#SPFBO5 Book Review: BOOKS AND BONE by Victoria Corva

(Title: Books and Bone / Author: Victoria Corva / Publisher: Self-Published / Publication Date: April 22, 2019)

Ree, short for Reanima, lives in an tomb complex populated by necromancers and other creepy beings beneath the modern world above.   This "city of the dead" has existed unbeknownst to regular human society and the residents of Tombtown would like to keep it that way if at all possible.  While most of those in Tombtown practice the art of necromancy, Ree has other ambitions, foremost among them is wanting to rediscover the ancient art of shape shifting.  Her parents are none too keen with this idea and would prefer that Ree focus her sights on her already predetermined station.

Being a librarian in the ghoulish city is a definite plus since Ree can scour the seemingly endless shelves looking for that one book that will impart upon her the knowledge that she is so avidly seeking.  However she never expected Smythe, a historian and outsider from the world above Tombtown, to accidentally wander into forbidden necromancer territory and cast all of her best-laid plans in doubt.  For when Smythe suddenly becomes afflicted with a curse that was supposed to be directed at Ree, she becomes enmeshed in a potential conspiracy where there are infinitely more questions than answers.

This book worked for me on quite a few levels.  First of all, I work in a library so the whole library angle was very cool, especially when you also factor in the dark underworld aspect.  It reminded me a little of Genevieve Cogman's Invisible Library series at times, which I am fan of.  The concept of an underground society that exists without the knowledge of the greater outside world really appealed to me and I wanted to know more about the history behind the conflicting societies.

Ree is an interesting character as she is constantly at odds with the expectations of who she should be that are placed upon her by her parents and the rest of the community of necromancers.  We really get a sense for her struggle to be her own person in the midst of a lot of inner turmoil.  I was instantly drawn to her as a character and Corva does an excellent job of making her entirely likeable and relateable.

Although this book has a slightly dark theme and setting, I found it to be pretty lighthearted overall.  I've heard some people say that it should be classified as YA or middle-grade fiction, but I would stop short of that.  I would classify it more as "comfort-read" fantasy in much the same way that the books of David Eddings and Terry Brooks are.  It definitely has a similar quality to those books in that it contains quite a few moments of sarcastic humor coupled with the fun fantasy elements.  

All in all I enjoyed BOOKS AND BONE and the only real issue I had with it was at times I thought the dialogue got a bit too long-winded.  But other than that I recommend this book without reservation to readers who enjoy their fantasy with a splash of horror, a smidge of creepiness, a dash of humor, and a whole lot of cool world-building.  This was a fun and enjoyable read and I look forward to checking out more of Victoria Corva's books in the future!

(My Rating: 7/10)


  1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review it, Nick. This is a lovely review and I really appreciate the comparison to Cogman's INVISIBLE LIBRARY series, which I love.

  2. My pleasure Victoria. i really enjoyed the book and can't wait for the next one!

  3. This sounds positively splendid 🌟 A dark ghoulish read on the light side involving a library 📚 Perfect for the season 🍂 Nice review, Nick.
    (You work at a library 😍 A place I'd love to work!)

  4. Thanks scarlett! It's definitely a nice place to work loving books the way I do. I appreciate the kind words too.

  5. Thank you for this blog. All information is mentioned which I was searching for books to read

  6. This one seems pretty interesting Nick!

  7. It is Lisa! A really fun read for Halloween.


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