Your Blood and Bones

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Pub Date Aug 27 2023 | Archive Date May 01 2024

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Kill the monsters when they’re found.

No matter who they used to be.

The girl with secret feathers in her skin and strange bones jutting out beneath her clothes is resigned to her fate. Her deformities mark her a monster and the stories say monsters must die.

When her family finds out and turns on her, a village boy saves her and leads her on a frantic escape. The girl believes her death has merely been delayed—until he mentions a cure.

With the world against them and the monstrous change progressing, they must cross water, forest, and field to chase the rumor that fuels their desperate hope. But is hope enough to keep them going?

Kill the monsters when they’re found.

No matter who they used to be.

The girl with secret feathers in her skin and strange bones jutting out beneath her clothes is resigned to her fate. Her deformities...

A Note From the Publisher

Content warnings for body horror, self-harm, and gore.

Content warnings for body horror, self-harm, and gore.

Advance Praise

"Lyrical, dark, and beautifully strange. Written in a dreamlike, fairy tale style that made it easy to read all in one sitting - and probably best read that way, IMO." - Angela Boord, author of Fortune's Fool

"Your Blood and Bones is a deeply unsettling yet utterly mesmerising fantasy/horror novella that explores the concept of monstrosity in all the most gut wrenching ways." - Esmay Rosalyne

"Your Blood and Bones is an excellent novella, a dark fantasy tale that will get directly to your feelings. If you are a fan of experimental formats, and thought-provoking themes, you should read it!" - JamReads

"I strongly recommend treating this book like a movie and reading it in one sitting. Its a real trip, and the ending will leave you thinking about it long after the story is over." - Timothy Wolff, author of Platinum Tinted Darkness

"Absolutely loved it. The writing is dark and lyrical, the plotting tense, and the characters' plight really tugged at my heart. I was hooked from the first page!" - Alethea Lyons, author of The Hiding

"A bittersweet tale of monsters and the meaning of humanity." - Kay's Hidden Shelf

"An amazing example of prose and plot you won’t be able to put down. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to read it." - Beard of Darkness Book Reviews

"Your Blood and Bones has the perfect blend of horror, fantasy, and deep emotion that never fails to capture my imagination. It is one of those stories that will stay with me for some time." - C.B. Lansdell, author of Far Removed

"Absolutely phenomenal work--if you're on the fence, absolutely check this work out. Anderson is one to watch. A true star with something new to say and a fresh way to say it." - 5* Goodreads review

"Lyrical, dark, and beautifully strange. Written in a dreamlike, fairy tale style that made it easy to read all in one sitting - and probably best read that way, IMO." - Angela Boord, author of...

Available Editions

ISBN 9781778288142
PRICE $2.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 47 members

Featured Reviews

Your Blood and Bone by J. Patricia Anderson is a fantastic novella that leaves you wanting more by the end. While the writing style is not something I am used to, it gave a very different, open to interpretation, type of view. The characters had no names and were only referred to by the boy and the girl. I quite enjoyed this novella and am curious if anything further will be written!
I have written reviews on Indigo, Amazon, and Goodreads!
Thank you for the opportunity to read this novella!

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This book really surprised me, in a good way. I gave it 5 stars, because it's such a good book and the characters are lovely.

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The cover is what really drew my attention to the book, the story is what made me finish reading

I really loved how everything was paced, It was amazing to see how the changes happened and the feelings that come with it.
I found the authors writing style to be unique, It slightly refreshing for there to be no names given, it gives you a chance to immurse yourself in the story more.
I definitely can't wait to read more!

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A dream-like story of monsters and body horror. The girl had a good, comfortable life, until feathers and bones started growing out of her skin and her family turned against her to murder her in front of the town. She is saved by a boy from the village, and the two of them run away together to find a cure for their transformation.

The tone of the story is definitely dark, and there's a lot of body horror, injuries, and descriptions of dead bodies (both humans and animals). Nobody in this story has names, which was confusing at times, but it increases that dream-like feeling. I think this is all less about the plot and more about the feelings and the transformation.

