Series: Ivory and Bone #1
Published by Harper Teen on 6/7/16
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Source: Edelweiss, Blog Tour
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing)
A prehistoric fantasy—with allusions to Pride and Prejudice.
Hunting, gathering, and keeping his family safe—that’s the life seventeen-year-old Kol knows. Then bold, enigmatic Mya arrives from the south with her family, and Kol is captivated. He wants her to like and trust him, but any hopes of impressing her are ruined when he makes a careless—and nearly grave—mistake. However, there’s something more to Mya’s cool disdain…a history wrought with loss that comes to light when another clan arrives. With them is Lo, an enemy from Mya’s past who Mya swears has ulterior motives.
As Kol gets to know Lo, tensions between Mya and Lo escalate until violence erupts. Faced with shattering losses, Kol is forced to question every person he’s trusted. One thing is for sure: this was a war that Mya or Lo—Kol doesn’t know which—had been planning all along.
When I heard that a YA prehistoric fantasy was coming out, I was ready to jump on board – this book sounded like it would be right up my alley! And it was – I thought it was a fun read, but I just felt like it was lacking something that would make it really special.
What Fed My Addiction:
- Prehistoric times. Yep, this book took place sometime shortly after mankind made its way out of caves. We got to see interesting details (or, at least imaginings) about the clans and the way they worked and what it would be like to live in a time when it was truly man against nature (and nature often won). Then, of course, there were wooly mammoths and such. The setting was definitely my favorite part of the book!
- Kol – I liked Kol, the main character of the book. I felt for the poor guy, who saw his chance at a life leading his clan slipping through his fingers because of the lack of a mate. (His clan didn’t have any females his age and there was only one nearby clan, which they, unfortunately, didn’t have a good history with). I also liked his complex relationships with all of the members of his family – his younger brother, who bests him at most everything, and his parents, who dote on him but worry about the future of their clan if Kol can’t find someone to marry.
- Second person. The book is told from Kol’s perspective, but he’s telling the story to Mya – she’s injured and he’s trying to keep her awake and conscious. So, the story is told in first/second person (he’d say I when he was referring to himself and you when he’s referring to Mya). I actually really liked this POV – it was something new and different, and I thought that the fact that he was telling the story to Mya added a new dimension to it because he was explaining how he felt about things as they occurred (including her!).
- Clan wars. The best part of this book was the relationships between the clans and how they went (very) south. The ending of the book was pretty exciting because that’s when the conflicts really kicked into high gear!
What Left Me Wanting More:
- Just generally wanted more. I don’t know why, but I just generally felt like I wanted more from this book. When I was a teenager, I read the Clan of the Cave Bear series, which I remember as being so incredibly rich with complexities the prehistoric setting – it was hard for me not to compare this book to that series (perhaps unfairly, since it’s been many years since I’ve read the series). While I loved the prehistoric details of this book, I just didn’t feel completely immersed in the setting for some reason.
- The romance. I also wanted more when it came to the romance – it was fine, but I never really found myself terribly invested in Kol and Mya as a couple. If they weren’t the only options for each other, I don’t know that they would have really wanted to be together – and Mya was so aloof for such a long time that I just couldn’t understand why Kol was drawn to her at all. Once I heard her story (which was relatively predictable), it was somewhat understandable why she acted the way she did, but I still just didn’t see why Kol would be all that interested in her – except for the fact that she was the only woman he could marry. I guess there was that. By the end, I was a bit more behind the relationship, but it took me a long time to get there. And since a lot of the book was about who Kol was going to marry, I guess that made me not love it as much as I wanted to.
Overall, I felt like this was a good read, if not a great one. I’ll probably read the next in the series to see how it progresses – I have high hopes that the next book will truly sweep me up in the setting and the conflicts between the clans!
***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
About the Author
Julie Eshbaugh is the author of the upcoming Ivory and Bone (HarperCollins, 2016). She used to have trouble staying in one spot, having lived in places as varied as Utah, France, and New York City. Julie eventually returned home to the Philadelphia area, where she now lives with her husband, son, cat and dog. Her favorite moments are when the unexpected happens and she cheers loudest when the pitcher gets a hit.