Publication Date: 1/14/2020
Rating: 4/ 5
I received a complimentary galley of THE VANISHED BIRDS by Simon Jimenez for an honest review. Thank you to Netgalley and Del Rey Books!
THE VANISHED BIRDS begins in an agriculture community where a young boy comes to live after a crash, waiting for a ride off planet. Nia Imani is the captain of the vessel arriving for the harvest and winds up taking the young boy in. Nia is used to living life in a very interesting way, traveling across both space and time which doesn’t allow for many lasting relationships apart from those with her crew.
This boy is a mystery and he quickly finds a way into Nia’s heart. There is something special about him and others are interested in seeing what he will grow up to be able to do. When Nia is asked to keep custody of him until he is fully developed, she cannot resist the opportunity to keep him in her life for a longer period of time, even though it means leaving almost everything and everyone behind.
I didn’t know much about THE VANISHED BIRDS going into this one apart from reading the synopsis before requesting a copy on Netgalley. I was a bit surprised that the book begins in a rather rural, simple setting with the POV being a field worker working the crop that Nia will come to harvest. It was an interesting way to introduce the advance technology that Nia employs to fold time such that she appears on the planet after many years from the farmers’ POV while in Nia’s POV very little time has passed. We also get a section of the novel which delves into the development of the space stations (all named for birds) that Nia reports back to. In some ways these sections of the book felt a bit like little novellas with minimal overlap to the main story, but the author does draw the stories all together as the book progresses.
I really enjoyed the world building and the depictions of future technologies and politics tied to the space stations. This book was a bit slow paced for me at times when the story went on what felt like tangents at the time. In the end though I can see where most of those ‘tangents’ were necessary in the bigger picture.
Overall I really enjoyed this one and thought it was beautifully written. I feel like there were some areas that could have been tightened up a bit and the ending was a little underwhelming for me after the rather grand size of the book’s build up, but overall it was a great read and one I’d recommend for SciFi fans when it comes out on 1/14/2020!