I had a lot of unsure feelings about The Bone Witch while reading it. I don’t love reading fantasy books set in a completely new world; it’s hard for me to have an anchor to them, something that connects me to and keeps me in that world. Too often authors describe the world as though what we should see is familiar, rather than it being described by an outsider that we can relate to. I did have a hard time finding that connection but ultimately ended up really into it.
The book is confusing to read until you figure a few things out. The text alternates between regular and italicized; the regular being the story of Tea’s journey to become a bone witch (in the past) and italics being a few years down the road (the “present”). What bothers me is that in a few years (and we get this pretty early on) everything has gone to shit for Tea. I didn’t like reading on one page about her wonder for being an asha and a developing crush and the next… well, the utter destruction she’s planning to unleash. It was like telling the reader, “She’s riding her bike to the store! But she didn’t make it to the store. She crashes her bike! She got groceries the next day.” Okay, that’s a terrible example, but it’s no fun reading about someone’s future happening and knowing bad things way in advance at the same time. I hope there’s a point to writing this way. Oh, and the italicized text is from a different point of view.
The world this author created is pretty interesting but not perfect. The dialogue isn’t great, the descriptions and settings aren’t great, and it was really difficult to keep reading through the book for the majority of it. It did pick up quite a bit in maybe the final quarter of the book and I am interested to read more, but if it keeps up in the same format I can’t say that I’d want to read too many books. I plan to keep an eye out for the next book in the series.
I was given a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.