SELECT * FROM uv_BookReviewRollup WHERE recordnum = 1579 Napier's Bones, by Derryl Murphy Book Review |

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Napier's Bones, by Derryl Murphy
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Publisher: Chizine Publications
Published: 2011
Review Posted: 9/6/2013
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated

Napier's Bones, by Derryl Murphy

Book Review by Michael D. Griffiths

Have you read this book?

Napier's Bones, by Derryl Murphy is a very original novel. In centers around Don who is a numberate. A numberate is a person that can create powerful magical effects through the control of numbers. Almost at once, three important and intense things happen to Dom. First he has a shadow of a dead numerate named Billy move into this body. Next he meets a lovely young woman named Jenna who is an untrained numberate, but of an odd sort that he has never seen. Lastly, he discovers that the long dead mathematician Napier is trying his best to slay him and perhaps use numbers to create changes in the very fabric of the planet.

Things get more complicated when they discover that the shadow of Napier has possessed Jenna's mother. Soon the trio moves from just trying to flee Napier's wrath to actively trying to stop him.

The magical use of numbers comes in many forms. Things can be as simple as changing the numbers on a license plate to creating devastating tornadoes of whirling numbers that could kill all in their path. The world is also littered with numberlogically significant artifacts. Some of these are minor items that might just help someone stay hidden, but others can range into life changing objects of massive power. Napier's bones is one such artifact of power and if Napier retrieves them, much of how numbers work and are understood could be changed forever.

The novel is a fun wild ride and soon has you liking the characters and hoping they can pull through their trials. There are some unexpected moments and the tension continues to build into a climax of epic proportions.

There were a few issues that slowed me down when I was reading. Some of the number imagery with the magic effects was a little vague. For some reason it was just hard for me to imagine how vets and waves of moving numbers could accomplish some of their feats. I also wish the author had dipped a little more into the traditional uses of numerology and how it relates to magic. It was discussed, but I might have been interested in seeing more of that.

Yet, this could be a strong point as well for the book is very unique. Murphy takes on a huge task here and puts in a lot of effort to create a world like we have never seen. It might even be hard to place this novel into standard categories. It could be considered science fiction, fantasy, or even dark fantasy. It is a strong well researched novel and I would recommend this to any lover of books where magic is used in our current times.
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