Cover Image: Wake the Bones

Wake the Bones

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Member Reviews

The writing style was decent and I found this book to be an okay read overall. The main character is a bit weird but it fits with the context of the story.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I was definitely intrigued by the premise of this book. I really enjoy stories that combine nature and magic, and I was pulled in by the main character's skill with taxidermy. I did enjoy some of the author's writing, and thought she had some good descriptions of the setting and I felt like I really understood the small town they lived in. I could feel the atmosphere that the author was describing.

However, I was never really pulled into the story. I thought the plot was kind of slow, and some of the plot points I felt were a bit confusing or not completely explained. I also never felt a connection to any of the characters. It always felt like there was distance between me and the characters, and I never quite cared about any of them.

Those interested in stories about atmospheric horror, small towns, or close-knit friend groups may want to give this a try.

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Not a stand out horror novel for me, but I did enjoy this book. If you like Erica Waters or Courtney Gould you’ll enjoy this. The set up of the story (young main character stuck in a small town with found family) is one of my favorites.

Overall, I would give this a 3.5. I also had the audiobook, and I enjoyed the narration.

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An absolute must read! This book kept me guessing what would happen next and unable to put the book down till I had consumed it in one sitting! The setting and the characters feed into one another to ratchet up the simmering tensions of brittle lies, thwarted goals, conflicting attractions. The characters are interesting and likeable in a sometimes complicated way, mirrored to one another. 5/5 stars

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I really enjoyed this book, it kept me interested the whole time. I would think about it after I put it down. I couldn’t wait to pick it back up. I want to get this physically book.

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Thank you to Wednesday Books for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

This was fun. The atmosphere was really good though it did make me feel sweaty lol.

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What a fantastic horror story. A quiet, sleepy town that has been awakened. What happens when a pile of bones just picks up and walks away? This book takes the darkest resources of your mind and questions absolutely everything. Laurel just wants some normalcy but there is a darkness coming for her just like it came for her mother earlier. This was a wild ride and I loved it.

Thank you #wednesdaybooks and #Netgalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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I received an eARC via NatGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I saw Wake the Bones circulating on Twitter on different horror lists and threads. It was pitched as a southern Gothic novel about a sleepy farm that awakens, where something rots and something rises.

Laurel Early grew up on this farm, but things quickly change when she returns from college. The woods shift, the soil dies, and bones seemingly take on a mind of their own. Laurel wants nothing more than to focus on her future: tobacco farming and taxidermy. A boy she can’t help but love and a devil from her past may stand in her way. Laurel is then forced to unravel her mother’s mysterious legacy and discover her own magic to deal with this haunting devil.

Elizabeth Kilcoyne beautifully crafts her story. I think she definitely has a talent with words. Once the story starts, her words are incredibly captivating. It was easy to read so much of this story in one go. The descriptiveness throughout adds depth and creates an atmospheric tale. However, a few things were not clear right away. At times, a couple events were not as fleshed out compared to the rest of the book. It was not necessarily confusing, but it did warrant a reread in certain areas when it did not explain or jumped around.

The author creates a wide variety of characters that drive this story. Most of them are well developed with their own personalities, motivations, goals, and struggles. I did enjoy most of this story as I read, but at certain points I just did not particularly care about the characters. It might have been beneficial to expand on some of the side or supporting characters for this reason. It could have added more dimension to the story and make readers more invested in their fates.

I wish the ending of this story was cleaned up a little more too. The pacing did not seem to match the rest of the story. Everything played out so quickly, but not everything was clear or explained. It circled back around in the end but still did not offer up more answers or show the full picture.

Elizabeth Kilcoyne’s Wake the Bones was a fairly engaging and interesting read. The author has a skill I can see developing even more in her next books. I think she does an amazing job tackling the variety of themes she includes in the story. This book had a lot of potential, and overall I think it would still appeal to a variety of readers despite some minor critiques I had of it.

*Content warnings: mental and physical abuse, violence, suicide, dental trauma, guns, postpartum depression, drug/alcohol usage, animal death, blood*

Thank you to publisher, Wednesday Books, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review this novel.

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Wake the Bones is the story of Laurel Early and her friends in Dry Valley. A demon has awoken in Dry Valley, one who has a connection to Laurel's past and only she can stop it.

I give this 3 stars. Although the premise is good, the execution was lackluster. I did not connect with any of the characters. They did not seem to have personalities beyond their basic function. I did not know what any of them wanted/needed/desired to make them interesting and how the events of the book will effect them. I also felt like the book would have been stronger if it was told from just Laurel's POV and did not have multiple POVs, it felt distracting from the story.

