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The stunning cover is one of the main reasons I finally picked this up. I wanted to get back into a fantasy type book and this sounded promising.
The first half of the book was a little slow moving – which made sense because it was explaining everything – the second half is where things picked up and I was more invested. For those who care, this definitely sits on the younger end of the YA scale.
There were good and bad elements to this. Eg. a solid female friendship (Aliesse and Sabine), but then the girl ‘friend’ (Jules) of the hero (Bastien) at ends with the heroine (Aliesse) - obviously.
I also felt like the relationship (Bastien and Aliesse) lacked chemistry.
At times there wasn’t enough when we needed more and too much when it wasn’t needed. I know there’s a second book so not everything was going to be answered, but it still felt like something was missing.
Anyway. Will be reading the second book, but won’t be in any rush to.
This book is more on the lower end of a 4 star read. If there were half stars, it'd be a 3.5 rating from me. I'm so glad that I've managed to read this book. I've been hesitant to pick this book up as I was worried that I wouldn't like it and that it would put me into a reading slump. Fortunately, I really liked this book so that did not happen. In fact, this rating is more because I enjoyed this book rather than the story itself, because there were things that I didn't like about this book.
The plot of this book was very gripping. It starts off in the past with Bastien's backstory, with his father being taken by a Bone Crier and then it's a fast forward to the present with Bastien wanting revenge. We also meet Ailesse and Sabine who are like apprentice Bone Crier's(?). After acquiring her final animal bone, Ailesse is able to undertake the final task before she is allowed to ferry the souls of the dead, to kill her true love. But it goes horribly wrong because Bastien wants revenge, so he kidnaps Ailesse and sets a trap for the Bone Crier's Queen. What I liked about this book was the fact that this part of the plot started quite early on in the book. It's about 50 pages when this scene happens, and I like the fact that this happened quite early on because sometimes I'll read books and what happens in the blurb would happen half way through the book, so it is like you are promised one thing and you're given another. From then on, the plot is fast paced as it switches the point of view between Aliesse, Bastien, and Sabine. This book is definitely more plot based then it is character based, so that's why I quite enjoyed this book.
In terms of the characters, my favourite one is definitely Sabine. I was looking forward to reading her chapters the most and I am the most intrigued about her character in the sequel. I want to see the person that she becomes after the events of this book. I did like Ailesse, but I disliked the decisions that she made. However, I did really like the relationship between Sabine and Ailesse. I think that it is the best part of this book and will continue to be in the sequel. I didn't really like Bastien. I felt like not enough time was spent on his character evolving because he needed his perspective to change. Also, I didn't really see his appeal. If he was meant to be my true love, I'd ask for another one. I didn't mind the side characters but they weren't developed at all.
I also didn't like the romance between Ailesse and Bastien. I think the romance felt a bit lazy with them being true loves to one another, because I think even if Bastien was my true love, I wouldn't love him after how he kidnapped and treated me. I think the romance would have been more believable if Bastien wasn't the main kidnapper and was more hesitant in killing Bone Crier's. I don't see Bastien liking Ailesse when she is the focus of his revenge.
Another one of my favourite aspects of this book is the magic system. I found it interesting that the Bone Crier's magic stemmed from the bones of the animals that they hunted and killed. The bones need to undergo a ritual in order for the Bone Crier's to be able to use the animals traits. The bones then get fashioned into a piece of jewellery, but if the Bone Crier is not in immediate contact with the bones then they lose the traits of their animals. I do think that this is quite cool but I also thought that if you could take them off and not have the abilities, I feel like people would do that. Like what good is night vision in the day time? But I imagine that it's more like getting a higher prescription of glasses, in the sense that you need to get used to the powers and once you do it's a part of you.
However, a thing that I disliked about this world was the random French words and place names. I understand that this book is most likely set in a fantasy French inspired world, but I didn't like the lack of world building. Saying a few things in French, and having a French named city doesn't make me visualise the setting. I am guessing that the nearest town/city in this book is based on Paris because of the catacombs, but there wasn't a lot of description or world building which was disappointing.
Overall, I enjoyed reading the book. It does have it's flaws but I will continue on with the series once the sequel comes out. I don't know if I would recommend it, but it's not a bad book. In fact it's a slightly better than average YA book, but that doesn't mean that I would recommend people to read it because it does lack quite a few things. I would perhaps say don't expect a lot.
Having read Daughter of pirate king and to kill a kingdom before this, I was expected a similar plot line, twists and ending but alas I was very disappointed. The book started off fast- paced, there were new ideas and concepts being explained and introduced and the overall story line was very intriguing.
The execution not so much.
The first few chapters are fine, but then the story becomes very stagnant and suddenly you're thrown into a completely different world than you were explained in the beginning of the novel. The abrupt twist is tedious, in my opinion. I knew something was off, but the climax was not appealing at all. It became too ridiculous to read. The twist was unremarkable and it almost becomes a book about zombies (at least that was what the description implied), which I was unimpressed with.
There are three main characters, which I hated. I think POV should only max to two, never three because it makes the story boring, especially because only two of the characters were together throughout 2/3rds of the book. I mean some authors can probably make it work smoothly, but Purdie didn't. The third character's story is linked to the other two, but it hinders their progress. Sabine's POV is tackling a completely different adventure to Bastien's and Ailesse's, which made it mundane to read, because as the reader you are impatient to see what happens between the main two characters. I think her POV could have linked more smoothly and been written differently to keep the reader engaged. POV changes are only good, in my opinion, when they compliment and help the other characters progress.
