Hot Best Seller

The Bones of Ruin

Availability: Ready to download

As an African tightrope dancer in Victorian London, Iris is used to being strange. She is certainly a strange sight for leering British audiences always eager for the spectacle of colonial curiosity. But Iris also has a secret that even “strange” doesn’t capture…​ She cannot die. Haunted by her unnatural power and with no memories of her past, Iris is obsessed with discover As an African tightrope dancer in Victorian London, Iris is used to being strange. She is certainly a strange sight for leering British audiences always eager for the spectacle of colonial curiosity. But Iris also has a secret that even “strange” doesn’t capture…​ She cannot die. Haunted by her unnatural power and with no memories of her past, Iris is obsessed with discovering who she is. But that mission gets more complicated when she meets the dark and alluring Adam Temple, a member of a mysterious order called the Enlightenment Committee. Adam seems to know much more about her than he lets on, and he shares with her a terrifying revelation: the world is ending, and the Committee will decide who lives…and who doesn’t. To help them choose a leader for the upcoming apocalypse, the Committee is holding the Tournament of Freaks, a macabre competition made up of vicious fighters with fantastical abilities. Adam wants Iris to be his champion, and in return he promises her the one thing she wants most: the truth about who she really is. If Iris wants to learn about her shadowy past, she has no choice but to fight. But the further she gets in the grisly tournament, the more she begins to remember—and the more she wonders if the truth is something best left forgotten.


Compare

As an African tightrope dancer in Victorian London, Iris is used to being strange. She is certainly a strange sight for leering British audiences always eager for the spectacle of colonial curiosity. But Iris also has a secret that even “strange” doesn’t capture…​ She cannot die. Haunted by her unnatural power and with no memories of her past, Iris is obsessed with discover As an African tightrope dancer in Victorian London, Iris is used to being strange. She is certainly a strange sight for leering British audiences always eager for the spectacle of colonial curiosity. But Iris also has a secret that even “strange” doesn’t capture…​ She cannot die. Haunted by her unnatural power and with no memories of her past, Iris is obsessed with discovering who she is. But that mission gets more complicated when she meets the dark and alluring Adam Temple, a member of a mysterious order called the Enlightenment Committee. Adam seems to know much more about her than he lets on, and he shares with her a terrifying revelation: the world is ending, and the Committee will decide who lives…and who doesn’t. To help them choose a leader for the upcoming apocalypse, the Committee is holding the Tournament of Freaks, a macabre competition made up of vicious fighters with fantastical abilities. Adam wants Iris to be his champion, and in return he promises her the one thing she wants most: the truth about who she really is. If Iris wants to learn about her shadowy past, she has no choice but to fight. But the further she gets in the grisly tournament, the more she begins to remember—and the more she wonders if the truth is something best left forgotten.

30 review for The Bones of Ruin

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chloe Gong

    Bloodily spectacular. The Bones of Ruin builds page after page of visceral intrigue, steamrolling toward the end of the world in Victorian London. These characters could tear you apart, but you will love them all the same. Sarah Raughley’s world breathes true to the past and yet gleams brilliantly new.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    This historical fantasy is a lot of fun. It has all the hallmarks of a good YA book: a strong female lead character, a variety of cool magical powers, a competition, and teen angst. Set in Victorian London, Iris is an African tightrope dancer in a circus. She showed up one day without a single memory of her past. She is desperate to regain her memories, so when Lord Adam Temple offers to assist her in remembering, she is willing to accept his help. In return, Adam needs two things from Iris. The This historical fantasy is a lot of fun. It has all the hallmarks of a good YA book: a strong female lead character, a variety of cool magical powers, a competition, and teen angst. Set in Victorian London, Iris is an African tightrope dancer in a circus. She showed up one day without a single memory of her past. She is desperate to regain her memories, so when Lord Adam Temple offers to assist her in remembering, she is willing to accept his help. In return, Adam needs two things from Iris. The first, he wants her to join the team he is building to compete in the “Tournament of Freaks”. The second, he needs Iris to find someone for him. Adam Temple belongs to an uber-elite club known as The Enlightenment Committee. This committee believes that the world will soon come to an end, and that they are the ones that can control who will survive the apocalypse. This book highlighted the barbarity and racist practices of the nineteenth century. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this. There’s a decent amount of world-building without any info-dumping. The Tournament was fun, seeing everyone’s powers displayed. There’s a shapeshifter, a mind-controller, a teen who can warp time, and many other characters with fantastical abilities. Iris is a sharp-witted, lovable character. I mean that literally. Nearly all the boys compete for Iris’ attention. The romance is probably my least favourite aspect of this book. The author said that this is a reverse harem trope, and that’s true. Iris has three love interests, which would be fine with me, the more the merry, except there is zero communication between Iris and her bevy of boys. Tensions rise and awkward encounters ensue. This is YA, so it’s all very PG. With that said, I can’t wait to read the next instalment of this new YA series. Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for the arc in exchange for my honest opinions.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Raughley

    The Cover is out! ARCs distributed! Bones of Ruin coming September 7, 2021! 5 Things to expect from the Bones of Ruin 1) BIPOC characters front and center in Victorian (19th century) England! 2) Black female lead being bad ass, special and in charge! 3) REVERSE HAREM TROPE (for fans of Fushigi Yuugi, Ouran High School Host Club etc) 4) Lots of characters with their own powers and allegiances! 5) Intricate, Epic Fantasy Plot! If this sounds good to you, pre-order now by going to my site: https://sarahra The Cover is out! ARCs distributed! Bones of Ruin coming September 7, 2021! 5 Things to expect from the Bones of Ruin 1) BIPOC characters front and center in Victorian (19th century) England! 2) Black female lead being bad ass, special and in charge! 3) REVERSE HAREM TROPE (for fans of Fushigi Yuugi, Ouran High School Host Club etc) 4) Lots of characters with their own powers and allegiances! 5) Intricate, Epic Fantasy Plot! If this sounds good to you, pre-order now by going to my site: https://sarahraughley.com/books-by-sa... See you on the other side!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Woc Reader

