Cover Image: Wake the Bones

Wake the Bones

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Wake the Bones is a fantastic story about a girl who needs to find her magic to ward off a devil that has taken her land. I probably described it wrong but that was the gist of it. It was way more than I was expecting. The story is not only a thriller with magic but also pretty scary at times. I find blood magic kind of creepy so that did it for me. The characters are very well-written. The female lead and the guys she hangs out with are all strong, believable characters. The side character Christine, the witch, was also great but her place in the story was kind of short. I wish we had more of her. Anyway, the descriptions of the devil are quite something. The battles were great and the end had me a little perplexed but I figured it out. This is really a super good book with awesome sensory writing.

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Wow wow wow! I came in loving the cover, and eager to read Wake the Bones, and boy did I really enjoy this creepy story!! She perfectly captured a small-town, gothic-horror tale. Loved how weird it was!

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Emotions and character depth weave together with a touch of the impossible to create a dark and original read.

Laurel is haunted by her mother's legacy and known as the Devil's Daughter by the people in town. Although she's not the most joyfully seen person, she doesn't want to leave her home, either. Giving up college dreams, she returns to that which she knows and loves: tobacco and something nearing taxidermy. Despite her attempts to ignore the situation, she finds herself drawn to a boy, she's known a long time and would rather not get attached to. But things get even more complicated when her mother's past truly returns... and this past brings nothing good with it.

This is a very well written novel. The author does a marvelous job at bringing each character to life in an individual way, and letting the reader get to know them. All the while, there are original droplets of plot, twists, characteristics and turns, which give every aspect an unusual twist. Laurel herself is very unusual...not in her mannerisms or logic, but her interests surround two very unusual areas with tobacco and bones. I can't remember a tale which has the heroine diving into these directions. She's also a bit of a misfit thanks to her past, and yet, she's a strong person, who refuses to let others bring her down. There's a lot to root for with Laurel and a lot to get to know.

The tale weaves in odd directions as well, allowing darkness to flow in unexpected directions. Her mother's past and it's secrets set up the perfect atmosphere for a dark and tense tale. But it's not always in the way the reader might expect. The author allows the strange to meld with the shadows to create a very intriguing read.

Despite all of this...and it is well done...this wasn't a book for me. I'm more of an action person and this one runs a bit too slow, especially in the first 20%, for my taste. The plot does move forward, but this tale builds more on the emotional end than on the high tension. But while it isn't my kind of thing, I'd be wrong to say it isn't well done because the writing, scenes, characters and originality are there and will capture readers, who are geared to those type of reads. I received an ARC and found it well done

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This creepy story is perfect for those who enjoyed The Bone Houses, but want a more contemporary take The farm Laurel Early grew up on is coming to life, including the bones that are walking about. This book is very atmosphere with pretty prose that hits home that haunting feel to the story.

I grew up in a small town and I thought this book nailed those growing up in a small town vibes perfectly, including the agonizing over whether to stay or look for better opportunities elsewhere as well as those who aren't accepted by the rest of town.. Add creepy bone monsters on top of that and you get a lose of spooky descriptions and scenes full of dread. The horror elements were weird and unique and I mean that in a good way. It made the book memorable. Some of the character POVs felt unnecessary and I wish there had been more development of Laurel's romance. Overall the spooky scenes and descriptions are what is going to stay with me from this book.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review

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There's much to like about Kilcoyne's debut novel, but what is sticking with me the most is her gorgeous use of language. Her ability to evoke an place and a time: I could feel summer and smell the rot as I read this book and I loved it.

It loosely reminded me of The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater in the stubborn, flawed protagonist with her group of flawed, stubborn boys. It loosely reminded me of The Night Circus in how deliciously atmosphereic it was. But Wake the Bones was its own book entirely.

Is it a perfect book? No. But do I mind that? Also no. So next year when it's published, a print copy will be coming home with me.

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an ebook ARC. All thoughts are mine alone.

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If you're in the mood for a creepy AF read, may I present WAKE THE BONES by Elizabeth Kilcoyne! This book flat-out scared me in places. It's haunting and the story leaves many things open, but in the way of gothic-fantasy-horror, where (as a reader) I'm not expecting everything to be explained--that's part of the charm, imo. Overall, I enjoyed this weird, twisty story and look forward to reading more from Kilcoyne.

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Thank you for my copy of Wake The Bones. I really enjoyed this creepy story. If you enjoyed The Bone Houses then this book will be right up your alley. Perfect spooky vibes!

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Thank you Netgalley and St. Martin's Press/Wednesday Books for allowing me to read and review this book! All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Wake the Bones is about Laurel Early, who comes home from dropping out of college thinking life would go back to the way it was. Little does she know, things are stirring awake in her small town. Laurel and her friends Isaac, Garrett and Ricky, have been experiencing very strange and creepy events centered around a devil creature trying to court Laurel the way it did when her mother was alive. Digging deep into her mother's past she must tap into her own magic to help save her friends and their futures from a horrific destiny.