The characters had promise but didn't live up to it. Ailesse is presented as a brave, talented and smart girl... at the start. She is very ambitious and courageous and she succeeds in most of her ventures. However, a few chapters down the line she becomes this love- struck goose, who can't do anything for herself without NEEDING the help of her soulmate, Bastien. This really reduced her character to a codependent, needy girl, which was very disappointing. This completely ruined it for me. I was no longer interested in the plot after this.
Bastien was not the prince charming I was hoping for either. He's very skilled, charming and determined, but he wavers and forgets his motives a little too often. He's drooling over Ailesse instantly and it's disgusting. He is presented as very shallow. I totally understand physical attraction is a huge factor in falling for someone, but that was the only reason why he liked her!!! His desires and temptations soften him too much, to the point where he's not motivated and disciplined to do anything remotely interesting in the plot. There was too much of this shady, romance story than anything else. He didn't even know anything about her, aside from her beauty and anger and that was enough for him to risk his life for her?? There was no solid build up or chemistry, they had one banter moment- that's all! It felt like he only fell for her because she was gorgeous and he felt sorry for her, he wanted to save her? Nope, not good enough! The only reason why I'm not picking on her liking him back is because it had been reinforced to her from childhood that her soulmate was the one she was going to fall in love with and she was unwavering in her faith, especially in the beginning.
Overall, I was just bored. I think there was potential but it wasn't explored in the correct way. The characters didn't develop, they became stagnant in each other's embrace emotionally. I was expecting more witty interactions between Bastien and Ailesse, a friendship at least to make their fake romance seem legit, but there was no foundation. I was not convinced. I have requested a refund.
Very pleased to have the book, nothing wrong with the copy--however amazons product description of the hardback is woefully inaccurate - stated 368 pages when in fact it is 453. Bit frustrating when I bought it hoping it would fit in a small space on my shelves
Fantastic book and I loved the story and characters! Unfortunately the dust jacket is damaged... As if someone pulled tape off the cover and the lamination lifted so very sad about that as I ws going to display this beautiful cover!
If there is any chance I could get just the dust jacket sent out I would be very grateful for the replacement... Would have been 5 *'s if not for the damage...
Ici une combinaison de tout ce que j'apprécie dans une lecture fanatsy young adulte. Une héroïne Badass, un ennemies to lovers, une amitié émouvante, de la magie et une lecture bien rythmée ! Le seul bémol pour moi était que, durant la première partie, j'avais un sentiment de répétition. La relation entre les deux personnages principaux restait un peu au même stade et donc j'avais un peu du mal à sentir une évolution dans tout ça ... Mais la dernière partie a rattrapé un peu le tout. Sinon gros coup de cœur pour le côté magique, la façon dont c’est construit est vraiment très intéressante. Enfin on parle d'âme sœur dans ce livre et ça donc j'adore !
This book is truly captivating. The mix of fantasy, mythology, and forbidden love make for a wonderful story like that is also beautifully written. There is also a very strong female friendship to top it all off. I would definitely recommend anyone to buy this book!
A very good book - with a unique story, a successfully done mythology, endearing characters - with a beautiful cover. Sabine is, in my opinion, one of the best characters in this novel. She has the clearest character arc, and at the same time, the most discreet one. Bastien is touching as well. The romance is very well done and we live it with the characters. However, though I can't put my finger on what exactly, I felt like something was missing. A really great book that being said, and I'm looking forward to reading the next one.
The mythology is interesting but the story is not. The author’s writing style was disruptive and frustrating—there was a lot of telling and not a lot of showing. It felt at times I was being spoon-fed realizations that should have come more naturally. What I really hated in this book was the romance. The romance was not believable or built well at all. It was a case of instant love that didn’t make sense/paced poorly. They didn’t do anything or bond in a way that made their attraction believable.. The twists in the story felt too rushed and fell absolutely flat. I was not shocked. Some of the intentions of the gods, the characters, etc. made little sense. There’s a part of the book that just skips two weeks. That would have been a good chunk of time for some world building and character development. Most of the secondary characters were one dimensional. I see a lot of potential in this story but the execution was poor. The relationships between the characters needed to be developed more and the twists and reasons why needed to be reworked.
This started with one character (Sabine) who was another one of those cut-out, “lacks confidence, purpose, direction” characters. But then the story wasn’t really about her—it was more like her story line existed to support another character’s (Ailesse). Ailesse had the most character by far, and was truly the only character I could easily picture—probably why she is on the cover. The story takes too long to describe Sabine and leaves other character like Jules with hardly anything to go on visually. Jules is constantly described as having a scratchy voice, and once described with as having blonde hair. Some characters in stories can feel real without having been physically described at all, however these characters aren’t that present. The plot is predictable, there is one nice twist at the end, but it’s minor. The sequel seems promising with how the end of this one has set it up, and might actually be quite good since the entirety of Bone Crier’s Moon finally gave these characters a little presence. But I don’t know if I’ll personally read it since this characters were so...thinly developed. Especially since newer characters are involved, I don’t want to go through another book with vague, amorphous character blobs. I am disappointed that Sabine’s character could not stay true—she easily crossed her own standards and changed into a different character with very little clear motive. She was indecisive, ineffective, and really barely belonged in this story. If it was her coming of age, I couldn’t tell. It seemed more like her coming of “confusion, fear, indecisiveness, and finally, random resolve thanks to a bird.”