Reviews

Cloudbound, by Fran Wilde

sleeping_while_awake's review

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3.0

I preferred Cloudbound to its predecessor Updraft. I also preferred Nate as a main character, compared to Kirit, as Nate tries to view things at the larger level, rather than taking everything personally. Kirit puts others in danger rather consistently.

In Cloudbound, now that the Singers have left a power vacuum, others are scrambling to fill it. There is a Council that is trying to do right, however, they don't have strong leadership and there are disagreements. One of Nate's mentors, Doran, is attempting to seize power, with harsh restrictions against the Singers and fledglings. As the plot progresses, it's clear that there is someone else making a power grab that is far worse than Doran.

Nate and Kirit venture down to the clouds to investigate some mysterious occurrences, and they become entangled in the power plays. It's basically Nate, Kirit, and a bunch of their friends hiding out in the clouds (still far from the ground), trying to come up with a way to reveal bad things happening to all the people without making themselves look like the bad guys.

By the end of the book, there is some reveal about the world, so if you were really wanting to know what the bone towers are, you'll find out. Although there are still many surrounding questions left to answer.

It's hard not to give a summary without spoiling. Wilde does not give any sort of recap from the previous book so it took me about 100 pages in before I felt comfortable and understood what the heck was going on in the plot. After that it was engaging, but prior it had a hard time keeping my engagement.

The plot seemed more mature to me. Probably because there's no learning and school element at this point. Even the younger kids are having to deal with adult decisions. It does take a dark element on when people are threatening to throw people off the towers to their deaths.

There was a nice mix of action and dialogue that hit its stride around page 100. Definitely a lot of flying and fighting. The ending really left me hanging for the next book. I need to understand this world!! So much mystery, I have so many questions
SpoilerWhy would taking residence in what is essentially a horn growing out of an animal be a good idea? How could this knowledge be lost? Were are those adventurers who need to see what's out there? So many questions...

mike_no1's review against another edition

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2.0

It’s so boring compared to the first book. Relying on petty politics for plot didn’t work for Lucas either.

robynldouglas's review

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4.0

Right. This was an interesting sequel to Updraft, that continued to build the world in a deep and well-thought out way. However, it was also just not a good audio book for me - the plot was complex, there's a ton of description, and, to top it off, I had an irrational dislike of the narrator's voice. So, yeah. It took me 8 months to finish!!!! I have a feeling that if I had picked it up in print I would have devoured it in several days....Oh well!

mariahaskins's review against another edition

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5.0

This is a brilliant sequel to Fran Wilde's 'Updraft', and continues the story of the Bone Universe. It's told from Nat's point of view rather than Kirit's this time, and takes us straight into the political struggle and maneuvering going on right after the dramatic finale of 'Updraft'.

'Cloudbound' is well-written, fast-paced and emotionally engaging from the first sentence to the last: everything is put in jeopardy here: Nat and Kirit's lives, their families, and the fate of the city itself. It's an often gut-wrenching and heartbreaking read, that left me gasping for breath as Nat discovers a lot more about the city than he ever knew before.

The last few chapters and the ending... well, now... I just had my mind blown (my jaw literally dropped). I won't give anything away, but suffice it to say that I cannot wait for the third installment in this series.

kaa's review

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2.0

I enjoyed the first book, but in this one the characters spent too much of this book plotting
Spoilerand having their plots foiled
, and I never felt like I really knew what they were actually trying to do or what it was supposed to accomplish for them. I also didn't appreciate the way the book ended, which felt jarring and also lacking sufficient explanation.
SpoilerPersonally, I wasn't bothered by not knowing how the world got the way it was, so long as the worldbuilding was internally consistent. Revealing such a massive new element so close to the end of the book made the rest of the book seem sort of pointless, especially since there wasn't any good foreshadowing and it was weird enough that you couldn't anticipate it, nor did it really explain that much about the history and context of this world.
Overall, it was pretty clear that this was a transitional middle book, and maybe I was just cranky and stressed this week, but I didn't particularly enjoy it.

drownedworld's review against another edition

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5.0

There are few writers who worldbuild as well as Fran Wilde. She continues to explore the world she introduced in last year's UPDRAFT but this time through the eyes of Nat which I found immensely satisfying. To me, the world in which characters inhabit is the most important aspect of a story so I relished the opportunity to learn more about the society (especially its political scene which in many ways resonates with our current election cycle) through his eyes. I enjoyed seeing Kirit and the ramifications of her actions in UPDRAFT from someone else's perspective, too. And then you have the final part of the book which is one brilliantly executed action scene after another on top of revelation upon revelation that makes me wish HORIZON was out today!

jshaden's review against another edition

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4.0

I thought this was even better than the first book. The POV character is different, although the main cast remains familiar, and the story expands on the unique world.

lizshayne's review

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3.0

Leaving aside the "I cannot remember what happened in the last book or the names of any characters" problem that happens every time I pick up a sequel, I enjoyed this one. It's a...familiar story at this point - once the oppressive regime (which is also complex in its own way) is overthrown, where do we go and how do we keep the revolution good?
I'm glad to see this in fiction and it keeps the story interesting and realistic.
I'm not sure I care as much about Nat as I do Kirit (fortunately she's here too), but I found this deftly handled and interesting if not as compelling as book 1.

reanne's review

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1.0

Review crossposted from Reanne Reads.

I reviewed the first book in this series last year and enjoyed it. But my memory is not so good and I’ve read a lot of books between then and now, so I had some trouble remembering all the details for this one. Cloudbound jumps right into the world of this series without any reminders or easing back in like you normally get in series. For this reason, I’d definitely recommend that you read this book immediately after reading the first one, and certainly don’t read it without reading the first one at all. Even having read the first one, I was pretty confused.

This book follows Naton, the friend of the protagonist of the first book. Maybe because of Naton’s personality or the fact that the big action happened in the last book, this book is much more about politics and vague threats. It takes quite a while for anything very exciting to happen. I’m sure some people enjoy reading about politics and shadowy threats, but that’s not really my thing. I was hoping this book would get more into the lore and history of the world, why these people ended up in the clouds, etc. I’d hoped the story would start expanding their world outside of just the towers. Apparently that’s not where the author wanted to take. I guess this is really more of a politics story than a fantasy adventure story.

The story does eventually get to exploring the world at the base of the towers and showing more of what that world looks like, but it doesn’t happen until about 93% through the story. While it was nice to see that and the story left off with a promising hook for the next book, I’m afraid that all came far too late for me. What happens at the very end of the book should have happened at the beginning. As in, inciting incident, then discovering the ground beneath the towers, then carrying on the story from there. Ultimately, it really did just feel like this author wanted to write a totally different book than the one I wanted to read.

The narrator’s style is more gently read it to you than really perform it for you. He read in a steady, smooth, clear, and very slow way which I’m sure some people prefer but which I didn’t care for at all. My favorite narrators are guys like Ray Porter, MacLeod Andrews, and James Marsters–narrators who really go all out in performing the story in a big, epic type of way. I love that. The narrator of this book was pretty much the opposite of that.

jameseckman's review

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3.0

Read the first one or you will be thinking WTF? Not bad but this protagonist (not the same as book #1) is still clueless and a bit of a victim. The weird society and environment is quite fun. The ending is a wannabe cliffhanger, which is OK, you know there's more but you can wait for it.