Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Book: Bones and Bourbon by Dorian Graves
Release Date: April 23th 2018
Tags: Fantasy / Supernatural / Paranormal / Unicorns / Necromancy / Spirits / Possessing / Huldra / Grim Reaper / LGBTQ+ / Transexual / Homosexual / Trigger Warning / Alcoholism / Gore / Death
Half-huldra Retz Gallows is having an awful day. First, he wakes up in the middle of driving to who-knows-where with an angry unicorn head in his passenger seat. This is almost normal, thanks to a lifetime of sharing a body with Nalem, a bone-controlling spirit with a penchant for wicked schemes and body-stealing joyrides. It’s probably a bad idea to ask what else could go wrong.
Jarrod Gallows left home with plans to rescue his little brother from possession. Instead, he got saddled with a dead-end job as a paranormal investigator, a Faerie curse, and a daredevil boyfriend who might be from another world. At least he’s got a new job—except why is his brother Retz here and why does this sudden reunion feel more like a bane than a blessing?
This day’s going to get worse for the Gallows brothers before it gets better. To survive, they’ll have to escape the forces controlling them, as well as the wrath of carnivorous unicorns, otherworldly realms, and even their own parents. Only time will tell if they’ll make it out alive…or sober.
When I started this book I wasn’t sure what I was getting into. I try not to read too much of the synopsis or to remember that much of it. I think the first 50 pages or so were a little rocky for me because of that but after that I was completely drawn into the story and I can’t wait to see if there is going to be more in this world and the Gallow Brothers.
Bones and Bourbon is told in two first person point of views. One is Retz, a half-huldra who is sharing his body with a necromancing spirit. The second is his brother Jarod who is also half-huldra with a faerie curse. The two haven’t seen each other in 10 years when supernatural life throws them together for some scheming.
One of the reasons I needed some settling was the world. There are a lot of different kind of supernatural creatures coming forward that I had never heard of. For instance huldra or hulder. I had no idea what that was. In case you were wondering, huldra comes from norse mythology and is a female that with a cow tail. It is suspected there is a whole race of them though. In this book huldra are more expanded on, given extra strength and speed for instance.
I ended up loving how everything was created though through the supernatural creatures. Unicorns for instance are not quite so bright, sparkly and full of goodness in this book. It was fantastic. I want one. The author clearly created their own image of all these creatures and myths, and worked them into the book really well. There are also more worlds than ours. That was a little more confusing but we got the information we needed. For this book anyway. There is a lot of room to be expanded on and I think at least Nalem would scream in the void forever if there wasn’t another book. Or worse.
Character wise, these guys really grew on me. Retz on his own isn’t quite so interesting but when you throw Nalem into the mix, the necromancing spirit, you get a lot of chaos. It was interesting to see their interactions, Nalem’s wants and in a way lack of control as he is stuck in someone’s body. I think I actually liked him best. Bitter revengeful little spirit. My favorite.
But I was also drawn to Jarrod in a way. He is a lot more closed off because of the situation he is in and doesn’t even tell his boyfriend everything. Jarrod is also a transsexual. Rep wise I of course have little experience with this, but from what I could see I think the rep was done well. Farris, his boyfriend, is a bit of a mystery, even from himself because he doesn’t remember anything about his previous life. We do get to know a bit nearing the end but a lot remains a secret. He is a bit of an oddball but he also reliefs a lot of tension without becoming the clown of the book.
All in all I am very pleased I found this book on Netgalley and I can’t wait to see more from this author.