The Turquoise Bones

Young Adult - Sci-Fi
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 01/05/2018
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Author Biography

Steven R. Brandt has a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois for performing the first numerical simulations of rotating black hole spacetimes. It was the closest he could get to becoming Dr. Who. His novels and anthologies can be found here:

The Novel, "The Turquoise Bones," was a world that began coming to life inside my head a number of years ago as I began to develop a larger science fiction universe. You will find, for example, the Starfarers mentioned in my other novel "Warriors of the Hollow World."

One of my objectives for "The Turquoise Bones" was to turn mix up ideas of spiritual and scientific truth in an effort to let readers, whatever their viewpoints, identify with a different worldview for a time.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite

The Turquoise Bones by Steven R. Brandt, PhD, is a Young Adult fantasy novel with an engaging blend of action, adventure, romance, coming-of-age, and a positive message suitable for any reader. It tells the story of Apjay, a teenage hunter in a Bronze Age-like world where his people are known as the Astronomers. Apjay feels unfairly treated and even belittled by his own father and looks more often to an older hunter named Sol for guidance. Apjay is also attracted to a teenage healer named Iota, who is the sister of his best friend Draconis but she prefers a physically stronger and older youth to him. A conflict involving Apjay, his father, Sol, and the ceremonial burial of a set of turquoise bones sends the three of them, joined by Draconis and followed by Iota, on a sometimes-deadly quest which will affect them all in different ways.

In The Turquoise Bones, Brandt gives us a classic tale set in a unique world. His narrative is detailed, descriptive, and evocative. The main characters are well developed, and the plot moves at a good pace. We see Apjay as a son trying to please his father; a young hunter wanting to prove himself; a youth who must decide between selflessness or his own desires; a teen experiencing the first throb of passion for a girl and jealousy of his rivals; and an individual coming to grips with who and what he is. Brandt’s occasional use of modern expressions seemed out of place at times, but it didn’t detract. And the message of the story is one which our world needs today as much as it ever did. Highly recommended.