#ATBR2021 – Near the Bone by Christina Henry

Another hit for the #allthebookreviews duo with Christina Henry!

Thanks to Berkley for the free early copies in exchange for our honest reviews

NEAR THE BONE – Christina Henry (Released April 13th, 2021)

You can see our thoughts on her other books – LOST BOY (here), THE GIRL IN RED (here), THE GHOST TREE (here)

Book Description

A woman trapped on a mountain attempts to survive more than one kind of monster, in a dread-inducing horror novel from the national bestselling author Christina Henry.

Mattie can’t remember a time before she and William lived alone on a mountain together. She must never make him upset. But when Mattie discovers the mutilated body of a fox in the woods, she realizes that they’re not alone after all.

There’s something in the woods that wasn’t there before, something that makes strange cries in the night, something with sharp teeth and claws.

When three strangers appear on the mountaintop looking for the creature in the woods, Mattie knows their presence will anger William. Terrible things happen when William is angry.

Chandra’s Thoughts: 5/5 stars

I absolutely love Christina Henry.  This is my fourth book, and new favorite, by her.  I started this last night and finished this morning and I’m glad work took some of my attention after I was done so that I could sit with this for a bit.  

As with all books I intend to read, I steer clear from reading any reviews so that I’m not influenced in any way with how I may feel.  I can imagine that some people wanted more monster from this read and at first, I did too… but then I realize that there is PLENTY of monster throughout this read.  But let me go back a little bit.

Mattie is young, isolated and living in a constant state of fear.  Not from some new monster that seems to have come to her part of the mountain.  But from her asshole of a husband who repeatedly beats her and has a desperate need to “plant his seed” (uff, I hate this terminology) and get some sons, as God supposedly demands of him.  But this new creature that shows up, while absolutely terrifying and unlike anything they would ever encounter, could also be her salvation because now others have come and maybe… just maybe… she’ll be saved.

So look, I was hooked from the get go.  There’s something about this type of story that just sits on my heart.  I would’ve loved some more creature feature moments, but ultimately, I found myself ridiing right along with Mattie – suffering through her memories, hair prickled at the thought of either monster, hope for the potential escape.  Even at the end when I noticed the pages were thinning and the story was about to close, I wanted MORE.  But when I truly think of this, this isn’t so much about these monsters, but about Mattie and her character.  And that final scene when she looked back and saw those eyes.  Well, it got me.  And quite frankly, I was rooting for more than just her.  Well done, Henry.  

Yeah, somehow this got to me emotionally and I would recommend not going into this expecting this blood and gore creature horror novel… and instead let the suspense and foreboding get to you while putting yourself straight into Mattie’s thick longjohns and petticoats.  But don’t get me wrong, there’s still plenty of bloody goodness to suit you too.

My Thoughts: 5/5 stars

I have loved Christina Henry’s books ever since I picked up LOST BOY and she hasn’t disappointed me yet! The newest one, NEAR THE BONE, is a suspenseful and atmospheric read that has some great creature horror in it as well.

This book reminds us that not all monsters are creatures hiding in the woods, but the people around us. Mattie is a young woman living in a cabin on a mountain with her abusive and controlling husband. William is all the worst things you can imagine and this is the only life Mattie has ever known. However, when a new evil is found in the woods she has to wonder which monster is worse.

This new creature attracts strangers in search of it and Mattie fears what William could do to the intruders. With the appearance of these outsiders Mattie has the smallest glimmer of hope that she could find a way to escape her abusive husband. You just immediately feel for Mattie and the horrible situation she’s in and just have a seething hate for William and what he claims God is telling him to do.

If you’re hoping for only a creature horror read then you may be a tad disappointed, however this will have you on the edge of your seat. I won’t lie, I kept an eye on the treeline when I was letting the dogs out at night while reading this 😂 the atmosphere, the tension, the characters, the monsters, I loved it all! Christina Henry remains an auto-buy author for me!

2 thoughts on “#ATBR2021 – Near the Bone by Christina Henry

Add yours

  1. I only recently discovered Christina Henry and found ‘The Girl in Red’ pretty good, just lacking in suspense.. now this? This sounds killer.
    Fantastic review, thanks so much!

    Liked by 2 people

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