Friday, April 24, 2009

CFBA Tour - Elisha's Bones

It's the end of a busy week for this blog. It's been a very "Bone"-ish week. First, I reviewed Ted Dekker's latest, BoneMan's Daughters. Then we had the blog tour for Blaggard's Moon, in which the main character was facing having monsters eat his bones.

Let's keep the theme going with the new book Elisha's Bones by Don Hoesel. This is his first book, so how does a new author stack up in this calcified week.

Things I liked about the book:

I loved the globetrotting adventure. Don does a great job in painting the local scenery and using the landscape to amplify the prose. He states he's traveled to some of the places, and researched others, and I can't tell what locales are the research only ones.

Jack Hawthorne is an unlikely protaganist, not the type to go out charging to save the world. He's a bit of a lazy "skate through life" type of guy (though some of this is explained by the story). He's sarcastic, infusing things with a sense of humor. Still, his growth through his experience is palpable.

The suspense is kept ratcheted up, and you're never certain who is good and who is bad. He has a good feel for pacing.

Things I am pondering:

The use of present tense, 1st person POV was quite intriguing. It provided for some real immediacy when dealing with what Jack was experiencing. The limitations of what Jack doesn't know also adds to the story. Still, it took me some time to get used to reading it. See these posts for more thoughts on this.

The bottom half of the cover is very cool. The top half needs a little more work to make it as stylish as the top. The silhouette seems too cliche or something.

Things that could be better:

Some of the other characters weren't fleshed out as well as they could have been. In particular, Esperanza is his companion through most of the book, yet at the end I wondered what she looked like and didn't fully know her. Their relationship was always nebulous.

Some description (mostly of people) lacked, but that may partly be a function of the present tense, 1st person POV. It wouldn't work for Jack to always stop and mentally describe each person he meets to himself in present time. I like a little more, but I don't know that this form would really allow it.


This is a very good first novel for Don. He had a strong voice throughout the book, and the action and suspense kept me turning pages until the very end. My negative comments I'm ocnfident will recede as he develops more as a writer. Keep them coming Don, I'm up for more.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Elisha's Bones, go HERE

1 comment:

  1. Jason,

    Thanks for taking the time to read the book. I appreciate the review.

    And I enjoyed your earlier post about tense.