Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Bone Clocks

by David Mitchell
624 pgs

I'm somewhat ashamed to admit this, but it's been quite awhile since I read one of David Mitchell's books. I read Ghostwritten and Number9Dream, his first two novels, over a decade ago, and then I unfortunately let him fall off of my author radar. The Bone Clocks has definitely put him back on it, and now I have some books that I missed and need to go back and read.

The Bone Clocks contains six separate stories, spanning sixty-plus years of one woman's life. The first story takes place in 1984 and introduces Holly Sykes, a fifteen-year-old who runs away from home after falling in love with an older man and infuriating her mother. Towards the end of that story Holly encounters a strange woman on the shores of a lake, whom she has a short, cryptic conversation with, and who introduces a supernatural element into the book.

As the remaining stories unfold, the supernatural aspects of the book increase, and we learn that Holly has become a part of a war that has been fought for thousands of years between two small groups of beings known as "atemporals." One group of these beings prey on children, taking over their bodies and living out that person's life until the body dies and they enter another child's body. The other faction lives forever as well, but does so through a form of reincarnation. As these stories play out, we're taken all over the world, and into a dystopian future world of 2043 as Holly's life repeatedly crosses paths with these atemporals.

Oftentimes when a book is categorized as fantasy, it automatically becomes inferior in the minds of many. They consider it a baser form of literature, not worthy of the same section in the bookstore as the books that they read. The Bone Clocks shines a light on just how ignorant that mentality is. David Mitchell has shown that some fantasy should be categorized in the same group along with the best books in any genre.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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