Set in 1995, this supernatural action thriller will make you re-think everything you know about earth.
After the gruesome death of his parents Nate Cartwright has no family left, besides the older brother who wants nothing to do with him. Getting fired from his journalist job not long before, he sets out to his family’s cabin to try and find some new direction for his life. High and secluded in the Oregon mountains, he expects to be left alone in the quite, lakeside cabin to ruminate and maybe write.
But quite and alone are the last things he finds when he gets there, inside is a rough man named Alex and a girl named Art. Well, Artemis Darth Vader that is, who is the oddest, most charming, intriguing and bewildering girl Nate has ever met.
A girl he soon finds out is as far from ordinary as can be. And she is being chased by forces who only want to put her back in a cage, to control and study. Alex will not have it, and Nate finds out he will not let her be taken back either. He has to choose between the unchangeable past and the unfathomable future he might just be able to create for himself.
Like any TJ book, this was an unexpected read, and as unique and fantastic as his other books. What I loved was that the writing style itself was very similar to his Wolfsong, the first book I read by him. In Wolfsong it is more pronounced, but Bones has that same episodial narrative that is just captivating, creating a depth to the world through little motions, actions and memories. He leads the reader in the twists and unexpected turns of the plot with a hypnotists touch and you keep falling into little pockets of plot and memory that re just pure literary magic.
Klune weaves a complex web of emotions between his three main characters: Nate Alex and Art. The bond they share is so very human and at times, painful to read as it exposes them to the bone in a brutal way. Only through this vulnerability can they start bonding and soon they become a kind of family to rival any biological one.
Alex is such a gentle man, in a big hard shell, and the softness Art brings out in him moved me to tears. Nate is a character I found especially interesting, mainly because his reactions were so much more human than you usually read/see in this genre. He was the one to give both Alex and Art a true sense of family.
Art is just the most charming thing, funny and eccentric, she is painfully young and old at the same time, human and un-human. Her logic and dialogues are funny and t times shockingly brutal. I can honestly say I was not expecting her, much like Nate was not expecting her, but I fell in love with her just like he did.
The supernatural elements were so interesting, and very well handled, in a genre that has been written prolifically Klune manages to breathe new life. I was also expecting it be more angsty, and was happy to discover that, to me at least, it was not as heart jerking as I initially thought.
This book is unlike anything you read before, I remember thinking TJ’s books remind me of Haruki Murakami’s writing, and I still think Wolfsong and Bones fit that comparison well. A story of family and true, deep love between people, that goes as deep as the bones beneath your skin.
Oh boy I love a good adventure and mystery and if it’s got a bit of an extra element to it so much the better. This story ticks all of my wish list boxes. I found it so gripping. Not to mention what a brilliant character Artemis Darth Vader is. Genius setting the story in 1995, just enough technology but not so much as today that the story wouldn’t work. So much action. It was like an action movie was playing out in my head as I read the book. The writing made everything so clear it was easy to picture it as it happens.
The mystery of who or what is Artemis is explained roughly halfway through, although there’s enough clues that you can guess before then. The main thrust is the slowly building trust and connection between Alex and Nate. Nate feels like he has no one and his life has gone downhill quickly. Alex is more of an enigma until later on in the book. We know he cares greatly for Artemis in the little things he does and in the same way can see him starting to do little things for Nate. Nate though is slow on the uptake. Artemis is the catalyst between them. There is so much to this book that I don’t think I can do it justice. The descriptive writing and pace of the story made the time I spent reading fly past. At the end I felt content, not wishing for more but feeling that I had enough of their story to keep me satisfied.
6 of stars out of 5