Jun 112014
 
Review: California BonesCalifornia Bones (Daniel Blackland #1) by Greg Van Eekhout
Published by Tor on Jun 10, 2014
Genres: Adult, Science Fiction
Format: eARC from Netgalley
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

When Daniel Blackland was six, he ingested his first bone fragment, a bit of kraken spine plucked out of the sand during a visit with his demanding, brilliant, and powerful magician father, Sebastian. Then, when Daniel was twelve, he watched Sebastian die at the hands of the Hierarch of Southern California, devoured for the heightened magic layered deep within his bones.

Now thirty, Daniel is a petty thief with a forged identity. Hiding amid the crowds in Los Angeles—the capital of the Kingdom of Southern California—he is trying to go straight. But his crime-boss uncle has a heist for Daniel to undertake: break into the the Hierarch's storehouse of magical artifacts and retrieve Sebastian's sword, an object of untold power.

Daniel assembles a trustworthy team of his closest friends from the criminal world. Moth, who can take a bullet and heal in mere minutes. Jo Morales, illusionist. The multitalented Cassandra, Daniel's ex. And, new to them all, the enigmatic, knowledgeable Emma, with her British accent and her own grudge against the powers-that-be. The stakes are high, and the stage is set for a showdown that might just break the magic that protects a long-corrupt regime.

Extravagant, inventive, and shot through with moments of intensity as bright as the California sun, Daniel's story is an epic adventure set in a city of canals and secrets and casual brutality—different from the world we know, and yet also familiar and true.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This was a magic ladened story set in an alternate history California. The plot revolves around Daniel and his friends attempting the biggest and mostly deadly heist imaginable: stealing an osteomancy treasure from the ruler.

The story is intriguing, amusing, and slightly confusing at times. I had a bit of trouble understanding osteomancy and the rules and behaviours it includes. It is explained, and I did understand by the end of book, but it took a bit of work. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as it was unique and complex, but this isn’t the type of book you can skim through quickly.

The highlight of the plot was the actual heist. I really like heist stories, especially when they’re written with a lot of humour, like this one was. Heists are fun and exciting, and there is a large element of danger and surprise as you wonder what will go wrong. Because something almost always does go wrong, which is one of the draws.

Overall, this was an intriguing and captivating story. I loved to originality of the magic and the excitement of the heist. The characters really came alive, and so did the setting. It was an all around great read.

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