Review: Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh

July 4, 2016 Review 22 ★★

Review: Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh
Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Edelweiss
Pages: 384
Release Date: June 7th 2016
Series: Ivory and Bone #1
Genres: Action & Adventure, Family, General, Historical, Love & Romance, Prehistory, Romance, Survival Stories, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction
A prehistoric fantasy—with allusions to Pride and Prejudice.

Hunting, gathering, and keeping his family safe—that’s the life seventeen-year-old Kol knows. Then bold, enigmatic Mya arrives from the south with her family, and Kol is captivated. He wants her to like and trust him, but any hopes of impressing her are ruined when he makes a careless—and nearly grave—mistake. However, there’s something more to Mya’s cool disdain…a history wrought with loss that comes to light when another clan arrives. With them is Lo, an enemy from Mya’s past who Mya swears has ulterior motives.

As Kol gets to know Lo, tensions between Mya and Lo escalate until violence erupts. Faced with shattering losses, Kol is forced to question every person he’s trusted. One thing is for sure: this was a war that Mya or Lo—Kol doesn’t know which—had been planning all along.

“There is strong danger in a person who can create such powerful deceit
they can no longer distinguish their own lies from the truth.”

The idea behind IVORY AND BONE hooked me pretty quick: “A prehistoric fantasy—with allusions to Pride and Prejudice.Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite stories of all time so, clearly, I was excited for this one. Unfortunately, the aspects that were filled with potential fizzled out under the weight of an awkward narrative and sluggish pacing. 

A second-person narrative is unique, and I’m always game for something refreshing. However, there is a huge challenge with such a narrative, and that is deciding how you want to tell the story. In IVORY AND BONE, this style ends up making the writing more of a factual “this happened then this happened” style, so rather than showing it was telling. I do have to say there were some good quotes in there though.

If you like descriptions of seal pelts, morning meals, midday meals, evening meals, searching for honey, and repetitive saber-toothed cat attacks, you probably won’t find fault in the pacing. I, however, did. I became pretty frustrated and struggled through a good portion of this book.


This was made worse by the fact that, until around 70% in, I had no idea where the story was going. It didn’t seem driven by anything but petty squabbles that happened in the past and the day to day life of the characters. Thankfully, it did pick up after that, but getting there was a serious challenge for me.

I also never thought that we really got to know any of the characters or what they were thinking due to the style of the narrative. I felt disconnected from most of them. As for the romance – what romance? There was barely any development or focus placed on that aspect.

Overall, I struggled through IVORY AND BONE. The pacing was uneven and the narrative, while ambitious, fell short of what it could have been.

Rating Report
Overall: 2

22 Responses to “Review: Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh”

  1. Bec

    I’m not surprised this book was so torturous. I was hoping it would be good because prehistoric setting is something I’ve never read before. Shame it couldn’t pull it off :/

    • Alise

      I was kind of surprised, it did sound like there would be a lot of action but when you think about it, I guess there couldn’t be TOO much going on. Yeah :/

  2. Tracy @ Cornerfolds

    Wow, this is disappointing! I haven’t read this, but I’ve been really interested in reading it. I can’t believe a book with a prehistoric setting could possibly suffer from slow pacing! It seems like it has tons of potential to be filled with danger! I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this. Great review though!
    Tracy @ Cornerfolds recently posted…ARC Review: Change Places With Me by Lois Metzger

    • Alise

      I completely agree, especially with all the predators back then. Sadly, this one focused more on the normal day to day life of the people back then so it was pretty slow, at least for me. I know other people who have really loved it :) Thank you!

  3. Lonna

    When a book sets itself so high as “with allusions to Pride and Prejudice,” it better be damn good or there is only room for epic failure. And, I think that’s what happen–the promise was set too high. The thing I love about your reviews is that I always get more insight than the norm. Great review. :)
    Lonna recently posted…July New Release Giveaway Hop

    • Alise

      Ha, I agree. I didn’t even really expect a love story as epic as that I just wanted SOME allusions to P&P. Thank you so much! <3

  4. Greg

    Prehistoric meets Pride and Prejudice- that could be so good! Sorry to hear this one lacked a bit… I would also have thought there’s be a lot of action, and 70% is a long way in before picking up. I’ll have to keep an eye out for this one and if I can get it cheap may try, but won’t pay full price. It looks like it’s a series too?
    Greg recently posted…Cover Characteristics Feathers

    • Alise

      Yeah, I was expecting a lot more from this one. I would probably recommend that route. As far as I know I think it is going to be a series.

  5. Rabiah

    Aww, sad that this one didn’t live up to expectations! I was super excited for the prehistoric setting too :( Oh well. Great review!!

  6. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    ”If you like descriptions of seal pelts, morning meals, midday meals, evening meals, searching for honey, and repetitive saber-toothed cat attacks…” I’m sorry but this cracked me up. repetitive saber-tooth cat attacks X’D

    Yeah I was really excited about this one too at first…and then the reviews started coming in and they were NOT pretty. It’s a shame though, the unique narrative and setting had lots of potential but it looks like it was wasted here^^
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Harry Potter Month: House Cup

    • Alise

      The repetitive saber-tooth cat attacks were alright, it’s the honey hunting that did me in ;) All joking aside though, I usually have some patience for slower writing but this was too much. Agreed :/

    • Alise

      Second person is indeed rare, I think I’ve only read two or three other books with it. It’s pretty hard to pull off though. Thank you :)

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