Call of the Bone Ships by RJ Barker (The Tide Child #2)

CallofFive Word TL:DR Review: I’m not crying, you’re crying.

Dear Hag what is going on?  This book has left me an emotional wreck.  I just don’t understand what is going on in the tiny spaces of my brain because I’m all over the place.  I want to cry and this just doesn’t happen, I’m a tough cookie, I taught hard nails a thing or two, I didn’t cry for Lassie.  I don’t cry.  But I so want to do so right now and it’s brilliant and unexpected and inexplicable.  Frankly, any book that gives me all the feelings is a winner.

I would mention at this point two things.  Firstly this is a second book in series and I do not think you can jump in at this point – and why would you anyway, the first is not only essential to understanding this world but is also damn fine so ‘how very dare you’ think of bypassing it.  Secondly, beware of spoilers – I don’t believe I’ve included any but who knows – you have been warned.

To be honest, and sorry for this, but this second instalment blows the first book totally out of the water (I know – but I couldn’t resist).  To be clear, I thoroughly enjoyed the first book, I really did, and I wondered if this would suffer maybe from second book syndrome, and, whilst there may be a slight set up for the final instalment going on here, this book is definitely not a suffering from any type of middle book sickness.  It works well, the characters grow, the author is bloody ruthless, there are skirmishes on land and on the high seas, it seems like the dragons have not perished or declined after all and there are prophecies afoot, oh my.

I am going to write nothing of the plot other than to say that Meas and her crew make a terrible discovery and are forced to throw everything they know into a heroic rescue type of mission that will leave many dead.  That is all I’m going for here so pick up the book and discover everything with fresh eyes for yourself.

This second instalment really takes us around the Hundred Isles.  The fights take place on land and on the sea.  There are huge kraken style monsters, so enormous that they cause Tsunami size waves and chaos in their wake.  There are islands where foul deeds take place and there be rescues.

In terms of the characters.  Well, Joren has come a long way by the time this book concludes.  I could say it’s exhausting watching his struggles, and it is to be honest, but it’s also satisfying.  Not everything goes according to plan, and Joren definitely goes through the wringer here but I loved all the gut wrenching emotion and the dramatic quests.  Meas, well, she is an enigma.  There’s something comforting about her presence whenever she appears on the page.  I was just like ‘please tell everyone what to do and save the day’, but of course, every now and again there are little cracks in the facade and she clearly fears her mother – so, Contrary Mary that I am – I cannot wait to meet her.

Why the emotion.  I can’t really pin it down to be honest.  I just fell for the characters.  There’s such a depth to them all and Joron experiences one of the most incredible story arcs.  There’s this whole feeling of acceptance,.  He’s not perfect, he may have disliked people for all the wrong reasons, but this books shows him prepared to learn, to find out about differences and to overcome things he never thought he would have to.  This is an author that can write all these little light bulb moments into a book but they’re so subtle that you feel like you’re turning on the switch yourself.  On top of this I feel like this is an author who has grown in style and confidence.

In terms of criticisms.  Stop killing people I like.  Please.  I will send cake.  Okay, not really a criticism but seriously I have nothing.  I would mention that this is not a quick read.  You need to sit down and pay it the respect it deserves but that’s not really asking too much is it?  Although, I would just mention, cliffhanger – but, oh what a cliffhanger.  Give me the next book soon for the love of the Hag.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

My rating 5 of 5 stars.


19 Responses to “Call of the Bone Ships by RJ Barker (The Tide Child #2)”

  1. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    This was indeed an emotional rollercoaster from beginning to end – and I second your request about not killing people we like anymore, please…
    The way the characters grow here is impressive, as does our view of the world: Call of the Bone ships improved on its already amazing predecessor by several orders of magnitude, and I can’t wait for book 3…
    Great review, thank you so much for sharing! 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      Thank You 😀
      I just loved this and it really had such an emotional impact on me – even now I’m puzzled by what was going on in my head but I was just a wreck.
      Lynn 😀

  2. pagesandtea

    This is the kind of review that makes me wish I’d already read book 1 (which I already own but haven’t read yet, what a shock) and could get straight into this. It sounds like a great read.
    By the time I get around to starting the series perhaps book 3 will be out too so I can read the whole lot.
    Glad you enjoyed this 😊

    • @lynnsbooks

      Haha – that’s one of the beauties of being behind sometimes. You can then binge read (plus, the added bonus of knowing that the series will be completed! Not looking at anyone, nope, not at all).
      Lynn 😀

  3. Timy

    YES! All this! This book wrecked me! Holy shit, can we have book 3 like yesterday, please?

    • @lynnsbooks

      Exactly, I don’t know what happened – I was so emotional And, also yes, give me No.3 yesterday.
      Lynn 😀

  4. Tammy

    I have about 100 pages to go, I was hoping to finish over the weekend, but like you said, this isn’t a quick read. I’m just in awe of Barker’s writing skills and his ability to make you care about horrible characters! Like Cwell for example. I should hate her but…

  5. evelynreads1

    I really need to pick up this series! Great review!


    • @lynnsbooks

      Thanks evelyn, I hope you get a chance to read it.
      Lynn 😀

  6. Ola G

    I’m so happy you loved it so much! Can’t wait to read it! 😀
    I really liked the first book, so to hear this is so much better makes me want to pick it up right now 😉

    • @lynnsbooks

      I don’t know whether it was just me – i think not though – but this one made me so emotional. I hope you love it.
      Lynn 😀

      • Ola G

        Already ordered! 😀

  7. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Well now, I’m excited to get started!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I hope you enjoy it – I really can’t tell you why it hit such a nerve with me but it just felt very emotional.
      Lynn 😀

  8. waytoofantasy

    Oh wow. I really need to get on the ball and start this series!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Like I just said on another comment – as nice as it would be – we can’t read them all. Although I’m loving this so far.
      Lynn 😀

  9. My ‘Best of’ list | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] Call of the Bones Ships by RJ Barker – I read the Bone Ships last year and in fact I think it was also on  a similar favourite reads of the year list and here I am again with an RJ Barker book making my list again.  This book is outstanding.  No middle book syndrome here – a book filled with emotion that made me, at times, want to laugh and cry, and a tour de force.  Barker has refashioned adventures on the high seas in the most ingenious and creative way.  I highly recommend this series and frankly book 3 can’t come quickly enough.  No pressure. […]

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