This review does not contain spoilers! Please keep them out of the comments as well.
Title: The Turquoise Bones
Author: Steven R. Brandt (Ph.D.)
I had a hard time getting into The Turquoise Bones. My mind has a habit of grabbing onto certain details like naming inconsistencies and redefined words. Quasar – a highly luminous active galactic nucleus- becomes a monstrous creature. Other physics terms became organs. If this bothers you, I would not suggest this book. However, the author has a doctorate and studies black holes, so I’m okay with giving him a pass.
At times, use of the word “felt” distracted me. Alarm bells of “show, not tell” blared in my editor’s voice, but a quarter of the way into the book, a scene between Sol and Apjay pulled me in enough to distract me from quasars and tellings. Frankly, all of my favorite scenes focused on these two for the first half of the book.
All of the central characters show clear development, so even characters who annoyed me in the beginning (Betel and Iota) became well-rounded in the end. This made them all the more realistic.
While I’m not a fan of romance, the relationships (romantic and otherwise) are realistic with clear maturity in older individuals while the younger characters struggle with the real push-pull of young love.
While the pacing started and stopped at times, there was some increase in momentum about halfway through which helped draw me into Apjay’s conflict. Honestly, it reminded me of Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton. I wanted to know what happened next, but at times, lost interest in the nuances. The ending scene will remain with me for a while. Though somewhat predictable, there’s a sweetness to it.
Overall, I’d definitely recommend giving this book a chance. It’s a slow start, but the characters stay with you.