Boneyards by Kristine Kathryn Rusch science fiction audiobook reviewsBoneyards by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Boneyards by Kristine Kathryn Rusch science fiction audiobook reviewsBoneyards (2012) is the third full-length novel in Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s DIVING series. You’ll want to read Diving into the Wreck and City of Ruins first. A couple of companion novellas that you may also want to read first (but it’s not necessary) are Becalmed and The Application of Hope.

Boneyards begins five years after the events of City of Ruins (as well as the two companion novellas mentioned above). Boss, the spacewreck-diving hero of the first two novels, now owns a corporation called The Lost Souls. The name is a tribute to the 500-person crew of the Ivoire Fleet spaceship who’ve been accidentally stranded in Boss’s time, which is 5,000 years in their own future. Coop, the captain of the Ivoire, is Boss’s business, and sometimes romantic, partner. (All of the romance happens off-screen).

Boss and Coop come from very different places (and times), but they share some common goals. They want to protect the Nine Planet Alliance from the empire. In addition, Coop and the Ivoire crew want to find out what happened to the Fleet and, if it still exists, if they can somehow return to it. They know the Fleet will be different – it’s been 5,000 years – but many of the Ivoire crew feel like they don’t belong in this strange future. Besides, they may have families that could be tracked down.

The story begins on a planet where, back in Coop’s normal time, the Fleet was planning to build a station. When the stranded Ivoire folks discover that it was shut down and abandoned long ago, they are devastated. Still, they hope to find records which might hint at where the Fleet was going next. During their investigation, Boss makes an exciting discovery. It’s what appears to be a graveyard full of abandoned Fleet ships. This “boneyard” is fascinating and will be a major setting in future DIVING stories.

Diving into the Wreck by Kristine Kathryn RuschA parallel plot features Squishy, one of Boss’s wreck-diving associates. Her storyline jumps around in time so that we get a lot of Squishy’s backstory while, in the present time, we witness her covert actions on an empire research station. Readers of Diving into the Wreck will recall that Squishy is petrified of what the empire calls “stealth technology.” In Boneyards we’ll find out why and we’ll see how she plans to thwart the empire’s ability to wield this technology against its enemies. When the two storylines finally converge, the action gets intense and dangerous and some of the main characters will not survive.

Boneyards is an essential DIVING story. Important information is relayed, and significant events occur. It was painful to watch Coop lose hope, it was entertaining to learn more about Squishy and Turtle (Squishy’s former girlfriend), and I’m really looking forward to exploring the Boneyard in future volumes.

At the beginning of Boneyards I was disappointed as soon as I realized that we’ve missed the five years between City of Ruins and this story. What happens at the end of the previous book is life-changing for all the characters, so I wanted to see how they dealt with the immediate aftermath. It must have been fascinating, but we don’t get to see it. I’m hoping those five years will be filled in with some of the DIVING novellas.

I can’t be absolutely certain (because I didn’t go back to check) but I think there were a couple of mistakes in Boneyards – a couple of places where something contradicted a fact given in a previous book. I also thought Coop’s actions during the climax of the story seemed out of character. One last complaint is that by this time in the DIVING series, I would expect to understand the stakes better. I am not sure why it’s so imperative that the Empire gets stopped or why the Nine Planets are the good guys. I have the impression that the Empire is evil, but more concrete evidence would help.

The audiobook editions of the DIVING series are great!

Published in 2012. Stealth tech: a lost science everyone wants to reclaim. The woman who helped Boss dive the Dignity Vessel, known then as Squishy, claims a long and storied history with stealth tech. Her research into the lost science caused deaths before, and she failed to prevent more during a fateful dive. Now, she vows to find a way to destroy the technology once and for all. Coop and Boss want to keep stealth tech out of the Empire’s hands, too, but for different reasons. “Stealth tech” powers Coop’s ship in the form of its anacapa drive. A drive that malfunctioned, leaving Coop and his crew stranded. But to find a way home, he must know what happened in the past. When Squishy’s actions threaten Coop’s mission, he must make a choice–help Boss attack the Empire, or risk losing his hope for a future.


  • Kat Hooper

    KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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