Member Reviews

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book! The atmosphere of witches and dark creatures in the small town was really captivating. While the character backgrounds felt a bit vague and the world-building could have been stronger, it didn't take away from my enjoyment. Jewel was definitely my favorite character—strong, unafraid to get her hands dirty, and fiercely protective of her loved ones. Her relationship with Leona was also a highlight for me. The story did speed up towards the end, and some events felt a bit rushed and unexplained. I also didn't fully understand the motives behind the killings and found some of Leona's decisions puzzling. The book leaned more towards mystery and paranormal vibes than horror. Overall, if you're looking for an easy read with a cozy feel and an intriguing supernatural murder mystery, I'd definitely recommend giving this a try.

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I was really excited to read this book but unfortunately it really just didn't hit the mark for me. I found I didn't really connect with the main character and got a little lost in the setting.

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Root and Bone by Jessica Raney is a paranormal mystery set in a sleepy Appalachian town which means I was predestined to fall in love with it.
What I loved
- Well done mystery plot
-character development and story arc are tightly woven together
-excellently handled dialogue

Honestly, my only gripe is that it felt like there is so much more to be explored here with these characters. I hope the author intends to write a sequel.

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"Root and Bone" is a supernatural mystery. It follows Leona, along with her sister, Jewel, who are witches in a small town. Leona can see the dead, and the two sisters frequently help the townsfolk with their magic. When a young girl goes missing, Leona is determined to find her - questioning if she's been killed, where is her ghost? Leona also has dealings with a local group of werewolves, to whom her abusive husband is in debt, and discovers they are hurting girls. Leona vows to help the girls involved in both cases.

This was a fun and enjoyable easy read, however it felt like two stories smushed together. The initial mystery is almost forgotten for most of the book as Leona deals with the werewolves alongside dangerous ghosts and her love life. There are touches of mystery, but everything is solved too easily, coming across clues with ease and always managing to escape danger, so there wasn't a lot of suspense, thrill, or tension. I did enjoy the plot and the characters, enjoying the close familial bond the two sisters shared. I enjoyed Cale's character and was sad when he moved on, but he was there mostly for convenience and positive (ish) romance - though their ages are icky. Leona's husband on the other hand can get fucked, and I'm pleased with his fate.

There are nods to inspiration, including quotes such as "deserves got nothing to do with it". I would have preferred more exploration of the supernatural realm and all the creatures - we're just thrown in to a town with witches, ghosts, vampires, and werewolves with little explanation and no one else in town seems to be aware of this. Spoilers: the cause of the initial mystery and killings was a very background character with a flyby introduction. I enjoyed the gore that was there and would've happily welcomed more.

The Illustrations were a nice touch but took up too much of the page on the ebook, and the cover is beautiful. There were quite a few typos and errors, and could definitely do with another proofread.

Overall, this was an enjoyable, easy read, and probably a good entry level book for supernatural horror. Thank you to NetGalley for the arc.

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I completely fell in love with the cover of this book, it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. That was the first thing that caught my attention, but then the plot was also very interesting: two witch sisters who try to discover the truth about a series of murders that occur in their small town, women who have been brutally mutilated and whose ghosts return in a violent and vengeful manner. I loved the supernatural theme, we met different creatures from a unique and particular perspective that gave a touch of originality to the story.

There was also a great development in the practice of witchcraft, from the use of herbs and blood, salt circles and symbols, to different rituals that appeared throughout the pages. There were several dark and creepy scenes, which were my favorites. There were some strong topics in the story, such as domestic violence, human trafficking, and animal abuse, although I was not entirely convinced by how all of this was addressed.

The characters also got on my nerves, they even had reactions that seemed a bit strange. I felt that they lacked further development, especially in terms of everyday life. The relationship between Leona and her daughter was kind of strange, the girl appeared very little in the story. And the dialogues bothered me a lot, although I understand that it’s a colloquialism of the place and time in which the story is set.

But on the other hand, there was a mystery that was solved little by little with each new chapter, while new problems appeared along the way. That was good, how the suspense was woven into the story. There was a great display of magic in this book, although I would have liked it to expand more on the confrontations and fights, to have more action. Still, there were some adrenaline-filled scenes.

Also, it was a story full of drama and many emotions. There was even a part that broke my heart. And it had a bit of romance, as well as showing the bond between sisters. In some ways it reminded me of Practical Magic, but darker and less romantic, more focused on the crimes. And a little weirder too. In fact, there were some pretty strange and bizarre things in this book. It was a different and interesting read, although I expected more.

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Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC

This was a nice and fast read for in between! I loved the small town vibes and all the dark creatures, the vibes were immaculate. Sadly the vibes were the only thing. The world-building was weak at best and the characters were a bit one-dimensional. If you look into it too much this seemed like every witchy horror book ever written. But if you're just here for the vibe than this book is a good palette cleanser!

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2.5 stars So I read this book quite quickly, I've waited a while to review this as I wanted to give it time to settle.
I felt like their was a lot of questions left unanswered due to a lack of details. It feels like the characters don't really have a proper background and their isn't much world building.
The time period also didn't seem clearly defined which kind of threw me off while reading it.

