The Boneless Mercies
A dark standalone YA fantasy about a band of mercenary girls in search of female glory.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.

The Boneless Mercies Details

TitleThe Boneless Mercies
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 2nd, 2018
PublisherFarrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
ISBN-139780374307066
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Retellings

The Boneless Mercies Review

  • Em (RunawayWithDreamthieves)
    January 1, 1970
    “a dark standalone YA fantasy about a band of mercenary girls in search of female glory”? EXCUSE ME IT IS MY GOD GIVEN BISEXUAL RIGHT TO HAVE THIS BOOK RIGHT THIS SECOND
  • C.G. Drews
    January 1, 1970
    This is so entirely atmospheric! It's the kind of book that you soak in, really, because it's here to absolutely enthral you with this gorgeously wrought world and deliciously described food...all centred around 4 badass girls who do "mercy" killings for the sick and dying. And, oh, for vengeance sometimes too because men suck. And OH yeah also some witches and some monsters. \_(ツ)_/ Basically they are badass assassins who are also actually kind of sweet.(Also I've only read Wink Poppy Midnight This is so entirely atmospheric! It's the kind of book that you soak in, really, because it's here to absolutely enthral you with this gorgeously wrought world and deliciously described food...all centred around 4 badass girls who do "mercy" killings for the sick and dying. And, oh, for vengeance sometimes too because men suck. And OH yeah also some witches and some monsters. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Basically they are badass assassins who are also actually kind of sweet.(Also I've only read Wink Poppy Midnight by this author, which was magical realism, so I WAS a little surprised this was epic fantasy. But in a good way!)I also really loved the Norse-inspired setting! YAY VIKINGS. We also have witches and magic and jarls and snow...so much snow everywhere. You totally get absorbed by the setting and how harsh and yet beautiful it is.So let's talk about our little band of Mercy killers, shall we?! I confess, big casts scare me a little and this hit us straight away with a group of 5....plus they meet SO many people along the way. I didn't get confused but I never really felt like I knew anyone? • Frey: She narrates and she's like the basic selfless Gryffindor. KILL ALL THE THINGS TO SAVE ALL THE PEOPLE. I admired her, but like...I didn't have my heart in my mouth at any point caring deeply for her? IDK.• Runa: She is the feisty one who has bitten and will bite again, just you watch. She's a bit contrary and I kinda loved her.• Ovie: She was quiet. That's all of it right there.• Juniper: OK OUR ACTUAL GORGEOUS SOFT SWEET TREASURE. She's a sea witch and actually the sweetest little thing. (Also my niece's name is Juniper?! SO I was doomed to love this sone.) She's the youngest and just ajkfldsa Juniper!!• Trigve: He's the sole boy in the group, so not a mercy killer, but they kind of just picked him up like a cute lost puppy and he follows them everywhere. He seemed to have a thing for Frey??? And also he is so so soft. I love books with soft boys.I have to admit the romance confused me. It...isn't? But I felt led on to believe on thing, but eh, it sort of flopped in a different fishy direction. (Also lowkey disappointed there was no sapphic rep here. I really was hoping for that.)It also feels like a peek through a window into a world you don't get to see the full scope of. Which is a style! I do appreciate it! It has this vast vast world and it is constantly throwing words at you, types of people, references different gods and countries and witches and wars and stories. And woahhhh mate. 0_0 I wish it had a map wow do I. I felt a bit lost with how BIG it was, but at the same time it felt so realistic. This is a full world, not just a few spatterings of a town and one or two people. (Also LOVED the Quicks! They felt like Robin Hood sort of people!)And it is full of witches and bones and sweet honeyed bread and curses and whippings and knives and axes and hangings and marshes and gold and triumph. Like it is literally a delicious feast for the eyes with the writing! It's so ethereal! I didn't really connect to the characters or felt I got to know them enough, is the only downside. AND THAT COVER THO. HOW GORGEOUS.
