Not Exactly a Cut Above

via Daily Prompt: Above

Word count = 395 / reading time = 1 minute, 40 seconds

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I rated this 2 of 5 stars on Goodreads, where this review is also posted.

During the first few dozen pages of Bone Music, the writing was so bad in places that I laughed aloud. The plot throughout the novel is so transparent I imagined I could see the bones of its outline showing. The book almost reads like the written version of a paint-by-numbers portrait. By the time that protagonist Charlotte “Charley” Rowe/Trina Pierce a.k.a. Burning Girl’s initial antagonist was explicitly revealed to be a puppet of someone she trusts, which I had figured out long before Rice revealed it, I was on the verge of giving up and shelving this as “did not finish”.

But at just the right moment, Rice revealed it to be a work of science fiction rather than simply a formula fiction thriller, which allowed me to suspend my disbelief long enough to keep reading a few more pages, at which point the pacing kicked into high gear and things began to become a bit more interesting.

At times, the dialogue is cheesy, and when it comes to psychology, romantic feelings, internal monologues and motivation, Rice gets a lot wrong. The characters in the novel rarely rise above the level of stock characters; it was hard for me to imagine any of them as real people.

Still, once things got rolling, the story did become more interesting. I do enjoy reading about strong, powerful, and empowered female characters, and Charley is that in spades. I also enjoy reading about abusive or controlling white males having their assess kicked (because they give guys like me a bad rep), and Charley does her share of that as well. One more thing I liked about Bone Music, I don’t recall seeing any spelling, grammatical, or technical errors in it, which seems to be becoming increasingly rare in modern publishing.

Although I ended up enjoying the book despite its flaws, I don’t know that I liked it enough to read any more in the series. I guess it’ll depend on how many news stories I’m hearing at the time about men behaving badly. If there are as many such stories when #2 comes out as there have been in the news in 2017 – 2018, I reckon I’ll be in the mood to read about some stand-ins getting hammered by a bad-ass woman.

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3 thoughts on “Not Exactly a Cut Above

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