Book Review: The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
October 2nd, 2018
288 Pages

Frey, Ovie, Juniper, and Runa are the Boneless Mercies—girls hired to kill quickly, quietly, and mercifully. But Frey is weary of the death trade and, having been raised on the heroic sagas of her people, dreams of a bigger life. 

When she hears of an unstoppable monster ravaging a nearby town, Frey decides this is the Mercies’ one chance out. The fame and fortune of bringing down such a beast would ensure a new future for all the Mercies. In fact, her actions may change the story arc of women everywhere.- Goodreads

Like all of April Genevieve Tucholke books, I get sucked in. Something about her writing style just gets me every time.

But like all of her books, by the halfway point and ending, I wonder why I do I keep doing this to myself. *sigh*

The idea of a all girl mercenary group wanting to create a name for themselves and wanting to live life on their terms is fantastic. What I was expecting was these bad ass girls, kicking ass in the most epic way possible because they are Mercies. They know how to kill and kill clean (if needed). But what I got was a lot of talking, a lot of internal thoughts and generally mixed emotions.

Frey, Ovie, Juniper, and Runa do not want to be Mercies anymore and after the death of their original leader, they make the decision to go for a big kill, get the reward and then go live their life as they please. My issue begins after they make this decision. Almost nothing happens. When they get to the grand mission, the author keeps you invested by dealing a predictable blow that actually didn’t change how I felt about Frey or the entire journey to get to the book.

The author decided to give some of everything as opposed to focusing on their main goal. To be free. Yes, it was mentioned every other paragraph but were they actually doing things to be free? No, they fighting for others for no money. Yes, this could be looked at as bumps on the road to get to the final goal but these bumps didn’t provide a bunch of substance when it boiled down to it. At the end of the book, did things change? Yes, a lot. But did it really matter? No. It did not matter at all and that was the frustrating part.

Throughout the novel there are things added to push it through. Every time, I wanted to put the book down, something comes along that stops Frey and her time and then I get sucked in. Yup. Because the author can build a world. She honestly should do a master class on it.

Overall, it wasn’t a terrible read. It was good but I genuinely have such an up and down relationship with this author that I can’t give this book more than 3. This book, although way better than Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, did not reach the expectation of crazy fights and girls taking what they want.

2.8 Pickles 

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