Audiobook, Books, Debut Author, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Novel, Queer

Wake the Bones is a debut YA southern gothic horror novel with fantasy elements by Elizabeth Kilcoyne (4/5 stars)

Wake the Bones by Elizabeth Kilcoyne
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My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wake the Bones is a debut YA southern gothic horror novel with fantasy elements by Elizabeth Kilcoyne. The ebook version is 320 pages. I listened to the audiobook, which clocks in at a little over nine hours and is narrated by Bailey Carr. We follow our main character with a third-person point-of-view.

Laurel Early just failed out of college and returned to the sleepy little tobacco farm on which she grew up. She figures she’ll get back to working as a tobacco hand and taxidermist, all the wile trying to forget about the guy she shouldn’t have fallen in love with. But now a devil from her past has returned to court her, just as he did her dead mother many years before. Will she be able to tap into her own innate magic while figuring out her mother’s terrifying legacy before everyone she knows and loves is doomed?

I’m pleased to see more authors having a note at the beginning of a book noting content warnings, and then pointing you to their website for an even more detailed description.

I think this book leans on the New Adult side of YA. Overall I really enjoyed it! And I really dig the cover. Kilcoyne does a great job with her ominous descriptions and lyrical prose. This is a very strong debut and I’ll definitely be picking more up from the author in the future. There’s some great representation regarding queer people living in a small town with a few of the side characters that I really was glad to see.

My only real critique is that I wish that this book was multi-POV a bit, if only to follow Ricky a bit more closely during the latter half of the book. I can understand why the author stuck with just Laurel’s point-of-view but getting more in-depth knowledge on Ricky would have been really cool.

CW: mental and physical abuse, violence, suicide, dental trauma, guns, postpartum depression, drug use, animal death, blood, abuse by an alcoholic parent, homophobia

Special thanks to Macmillan Audio, Wednesday Books, Macmillan, and NetGalley for providing an audio galley of this book for me to review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

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