Book Review: The Bone Witch

Title: The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch #1)
Author: Rin Chupeco
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy | Witches
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Source: Library
Format: eBook

The beast raged; it punctured the air with its spite. But the girl was fiercer.
Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human.
Great power comes at a price, forcing Tea to leave her homeland to train under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch. There, Tea puts all of her energy into becoming an asha, learning to control her elemental magic and those beasts who will submit by no other force. And Tea must be strong—stronger than she even believes possible. Because war is brewing in the eight kingdoms, war that will threaten the sovereignty of her homeland…and threaten the very survival of those she loves (goodreads).

I can't even tell you what the Bone Witch was about. 
Plot: I was wary of this book because I hadn't enjoyed the author's other series, and it seems that I was right to think this one wouldn't work for me. I had difficulty comprehending what I read, and the tone of the novel was super monotone. For a novel full of magical creatures and raising the dead, Tea had a very nonchalant voice. I liked how the novel was told from two perspectives and encompassed both the past and present. By utilizing the voice of the Bard, I was able to see Tea as she currently was, and speculate on what happened to make her the way that she was presented. The past perspectives, told from Tea's point of view, helped fill in the blanks. I kind of had flashbacks to Heartless, I felt like I was waiting for that one pivotal moment that would lead to Tea's development and justly explain her actions. 

Characters: The Bone Witch wasted no time in getting the ball rolling, and it was the introduction to the main story that made it hard for me to get to know our characters. No one stood out to me because I was focusing on trying to understand what was happening. I was really disappointed by how lacking Tea was as a character, I was excited to see her development as an anti-hero but everything felt glazed over. There was no true introspection into her decisions and her thought process which was detrimental to getting to sympathize for her. 

Worldbuilding: Chupeco deserves all of the stars for how she effortlessly created a diverse world with diverse characters, but I had a hard time following her various lands and cultures. This novel was very rich in history, but I never felt properly introduced to it. Instead, Chupeco dropped a bunch of information with little context in the first chapter and it was 'sink or swim' from there on out. I sank.

Short N Sweet: The Bone Witch, despite its thrilling premise, was an unfortunate headscratcher for me.

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