Friday, April 6, 2018

Ink and Bone - Lisa Unger

Summary: In this explosive psychological thriller by New York Timesbestselling author Lisa Unger, a young woman’s mysterious gift forces her into the middle of a dangerous investigation of a little girl’s disappearance.

For as long as she can remember, twenty-year-old Finley Montgomery has been able to see into the future. She dreams about events before they occur and sees beyond the physical world, unconsciously using her power to make supernatural things happen.

But Finley can’t control these powers—and there’s only one person who can help. So Finley moves to The Hollows, a small town in upstate New York where her grandmother lives, a renowned seer who can finally teach Finley how to use her gift.

A gift that is proving to be both a blessing and a curse, as Finley lands in the middle of a dangerous investigation involving a young girl who has been missing for ten months and the police have all but given up hope.

With time running out there’s only so much Finley can do as The Hollows begins to reveal its true colors. As she digs deeper into the town and its endless layers, nothing is what it seems. But one thing is clear: The Hollows gets what it wants, no matter what. (Summary and pic from goodreads.com)

My Review: I’m pretty excited to tell you about this book­—it’s totally my jam (and maybe yours, too!). I read it quickly, but also not. I don’t know if you’re like this, but when there’s a book I really like I equally don’t want to stop reading but also don’t want to keep reading because then it’s over and then I’m sad. Now let’s get this straight right now—this isn’t some epic and sweeping classic that is so heartbreaking and gut-wrenching that everyone still says it’s their favorite book (here’s looking at you, To Kill a Mockingbird,). But it is fast-paced and interesting with a story that has some good twists and turns. It has some great characters—flawed and believable—and a fun historical element to it that adds interest and depth.

I have to admit that I’m a pretty grounded-in-reality kind of person. I am extremely logical. I’m not one of those people who just do whatever they want because their heart says it. I carefully plan, I rely on logic, and it usually works out for me. However, in my reading I like a touch of magic. No, this does not mean that I want wizards. We’ve been over this. I don’t really love fantasy. But a psychically gifted girl and her grandma that work with a detective to solve crimes? Yes. Yes please. I love that kind of stuff. So this book really did it for me. It had a spooky mystery and it involved some interesting people. Some of these people are interesting in a way that I won’t get into because it was kind of a surprise. But the addition of them was awesome as well.

One of the strengths of Ink and Bone was the creation of The Hollows, where most of the novel takes place. I think a critical part of creating a novel is creating an atmosphere. Because of the paranormal nature this book, atmosphere was everything. I loved that The Hollows was an actual character, and one that played a huge part. I don’t live in a place with hundreds of years of history, and so I’m always fascinated by places that do have that kind of background and depth. I can appreciate the weight of the events that happened and the impact they have had on a place, especially when these events affect and shape long-term residents and their relationship to one another. I think this kind of atmospheric creation is essential in order to maintain a creepy feeling surrounding a mystery in a place—you have to be able to believe that there are more than just humans who are forces for good or evil in a story such as this. It’s a fun balance between reality and that almost-untouchable hint of magic that maybe exists, maybe doesn’t, but certainly leaves an open question.

I’ve read quite a few crime and mystery books, and I’ve found that sometimes things get muddy at the apex. I don’t know if the author is writing so quickly to get all of her thoughts down, or maybe I skip through it, or maybe I just really want such depth and details and I don’t always get it. For instance—a whole book will be leading up to one moment, and this moment is supposed to be the resolution of it all. So many times I feel like I am left a little confused or maybe even just let down, like the apex moment didn’t live up to the rest of the book. That’s totally disappointing, right? That’s not how I felt about this book, which was great .There was one point that I was kind of confused at what I thought was a resolution, but it was later described more fully and so I am happy about that. I don’t like to be left confused. Especially when I have so much emotional investment in a story and its resolution.

If you are into crime/mystery and thrillers, I think this is a great book. I wish it was the start of a new series! Alas, I think it’s a standalone. But it’s a good one. And it’s a fast, fun read.

My Rating: 4 Stars

For the sensitive reader: I was happily surprised by the lack of language and sex in this book. There is some violence, but it is not horrific and I would say for the genre, it is very tame. Overall I would give this book a PG rating.

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