The Bone Witch #1 by Rin Chupeco
Published on: March 7, 2017
Time away from this book helped me put it in its proper perspective.
Summary: When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.
In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha-one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.
More than once. No, let me try again. More than 10 times while reading this book I thought to myself. “What exactly is the plot of this book? Where are we headed?” Everyone knows that in Lord of the Rings the whole plot is to take the ring to a fiery mountain to destroy it. Yes, there are other terrific points and plots in those books, but overall the whole purpose is to destroy that ring. Plots are nice. Knowing where a plot is taking us is ever better – not all the answers of the plot, but I find it is important to know where we are going when I am reading a book so that I can be on that journey with them. It was about 75% of the way in that I realized the whole plot of the book is for Tea to learn. After she raises her brother from the dead she travels with another Bone Witch to learn her craft. That is the plot. She learns. Yes, there is a climax at the end. However, it wasn’t really the whole point of the book. It was the accumulation of her learning – sort of. So, I hope this helps.
Aside from learning the skill of her craft, one cannot miss another important piece of being an Asha and that is the clothes. Being an Asha requires you to dress well for entertaining purposes and to be very presentable at all times. So during your reading, be prepared to know every minute detail about what everyone is wearing. It is important in their culture and so it is important for the story. Clothes, clothes, and clothes.
Audio Review: I love audio books. They bring books to life and force you to listen to text that your eyes might skip over when reading. I usually will go out of my way to ensure I add them in my reviews since I enjoy them so much. But I cannot recommend this one. It was overly emotional at times that grated on me. It did get better toward the middle, but still it isn’t one I can yell on a rooftop and say “This work was outstanding.”
In addition, there is also another element that leads me to believe that the an audio book is not the best way to enjoy The Bone Witch. The book has two different types of chapters and has a different narrator for each type of chapter. One type of chapter is the story, while the other is a future version. Most of the book is narrated by Emily Woo Zeller, while the smaller portion, the future version, is narrated by Will Damron. Having heard the book and not read it, if I’m correct, the ‘future version’ portion has some visual designation that makes it stand out so that the reader knows this is different. It was several chapters in the book before I understood what was going on. I had wrongly assumed and probably due to me tuning some portion out (my own fault) that I thought the male narration was from a different point of view – another character. For this reason, the book is probably a better alternative to the audio. It’s just not setup well for narration.
Once I fully understood the plot, I was ok with the book. It’s definitely not a 5 star book, but it wasn’t so bad either once you got Tea into the main city where she learns her craft.