Kingdom of Needle and Bone

Kingdom of Needle and Bone

by Mira Grant

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We live in an age of wonders.

Modern medicine has conquered or contained many of the diseases that used to carry children away before their time, reducing mortality and improving health. Vaccination and treatment are widely available, not held in reserve for the chosen few. There are still monsters left to fight, but the old ones, the simple ones, trouble us no more.

Or so we thought. For with the reduction in danger comes the erosion of memory, as pandemics fade from memory into story into fairy tale. Those old diseases can't have been so bad, people say, or we wouldn't be here to talk about them. They don't matter. They're never coming back.

How wrong we could be.

It begins with a fever. By the time the spots appear, it's too late: Morris's disease is loose on the world, and the bodies of the dead begin to pile high in the streets. When its terrible side consequences for the survivors become clear, something must be done, or the dying will never stop. For Dr. Isabella Gauley, whose niece was the first confirmed victim, the route forward is neither clear nor strictly ethical, but it may be the only way to save a world already in crisis. It may be the only way to atone for her part in everything that's happened.
She will never be forgiven, not by herself, and not by anyone else. But she can, perhaps, do the right thing.

We live in an age of monsters.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940161363331
Publisher: Subterranean Press
Publication date: 12/31/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 54,780
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Mira Grant lives in California, sleeps with a machete under her bed, and highly suggests you do the same. Mira Grant is the pseudonym of Seanan McGuire - winner of the 2010 John W. Campbell Award for best new writer. Find out more about the author at or follow her on twitter @seananmcguire.

