Bone-Chilling Debut | Wake the Bones by Elizabeth Kilcoyne

Friday, August 19, 2022

 Wake the Bones by Elizabeth Kilcoyne

Wednesday Books
Publication Date: 7/12/22
Pages: 320
Source: Netgalley/ from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (thank you, Wednesday Books!)
The sleepy little farm that Laurel Early grew up on has awakened. The woods are shifting, the soil is dead under her hands, and her bone pile just stood up and walked away. After dropping out of college, all she wanted was to resume her life as a tobacco hand and taxidermist and try not to think about the boy she can’t help but love. Instead, a devil from her past has returned to court her, as he did her late mother years earlier. Now, Laurel must unravel her mother’s terrifying legacy and tap into her own innate magic before her future and the fate of everyone she loves is doomed.
When Laurel drops out of college, she returns home to her family’s farm and her taxidermy side hustle and hopes that everything will be as normal as it ever was. However, something is not quite right. Strange occurrences begin to happen around town and in its surrounding woods. Laurel must call upon her magic to save all those she holds dear. Wake the Bones by Elizabeth Kilcoyne is a haunting debut that is sure to chill readers to the bone.

  • The atmosphere is absolutely haunting. The writing is superb. Kilcoyne masters gorgeous—but  sometimes terrifying—flowery prose that really grips readers in. While this one wasn't a new favorite, I can't wait to read more from Kilcoyne in the future. Her writing, alone, cemented my decision in devouring anything she will ever write.
  • While this book is quite character driven, Wake the Bones truly comes alive with its creepy vibes. For example, the bones that Laurel had in her workshop seemed to have gotten up and walked off. The magical and paranormal elements of the novel remain a mystery for most of the book. The strange happenings with the bones has readers on their toes until the very end. 
  • There is definitely a mash up of genres here that truly make the book difficult to categorize it. Wake the Bones is a mix of horror, fantasy, and paranormal with a romance sprinkled in. If you want an unsettling and haunting reading experience, I recommend you avoid reading the synopsis and just diving right in. 
  • The small, rural town dynamics that readers get to experience felt true to life and added to the haunting landscape of the book. 
Overall, Kilcoyne introduces a character driven debut set in a rural area, complete with southern gothic vibes, a haunted farm, and nosy neighbors. While it wasn’t a favorite, the terrifying atmosphere gripped me the whole way through. I am looking forward to reading more from Kilcoyne in the future! If you adore some haunts with a dusting of magic and romance, you definitely want to read Wake the Bones.

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