Review originally posted here
.Why I Read It:
Next in a series. The last volume!! This being the last volume in a series, there's the possibility of there being spoilers for earlier volumes (though I will try to avoid it as much as possible).
Aaahh, the last volume of the Bone
series. We had a rollicking time, didn't we Bone
? At first I wasn't that into you, but then you went and became pretty awesome. And then THIS volume happened AND HOLY CRAP!! Seriously, this volume was SO GOOD and makes up any of the misgivings I had at the beginning of the series. This is only the fourth title to receive five-stars from me on Goodreads this year because it was THAT good.
While I've come to realize that Smith doesn't shy away from the nitty gritty and some violence despite this series being targeted to kids, some of the things that happened in this volume still caught me off guard. Like someone being CUT IN HALF WITH A SCYTHE!! And this whole volume is a full-fledged siege taking place between Briar and the Lord of the Locusts against Atheia. So there is high-action in this volume, and it's not dumbed down just because it's for kids. I'm actually impressed at how much faith Smith obviously has in his readers -- it's not so violent as to alienate younger readers (though I wouldn't suggest this to anyone under the age of 7-8 years old, depending on the child), but it doesn't do so to the expense of older readers either. It's a perfect balance.
Thorn really comes into her own in this volume too. She's always been a good character and I've greatly enjoyed her character arc from normal country bumpkin, to reluctant hero/Chosen One, to a responsible young woman who bolsters the responsibility that comes with her role admirably. Her narrative arc is slightly tropey in some aspects, but I've grown so fond of these characters that I just didn't care. Anyway, Thorn is a serious badass in this volume.
Phoney also had a bit of a redemption. He doesn't REALLY change, but his performs one act of valour that initially looks like one of cowardice and made me forgive some of the stupidness he exhibited earlier on in the series. He still stays very much Phoney though, and Smith doesn't make him undergo a corny character transformation where he sees the error in his ways. As much as Phoney drove me crazy, I think this was a smart move on Smith's part -- having Phoney undergo a personal transformation and suddenly become this nice guy would have been trite.
The only critique I have is that I think the ending meandered a little bit. But just a TEENSY little bit. The stupid rat creatures getting the quiche at Christmas made me chuckle, so it wasn't BAD meandering, but meandering nonetheless. And the actual ending was so incredibly bittersweet... I was sad to see this story end, but it was a really good run and I'm really glad I read this series.Final Verdict:
I couldn't have asked for a better finale. It's full-on war in this volume and Smith managed to bridge the gap between his older and younger audiences: there's enough violence for it to feel like an actual siege, but not so much as to scare off the youngsters. Everyone showed a level of badassness in this volume too, which was awesome; Thorn was a personal favourite for me. The ending was really bittersweet; it was a satisfying ending, but I was sad that it had to come. Thankfully there are other Bone
adventures to be read! There's a prequel
(which isn't illustrated by Smith, but is written by him), and two novels
(which is a planned trilogy) that happen after the events of this series; they're not written by Smith, but there are illustrations by him in them. I think I'm missing something, but my point is that I have more to read in this universe and that makes me happy. :)