Oh Thank GOD for authors that know how to both use and upend all of those fantasy cliches we’ve come to HATE. Silver and Bone by Claudia Cain was FANTASTIC! It was fast-paced, interesting, sassy and sarcastic. I really couldn’t have asked for more.
This book was released on 21st October 2016.
This review may contain mild spoilers for this book (What I consider spoilers might not be what you consider spoilers but I thought that I’d put it out there just in case). READERS YE BE WARNED!
Jennifer Jones is trying to be a better person.
It’s not easy. She has a lot to make up for, considering that she’s an immortal blood-sucker with a history of serial killing. But at least she probably can’t get worse.
And for the last seventy years, things have been going well. She’s got a job, friends she cares about, a steady relationship, and she hasn’t killed a single human.
But something dark is on the horizon. A body appears in an alley, bringing up unsettling memories. A Necromancer warns of an approaching menace, and as more and more bodies begin to appear, repeating a very familiar pattern, Jennifer finds herself being framed for murder.
Someone is out for revenge, and they’re willing to kill to get it.
You might be able to ignore your past, but you can’t outrun it, and Jennifer’s has just caught up to her.
Before I begin I would like to thank Claudia Cain for contacting me and asking me to review her book because it was simply awesome-sauce (She very kindly offered to send me a free review ebook copy but because PDF + Julia’s Phone = Disaster, I opted to buy a copy off of amazon because it was like $2. Which I totally did not mind doing FYI).
Silver and Bone has to be one of the coolest books I have read this year. It was just groovy and exactly what I needed read right now. For those of you who aren’t aware, this book is a magic-realism/fantasy mystery/thriller book (Wow. That’s so specific). It was incredibly awesomely paced and the plot was wonderful and easy to read. While I will say that at times certain parts could be a bit info-dumpy, overall the world-building and everything else was very obviously well thought out and just amazing.
Also, you know those cliches that you find in quite a number of fantasy novels (Cliche is perhaps not the right word… more popular tropes? I think that’s what I mean), this book both has them and also SO DOESN’T HAVE THEM. The author has written each supernatural species with elements you would expect: Werewolves turning on the full moon, Vampires hating silver, Necromancers being creepy AF. But that is about as far as the “Usual” stuff extends. YAY!
Ah, the characters (cue happy sigh). I really liked the characters in this book. As a fan of the sarcastic sense of humour I LOVED our darling protagonist Jennifer. She was witty and funny and just badass.
So all else aside, I FREAKING LOVED the writing in this book. It was just brilliant and had me laughing out loud at times. When people ask me about this I will call these particular quotes about werewolves Exhibit A and B:
“Contrary to popular belief that also stems from fiction, when a werewolf shifts, they are not a person trapped in the body of a wolf. They are an overly large, exceptionally aggressive furry mammal, and given the chance, they will kill you, and probably eat what’s left.”
“There’s an astonishing amount of werewolves in America, and a large amount of them are loners. Most stay underground and off the radar, because it is, unsurprisingly, illegal to run around in the form of a large wolf, especially when you knowingly leave yourself in a position where you’re a danger to others.”
Most of the novel is told in the First Person (I, We , Us, etc. in case you need a small refresher) BUT it does occasionally switch POVs. On top of that, it also occasionally switches timelines – from the present to the past and back again. BUT don’t be alarmed because I personally think that Claudia has pulled this off magnificently well.
What an amazing debut. As someone who is quite the fan of magic-realism/fantasy book (especially of the YA variety) it was fantastic to see something different from the whole OMG MY BOYFRIEND IS A “INSERT MYTHICAL CREATURE HERE”! Silver and Bone was such a good story and I feel incredibly privileged to have had the author contact me to read it. I definitely plan to read the sequel (which is out) and hopefully any other Claudia Cain books whenever I get the chance.