The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Let me start by saying that I really wanted to love this book, that I was just so excited to have this book and that already so in love with the cover!
One thing that the author did an excellent job at was worldbuilding. We were introduced to a completely unique world of magic, that is intruiging concept of imagination to my mind. We spent so much time in training school with our main protagonist Tea, that I truly felt like I was being prepared in the practice of Dark Asha magic. The author's voice feels authentic, like a storyteller, since really we have all of the book coming from Tea's perspective in a story of my life format.
I found the alternating timelapses of this plot extremely confusing, and I still haven't figured out some fragments of it. We switch back between two POVs from what happened in the past in Tea's life, to current day plans with Bard. In novels with these two seperate timelines, I feel like there should be a connecting point, right? Even with trying to close-read, I just couldn't find that point of connection that I was looking for in the whole book.
Something that I found extremely unrealistic was the way that Tea has "instalove" with Prince Kalan. I'm sorry, I have ranted about how much I hate instalove, how much I hate instalove, and how much I hate instalove. The thing is, this romance didn't even make sense. These two people see eachother for like 3 experiences total in the book, which I didn't think that "sparks flied" (ex. no kissing, no "i love yous",). Let me be clear, I'm not saying that romance is supposed to be physical, not at all, but I couldn't even identify the friendship here. All of these things later on when Tea was like "I would be willing to die for you" just didn't make sense. The romantic subplot was pushed far to the wayside, which I can understand, but then it's expected to be the main things that propels future Tea forwards. I just don't get it, I can't wrap my head around it...
And then also she forgot all of her other siblings in her old life. Now, I may be mistaken but I believe that she had three or four sisters, mom & dad, and after she changes locations to study and train for the rest of her life, we have barely any mention of her being homesick or her missing her parents. Sure, her brother is with her at all times, but she doesn't even seem to treasure their time (because of constricitions) when he's around. Realistically, not knowing much about her family relationships, you still should be showing some thoughts or emotions about the topic of "home" right?
The thing is, for most of the book nothing significant happened, I can't pinpoint when the climax happened (or if there even was one). At the point of about 50%, I was completely ready to DNF and would have if I hadn't read up on some more positive reviews that I found on Goodreads. But nothing more interesting happened after that, so I could conclude that the pacing was done too slowly and the story was being drawn out too long.
The ending was just so irrational, I don't understand the character, I don't understand why she's doing what she's doing... I couldn't wrap my head around what exactly she's doing fundamentally. I didn't know this, but I just found that there is a second book in the works that is probably going to be prone to explaining more of this, but at this point I'm not interested. What's the first book for then to establish the fundamental premise, right?
**Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange of my honest review.**
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