The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: March 7th 2017
Soure: ARC from Raincoast
Link to the author: http://www.rinchupeco.com/
Rating: 2 Stars
Buzz Words: Witches, Necromancy, Elemental Magic, Beasts, War
I don’t know what happened.
Above, I included buzz words from the synopsis that caught my interest. Based on those I couldn’t imagine not loving this book. Unfortunately, the unimaginable happened.
The beginning had real promise, the action was on right from the start and the atmosphere was palpable. Tea, the main character, accidentally raises her brother from the dead and a bone witch appears, almost instantly, to take her away and train her. I was so excited for the adventure and necromancy and beasts, that I couldn’t wait for their journey to start!!!
Instead, Tea in indentured to a house where she does chores and learns to dance and entertain. At this point I was getting some serious Memoirs of a Geisha feels. Indentured to a house sort of against her will? Check. Expected to serve all those above her station and do a bunch of chores? Check. Gets in trouble when she stumbles into the other asha’s petty games? Check. Elaborate dresses that are uniquely designed for each girl? Check! I loved Memoirs of a Geisha but I found the similarities off-putting because I wanted beasts and necromancy, not dresses and dancing.
And speaking of those elaborate dresses, the descriptions in this book were… comprehensive, that’s the kindest way I could put it. It was too much, and not just when it came to the dresses but everything! I love a well-built world but there was too much flourish and not enough substance. Where did the plot go? Where did the action go? I don’t care about the color of the stitching on a dress just raise something from the dead already!
I also never connected with the characters, everyone was likable but that was all. The dual timeline didn’t help. I’m not a fan of them to begin with, and this one left me feeling jarred and disconnected everytime it switched.
Overall, I can’t say I enjoyed this book. It had some great potential and the writing was beautiful even if it was over the top, but for me, it fell very short of the mark. I think if the book had been marketed differently – if I hadn’t been expecting dark magic and beasts rising from the dead, I wouldn’t have felt so let down.
A big thank you to Raincoast Books for sending me a copy of The Bone Witch for this review!