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Kingdom of Needle and Bone 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous 11 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kaleena More than 1 year ago
"Of such small moments are disasters made." Friends, it pains me to say that this was just not the book for me. This is my first Mira Grant (Seanan McGuire) read and while I absolutely adored the plot, unfortunately the writing style and narrative voice just did not work for me. This is definitely a case of right book, wrong reader. "Many of them would continue to leave their homes even as they began feeling unwell. The virus would spread. The virus always spreads." Lisa Morris is an 8 year old girl on vacation in Florida. She is starting to feel a little sick, but it is their last day and she doesn't want to miss out on going to the amusement park for one last time. By the time she gets home to California, she's very sick and thanks to trams, rides, and airplane rides -- so are hundreds of others. Lisa's Patient Zero of the Morris Disease outbreak and the first casualty. The world is forever changed. The third person omniscient narrative style just didn't work for me here. The first 20% or so felt like a report, and even after the narrative voice kind of shifted to focus a bit on Dr. Izzy Gauley I never really connected with any of the characters. The novella is definitely plot driven, and the consequence of the narrative voice for me was that it was hard to care about the characters. "A world that had been willing to reject the efficacy of vaccines suddenly found itself on the verge of being forced to live without them, and it was not prepared." I found the continual reminder of herd immunity and the issue of the anti-vaccine movement to be on the heavy handed side. Initially I was very interested in that as a starting point for this speculative fiction piece on potential outbreaks, but it was harped on so repetitively throughout the narrative that I became almost numb to it. It also seemed like an odd choice to me given the fact that the story is told in third-person omniscient: had it been a first-person narrative the repetition would have at least made a bit more sense to me (although I still would have been annoyed). Overall the narrative style of this book was not for me, but I really enjoyed the overall plot and twist at the end. In talking with Destiny, I have learned that the narrative style is the author's stylistic choice, so I definitely would recommend this novella to fans of Mira Grant. REPRESENTATION: lgbtiap+ (gay side characters), the world is effortlessly racially diverse CONTENT/TRIGGER WARNINGS: death, grief, loss of a loved one Many thanks to the publisher for sending me an eARC via NetGalley for review. Quotations are taken from an uncorrected proof and may change upon publication.
bookluvr35SL More than 1 year ago
Dr. Isabella Gauley's neice, Lisa Morris, was patient zero. Morris's Disease, named after the girl who started it all, kills anyone who comes in contact with the person who has the disease. It spreads rapidly and the bodies begin to pile up quickly. This fast-paced dystopian novella was so good, yet so horrifyingly realistic, that I read it in one sitting. With the way things are today, you could see something like this actually happening.. If you are a fan of sci-fi or thrillers, then I think you would enjoy this quick read.
DeborahJRoss More than 1 year ago
Kingdom of Needle and Bone belongs in the tradition of epidemic thrillers, always a favorite of mine for their medical neepery. In this story, a measles-like a virus (“Morris’s Disease”) results in a loss of immunity to all pathogens. Besides the illness itself, with its fever, rashes, and so forth, the patient’s immune system loses the ability to “remember” being exposed to any other infection. Therefore no immunization to any disease gives protection. The mortality rate from this disease is very high, but worse yet is that the survivors are left without the ability to fight off future infections of any type. The only way they can survive is by complete quarantine, which figures prominently in the story. The story begins with journalistic descriptions of Patient Zero, her fatal illness, and the spread of the disease, which is highly contagious and easily spread by contact with inanimate objects such as door knobs. A more personal view of the unfolding catastrophe comes through the point of view of that child's aunt, Dr. Isabelle Gauley, a physician who later devises a strategy to save humankind from the epidemic. Some medical thrillers jump from one point of view to the next, showing the many different and varied experiences as characters either succumb to whatever plague has arisen or take part in finding a solution. By focusing on just one character who has a personal relationship to the first victim and who also has complicated relationships with other members of her family, Grant skillfully sets up the surprising twist at the end. Cataclysmic historical events — like the Black Plague of the 14th Century CE — affect multitudes but can be emotionally remote unless dramatized through the lives of individual characters. Grant achieves both the world-changing nature of a pandemic and the intimate journey and ultimate personal responsibility of a small set of characters. One of the most interesting aspect of this story, a biting social commentary on public issues today, is the question of personal bodily autonomy. Widespread refusal to vaccinate children lowers herd immunity to the point that communicable diseases easily spread. We see that today in unprotected populations with outbreaks of preventable diseases like measles, whooping cough, and polio. Faced with a high mortality rate from highly infectious Morris's Disease, public health authorities in Kingdom of Needle and Bone mandate immunization with rare medical exceptions. That raises the question about which principle takes precedence: the individual right of self-determination or the health and the very lives of the community, especially those who are immunocompromised and cannot be vaccinated. Following the principle of unintended consequences, pro-vaccination public health officials find themselves unwillingly allied with anti-abortion forces who see both as a violation of bodily autonomy. But where does personal liberty end and survival of the human species prevail? This thoughtful medical thriller adds a nuanced moral perspective without bashing the reader over the head with any particular viewpoint, and while engaging the reader in a fast-paced, absorbing read. The usual disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book, but no one bribed me to say anything about it. Although chocolates might have been nice.
Delilah-Night More than 1 year ago
I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I don’t know how Mira Grant does it, but she’s created another horror novella that is just as gripping as her other work. I enjoy her work as Mira Grant, and I enjoy her work as Seanan McGuire. The Mira Grant titles are all horror, and I’m not generally a person who enjoys that genre. Lisa Morris isn’t feeling so good. But she’s at a Florida theme park, and she wants to enjoy her last day there. So she doesn’t tell her parents, and when they take her, she unintentionally creates a cascading infection of what will eventually be known as Morris disease–a highly contagious virus that mimics measles, but that kills many and leaves those who have survived it as immunocompromised for the rest of their lives. Vaccines will no longer work on them. The story plays out against the all too real fights over vaccination and herd immunity. It also throws in the question of bodily autonomy–where’s the line between the public good and being forced to do something (abortion being the obvious connection–can and should the state force a woman to carry a pregnancy she doesn’t want to term). It’s a well written story with a complex main character–Isabella, a pediatrician and Lisa’s aunt–who we’re never quite sure of. She’s a gray character. The length of the story means that side characters aren’t super developed, but enough is there that they’re interesting. I can’t give away too much. It’s a fast read, and if you like horror, or books that just f* with your head, then Mira Grant is always a good choice.
S_White_1218 More than 1 year ago
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. As many of you know, I *adore* Seanan McGuire. Seriously, she's one of my top favorite authors and I will read anything she puts out under that name. What you might not know is that she also writes under the name Mira Grant, and puts out sci-fi and techno thriller/horror type books. Under her Mira brand, she's been hit or miss for me. I love the short novellas she puts out from Subterranean Press (like this one!) and the "mermaid books" are great. I didn't particularly care for Feed, but I do plan on reading more of the series and seeing if it was just me at the time. One thing that makes Mira's works so much harder for me is how REALISTIC they are. They are backed with meticulous scientific information. AND THEY SCARE THE CRAP OUT OF ME. Kingdom of Needle and Bone is deep. It's rough. It's scary - less because of the outbreaks, which *are* scary, and more because of what led to them... fear, ignorance, and the power of the stupidity en masse. I don't want to spoil anything, and this is a shortie at 128 or so pages. But if you're prepared to see some of the nasty side of humanity, you can pick this up. If you're prepared to see some of the better sides as well, this book has that covered too. Because if there's one thing Seanan/Mira excels at, it's showing ALL sides of humanity's light and darkness in glorious detail.