Review: Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh

27064385Title: Ivory and Bone

Author: Julie Eshbaugh

Publishing Information: June 7, 2016

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction,History

Series information: Book one in a planned trilogy

Format: Hardcover, 371 pages

Source: Received an ARC from the publisher via Edelweiss

Recommended For: Readers who are interested in the unique prehistoric setting and slow burn relationships

“It’s as if she’s always known him, and is somehow surprised to find him here—right here, in front of her—right where she left him before time began.”

A quick read, but rather underwhelming. While I found the setting to be very interesting, simply because how often do we get to read a book set in this time period, it was not enough to save the story for me.

The author did do a lot of research into this setting, and it’s clear that she was very thorough. The beginning of the novel fascinated me but after some time I found myself skimming through so many descriptions about the rocks, sky and dirt path that I couldn’t help but be frustrated. I understand that we need the world building and the author has to paint the picture for us but it was just the same thing over and over and I got so bored and found myself skimming which I honestly never do.

The main characters seemed layered and interesting enough. We learn much about Kol and his character as we are in his head hearing the story for the most part of the novel. Mya was seemingly unlikable, but I always knew there was much more to her character than we first saw. The other characters fell very short for me. Lo comes in late in the novel and we learn much of the strife between the two clans but it was incredibly obvious Lo wasn’t who she seemed. Even learning of her plans, her character seemed very…off. Like almost dual personalities? I didn’t find her manipulative, I found her to be sick in the head.

I see that quite a few people had a hard time with the narration of this novel, and though it didn’t bother me, I can see why people struggle. Kol is telling the story to Mya so we garner a lot of details that we would miss if we weren’t in the head of our narrator. That being said, things still get confusing at times. Then near the end of novel Kol’s storytelling is over and we switch to a different POV and I can see why this wouldn’t work for a lot of readers.

I will say that the novel was interesting enough to keep me reading and despite the frustrating descriptions and one layered characters it was a quick read. The novel ends on a note that made me surprised to hear that this is the beginning of a series. I can recommend it to those of you intrigued by the setting and Pride and Prejudice comparisons, but overall I found it not worth the hype.

Shelf talker: Ivory and Bone seemed to go on forever with inconsequential details and a slow burn romance that I just couldn’t fall for. The appeal in the unique setting was enough to keep me going, but I probably won’t continue on with the series.

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