Coral & Bone was a waste of my time. An absolute waste, because I could have spent 2 days reading other books that are so much more amazing (and obviously, worth my attention).
When reading the synopsis and first starting out the book, I thought Coral & Bone would be promising – Sirens! Mermaids are the bad guys! How cool is that!
Problem? Early on in the book, I could already tell – like I can with most books – this would not go very well. The writing feels a bit choppy.
She was going through bookstore withdrawals and losing her sanity at the same time. She would have to try and persuade her mom to take her to Portland— soon. If she could just nestle between the aisles of books, get lost for few hours, she might be able to harness some of these crazy new feelings she had been experiencing.Think of a river, or any type of water source. If the water is choppy, it doesn't really bear a good sign. But if the water flows, it's pretty calm. It's precisely how I felt with Duane's writing. It just didn't seem to go really well and I felt as though I were reading a sample from a grammar book. "Sophia did this. Sophia did that. Sophia flipped. Sophia pouted. Sophia expressed her dislike."
It's CONFUSING. If there's one thing I really dislike, it's people not giving me clarification. Please. If a math teacher doesn't teach you clearly how to do a problem, how do you pass a math class with a passable grade? But goody gumdrops, does Duane confuse me.
She discovered, through meditation, that she was able to speak to her mom. “Are you still there? Mom?”If her mom's throat got slit and she's dead, how is Tage able to speak to her mom, even if it's through meditation? Is her mom a ghost? Is Tage just thinking about what her mother would say if she were still alive?
"They took the bait."What bait? You would think that as Tage and Daspar are working together toward a common goal, Daspar would reveal what the bait would be. He doesn't. What the heck?
"After he consumed Pura’s soul he was different."Eh? Whoa whoa whoa. When did we enter sucking your soul out zone? How does one do that exactly, and why did Daspar do it? Protection? Did Pura sacrifice herself?
“Remember I told you the Elosians didn’t like sirens?”Wait a minute. Wait a minute. If Etlis is for shifters and humans stay on Earth, yet Elosians don't like Sirens, where do Sirens live? Are they immigrants? Migrants? The world building has a good start, but it's too confusing to be a fully developed world.
"When Natalie died…”Goodness, even the characters are confused. "Where's Natalie? Where's Natalie? Where's Natalie?" "Oh, let's just throw Halen in and see how she does and go from there because we're not sure if Natalie's alive or not!" What happens if Natalie really is alive? Ping, pong, let's have a sister fight!
“Went missing,” Pepper chimed in.
“Died,” Catch said.
Halen looked to Dax. “Is she dead or alive?”
“We don’t know for sure. We haven’t found her body, but that doesn’t mean the hunters didn’t destroy it.”
For fun, I pretty much thought her name was Haden. Funny, because I actually read The Shadow Prince and what do you know? Haden's the main character (well, one of them).
It's probably even a coincidence they have similar personalities and are all mopey. "I can't do this! I give up! Blah blah blah!" It's all acceptable for the first book... usually. It becomes quite the problem if the character cries wolf quite loudly. Ahem... their bark is apparently bigger than their bite.
But here's one positive aspect: Halen isn't a quitter. Despite the fact she's completely frustrated all the time, she continues.
Unfortunately, it was pretty much the only thing about Coral & Bone I liked. When that happens, especially at around 60%, it pretty much means all hope is lost and I should move on.
With all that said, you don't really want to waste your time with Coral & Bone unless you're looking for a book that confuses you. Perhaps with major tweaks, Duane's latest work would certainly be one you wouldn't want to simply pass by. But no, that's not the case.