    Iris has no memories and she's not really trying to discover the truth. She's working as a tightrope walker in a traveling circus to make a living. Her grace and agility help her through these dangerous stunts but she also has a secret. She cannot truly die. It's something she's kept hidden for 10 years now. One day while performing in the streets before a big show in London, she sees a man she recognizes but she's not sure where she knows him from. This causes her slip and fall to what should b Iris has no memories and she's not really trying to discover the truth. She's working as a tightrope walker in a traveling circus to make a living. Her grace and agility help her through these dangerous stunts but she also has a secret. She cannot truly die. It's something she's kept hidden for 10 years now. One day while performing in the streets before a big show in London, she sees a man she recognizes but she's not sure where she knows him from. This causes her slip and fall to what should be her death. The crowd saw her neck snap! But instead she's able to wake up and walk away seemingly unharmed. After boss discovers her secret and attempts to exploit her to pay off her debts she escapes from the circus and tracks down the man who made her fall. The man Adam knows her past but insists he must discover the truth on her own little by little. But he also wants her to help him find his father before the rest of the secret committee he's involved in realizes that his father is still alive. Her ability to allude death makes her a target for everyone. She was getting kidnapped every few chapters it seemed. And while Iris is safe from death, the people around her are not. So in her quest to discover her past she has to reckon with how her team is putting their lives at risk to help her. The Fantastic Freaks are like mutants with special powers who all have a connection to an explosion at a fair in South Kensington. Most of these freaks are also anomalies because of their race and ethnicity compared to the people of London. This allowed the opportunity to introduce characters that hailed from far corners of the world. It's not the main focus but the book does still show some of the discrimination Iris receives as a Black woman during that time period without naming the slurs she's called on page. The harem didn't work for me. Iris has three men in love with her and in this story it just felt unnecessary. I understood Jinn had a connection with her as her partner in the circus so there was an unrequited love story going on there. But Adam was just in love with the idea of her. And Max I'm not sure what drew him to love her at first sight at all. I didn't feel the chemistry was even there between them to warrant his pining. It teetered into not like other girls territory. Also I would've loved for this story to dive deeper into the men's backgrounds so I could have a better connection to them. People who are very visual when they read fantasies and are able to picture the setting in their heads like a movie will really enjoy the atmosphere that's built up in this. I wasn't sure how to rate this one. It was engaging and I was invested in the mystery but it moves at such a slow and steady pace that it's very easy to put this book down and not feel the immediate urgency to pick it back up. At some points in part 2 I felt like the story was coasting along and then something big would happen and I was engaged again. Once more about Iris' past was revealed I needed to know the outcome. Part 3 was where it all came together for me and I felt that urgency to know what happened next. I was actually able to enjoy the team dynamic and the humor in some moments despite the seriousness of the events taking place. I was hooked and started racing towards the end. If you want a fantasy set in a different world than the norm that you can slow read then check this one out. 3.25 stars! https://womenofcolorreadtoo.blogspot....

  5. 5 out of 5

    ☀︎El In Oz☀︎

    The cover🤩 And for fans of The Last Magician and The Gilded Wolves, two of my all time favourite series?? And a competition to see who gets to be ruler of the apocalypse?? YES PLEASE

  6. 4 out of 5

    cherelle (aboltoutofthebook)

    "A promise made between a young man and a corpse in the middle of the night." A supernatural hunger games that was searingly dak, set in post-apocalyptic Victorian London, The Bones of Ruin was such a ride, albeit the letdown in pacing and plot towards the end. Read my review on my blog! Thank you to Netgalley, Simon Pulse and Turn the Pages Tours for providing me with an ARC of The Bones of Ruin in exchange for a sincere review. "A promise made between a young man and a corpse in the middle of the night." A supernatural hunger games that was searingly dak, set in post-apocalyptic Victorian London, The Bones of Ruin was such a ride, albeit the letdown in pacing and plot towards the end. Read my review on my blog! Thank you to Netgalley, Simon Pulse and Turn the Pages Tours for providing me with an ARC of The Bones of Ruin in exchange for a sincere review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jesse Ruth (The best boyfriends are book boyfriends)

    Thank you Netgalley for this arc!! Iris is an African tightrope dancer in a circus and the setting of Victorian London (which is so cool!). And, Iris has a secret she holds very close... she cannot die! However, she has absolutely no memory of who she is exactly and this search for her past becomes a big part of the plot. But when she meets Adam Temple everything begins to get more complicated and she is pulled into a tournament with many other characters that have really cool powers and abilitie Thank you Netgalley for this arc!! Iris is an African tightrope dancer in a circus and the setting of Victorian London (which is so cool!). And, Iris has a secret she holds very close... she cannot die! However, she has absolutely no memory of who she is exactly and this search for her past becomes a big part of the plot. But when she meets Adam Temple everything begins to get more complicated and she is pulled into a tournament with many other characters that have really cool powers and abilities. This book was so interesting and I'm curious to know where the next book will take me. However, I did not love the characters and the way they interacted. I feel like they just weren't as complete feeling to me so I didn't feel a strong connection and that made the dialog feel slightly forced at times. I loved this world, especially at the time period, and do recommend this as a unique look at dark historical fantasy that is heaped in magic! I'd like to add a trigger warning for racism that is taking place in the Victorian London setting, definitely part of this time period but I want anyone reading this to be aware of it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Maddie (Inking & Thinking)

