Ivory and Bone (Ivory and Bone #1)
By Julie Eshbaugh
Summary: A prehistoric fantasy—with allusions to Pride and Prejudice.
Hunting, gathering, and keeping his family safe—that’s the life seventeen-year-old Kol knows. Then bold, enigmatic Mya arrives from the south with her family, and Kol is captivated. He wants her to like and trust him, but any hopes of impressing her are ruined when he makes a careless—and nearly grave—mistake. However, there’s something more to Mya’s cool disdain…a history wrought with loss that comes to light when another clan arrives. With them is Lo, an enemy from Mya’s past who Mya swears has ulterior motives.
As Kol gets to know Lo, tensions between Mya and Lo escalate until violence erupts. Faced with shattering losses, Kol is forced to question every person he’s trusted. One thing is for sure: this was a war that Mya or Lo—Kol doesn’t know which—had been planning all along.
Source: I purchased a hardcover
Ivory and Bone was incredibly disappointing.
Jane Austen retelling/reimagining books in the YA world have been extremely dazzling and unique. I expected there to be a reason for the setting in prehistoric times and I expected a story that focused on interpersonal relationships because there was little else for clans to do in prehistoric times but create legends, survive, and carry on.
To be quite honest, I couldn’t help but feel like the book was a waste of potential. The setting, while boring to some, left a lot of room for real character development. The Pride and Prejudice inspiration seemed like it would be a story that was inspired and passionate. There was even a unique aspect to the POV because Kol, the narrator, spoke to you, a love interest in the story. But none of those things worked well. I almost feel like the prehistoric aspect was a way to strip down a simple story and make it even more simple and to the point. It is a story that could’ve happened anywhere, so I don’t feel like there was real storytelling or character development.
At the end of the book, I didn’t feel like I really knew anyone. Let me be clear, there was next to nothing else aside from characters interacting with one another in the book because that’s all there was. Someone hunted, they moved, they made pelts, they found honey, they told stories. It was a prehistoric setting. So to feel like I didn’t really know anyone meant that the ONLY aspect in the entire book that existed wasn’t very well done.
I just.. I just don’t get why this book exists. It didn’t really work. It was boring, forgettable, and it told a story that could’ve been whittled down to a few sentences because there wasn’t much else going on. Why would anyone do this story in this setting in this way?
To be honest, I would’ve been more intrigued if it was detailed in the way they hunted, made weapons, worshipped, and lived their lives. Chapters full of the hierarchy of each clan, complete with legends told by the fire would’ve made the book worth my time because there would’ve been something MORE to it.
The POV didn’t work at all. The lack of communication and lack of understanding that everyone had for one another just made the first person to second person narration simple (since Kol only understood his own life and assumed everything else about Mya’s and we never really got into Mya’s head because we were in Kol’s the whole time) and I think I would’ve needed to get into the head or daily life of everyone to have enjoyed myself.