Sunday 22 June 2014

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway: Boneseeker

Tour schedule can be found here.

Title: Boneseeker
Author: Brynn Chapman
Publisher: Month9Books
Released: 17th June 2014
Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Arabella Holmes is more or less comfortable working at the Mutter Museum, where she works with bones and artefacts and carries out experiments - a far cry from the traditional role and expectations of a lady of her time.  Henry Watson is newly arrived there to undertake a position in antiquities, but the two are childhood friends who have not seen each other in years.  Upon the discovery of a hand that falls into a wider debate, they are sent as part of a team on an expedition to determine whether the hand belongs to a Neanderthal or Nephilim, a giant race who were the product of relations between fallen angels and humans.  They discover, however, that there was another team before them, all of whom are now dead.  It is no longer solely a matter of resolving scientific debate, but a fight for their lives in a quest to discover the full truth.

Chapman presents an intriguing world where history mixes with fantasy.  Arabella and Henry are our next-generation Holmes-and-Watson duo, and instead of battling straightforward human criminals, there is also a bit of Biblical background.  This contrasted nicely with the highly scientific side that the author developed from historical context; with Darwin's theories beginning to take hold, a tension is developed between science and the supernatural.  I think it would have been nice to see the fantasy element developed to a similar level, to give it solid foundation, but it was intriguing nevertheless.  The Mutter Museum itself was a curious place, a place of oddities and not necessarily pleasant artefacts and displays.  As it turns out there's actually a Mütter Museum in Philadelphia, so for those of you across the pond who also didn't know, if you find yourself curious, that might be something to do for a day out.

Arabella bears some of the traits of her brilliant father, these combined with strong attributes of her own.  Inquisitive, intelligent, hopelessly unable to be the quiet and tactful lady that convention requires, she makes for a vivid protagonist.  A nice context is built around in her in terms of the relationship Chapman has constructed between Arabella and Sherlock, making the reader both smile and sympathise.  We only see him directly for a brief moment, but his presence is constant.  John Watson, however, is a much more predominant figure; despite being a secondary figure, he makes a welcome addition to the cast.  Henry provides an alternate PoV, and I liked how he balanced Arabella.  As bright as she is, Henry helps her expand her view of the world and tempers her highly scientific outlook with the belief in the possibility that there might be more.

There were a couple of unresolved issues that I would have liked fixed, although they weren't massive.  Overall, though, in combining mystery with fantasy and presenting protagonists who were simultaneously familiar and new, Boneseeker turned out to be a decent read.

Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Brynn Chapman is the daughter of two teachers. Her writing reflects her passions: science, history and love—not necessarily in that order. In real life, the geek gene runs strong in her family, as does the Asperger’s syndrome. Her writing reflects her experience as a pediatric therapist and her interactions with society’s downtrodden. In fiction, she’s a strong believer in underdogs and happily-ever-afters. She also writes non-fiction and lectures on the subjects of autism and sensory integration and is a medical contributor to online journal The Age of Autism.
Author Links:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
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  1. Oooh... the next generation of Holmes and Watson! The mix of science and supernatural sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing, Aa'Ishah!

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  4. Great Review, will definitely take a read of this.


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