    ⭐️ 3 Stars ⭐️ Welcome back to another review! Today's review will be on The Bones of Ruin by Sarah Raughley! When I saw Turn the Pages Tour post the signup for this tour, I just knew that I wanted to be a part of it! Now let's get into it! The Bones of Ruin takes place in a post-apocalyptic world with a Victorian London setting. Fierce competition with supernatural kids, hidden secrets, and a society full of influential people. Even though this book takes place in Victorian London, full of da ⭐️ 3 Stars ⭐️ Welcome back to another review! Today's review will be on The Bones of Ruin by Sarah Raughley! When I saw Turn the Pages Tour post the signup for this tour, I just knew that I wanted to be a part of it! Now let's get into it! The Bones of Ruin takes place in a post-apocalyptic world with a Victorian London setting. Fierce competition with supernatural kids, hidden secrets, and a society full of influential people. Even though this book takes place in Victorian London, full of dark magic and secrets, the author isn't afraid to show that it's not so great for our black main character, Iris, or any person of color. She isn't afraid to tackle deep subjects such as racism, sexism, and much more. Raughley tied these things seamlessly into the story and made it present enough that it stuck out in your mind. “My body is my own. My heart is my own. My fate is my own” Iris was a compelling character to follow in this story. She remembers almost nothing of her past life and spends the book trying to unravel all of the secrets. At first, she is hesitant to find out the truth, but when she thrusts herself into a competition forced to trying to put the puzzle together. Iris almost seems like this untouchable character, since you know, she can't die. But the author doesn't allow this to be the case. Due to this little detail, it turns the tension down a lot. You never expect Iris to die, and you'll know she'll survive in every single fighting scenario. Raughley pushes Iris into extreme situations displaying her vulnerability. But Iris tends to lean towards the mary sue character type despite these advancements. The puzzle is put together, piece by piece. Tension rises as the mystery slowly unravels. Here and there, misleading clues take us off track. By the end, all comes to light. A brilliant mystery crafted with such elegance that you don't realize how much time has passed. “I won't let you people take anymore away from me!” The romance was a bit questionable in this book. I know a bunch of readers tends to dislike love triangles. This book does not only contain a love triangle but a love square. The first time I've ever seen a love square, but I don't know if I'm a fan of it. Out of all of the potential love interests, there was only one that I could see working out. Iris and this particular love interest had chemistry, and you could see they had a bond with one another. The squad surrounding Iris was a definite hit from the countless times they planned together and save each other from near-death (except Iris). The constant bickering between them had me cracking up at times. Some of the characters did feel undeveloped at times, so I wish more time was spend on getting to know them more besides Iris all the time. But Iris isn't the only one to contain superpowers but all of them. But they don't know how they got them. “What?" Max and Jinn both said at the same time but for different reasons.” “Max seemed to perk up at the sound of his name even if he hadn't heard the context while Jinn responded to Iris's offhand remark with an awkwardly stiff expression.” Overall, I enjoyed reading this book! Though some flaws held it back, some elements such as a puzzle needing to be solved, an interesting main character, and a setting that help to enhance the story. A big thank you to Turn the Pages Tours as well as the author and publisher for providing me with an early copy of this book! Quotes are taken from an unfinished version and may be different when the book is published.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of The Bones of Ruin in exchange for an honest review. This book has an absolutely fantastic plot but unfortunately, I'm a character reader which is definitely where it's lacking. The Bones or Ruin follows African circus performer in historical London who's harboring a big secret: she can't die. When she's discovered, she must join a dangerous tournament with other super-powered people for the entertainment of a high society secret society trying to f Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of The Bones of Ruin in exchange for an honest review. This book has an absolutely fantastic plot but unfortunately, I'm a character reader which is definitely where it's lacking. The Bones or Ruin follows African circus performer in historical London who's harboring a big secret: she can't die. When she's discovered, she must join a dangerous tournament with other super-powered people for the entertainment of a high society secret society trying to find a leader for the apocalypse if she wants a chance at finding out what she can't remember about her mysterious past. Right? RIGHT! That's so cool. I wanted to love this so badly but everyone felt like such a stalk character that it was really difficult to become invested in any of their stories. Iris is clearly supposed to be a powerful MC and she has a few lines that are supposed to be and should have been huge and impactful, but since her personality is basically "perfect person who every man instantly loves and every woman wants to be besties with", it falls flat. Her original love interest, Jinn, is described as having a kind of enemies-to-lovers arc with her but they're both so clearly in love and openly affectionate that when they trade quips it feels like they're doing it because that's the cool thing to do in YA right now, not because that's their general dynamic. Max, in my opinion, was the worst offender. I originally really liked his character but something about his humour style always seemed to clash with his actual personality and role within the story and for some reason every time he was on page, I couldn't help but get pulled out of the story and find myself day dreaming about The Gilded Wolves instead. Going into writing this review, I now realize that this was literally pitched as "for fans of The Gilded Wolves" which might explain why Max felt like a caricature of a character from there instead of one who belongs in this narrative.

  10. 5 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    An African tightrope walker who can’t die gets embroiled in a secret society’s deadly gladiatorial tournament in this thrilling historical fantasy set in an alternate 1880s London, perfect for fans of The Last Magician and The Gilded Wolves. Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram An African tightrope walker who can’t die gets embroiled in a secret society’s deadly gladiatorial tournament in this thrilling historical fantasy set in an alternate 1880s London, perfect for fans of The Last Magician and The Gilded Wolves. Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram

  11. 5 out of 5

    Laurence

    ***DNF’d 74 pages in*** Well…this was one of my most anticipated releases of the year and unfortunately I just couldn’t get into it. All of the introduced characters so far were just so bland and didn’t stand out to me. I usually love stories where everyone has different abilities, and I love competitions/tournaments, but I just couldn’t continue with this. I MIGHT give this book another chance down the line.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Clarissa

