The Vanished Birds

Simon Jimenez
The Vanished Birds Cover

The Vanished Birds


This is the story of brilliant tech inventor, a cargo ship captain, and a young boy who was taken from his home and made a slave to a traveling ship of musicians. It's not until about 40% of the way through the book that the connections between them become apparent.

Although it features time-elapsed interstellar space travel via a wormhole-like technology, this novel uses as its main marvel the Jaunt (a term first published in Alfred Bester's The Stars My Destination, and later popularized by Stephen King's short story "The Jaunt"), a form of immediate interstellar teleportation.

While there's not necessarily a lot new here in terms of basic concepts, I think that the author has done a great job of creating a unique story with characters who have depth and a plot that hangs together, which explores themes of ambition vs. love and happiness, corporate greed vs. conscience, and nonconsensual torture and use of an individual vs. the benefit to a large group of people.

Content Warning: contains a very high body count and some scenes of graphic violence.