Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Bone Witch - Rin Chupeco

The Bone Witch - Rin Chupeco
Source: NetGalley (in exchange for an honest review)
Original Review: March 2, 2017
Rating: ★★

The Magic
Chupeco obviously has skill in bringing setting and environment to life in the mind. Her descriptions are fluid, and in many cases seem natural (with one caveat, noted later). Her use of simile and metaphor, if overdone, at least make sense. And her decision to use taste as the sense used to describe how using magic felt was not only out of the box, but also skillfully done. I definitely applaud her descriptive skills.

The idea of a Heartsglass is definitely unique. I don't know that I've encountered anything like it (though I do have to admit I have a LOT of fantasy previously released that's in my TBR pile, so anything is possible!).

The Madness
So... I have one major, major gripe with this book. It's obviously a part of the fantasy genre. One big note that's made constantly to authors is this - write what you know, and read the genre you plan to write in. Get familiar with it. Be familiar with what you are writing.

But don't make it familiar. At too many points in this book, I was distracted from the story by a scene, an organization, a moment being familiar because of another book. Another fantasy book. In The Bone Witch, I saw manifestations of The Kingkiller Chronicles, the Wheel of Time, Kushiel's Legacy, Memoirs of a Geisha (which I figured even before Chupeco pointed out on Goodread's that the women were Geisha-esque. Tsk.), and even World of Warcraft!

*sighs* If I see one more story of magic where the first use is accompanied by life-threatening illness, I just might explode.

And, perhaps this is just the fact that Chupeco fell victim to the fact that her heroine is both narrator and heroine, but there was far too much description in this book, and the action that did exist also fell victim to the "show, don't tell" folly. For as much as I love the way she describes things, it's hard to continue to appreciate something that is so overdone.

The Musings
All in all, my opinion of this book seems to fall in line with a lot of others I've seen. I want to love this book. I love the premise. But there is absolutely no real tension to speak of. The heroine is indestructible. So is her sidekick. The switching back and forth between events is distracting, especially since we're still seeing things from only one point of view.

Beyond that, I really don't have anything to say about this book. I was excited to read it, but it let me down. Perfectly ordinary. I almost put it down, but I kept hoping, since it wasn't a total disaster, that something would happen to redeem it's blandness. But while it wasn't a total disaster, it also didn't really stand out as anything special.

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