    I can't finish this book. I loved the premise and the characters and the writing but this book was just not for me. The pacing was slow and I could not find it in me to finish this book. I am so bored of it. I can't finish this book. I loved the premise and the characters and the writing but this book was just not for me. The pacing was slow and I could not find it in me to finish this book. I am so bored of it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lata

    A Victorian setting, a powerful young woman who’s lost her memories, a secret society comprised of the richest and most powerful (and incidentally and unsurprisingly white), a group of adolescents from all over the world who have strange and amazing powers and are dubbed the "Fanciful Freaks" by the London press, and a tournament to the death. This book has so much going for it, and though I liked a lot of things about it, I also had a couple of issues. I loved that the cast of characters is pred A Victorian setting, a powerful young woman who’s lost her memories, a secret society comprised of the richest and most powerful (and incidentally and unsurprisingly white), a group of adolescents from all over the world who have strange and amazing powers and are dubbed the "Fanciful Freaks" by the London press, and a tournament to the death. This book has so much going for it, and though I liked a lot of things about it, I also had a couple of issues. I loved that the cast of characters is predominantly BIPoC, and the action is set in London in the Victorian period. England, and London in particular, has had people for centuries from all over the world reside there, contrary to the belief that England has been totally white forever. Here the BIPoC characters have a variety of powers and these people are brought together by the Enlightenment Club (an on-the-nose and ironic name if I’ve ever heard one), a group of super rich, super powerful people who firmly believe the world will end, and they want to be the ones in charge afterwards. They also see the BIPoC teens with supernatural powers as little more than monsters, or barely civilized pets. Main character Iris, formerly from Africa, and now working for a barely reputable circus owner as one of a pair of tightrope walkers, works with a close-mouthed young man from Turkey, known as Jinn. Iris’ memories begin five years ago, and she’s desperate to recover who she was prior to this time, and so when she’s teased with the possibility of finding herself, she and eventually Jinn are dragged into the clutches of the Enlightenment Club, along with several other supernaturally powered teens. The teens are organized into teams representing each member of the Club, and must fight to the death for money. I started to lose the thread of the narrative once the tournament began. The teens had to find various objects located in different parts of the city. The objects' purposes are unknown to the teens, and there are keys and other things involved. The point of the tournament was rapidly lost to me, as much of the book was spent in the teams fighting each other, people dying violently, betrayals and double crosses, and romance angst between the boys on Iris' team as they do a lot of chest-thumping to impress the young woman. I also had a hard time keeping track of all the different characters, and I wished Jinn and Max had not fought with each other so much, as it seemed Iris’ team was always too volatile to ever work towards a common goal. I also had some difficulty understanding what Adam’s goals really were, but I think they’ll be revealed more clearly in the next book. (He's a member of the Club who doesn't seem as odious as the others are.) I actually wish this book had been a little shorter, as there was so much going on, and I got lost in the many machinations and fights than once. That said, I liked Iris, and even when she kept finding out new and terrible things about herself or the Enlightenment Club, I liked that she kept striving to find a more productive way to move forward, whether with her team or with finding out truths about herself. I am not sure right now whether I want to follow the story onwards to the next book, however much I liked parts of it. My rating: 3.5 stars. Thank you to NetGalley and Simon and Shuster Canada for this ARC in exchange for a review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    ⛅ Saniya (sunnysidereviews) ⛅

    An African tightrope dancer? and a historical fiction? SIGN ME UP! Also, that cover is everything!!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This book is said to be like The Last Magician and The Gilded Wolves, which I can definitely see with the clues, Orders, artifacts, challenges and mystery. The book starts in a circus in the late 1880s with the usual oddities and attractions. Iris the African tightrope walker is a big draw but when she gets distracted by someone she sees in the audience, from her past, she slips and falls.  This someone belongs to an Enlightenment Committee and wants to recruit her to his team for the Tournament o This book is said to be like The Last Magician and The Gilded Wolves, which I can definitely see with the clues, Orders, artifacts, challenges and mystery. The book starts in a circus in the late 1880s with the usual oddities and attractions. Iris the African tightrope walker is a big draw but when she gets distracted by someone she sees in the audience, from her past, she slips and falls.  This someone belongs to an Enlightenment Committee and wants to recruit her to his team for the Tournament of Freaks. There seem to be quite a few individuals like herself that have unique gifts and abilities. Hers being that she can not die. There was a lot of history that was woven into this story and the history of what Europeans did to Africans by way of entertainment was appalling. There is mysticism, history, fantasy and real world all woven in and the storytelling is richer for it. The story of the bones was very intriguing but I don't want to give any plot points away cause it was pretty cool unraveling that and it's the title of the book. The committee is like a CIA/MI6 but working outside the government and against the government in a way. They are very powerful and anyone with too much information will be disposed of if they are too chatty.  The freaks they have on their teams are all cutthroat and the challenges range from deadly physical exhibitions to riddles to be solved. Iris and her former performer partner Jinn also have growing chemistry during their act as The Nubian Princess and The Turkish Prince and again during this challenge as he finds her after she leaves the circus. As they share a bed during the competition (don't worry it's YA, no sexual activity noted in this book, chemistry and slow burn though).  There was also another team mate that showed interest in Iris that set up a possible love triangle. But Iris was also not trying to be with anyone, she was trying to uncover her past with the help of her patron who knew who she was. I didn't mention she had no memory after an explosion that happened years before.  So much mystery and intrigue you need to read it! I didn't tell you all the millions of details you need to piece all this mess I just gave you together. But I hope it convinces you to add it to your TBR and read it! This gave me some Queen of the Damned type vibes since it ended on a cliffhanger with someone we hadn't met but had heard mentioned. Goodreads is already showing that this will be a trilogy so I am excited to see where this story leads us and if there will be an apocalypse or if someone will save the day. Honestly, I can't tell if anyone is a hero at this point. And please Gram stay the hell away, blech!  Definitely recommended for those fantasy lovers, it is a bit bloody so be prepared for that!  TW: Cannibalism, violence

