Book Review: The Bone Curse by Carrie Rubin

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I’m very excited to share a review on a book I read while in Italy last month. From the moment I saw the first few postings or social media messages, I was interested… and when I learned it was from a blogger I follow and respect, it was all the more intriguing. If you aren’t following her blog, please check it out. Let’s get into my thoughts on this fantastic book…

bone

When The Bone Curse by Carrie Rubin appeared on my news feed earlier this year, I was excited to devour such a thriller. I purchased the novel and scheduled it for my May vacation while I was out of the country visiting various Italian cities, especially since one of the tours included the crypts and catacombs of Rome. What a perfect way to align my reading with my physical setting, right? Well, it gets even scarier… I’ve previously visited the Paris Catacombs where the story kicks off, and at some point during my current trip, I scratched my finger (I believe while trying to load luggage on a bus when it stopped to pick me up in Amalfi on the edge of a cliff) just like the main character in this book, and within two days I had a nasty bug and infection. For a moment, I thought the The Bone Curse might be coming to life and I was gonna call Ms. Rubin for some advice! Thankfully, I did not cause people around me to die, so all in all, I handled it with aplomb — just like this great new author I’ve found!

The novel is categorized as a medical thriller, but it goes beyond that initial genre with the introduction of educational backstory on Voodoo / Voudo practice (different types depending on the interpretation), a young doctor learning how to make a name for himself during his initial hospital training, some fantasy elements when ancient bones seemingly come back to life, and a bit of romance and family drama to round out the story’s depth. I am always excited when a book crosses genres and this one did not disappoint. Life’s sometimes ordinary, and if you can push the boundaries with a little bit of mystery and a strange curse, I’m all for it. Bring it on!

Rubin’s story is top notch. It combined all the elements of my favorite movies and stories covering ancient mummies with revenge on their mind, mass graves of people who were victimized and need to heal, a fine line between medicinal cures and that of the occult. The story drags you in from the beginning and throws out many well-calculated twists and turns. You’re never quite sure if the truth will add up in the end with a logical and natural explanation like some weird virus that caused it all, or if it’s an honest-to-god ancestral curse come back to life seeking vengeance. That’s what made it such a page-turner… you felt tossed back and forth and feverishly thrashed while reading and savoring each of the words to figure it out all.

It helps that the characters were distinct, admirable and endearing. But oh, the deaths… an author is brave when she goes after the ones likely to be a fan favorite. A few times, I wanted to punch the main character, Ben, for being such a dunce. Rubin offers more than enough detail and reasoning for why he might choose not to believe in such a curse, but when enough people are impacted around him, the dude needs to wake up! If I’d been his friend, I would have locked him up much sooner… but that’s what makes the story such an intrigue. Ben is human and torn from what his scientific experience tells him and how his interesting upbringing has shaped him. He’s a product of all the things that keep him wary and cautious of the truth, so he seeks to eliminate all the rational before allowing himself to accept the non-tangible. It was a well-crafted approach and makes readers attach strongly to the entire cast and plot.

I am fond of the author’s writing style and the world she’s built in Ben’s personal life. Though he may have a ‘solution’ with answers at the end of this book, his travels are far from over… this is the kick off of a new series, and there’s plenty more to explore coming out of what’s happened to him in this book. Between death, changes to his family situation, and the upcoming impacts of his life at the hospital, I’m excited to continue being part of this adventure. Rubin’s enamored a new fan and I might even need to take a peek at a few of her earlier unrelated books while I wait for book two in this series. Kudos!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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26 thoughts on “Book Review: The Bone Curse by Carrie Rubin

    Carrie Rubin said:
    June 6, 2018 at 10:34 AM

    What a wonderful review, thank you so much! That’s definitely a treat to find this morning. I’m so glad you liked the book, and I truly appreciate you spreading the word about it. Very thoughtful of you.

    How weird you scratched your finger on your trip and then got sick. Not a very fun way to spend your vacation. (Especially while thinking about curses. 😁) But I imagine you had a wonderful time regardless. Italy is a beautiful country. It’s been a while since I’ve been there, but I recently experienced it remotely by watching “Call Me by Your Name.” Great shots of the country in that movie and one of the most beautiful films I’ve seen for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 6, 2018 at 10:43 AM

      You are very welcome! I truly enjoyed the book and had a fantastic time immersing myself in it.

      I enjoyed that movie, too. I want to read the book now, as well. Italy was wonderful. I miss it, but it’s good to be home, too.

      Liked by 1 person

    The Cozy Pages said:
    June 6, 2018 at 10:38 AM

    Haha… I’m trying to picture you challenging ben to fistfight. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    (Danielle) Books, Vertigo and Tea said:
    June 6, 2018 at 12:35 PM

    Fantastic review! What an odd series of events!!! The irony would have had me a bit shaken haha. I am glad it was not the Bone Curse Jay 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    This is a wonderful review Jay. I think I may have to splurge on Amazon. And how weird and creepy that you became sick in a similar fashion while in Italy. I’m glad you’re feeling better and that you still had fun on your vacation.😊

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 6, 2018 at 2:08 PM

      Thank you! Yes, it was a bit creepy. I didn’t even notice the cut. The woman on the bus spoke to me in Italian and kept trying to tell me but I wasn’t sure at first. Then she grabbed my hand and showed me. Yikes! Blood everywhere. I hadn’t known it, as I was focused on trying to hold on around the street curves and not fall to the floor of the bus. :).

      Liked by 1 person

    Mary Deal said:
    June 6, 2018 at 1:11 PM

    That title alone is a dramatic invitation to open that book. What a great write up.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 6, 2018 at 2:09 PM

      So true. Thank you! I think you’d like it.

      Like

        Mary Deal said:
        June 6, 2018 at 4:54 PM

        Don’t know. I can’t read anything real scary. I have nightmares for many nights. I read Margaret Millman’s first book and did okay and like the story. But two nights later, I had nightmares for three nights. Have always been this way since reading The Exorcist in the 1970s and also watching all the Dracula movies around the same time. My young son and I used to go to the movies often and then realized we were both having frightful dreams. Ruined myself! He feels the same, won’t read anything like this anymore either.

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        June 6, 2018 at 5:30 PM

        I know many people like you! I totally understand. I’m usually good. It’s a great book, but you might find some of the scenes over the edge towards the end when the Haitian practices occur. It was beautiful and scary at the same time.

        Like

    E. Michael Helms, writer said:
    June 6, 2018 at 2:56 PM

    Quite the coincidence with scratching your finger just as in the book . . . or, was it? Very good review and sounds like an intriguing read. 🙂
    –Michael

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 6, 2018 at 5:29 PM

      Something funny was going on. Life imitating art, I suppose. It’s definitely a powerful and strong read. I recommend it.

      Like

    Beware Of The Reader said:
    June 6, 2018 at 3:29 PM

    Voodoo James??? I see you had interesting reads while touring Italy 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    Lashaan (Bookidote) said:
    June 6, 2018 at 6:58 PM

    I like how the story got you so invested in the characters and how hooked you were by it all. It definitely caught my attention now. Great review, Jay. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    tylerus said:
    June 7, 2018 at 9:16 AM

    Sounds like a good read! Onto the list it goes.

    Liked by 1 person

    Aislynn d'Merricksson said:
    June 12, 2018 at 2:03 PM

    Brilliant review! This looks pretty good. And that cover is darn spooky!

    Liked by 1 person

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