My rating: 2 of 5 stars
**Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for providing me a digital ARC of this novel via Netgalley for the purposes of review**
I cannot tell you how many times I had to stop this book; how many times I paused and walked away; how many times I seriously considered abandoning the endeavour of reading altogether.
Having now perused other reviews of this novel, I know I was not the only one. This book suffers from an atrocious pacing problem: it’s slow to the point of glacial. I find this incredibly frustrating because it’s got a fantastic premise, and promised to have a lot of great fantasy-action in it. And, sure, those things are there…in the far back of the novel. You have to trudge through pages upon pages of description that advance neither the plot nor the development of characters and that, instead of immersing the reader in the world of The Bone Witch, manage only to distract and bog down the story.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about lush and evocative description, but in moderation.
But even more than the over-abundance of purple prose is the lack of dimension to the characters. They’re straightforward to the point of being flat. I struggled to care for them and their actions throughout the entirety of the novel, and when you’re dealing with necromancy — something that should be absolutely amazing in this novel — the fact that the necromancer and the reincarnated are both wholly wooden is frustrating. They’re boring, and in a world that should have been interesting, but comes off as a combination of contrite and confused. While you certainly don’t want a brick of boring exposition, this novel really could have used some, especially in its first half.
Instead of over-describing everything, perhaps the author could have taken the time to develop her world and characters. I’m sure there are people who will love this book, who won’t mind that you have to slog through a veritably brick wall of a first two-thirds, a love triangle that doesn’t need to exist, and personality-less characters. Unfortunately, this book just didn’t do it for me.