As soon as I put down Cloud Atlas, I picked up this book. I liked it a lot, couldn’t wait to get back to it when other responsibilities called me away, but I don’t think I’d read it again, whereas I’ve already picked up Cloud Atlas to peruse pages that stick in my mind.
Why? Both books are well plotted (and refer to each other, for example, the ship Prophetess on which Adam Ewing sails in “Atlas” is mentioned in The Bone Clocks), both showcase Mitchell’s mastery of multiple voices, both have strong female characters, both portray a dark future but offer some hope of redemption.
Perhaps it’s the nested structure of “Atlas” that draws me back to it. It’s intriguing and challenging in a way that the linear structure of “Clocks” isn’t.
Nevertheless, I’d recommend it as a thought-provoking work of speculative fiction.
Note: worth it to read these books in paperback or hardcover to take full advantage of the beautiful book design, which include touches like floating clouds and clocks in the upper margins.