The technical writing itself was actually pretty good. Kilcoyne used strong imagery throughout the book to give it that horror feeling to the book. It is what kept me engaged.

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Older YA Southern Gothic/Magical Realism, character driven story. Excellent horror writing in the scenes that called for it. A bit slow and boring in other parts.

It doesn't fit neatly into any genre that it incorporates, and the multiple narrators was distracting at times. The main character, Laurel, I wanted to like. Wanted to...but wasn't particularly attached to her. Not a bad thing, just a personality conflict, really.

The world-building is so well done, I just wish the characters didn't feel sort of flat. Just not enough development.

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A good book for an atmospheric read. I requested to read around Halloween and obviously I’m behind times.

I liked the plant magic aspect. I’m always a fan of magic.

Trigger warnings were a must for me. The abuse was something I could have done without.

If you like a good mix of fantasy, romance, magic, and horror….then this book is for you.

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An eerie read that's perfect for some summer horror. I was unsettled and gripped by the setting, characters, and writing. Will definitely be checking out more by this author!

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4.4 stars

WOW this was one gothic atmospheric treat!

If you like genre bending LGTBQ+ YA body horror/mystery in southern settings you will probably enjoy this book.

It is one of those "odd" books that readers either love or hate. Actually, I didn't give it 5 stars because in its "uniqueness", doesn't quite fulfill the expectations of any of the genres it touches. But I do have to say it is hard to review without spoiling the experience (nor so much the plot) so I recommend you just jump into it!

For me this book was all about the atmosphere. There was not one minute I didn't feel I was going through one of those spooky carnival rides.

I'm sure this is a book I will reread because there are philosophical layers to it and to the characters that I want to enjoy when I'm not so much immerse in the horror!

I really recommended it!

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Overall, this had a great set-up but ultimately feel a bit flat. Wake the Bones is a bit of a fantasy, horror, romance mash-up. That already had me intrigued, but there was a disconnect with the characters and plot that made it hard for me to get invested and that was made worst given some plot hole/inconsistencies that took me out of the book.

The pace of the book was also slow, so while I read it in two days I had a hard time staying interested. Also, while this felt marketed as a horror, that aspect seemed to be lacking. I can see how it was meant to work, but the disconnect really made it feel disjointed

I think this would be perfect for those looking for a book with slight horror elements. However, if you are a fan of horror already, I think this will fall short.

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Wake The Bones is atmospheric, set in a small southern town with a farm that is alive and a girl with innate magic. A devil has come to court her, as it has her mother, and she must tap into her abilities to save those she loves. This original debut is a combination of horror, mystery, and the fantastic. Readers of those genres will find much to love about it.

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I went into this book knowing nothing about this and I did read trigger warnings about the type of gore that was written. I kind of wish that I didn't see those trigger warnings because I think I would have been even more grossed out than I was.
This story takes place in a little small town in Ohio and we follow our main character named Laurel Early who likes to walk in the woods around her tobacco farm and gather dead animal bones and make art or jewelry to sell. She has just dropped out of college and her uncle who is her guardian is disappointed and says that she needs to act like an adult and work now.

There is also two relationships that form and to be honest, right when the story was getting good and creepy, the relationship between the two boys and Laurel and her love interest took over and kind of ruined the horror feel.

I really liked the paranormal and spirit aspect and I wish that it went even deeper. Overall I give this a 3 out of 5 stars and I am interested in this author's future works.

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I was very intrigued by the premise of this one, but unfortunately, I just couldn't get into it. I tried a few times but never got invested enough to continue, so I've decided to DNF it.

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This is a perfect blend of magic and horror! If you missed to read this in Fall, read it now. Wake the bones reads fast and its got an interesting concept in the plot—Taxidermy. Its a fascinating subject at least for me and I think it went well with the introverted main character. A bit dense and dark for young adult audience tho. Otherwise, the story, atmosphere, vivid imagery, and eerie detailing all complement each other.

Thank you Wednesday books via Netgalley for arc

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Beautifully written. Fills a great gap in genre writing with its Appalachian horror and magic. My one complaint is that there isn't anything that makes it distinctly Young Adult. I think it could easily be sold as an Adult novel. It would probably be a great fit for the 'New Adult' audience category that never really got off the ground.

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This was just ok. I can't tell if the genre + age combination is not for me, or if there was something missing from the story.

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