My rating: 5 of 5 stars
David Mitchell is one of the best authors working today, and his latest novel only serves to solidify that opinion. Much like his previous work, "Cloud Atlas", "The Bone Clocks" is structured as a series of unique, but interconnected novellas. Unlike "Cloud Atlas" however, this book functions much more as a logical, complete story. In the first section we meet British teenager Holly Sykes, who runs away from home after a fight with her mother and a bad breakup with her first boyfriend. Each section after that is from a different person's perspective, and is written in their unique voices, with Holly appearing in each to varying degrees of importance. As things move along, it also becomes gradually more and more apparent that something fantastical in nature is occurring and that all the characters so far are somehow involved, before the 5th section, when the book goes into all out fantasy mode. Some don't like the very bleak, sci-fi 6th section that wraps things up, but I personally loved it, and felt it provided just the right amount of closure without being cloyingly sweet. The characters in this novel are all wonderful, and there are bits of brilliant dialogue scattered heavily throughout. The overarching plot is engaging and wraps up very nicely. So many little things that happen in the beginning come back to matter at the end, it is mind-boggling just how much effort Mr. Mitchell must have to put into plotting his novels out. And the very, very end is so satisfying, it qualifies as one of the best individual "moments" in literature this year, possibly this decade. Everything that came before adds together to one perfectly planned out moment, when the ultimate message becomes clear: That everything we do matters, and all of our lives have a purpose. Honestly, I would love to know what happens next.
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