- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Broadway Books (September 1, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0804140707
- ISBN-13: 978-0804140706
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 47 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #295,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Secrets of Blood and Bone: A Novel Paperback – September 1, 2015
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“A supernatural thriller with just about everything you could want…an urban fantasy series to watch out for.” – SciFi Now
Praise for the Secrets of Life and Death
“A fine addition to the urban fantasy genre…marks Alexander as an author to watch.” – The Independent on Sunday
“A gripping page-turner successfully blending history and fiction with magic and sorcery; truly a wonderfully and uniquely inspired novel." - Historical Novel Society
“Immersive and fascinating…Don't miss this one.” – Mur Lafferty, John W. Campbell Award-winning author of The Shambling Guides
“Brilliant and multilayered.” -J.D. Horn, author of the Witching Savannah series
“With its intoxicating blend of historical detail, occult magic, and modern drama, Rebecca Alexander’s debut novel is rich with intrigue and suspense” - Jodi McIsaac, author of the Thin Veil series
About the Author
REBECCA ALEXANDER is the author of The Secrets of Life and Death. She has worked in psychology and education, and has an MA in Creative Writing. She lives with her husband on the coast of England.
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Sorry for the brevity, but it simply did not seem to come together as a novel, let alone a sequel that should have built on the previous book. The characters seem flat and the plotting seems way too contrived to really bring any sort of suspense or even simple engagement in caring what happens next.
If you liked the first book, it has some appeal. But if you are looking for something along this lines, you might want to follow the links to something else.
A lot of time and effort goes into writing a work of historical fiction, which is why I dislike giving Secrets of Blood and Bone less than stellar marks…but it simply doesn’t deserve them. Secrets of Life and Death, the first volume in the set, was well written and had excellent plot and character development. Blood and Bone doesn’t meet that standard. The plot is thin and the story drags. The Jack/Felix relationship is unnatural and unreal…it has the emotional depth of a puddle. Wolves and werewolves appear halfway through the book, giving this reader the immediate impression that they were included to check off a box on the “What I need to include in my novel” list. Characters move from place to place without coherent transitions. A couple times, I completely lost track of their location. Not good.
As another reviewer said, this book could benefit from a significant rewrite. Based on the first book in series, the author has the ability to deliver more. I wish she did.
Told in first person point of view by both Jack, the rather emotionally perplexed heroine, and Edward Kelley, a 16th-century alchemist/occultist portrayed here as a rather bumbling magician. The novel meanders rather disjointedly through Europe and New Orleans as the handful of characters endeavor to unravel a knot of mysteries surrounding the secret to eternal life.
The Secrets of Blood and Bone is the sequel to Alexander’s novel, The Secrets of Life and Death, and would be better served as a novella. The novel feels stretched out and rather thin in places with a few storylines altogether superfluous (Gina) The main characters would benefit from further development. They feel chaste and stoic to the point of being robotic. The sense of urgency heavily featured as a driving force in the plot is underdeveloped and woefully open ended. The link between the stories of Kelley and Jack is rather oblique. Frankly, at times the Kelley chapters are more interesting even if Kelley is rather meek and sycophantic; they offer greater action and a number of interesting dynamic characters.
The book ends rather abruptly and unsatisfactorily but surely in a way that allows for another installment in this insipid storyline. Perhaps some of the characters are sketchy because they will be further developed in the next novel (Callum)?
I have not read the first book and wonder if a lot of the holes in the story were because I lacked that foundation. The illnesses in the book were never quite clear to me with many words used repeatedly but almost interchangeably which lead to much confusion on my part (in example revenant, borrowed timer, ascended; skin walker, werewolf, lion; demon and angel). Perhaps the novel suffers from sophomore slump, the dreaded flaccidity that often follows the success of a first novel? Frankly, if the author had chosen to expand the storyline for either the character of Ellen or Thomazine and instead offered their point of view as the contrast for Jack and company, the novel would have been much more interesting. Clearly Alexander has writing skills but lacks confidence choosing to rely heavily on a series of second-tier historical personas rather than fully develop an intriguing character development of her own creation. Really – the characters of Merinello and Konrad are much more interesting than Bathory.
Bottom Line: I highly suggest that this novel be reworked. If you are looking for a historical paranormal novel I recommend you read The All Souls Trilogy instead.
What it's all about...
Ok...here goes...this is the second book in this series. I read a part of the first one but didn't get to finish it. I strongly urge potential readers to read the first one. I read summaries, too, and that help me but I wish I would have finished the first one. I may go back and finish it if I have time. This one again focuses on Jack...after she has drunk a tiny bit of her friend and scholar Felix's blood. This seems to make her more human but I am not really sure how she was before. She also has Sadie with her...and Sadie needs some sort of potion to keep her alive but I am confused about why...they arrive at this creepy trashed cottage and they begin to clean it up and hire workers and buy furniture. The house was a witch's house and harbors secrets so it's a really difficult job. Plants are everywhere. Then a weird neighbor pops in and demands a book and a potion that the witch who used to live there provided for him...he is not very happy when Jack can't produce it. While all this is going on there is Felix who is trying to find something that will help Sadie and Jack...and there are werewolves, real wolves, revenants and a feisty Raven! Oh and some chapters take place in the 1500's...whew!
Why I wanted to read it...
It was compared to Deborah Harkness's works and I loved those!
What made me truly enjoy this book...
Well...I loved the situations. The settings and characters were really interesting. I liked the plot. It didn't remind me of any other book at all. It was really good! I enjoyed it. It had tons of scary parts, yummy love parts, and weird parts!
Why you should read it, too...
All that I can say is this. Read the first book first and then decide.
Most recent customer reviews
By: Rebecca Alexander
This is the second book in the series.Read more
I don't like giving books low marks, but this one really needs to be revisited by the author and given the time this story...Read more