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Ivory and Bone Hardcover – June 7, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Seventeen-year-old Kol is the oldest son of the High Elder of his clan, and while he and his brother are of marrying age, there are no marriageable women in their clan. The rhythm of Kol's hunter/gatherer life changes, however, when a group from the clan to the south visit to build an alliance—with two eligible unmarried women in their party. Mya, also 17, is beautiful and severe, and she and Kol begin a rocky acquaintance when she saves him from a charging saber-tooth while on a mammoth hunt. Despite his acts of gratitude, Kol cannot read or anticipate Mya's feelings, which makes his confusion about his own feelings even more complex. When Lo, a woman from the clan to the north, arrives in Kol's village with a dark intent, the plot becomes all the more complicated. Eshbaugh packs her debut with a classic love triangle, feuding clans, a well-drawn prehistoric setting, and a handful of fan fiction elements that will appeal to teens. VERDICT Buy this Stone Age, gender-flipped take on Pride and Prejudice if your readers are on the lookout for something compellingly out of the ordinary.—Amy Koester, Learning Experiences Department, Skokie Public Library, IL
“Julie Eshbaugh is a unique new voice with talent enough for a whole team of writers. Ivory and Bone transported me to a richly crafted world of life-and-death stakes, and I’m still under the spell of her storytelling.” (Amie Kaufman, New York Times bestselling co-author of Illuminae and These Broken Stars)
“Exquisitely written, ferocious, and haunting--what a breath of fresh air! Ivory and Bone is unlike anything I’ve ever read. Don’t miss this one!” (Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series)
“Debut author Eshbaugh portrays Neolithic culture with grace and authenticity. This is an involving story solidly told, doing credit to its inspiration and sources.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Eshbaugh debuts with an exciting and unusual adventure with emphasis on the power of storytelling.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Eshbaugh creates a spare yet memorable account of the interpersonal and interclan politics. There is much to value here.” (ALA Booklist)
“Eshbaugh packs her debut with a classic love triangle, feuding clans, a well-drawn prehistoric setting, and a handful of fan fiction elements that will appeal to teens. Compellingly out of the ordinary.” (School Library Journal)
“The Ice Age setting is richly described, and the sometimes desperate struggle for food and survival is palpable. Highly recommended; readers will be anxiously awaiting the next book in the series.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))
“There is clear authenticity in the descriptions, and they evoke the desperation, loyalty, and determination that a small group like this would have likely felt.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)
“Hands down the most unique debut YA novel of the year.” (PasteMagazine.com)
Top customer reviews
Kol’s deepest desire is for Mya to see him, to want him, to trust him, to be his. Mya is from the Olen clan and there is a bad history between these two clans that almost led to a war five years ago. Kol is unaware of exactly what the catalyst was that led to the tensions between clans but his fascination with Mya is the spark that starts his mind pondering. That spark has opened his awareness to why Mya and her clan are not so open to the idea of the clans aligning and later on explains the poor treatment of his clan.
Seems that clan Olen also have a few skeletons in their closet. Unbeknownst to either clan Manu or Olen there is a third clan, the Bosha, in the background who have a nefarious interest in the extinction of the Olen elder, Chev, and his family. Through deception this third clan is almost able to bring their plan to fruition but things do not go as planned thanks to the bravery of Kol.
For most of the book, I found the whole character of Mya to be a turn off. I wanted Kol to just move on and seek greener pastures. Had I been his friend I would have definitely been trying to push him to be sensible because the girl has issues. In the last quarter of this book my feelings for her started to thaw because as things came to light I began to understand the “why” to her behaviors.
Kol, now there is a guy after my heart even if he is a bit naive. Yes, naive because he is fixated on a girl that is not worthy of him or seemingly interested in him. I found his character to be well rounded and well developed. The imagery that I see when I think back about his narration in the re-telling of his perspective of Mya just makes me love this character.
I felt that the ideas were developed, the sub plots were tied together nicely and that the writing style was original, although there are some issues with the modern voice in a pre-historic setting. The story was pretty slow until the end where the climax was quite tumultuous. Also, I am not against “insta-love” if it is believable to me. Kol was inexperienced with females and given how the story was told he was fascinated by Mya but is that due to lack of previous options or experience? It just came across as “puppy love” to me and was hard for me to take seriously. If he had previously had female options and took no interest and then he met Mya and wowwzza then I would have been able to take his fascination seriously.
The biggest turn off for me was the first person voice. Everything is from Kol’s perspective and I get nothing from Mya’s. There is no sidekick to add to the discussion and bring some deepening of the characters. So I just have his thoughts and feelings on everything but I felt that they were the thoughts and feelings of a pre-pubescent boy. Any seventeen-year-old boy would have some inner thoughts that were not pure and rational. I would have liked to known Mya’s side of things. Her inner thoughts, how she felt about Kol, her struggles and desires.
There was so much good with this story but there were just some issues that I could not get past to fangirl about this book. It is a great debut novel from an obviously talented writer and I am hoping for more in the next book.
But excellent writing overall and I look forward to more by Julie Eshbaugh.
Most recent customer reviews
It seems well written but the narrative was weird to me.
I was super excited about reading this book.Read more