It took me a week after finishing this gem of a novel, to try and put into words what I feel about it. My emotions ran all over the place and I was left in awe. Below is the Top 5 Reasons why I loved The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez.
1. The Unexpected
The way the story kind of jumps around could be a recipe for confusion, but actually it’s so organized in it’s unexpectedness that I loved how it left me wanting more each time a new scene was introduced. The story is divided in 3 parts and each part a tale in and of itself. While they’re all connected and flow wonderfully together, some of the characters in part 1 are short lived. The world too, but it makes a brief appearance again later on in the story.
2. The Characters
Since I did mention that some of the characters are short lived, each one is written so well. It’s like making friends in school. You may be close, but once you graduate, you split ways. It broke my heart to say goodbye to some of these characters. And yes, some of them were shocking goodbyes. (Dang you author!–and I say that in the most friendly way.)
3. Sci-Fi at It’s Most Fun
Colonies in space, the time flux’s, exotic worlds, spaceships, evil companies (more on that next), stasis chambers, etc., it’s just perfect fan service for those of us who love and appreciate the genre.
4. Umbai Company
Yeah, so evil company. Why am I listing it as one of my favorite things about this story? Well, the story revolves around Umbai Company. They started it all. With the help of a crucial character (Nakajima), they were able to complete their research and set about the whole space colonization thing anyway. For a steep price of course. Greed, pure greed people. Isn’t that how it always is with Sci-Fi corporations? Think Weyland-Yutani Corporation from Alien. Same thing but without the Alien. Their harsh rules and extreme class divisions make them horrible.
5. The Storytelling
I absolutely enjoyed the author’s voice. Very easy to follow and it made the book very hard to put down. Like I mentioned earlier, I wanted more! I could have kept reading this book if it were longer; wished it were longer! The ending left me bereft. It was a semi happy one, but lots of heartache in between to get to it. Could totally use an epilogue though. Everything at the end happened so fast!
This was a new to me author and would definitely read more from him!
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
The Vanished Birds
A solitary ship captain, drifting through time.
Nia Imani is a woman out of place. Traveling through the stars condenses decades into mere months for her, though the years continue to march steadily onward for everyone she has ever known. Her friends and lovers have aged past her. She lives only for the next paycheck, until the day she meets a mysterious boy, fallen from the sky.
A mute child, burdened with unimaginable power.
The scarred boy does not speak, his only form of communication the haunting music he plays on an old wooden flute. Captured by his songs and otherworldly nature, Nia decides to take the boy in to live amongst her crew. Soon, these two outsiders discover in each other the things they lack. For him, a home, a place of love and safety. For her, an anchor to the world outside of herself. For both of them, a family. But Nia is not the only one who wants the boy.
A millennia-old woman, poised to burn down the future.
Fumiko Nakajima designed the ships that allowed humanity to flee a dying Earth. One thousand years later, she now regrets what she has done in the name of progress. When chance brings Fumiko, Nia, and the child together, she recognizes the potential of his gifts, and what will happen if the ruling powers discover him. So she sends the pair to the distant corners of space to hide them as she crafts a plan to redeem her old mistakes.
But time is running out. The past hungers for the boy, and when it catches up, it threatens to tear this makeshift family apart.
What was the last Sci-Fi book you’ve read?
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