  16. 4 out of 5

    smalltownbookmom

    A fantastic historical adventure fiction book featuring Iris, an African tightrope dancer who can't die and is determined to discover why and where she came from. A cross between The night circus and The hunger games, this was an edge of your seat thrill ride set in a Victorian England on the brink of an apocalypse featuring a Tournament of Freaks that pits a rag tag group of characters with unique supernatural abilities against one another to win a coveted prize. This story had it all: romance, A fantastic historical adventure fiction book featuring Iris, an African tightrope dancer who can't die and is determined to discover why and where she came from. A cross between The night circus and The hunger games, this was an edge of your seat thrill ride set in a Victorian England on the brink of an apocalypse featuring a Tournament of Freaks that pits a rag tag group of characters with unique supernatural abilities against one another to win a coveted prize. This story had it all: romance, intrigue, betrayal, three dimensional characters you can't help rooting for. I loved every second and especially that it was written by a talented Canadian author! It was also great on audio narrated by Ione Butler. Highly recommended, especially for fans of The invisible life of Addie La Rue.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Toya (the reading chemist)

    This is a temporary DNF at 50%. The pacing of the story has really slowed down at this point, so I need to switch to audio since I am struggling to keep going.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brinley

    Id been wanting to read this one for months, so the fact that I disliked it has me so angry. I mean come on, we have a deadly tournament, circus scenes, and a gorgeous cover. Somehow though, not one of these elements managed to hook me. I think the reason for this is because this entire story was so jumbled. So much was happening, there were way too many moving parts. By the end, I was just watching the story happen because I had no idea what was happening. I lost all interest in the characters, Id been wanting to read this one for months, so the fact that I disliked it has me so angry. I mean come on, we have a deadly tournament, circus scenes, and a gorgeous cover. Somehow though, not one of these elements managed to hook me. I think the reason for this is because this entire story was so jumbled. So much was happening, there were way too many moving parts. By the end, I was just watching the story happen because I had no idea what was happening. I lost all interest in the characters, and even though the stakes were high, didn't feel a single emotional connection to any aspect of the story. Speaking of the characters, similar to the plot, they all faded into one mass. A few names stick out to me, but even then, I couldn't manage to describe them. I can't even tell you why this is. The author attempted to give them development, but it didn't work at all. After suffering through 500 pages of this, I just wish it had gone through some harsher editing. If 100 pages and a plotline had been chopped, this could've been amazing. That didn't happen though, and this just ended up being a read I'd like to forget. Thanks to Turn the Page Tours for providing a free copy!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    That cover is giving me life! And the MC is an African tight rope walker in an AU Victorian London!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Finished it in a day, gave up on the writing by the fourth chapter, gave up on characters at around the first third, gave up on the plot about halfway through. The only thing, and I swear, THE ONLY THING keeping me going was the last trial of the tournament, and then even THAT was a letdown. Words cannot express how much I hated this entire reading experience. Before I start this rant, the most pressing question I have is this— why are tightrope dancers using actual fighting quality blades for th Finished it in a day, gave up on the writing by the fourth chapter, gave up on characters at around the first third, gave up on the plot about halfway through. The only thing, and I swear, THE ONLY THING keeping me going was the last trial of the tournament, and then even THAT was a letdown. Words cannot express how much I hated this entire reading experience. Before I start this rant, the most pressing question I have is this— why are tightrope dancers using actual fighting quality blades for their performances? The two tightrope performers kept referring to their weapons as the ones they took with them from the circus, but like?? Decorative blades are not the same thing as real ones??? Let me preface this by saying that I started reading this prepared to love it. It had my name all over it. A tightrope dancer who was part of a circus, who can't die. A Victorian London underground Illuminati-style coven, where they collect people with inhuman abilities to fight to the death in a TOURNAMENT. I was practically salivating over it. The first thing that got to me was the writing. It became very quickly apparent that the prose wasn't the best, which surprised me because I'm pretty sure the author is getting her PhD in English something. So much *telling* that characters had "intimacy [that] was so quietly palpable". Dude. I get it. You do not need to clarify every single thing the characters say. You don't need to tell me that when you say this person is at eleven o'clock, you meant it as a direction, not a time. PLEASE vary your sentences. Stop beginning sentences with the characters' names, I notice. Your action sequences are poorly written, you don't know where the climax is supposed to be, my eyes glaze over all of it. You're killing me. And then the characters. I heard on Marissa Meyers' podcast with the author that when you get introduced to new characters, you could immediately tell what vibe they gave off. Apparently that was because she was trying to emulate anime style. I don't know anything about anime, but the way it was done here was so *bad*. I could pin down the tropes immediately. None of the betrayals or character twists surprised me, and all of the characters could NOT stop talking about their damn trauma and baggage. How many times do you have to beat the reader over the head with a dead/missing sibling for me to understand that they are **edgy** and **suffering**? I hated the MC, Iris. Amnesiac MCs almost never work for me but this was ridiculous. The author tried passing her off as this carefree girl that was vain and teasing and asked for ribbons, and for a bit it worked, and then it all went to hell and she lost all her charisma and became an overpowered oh SO special MC. The reverse harem, as all harem-related tropes tend to be, was absolutely ridiculous and completely pulled me out of the story. All the love interests [Except Adam, I'll give him credit for that] couldn't pull their heads out of their dicks for one second and think about the situation at hand. Instead, it was all ooooh Iris said she spent time with this guy, does that mean she loves him???? Spare. Me. By this time, I was reading for the plot alone. Even though the tournament had barely started, I was BEGGING for it to be the only thing to deliver on what made me read this book. Nope. Just... nope. It quickly became clear that this book wasn't low stakes at all, and by the end of it (mild spoiler) the stakes become complete 'end of the world' levels. And yes, I looked on Goodreads and the author did say this was epic fantasy so I should've known better, but I was really excited about a low-ish stakes plot that stayed contained within its boundaries. The whole thing that interested me about this world was seeing how the obnoxiously rich and 'freakishly' inhuman would hide from the normal Victorian London society. I wanted the UNDERGROUND part of it all, but that was thrown to the wind within the first ten-ish chapters. I can't remember ever being this pissed off about an idea not matching its execution, and I've got the stirrings of a 'revenge' story where I write the book I wish this was. No end of the world shit, no greater plan, no amnesia. Just some good old-fashioned killer circus people with slightly odd abilities, an underground tournament to the death run by rich patrons that *actually* stay underground, and at most one (1) love interest. I finished it, so my policy automatically gives this 2 stars, but I can't remember ever being this disappointed in a premise before.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight The premise of The Bones of Ruin hooked me instantly- Victorian London, a Hunger Games-esque competition, throw in a circus, some mystery, and magic? Yes please! I just had trouble with it, and I can't even wholly pinpoint why. So at twenty percent, I put it down, but perhaps not forever? Usually, by the time I have let a book sit until it's time to review, I have decided to not finish, You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight The premise of The Bones of Ruin hooked me instantly- Victorian London, a Hunger Games-esque competition, throw in a circus, some mystery, and magic? Yes please! I just had trouble with it, and I can't even wholly pinpoint why. So at twenty percent, I put it down, but perhaps not forever? Usually, by the time I have let a book sit until it's time to review, I have decided to not finish, or give it another go. This time, I haven't. See, like I said, the premise is awesome. And I really did feel for Iris! I mean, how could I not? But even twenty percent in, I didn't feel like I could connect to her. And that makes sense! Because she doesn't even know who she is! But I also found things to be moving quite slowly, which compounded the situation. And even though part of me did want to see what was going to become of Iris, I just could not muster the motivation to keep on keepin' on. So my new plan is, wait for some more reviews, see if things pick up, and then maybe I will give it another go. Bottom Line: I genuinely think this is a case of "it's not the book, it's me" so read it! And then tell me if I should!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shilo Quetchenbach

