TITLE: Not Even Bones
AUTHOR: Rebecca Schaeffer
SERIES: Market of Monsters #1
RELEASES: September 4th by HMH
AGE RANGE: Young Adult
SYNOPSIS: Dexter meets This Savage Song in this dark fantasy about a girl who sells magical body parts on the black market — until she’s betrayed.
Nita doesn’t murder supernatural beings and sell their body parts on the internet—her mother does that. Nita just dissects the bodies after they’ve been “acquired.” Until her mom brings home a live specimen and Nita decides she wants out; dissecting a scared teenage boy is a step too far. But when she decides to save her mother’s victim, she ends up sold in his place—because Nita herself isn’t exactly “human.” She has the ability to alter her biology, a talent that is priceless on the black market. Now on the other side of the bars, if she wants to escape, Nita must ask herself if she’s willing to become the worst kind of monster.
After reading the synopsis, I was so hyped up for this book and it was one of my most anticipated reads for 2018. Unfortunately, it fell a little flat for me for a few reasons.
First, I couldn’t connect with Nita. It was almost like she wasn’t developed enough for me to really get a sense of who she is and really feel for her situation. The synopsis also makes it seem like she is a horrible person, but I don’t really think that came through enough. She saves the live “specimen” which shows that she does have some morals, and then from there the choices she makes aren’t really all that bad. I mean yeah, she does kill people but in the grand scheme of things it didn’t feel like it was the wrong decision. If you were taken captive you would do your best to escape too.
Going along with that, the relationships that Nita had with all of the other characters felt…temporary. There was nothing that was really holding any of those relationships together, no background or reasoning and they felt very shallow. That said, I did really enjoy her interactions with Kovit, mainly because Kovit was probably my favorite character who actually had depth and a backstory that really gave you insight into his character.
The plot really dragged in the middle of the book because it was a lot of running back and forth from one location to another and back again. To be honest, if you asked me to tell you the sequence of events in the middle of the book, I don’t think I would be able to because of how jumbled it was. It was literally like, “we’ll run to place A for something, but forgot to grab something important back at place B, then go back to A, then realize that you have to go back to B to get what you needed from place A, then we’ll make a quick stop at C…” However, I did really enjoy the first part and the last part of the book because they had more going on.
Another thing that was a sore point for me was the world building. If you’ve read any of my previous reviews, you know that world building is something IMMENSELY important to me! The more background I have on a world and the people or creatures, the better. This book was lacking a lot of that explaination. I wanted to know more about how unnaturals came to be, I wanted more information on the different types of unnaturals, and INHUP was really confusing for me. Do they save unnaturals or kill them?
I was expecting more gore, more evil plans and plots, but really it was just a girl trying to do her best to save herself, and because this is a series, there was no resolution to any of the plot lines whatsoever. So basically, I did enjoy the book but the pacing was way off, and the characters weren’t as fleshed out as I wanted them to be. Plus, while the story was pretty gore filled and bloody, I was expecting more gore and more blood especially with the comparisons to Dexter and This Savage Song.
I would say that if this sounds interesting to you and you aren’t squeamish about dissections, then read the book! I know that a lot of people have been really loving this book so I seem to be in the minority on this one, so keep that in mind if you decide to read this book!