California Bones - Daniel Blackland #1

California Bones - Greg Van Eekhout

There's very little about this book that I didn't love. It was one of those books that popped into my life at exactly the right time and hit every chord just right. When I started this book, and read through the opening scenes, I knew I had stumbled across something special.


First of all, it's a heist book. Think Ocean's 11 with a bunch of street kids rather than polished up gentlemen. I really love heists, and this book hit all the right notes for me in that arena. The characters were all distinct and likable, even when they weren't always well rounded. I enjoyed hanging out with these people as they schemed and carried out their plans. I was cheering for them, even when I knew they were making bad choices. I should also say I truly enjoyed Daniel's voice. Loaded with snark and wit, he reminds me a bit of Harry Dresden, except less nerdy and more acerbic.


Another thing to love is the world building. I can't say enough good things about the world Van Eekhout has created in this series. It's believable, fascinating, creepy, cohesive, familiar yet strange, and loaded with interesting parallels you can draw thematically. I love this world, and I'm glad there are three books set within this universe. It's one of those settings that gets richer the more I think about it, rather than falling apart like many less skillfully constructed worlds can when examined too closely. The cannibalistic society depicted in this trilogy hits that brilliant chord truly good sci-fi can occasionally nail, of being both disturbing and illuminating.


If you like fast paced books that read like a summer movie this one will take you for a fun ride. And as an added bonus it will also give you plenty of meat to chew on. Pun intended.