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  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
    January 1, 1970
    It was okay enough! Mel 🖤🐺🐾
  • Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
    January 1, 1970
    Four female mercenaries kicking butt and slaying monsters? I am in!
  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    This one just wasn't for me. :(
  • Susan Kennedy
    January 1, 1970
    I would give this one 4 solid stars. It was well written and I enjoyed the story. I also enjoyed the character development. I wasn't sure going in what this one would be like, but I was pleasantly surprised by the story and the characters. It was different and a bit dark, which I found pleasurable. This was a story full of adventure and with girls as the main characters. They were brave and strong and together they were a family even though they were as different as night and day. I enjoyed gett I would give this one 4 solid stars. It was well written and I enjoyed the story. I also enjoyed the character development. I wasn't sure going in what this one would be like, but I was pleasantly surprised by the story and the characters. It was different and a bit dark, which I found pleasurable. This was a story full of adventure and with girls as the main characters. They were brave and strong and together they were a family even though they were as different as night and day. I enjoyed getting to know each character and their histories. I felt the character development was well done and I grew more attached to them as their stories unfolded. I loved that they were all so different yet molded together into an incredible family circle. The author was great at developing these characters while keeping the story moving at a steady pace. The story was full of adventure and it never left you bored or waiting for more. It was always moving.This was really well done.
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    THE BONELESS MERCIES is a wonder, infused with the spare and melancholy magic of a heraldic ballad. It's the story of an all-women pack of paid mercy killers winding through a Norse-influenced fantasy world on their way to slaying the marauding Blue Vee Beast, thus earning fame, glory, and enough money to leave their old lives behind.But more than that it's about the world Tucholke creates, which sings with glimpses of mythology and history and plant lore and dead kings and lost goddesses and lo THE BONELESS MERCIES is a wonder, infused with the spare and melancholy magic of a heraldic ballad. It's the story of an all-women pack of paid mercy killers winding through a Norse-influenced fantasy world on their way to slaying the marauding Blue Vee Beast, thus earning fame, glory, and enough money to leave their old lives behind.But more than that it's about the world Tucholke creates, which sings with glimpses of mythology and history and plant lore and dead kings and lost goddesses and long-ago battles and people passed out of memory. It feels lived in and deeply magical. I LOVED it.
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  • TL
    January 1, 1970
    Characters: 4 starsWriting: 3 to 2.5 starsPlot 3 stars----What I loved:the atmosphere and the world the author built.The bond between the girls and Trigve.The Sea Witches home The mythology she creates, blending with some known ones.So-so's:I was interested enough to keep reading but at times I could feel my eyes glazing over and there were times I would look at the book and think Do I really want to pick this up .I did get bored and push myself through some of this... skim read some of it *shru Characters: 4 starsWriting: 3 to 2.5 starsPlot 3 stars----What I loved:the atmosphere and the world the author built.The bond between the girls and Trigve.The Sea Witches home The mythology she creates, blending with some known ones.So-so's:I was interested enough to keep reading but at times I could feel my eyes glazing over and there were times I would look at the book and think Do I really want to pick this up .I did get bored and push myself through some of this... skim read some of it *shrugs*Overall, a well done book but underwhelming for me.
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  • Moa
    January 1, 1970
    Why are people rating a book that's not out for another year?? Add it to your To Read list if you wanna read it, don't go skewing the ratings.
  • Dani
    January 1, 1970
    The thing that really struck me about this book was how effortlessly the author portrayed non-sexual relationships and closeness. Characters were bonded and demonstrated their affection with physicality but it never read as sexual and I really enjoyed that! When characters did pair off romantically, it was clearly a different kind of affection, but it didn't diminish the power of their friendships.They called this book a gender-switched Beowulf, but I think that sells the story a little short. S The thing that really struck me about this book was how effortlessly the author portrayed non-sexual relationships and closeness. Characters were bonded and demonstrated their affection with physicality but it never read as sexual and I really enjoyed that! When characters did pair off romantically, it was clearly a different kind of affection, but it didn't diminish the power of their friendships.They called this book a gender-switched Beowulf, but I think that sells the story a little short. Spoiler! (view spoiler)[The author did a really good job humanizing the Grendel character, as well showing that conflict and war is rarely black and white. (hide spoiler)] This is a great book for fans of fantasy YA who like realistic female warriors.
