Near The Bone: Christina Henry
Reviewed By Steve Stred
Big thanks to Netgalley and Berkley for approving me to read this.
I’ve seen a number of people rave about Henry’s work over the last few years, but none of it really grabbed my interest. That is until I read the synopsis for ‘Near the Bone.’
If you’ve read any of my reviews or even my own work, you know that I LOVE anything based around the woods, snow and massive creatures. Henry could’ve pitched this to me with those five words if I worked at Berkley and I would’ve said “YES!”
Diving in, I was pleasantly surprised with how easy Henry writes, which let me devour this over the course of a few sittings.
What I liked: Husband and Wife, William and Mattie live in a small cabin, high up in the mountains. They live a simple, isolated existence that is ruled by William’s cruelty and abuse. Mattie can’t remember her life before William. As flashes of her life before start to come through, it’s pushed aside when a massive, unknown creature makes itself known.
Henry has crafted a thriller/creature feature here that gallops along. The characters are very strong and you connect with Mattie immediately. You want to see her survive and overcome everything, especially as we learn more and more about her back story.
The character of William, as despicable as he is, was really well done and made for a great ‘evil’ for Mattie to battle and ultimately use as her reason to survive.
I must say, even though we get far too little of the beast itself, every single time we get scenes with it, they were amazing. Absolutely top notch shivers and terrifying moments.
What I didn’t like: For this reader things really went from point A to point B to point C. Maybe it’s the sheer volume of books that I’ve read and in this particular theme, but none of the ‘reveals’ or moments meant to give me ‘ah ha’ moments were surprising. Saying that, that didn’t diminish from my enjoyment and frankly as Mattie confronts her past, I was happy to see things go the way they did.
Why you should buy this: Well, did you not read how I said it was about the woods, snow and a creature? If that doesn’t get you excited, how about a strong female lead who continues to survive no matter the costs? Henry has really crafted a fantastic thriller here and there were scenes in here with the creature that will stay with me for a long, long time.
Near The Bone
A woman trapped on a mountain attempts to survive more than one kind of monster, in a dread-inducing horror novel from the national bestselling author Christina Henry.
Mattie can’t remember a time before she and William lived alone on a mountain together. She must never make him upset. But when Mattie discovers the mutilated body of a fox in the woods, she realizes that they’re not alone after all.
There s something in the woods that wasn’t there before, something that makes strange cries in the night, something with sharp teeth and claws.
When three strangers appear on the mountaintop looking for the creature in the woods, Mattie knows their presence will anger William. Terrible things happen when William is angry.
Steve Stred is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections. He has appeared in anthologies with some of Horror’s heaviest hitters.
He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his wife, son and their dog OJ.
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