The world-building in RJ Barker's The Bone Ships: The Tide Child #1 is original and bold. Barker has created a new world, full of detail, history, and culture for this series.
In the world of the Hundred Isles, ships have been built from the bones of sea dragons--white, gleaming ships, equipped with corpse lights. But there are also black bone ships, captained and crewed by condemned criminals. And Joron Twiner finds himself on Tide Child, a black ship, in retaliation for killing the son of a powerful official in a duel.
Joron Twiner presents an intriguing protagonist as he gradually grows from an angry, depressed, nineteen-year-old and begins to question the rules and history of his society. I found this particularly interesting as the growth is slow and not readily accepted as Joron clings to the traditions he has been raised to accept.
Lucky Meas takes command of the Tide Child from Joron and not only allows him to live, but gives him second in command. Lucky Meas has been Shipwife (captain) of one of the most famous of the bone ships and has become a legend for her courage and skill in battle. How did she become condemned to a black ship? Whatever the reason, Meas is a leader and she is able to get both ship and crew into shape through force of will.
Meas, Joron, and the crew of the Tide Child are in search of the last sea dragon and the attempts to protect it or kill it.
(At the end, there is an appendix ranks in the Fleet and the Hundred Isles that (in my opinion) should have been at the beginning to help the reader adjust to this new world. Definition of the bern, berncast, Fleet ranks, etc. would make entering the world easier.)
I had not read RJ Barker before, but as soon as I finished The Bone Ships (knowing it would probably be a year's wait before the next in the series comes out), I ordered Age of Assassins, the first in Barker's Wounded Kingdom trilogy. Which lets you know how much I liked the book and the author. I literally put my Kindle on large print and walked while reading--mostly inside because adding the heat index to 98 degrees made walking outside too damn hot.
Read in August; blog review scheduled for Sept. 2.
Fantasy/Adventure. Sept. 24, 2019. Print length: 512 pages.
The Body on the Beach by Anna Johannsen. When a body is found on the beach of the small island of Arum, the question arises: natural death, suicide, murder?
DI Lena Lorezen is sent to investigate by a boss she doesn't trust. The victim was the head of a children's home, and the investigation leads to links to the past.
Not a bad mystery/police procedural, but the romance of Lena's reconnection with her youthful boyfriend felt like the author was trying to include a romance for a target audience.
Read in July; blog review scheduled for Sept. 2.
NetGalley/Amazon Publishing, UK
Police Procedural. Print length: 240 pages.