Heaven's Bones: A Novel of the Mists

Heaven's Bones: A Novel of the Mists

by Samantha Henderson

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786964673
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Publication date: 04/09/2013
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 780,437
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Samantha Henderson grew up all over the world and now lives in Southern California with her husband, two daughters, two corgis and two very disapproving rabbits. She enjoys riding horses, hiking, theater, silent movies, and making jam. She might be a little bit overly obsessed with Jane Austen, if such a thing is possible.

Her stories have been published in markets such as Strange Horizons and Realms of Fantasy, and she is an active member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association.

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Heaven's Bones: A Novel of the Mists 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
terrier1 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I chose this book as I had come across some of Samantha Henderson's work on Escape Artist podcasts. She is also a contributor to the Sofanaut podcasts, particulary her for poetry. So I gave this book a try. I have to say that I was unaware of the Ravenloft link so I think some of the storyline passed me by.I did find the story a bit slow in places and it skipped around a bit too much for my liking. The basic premise of the evil in London worked well but I got lost a bit once the mists came into play and the time travel began. The stye of writing is beautiful, as another reviewer says, it does betray the authors poetry leanings. The words cleverly paint a strange world covering a harsh side of victorian London and the old plantation worlds of the south. This is not a book to read quickly. You need to read it slowly to fuly appreciate and enjoy the skills of the author.
jchines on LibraryThing 5 months ago
If not for the Wizards of the Coast logo, I never would have realized this was a tie-in. Heaven's Bones is a Ravenloft title, putting it into the dark/horror side of the gaming world. Henderson puts the evil mists of Ravenloft to good use, setting much of the book in 19th century England, where impenetrable, putrid smog is just part of the London scenery. (Although 19th century Whitechapel is a bit of a giveaway about what's coming. There are no direct Jack the Ripper references, though.) There are a number of different storylines which come together by the end of the book. The primary stories are those of Dr. Sebastian Robarts, and the Vistani called Trueblood. Trueblood was born with the gift of cursing. While this doesn't make him evil, he chose a dark path, and was punished by his people. His name was stripped from him, and he found himself living in the mists. Dr. Robarts is a tragic figure, a skilled surgeon who loses his wife and child in childbirth. Trueblood reaches out to Robarts, driving him mad. Robarts begins kidnapping women, using a combination of his surgical skills and Trueblood's magic to reshape them in horrible ways, with the goal of creating angels of humans, gifts for his lost wife and child. I was a little disoriented at first -- Henderson introduces one set of characters, and as I'm getting into their story, we jump to another. But one of the pleasures of the book is starting to see how these storylines all begin to intersect and inform one another across multiple worlds and times. It's an ambitious book, one Henderson pulls off quite well, for the most part. (I didn't feel like Fanny's story fit as tightly as the rest, though the very end does justify their inclusion.) Heaven's Bones is a disturbing read at times, which is to be expected from a Ravenloft novel. I think the most disturbing aspect is how well Henderson brings us into Robarts' mindset, his fascination with reshaping these women. In reality, Robarts is a fearsome creature, torturing and enslaving his victims. Yet as we follow his work, using magic and scalpel to cut away organs and flesh, rebuilding bone and trying time and again to craft wings capable of flight ... on some level, a part of me wanted to see him succeed. Every once in a while, for a paragraph or a page, I shared his madness ... seeing past the horror to the ultimate goal, something that transcends humanity and becomes beautiful. Becomes angelic. The book is full of horribly fascinating ideas. The "angel" from the cover art is a particularly twisted example. Seriah, the recording angel, is a brilliant character. There is no gore for the sake of gore, no cheap thrills. It's a dark novel, but the darkness is there for a reason. My only complaints would be that Fanny's storyline seemed less connected, and as I read her parts I found myself getting impatient to return to the other storyline. And our heroes Sophie and Artemis never felt quite as... developed? engaging? ...as their foils Robarts and Trueblood. Neither of these are serious concerns. Overall, this is an impressive book. Not one I'd recommend to everyone, but if you like a darker, more complex story, I'd definitely recommend picking this one up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MicheleLeesBookLove More than 1 year ago
This book, decorated with a simple dark cover featuring what can only be described as a clockwork angel (piqued your interest yet?), gets two reviews because it's nearly two books in one. As a fiction book Heaven's Bones is a historical steampunk fantasy with prose that betrays its author's poetic prowess. It paints a beautiful picture, with a precision that brings both the fantasy aspects and the historical aspects to life. In some books the world building is explicitly detailed, in this one while the setting is rich and full, it's the characters which are explicitly detailed. In fact, so much character building is done that it leads to the book's only flaw, that being a front-heavy feel with a slow progression of the over arching plot. The Angels, from the cover and the blurb, which likely sell the book to readers, don't even materialize until over a hundred pages in and all the character's relationships and associations aren't fully revealed until after the 200 page mark. It's easy to fall for the pretty prose, but become frustrated with the scattered feel of it. But this isn't just a fiction book. Heaven's Bones is actually a Ravenloft title. The aspects of the popular role play setting are integrated with just as much care and skill as the Victorian era, steampunk, and Civil War era time lines. There is no blatant connection (in fact I found myself second guessing whether it was meant to be a tie in at all) which, as a reader who is first being introduced to Ravenloft, allows for more eagerness to try the book, and an easier immersion into some of the concepts. The only familiar feature I spotted was The Mists, so delicately written that they became a character all their own, which of course is the main tip off that the reader (or the player, in the case of the game) might be venturing into Ravenloft. This also shifts the previous complaint, making seemingly ineffective storytelling become catering to readers who love characters and concepts over solid things, like plots. Seeing as readers of RPG fiction love to read about the character but like open ended possibilities (need I mention the Drizzt Do'Urden saga?) this makes Heaven's Bones' seemingly slow opening pace just as deliberate of a plot element as everything else previously mentioned. All in all, Heaven's Bones is beautifully written, does indeed have steampunk Victorian era Angels, as well as psychics, cursed twins and someone suspiciously similar to Jack the Ripper. It has major crossover appeal but not only will it have gamer readers feeling clever for recognizing the "in-joke" Ravenloft elements, it will have non-gamer readers much more willing to take the plunge since the book doesn't make them feel like they're missing twenty years of back titles needed to understand what's going on in this book. And did I mention the prose was pretty?
NJMysteryMan More than 1 year ago
For avid fans of the Ravenloft RPG setting, good news! Wizards of the Coast has released this new novel in the series. You can also read "Mithras Court" by David A. Page, the second book in this new series. Sadly, it looks like WTC has little faith in this new line and "Mithras Court" may be the last of them. However, whether you are a fan of Ravenloft or simply a fan of gothic horror, this is a wonderfully written book! Many twists and turns, all with a satisfying ending!

