Friday, June 3, 2016

Review : Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh

*Feature Friday ARC Review is a meme hosted by The Tattered Page to feature YA books that have not yet been released by reviewing them.*
*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Harper Teen

Release DateJune 7, 2016
Pages: 384
Source: Own

The Story:

Debut author Julie Eshbaugh’s sweeping prehistoric fantasy—with allusions to Pride andPrejudice—will enthrall readers with high-stakes survival, blinding betrayal, and star-crossed love.
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.
With riveting action and illustrative prose that leaps from the page, newcomer Julie Eshbaugh will have readers mesmerized. 
via Amazon


My Review

Tag Line:

A sweeping prehistoric fantasy debut with allusions to Pride and Prejudice.

Opening Line:

I lie in the grass with my eyes closed, listening for the whir of honeybee wings, but it's too early in the season for bees and I know it.


To be honest, I had no idea what to expect with this book. Granted, I didn't read the blurb but I did read this tagline:

A sweeping prehistoric fantasy debut with allusions to Pride and Prejudice.

How could I not read it?!

As you see above, the storyline of Ivory and Bone was definitely unique, and something to look forward to. Kol was the narrator and main character of the story. He lived in a small village near a river in the prehistoric era. He was about 16 or 17 years old and the oldest of several boys. *INSERT PROBLEM HERE* There weren't any girls of age in her village and so his mother began to worry. Couple that with the food scarcity due to the mammoths coming less often ... THEN we had the mysterious arrival of a chieftain of a thriving village and his two of-age sisters. Who had a history of bad blood with Kol's village. And BAM we had Ivory and Bone.

The pacing was a bit slow but did not hinder the story. Eshbaugh's writing was straightforward but intriguing simultaneously. What I enjoyed most about her writing was the format -- if what as if Kol wrote the story for someone, a special someone. And since Kol addressed the person as "You" it feels as if he was talking and telling the story to the reader.

"A void opens up in this room--opens up in my chest--from lack of you." page 108

Eshbaugh's world-building was decent but, I have to admit, I was a little disappointed. There were times when I got the prehistoric feel of the story but I definitely did not feel submersed in that era -- which was disappointed to say the least. However, I can say the characters were lively and well fleshed out.

All in all, I enjoyed Ivory and Bone. It was the first time I read anything prehistori-esque. It was interesting enough to hold my attention and make me want to finish the story. Give it a try if you have spare time.

Character Breakdown:

Kol - Kol is an interesting character in the sense that there is not anything extraordinary about him -- if that makes any sense at all. He is quiet, kind and solitary. As aforementioned, an interesting male main character.

"Of course, if all the girls in your clan are as arrogant and rude as you are, I would rather be alone forever." - pages 40-41

Here is one of my favorite quotes from 
Ivory and Bone:

Kesh to Pek & Kol: "You are both so blinded by arrogance that you have become incapable of judging the value of a girl.

Pek to Kol: He's at the door. It's so dark inside the hut now; he is little more than an outline. "I'm going to go find her and head back to the feast. I'd rather sit with Seeri in a big crowd than sit without her in here.

Meet the Author:

Julie Eshbaugh once produced an online video series for teens which received several honors from the Webby Awards. Now, she focuses her time on writing. Ivory and Bone is her debut novel. You can find her online at or on twitter @JulieEshbaugh.

***Check out Julie Eshbaugh's website for more information about her and Ivory and BoneHERE

Happy Reading!


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