Lightreads's Reviews > Bone Dance

Bone Dance by Emma Bull
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's review
Mar 25, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, fiction, science-fiction, lgbt
Read in February, 2012

Weirdly forgettable post apocalyptic story of body-hopping genetically engineered super soldiers and a battle with the old gods. A coming-into-self story narrated by an intersex person (or possibly a sex-neutral person, this was not clear to me). I'm trying to remember if I've ever seen it on any of those LGBT scifi interest booklists that float around, because I feel like I haven't and that maybe everyone else forgets this book, too. I've never been as impressed with Emma Bull as a lot of people I know, but I feel like this one wasn't me. This one was a hodge-podge book that was trying to do something interesting with the narrator's lack of gender, but executed it in such a way that I seriously thought our first two narrative clues about what was going on were copyeditorial mistakes. Some warm emotional stuff here about forging connections out of isolation and recovering from violence, but I was distracted by the 'throw it at the wall, see if it sticks' A-plot, and by the way my mind seemed to magically slide off this book even as I read it.

I should stop wandering randomly around Bull's catalog and just read War for the Oaks already, shouldn't I?
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Ellen Yes! I'm a big Emma Bull fan and I, too, found this one forgettable - but War for the Oaks is still her best, so it'll tell you whether it's worth continuing with her.

Zach it's hard to believe that a "post apocalyptic story of body-hopping genetically engineered super soldiers and a battle with the old gods" could be such a blandly forgettable one, but you're absolutely right.

Jeffrey I liked it, but I like post apocalyptic novels, and sometimes you have to look at books in the context of when they were written. This book had a lot of new ideas of a genetically created human - asexual - at that, which you do not find a lot -- not then and not now.

But to each his or her own. If you do like Bull, and I am a fan, another good one to look at is Territory, her fantasy western retelling of the Battle of the OK Corral.

Zach I also love post-apocalyptic novels, but I didn't think this was a very compelling example of one.

I'll also agree that you don't find asexual protagonists all that often, but the idea of a genetically-engineered human is one of the most basic touchstones of the genre.

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