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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Nita doesn’t murder supernatural beings and sell their body parts on the internet—her mother does that. Nita just dissects the bodies after they’ve been “acquired.” Until her mom brings home a live specimen and Nita decides she wants out; dissecting a scared teenage boy is a step too far. But when she decides to save her mother’s victim, she ends up sold in his place—because Nita herself isn’t exactly “human.” She has the ability to alter her biology, a talent that is priceless on the black market. Now on the other side of the bars, if she wants to escape, Nita must ask herself if she’s willing to become the worst kind of monster.
Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer is a fantastic debut YA fantasy. I didn't know quite what to expect going into this aside from that blurb, but I'm glad I went in nearly blind. It was such a pleasant, refreshing, and unique surprise. Well, when I say that I mean it was intense and bloody and I totally need more. I loved that it's fast-paced and had me on the edge of my seat throughout - I wasn't sure at any point how exactly everything was going to work out. The cast of complex characters, regardless of their species, are fascinating to follow, especially Nita's journey. Her growth as a character is amazing to watch. While I could describe this gritty fantasy as a bit of a slasher story, it also works as an intriguing examination of what it means to be human or monster and how our choices reflect our humanity or lack thereof. Finally, I'd also like to mention the world-building - there isn't a lot in regards to why and how the world is the way it is, but it is still suitably dark and vivid.
Overall, Not Even Bones by Rebecca Shaeffer is a darkly unique debut YA fantasy with a dash of horror. While the world-building was a little underwhelming for me, it makes up for it with it's fabulous character development. You may like this novel if you enjoy Dexter, Stalking Jack the Ripper, and bloody and slightly deranged fantasy. I know I'll be back for the sequel and future projects from this author. Thanks again, NetGalley!
I read this ARC from August 29 - 31, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads. Not Even Bones will be released on September 4th.