My review:
I'm going to be honest here... this book is very strange, weird, creepy, and awesome at the same time. I love those kind of stories and I'm always looking for the "black-sheep" in the YA book community. The writing is dark, atmospheric, and gave me the darn chills at night while reading some of the spookier scenes. Wake the Bones is a book I would recommend if you enjoyed The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones, which also deals with bones and undead things creeping people out.

The POV is set in the third person, not just through Laurel's eyes but through some of her friends and Christine the resident "weird lady". I did have a bit of hard time with Christine's chapters but I enjoyed Laurel and her friends. Their issues are all realistic in the thriller setting and relatable to an extent. I personally believe some people might have an issue connecting with the book with how strange the story is if they are not into this kind of read but I highly recommend this book during Halloween or the start of the Fall season.

4 stars

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I’m not even really sure where to begin with this one. I sat down to write this review, but I am just having a hard time putting it into words. So hopefully it will make sense to you, haha. It’s just a very weird book and was different than what I was expecting. This usually isn’t a bad thing but it left a lot to desire when it came to development.

The book is told from multiple perspectives told in third person. Usually I would be on board with this but I didn’t feel like all of them were necessary. It also was a tad confusing at first because I wasn’t expecting their to be more than one point-of-view. The reason I feel that it was unnecessary at times was due to the fact that it makes it hard to have character development when the book is already short and the reader is going back in forth between point-of-views. This could also be due to there being two different plot points that really didn’t mesh together or give the main one, the horror aspect, any extra details. A couple of the characters did realize what they wanted out of life but again, it wasn’t the main point of the story and it gets lost in the rest of the action.

As I previously mentioned, the plot felt like two separate stories. There was the romance between two characters and then the horror/haunting part that involved the character we met first, Laurel. It was intriguing at the beginning and I thought her hobbies of taxidermy and collecting bones was odd but again, intriguing. The thing is there isn’t enough development and I am left with more questions than answers. I’m still so very confused and feel like I learned nothing. It was just very disappointing.

I will leave the Content Warning from the author here and will say that it can be on gory side: mental and physical abuse, violence, suicide, guns, postpartum depression, drug usage, animal death, and blood.

Overall, this was okay. I honestly feel like I would have loved it more if it felt more cohesive as well as having more answers to the horror part of the story.

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I wrestled between giving this book 2 stars or 3, so here we are. Truthfully, I just did not enjoy reading this book at all. I felt like there were holes in the plot and a majority of the story was underdeveloped or unexplained. The idea was alright but I never fully engaged. I think there is a ton of potential for Kilcoyne to write an amazing book, Wake The Bones just isn't it.

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*Spoiler free*

Just from this title, I knew I wanted to read this book. I didn't even need to know much else. I knew it would be about something dark and sinister rising from the earth, and a girl who is trying to stop the devil from coming after her like it did her mother. That's basically all I needed to know to know that I wanted to read this book. Trigger warnings: mental and physical abuse, violence, suicide, blood

This book was WEIRD, and I mean that as a huge compliment. It's the kind of weird that blooms in your veins, makes it's home under your skin. It's the kind of weird that haunts, and it's a book that is so, so good.

This book embraces everything that it is. It's bizarre and twisted and horrifying and it completely leans into that. And honestly it's what I love about it.

Honestly everything I loved about this book I loved because it was weird. The writing, the magic, the characters, the plot, everything was downright weird. I know I'm saying that a lot, but it's true. The magic, it's intense and biting and comes in waves. The characters, there emotions are bright swells that seem to spill over the hills. The plot is something that sweeps through the book, a darkness that lurks in the seems until it infects everything around it. The emotions are complicated and thorny, so much pain and hurt between them all, but also so much love. All of this ties together into something that is sharp, but lovely, and very, very weird.

The writing was also something that I really loved. It's twisty in a way, seeming to stretch and pull everything in different ways, seeing how things move. It gives the book a roundedness to it, makes it seem like every corner is explored. It felt very cool, and I really, really liked it.

This book isn't about ghosts, but it felt very haunting. It's about something waking up once again. And it's hungry. It's horrifying, and full of death, but also a type of life too. There's a lot of bones and a girl trying to pull magic so protect those she loves. It won't be a book for everyone, but I really, really loved it. It's packed with so much feeling, about friends trying to hold onto each other and keep each other safe, and trying to fight off what is coming to get them. It's so, so good.

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If you've started making your 2022 TBR and are on the lookout for an supernatural and atmospheric story to read Wake the Bones by Elizabeth Kilcoyne is must book to read.
The story is unique, and the world building is executed superbly. The characters are complex, relatable, endearing and interesting.
Overall, I enjoyed this debut novel and definitely looking forward to reading this author's next book!

A special thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press & Wednesday Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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"Wake The Bones" was a little too strange for my taste. However, if you like books about the occult, magic, witches, the devil, monsters, and the intertwining of life and death, it might be a book for you. The book is well written. The plot is creative and there are plenty of surprises. The characters are well developed and the reader will connect with them -- some are likable, some are repugnant, some are misunderstood, some are frustrating. Dry Valley is not a place you want to be if you have the option to get away, but it is a place you can choose to be content with. The author does a good job of exploring the pull of the familiar versus the push of opportunity and escape, and how that tension manifests differently for each of the characters.

I received a copy of the e-book via NetGalley in exchange for a review.

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