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  • Vicky Who Reads
    January 1, 1970
    4 starsI really enjoyed this, and it's not just because of the two gorgeous covers this book has.This is definitely one of the better fantasies I've read, and it incorporates a lot of different aspects that makes this book really really cool. Like, if I wanted street cred, I'd say I read this book.The premise is just so awesome. A genderbent Beowulf? Like hello there please come and let me read you. It's about a group of female assassins who do the work that men aren't willing to do (truth) and 4 starsI really enjoyed this, and it's not just because of the two gorgeous covers this book has.This is definitely one of the better fantasies I've read, and it incorporates a lot of different aspects that makes this book really really cool. Like, if I wanted street cred, I'd say I read this book.The premise is just so awesome. A genderbent Beowulf? Like hello there please come and let me read you. It's about a group of female assassins who do the work that men aren't willing to do (truth) and mercy kill the old and the sick. And then they decide to renounce this job and instead monster hunt for glory (yes girls you work it) which leads them across different lands.Plus, it has something that I know is like an super big trend now, but it's got "Vorse" people aspects which I assume is the author's Norse/Vikingish inspired group of people. But what makes this book superior to the other bland Viking books is that it incorporates more than just Vorse (there are Sea Witches and Quicks and Mercies and all other types of peoples) and they're not! all! white!So yay +1 for diversity and being creative and devising this wonderful magical world with an awesome premise.Tucholke is such a skilled writer. You can see in the way she weaves the plot and hints at certain occurrences later in the book that she knows how to write and craft a good plot and a complex magical world.The story was left off with a bunch of potential for a sequel (please be a sequel please be a sequel) but also resolved this book's storyline. I think this is definitely one of the best resolutions that I've read in a fantasy novel before.The characters' immediate needs were wrapped up really well, but the world still has certain issues brewing between groups of people that has sequel potential. I think the plot was wonderfully structured and am really hoping for a sequel.The only issue I really had with this book was the intensity, which ended up affecting a lot of the book for me. The ending was wonderfully tense and intense and it grew more and more fierce as we kept reading, until it slowed down after the climax.But the first 2/3 of the book felt kind of one-tonal to me, as if the intensity was exactly the same throughout. It was like they had these trials and different happenings along the way to kill the Blue Vee monster, but it felt like the story didn't really oscillate between more and less intense for things like fight scenes vs. wandering.Tucholke does a really good job in setting up this fantasy world's system, and it never felt like she was infodumping us, but rather was easing us into this world. I think this definitely could have contributed to why the book felt a little one-tonal for the majority.But that doesn't discount the quality of the writing too much, and this could definitely be just me. I read the first half-ish on a plane and kept getting distracted, so that's definitely a possibility as to why I felt like I wasn't really invested in something I should have loved tremendously.I wanted to fall fiercely in love with characters and ships, but I eventually realized that's not Tucholke's writing style. The biggest hint is that it's a whole girl gang and they're heading towards near certain deaths, and that Tucholke's not really setting everyone up for their perfect ship pairing (i.e. it's not like the entire girl gang is getting matched up with a significant other).Overall, I did really enjoy reading (especially the last third) and found this to be a very well-written and well-crafted novel. This might not be the book to bring you your next best ship, but it's well-paced, luscious, and a fantasy I think a lot of people will read.It may be somewhat untraditional for the genre (no giant sweeping romance), but will definitely appeal to people looking to dive into fantasy.Thank you so much to Hashtag Reads from Simon & Schuster UK and Fierce Reads @ BookCon from Macmillan for providing me with (two!) advance reader's copies in exchange for an honest review!Blog | Instagram | Twitter
