Author: Natalie C. Parker
Series: Beware the Wild, #2
Released: February 23rd 2016
Length: 358 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Candace “Candy” Pickens has been obsessed with the swamp lore of her tiny Louisiana town for…forever.That doesn’t mean Candy’s a believer, however. She and her friends entered the swamp at the start of summer and left it changed, but Candy’s the only one who can’t see or feel the magical Shine. She’s also the only one who can’t see the ghosts that have been appearing in town ever since. So Candy concentrates on other things—real things. Like fighting with her mother and plotting her escape from her crazy town.But ghosts aren’t the only newcomers in Sticks, Louisiana. The King family arrives like a hurricane: in a blur and unwanted—at least by Candy. Mr. King is intent on filming the rumored ghostly activity for his hit TV show, Local Haunts. And while Candy can’t ignore how attracted she is to eighteen-year-old Gage King and how much his sister, Nova, wants to be friends, she’s still suspicious of the family.As Candy tries to figure out why the Kings are really in town and why the swamp now seems to be invading every crack in her logical, cynical mind, she stumbles across the one piece of swamp lore she didn’t know. It’s a tale that’s more truth than myth, and may have all the answers…and its roots are in Candy’s own family tree.
Natalie C. Parker’s Behold the Bones came as an unexpected sequel/companion novel to her fabulous debute, Beware the Wild. Just like her first book, Behold the Bones takes place in Sticks, Lousiana, a town as slow and provincial as its symbolic name suggests. When you’re born so deep in the South, you accept heath and gossip as a way of life. Aside from the small town mentality, Sticks is burdened with the surrounding forest and its swamp with magical properties. In the previous book, we followed Sterling on her quest to find and save her brother from the magical swamp. This time we join her best friend Candace as she discovers her family’s connection with the town’s history and magic.
Candy is completely unlike Sterling in every way that counts. She is headstrong, defiant and difficult and she makes poor choices on every turn. She is angry with everyone around her, but most of all she is furious with life itself. Her only goal is to escape from her small town at first opportunity, somewhere she can be anonymous and free. The swamp, however, has other plans for Candy, even when it seems that Candy and magic are mutually exclusive.
I suppose one could say that there’s a romance in this book, but it’s really peripheral, not unimportant but secondary, and Candy doesn’t even understand her feelings until the very end. If you prefer your books heavy on the romance, this isn’t a good choice for you. But if your priority is a good story, preferably with a light romance or at least some hope, Behold the Bones might be the perfect choice.
Behold the Bones is creepy, atmospheric and strange. In other words, it’s a perfect read for fans of Brenna Yovanoff, Kendare Blake or Tessa Gratton, which I definitely am. Parker’s prose is precisely the lush, gorgeous experience I enjoy above all else. She is a wonderful author and whatever she decides to write next has my wholehearted support.
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.