I will reread it first
Jun 25, 2012 Mieneke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On the back of every Angry Robot book are categories the book can be filed under; in the case of Debris, these were: science fiction, Meets the Eye, Hidden Powers, Puppet Man Cabal and Fantastic Journey. Now all of these are quite applicable and some of them unique to this story – I don't think I've ever run into a Puppet Man Cabal anywhere else – but it is the first one that is most debatable to me. While Debris contains SF-nal qualities, a far-future setting, the collector suits, the almost sc ...more
Jul 03, 2011 Cat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
The world of Debris is a fantastic place. I think the author did a fantastic job of creating this world without overloading us with information all at once. I did take it upon myself to look up the definition of a pion. For the record, a pion is: a meson that is a combination of up and down quarks and antiquarks, that may be positive, negative, or neutral, and that has a mass about 270 times that of the electron (from Merriam-Webster). Basically, it’s a really small bit of energy, which is what ...more
Jun 29, 2011 Jane rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
In many ways Debris was a somewhat frustrating read. The world-building is top-notch and the premise of the plot is intriguing. It's just that, while it is a solid read, the book doesn't really fulfill the promise that those two elements suggest.

Tanyana works pions - the smallest particles of energy/matter that make up every object in Movoc. Her ability is so great that she has become one of the premiere architects in the city. Her latest project is working on a massive 800 foot tall sculpture t
Feb 05, 2012 Marlene rated it it was amazing
Debris, by Jo Anderton, is the first book of The Veiled World Trilogy. It is the story of the catastrophic fall, and eventual stumbling rise, of Tanyana Vladha. It is Tanyana's story, and it is told in her incredibly compelling voice.

Tanyana starts out as a pion-builder in the great city of Movoc-under-Keeper. Pion-builders are a combination of architect, engineer and designer, working with a substance that is part molecule, part light and part magic. It also turns out to be part myth, but that
Jul 17, 2012 Ruth rated it really liked it
Shelves: spec-fic
C2011. FWFTB: particles, accident, collector, lowest, purpose.
Whoever selects the books for the Angry Robot label deserves a medal and when this one popped up on my radar, there was no doubt that I was just going to have to read it. Unusual and interesting story line with some great characters that appear to have been effortlessly drawn.
The atmosphere and tension that is sustained is excellent and I was shouting at the heroine and doing some vague tsk tsks when I realised what the heroine didn’t
Oct 10, 2016 Moira rated it really liked it
Shelves: aj, re-read, fantasy, urbanky
10.10.2016 - 4,5*

18.3.2015 - 4,5*
Ze začátku to bylo lehce zmatené a stále, i po dočtení, mám tolik otázek, na které bych chtěla znát odpovědi. Možná proto, jak dobře autorka svět vytvořila a já tolik chtěla vědět, proč a jak a kdy a všechno. :D
Originální nápad (malé... eh, bytůstky? Věcičky?, jednoduše pioni, kteří mohou měnit svět, a jiná zvláštní stvoření/věci (debris, a jop, nebudu ani jedny překládat, protože takhle to zní úžasnoucněji. :D), které piony ničí? Architekti, kteří s pomocí pionů
Oct 23, 2011 Michelle rated it really liked it
Also published under The Ranting Dragon

Debris is the debut novel of Australian author Jo Anderton and the first in a projected trilogy, The Veiled Worlds, to be published by Angry Robot Books. Despite some minor flaws, Debris is quite a solid first novel and showcases Anderton’s substantial storytelling talent, marking her as a name to watch in the future.

What goes up must come down
Debris takes place in Movoc, a remarkable technologically advanced city that sits in the shadow of a symbolic mount

I think I've mentioned this observation in the past, but it continues to prove out the more books I read from the 2011 catalog. First person person narrators are hip in the publishing world. I was listening to an Odyssey podcast the other day and Richard Sawyer was talking about point of view. He made the remark that something like 80% of fantasy and science fiction is written in the third person. In years past, I would totally agree. Today it seems that m
Miranda the Gayvenger
Jun 22, 2011 Miranda the Gayvenger rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Debris, while I rather enjoyed it, does have some major issues I hope will be fixed in the sequel. My biggest issue with the novel was the pacing. It was really rather slow, and while this comes down on the tastes of the reader, I found my interest waning a bit in the middle because the pacing was dragging. There were interesting things happening, but since Tanyana, for most of the novel, is kept from pursuing them, nothing really comes from them until the end. Thankfully the beginning and the e ...more
Mark Webb
Feb 03, 2012 Mark Webb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review forms part of my contribution to theAustralian Women Writers 2012 Reading Challenge.

Debrisis the debut novel from Jo Anderton, a Sydney based author.

This story has an interesting premise - a world that has been built around a form of magic, the manipulation of tiny particles called pions. The resulting society is not your typical medieval high-fantasy arrangement, rather represents an alternative development path that has incorporated pions into technology to reach a more urban level
Tsana Dolichva
Jan 20, 2012 Tsana Dolichva rated it really liked it
I enjoyed Debris by Jo Anderton.

I read a lot of fantasy, especially by Australian writers (no surprise that they’re dominating my reading so far this year). I’ve found that Australian fantasy is less likely to stick to clichéd convention and in that respect, Debris definitely does not disappoint.