I'm feeling kind of mixed about it - the lack of names really made it hard to read, although I like the concept in theory - but it's an interesting and romantic horror story, and I liked the inspiration behind it.

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Your Blood and Bones is a novella that really took me off guard with how much I liked it. Something about the description just really drew me in. I took part in the cover reveal after reading the ARC so I can’t say that drew me in as well but I do think it fits the book really well and gives off the right vibes for the story.

While a morbid fascination with self-harm and death in this book might technically sound a little off-putting, I found it really well written about in a way that isn’t necessarily relatable to me personally to that degree but as someone that has dealt with some of my own darker struggles, I felt it very realistically done. The gradual worsening of the affliction was fascinating in its portrayal, both in its physical and mental manifestations.

There were several themes that really stood out to me in this book. Both choice vs. force as well as action vs. apathy were big ones that propelled the story forward. Looking like a monster vs. acting monstrous was also in the foreground a lot and something to think about for real life when we judge someone by how they look and fit into ideals rather than how they act towards others.
The only thing that didn’t work quite as well for me was the sudden interest of the girl in the boy. It felt a bit jarring. I do think though that the way that continued was handled well. Slow. Unsure. But understandable in their situation. Her seeming comfort in a scary time of her life. It was a thread through the story that carried well to the end.

Novellas are a perfect length to try out new things for both authors and readers alike so I’m much more likely to pick up a novella that sounds different from my usual reading than something longer. I’m really glad I took that chance here and am looking forward to reading more works by this author.

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Dark, mysterious vibe from the beginning making you hungry to keep going until you are finished. Who is the girl? Who is the boy? How did they become the "monsters" that they are?
This story sucks you in from the beginning and leaves you wanting more!

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This was such a bazaar and intriguing story and I mean that in the best way! It was super short at only around 170 pages and the main characters were legit named “boy” and “girl”. My best guess is they’re both around 18-20 years old and the book opens with the boy and girl fleeing their home on an island to find safety.. see they weren’t safe at home because they’re different and people who are different get killed by their families where they come from. They’re called Monsters, but honestly this is the real world and it happens every day to people who are different (though most of us, I’d say, don’t have extra bones and feathers growing out of our bodies). Anyway, they flee for safety and their goal is to reach the Black Mage on the mainland and it’s an adventure for sure. I’d consider this a YA/NA fantasy Novella, but it’s labeled as horror.. This was a really good book and a nice change of pace.
PS This book was created with an Of Monsters and Men song called “Your Bones” and that makes me love it even more because they’re one of my favorites!

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I don't know how I felt about this. I went into it thinking it was a regular novel, I missed the novella part (likely my own fault). I struggle with short stories/novellas that aren't part of a series so I get that this wasn't meant for me and that is ok.

I did find the writing style interesting and I think I would have loved it as a straight up novel. If you like fantasy/dark creepy things (which I love!) AND like novellas/short stories, you will likely love this book. I think I would read more by this author if I were to find a novel. I just want to know more about the lore and world 😆

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This was a good book. I really love the world building and the characters. The pacing was really good and it was an interesting story to read

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Came for the cover, stayed for (and was swiftly enthralled by) the premise.

The story is at once atmospheric and oppressive, bleak yet evocative. The themes of isolation, persecution and humanity (or lack thereof) are explored well. I particularly liked the "death magic" described towards the beginning of the novella and wish we had delved deeper into this aspect, but that's because I just wanted to keep reading and learning about it. I agree with other reviewers who have stated that the initial attraction between our two protagonists lacked subtlety, but was handled well thereafter. Their dynamic was reminded me of the film 'Bones and All' (2022). As the story progresses, we grow to appreciate the gentleness with which they cling together, and the warmth they choose to share with one another and th world at large.

