Empire of Bones

Liz Williams

Age 16 +
16 January 2014
432 pages


A bold and provocative novel of the future. Millions of years ago, alien beings seeded Earth with their genetic strands to create a new outpost of intelligent life. Now their descendants have returned to Earth's skies, drawn by their detection of a Receiver, a human with the genetic ability to tap into alien communications. It is the signal that Earth is ready to be absorbed into a vast galactic empire.

Jaya Nihalani has been a prophet, a crusader, and terrorist fighting for the rights of her own despised Untouchable caste. Now she lies in an Indian hospital, dying of a hideous disease. Her head is filled with voices and visions; her body is aging rapidly, inexplicably. But the voices and visions are no disease. Jaya is the Receiver whom the aliens intend to heal, enlighten . . . and use. Soon the subcontinent erupts in riots and chaos as powerful forces attempt to co-opt the enigmatic alien emissaries, and a shocked world await sits fate. Jaya must somehow discover the plans of her perfect and powerful 'friends'. Have they come to end human suffering, or to make it worse? Should she help them -- or lead the impossible fight against them?

'Crafted and polished science fiction, with an involving cast of characters - easily strong enough never to be upstaged by the astonishing an ingenious plot, sets and technology' Tanith Lee