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  • Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
    January 1, 1970
    This is a book about strong women and their friendships and ambitions and yes yes yes that’s what we need (RTC)I received a copy in exchange for an honest reviewThis review (when it comes lol) will also available on my blog
  • The Nerd Daily
    January 1, 1970
    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Holly Angus"I am a woman, wanderer, warrior. This is not the end of my story."The Boneless Mercies trade in the art of death. Killing the old, sick, and wounded, their mercy kills are hired from all over Vorseland. Frey, Ovie, Juniper, and Runa are the Mercy Killers. They each have their own troublesome tale of how they joined a trade that included killing the innocent and suffering. However, our protagonist Frey wishes for more, a bigger, more Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Holly Angus"I am a woman, wanderer, warrior. This is not the end of my story."The Boneless Mercies trade in the art of death. Killing the old, sick, and wounded, their mercy kills are hired from all over Vorseland. Frey, Ovie, Juniper, and Runa are the Mercy Killers. They each have their own troublesome tale of how they joined a trade that included killing the innocent and suffering. However, our protagonist Frey wishes for more, a bigger, more heroic life.When the Mercies hear of an unstoppable beast terrorising local villages, they decide this is their opportunity to defeat the beast and escape the death trade once and for all. The reward associated with the defeat of the beast will be enough gold to allow them to depart on their separate journeys, to find heroism in other lands. However, this beast is immortal, gigantic, and out for blood. So what makes the band of four female Mercies think that they can be the ones to destroy it and save the village? Hope. Hope is all they have.April Genevieve Tucholke writes an exhilarating story of female companionship, compassion, and strength as the Mercies, who are raised to expect the bare minimum, thinking that a warm bath is too much of a luxury, finds the true meaning of heroism and the destiny of their broken lives.Frey is a resilient young girl who hopes for a world with no more death and destruction, only compassion and bravery. Coming from a bloody childhood that left her family dead and her destiny to be a pleasurer in a Bliss House, Frey escapes to join the Boneless Mercies. However, she is always hoping for a better life, one with warrior deaths and freedom.Each and every character in this story gave the reader hope and love for their story. Tucholke wrote the cast in such a way that has the reader completely attached to their storyline and rooting for them from their reading nooks. Not one of the characters was unlikable, even the villains. You know you have found a good author when they make the reader feel sympathy for the villains!The world was well thought out and very picturesque, making the whole theme and tone of the novel very grim but whimsical with each village the Mercies stopped at on the way. I genuinely enjoyed every second of this book and devoured it in one sitting.However, I am curious about the future of this storyline. Originally it was branded as a standalone and says so in the blurb on Goodreads, however, the end of the novel tells a different tale. The ending wraps up nicely, but there are still questions left unanswered, perfect for a sequel, or maybe two. Another instalment in this series would be vital because without it the ending would be leaving the readers wanting more, and not in a good “I don’t want this to end way” but a “well, isn’t there supposed to be another book, where is it?” way. Sure hope the publisher and the author will figure this out soon because I am already anticipating more!!!
