As we spend more time with NetGalley and advance reader copies (ARCs) of upcoming books, we look forward to more reviews here at Game & Read. So without further ado, the first of Game & Read Reviews!
Release date: June 7, 2016
Premise: I have been a Lisa Unger fan for a while and was super excited to read her newest title, Ink and Bone. In this new novel, Finley Montgomery can sense and see the dead. Living in The Hollows with her grandmother Eloise, Finley gets involved in a missing child case and battles the forces of evil, human and paranormal. Merri Gleason is the grieving mother of Abbey, the missing girl who disappeared while the Gleasons were on vacation…in The Hollows. Ink and Bone follows Finley, Merri, and a girl called Penny throughout a tumultuous transition from fall into a bleak winter.
Thoughts: I enjoyed Ink and Bone but was not WOWed like I have been with other Lisa Unger novels. When it comes to the main characters, I was all in. Finley was well constructed with a very human personality, flaws and all, which I always appreciate. Her “superpower” was nicely portrayed and never veered into ridiculous territory. I also liked Unger’s picture of Merri Gleason as a grieving mother who won’t give up on her child but who is not a superwoman. The contrasting sections with Merri’s husband Wolf set them up as a nice contrasting pair and neither were portrayed as the one solely to blame.
While I loved Finley, Eloise, Penny, and Merri, I was underwhelmed by everyone else. I didn’t quite understand the importance of Rainer, Finley’s ex-boyfriend, and I was not super impressed with the sections featuring Jones, The Hollows private eye. I also never got enough of Finley’s backstory to feel satisfied – Unger offers tidbits from the past in a way that left me feeling unsatisfied with the amount of information I had. I did learn that Ink and Bone is not the first of Unger’s novels to be set in The Hollows, so perhaps some of those gaps would be filled had I read the others beforehand.
Overall rating: 3/5 stars. While not my favorite Lisa Unger novel, I enjoyed Ink and Bone and think it’s a nice take on the supernatural/ghost/missing child story. Sure it was a little underwhelming, but it is a great book for a creepy summer read.
[I received an advance copy of Ink and Bone from Net Galley. The opinions in this review are my own and Net Galley did not require me to review the book.]