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Unfortunately this book did not live up to my expectations. I had high hopes but I did not care for the main character and became bored around half way through.

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"Root and Bone" was an enjoyable read. The story centers on two strong witches, Leona and Jewel, as they work to uncover murderers within their town. However, the book leaves many unanswered questions due to a lack of detail. The characters' backgrounds and the world-building are vague, which takes away from the overall experience - for me, personally. Even through all that, the book is still engaging and enjoyable.

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I ended up DNF-ing this book. I didn't care for the main character (they seemed to rub me the wrong way), and the writing style wasn't my cup of tea. I would've preferred not to give this book a star rating, as I didn't read the whole thing, but unfortunately Netgalley doesn't let me.

I will not talk about this book on my platforms.

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Root and Bone was an entertaining read — I enjoyed the actual story and the characters. However, I don’t feel that the development of the story was very consistent. As the first book of what looks to be a series, I would’ve liked more of a foundation of the characters, the place and its magic and mystical inhabitants. We are thrown into the story by meeting witches, ghouls, and ghosts from the first page. But we don’t get much of a consistent introduction of these characters. There are werewolves and a vampire (but not a real vampire, and it’s not further explained what the difference here is), and some human townspeople know about the witches but don’t seem to know about the other mystical creatures… as I said, it’s not very consistent.

It was a fun journey that had me interested and kept me entertained until the last page but for the first book in a series, I would’ve liked to see more effort in setting up the story. Will I read the next book? Definitely.

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Big thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this digital advanced reader copy (e-ARC) in exchange for an honest review.

Unexpectedly, this book is quite good. I mostly liked the atmosphere of witches and other dark creatures that surround this little town (I think?). However, there are also a lot of unanswered questions due to the lack of detail provided here. The background of every character feels vague, and the world-building seems almost nonexistent. Overall, many aspects of the story are quite insufficient, but this does not diminish the enjoyment of reading it.

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Witches? Count me in always! Crimes? Double that! Then to top it off? Retro vibes. This is a home run you don’t wanna miss!

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dn’t know what to expect with this one and went in to it pretty blind. All I know was it had to do with witches so I said say less. You really get thrown right into the daily life of Leona and her sister Jewel and finding out what they get up to as small town witches. I liked the supernatural elements throughout the story besides just witches. This story was definitely more graphic than I was expecting considering the story felt a little YA at times. I did feel like things weren’t really explained and you just had to learn as you went along, which I think made the story kinda fall flat for me.

Overall, this was a quick, witchy read that would be good cozy fall read!

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I wanted to love this book but unfortunately it just isn't for me. I got 12% in before 8 had yo just put it down and DNF. Apologies to the author but clearly, there's no pleasing everyone!

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I wanted to love it, but I struggled to get into this book.

I find it was slow and lacking something. Nothing happened that gripped me or had me absorbed in the story. Overall, I'm sad to say that I found this book just, OK. 3 stars.

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Cover design and typography: 5/5
Book description and blurb: 4.5/5

I was so excited for this one, but the actual execution and prose left something to be desired. I had a hard time getting into the book and resonating the characters, and the exposition was much more tell than show.

Overall a meh for me.

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This book was just...kind of eh for me.
There wasn't anything egregious, but I didn't have a great time with it. Ending with an unexpected pregnancy was both predictable, and not at all what I wanted. I didn't feel a connection to most of the characters and I think there could have been more tension or sense of urgency.

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when a local girl is brutally killed and the police are struggling to solve the case, witch sisters leona and jewel deduce that supernatural causes are involved, taking it upon themselves to uncover the mystery.

leona, the central witch, is much more cautious and calculated than her sister jewel, as she aims to only have good intentions with her magic even though a dangerous voice calls out to her. jewel matches her elder sister perfectly, acting moreso on impulse than consideration, and these complementing personalities aid the sister’s in properly solving the crimes. although the characterisation in this book is fairly surface level, with these contrasting personalities alongside the differences of good versus evil in leona’s mind, raney is still able to explore the complexities of the human psyche.

the story featured a very quick pace, but the supernatural themes were still incredibly well developed. alongside this there was a wide range of occult types that made for such an interesting read and aided the fantasy in differentiating itself from anything i have ever read before. however, i did feel as though the anticipated battle seemed anticlimactic and rushed, as all of the previous build up of tension, characterisation, and fantasy, didn’t create an intense conflict and resolution. as well as this i do wish that some elements of the story had been developed; the dark voice that repeatedly attempts to destroy leona’s self control could have been given more information, especially towards the end of the book, as throughout the narrative it is recurring theme that leona has intrusive thoughts about harming others, and i wish that there could have been some physical repercussions from this. moreover, another aspect that was repeatedly referenced and then ignored is leona’s daughter; i was expecting peggy to have some place in the fantastical, religious murders, but then towards the end of the book she disappears and then returns for the final few pages.

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3.5 STARS. I loved the witchy, retro vibes to this book. It was well written and had a good plot. There is a lot of world building but this is needed as the book is a standalone.

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