Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh
Series: Ivory and Bone #1
Rating: 2 stars
Version: ARC Paperback
Published: June 7th 2016
A prehistoric fantasy—with allusions to Pride and Prejudice.
Hunting, gathering, and keeping his family safe—that’s the life seventeen-year-old Kol knows. Then bold, enigmatic Mya arrives from the south with her family, and Kol is captivated. He wants her to like and trust him, but any hopes of impressing her are ruined when he makes a careless—and nearly grave—mistake. However, there’s something more to Mya’s cool disdain…a history wrought with loss that comes to light when another clan arrives. With them is Lo, an enemy from Mya’s past who Mya swears has ulterior motives.
As Kol gets to know Lo, tensions between Mya and Lo escalate until violence erupts. Faced with shattering losses, Kol is forced to question every person he’s trusted. One thing is for sure: this was a war that Mya or Lo—Kol doesn’t know which—had been planning all along.
For the most part, a lot of this story went by in a blur. Nothing really stuck to me, except the very confusing mixed POV that I wasn't really a fan of. Kol's storytelling was overwrought with descriptions that did not really fit the prehistoric vibe. An 1800s English romance maybe, but not a prehistoric before civilization setting. Example being:
You come closer, and I'm struck by the beauty in the balance of your features. I notice the strong lines of eyebrows and cheekbones tilting up and away from the softer lines of your mouth. Your eyes - dark and wide set - scan the meadow, and I'm startled by the way my heart pounds as I wait for them to fall on me.
As a romance, I didn't really see the romance aspect of it. Any form of feelings from Mya were thrown in towards the end. It was full of miscommunication that could have been solved if people just explained the whole feud thoroughly from the very beginning - all this unnecessary hatred and tension could have been avoided. Mya herself wasn't very likable to begin with - though she had a grudge against Kol's clan, making some of her actions understandable, she was just a rude person in general. Her attraction to Kol more so stems from his heroic actions, without any other chemistry taking place.
It also was a very slow and uneventful book. Most of it consisted of the clan's visiting each other and learning about some shady feud that happened some years ago. Was waiting for some death to happen - does that make me terrible? All the villains get their due, but nothing of immense importance was lost. What I mean to say is that the stakes were not heightened with everyone making it out alive and well.
I'm not really sure how this could continue to be a trilogy, but if purple-prose prehistoric romance is to your liking...