Review: Bones by Various
Where did you get this book: E-Arc from Publisher
Release Date: Out Now
“Vodou. Obeah. Santeria. These religions seem mysterious and dark to the uninitiated, but the truth is often very different. Still, while they hold the potential for great power, they can be dangerous to those who don’t take appropriate precautions. Interfering with the spirits is best left to those who know what they’re doing, for when the proper respect isn’t shown, trouble can follow. In these four novellas, steamy nights of possession and exotic ritual will trigger forbidden passion and love. You cannot hide your desires from the loa, or from the maddening spell of the drums. Four acclaimed m/m authors imagine homoerotic love under the spell of Voodoo.”
“The Dance” by Kim Fielding
“After being surrounded by deaths and near-deaths, introverted chemist Bram Tillman wishes he could undo the past year. Then beautiful Daniel Royer shows up with a warning about more danger ahead—and a promise to use vodou to help Bram discover what’s trying to kill him. But while Bram’s attraction to Daniel grows, vodou spirits change Bram in unexpected ways.”
I’m giving “The Dance” an A
“The Bird” by Eli Easton
Colin Hastings is sent to Jamaica in 1870 to save his father’s sugar cane plantation. If he succeeds, he can marry his fiancée back in London and take his place in proper English society. But Colin finds more than he bargained for on the island. His curiosity about Obeah, the native folk magic, leads him to agree to a dangerous ritual where he is offered his heart’s most secret desire—one he’s kept deeply buried all his life. What happens when a proper English gentleman has his true sensual nature revealed and freed by the Obeah spirits?
I’m giving “The Bird” an A+
“The Book of St. Cyprian” by Jamie Fessenden
“When Alejandro Valera finds a book of black magic in New Orleans, he ships it to his friend Matthew in New Hampshire so he can read it when he gets home. Unfortunately, Matthew’s dog, Spartacus, gets to the package first, and Alejandro returns to find Matthew locked out of his apartment by the suddenly vicious pit bull. The boys call on all the magic they know to free Spartacus from the evil spirit, but they might need to accept that they’re in over their heads.”
I’m giving “The Book of St. Cyprian” a B-
“Uninvited” by B.G. Thomas
“When a hot tip leads Kansas City reporter Taylor Dunton to a series of grisly murders, his investigation points to Myles Parry and his vodou shop. Myles wants nothing more than to practice his religion in peace, and he hopes Taylor can help him show the community they have nothing to fear. The problem is all the clues point to Myles as the suspect and only Taylor can help him prove his innocence. However, this case has also caught the attention of the vodou spirits of the Lwa… and they’ve taken an interest in Taylor as well.”
I’m giving “Univited” a B
Wow. What a great collection of stories. I’ve maybe learned more about Vodou than I wanted to or is safe to if I go by B.G.’s story! This is a diverse collection that gives both history and great breakdowns of the religion. For me there are definitely some standout stories. The Easton
and Fielding stories were opposite ends of the spectrum where one is historical and the other modern but both just fabulous little gems. I found the Thomas story gave the most detail about Vodou and was the most fantastical of them all followed by the Fessenden one. There are also some great romances here. With two established friends to lovers yarns and the other two deal with new lovers.
The Dance was a close second as my favourite in the anthology. Bram and Daniel were such a perfect couple and seeing them discover that was pretty special. I did find it upsetting when I realized who the spirit who had been trying to kill Bram was but it made a lot of sense. Sad though.
I really felt the anguish and unrequited love in the Easton story as the best friends were separated by both distance and circumstance, the flashbacks were both telling and sad as Colin battled his attraction to Richard. I’m not sure why letters in novels affect me so much but they revealed both a real pining and the intense love the men had for each other. This story was definitely my favourite of the collection. I never wished so hard to see a chicken live in my life!
The Fessenden story is a YA one. Not my favourite type of story to read but I really liked the resolution to the issue, Abuela to the rescue! The romance worked well as the best friends try to save Matthew’s dog without getting themselves into more trouble.
I always enjoy B.G.’s books. I love how he expands on his Kansas City series here as well. You don’t need to have read any of his other books as this is a standalone but I appreciate the little nods to previous characters and locations.
My knowledge of vodou stems only what I’ve gleaned from popular culture so the information that was provided in the anthology definitely had me looking past all that and seeing Vodou from another perspective. Nothing ever felt info dropped though but all very organic to the nature of each of the stories.
I’m giving Bones anthology as a whole a B+