Debrisby Jo Anderton
Tanyana is among the highest ranking in her far-future society – a skilled pionner, able to use a mixture of ritual and innate talent to manipulate the particles that hold all matter together. But an accident brings her life crashing down around her ears. She is cast down amongst the lowest of the low, little more than a garbage collector. But who did this to her, and for what sinister purpose? Her quest to find out will take her to parts of the city she never knew existed, and open the door to a world she could never have imagined.
File Under: Science Fiction [ Meets The Eye | Fantastic Journey | Hidden Powers | Life Meaning ]
e-book ISBN: 9780857661555
Chosen for the Locus Best First Novel of 2011 list
“Refreshingly original... an accomplished debut.” The Guardian
"Impressively combines far-future world-building, conspiracies, and a redemption quest... [Anderton] keeps it interesting with Tanyana’s strong, proud narrative voice and the complex culture built up around the pions and debris." Publishers Weekly
"Anderton demonstrates a mastery of storytelling and world building in this series opener... This accomplished debut novel should enjoy a wide readership." Library Journal, Debut of the Month October 2011
“A captivating story set in a brilliantly-conceived world.” Trudi Canavan, bestselling author of the Black Magician Trilogy
"This is what modern fantasy looks like. Debris is a strong debut novel from a promising new writer, featuring a tough, professional heroine, a clever magic system and a complex, beautifully realised city. I couldn't put it down." Tansy Rayner Roberts, award winning author of The Creature Court Trilogy, and Siren Beat
"Jo Anderton combines elements of steampunk with her own unique vision to create something striking. Debris is a first novel NOT to be missed." Marianne de Pierres, award winning author of the Parrish Plessis and Sentients of Orion series
"Anderton's debut builds a marvelous world, shakes it to the core with adventure and romance, then wraps the whole thing in one hell of a mystery. I can't wait for the rest!" Ian Tregillis, author of Bitter Seeds
"Anderton has a truly original voice, and Debris rings wildly with this. It’s full of magic unimagined by anyone else, and beautifully wrought architecture, familiar yet odd, like a place you visit in a recurring dream. The rise and fall of Tanyana, a gifted, frustrated artist is both painful and transfixing to read." Kaaron Warren, award winning author of Slights
"Debris is a strong, exciting debut that took me by surprise with its unique setting, interesting main character, and powerful “fight your way back to the top” narrative. If you enjoy genre-bending fiction with a dark edge, definitely give Debris a try." www.tor.com
"Ms. Anderton creates a rich and intriguing world with Debris ... weaving science and magic, politics and caste, as well as a unique mythology that is believably real." Carma Spence, NY Journal of Book Reviews
“Jo Anderton takes centre stage with style. An original novel with a fantastic cover art that is unmissable.” The Founding Fields
"Debris is a fast read, and very well put together. I was immersed in its world at every stage, and fascinated by its characters ... Jo Anderton has written a novel she deserves to take pride in." Ros Jackson, Warpcore SF
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Meet the Author
Jo Anderton lives in Sydney, Australia, with her patient husband, faithful dog, one megalomaniac cat and one dumb-as-a-post cat. She’d rather be living on a big block of land in the country, so she can adopt more pets. By day she is a mild-mannered marketing coordinator for an Australian book distributor. By night, weekends and lunchtimes she writes dark fantasy and horror. Her short fiction has appeared in Aurealis, Midnight Echo, Kaleidotrope, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, and been reprinted in Australian Dark Fantasy and Horror Vol 3. She was shortlisted for the 2009 Aurealis Award for best young adult short story.
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I believe this tale of physics meets magic is the start of a fantastic world. Ms. Anderton, you have a fan for life here.
Even if I hadn’t read a description of this novel that said it drew many themes from manga and anime, I would have been able to tell. It was quite easy to picture this entire novel as an anime, and to that end, the themes and imagery were quite clear and creative, and I would have very much enjoyed watching it. But some things that would be great visually don’t always transfer well to text, and I found this to be the case in a few instances of Debris Not that the novel was lacking or flawed in that sense, but I found myself thinking more than once that one scene or another would have made a better visual presentation than a textual one. This was particularly the case when it came to the character of Tanyana investigating debris. Many of the attacks and overloads of debris felt episodic rather than part of a flowing story, almost in the way that shows do when they fill half of their episodes of “new bad guy of the week” plots. Still, it’s quite clear that Anderton has a brilliantly creative mind, and really put the effort into world-building. Creating the history of the world with brief tie-ins to our own history, culture-building, creating rich and interesting characters; it was all there, and it was a treat to read. Her writing and smooth and moved the plot along quite easily, and in spite of the somewhat episodic segments of the story, the pacing was also quite good, pulling the reader in and building layers onto the mystery of pions, debris, and the puppet-men who watched over everything that was happening. Where it seemed Anderton fell down, though, was in foreshadowing. From the very beginning it was clear that Devich wasn’t all he appeared to be, and that although Tanyana had some friction with Kichlan (no rhyming pun intended), they were obviously going to sort it out and get involved with each other. Kichlan almost fit the “grumpy love interest” archetype to a T, and Devich practically wandered around carrying a sign reading, “I’m using you, Tanyana,” the entire time. Why Tanyana didn’t pick up on at least Devich’s motivations, I can’t say. She’s demonstrably not a stupid woman, but he practically tells her that he’s going to betray her at one point and she just brushes it off. Subtlty was not the name of the game in Debris, and it spoiled a bit of the reading for me. It’s hard to want to invest yourself in a character when you can’t help but wonder how she can be so uncharacteristically blind. Still, for the few flaws it had, it was still fun to read, and I enjoyed Anderton’s writing and creativity more than enough to want to read the sequel when it’s released. While this may not be the book for everyone, it definitely had strong merits that endeared me to it, and I enjoyed following the plot and trying to figure out the mystery of debris and pions alongside Tanyana. I would recommend this book mostly to fantasy fans who are accustomed to the plot and imagery found in anime, as I think that would help them appreciate it all the more, and to those fans who are looking for an easy and fun read that doesn’t lack for mystery and talent.