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  • Abbie (boneseasonofglass)
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come
  • Fiona
    January 1, 1970
    I've been reading much less YA over the last year than I used to. Thankfully though, there's some amazing YA novels coming out, and when I do read it I've been lucky enough to find absolute gems. That held true with The Boneless Mercies, a retelling of Beowulf set in a Vorse (Viking + Norse) setting of snow and blood and the absolute bond of those who had to find their family. Frey and her band of Mercies are a travelling group, dispensing mercy killings to those able to pay for the release. It' I've been reading much less YA over the last year than I used to. Thankfully though, there's some amazing YA novels coming out, and when I do read it I've been lucky enough to find absolute gems. That held true with The Boneless Mercies, a retelling of Beowulf set in a Vorse (Viking + Norse) setting of snow and blood and the absolute bond of those who had to find their family. Frey and her band of Mercies are a travelling group, dispensing mercy killings to those able to pay for the release. It's a job only held by orphaned teenage girls in this world, and even as the novel started it was clearly weighing on the group. So when they hear of a chance for fame and glory if they can relieve a Northern jarldom of it's monster problem, they're all for it - and into adventure they hurl themselves, head first.The setting itself is a mildly skewed version of our own history, with a touch of magic. Viking + Norse is a pretty good summary - we've got longboats, trolls, skinfights and seers. I actually felt like the book was at it's strongest when it wasn't trying to show just how Norse it was, but it's a first novel and sometimes you've just got to build a world. And as it let the dreaded infodump be avoided, I'll be forgiving. The real strength of the book for me was in the characters - the bonds between them were so well portrayed. The differing friendships between each of them were so skillfully done, and it really meant that we learned so much from each character just by seeing what they were like with each different person. Obviously, female friendship taking such a centre stage is always a plus, but this was just brilliantly handled.It's a very strong start to the series. And let me just emphasise - while it's the first in a series it is a stand alone story in it's own right, and thank you to the author because it's so important for other authors to see how to write a fantastic and complete story that still has the reader excited to go on to the next. I know I am.
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  • Hannah L (Reviewer)
    January 1, 1970
    A boring gender bent version of Beowulf, the Boneless Mercies is a tale of a depressed mercy killer named Frey and her group of friends. After killing a bunch of sick, depressed and weak people, they go to kill a monster... thats the story. A lot of death, a lot of darkness, yet no suspense. This is a first. As she and her team pursue a way out of killing the weak and suicidal (which is debatably a horrible thing to do, but the morality of this is never addressed, which could have been very dee A boring gender bent version of Beowulf, the Boneless Mercies is a tale of a depressed mercy killer named Frey and her group of friends. After killing a bunch of sick, depressed and weak people, they go to kill a monster... thats the story. A lot of death, a lot of darkness, yet no suspense. This is a first. As she and her team pursue a way out of killing the weak and suicidal (which is debatably a horrible thing to do, but the morality of this is never addressed, which could have been very deep and interesting. Looking at the duality of killing someone as an act of mercy would be a fascinating topic, but nope, its just brushed off and is ignored). The Boneless Mercies is just so borrrrring. It wasn't agonizingly bad, I just had to force myself to keep picking it up. This is the first time I have read a book containing this much violence with so much gore, yet at the same time be so freaking boring. There was very minimal fun Norse stuff in a gender bent story of the Norse classic of Beowulf. It was such a disappointment. Also, it felt nothing like the tale of Beowulf. I may not be an expert in the subject, but I at least know the gist of Beowulf, and i found barley any recognizable key parts of Beowulf in this book. I do not recommend this book. I give The Boneless Mercies the rating of TWO STARS OUT OF FIVE!!!Want more of me? Go to: http://thenotsopubliclibrary.blogspot.ca
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  • Jay G
    January 1, 1970
    Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfer...Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this in exchange for my honest review! 3.5/5 Stars Frey, Ovie, Juniper and Runa are Boneless Mercies who are hired to kill those who are suffering from injury or disease. These four fearless women quit the death trade in order to hunt and kill the Blue Vee Beast, a monster who has been terrorizing Jarl Roth and his villages for months. Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfer...Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this in exchange for my honest review! 3.5/5 Stars Frey, Ovie, Juniper and Runa are Boneless Mercies who are hired to kill those who are suffering from injury or disease. These four fearless women quit the death trade in order to hunt and kill the Blue Vee Beast, a monster who has been terrorizing Jarl Roth and his villages for months. If they are successful, they will earn the fame and fortune they've always wanted. Although the story is slow to progress, the ending battle scenes make up for the lack of action. The first half of the book really dragged on for me and I struggled to get into the story. The last quarter of the book was when things started to get interesting for me and I wanted to continue reading. The females in this story are bad-ass warriors who support each other no matter what. They are fearless and deadly and I love every one of them. I loved how it also portrayed platonic relationships between not only the females but also the males and females! I really enjoyed the different people in the story from the Sea Witches to the Mercies to the Quicks and how they all had different beliefs and ways of living. Overall, it was interesting, but nothing overly amazing in my opinion.
