Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5
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.
What a startling fantasy story Bones and Bourbon by Dorian Graves turned out to be. Dark, incredibly imaginative, not always enjoyable (trust me), with a universe so full that it needs more information to be complete in its foundation, and characters that both stymy and border on the profound, this novel will leave you muttering and loving it long after you have turned off the Kindle.
Where to start? Forget about any romance. There isn’t any. But there are characters who love each other deeply, which here constitutes a clear danger to each other. For love is a pathway for horror in this case… or not. Here both can and does happen simultaneously. And work out in ways which at the end leaves you with your mouth flapping open.
It’s a tale of two brothers on different paths…except that every time you think you have this story figured out, the author flips it on its head with a deeper, unrevealed arc. There are more threads here than an ancient Turkish tapestry and more I expect that are coming as this is but book one.
The characterizations are amazing, the plotlines convoluted and dark and the elements here are often shocking when it comes to relationships (pain filled). I said this novel was dark and often gritty.
I will tell you that a couple of times I almost stopped reading as I was upset with things that happened to several main characters. Unpleasant things happen hear. Violent things. Not rape, but painful actions (non con) and if that is a trigger, that one if forced to act against his will, then this is not the book for you. Because it will stay that way over the series.
That’s not to say there isn’t the occasional moment of tenderness here. But its fleeting and rare.
What a book Bones and Bourbon by Dorian Graves is. Filled not with your kindly glowing elves or with rainbow sparkling unicorns but with Fae far more fiendish and unicorns of your nightmares. This book is bloody, wild, scary, and hugely wonderful in a poignant, twisted wowser sort of way. I highly recommend it but not to all. It’s not to everyone’s tastes. But if you are an adventurous reader, love your fantasy, and love some startling twists and turns in dark novels? Here is just the thing for you.
Cover art: Natasha Snow. I like the cover but honestly any ocver would fall short because of this storyline.
ebook, 268 pages
Published April 23rd 2018 by NineStar Press