Top critical review
A great plot device gone terribly pear shaped
Reviewed in the United States on March 29, 2019
I liked the the first installment of this trilogy, despite my misgivings about human-powered flight (OK - posit a world with low gravity and high atmospheric density, so maybe...). Kirit, the primary character, was believable and interesting, the writing didn't intrude, and the idea of a civilization living in towers of living bone was clever and novel.
This installment, however, took a steep dive downward. The dystopian machinations of the plot bored me -- I can read about that in the daily paper. I found Nat, the primary character here, to be uninteresting. As a character, Nat punched well below his weight. Finally, and most bothersome, the reveal of the origin of bone towers and their environment made me groan with dismay. It's hard to not drop plot spoilers here; suffice it to say that massive disjuncts between the bone tower plot device and basic chemistry, physics, biology, geology, and meteorology were present. Were this an outright fantasy I might have found the disjuncts tolerable. Potent magics, alternate dimensions, eldritch sorceries and the like would be the solution. Alas, no solution is to be found there. Instead, it is simply and totally unbelievable.
Worst of all, if the author had just had a couple of lunch time discussions with people well versed in science, semi-realistic alternatives could have been constructed -- I had come up with two before finishing reading. Two and a half stars, rounded up.