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(Bone Universe #2)

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  611 ratings  ·  112 reviews
"As children, we learned early that the clouds were dangerous. Turns out the city wasn't all that much safer."

After the dust settles, the City of living bones begins to die, and more trouble brews beneath the clouds in this stirring companion to Fran Wilde's Updraft.

When Kirit Densira left her home tower for the skies, she gave up many things: her beloved family, her known
Hardcover, 396 pages
Published September 27th 2016 by Tor Books (first published September 6th 2016)
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Reanne I would absolutely recommend reading this directly after reading Updraft. She dumps you right back into the world, with no explanation (or even remind…moreI would absolutely recommend reading this directly after reading Updraft. She dumps you right back into the world, with no explanation (or even reminding, for those of us who read Updraft a year ago) of who people are or what's recently been going on. I'd imagine anyone who hasn't read Updraft and tried reading this would be very lost.(less)
Fran Hi Paul - hope it's ok for me to answer this myself! The third and final book in the series is Horizon, and it's being edited right now. So you're goo…moreHi Paul - hope it's ok for me to answer this myself! The third and final book in the series is Horizon, and it's being edited right now. So you're good to go on starting the series!(less)

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Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In the aftermath of the Spire's Fall, the city of bone stands on the verge of tearing itself apart, the citizens desperate to find someone to blame. Nat, the son of a man who was thrown down for defying the Spire, is now a councilman, but his political mentor appears all too eager to appeal to the city's basest instincts. As he and his friend Kirit search for answers in the ruins of the Spire, they find out about the past of the city--and about the dangers to its future...
A fantastic follow up
Apr 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Right. This was an interesting sequel to Updraft, that continued to build the world in a deep and well-thought out way. However, it was also just not a good audio book for me - the plot was complex, there's a ton of description, and, to top it off, I had an irrational dislike of the narrator's voice. So, yeah. It took me 8 months to finish!!!! I have a feeling that if I had picked it up in print I would have devoured it in several days....Oh well! ...more
Sherwood Smith
Nov 15, 2016 added it
Shelves: fantasy
Fran Wilde went from 0 to light speed with her first novel, Updraft--introducing us to a strange world of bone towers and people who have adapted by building wings. One of the sheer pleasures of this story is how believable Wilde has made flight; it's not only the physics of flight done correctly, but skillfully depicted so that the reader can feel it to the extent of getting that stomach-clutching sense of falling.

I thought it a daring move to shift POV in this book. This time we follow Nat, Ki
Beth Cato
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, 2016
Cloudbound continues to explore the world Wilde established in Updraft: a setting where living towers of bone pierce the sky, where travel is done by wing, and where it is difficult to decide whether humans or flying-invisible-tentacle-beasts are the worst monsters. Here, the threat is decidedly more human. With the leadership of the Spire fractured, the City enters civil war as politics escalate to outright violence.

This book changes narrators to look through Naton's eyes. He doesn't offer as d
Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-read
A really excellent follow-up to Updraft with an ending that has me already looking forward to the final book in this story arc, Horizon.
Dec 06, 2016 rated it liked it
I wanted to love it, I really did. I think I said the same thing last time too. I liked it but I didn’t love it. Part of the reason could be that it straddles the line between YA and adult, but not entirely successfully. This could be part of why had trouble engaging, maybe part of why I found the style to be a bit bland? It wasn’t dramatic enough for YA or intricate enough for an adult story. I felt oddly distanced much of the time and frequently wanted to skim to move things along faster, but ...more
Christina Pilkington
*3.5 stars

I read Updraft last year and thought the book was just ok. I LOVED the writing style, which is always a plus for me, but I never really felt any connections with the story and the backstory of the world was lacking for me. But I wanted to give the second book in this series a chance.

Until around the last 5 or so chapters of the book, I pretty much felt the same way about this book, too. It was a tough book for me to get through. I listened to the book on audio, which I thought might h
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There are few writers who worldbuild as well as Fran Wilde. She continues to explore the world she introduced in last year's UPDRAFT but this time through the eyes of Nat which I found immensely satisfying. To me, the world in which characters inhabit is the most important aspect of a story so I relished the opportunity to learn more about the society (especially its political scene which in many ways resonates with our current election cycle) through his eyes. I enjoyed seeing Kirit and the ram ...more
Oct 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
3.5 stars
Dec 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
In UPDRAFT, Kirit changed the status quo in her city above the clouds, now in the second book, CLOUDBOUND, it’s up to Nat to help deal with the resultant fallout. For all that’s changed since Kirit became a Singer, there’s still so much more change to come.

