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Previous BotM--DISCUSSIONS > 2011-11 CITY OF BONES: finished reading (*SPOILERS!*)

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message 1: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
Here's a topic for people who have finished reading City of Bones by Martha Wells.

CAUTION: spoilers likely!


message 2: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments I just finished it and truly enjoyed it. Apparently it's one of her early books, but I found it very good, a kind of blending of urban fantasy with post-apocalyptic with totally new world.

I was a little disappointed with the ending, but all in all a great read.


message 3: by Viv (new)

Viv JM I finished it. I must admit, it took me quite a while to get into. I found the writing style a little bit stilted at times (eg the repetiion of some phrases such as the "impressive servant" and the "big ugly block"), but the world building was so fascinating that I got over that and was drawn in.

I especially liked the character of Khat and in general, there was a refreshing lack of stereotyping going on with all her characters.

Regarding the ending, I actually liked it, partly because I had expected Khat & Elen to get together but Wells steered clear of that happily-ever-after kind of vibe and went for something a bit more original.

I have Martha Wells most recent book The Cloud Roads and look forward to reading this.


message 4: by Candiss (new)

Candiss (tantara) | 1207 comments I enjoyed the world-building of this. I am much more of a SF than a Fantasy reader, and when I read Fantasy, I trend toward Miéville and Valente style stuff - all-encompassing, linguistically-fabulous, strange. I don't go much for swords & sorcery or faerie, etc. The fantasies I've enjoyed most recently (other than by the two authors listed) have been The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and A Shadow in Summer. I think City of Bones fits nicely with those last two works, and I think I enjoyed it for similar reasons - a focus on trade, politics, exploration, religion, myth, instead of castle sieges, Elven archers, and brooding assassins. (Those things can be good, too, but it's been a while since I've had that sort of story sweep me away.)

I also appreciate worlds that don't hinge on an idealized European setting. The desert world depicted here was more immersive to me, as I didn't feel I was wandering around such familiar fantasy territory.

I agree with Snoozerider re: stereotypes. I thought the characterization believable and found myself sympathetic to various characters partially for their not falling into convenient stereotypes.


message 5: by Nikita (new)

Nikita (nikita42) | 94 comments The book was so-so for me. The world was definitely unique and different than most other worlds of the fantasy genre. But overall, nothing really stood out for me. But I'm probably biased, this isn't the normal fantasy type book I read, so it really didn't grip me from the beginning.


message 6: by Nick (new)

Nick (doily) | 966 comments I kept thinking about Dune during the first part of the book. Wells' story was good, but not the sweeping adventure saga of Herbert. Then the post-apocalyptic world-building came in and it reminded me of Wolfe's The Shadow of the Torturer, another fantasy reminiscent of sci-fi. It's probably unfair to compare "City of Bones" to these masterworks, because Wells has created something unique and interesting in its own right. But I just felt the spectre of the larger books looming over me the whole while I was reading it.

The writing style was odd at first, very wordy with too-lengthy dialogues. I'm not sure I ever got over that. But I liked Khat and Elen and the various pirateers, I liked the specifics of their desertworld, and I thought the tiered city was a great creation.


message 7: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne | 98 comments I just finished the book today. It held my interest more as it went along, but it never completely grabbed me. I did enjoy the world, and I liked Khat and his artifact dealer friend.


message 8: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 11 comments I thought the characters and the story were promising but had a hard time getting through the book because of, what I thought was, the needless over description of every little thing. I guess I am not that much into world building. I had the same problem with her book The Death of the Necromancer. I did really like her first bookThe Element of Fire though.


message 9: by Helen (new)

Helen I've finished it this morning and enjoyed it quite alot. It's alot more sci-fi than most of my fantasy reads. I particularly liked Khat and Constans. I used to always want a happy ending but the last few books I've finished haven't had that and I'm finding that I quite like it. It's almost like we're getting a glimpse at part of their lives but then that 'window' closes and their lives carry on without us.

Irritatingly, despite buying the e-book from Amazon, there were alot of typos, particularly "CE" every time a quotation mark(') was opened!


message 10: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments Helen wrote: "I've finished it this morning and enjoyed it quite alot. It's alot more sci-fi than most of my fantasy reads. I particularly liked Khat and Constans. I used to always want a happy ending but the la..."

That happened with me as well. The 'CE'. You'd think someone would proofread and fix these errors, wouldn't you? But I really liked the book as well.


message 11: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 626 comments I liked the world building. I loved the actions scenes, but the rest of Wells' writing style came across as 'meh' for me. I appreciated the ending (I don't have to have a 'happily ever after' wrap-up) but I still felt jilted or dissatisfied with it. I can't put my finger on why, just not what I expected. I enjoyed reading it, but not sure I would continue if it was a series. Is it a series?


message 12: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new)

Kathi | 3088 comments Mod
I finished this last night. Very different, and I liked it. Intrigue, magic, technology, great cast of characters. My first book by Wells, but it probably won't be my last!


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