Personally, I liked the author's decision to refer to the protagonists as simply "girl" and "boy" throughout the entirety of the novella - in fact, seeing this pointed out in other reviews actually enticed me to move this up my TBR pile. One characteristic of the writing style that did not always work for me, however, was the frequent use of fragmented or partial sentences; I feel as though the harrowing, hyperalert effect of these sections would have been amplified if used more sparingly. When allowed more breathing room, the prose is often beautiful.

Overall, I'm a fan of both the dark, haunting substance and narrative style, which makes me curious to follow the author's other works.

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This short story was very interesting! considering the length, I felt I got enough information to appreciate the story and understand the world. If you need a quick read that will leave you creeped out in the best way, I suggest you pick this up!

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A completely unsettling short story that I absolutely loved. Some people begin showing signs of change, protruding bones, feathers developing under the skin and if discovered even their own family will kill them. ‘Monsters’ are feared and when girl’s family discovers what she is, they attack her. She is saved by boy and they begin their journey for a cure.

Some of this story made me squirm but it was also completely heartfelt and I loved their story of resilience. Who really is the monster?

Love that this was created from the song Your Bones by Of Monsters and Men and off to listen to it on repeat!

Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review,

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Fabulous. Absolutely fabulous.
I am not the biggest fan of fantasy novels, though I will try one if the premise sounds interesting. That's why I chose "Your Blood and Bones."

I don't know the where or when this story takes places and that hurt nothing.

The girl with secret feathers in her skin and strange bones jutting out beneath her clothes is resigned to her fate. Her deformities mark her a monster and the stories say monsters must die. When her family finds out and turns on her, a village boy saves her and leads her on a frantic escape. The girl believes her death has merely been delayed—until he mentions a cure.

I could not stop reading this, reading into the wee hours of the night. I cared. I cared about this girl and boy and their unfortunate malady. I wanted them to live, to be cured, to love, and to find a happy ever after.

I was moved to smile and hope and as I came to the end, to cry. I could see the end of this novella as the end of my couple, but I too have hope. And I hope I see them again.

J. Patricia Anderson is not an author I know but she is one I will keep my eye out for in the future.

In case you can't guess, I highly recommend this novella.

Your Blood and Bones was previously published 8/27/2023

Thanks to @netgalley and Root of the World Publishing for the opportunity to read this eArc in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

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"Life was nothing but death waiting to happen."

Story is about a girl who is having monstrous transformations in her body and when her family finds it out they attempt to murder her but a boy from her village saves her and story kicks off while they are on a run and villagers running behind them. Boy tells the girl about a cure and they set on a journey to find the person who can cure the girl.
In this small novella I got attached to characters in the way sometimes full length novel can't make me. It was a small fast passed story were I was on edge of my seat not knowing what was going to happen how the characters I cared so much about were going to survive.
Ending wasn't expected at all, I have thought of something else happening but sometimes else happened and I am happy with the ending.
Highly recommended!

"But even though she had known death was inevitable for so long, she found she didn't want to be killed. Dying was one thing but to be killed by people who didn't know her, who had no reason to seek her out when she had done nothing wrong. When rested and waited to die in silence, harming no one. That was different."

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I love a good horror novella and Your Blood and Bones did not disappoint! I don’t want to go too into the plot as with a novella it is easy to get into spoiler territory quickly. Briefly, this story follows a girl who, upon being discovered by her family to be undergoing a slow transformation into a monster, is saved from public execution by a boy in her village. The opening scene of their escape is tense and a great way to bring you right into the story.

I really enjoyed following the boy and girl during their journey and seeing their progress physically and mentally. This is a dark story but one with glimmers of hope, love, and compassion throughout. Speaking of darkness, the gore and horror were beautifully written and had me squirming at times.

I’d highly recommend this to anyone looking for a great horror novella, especially fans of body horror. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this author moving forward!

Thank you to NetGalley and Root of the World Publishing for access to this novella in exchange for an honest review!

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When I started this book I was worried I may not like it as gore has never really been my thing, but the description sounded so interesting that I just had to request an ARC. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the book, and was sad when I finished it! Your Blood and Bones kept me on the edge of my seat for the majority, if not the entire read. I read a lot of thriller/mystery books and not many have been able to keep me seated in suspense.

