Expected Publication Date: March 27, 2018
This book was given for free, courtesy by NetGalley.
One seemingly ordinary day, Ben Oris is driven to enter the catacombs in Paris. Something calls to him. However, answering this call and following this voice might lead to unimaginable and dire repercussions. Entering the catacombs, he is driven to pick up a bone. When he does, everything in his life changes.
On top of gaining his medical degree, Ben now has to dive deep into ceremonial rituals and practices that are unfamiliar to him. As reluctant as he is to believe in Vodou, this desperate man is left with no other choice, but to follow his best friend, Laurette, into some dark and scary practices in order to save the ones he loves.
This was an interesting and a sort of new read for me, especially with the Vodou involvement. I have read another book by Carrie Rubin and fully enjoyed it, Eating Bull. However, The Bone Curse was one of those where my feelings were mixed and it had its highs and lows.
For this one, I really enjoyed the medical aspect that was introduced from the beginning. I felt like I was going through Ben’s crazy schedule in hopes of becoming a surgeon. Also, I found weaving in the paranormal, toward the beginning, was really good. There was an anticipation to see what was going to happen next and a fear of who else would be affected.
Unfortunately, when the Vodou stuff came up, the intensity started to become lost. This could partially be because of Ben’s constant wrestling of what’s real and what’s not. I found his character to be a bit too whiny and repetitive each time he mentioned how what was happening to him cannot be real, especially toward the end. The other part could be because some of the terminology used were words that I didn’t know, such as, “bokor”, “Lwa Met Tet”, “mambo”, and “chwals”. These were described once, but I kept forgetting the difference between the words. I also thought the ending “fighting” scenes/sequence went on for too long that I lost interest in what was happening. All of this made the pacing slow for me.
The other aspect that made this a less interesting read was not really getting to know Ben as a person. I felt the story was more plot-driven than character-driven, and I like a balance of both. There were times when the reader learned about a bit of Ben’s past, but he still felt distant from me, and it was challenging to sympathize for him. Aside from Ben, the other characters felt very one-dimensional, and I didn’t connect with any of them either.
Overall, this was one of those reads that I sometimes enjoyed picking up and other times not so much. I also found myself needing to read something in between this one, which is probably why it took me so long to finish.
I think I would recommend to those who may enjoy reading about a curse that needs to be broken and a story that is more plot-driven than character-driven.
Was this a book of my choosing or one for review?
8 out of 50 books for review for 2018