The reader is taken to London in the 1800's, and introduced to a series of characters whose lives will intertwine in the most horrifying ways. The author even plays with the back-story to the "Jack the Ripper" murders in the Whitechapel district. For those who don't know, the world of Ravenloft, (simply called "The Mists" in the novel), is a world that reaches out into other worlds, (in this case, our own Earth's history) and using powerful Mists that act as deadly teleportation devices, seeks out the most vile and evil creatures a world has to offer. Usually, these creatures (or people) are tragic figures, with no hope of redemption. The Mists create a new world for the beings they snatch away, a mockery of the world they once knew. Their victims are trapped in these pocket worlds or domains, with no hope of escape. There, the dark powers that lurk behind the Mists, toy with them and try to make them turn to their darker natures. However, a small few, sometimes redeem themselves, but that doesn't always lead to a happy conclusion.

I can't reveal the plot, for fear of giving too much away, but the book's jacket cover (and the blurb here at BN.com gives you enough information to get you started. If your looking for a spooky tale, in the gothic tradition, or a Ravenloft fan, longing for a new tale, then I highly recommend this book! Embrace the Mists and enjoy!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Where have they been hiding this book. It was fabulous. I loved how the characters were so revealing and the nature of the story could have taken so many turns. You will be pleasantly surprised!!!!!!!!