#CBR6 Review #107: The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

I read Cloud Atlas two years ago and liked it but didn’t LOVE it. I thought the end didn’t quite come together the way Mitchell wanted it to. I was definitely reluctant to dive into The Bone Clocks, because it *is* a heavy book. But I’m really glad I did–I think I like this better than Cloud Atlas!

It all starts when Holly Sykes runs away from home in the 1980s. She is telepathic, with the ability to “hear” people inside her mind, and her abilities place her in greater danger than she knows possible. We also hear from a self-loving college graduate with dark secrets (reminiscent of American Psycho‘s Patrick Bateman), an author whose latest book has been ruined by a critical review, and a war journalist whose dangerous life endangers his family relationship. This novel spans every decade of Holly’s life and weaves an intricate, gripping story of love, lust, betrayal, greed, and honor throughout the world and in times of peace, famine, war, and plenty.

I like that each separate part acts as its own story, but all the parts come together in a much larger and longer-spanning tale that is both terrifying and satisfying at once. Mitchell is an excellent writer and storyteller, and it feels as if the end and beginning match more closely than Cloud Atlas. I’ve read that all Mitchell’s novels connect to each other, but I didn’t feel as if I needed to read each one before reading The Bone Clocks. It’s an interesting blend of mystery, horror (but lightly so), science fiction, and contemporary fiction. I’ll definitely be reading more of Mitchell’s work for CBR7!


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