The magical system Anderton has developed is focused around pions — bearing no resemblance to the mesons beloved by particle physicists, if you were wondering — tiny, glowing particles that permeate real
May 10, 2015 Bibliotropic rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Faith Chin
Apr 22, 2012 Faith Chin rated it really liked it
Shelves: grade-6
This book was simply amazing! But, at times where there are still some confusing parts. In fact, this book is quite hard to understand. This book is about Tanyana Vladha, a girl in a far-future society. She is able to move and talk to these particles called "pions" that can create beautiful things. She was the strongest architect and among the highest ranking pion-benders able to bend these pions. She used pions to make all sorts of unique things. You see, in her city, everything is made out of ...more
Sep 13, 2011 Ove rated it really liked it
Who did this to me?

This is a different universe with advanced technology built on something that looks like magic. Some people have the ability to see and manipulate invisible entities or particles called pions much like magic. They use it for everything we use technology for. It is hinted in the novel that they have used technology at some time in their history but it got replaced when the pions were discovered.

There is a problem though, using pions also create a waste substance called debris (
Jul 02, 2011 Jessica rated it did not like it
The problem with having the narrative in 1st person POV is that loads of internal dialog ranging in tone between bitter, self-righteous, whiny and (deliberately) clueless can create a truly irritating main character. Add to that muddled world-building (the whole pion binding thing still makes very little practical sense to me) and an unengaging plot stretched out over a few hundred seemingly-endless pages, and I did not enjoy this book at all.

I tried, I really did. I wanted to find something to
Jessica Strider
Oct 19, 2011 Jessica Strider rated it really liked it
Pros: fascinating world, strong female protagonist

Cons: slow pacing

Tanyana is an extremely talented architect, manipulating pions to create a huge sculpture of Grandeur for the Veche, when disaster occurs. Angry red pions, a kind she's never seen before, attack the statue and her, causing her to fall from a terrible height. When she awakens, her ability to see pions has disappeared, instead she can now see debris, the by-product of pion work. No one but her believes that her fall was anything bu
May 13, 2012 Celia rated it liked it
It took me ages to finish this book, so I wasn't exactly captivated by it. In a future world, Tanyana is a pion worker - pions, as far as I could tell, are basic building blocks of matter, and Tanyana manipulates them as part of a circle to make grand architectural edifaces. Manipulates them with her braaaain. So it's a little bit fantasy, little bit sci fi - you couldn't call it sci fi, as the details as to how this world functions aren't entirely there.

Anyway, a disaster on one of Tanyana's bu
Apr 10, 2012 Melanti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good in terms of character-building but a little too light on the world-building.

I’m fascinated by the magic/technology system, yet we’re only starting to understand it at the very end of the novel. I don’t want the pions/debris to be explained in any technical detail – I don’t think there’s any sort of scientific explanation that would hold water, so it’s best not to bother. But I would have liked to have had a bit more of the history of the world; maybe how they discovered pions, or how i
Nov 14, 2011 Jacqie rated it it was ok
Shelves: didnt-finish
Got about 75 pages in and didn't feel like picking it up after I'd put it down. I liked the pion idea, which was an interesting visual, and the first scene was strongly built. But then we went abruptly to a hospital, our main character was "suited" (still no idea what that means, what it does, or any social context with it)meets a creepy doctor that I'm afraid is going to be her love interest, and then bemoans her fate at home. I don't mind being put into a story without info-dumps and kind of f ...more
Lyn Battersby
Apr 19, 2012 Lyn Battersby rated it really liked it
Hand on my heart one of the best science fantasy novel I have ever read. Like my favourite Science Fantasy novelist, Sharon Shinn, Anderton invests as much interest into her characters as she does the Science and Fantasy elements.

If I must have a quibble (and yes, I must) I have to say I'm never fond of authors who masculinise a female protagonist in order to make them credible in their job/role. Chop Tanyana's hair short. Fine. I have short hair, so I know short hair is sexy. But does she reall
Dec 08, 2013 Rob rated it liked it
...Debris has more than a few things going for it. If you like your Fantasy with a twist, or are looking for a book that does things just a bit differently this is probably as good a read as you'll be able to find. It's not a novel of huge complexity or unfathomable depth but it will hold your attention from the first page an not let go until the final chapter has been read. I have some issues with the novel, especially the development of the main character, but that doesn't take away from the f ...more
J.M. Jeffries Jeffries
Nov 16, 2011 J.M. Jeffries Jeffries rated it it was amazing
Picked this up out of curiosity and couldn't put it down. Read the whole story in two days.

Tanyana is a binder of pions, the units that are the building blocks of her world. When a accident takes away her ability to see the pions, she sinks from being the best of what she does to the lowest most despised level of duty in her world. Now she collects debris, the waste from pions, and is scorned by those in upper levels.

This unusual fantasy combined with steampunk was so intriguing I couldn't sto
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The Ultimate ABC ...: Debris by Jo Anderton 1 5 Mar 14, 2012 05:00AM  
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Joanne Anderton lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband and too many pets. By day she is a mild-mannered marketing coordinator for an Australian book distributor. By night, weekends and lunchtimes she writes dark fantasy, horror a little bit of science fiction and a whole lot of weird stuff in between.

Her short fiction has been published in a variety of places, including Aurealis, Andromeda S
More about Jo Anderton...

Other Books in the Series

The Veiled Worlds (3 books)
  • Suited (The Veiled Worlds, #2)
  • Guardian (The Veiled Worlds, #3)

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