I look forwarding to reading more work by the author!

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This was a fast paced, gripping and emotive read. The writing style wasn't exactly my favorite but I'd still definitely recommend diving into this one if you're looking for a quick but intense read.

3.5 stars ⭐

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me an eArc.

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Loved this beautiful story of self-actualization and learning to grow in the face of adversity. Our main two characters were sweet together, and I found their adventure intriguing. I couldn't put this down!

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Thank you so much to #Netgalley & #jpatriciaanderson for the opportunity to read this HIDDEN GEM!!

This book was wild in the best way! I love the simplicity of the characters as 'boy' & 'girl' - I wasn't sure what I was getting into but it's action from the word go. the idea of monsters with families turning on them is heartbreaking but once we find out about 'the cure' I was just as hopeful as 'boy' This was written in a style I'm not used to but I would recommend this book to so many people!

Plus - the cover *chefs Kiss*

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3.5 stars.

I liked the book, the story was interesting. I only wish we got a bit more explained about magic.

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3.25 stars

A nice quick read and pretty well written I just didn't really vibe with the story that much to be honest.

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Thank you to the author and NetGalley for providing me with an arc copy of this book.

This was such an interesting and unique short story and I loved the author’s note that it was based on the song ‘Your Bones’ by Of Monsters and Men. This was a great addition to the story and gives more insight into the origin of the story - P.S I hope Of Monsters and Men read your book too! After reading this note I immediately wanted to listen to the song to see where the inspiration came from. This is a band I love too and it added so much to the experience to go back and listen to the song that inspired the story - I would definitely recommend other readers do this too! I must admit that I don’t usually read the author’s note at the end of a book but after reading this one, I am definitely going to try to do this more in the future!

In terms of the story itself, I thought it was weird in the best way! You get thrown into what feels like the middle of a story which takes some time to adjust to, however, by the end, it’s so worth it and provides a really unique experience. I liked that you don’t get overwhelmed by too many characters with it being a short story. This allowed me to get a better impression of the fewer characters who were more heavily involved. I would love for this story to be continued in the future - maybe this could be a prequel to a longer novel? I would love to find out more about the ‘monsters’ and what happened to the others with this ‘affliction’.

I am quite new to short stories as I usually tend to read much longer books and this book is the perfect introduction to those wanting to read more short stories. I enjoyed this book just as much as some of the longer books I have read. I would definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy weird/unusual stories and those that don’t always end in the way you would expect.

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I really loved the idea of this story. Really, it has strong potential to be an entire series. I do feel like the overall tone of the book was monotonous; all the characters feel like they have the same characteristics. I wish there was more back story on them. If the book had started before their escape, maybe it would have felt better in a way. I think this definitely could be viewed as a prequel if the author decided to write additional books though, I would love to read a full series!

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Empathetic, lyrical, and visceral, Your Blood And Bones’ heartfelt narrative will creep you out and make you weep, all the while longing for more from Anderson.

Right off the bat, the book is hella creepy. The atmosphere snatches you away to this dark world as you follow the protagonists (an unnamed girl and an unnamed boy) running away from a mob. The creepiness intensifies as their truths are slowly revealed.

The girl and the boy are both humans in the process of transforming into monsters. As would be possible in a primitive society, they are hunted to be killed by their fellow villagers because turning into a monster is essentially a death sentence, a curse that the villagers do not want lurking about. But, the boy has heard of a cure, and that tiny hope takes the protagonists on a journey that is relatively short and straightforward, but full of emotional ups and downs, empathetically exploring their psyche as they slowly come to terms with their situation.

The very first thing I noticed was the atmosphere. Anderson has done a fantastic job of creating the atmosphere of that rainy night when our protagonists are running for their lives. I could feel the cold wind against my skin, feel the rains drenching me as our protagonists got onto their weird raft (I’d rather you find out what I mean by yourselves, I don’t want to take away the experience). Everything is so beautifully written that Anderson will immerse you in the ugliness of her world and its characters.

