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The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

The Bone Clocks is a masterfully crafted novel by internationally revered author David Mitchell. And if you've read any of David Mitchell's work before, you won't be surprised that this new expansive work holds a prominent place on the Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist.
Comprising over 600 pages, The Bone Clocks is an ambitious work of artful writing, devoid of a wasted word. And, there's a lot to immerse you David Mitchell's world of The Bone Clocks, including a series of recurring characters who are introduced at various time periods and settings. As a writer, I'd imagine that it is indeed unusual and incredibly difficult to keep all these narratives and stories juggling in one's mind, while still managing to produce a beautiful artistic endeavor. But, remember this is David Mitchell, the guy who wrote Cloud Atlas: it's all in a day's work for the king juggler when it comes to keeping all the multiple stories, characters and genres moving seamlessly in unison, keeping us all at the edge of our seats. 

Introducing the theme of mortals and immortals in a battleground, The Bone Clocks begins with the story of a troubled teen, Holly Sykes. The voice of the character is relatable and we are drawn into the teen's seemingly “normal” problems, such as wanting to meet her boyfriend (despite the disapproval of the parents). Very soon, you realize there is something not so normal about this fifteen-year-old girl.
Holly Sykes hears voices in her head enough times for us to question her state of mind. She refers to them as The Radio People; and she also has periods of blackouts where she takes on an alternate voice, but can't usually remember. The message has some significance, although it isn't clear in the beginning what it means. These clues are pieced together slowly as the novel progresses, giving the reader a complex, but rewarding, reading experience.
Early on in The Bone Clocks, we also learn that when Holly was young girl a woman called Miss Constantine would comfort her at night. This imagined or other worldly being eventually leaves Holly’s life, and leaves our imagination discombobulated. 
But that’s the artistic brilliance of David Mitchell’s writing. Slowly, he allows the reader through his maze, dropping various clues along the way, but leaving it up to one to thread all the connections together.
Very few writers can weave a part fantasy, metaphysical novel with real life events such as global warming and the war in Iraq, but then David Mitchell is no ordinary writer. (I feel like I'm sounding like a broken record now.) David Mitchell has a record for excellence. After all, his previous two novels – Cloud Atlas and number9dream  were shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and The Bone Clocks is well on its way to once again receiving that coveted honour.
As mentioned The Bone Clocks is an expansive novel and readers should be prepared for a substantial investment in time (unless, of course, you are a super-fast reader). But, readers who love fantasy and complexity in storytelling, along with expansive characters, plotlines, time zones, settings and genres, will gravitate towards this book, and love reading it without a clock in sight to keep keep track of time.


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4 out of 5 Sukasa Stars
          
The Bone Clocks is published by Random House Canada. 

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