“10,000 Bones” by Joe Ollinger: Review/Giveaway

by Sharon Tucker

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review and links to purchase it.
As Cuvier could correctly describe a whole animal by the contemplation of a single bone, so the observer who has thoroughly understood one link in a series of incidents should be able to accurately state all the other ones, both before and after.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
I credit seeing Forbidden Planet at an impressionable age for my lifelong appreciation of science fiction, and love of reading or seeing good stories that happen in space. Joe Ollinger’s 10,000 Bones(2019) certainly qualifies as a science fiction thriller set in the dystopian world of the desert planet Brink, one of many planets colonized by Earth as we move out into the galaxy.

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The planets we find as we colonize are quite different from lush, over-crowded Earth; each one lacks something we would need on Earth, and on Brink calcium is absent from the ecosystem. Hoarding and selling bones of any kind is against the law, thus the need for policing and proper disposal of all bones by collection agents. This includes everything from human corpses to restaurant chicken bones. Here, the currency is calcium so naturally black market bones are a flourishing trade.
Image Source Diversion Books
The story begins with Taryn Dare, a collections agent whose personal mission is to amass enough credits to emigrate from this less-than-hospitable planet. For her, any place is better than home. When called out on a routine investigation, she stumbles across what appears to be a gross violation of medical ethics and calcium processing procedures. Her investigation catches the interest of a corporation bent on looking into why an unreasonable amount of their processed calcium never makes it off-planet. Dare becomes an unlikely ally with Brady Kearnes, an employee of the corporation, and they set about riling up everyone from police dispatchers to the local corporate mogul. Eventually, lives are lost, the fabric of Brink’s society is endangered, and what seems impossible becomes probable as the story unravels.

Neither Agent Dare nor Brady Kearns have Cuvier’s knack with bones, but at least Agent Dare’s investigative skills are honed to a high enough degree that she has much in common with Conan Doyle. As with all fables, we learn much about ourselves from Brink’s story, not all of it good. You will enjoy Ollinger’s knack for creating full-blown characters and the quick pace of his storytelling. The story is relevant to us here and now, but is not didactic. I found myself wanting to read about more of Agent Dare’s cases and wondering if she will ever get off Brink. I think you will wonder too.

To enter to win a copy of 10,000 Bones, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "bones,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 27, 2019. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address (so if you win we can get the book sent right out to you), and if via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

You can find more fantasy reviews in our Fantasy and Fangs section.

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Sharon Tucker is former faculty at the University of Memphis in Memphis TN, and now enjoys evening supervising in that campus library. Having forsworn TV except for online viewing and her own movies, she reads an average of 3 to 4 books per week and has her first novel---a mystery, of course---well underway.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. That's a pretty intriguing concept. I think I could get into that. Thanks for the chance to win it!

  2. Certainly sounds different.


  3. Thanks for the chance to win. JL_Minter (at) hotmail (dot) com


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