The Crown of Gilded Bones
Jennifer L. Armentrout
Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Let me paint a picture in your head… you find a new restaurant, and at that restaurant you try the most delicious meal you’ve had in a long time. Your days afterward are spent remembering every second of that meal, the taste, the satisfaction. You are obsessed with the memory of this meal, you dream about the flavors and you crave this meal like no other. Finally, you go back to the restaurant, ready to eat and enjoy the food you’ve been impatiently waiting for… but as you start to dig in, it tastes… off. It’s not up to par with your memory, and you’re… disappointed.
That is the most accurate way I can describe how The Crown of Gilded Bones felt to me, personally. Off. Don’t get me wrong, there were a few parts here and there which I enjoyed. I will be returning to the restaurant. However, I spent the majority of the book cringing… and not for the reasons you might think. If I felt the last book, A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire (waaaaaiiiit, you haven’t checked out my blog post for that book yet? Bestie, go read it now and get yourself up to speed… while you’re at it, read my FBAA post too), was too long, I REALLY felt this one was too long. Instead of substance, it was filled with fluff… and it just wasn’t what I was expecting. There’s nothing wrong with a little fluff, but there’s a time and place. Before I go any further, check yourself… if you haven’t read this series, proceed with caution at your own risk. TCOGB is the third book in this series, so naturally, everything is a spoiler from this point on.
I honestly think if you cut out each time Poppy mentioned how Cas never failed to amaze her (visa versa bleh), each time Cas called Poppy a murderous little creature, each time Cas called Poppy his wife, each time Poppy thought about herself and what she had been through, each time Poppy threatened to stab Cas, and each time Poppy and Cas got it on… this book would be a half of what it is now. I said what I said. So much felt repetitive, not just in this novel, but throughout the whole series so far. Their banter has lost its appeal, considering I felt so much of it has been reused throughout the first two books. I honestly didn’t appreciate their spicy scenes either… all of it felt so forced.
Personally, I felt that Poppy had more sexual tension with Kieran in this book than she did with Casteel (why did I feel like Casteel was never around even though he was with Poppy near constantly during the middle of the book?). He quickly became my favorite character in this book, and I wanted to see more of him. I’m convinced the Joining is never going to happen at this point… if it didn’t happen by now, its not going to happen. Once more, we were introduced to several new characters that were hard to keep straight in my head. And really, I thought all the dialogue felt forced as well… especially during the scene in Iliseeum when Poppy, Cas, and company arrive to wake Nyktos. When the characters spoke, I cringed… none of it felt natural. Now that I think about it, any dialogue in the second half of the book felt forced.
The confusion surrounding the gods bothered me as well… truly, if you asked me right now, after I’ve freshly finished the book, what the gods are, I could not for the life of me tell you anything. And I’m usually good with complex magic. If you asked me the difference between gods, deities, Primals, Revenants… you won’t get an answer. Tell me you guys felt the same…? Maybe it was me? But I truly don’t know what is going on at this point in the series, and that’s disappointing to me. I wish there was less fluff, more action to this series… because the action helps keep the narrative interesting. Otherwise, readers are left trying to sort through the irrelevance and important information gets lost in translation. I LOVED the first book because of the action, the mystery, the suspense, but it’s been slowly losing its appeal to me ever since as it has now been taken over by Poppy’s repetitive thoughts about Casteel.
Sorry, sorry… I’ll quit complaining now. Like I mentioned above, there were a couple parts that I enjoyed… mostly the fight scene during the very beginning, and Poppy’s conversation with Eloana at the very end. I felt like Poppy was back to being the baddie from book one that we fell in love with during both of those scenes… but during the rest of the story, I just couldn’t vibe with her thoughts like I did originally. Going forward, I hope to see more of this side of Poppy… and I’m hoping Casteel won’t show up for a little while longer so we get to see more of her badass god abilities. I really have no idea where the story is going from here, but fingers crossed it gets better!