Epeolatry Book Review: Your Blood and Bones by J. Patricia Anderson
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Title: Your Blood and Bones
Author: J. Patricia Anderson
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Horror
Publisher: Root of the World Publishing
Release Date: 27th August, 2023
Synopsis: Kill the monsters when they’re found.
No matter who they used to be.
The girl with secret feathers in her skin and strange bones jutting out beneath her clothes is resigned to her fate. Her deformities mark her a monster and the stories say monsters must die.
When her family finds out and turns on her, a village boy saves her and leads her on a frantic escape. The girl believes her death has merely been delayed—until he mentions a cure.
With the world against them and the monstrous change progressing, they must cross water, forest, and field to chase the rumor that fuels their desperate hope. But is hope enough to keep them going?
Happy New Year, Reader! This review will serve as my first for 2024. If you’ve made a resolution this year, I hope that you kept it manageable. Personally, I’m focusing on working within my limitations especially since I’ve noticed that my bones are gaining new aches. But that might just be the fact that I’m getting older. It’s the loose feathers on my person that gives me the most pause. Though, that might just be the new down jacket I got for Christmas.
Introducing Your Bones and Blood by J. Patricia Anderson, a fairy tale novella. This wonderful little story is only 151 pages and a non-stop read once you get going. In a simplistic fashion, the story has no names. The main characters are simply “Girl” and “Boy”. The other supporting characters are likewise expressed as “Woman”, “Other Woman”, “Man”, “Big Man”, and so on. There are no special names for places except for the topography. Anderson wrote this in such a way that those identifiers aren’t missed. The story simply moves along because the names aren’t important.
Follow the girl and boy as they escape one danger after another in their attempt to discover a cure for their affliction. But if the cure exists, what is the cost? That, Reader, is for you to find out. What I will say is that I read this little tale a second time in appreciation of the dialog between the main characters and their first merchant encounter.
Take a moment to appreciate the cover before you start reading, because it will mean so much more once you’re done. Illustrated by Jenna Vincent, the image is as much a feast for the mind as for the story itself. While the jacket design is great, the cover design is deep, and sans words.
I’ve always said, Reader, that I have a lot of respect and love for short, deep, and punch stories. I found myself dwelling on this story and the relationship between the two main characters well after finishing. We don’t know these two people beyond the story. Background is limited and means little in the face of certain death, or at least as certain as the legends of their affliction says. That doesn’t stop these two from trying to find a cure or trying to make the best of the time they have left. The affliction they share creates a bond satisfying to witness, and it might keep you thinking about this tale long after it’s over.
Your Blood and Bones is a short but powerful book about making the best of every situation. Whether novellas are your thing or not, this will not disappoint.
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Joseph Pietris is a member of the United States Coast Guard by day and heavily involved in the horror community by night. His work has appeared in several anthologies. When not writing, he’s produced reviews and interviews preferring those works generally lost in the cracks. As an associate editor, Joseph has weeding through the submission piles of horror podcasts.
Joseph’s work can be found at Amazon.com: Joseph P. Pietris: books, biography, latest update