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  • Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
    January 1, 1970
    The first chapter of this book was phenomenal and I thought I was in for the ride of my life. And then... I'm not sure what happened, but the book dragged and dragged. I found myself skimming to get to the end. The main character was likely the best of the lot, but I didn't really feel drawn to the others. I liked the idea of exploring the issues and controversy of mercy killing, which brings up all sorts of ethical situations, but then the whole time the characters are all trying to get out of The first chapter of this book was phenomenal and I thought I was in for the ride of my life. And then... I'm not sure what happened, but the book dragged and dragged. I found myself skimming to get to the end. The main character was likely the best of the lot, but I didn't really feel drawn to the others. I liked the idea of exploring the issues and controversy of mercy killing, which brings up all sorts of ethical situations, but then the whole time the characters are all trying to get out of the business, so instead of being thought provoking, it just was disappointing. Overall, I'm not sure what the hype is about.
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  • Kirsti
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book!OK, I have never read Beowulf, nor as far as I know, any retellings or anything, so this aspect had no bearing on whether I liked the book or had anything to compare it to. For me, it was just SO slow (view spoiler)[ and I knew we were heading for a monster slaying at the end (hide spoiler)] but the slowness just threatened to drag me down with it long before. I loved all the girl friendships, the strong women taking charg Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book!OK, I have never read Beowulf, nor as far as I know, any retellings or anything, so this aspect had no bearing on whether I liked the book or had anything to compare it to. For me, it was just SO slow (view spoiler)[ and I knew we were heading for a monster slaying at the end (hide spoiler)] but the slowness just threatened to drag me down with it long before. I loved all the girl friendships, the strong women taking charge, the beautiful friendship of Frey and Trigve. I HATED the poetic writing, both the complete confusion when something wasn't explained and then weirdly the complete opposite, when something unnecessary was overly explained. Probably this is just a me thing (Probably more understanding if I had read Beowulf?...maybe) and this might not hit those who had. I'm here for the YA fantasy aspect, and well, I freely admit to being a cover snob and all editions of this are beautiful, so yeah.Not my cup of tea, but I can see this has wide appeal and hope people read it anyway. I didn't hate it after all, it just won the middle ground for me. Three stars.
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  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    genderbent. Beowulf. by Tucholke. cry.
  • Kath (Read Forevermore)
    January 1, 1970
    An arc of this book was sent to me by Macmillan (FSG) in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.rating: 4.5 / 5The Boneless Mercies is a beautiful story with incredible and fierce female characters, their friendships and ambitions. The writing is dark and gorgeous, and the author weaves an amazing (genderbent) retelling of the classic Norse poem, Beowulf. The plot was just phenomenal, and I couldn’t recommend this book more.Here are some highlights of what I really l An arc of this book was sent to me by Macmillan (FSG) in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.rating: 4.5 / 5The Boneless Mercies is a beautiful story with incredible and fierce female characters, their friendships and ambitions. The writing is dark and gorgeous, and the author weaves an amazing (genderbent) retelling of the classic Norse poem, Beowulf. The plot was just phenomenal, and I couldn’t recommend this book more.Here are some highlights of what I really loved about this book:— characters & world buildingAs I previously mentioned, the characters in this story are incredible and fierce, WOMEN WOMEN WOMEN. Heck yes! I love that the author managed to make every significant character, whether it be protagonist or antagonist, a WOMAN. Man, I felt so good reading this book. They are super interesting and I am DYING and hoping that the author will someday write an installment or a spinoff with the characters. As I read this book, I loved watching the characters begin to develop more and become more defined. I also loved the world this book is set in. It seems to be an alternate Norse reality called “Vorse.” I loved reading the touches the author made to this world and it was super interesting.— writingSLOW BURN MY DUDES. Beginning this book, I honestly felt like it was getting nowhere despite the beautiful writing. But thank goodness I persisted and kept reading because WOAH OH WOAH OH WOAH was this book good. The author just kills it and by the middle of this book, I could not put the book down (but I unfortunately had to because school). This book had me falling off my chair because I was leaning too far! IT. WAS. THAT. GOOD.This book comes out this October, and I HIGHLY recommend you pick this up when it comes out. And another reason to pick it up is that it is a standalone, so you won’t have to feel committed to another series *sighs in relief*
