Review: Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh

Ivory and Bone - Julie EshbaughPublisher: HarperTeen (June 7th, 2016)
Hardcover: 384 pages
Source: HCC Frenzy
Add on: Goodreads
Rating: 2.5-3 of 5 stars

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.


I really wanted to like this and while it wasn’t bad, it unfortunately didn’t really quite live up to it’s potential, either.

Tell me something wonderful – a story that’s startling and marvelous.

I did enjoy that the setting is a bit more unusual with the prehistoric setting. It was interesting to see how the nomadic tribes worked, and to have mammoths and saber-tooth tigers roaming around. I also liked fact that it has a Pride and Prejudice twist that had Kol being more our “Elizabeth” (and which the story is told from his POV) while Mya was our “Mr. Darcy” instead. It actually really loosely follows the P&P plot but there’s moments where you can really see it shine through that I quite enjoyed.

What didn’t really work for me was the characters. I didn’t connect at all to Kol or Mya and I wasn’t particularly invested in their romance. I just didn’t see the spark between them. I found Mya to be pretty cold-hearted most of the time and Kol lacking in some charisma. I didn’t care much for any of the secondary either which may have resulted in me finding a lot of the story to be a bit draggy. Closer to the end there was more action that got me a bit more hooked, but at the same time it was kind of a ‘too little, too late’ situation. The story is told in first-person, which just didn’t work for me either.

Overall, it has a good foundation but left me wanting more. Unfortunately it did not live up to the hype for me so that was a bit disappointing. That being said, it wasn’t a terrible read either, and I can see why there are many people who enjoyed this. It just didn’t click with me. Oh, and while this is the first book is a four book series, the ending does wrap up fairly nicely, so no worries of the dreaded cliff. And I am a curious to see how book two turns out.

{Thanks to HarperTeen & HCC Frenzy for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Find Julie Eshbaugh:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Purchase the book:
Book Depository | Barnes & Nobles | Chapters Indigo |

Author: Cyn

noun. a bum OT, procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

11 Replies to “Review: Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh”

  1. Reviews have been all over for this, and for those it failed it was not connecting. I am not sure I want to invest in it. Great review!

    1. Yeah, I’ve seen some really good reviews and some mixed reviews.
      Thanks, Kim!

  2. Like you said, a good foundation, but it wasn’t great. I didn’t like this one much either. I think I gave it three stars? I read it over a month ago and honestly, I probably should have given it two stars, looking back. It just wasn’t great. And I hated the female protagonist! She was awful (to me). *sigh* I don’t know if I want to continue with the series.

    Anyway, fantastic review, Cyn! Glad I’m not alone in not liking this one. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. I didn’t like her that much either, definitely an issue with connecting with the characters! I’m sitting on the fence about continuing on.
      Thanks Alyssa (:

  3. Eek, I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it much! I gave it about a 3.5 stars because of the reasons you were iffy… the characters. They weren’t the greatest to read about, although I do appreciate the unique writing in second POV. I thought that it was a great risk on the author’s part, and she did it quite well! If only I could’ve connected to the characters more while that happened. :’)

    1. The writing was definitely unique! I’m glad you enjoyed that part (: Yeah, the connecting with the characters was a big issue.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it more! I hope your next read is better for you 🙂
    I think I’m still going to get to this one soonish – prehistory is kind of my thing. Well, archaeology is my thing, but you know, almost. Anyway! It’s nice to have some warning that the characters might not be the best. I’ll go in without the greate

    1. * greatest expectations. My cat totally just stepped on the keyboard while I was finishing typing and managed to actually post the comment! *face palm* Now she’s in my lap because she was very smart and deserves all the attention…
      Anyway, thanks for the review, Cyn!

      1. Haha, cats are amazing like that!

        I did really enjoy the prehistoric part, I do hope you really enjoy this! It definitely has a lot of potential.I just didn’t really connect unfortunately!

  5. I’m intrigued with the idea here but a shame the characters didn’t really live up to the book! The characters kind of sound lacking, and a shame that it was draggy during the book. I hope your next read is better Cyn, thanks for the review!

    1. Yeah, I really enjoyed the concept, but unfortunately the characters didn’t work out for me.
      Thanks Jeann! My next read was better, haha.

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