Coral Were His Bones

Coral Were His Bones - Barbara Geiger A Hearts On Fire Review

THREE & A HALF HEARTS-You know those puzzle maze toys? You have to get the little metal ball(s) inside the right route and into the hole? You have to to twist and turn until you can get it inside? Think of a really complicated one. Have it in your head?

Great. Welcome to "Coral Were His Bones". I didn't get the balls in the hole. I got close, or I thought I did but this author's form of storytelling is a doozy. I hope the review makes sense, bear with me.

It is not bad. It's slightly better than good BUT it doesn't keep the reader in mind when telling this long, complex tale of something fairly simple.

The story dumps you into a world that barely hands out clues to explain what exactly is going on. I can dig all kinds of storytellers - I prefer having to work some for a story, you don't need to info dump me. But this author has all the answers locked tight in vault and only she knows what's going on.

I got a puzzle with the wrong decoder ring, folks.

Hello. I'm a first time reader of Barbara Geiger, I do not know anything about the paranormal rules set up or the world created - can someone help me? These metaphor and helter-skelter flashbacks while in the present (with no warning) confused me.

Short story: This is a book about friends to lovers. Finn has loved Deacon since he was a teen. Due to some funky age of consent laws, even though the boys are less than two years apart, no penetration until all parties are 18 years old. Finn is a selkie shifter, Deacon is not. Deacon is with an older guy named Paul who is also a magic wielding (of what it's barely elaborated) bad guy who takes Finn instead. He abuses Finn (pretty bad) for the next ten years. He traps Finn to an agreement, he can only be free for one day every year. Finn chooses to go back to his love Paul. Then goes back to being the sex slave, punching bag that Paul owns.

Look how simple that summary was. This story does not do this. We're taken on this journey where Finn flashbacks at a drop of a hat, sees a ghost, deals with magic and flees from Paul with Deacon on a boat. He suffers from PTSD, tries to escape from his abusive Master but there is sort of a struggle with this.

Don't think this story will have you on the edge of the seat, it doesn't so this. This is slow suspense. So slow, I almost question what's the point, then the author would drop a semblance of a crumb and I kept reading.

Being inside Finn's head is done well. His thoughts and mind is skewed from the years of abuse. His actions don't make sense half if the time. There's not an abundance of violence either. All the abuse is shown in Finn's flashbacks along with thoughts that Paul has taken from him.

Paul is a villain but I don't know what he is. The story ends at an odd spot. It feels incomplete. I know this is a series but it reads like we got a slice of one mega book. There are so many unanswered questions that I don't know if I even want to continue with the rest of this puzzling puzzle.

The best thing about the book is when we get glimpses of Finn's life. His emotions were raw. But the jagged way of showing it is my biggest problem. There's sex, a few times it was hot, most times it was awkward. This book is not about sex and it gets skewed just like Finn's thoughts.

This book would be best for readers who like sedately paced suspense, cliffhangers of the biggest kind and not knowing what the big picture is. The writing is raw, emotive (at times) and somewhat interesting. I'm on the fence with continuing with the rest of this series. There needs to be a lot more questions answered in the next book and hopefully some consideration for curious first time readers who don't anything about this author's work.