    I struggled with how to rate this book for pretty much the entire time I read it. Did I love it? Did I hate it? Was it good or great or meh? It's really rare for me to come across a book that isn't easy for me to rate. In the end I settled on liking it. The plot was certainly compelling and interesting. It managed to stay away from a lot of standard YA tropes and plot types which left me constantly guessing. I did feel that towards the end of the book the plot lost some cohesion and several threa I struggled with how to rate this book for pretty much the entire time I read it. Did I love it? Did I hate it? Was it good or great or meh? It's really rare for me to come across a book that isn't easy for me to rate. In the end I settled on liking it. The plot was certainly compelling and interesting. It managed to stay away from a lot of standard YA tropes and plot types which left me constantly guessing. I did feel that towards the end of the book the plot lost some cohesion and several threads were fumbled, but then it was very complex. Really it was handled quite well overall. The characters were interesting but they fell a bit flat and I wish there had been more character development. Aside from Iris and Max they were all rather static throughout. I also wish we'd seen the side characters more rather than focusing so completely on Iris. That said, it was brilliant to see so many POC and queer characters in a Victorian London setting. We definitely need more of that. I also love how racism and colonialism and the racial horrors of the enlightenment era were explored. They don't often play such a large role in YA -- or fantasy in general -- and they definitely livened things up and increased the stakes. And made the Enlightenment Committee even more vile. The love.... square? Was excessive, however. I'm not a fan of the love triangle or reverse harem tropes, and when every boy inexplicably falls for the lead girl it gets a bit old. I'm also not sure why Iris seemed so torn between them and couldn't figure out who she liked? Jinn is the clear contender, in my book, as he's the only one who genuinely cares for her with no ulterior motives. Jacques and Gram were incredibly creepy from the start and just got creepier as the book progressed. I would definitely not want to meet them in a dark alley -- or, y'know, anywhere ever. The Fool was also rather creepy and I feel like there's a lot to him left open to explore in future books. All of the other champions were sympathetic and I would have liked to see more of them teaming up. I can see how it sets things up for an interesting sequel -- especially with that last chapter! Talk about more questions than answers. If anything, there were a few *too* many questions and parts where the reader is missing vital information for my tastes. I get that things are a mystery to Iris. This could, however, just be me disliking being kept in the dark. The biggest stumbling block for me was the writing style. I just didn't jive with it, and I find it incredibly frustrating when I'm into a story but I feel like I'm reading around the words to get to it. It also made it very difficult to get back into the flow of the story whenever I had to take a break. And for a story that was so high-octane --or should have been, what with the high stakes and sheer amount of blood and gore --it dragged a bit. Think the Hunger Games, but slower-paced. I'm glad I read it, though, and I'll definitely consider picking up the sequel when it's out. *Thanks to Netgalley, Simon Pulse and Turn the Pages Tours for providing me with an e-arc for review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Starr ❇✌❇

