The BookBrowse Review

Published June 22, 2022

ISSN: 1930-0018

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  • Big Girl by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan (rated 4/5)


Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Speculative, Alt. History

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Book Jacket

Wake the Bones
A Novel
by Elizabeth Kilcoyne
12 Jul 2022
320 pages
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Speculative, Alt. History
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The sleepy little farm that Laurel Early grew up on has awakened. The woods are shifting, the soil is dead under her hands, and her bone pile just stood up and walked away.

After dropping out of college, all she wanted was to resume her life as a tobacco hand and taxidermist and try not to think about the boy she can't help but love. Instead, a devil from her past has returned to court her, as he did her late mother years earlier. Now, Laurel must unravel her mother's terrifying legacy and tap into her own innate magic before her future and the fate of everyone she loves is doomed.

Elizabeth Kilcoyne's Wake the Bones is a dark, atmospheric debut about the complicated feelings that arise when the place you call home becomes hostile.

"Nineteen-year-old white-cued Laurel Early battles supernatural forces on her family's tobacco farm in Kilcoyne's visceral horror debut...Using an ominous third-person perspective, grisly horror elements, and distinct setting, Kilcoyne delivers an exceptional examination of life, death, and grief teeming with beauty and menace." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"[A]tmospheric and evocative. Grounding depictions of the natural world are as vivid and lush as the descriptions of haunting horrors that are beautiful in their gruesomeness...In Kilcoyne, YA horror has found a new standard-bearer." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Dark, gripping, and gorgeous, Wake the Bones will lead you into the woods and keep you up late. As lush and sweltering as a Kentucky summer...Elizabeth Kilcoyne is a force." - Gwenda Bond, New York Times bestselling author

"Raw, emotional, and deliciously gross, Wake the Bones is a read that will cling to your subconscious long after its final page." - Lauren Blackwood, New York Times bestselling author of Within These Wicked Walls

"Deliciously vile and viciously emotional, Wake the Bones is a debut you'll want to savor but will be forced to devour whole. Kilcoyne richly imagines a world where life and death are all tangled together, and love and loss are the true magic. I was held captive to the last haunting page and I hoped there was no release." - Courtney Gould, author of The Dead and the Dark

Elizabeth Kilcoyne is an author, poet, and playwright from Lexington, Kentucky, who began this story after stacking rocks in her family cemetery one day when she realized she was standing on her own grave. She has been published in several literary journals including Still: The Journal. Wake the Bones is her first novel.

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