This book is the opposite of a feel-good cosy fantasy. It’s uncomfortable to read, with all the body horror, suffering, and mental turmoil our protagonists are subjected to. While you don’t really get much of the characters’ personalities and past, save for their monster transformations, they feel very much like real people stuck in a very unreal yet devastating situation. Despite the wavering hope, there is a perpetual drive to survive, to keep pushing for that thin sliver of hope which dangles in the distance. With all that the protagonists have been through, you want them to succeed, to get the cure they set out to find.

Lastly, the prose. The author mentioned in the afterword that she was inspired to write this book after listening to ‘Your Bones’ by ‘Of Monsters and Men’. When I read that, everything started to make so much sense. I love Of Monsters and Men, and now that I have that piece of information, I can easily imagine them using this novella to visualise a song of theirs. The visual absurdity, the lyrical prose, the visceral exploration of the characters, all weaves together to form a brilliantly bittersweet experience.

If you like slow-moving narratives that focus on the characters and their inner dialogue, lyrical and atmospheric prose, I cannot recommend this book enough!


What I liked: atmospheric settings, lyrical prose, visceral exploration of the characters, body horror, absurd imagination

What I didn’t Like: some portions and descriptions felt a little repetitive, but not enough to spoil the overall experience

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Thanks so much to @netgalley and Root of the World Publishing for this advanced reader copy of this novella before it's release on 8/27/24.

I was instantly intrigued by this novella. It was a hauntingly gruesome story about transformation and the true definition of monsters. It reminded me a little bit of CJ Tudor, how the writing can make you see beauty in the grotesque and how the meaning is deeper than it seems. This is the first I've heard of J. Patricia Anderson but I'll absolutely be checking out more from her.

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What a gory and disturbing treat this was!

Your Blood and Bones is primarily body horror and there are trigger warnings at the beginning for a heads up.

We follow the story of girl and boy, two nameless individuals on the run from their townsfolk who are out for blood. For they are becoming the monsters they so feared and now need to escape and find the cure. Their path is not an easy one, and the transformation is far from pleasant, but it made for a delightfully original story.

While the nameless characters were a little hard to get used to, I do feel like it added to the atmosphere. That little bit of "don't name what might not live" added some suspense in the back of my mind and kept the air of danger up.

The writing itself is beautiful, despite the horrors being described. It created a compelling read that actually left me wanting more but definitely not needing it. I am interested in what the author has planned for future tales.

Being based upon a single song made for a unique reading wrap up too! I've read books with soundtracks, but never a single song to a single book.

Thank you to Netgalley for a copy of this novella in return for an honest review.

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Your Blood and Bones is a wonderful book that takes you into a dark fairy tale-alike story, full of despair and fear but also companionship, love and hope. J Patricia Anderson brings us a story where we follow a girl and a boy through their journey after escaping their village, trying to save themselves and maybe, only maybe, finding a cure to their condition.

The writing is catchy, intriguing and dynamic, it's easy to digest and makes you want to be reading non-stop, you can easily read it in one sit. The characters feel very human and lovable due to their circumstances and you simply want them to be okay, yet they keep you in the edge of your sit wondering what'll happen to them next, the plot keeps you in a constant state of tension for most part of it and that makes everything more compelling.

Something I deeply appreciate is that, while we know that the protagonists are going through a monstruos transformation, is unclear what they're turning into, we get hints here and there but we never get the full picture of what they'll become or how much they'll change and I'm thankful with the author for this since it allows the reader to go wild with their imagination. I feel that in certain aspects related to the transformation and magic it could have been more bold or transgressive, but overall it was very very good.

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I really enjoyed reading this, it had everything that I was looking for from a horror novel. The characters were everything that I was looking for and thought the overall feel of this worked. J. Patricia Anderson has a great writing style and the characters were everything that I wanted.

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