If you read UPDRAFT, you have reason to be excited about this next installment where we get so many questions answered. But don’t think you’ll understand what’s going on in CLOUDBOUND if you haven’t–in fact you’ll be completely lost from page
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this book, the sequel to Updraft. In many ways, it felt like a timely read. In the book, it tells the story of some characters in a society that have been involved in a rebellion...after a rebellion, who emerges as a leader? How do you lead? And how do you avoid tyranny? All relevant topics in this pre-election time in the US.

The book took an interesting twist and something fairly huge is revealed. It really makes me want to know more of the backstory of the creation of the to
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed the first book, but in this one the characters spent too much of this book plotting (view spoiler), and I never felt like I really knew what they were actually trying to do or what it was supposed to accomplish for them. I also didn't appreciate the way the book ended, which felt jarring and also lacking sufficient explanation. (view spoiler) ...more
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. At first I was a little bit thrown by the different pov, only because Kirit is such a strong and forceful character, whereas Nat is more deliberate and diplomatic--it took a bit to get used to the change in tone that brought to the story. But I appreciate seeing things from Nat's pov. I got to see the world through different eyes and see Kirit and her actions through the lens of someone else.

In this book we got into a lot more of the politics of the Bone Universe. I wasn't exp
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked Updraft well enough - but it had some problems, mostly with tone and pacing. I'm happy to report that Cloudbound is more mature, more honed plot-wise, and really, really good. I'd return to the city of bone towers anyway; the imagery is stunning. But that was a much happier and more enthusiastic return: Nat's dilemma felt so very real, and Kirit finding herself in a new role grew as a character so much. ...more
Jul 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love the way Fran Wilde weaves her world. With the foundation firmly established in the first novel, Cloudbound shifts perspective both through the character's voice as well as through the setting which allows us to see the world within the clouds. After reading Cloudbound, I feel ready to spread my wings and leap from the tower ready to explore the rest of Fran Wilde's universe. ...more
Laura Gilman
Aug 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
A solid follow-up to the award-winning debut UPDRAFT, taking us deeper into a world of flight, danger, and intrigue both political and personal. I found myself genuinely concerned for/worried about the characters, and turned pages anxiously to the end.
Phillip III
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
After reading UPDRAFT, and loving it, I dove dove right into the second book in the Bone Universe series, CLOUDBOUND, by Fran Wilde.

This time told from Nat's point of view (and not Kirit's), the YA dystopian novel is not a stand-alone. You should definitely read UPDRAFT first. Doing so let's you get the most out of the storytelling, and amazing world building.

In the City, Cloudbound meant to disappear. No songs sung about the lost. No Remembrance.

After a war, the city needs to rebuild. The Spire
Alicia Aringdale
May 07, 2020 rated it liked it
I had a harder time connecting to this book the way I did to the first one. Some of that is probably my fault, it has been a while since I read Updraft and it took me a while to remember what happened and reconnect with the characters. It was also hard because Kirit is no longer a POV character, this book is all from the perspective of Nat and I kind of missed Kirit.

Once I got over those two things I was really grooving on this book for a while. I loved the political intrigue and backstabbing a
Monica T. Rodriguez
This intriguing world drew me in immediately. This second book has a lot more political intrigue and a more complex story. Written in the pov of Kirit's friend Nat, his voice has a different tone, and allowed for the political focus. I wanted him to speak up more, and I was not always entirely clear why they did things the way they did, but things quickly picked up. We went beyond anywhere we went in book 1 and it's been as exciting as I'd hoped.

(view spoiler)
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Pages read: 181

These books are great if you read primarily for setting, world building, and political maneuverings. There's a lot that I admire about this series, but I find Naton even flatter than Kirit was, and she wasn't a particularly well-built character either. I'm pretty sure I only stuck it out so long because I really REALLY want to love these books because the covers are so fucking gorgeous, particularly this one.

