Debris is Jo Anderton’s debut novel, and while it at times feels like it, the story at its heart is a unique take on the genre. I hesitated on which genre to list it as; it’s modern-ish technology, not on Earth, and more advanced than Steampunk. But it has magic, which makes it not sci-fi. Ultimately, it’s just GOOD. There were some pacing issues and the heroine seemed a little bi-polar, going from “I’M GOING TO GET MY OLD LIFE BACK” to “I don’t want to disrupt my new life” but other reviewers say that those issues are smoothed out somewhat in the second book, which I haven’t read.
The story begins with Tanyana exhibiting her talent for manipulating pions – the molecules that make up everything. She’s building a giant sculpture with the help of her circle. But something goes wrong – whether it’s a simple accident or someone targeted her is a mystery – and she loses her ability to see pions, but gains the ability to see “debris” – magical garbage created by the manipulation of pions. At least, that’s what she and her fellow “Collectors” are told it is. There seems to be more to the principles behind debris than just “junk,” though, and answers are not very forthcoming in this book. (Though plenty more questions are raised!) Other reviewers have said their are more answers in Suited, the next book in the trilogy. The third book isn’t out yet, and I’ll probably wait for that before picking up Suited, unless I happen past it on a library shelf or something. (Edit: Guardian is now out.)
I am very excited to see how this new author shapes up, given the quality of Debris.
From the back of Debris:
Tanyana is among the highest ranking in her far-future society – a skilled pionner, able to use a mixture of ritual and innate talent to manipulate the particles that hold all matter together. But an accident brings her life crashing down around her ears. She is cast down amongst the lowest of the low, little more than a garbage collector. But who did this to her, and for what sinister purpose? Her quest to find out will take her to parts of the city she never knew existed, and open the door to a world she could never have imagined.
- SPOTLIGHT ON… Fantasy: Joanne Anderton (jaimeebrooker.wordpress.com)
- July Round-up of Speculative Fiction (for “adults”) (australianwomenwriters.com)