Monday, January 7, 2019

Not even bones by Rebecca Schaeffer

For Nita and her mother the 'family business' is selling parts of supernatural beings on the black market.  Over the years they have developed a rhythm, a pattern where Nita's mother brings home the remains of supernatural beings and Nita slowly dissects them to make the most of the remains - skin, nails, blood, and bone are all valuable if you have the right buyer.  It is a routine that brings Nita a certain amount of peace and routine, and she dreams about attending university one day and becoming a well known expert on the supernatural.  All that changes when Nita's mother brings home a live teenage boy and expects Nita to help her carve him up piece by piece.  Confronted with a living, breathing person instead of a corpse Nita does the unthinkable and defies her mother - setting the boy loose and helping him on his way.

Nita knew she was taking a risk, the last time her mother punished her severely for disobeying her, but the last thing Nita expected was to end up on the wrong side of the bars.  Reeling from the shock of being captured and imprisoned, Nita can only conclude that her mother kept her promise to punish her the next time she disobeyed and has sold her into the black market she once supplied.  Being a prisoner is a shock, especially when she learns that people want to eat her piece by piece because Nita isn't just a supernatural processor - she is a supernatural herself.  Desperate to escape torture and then death, Nita desperately tries to escape from her prison, but she is not their first prisoner and it will take some serious skill to escape.  Will Nita be able to pull off the impossible escape?

Not even bones is one of those books that is aimed at teenagers, but was thoroughly enjoyable for adult readers as well.  Right from the start it was easy to connect with Nita and get a sense of her world view which made the story very readable right from the start, and made her much more human.  The book is descried in reviews as "Dexter meets the Savage song" and in some ways this does the book a disservice because it is a fresh and original idea that defies being pigeon holed into one category or another.  This is an exciting new world set in our own, and like the best stories it makes you think that there really could be these supernatural beings walking around because they are so well formed and just seem so real.  Rebecca Schaeffer has obviously thought about the mythology behind the creatures, and has created creatures with strengths and weaknesses.

This is the first book in a trilogy and excitement that the next title in the series is called Only ashes remain and has a cover was quickly dampened by the knowledge that we have to wait until at least the end of the 2019 for the next book.  If you enjoy reading supernatural series with strong characters and a strong mythology anchoring everything together then this is plenty to like about this series.

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

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