Author: Dorian Graves
Publisher: NineStar Press
First Published: 23 April 2018
Rating: 3 stars
“’Maybe just a lunch date? Or , well I’m sure you don’t go to restaurants a lot now that you’re made of plants, but maybe we can find a coffee shop that doesn’t mind if you blend in with the shrubbery,’”
I will start by saying that I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own. Thank you so much to NineStar Press and NetGalley!
Half-huldra Retz Gallows is having an awful day. First, he wakes up in the middle of driving to who-knows-where with an angry unicorn head in his passenger seat. This is almost normal, thanks to a lifetime of sharing a body with Nalem, a bone-controlling spirit with a penchant for wicked schemes and body-stealing joyrides. It’s probably a bad idea to ask what else could go wrong.
Jarrod Gallows left home with plans to rescue his little brother from possession. Instead, he got saddled with a dead-end job as a paranormal investigator, a Faerie curse, and a daredevil boyfriend who might be from another world. At least he’s got a new job—except why is his brother Retz here and why does this sudden reunion feel more like a bane than a blessing?
This day’s going to get worse for the Gallows brothers before it gets better. To survive, they’ll have to escape the forces controlling them, as well as the wrath of carnivorous unicorns, otherworldly realms, and even their own parents. Only time will tell if they’ll make it out alive…or sober.
This book was such a fun adventure with a wicked sense of humour. It reminded me of an episode of Supernatural if there were fewer angels and demons and you know if The Winchesters were half Fae. The narrative is told in duel, alternating perspectives from the Gallows brother.
The story opens with, Retz driving a car along a stretch of road he’s not familiar with. His possessor, Nalem, has just released his and with no knowledge of where they are, why they are here or where they are going. Oh, also there is a decapitated unicorn head on the passenger’s seat. It’s alive and trying to kill him.
We meet Jarrod amidst a job, cleaning a club of Japanese frog people called Akanane with his boyfriend, Farris O’Reilly. I adore these two! Jarrod and Farris travel the country, picking up odd jobs clearing towns of the supernatural creatures that wreak havoc.
Also worth mentioning not only are these two a fantastic queer couple, Jarrod is transgender. What Dorian Graves does wonderfully is that these aspects are everyday elements for these characters and weren’t tokenised.
Bones and Bourbon is brimming with twisted creatures, a P.T. Barnum style Cabinet of curiosities and all the gore and violence you expect from the original fairy tales. The nods to different cultures and classic folktales are sprinkled throughout. Overall this was a really fun book and I adore that the fantastical creatures were lesser know and from a wide variety of cultures. Would be interested in seeing where the Gallows brothers end up next.