Content Warning: Killing of animals
Bone Crier’s Moon follows Ailesse, Bastien, and Sabine through a world heavy with mythology and world-building. Ailesse is destined to be the matron of her people and is eager to Ferry the dead, but in order complete her rite of passage, she must steal the life of her one true love.
Bastien’s life has been tossed into ruin after his father was murdered by a Bone Crier when he was younger. Together with two other teens (whose father was also killed by Bone Criers), the group sets out to kill a Bone Crier to avenge their father’s death.
However, things go wrong and Ailesse is taken by the ragtag group of teens. Sabine fights to save her best friend, whether it’s with their famile or by herself. Nothing will stop her from rescuing Ailesse from Bastien and his friends.
But what happens when the Bone Crier, Ailesse, and vengeful Bastion start to fall for each other? Will Ailesse succeed in becoming a Ferrier or will Bastion rect his revenge on the young Bone Crier? Perhaps all is not as it seems.
- A map!
- Forced romance plot
- Weak characters
- Younger YA book than expected
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
While the book does have elements I love, i.e. fated lovers and mythology, the plot is quite bland and predictable. There was some urgency to the story, but it didn’t feel as if there were any real consequences. Also, the romance felt forced, even if it was a placebo effect. It was too quick and there was no build-up/proof of the two “falling in love,” hence why I called it a placebo. But maybe that was what Purdie was aiming for, especially since we discover Ailesse’s actual true love at the end (which then felt like this whole experience was pointless). But, if this is the case, then it would make sense to have the romance of the first book feel forced/fake.
However, I do think the book started on a solid foundation with Bastien’s motives and Ailesse’s. They each had their own goals and their own means to achieve them. So, how the characters came together was actually nicely done. It was the rest that followed that felt iffy. More could have been added, especially during the two weeks, the book skipped through. What happened there? Any character development or proof Bastien and Ailesse fell for each other? How about Ailesse’s home? What were they doing? Just so many questions that could have been answered.
Also, this book definitely felt like it was on the lower end of the YA genre than I expected, especially with the main focus on love. So it was difficult to understand their actions in certain situations because they made dumb ones. A lot! I will say, that if I was about 10 years younger I would have been all over this book, but at my ripe age of 24, it didn’t do the trick for me.
The characters were actually quite interesting on their own. They each had their own conflicts and motives, but together they did fall a little flat. None of the characters had enough depth for me, but maybe that is what the sequel is for, to dive more into their development.
Ailesse is a strong (mentally and physically) character. She goes after the toughest animals to gain their abilities, even if it means putting her life at risk, as we see in the opening scene. She fought to kill Bastien for the first half of the book and after that two-week time jump, she suddenly started liking him?
Her attraction to Bastien was more of a “he’s supposed to be my true love, so I should love him.” Which just didn’t sit right with me. She became very complacent and weak as the story progressed. Like what happened to her stubborn nature and drive? Did the animal bones grant that, too?
Since Bastien was fueled by rage and the drive for revenge, it was off-putting seeing him discard it so quickly. He held true for a while, but then that “love for Ailesse” came it and put it out. What about conflict of interest? I wanted to see him struggle more with his emotions about the situation.
Not to mention, I believe Bastien would have been a better fit with Jules, and maybe that’s where the second book is going. But Bastien’s overall handling of the situation quickly fell apart in the catacombs and with Jules.
I did find Sabine to be quite annoying through the whole book, though, and her actions were cringy at best. She’s loyal to Ailesse, yes, and struggles with killing animals, who just runs off randomly multiple times in a book? I think her actions and motives for running could have been portrayed better. Or, better yet, a different tactic to speed up time could have been used.
Then in the end, Sabine is all courageous and determined to rescue Ailesse from her actual true love. Where did this character change come from? We weren’t really shown nor told about it, and it’s out of character for Sabine.
Ailesse’s mother was probably the only character I became invested in. She had a sense of mystery around her and I enjoyed uncovering the truth about what she had done and why she acted the way she did. Especially with how she treated Ailesse versus Sabine.
Jules was quite annoying and I couldn’t get behind her logical thinking, no matter how much I wanted to. She made sense in most situations; Bastien should have disregarded his emotions for Ailesse and focused on their revenge. To add to it, Jules’s jealousy and outbursts were justified to some degree in regards to her relationship with Bastien, but she was just so damn annoying that I couldn’t support it. I cared less and less about her as the book progressed.
However, Jules’s brother was a gem. He was a sweet and nerdy character with a cute romance. I shipped them more than the Ailesse and Bastien. I would love to see more of Jules’s brother and his girlfriend in the next book.
Kathryn Purdie’s writing is quite good, though a bit repetitive at times; such as when Ailesse is talking about her bones and their abilities. But overall, Purdie’s writing style is simple and captures the world she is portraying nicely. However, much of the story is told to us instead of shown. We are spoon-fed realizations, history, and events, like Bastien and Ailesse “falling in love.”
This book had a lot of potential, especially with the mythology Purdie had established, but it could have been executed better. I would have liked to see a more stable/sensible Sabine and a more convincing romance. But overall, it was an entertaining book that held my attention; it just didn’t live up to my expectations.
The French integration into the book was a nice touch, though. I enjoyed learning the words and it gave me an overall feeling of Paris fantasy. It was refreshing having such a unique setting and mythology.
I’m not sure whether or not I’ll read The Bone Crier’s Dawn (the sequel) since I wasn’t particularly fond of this one, but it might give me a better insight into the plot and world Purdie is creating. So who knows. Maybe I’ll venture back around to it if my brain keeps nagging me about it.
What did you think of the book? Do you have anything to add, good or bad? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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