Hello everybody! I hope you all are safe and that you are reading some good books. I can’t complain, this week I am being lucky with my reading, and today I am here with my first review for SPSFC, yay!
Title: Of Cinder and Bone
Series: Of Cinder and Bone #1
Author: Kyoko M.
Page Count: 438
Publication Date: December 23rd, 2016
After centuries of being the most dangerous predators on the planet, dragons were hunted to extinction. That is, until Dr. Rhett “Jack” Jackson and Dr. Kamala Anjali cracked the code to bring them back. Through their research at MIT, they resurrected the first dragon anyone has seen alive since the 15th century. There’s just one problem.
Someone stole it.
Caught between two ruthless yakuza clans who want to clone the dragon, Jack and Kamala brave the dangerous streets of Tokyo to steal their dragon back in a race against time before the world is taken over by mutated, bloodthirsty monsters that will raze it to ashes.
Of Cinder and Bone is an all-new sci-fi romance thriller from the author of the Amazon bestselling Black Parade series.
This was an interesting and compelling book, that’s for sure. I enjoyed it and the time we spent together flew by, but even if I enjoyed the ride a lot, I think I won’t continue the series. I will talk more about the things that I liked and the things that I didn’t like so much in a moment, but just to summarize here, this book was not cohesive. Sure, I talked about it with my team-mates while I was reading it and one of them reassured me that in the end all things would have come together quite nicely, and yes, this was true, but it was not enough for me. It is quite unbalanced, and this was the main reason I am not interested in the series as a whole, but it is a book that I still recommend if you are in for some fun, a bit of science, a ton of action and dragons!
So let’s start with the good. The idea here is really akin to Jurassic Park (the movies, I haven’t read the books, sorry!) and the characters themselves remark this (and I loved it!). We have a couple of scientist, that are our MC, Kamala and Jack, who are studying a way to re-create dragons in our wolrd. And they manage it using some dragon’s DNA implanted (I hope this is the right word!) in a Komodo dragon. It is not so easy and straightforward, obvioulsy, they studied a lot and they made a lot of tries, but in the end they have their own personal little dragon, Pete. The first one since hundreds of years. Amazing, right? Pete, this is the name of this amazing creature, is the first dragon in centuries and she is the cutest creature, really.
But some bad people stole her!
Let’s stop a moment here with the plot. In this first part we get to know the characters pretty well. The author give them a lot of space, and I am not only speaking about Kam and Jack, that we get to know pretty well all the same, but about Faye, too, Kamala live-in and friend-enemie with Jack. And their interaction are so good! They are funny, they carry the story forward and they are a pleasure to read. And we get to see them interact outside this triangle too, and this is pretty good because it helps create characters that are alive. And usually I am all in for well developed characters. But even if I enjoyed this part a lot, I have to confess that it felt slightly unbalanced to me. The level of attention for the characters interactions and relationship was a bit too much. And here I am a bit at a loss for words, because it is something difficult to explain. On one hand I enjoyed them, because they are well developed and funny and they made the characters seem more real and complex, but on the other hand I think that they are a bit outside the story, they are not really well fitted in the whole.
Okay, back to the plot and other things! So, Pete is stolen and very bad people is behind the kidnapping, very very bad people. And our scientists are soon involved in something way bigger than them. And they follow the cues up to Japan, where they are even more in danger and where they are helped by Misaki.
And stop here again!
So, if the first part is a good mix between sci-fi and romance, here we have the thriller part. And the action part. It seems like the author wanted for this book to be too many things. And even if I appreciated this part, because it is action packed, we get to see Pete again, and we visit Japan too (and you won’t get bored, at all!), again I don’t think that it really fit in there. It is that all keep seeming unbalanced to me. It is almost as, as I was saying, the author couldn’t make her mind up and choose, so she didn’t choose and tryed to cover every genre. Mind me, I turned page after page, because I wanted to see what would happen next, I needed to know all about Pete and I was engaged in the story and the characters but… but it wasn’t as cohesive as I would have preferred.
Also, you have to just suspend your disbelief in this part, because we have two scientist who turn detective in a place where neither of them has been before, who is not just geographically far away but in which the culture and the language are completely new to them (I mean, okay they are not in a brand new world, but the differences between America and Japan are pretty heavy, and you can’t just learn some basic Japanese while flying from point A to point B. With just a book.) and they are up against the yakuza. Not a lab rat like them. Nope. The yakuza. All with the help of WonderWoman, A.K.A. Misaki. She is an amazing character, and she is capable (a lot!), she is strong willed and resorceful. Sure, but she is human and this fact is not really taken in account in here. It is not that she is portraied as other-worldy, not at all, but it is just that she is a sort of female Rambo (or every other Stallone/Statham characters you can choose, basically one woman army. Come on!). And yes, Jack is pretty resourceful too. And he is not your usual lab rat either (and okay, neither is Kamala), but yes, you just have to suspend your disbelief for this part.
And then we have the ending. And I won’t spoiler it for you, but there are a couple of things to say. After Jack and Kamala come back to America we get to see some pretty epic scenes, and I loved them. And I really appreciated the fact that the author wrote them. Because it would have been such a shame and a waste to just not have them. And all things really come together nicely, and the ending is quite more balanced that all the rest. But, yes, there are some buts even here, sorry! In the end we get a 180 degree and we change from Jurassic Park to Godzilla (but with a nice Russian vibe to it!), and the last scene of the book, even if it fit and I can’t find an objective reason to complain here, this is just the truth, was not of my liking. It is a thing that usually made me snort. Or roll my eyes, because it is the same damn end for all the romance. Sooner or later you just have it. I can count on one hands the series or the books that don’t use this trope (or this narrative path), I think, and it is something that keeps annoying me. And yes, it is 100% personal. And usually I just get over it pretty quickly, but here we are a bit too much in the beginning of the romance part so… yeah, it was a choice that didn’t make me happy. But this is totally on me.
Anyway, I know that I was pretty criticizing in this review, but I want to remark that the book is pretty enjoyable, and the idea behind it is epic. Really. I loved the Jurassic Park with dragons a lot. And if you are in for something that would take your mind off, action-packed and with dragon(s), well… try this one!
And what about you? Have you read this book? Or something else by this author?? Let me know!