Friday, November 4, 2016

Review: The Thread that Binds the Bones by Nina Kiriki Hoffman

Tom has always known he was a little different than most people. He's moved around a fair bit to keep that a secret. Now he has moved to the small Oregon town of Arcadia and is settling in as a cab driver. When Laura Bolte comes into the bar where he's at, looking for a cab to take her out to Chapel Hollow, he feels a sense of connection with her that has been missing from his life. Things happen rather rapidly after that as he is exposed to the strangeness that is Chapel Hollow and the Bolte clan.

Magic is afoot. There are people like him, something he never thought he would find. In Chapel Hollow, Tom feels as if he has entered the Twilight Zone. This is a place where people can fly and change shapes among other things. What is Tom's place in all of this? Just what is he capable of doing?

This is a re-release of a Bram Stoker award winning first novel. The  book is well written generally. It does seem sometimes as if there is a little more tell than show in places, but considering how much of it takes place in people's minds, I think that is perhaps natural and necessary.

The plot is interesting. It's set in a secretive community and its sister town which serves as a link to the outside world. The characters are interesting. In particular, I find Tom, Laura, and Carroll are well developed.  There is good conflict ultimately of the age old sort, good vs. evil. The plot is well done and moves along quickly. The last about 20% of the book goes particularly fast. I needed to know what was going to happen to these people. It is definitely character driven. The Goodreads synopsis says that while this is the first book in the Chapel Hollow series, it can be read as a standalone. And I think that's true, but the ending does make you wonder what would happen next.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. I liked it well enough, but wasn't crazy about some of the parts where there is more telling than showing. I have the impression that Nina Kiriki Hoffman's writing just got better and better after this novel. You might enjoy this book if you like fantasy and urban fantasy. No werewolves or vampires, just magical people with varying moral compasses. This edition of the book was released November 1, 2016 from Open Road Media.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.