Friday, January 29, 2016

Review: Behold the Bones by Natalie C. Parker


Candace “Candy” Pickens has been obsessed with the swamp lore of her tiny Louisiana town for . . . forever. Name any ghostly swamp figure and Candy will recite the entire tale in a way that will curl your toes and send chills up your spine.

That doesn’t mean Candy’s a believer, however. Even though she and her friends entered the swamp at the start of summer and left it changed, Candy’s the only one who can’t see or feel the magical swamp Shine. She’s also the only one who can’t see the ghosts that have been showing up and spooking everyone in town ever since. So Candy concentrates on other things—real things. Like fighting with her mother and plotting her escape from her crazy town.

But ghosts aren’t the only newcomers in Sticks, Louisiana. The King family arrives like a hurricane: in a blur and unwanted—at least by Candy. Mr. King is intent on filming the rumored ghostly activity for his hit TV show, Local Haunts. And while Candy can’t ignore how attracted she is to eighteen-year-old Gage King and how much his sister, Nova, wants to be friends, she’s still suspicious of the King family.

As Candy tries to figure out why the Kings are really in town and why the swamp that had previously cast her aside now seems to be invading every crack in her logical, cynical mind, she stumbles across the one piece of swamp lore she didn’t know. It’s a tale that’s more truth than myth, and may have all the answers . . . and its roots are in Candy’s own family tree.

Publication Date: February 23, 2016
Natalie C. Parker can definitely write great, atmospheric YA novels. I loved her first outing in the series, Beware the Wild, so I was stoked to get my hands on the sequel Behold the Bones. Although the gothic feel was still there and the writing was amazing, I didn’t have as much love for book two as the first in the series.

My main complaint with Behold the Bones? I just didn’t care for the main character Candy as much. Candy was well developed, but I just found her too abrasive for me. I didn’t mind that she was tough, I liked that about her, but she could be rude and obnoxious to the people who loved her. I liked her friends much more than Candy and would have rather read a book from Abigail’s POV.

The beginning was exciting and I was interested in the “curse” affecting Candy and her family. But there was a major slowdown after the beginning and I found my interest waning. Luckily, the plot picked up again about two-thirds of the way through and I was able to finish the rest of the book quickly.

The swamp setting is by far the star of the book and the chapters that highlighted the haunted Louisiana swamp were the most riveting. Although the hauntings start affecting other areas of the town, the creep factor went away up anytime the swamp came into play.

Although Behold the Bones wasn’t my favorite book, I still would read more from the author and look forward to checking out her future novels.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel for review!