If you're not as character-focused a reader as I am, I'd still potentiall
Dec 08, 2016 rated it liked it
I preferred Cloudbound to its predecessor Updraft. I also preferred Nate as a main character, compared to Kirit, as Nate tries to view things at the larger level, rather than taking everything personally. Kirit puts others in danger rather consistently.

In Cloudbound, now that the Singers have left a power vacuum, others are scrambling to fill it. There is a Council that is trying to do right, however, they don't have strong leadership and there are disagreements. One of Nate's mentors, Doran, is
Andrew Hiller
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The danger of a sequel is that it just won't hold up to the original.

I liked Cloudbound even better than Updraft. Everyone talks about the world building and original the setting is, but what delights me is the depth of the characters, what drives them, and the warty understanding of humanity.

It's a really good book. The narrative starts a few months after Updraft ends and tackles the big issues that the first novel left unresolved. Most obviously, what do you do when the hierarchy of your socie
Miriam Seidel
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
From my blog at

Cloudbound is the second book in Fran Wilde’s Bone Universe Series. Updraft, the first book, won Wilde both the Compton Crook award for best first science fiction/fantasy novel and the Andre Norton Award for outstanding young adult science fiction/fantasy. Updraft introduced a world where people fly on silk wings between living bone towers, and followed Kirit Densira’s discovery of her destiny as a Singer, along with the machinations of the secretive Spire.

Just no. A book has to be more than just cool. This one definitely has cool bits. But the endless running , the endless fighting stopped being interesting way before the end. And by the time we get to the big reveal, I didn't believe it and I didn't care. I wanted this all to make sense - and sure I'm sure it can be explained, but that doesn't make it better. So no. And unless I see some surprising reviews, I doubt I'll read a sequel if one were to appear. ...more
Stephanie Feldman
Aug 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
CLOUDBOUND takes us deeper into the Bone Universe first introduced by the award-winning UPDRAFT: deeper into a society on the verge of collapse, deeper into the characters intent on saving (or destroying) it, and deeper into the mysterious world of the bone towers and their origins. I found myself racing to the end--and what an ending.
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-misc
Fran Wilde's Bone Universe is one of the truly original stories I've ever read (and I read A LOT). It began with Kirit's journey in Updraft and continues with her wing-brother, Nat. As I said in my review of Updraft, a story isn't good unless things go wrong. Everything in Nat's life has gone wrong. Everything.

I'll be honest, I was so wrapped up in Kirit, that I resented Nat. He is impulsive, curious, headstrong, and occasionally blind to the actions of others. Nat is a strong character, who dri
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
A good one. Cool setting expanded more into it's politics and a intresting continuation of what happened before. Also a continuous exploring of the world even deeper down below the clouds.
Like that it is a diffirent main as the former is almost emotionally destroyed by what have happened showing another depth to the story often missed; how to handle the things that have been and what it evolves to. As well as rasism and cast systems.
James Cox
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved the pov change and the plot. The world was just as intricate and complex as the first book. Loved it. I'm can't wait for #3. ...more
Morgan Al-Moor
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Originally Reviewed on Moore Fantasy

Don't tell me you missed the first part of this series last year.

Cloudbound is the sequel to the award-winning Updraft. Ms. Wilde's ambitious world here is a marvelous city of living bones — towers rising above the clouds, where inhabitants manage to transport themselves using mechanical wings and bridges. Last time we were introduced to the world's architecture and strange laws, and the heroine — Kirit — was part of a grand revolution against the Singers, the
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
good, but not as good as the first book, Updraft

I think I didn’t like this one as much because I had much less sympathy for Nat than I did for Kirit, the heroine in Updraft. Nat seems far less compassionate and invested in himself, certainly at the beginning of the book. He comes off as judgmental, complacent and status hungry, unwilling to stop talking about what he thinks long enough to listen to anyone else or notice what’s happening around him. Through the book he does grow as a person, but
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Fran Wilde writes award-winning speculative fiction and fantasy. She can also tie a number of sailing knots, set gemstones, and program digital minions. She reads too much and is a friend of the Oxford comma. Her short stories appear in Asimov's, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Shimmer, Uncanny, and

Fran's debut novel, Updraft, was nominated for a 2015 Nebula Award, won the 2015 Andre Norton Awar

Other books in the series

Bone Universe (3 books)
  • Updraft (Bone Universe, #1)
  • Horizon (Bone Universe, #3)

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