It’s Wyrd & Wonder time, and that means readalong time. Andrea Stewart’s The Bone Shard Daughter is the book of choice, which is very convenient for me as it helps clear up a Netgalley obligation. The questions were posed by Imyril at One More (with a lot of help from Beth at the Fantasy Hive) and anyone who wants to join in can come do so on GR.
Let’s answer some questions!
Welcome to Stewart’s glorious world! What are your initial impressions? What do you make of the magic system and the world-building?
Not a whole lot to be honest.
Which surprises me. The bone constructs and programming-esque magic were things people touted loudly and now I’m reading them, they’re… there? The spider construct was creepy and touched a nerve but other than that, I just don’t feel like I’ve been immersed enough in the wonders of these things to be drawn to them. I can’t imagine this world at all – I imagine something vaguely Chinese influenced, but that’s it. I’m trying to work out why and I think the answer comes below…
Is there a character you’re particularly drawn to so far?
And as someone who’s really drawn to characters and character arcs in terms of getting into books – it’s characters and voice for me, both tightly tangled together – this is a bit of an issue.
There’s something that I refer to as Pathofdaggeritis – where a book is so busy introducing and flitting between PoVs there’s nothing for me to get my teeth into – and this is what’s going on here. It’s what, five PoVs in the first 11 chapters? With only two of them in the same plot arc? I don’t always hate openings like that but I do often enough to have coined a term for it and, truth told, if I’d realised this was how the book started… well, okay, I’d probably have tried reading it anyway as I don’t want to be ruled by my weird readerly tics.
So maybe it’ll get better for me as I go through. But right now, the book’s doing a few things that frequently don’t work for me, and I think that’s playing into not particularly caring for the characters. More than that though, I don’t think we’ve seen any of them have to deal with something that really conflicts them and causes sacrifice, reveals some true colours, do something that makes me sit up and go “wow”.
What do you make of Lin’s motivations? How much do you think she’s driven by a desire to save her Empire – or are her motivations more selfish?
Lin is the character I’ve connected to least, so I don’t have an answer here.
Jovis tends to tell lies when faced with truths he doesn’t want to face. As a first person narrator, how reliable do you feel this makes him?
Jovis seems to be the character with the most potential at this point. Reliable? No more or no less than anyone else here. I don’t think Stewart’s got characters with memory issues because she wants a straight forwards plot.
MEPHI! Any guesses / wild theories about Jovis’s new furry friend?
Aha! Mephi is the best thing about this book. And yes, I do have a theory, a rather obvious one. Since the kid named him after a sea serpent and he has horns, Mephi’s probably a really baby sea serpent.
Come to think of it, I’m not really sure what the Alanga are, so I’ll guess on Mephi being related to them somehow too.
Well, those were a real fun set of answers to read weren’t they! Here’s hoping I get more of a connection to this story by next week. The best thing about the book so far is that the prose slips by rather quick (save it feels like Lin has a metaphor or simile for everything), so it keeps me turning pages. The rest of it? Not really my cup of tea so far.