    DNF @ 30% I very rarely allow myself to DNF but I just could not get into this book. The writing feels so slapdash and ungrounded from anything that I couldn't get invested, couldn't take it seriously, and couldn't figure out what in the world I was even supposed to be taking away from any of this. The introduction of what it obviously at the very least a spontaneous, aggressive love triangle on top of a former serial killer turned masked servant named "Fool" and really poorly timed off the cuff DNF @ 30% I very rarely allow myself to DNF but I just could not get into this book. The writing feels so slapdash and ungrounded from anything that I couldn't get invested, couldn't take it seriously, and couldn't figure out what in the world I was even supposed to be taking away from any of this. The introduction of what it obviously at the very least a spontaneous, aggressive love triangle on top of a former serial killer turned masked servant named "Fool" and really poorly timed off the cuff jokes that completely confuse the mood, I felt more like I was watching a 90s action cartoon than reading a YA fantasy. Maybe this book gets better- I definitely wanted to be interested in the mystery of it, I just found I really didn't trust the author to make the journey there worthwhile- but my complete lack of enjoyment will stop me from seeing whether or not that happens myself. Thank you to Edelweiss for granting me this review copy

  24. 5 out of 5

    Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard

    Thissssssssssss sounds amazing

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine Banks

    *Thanks to Simon Pulse and Turn the Page Tours for this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.* I've always been a fan of historical fiction and so many aspects of the premise for this caught my attention. Something about beings with abilities in a Victorian London was really intriguing to me, and I'm happy to report that it delivered in more ways than one. One of the things that immediately drew me in was the character of Iris and it was definitely an adventure following her throughout *Thanks to Simon Pulse and Turn the Page Tours for this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.* I've always been a fan of historical fiction and so many aspects of the premise for this caught my attention. Something about beings with abilities in a Victorian London was really intriguing to me, and I'm happy to report that it delivered in more ways than one. One of the things that immediately drew me in was the character of Iris and it was definitely an adventure following her throughout this read. Her ability to not die combined with her quest to reclaim her lost memories made for a great journey of self-discovery, which is one of my favorite concepts in stories. It was great to see her growth in not only confidence, but in strength and determination to find her true self. I also thought the bonds she shared with others were beautifully done, especially in her relationships with her tightrope partner Jinn, Granny, Max and Rin. I wanted a little more room to explore some of the other players both in and around the tournament, but as this is mostly a story about Iris, I appreciated the space to fully absorb her discoveries and emotions. Along with the character exploration, I really loved the atmosphere these characters existed in. The circus aesthetic has always been a favorite of mine and I was pulled into the beginning of the story so much that I was sad to see it get left behind. That being said, once the actual Tournament of Freaks came into the picture. The variety in both the abilities of the champions and different aspects of the game itself gave me a mix of X-Men and Hunger Games imagery in my head, which made the world Raughley created that much more interesting to follow. The writing style didn't always work for me, and I found myself speeding through what felt like information dumps in some areas, but the mystery in the pieces I was drawn to more than made up for those lower spots. Although I had a few issues here and there, I did enjoy myself with this one. This version of Victorian London had just enough magic and mystery to keep me invested in the outcomes of both the tournament and aftermath of the apocalypse and I look forward to seeing where the story goes in the next installment.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Mandina

    So this is one I reached out to the publisher about because I love a good circus book! And while the whole story wasn’t set in a circus, it still had a great story to it. But boy was it long! In many ways it somewhat reminded me of The Hunger Games, in that there were champions chosen to participate in events, that would eventually lead to fighting to th death. And it was an elite group of rich people who chose their champion teams. But the story was really so much more than this. There was a TON So this is one I reached out to the publisher about because I love a good circus book! And while the whole story wasn’t set in a circus, it still had a great story to it. But boy was it long! In many ways it somewhat reminded me of The Hunger Games, in that there were champions chosen to participate in events, that would eventually lead to fighting to th death. And it was an elite group of rich people who chose their champion teams. But the story was really so much more than this. There was a TON of things going on. The main character, Iris, didn’t remember much about her life before a certain moment in time. And so when a man shows up when the circus she works with is performing in London and says he can help her remember she is intrigued. Especially since just seeing him memories spark to life for her of meeting him when he was younger. This book includes ancient civilizations, people with freakish powers, mysterious societies, as well as a corrupt government and the evil doctors it has working and experimenting on the people who have these powers. There’s a bit of romance in it, but only so much as fits in with the action and adventure and backstabbing and fighting for their lives. The main character is a girl that only knows she may once have come from a colony/society in Africa that was discovered by the explorers during the 1800s. So not only does she have this power to deal with, but she is dealing with discrimination for both the color of her skin, as well as her gender, based on the time she is living in. A heads up that we don’t get a conclusion or everything all wrapped up at the end. At least one main person from the elite society is left, and they really want to get Iris back. Not only that, the final chapter takes place in the US (in Kansas and a mention of MIssouri, where I live!) and it introduces two new characters to us. Although one of the, well the name will sound familiar from what has happened in the story. At almost 500 pages, it is a big read. A good one, but there were times maybe it was a little more to read than I was expecting. But based on the little snippet of the new characters at the end, I really hope there will be a sequel, because I want to see what happens next! Review first published on Lisa Loves Literature.

  27. 4 out of 5

    charlotteem

    The Bones of Ruin follows Iris, an African tightrope dancer, who has spent the past ten years in a circus, with no memory of who she was before, why she can sense people so clearly and why she cannot die. Therefore, Iris has only one thing on her mind : finding answers. When Lord Adam Temple offers to finally help her remember, Iris has no other choice but to accept. While she gets her memory back, Adam wants something from Iris. He wants her to compete with a team of freaks in a tournament, and The Bones of Ruin follows Iris, an African tightrope dancer, who has spent the past ten years in a circus, with no memory of who she was before, why she can sense people so clearly and why she cannot die. Therefore, Iris has only one thing on her mind : finding answers. When Lord Adam Temple offers to finally help her remember, Iris has no other choice but to accept. While she gets her memory back, Adam wants something from Iris. He wants her to compete with a team of freaks in a tournament, and to find someone for him. The apocalypse is near, and the people hiring Adam thinks that the tournament will decide who can survive and who will lead humanity. I was totally blown away by the chemistry between the characters. They always had some funny nonsense to say, which is what I love in a book. I admired every moment when these teenagers had the opportunity to act like children, even if they didn’t last long. It made me realize that we all have that one childish part in us that will never sleep. The main character, Iris, is lovable and the story surrounding her was always interesting. I never got bored of reading about her past and her present. And I never got bored whenever someone would fall in love with her kind self. Which happened three times. I understand them though, it was impossible not to appreciate her, with her fuzzy memories and her desire to seek the truth. The Bones of Ruin was truly amazing. Confusing at times, but I can say, in the end, that this masterpiece blew up my expectations.

