The Vanished Birds
"This is when your life begins."
Nia Imani is a woman out of place and outside of time. Decades of travel through the stars are condensed into mere months for her, though the years continue to march steadily onward for ...more
Starting with a distant world, a colony frozen in time except for brief decades-apart visits from offworlders. You get a strong juxtaposition of the few backward souls living simple lives and the grand civilization out there. A young boy exploding from the stars changes everything. ...more
A young boy falls from the sky. He is mute, but eventually finds his voice with a wooden flute and the magic of music. There is something very special about this boy. Myriad worlds in outer space have become established now. The blue sky overhead may very well be virtual, cherry blossoms no longer exist except in memory and fireworks. Digital glamour is all around, artificial youth and designer babies are par for the course. All tempered ...more
The first forty pages or so had me engrossed in the life of a young boy growing up in a primitive farming community on an alien world. He falls ...more
The book opens on what we come to learn is a Resource World owned by the ubiquitous Umbai corporation. At first glance, we’ve arrived in a rural, agricultural community that seems quaint and unsophisticated. The people of the village work in the dhuba fields; their crop is collected once every 15 years by the ...more
This is certainly an excellent debut novel even if the third part of the book didn't work for me. The book follows three people - a ship's Captain (Nia), a scientist (Fumiko), and a mute boy who falls from the sky. Eventually the lives of all three of these people intersect and changes the world.
This really was a hard novel to classify so if any of this sounds ...more
This book is an intricate spiderweb of intergalactic characters, plots, and politics that makes you want to crawl inside of the author's mind and ask how were you able to fit all of this in your head??.
The book is structured like many short stories woven together in a novel format. ...more
“One day, I will ask what it is he hears, when he hears the notes of music: the infernal, or the celestial. Judging by what I hear now—the flute song through my open door—it is most likely something in between. A fiery heaven all its own.”
A distant future, where Earth is long gone. The descendants of Earthlings inhabit spaceships resembling long vanished birds that once populated the planet. An immense array of worlds full of life to ...more
The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez has so much potential, but it just never quite lived up to all of it for me. There were parts that I quite loved, but others that just seemed to stick out like a sore thumb. There are also moments where it goes from moving right along to dragging as slowly as possible. The language though is certainly beautiful overall and the story as a whole offers much to think about. While this wasn't quite ...more
I enjoyed The Vanished Birds very much, which surprised me, because it ended up not being the kind of book I would typically like at all! I would definitely recommend it, though I think convincing others that they should check it out will be tough, since the novel is difficult to categorize and the story itself can be a bit strange. By the end of it though, it filled me with a mix of complex emotions, some happy and ...more
What an astonishingly deep, meaningful book--one that I fully expect to be up for awards next year. Even more remarkable that this is the author's debut. That said, I didn't find it to be a flawless work, especially at the very end.
The cover copy mentions that the book is about 'space and time,' but that minimizes the book's true genre. It ends up being straight-out space opera with very literary-style elements. The book starts out ...more
Review: I don’t know what to say. Astounding writing for someones first novel. This writer weaves a complex tale that spans lifetimes while revolving around the same characters. Fascinating and wholly absorbing from start to semi-finish.
“So why you no give 5 stars!!!”. (view spoiler)[While the story line moves at a pace that drives evolving characterization, the ending just plane sucked. There is this long build to become something greater and evolve within the universe that is ...more
Well well well... This lucky find was a true work of art! It was a magnificently wrapped present that I didn't know I absolutely had to have in my life until I tore into it. It was a lot of things (mostly all sorts of awesome) but it was also somewhat tricky to whittle down to bite size pieces without giving away too much of what I believe to be spoiler material. ...more
We live in an era where ships can slip into the opaque folds of the universe, and sail along the fringe ripples of time. We can generate muscle tissue, & spool the threads into new limbs. Sunder continents with a single YonSef explosive device. Life has changed, but not our capacity for absurd cruelties.
When I began reading The Vanished Birds, I was unsure what to expect. The blurb didn’t prepare me for the book’s...more
Author: Simon Jimenez
Publisher: Random House/Ballantine/Del Rey
Publication Date: January 14, 2020
Review Date: September 29, 2019
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
From the blurb:
“A mysterious child lands in the care of a solitary woman, changing both of their lives forever in this captivating debut of connection across space and time.
“This is when your life begins.”
Nia Imani is a woman out of place and outside of ...more
Science fiction encompasses a broad range of styles and topics. Undoubtedly this work will not appeal to all fans. It will appeal to readers who appreciate the beauty of words when ...more
More to come once the good book hangover eases up.
After some time to catch my breath, I decided there's no easy way to describe this book. It is an examination of love, loyalty; the need for a home, a family; the passage of time--all dressed-up in high-tech SF clothing.
All of the characters are so real, so fully presented by the author, that I became totally invested in their lives. I loved Nia Imani and totally understood her need to 'raise' the castaway boy; to keep him safe from ...more
Favorite Character: Nia Imani. Nia is a woman of few words, who quickly earns the respect of her crew with her consistency and authoritative manner. Always moving from planet to planet, her career does not leave room for ...more
I like what I've read so far and do believe I will thoroughly enjoy this one when I finally get through it, but it is just too slow motion for me. At the moment I feel as though there was no purpose to the first 15% of the book; the story didn't add to the overall flavor of the book or to the mute boy's story at all. And it's entirely possible that will change, but I just don't have the time or gumption to keep trying with this one right now. I'm hoping to pull it back out later and ...more
The pace is slow, but measured, as each character is given ample time to establish themselves. As we bounce from vignette to vignette and from character to character the plot is always moving forward as the overarching story comes into focus. ...more