To save his tribe, the cannibal Stopmouth must abandon it. Leaving the stone-age world of the Surface behind, he travels to the Roof, the mysterious hi-tech world suspended above. But the Roof has its own problems. The nanotechnology that controls it is collapsing. And now a rebellion against the ruling Commission is about to erupt. Hunted by the Commission's nano-enhanced agents, Stopmouth must succeed in a desperate hunt of his own: to find the woman he loves. Only she knows how to save his tribe. But in this super-sophisticated world, all he has to fight with are his raw strength and fierce courage.
The Deserter (The Bone World Trilogy, Book 2)
What is less fascinating to me are the characters. Their positions in their respective societies are very interesting, and what they bring to the world building is crucial, but I never quite feel connected to them. Without feeling connected to them, it's hard to care deeply about the outcome. I think this is more a personal preference thing for me than a deficit in the writing style. I like to really be under a character's skin, and to feel their emotions as they feel them. The author's writing style makes me feel as though there's a barrier between me and the characters. I also wanted more description as I found myself often lost as to what the setting looked like.
I think the series definitely deserves a look, though, because it IS ambitious and because what turns me off to a character might be the very thing that another reader loves.
Ó Guilín deserves some serious praise, and I would like to start with that. Although I have not gotten into this series, his worldbuilding is simply amazing. A ton of work has gone into the Bone World Trilogy and it is really evident. This is much better thought out than a lot of the YA dystopias I've read. He keeps peeling back layers and revealing more sliminess and dystopian-ness at the core of this world. That is, simply put, astounding.
This book was a lot more interesting to me, largely because most of this book was spent in the Roof. The cannibals running around on the surface of the planet throughout book one were just too weird and creepy. The Roof, and its occasional parallels to our modern society's ills, was much more captivating.
Still, the real downfall of the books for me, I think, is character. I'm through two fairly long books now, and I still just don't especially care about anyone. Stopmouth and Indrani are okay; I do want them to win over the other people, but I am not hugely invested either way.
At this point, I'll probably finish out the trilogy when book three comes out, just to check out the worldbuilding. If you're fascinated by the feats of an author's imagination, Ó Guilín's books might be for you.