  28. 4 out of 5

    The Litt Librarian

    Read the complete review over at The Litt Librarian! https://thelittlibrarian.wixsite.com/... The Bones of Ruin by Sarah Raughley is intricate, to say the least. I can see why it has mixed reviews. A lot was going on throughout the story, and it deserves a detailed breakdown. Some may love it; some may be looking at the book like what the fuck, but the story will take you on an exploration nonetheless. I liked that Raughley wrote a story about an African female character in the Victorian ages and Read the complete review over at The Litt Librarian! https://thelittlibrarian.wixsite.com/... The Bones of Ruin by Sarah Raughley is intricate, to say the least. I can see why it has mixed reviews. A lot was going on throughout the story, and it deserves a detailed breakdown. Some may love it; some may be looking at the book like what the fuck, but the story will take you on an exploration nonetheless. I liked that Raughley wrote a story about an African female character in the Victorian ages and didn’t beat us over the head with the obvious fact that she’s black. Don’t get me wrong, she noted the lack of respect towards her gender and her skin color, but it wasn’t the leading focus of the story. As far as the lovey-dovey portion of the book, I have never seen a love square before. A triangle, yes. But not a square. That was new for me. I’m not sure if this aspect of personalization was needed. I won’t say it felt forced, but it did add something to the story. The ending has me highly confused. It is entirely too much to process, and I probably need to reread to grasp the intentions of the plot fully. To be fair, the book was left off as a cliffhanger, and we’ll probably get more answers in the sequel, but right now, I have questions. I gave it 3.5 stars

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mjspice

    The cover omg The cover omg

  30. 5 out of 5

    Online Eccentric Librarian

    More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ This is an interesting story with many layers in the storytelling. At the same time, the characters felt simplistic, unrealistic, and the story dragged rather than thrilled. This fantastical Victorian London never resonated as a true place and Iris' African heritage should have had more repercussions in everything she did in that era. The usual YA tropes are here: unique snowflake, everyone keeps secrets from her that More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ This is an interesting story with many layers in the storytelling. At the same time, the characters felt simplistic, unrealistic, and the story dragged rather than thrilled. This fantastical Victorian London never resonated as a true place and Iris' African heritage should have had more repercussions in everything she did in that era. The usual YA tropes are here: unique snowflake, everyone keeps secrets from her that she has to discover, every male wants her, and the world's survival depends on her. It is by no means a bad book; I just did not enjoy it as much as I had hoped. Story: Iris has no memory from before she walked into the circus and begged for a job. Now, as a performer, she begins to question who she is and what happened to her. Especially since she has discovered that she cannot die. When a mysterious young nobleman appears and says he can answer all her questions if she will help him, Iris is dragged into the web of a conspiracy that might just be the harbinger of a coming apocalypse. But she has the help of three young men at her side: another performer with secrets of his own, a street urchin surviving off his cunning, and the mysterious nobleman with whom she senses she has a past. The influences of manga/anime and sci fi are clear here: from Clamp's X and Fifth Element to direct homages from Revolutionary Girl Utena. They are not unwelcome but admittedly many of the characters felt 'cartoony' as well. Because Iris begins the novel as a tabula rasa, she spends most of the book doing unwise or dangerous things in order to find out more. This allows the author to pull in all kinds of easter eggs that can be fun to note. Because this is a YA, every young man wants Iris. There were many points where the boys were fighting over her and it got old very fast. Even the women and older adults were fighting over who gets Iris. This is in addition to her unique snowflake abilities which clearly overshadowed every other character's special ability. Iris really didn't have to struggle and there was clearly a 'Superman' effect going on: if the character can't die, there never is a sense of danger. Of course, the author uses the usual "Ya Heroine with a Power that no one helps her with" cliche. E.g., Adam knows who/what she is but refuses to tell her because he doesn't think she can handle the whole truth. Yet that's just what happens and she handles it just fine. It felt like another writer's excuse not to reveal the mystery and I couldn't help but feel it could have been done better. The circus is only in the beginning of the book. Most of the plot is Iris running around doing ludicrous things in order to find out clues to her past. These tend to get her friends injured but hey, Iris can't die, so who cares? All the boys falling all over her felt cardboard written when they all espoused over and over that they would happily die for her. They lacked will of their own. There is a 'game' in the middle of the group that her group has to compete in before Adam will reveal more truth to Iris. This is where I really felt let down: e.g., one section had literary references to high end establishments in London that none of Iris' gang of urchins would know. And yet, each suddenly had some connection to solve the riddles. And symptomatic of the entire book, Iris is handed the answer to the hardest riddle. The cast is racially diverse and that diversity in Victorian era London is nicely explained. This read very much like an anime - with all the good and the bad that can involve. At no time did I believe in the world building - Iris was rarely subjected to any racial issues that honestly would have been ugly and rampant at the time. But I am happy that Iris' past was revealed before the end of this first book in the series. In all, I think a good 100 pages being cut would have made for a better book. At times, it was really a hard read that didn't flow and didn't excite or make me never want to put it down. Iris is a likable character but there was a lot of ambivalence in her decision making (either go into super dangerous situation with no plants or refuse to do something she really needed to do) that made her hard to understand and respect. This is the first book in the series and ends on a complete arc. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...