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  • Take Me Away To A Great Read
    January 1, 1970
    Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve TucholkePublisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)Release Date: October 2, 2018Rating: 4.5 StarsI would like to thank the publisher for providing me with an advance copy of Boneless Mercies for an honest review.Boneless Mercies was so empowering, these four young orphans, now Mercies learning to rely on one another and the skills they have been taught to survive, while still trying to remain human in a very inhuman world. It is a story filled with adventure, s Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve TucholkePublisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)Release Date: October 2, 2018Rating: 4.5 StarsI would like to thank the publisher for providing me with an advance copy of Boneless Mercies for an honest review.Boneless Mercies was so empowering, these four young orphans, now Mercies learning to rely on one another and the skills they have been taught to survive, while still trying to remain human in a very inhuman world. It is a story filled with adventure, strength, magic while learning to find love and acceptance in the most unexpected places. Through April’s vivid writing I could feel, hear, and taste every single one of the girls struggles. This is an exquisite twist on Beowulf.FULL REVIEW GO TO: https://takemeawaytoagreatread.com/20...
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  • ALEXA
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars! I thought this was such an interesting fantasy, and while I’m not so familiar with the original Beowulf poem, I enjoyed the author’s take on such a heroic journey with women as the central characters.
  • Emily A. Duncan
    January 1, 1970
    I love it I love it I love it
  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    You can also find my review here: https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress....I stalked the release of this novel because I wanted a copy so bad. I love April Genevieve Tucholke's writing and wanted her latest novel more than anything. Once again she created a dark fantasy tale with some really interesting characters. I will always read anything that she writes, her skill for storytelling is amazing. Her tales have dark sides to them and always include a great plot as well.The Boneless Mercies was r You can also find my review here: https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress....I stalked the release of this novel because I wanted a copy so bad. I love April Genevieve Tucholke's writing and wanted her latest novel more than anything. Once again she created a dark fantasy tale with some really interesting characters. I will always read anything that she writes, her skill for storytelling is amazing. Her tales have dark sides to them and always include a great plot as well.The Boneless Mercies was refreshing to read because for once a young adult novel focuses on friendships rather than romance. The deep non romantic relationships are the backbone of this novel. The main characters are a group of very close friends that are practically family, They are fierce, badass women who make a living dealing death. Each of these characters are unique and together they form an amazing group to read about.The plot was pretty awesome. The girls, or Boneless Mercies, travel to go fight a beast that is ravaging a nearby town. The novel is a gender flipped Beowulf retelling and it was done really well. All of the different people that they meet and the places that they stop on their journey really made the whole novel quite the adventure. Some of the places they stopped were so interesting I would have read a whole novel based on just one of the settings they came across. They met witches, a cult of young girls and even pig people. I found myself fully immersed in the adventure and also the Mercies brutal way of life very quickly. April Genevieve Tucholke knows how to make brutality beautiful which is part of the reason I loved her previous series, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.Overall I really enjoyed this one. I did have higher expectations though, it doesn't measure up to Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, but it was still pretty great. The writing didn't feel as gothic and poetic, but it was still brutal and dark, with characters fleshed out so well you feel as if you could touch them. I enjoyed the fact that it was focused on deep friendships rather than another unnecessary love interest, like so many YA titles lately. I would definitely suggest reading this retelling filled with hardcore women that kick ass. Why don't you check out my reviews of her previous novels, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and Between the Spark and the Burn, to see if you would enjoy them as well?
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  • Erin Arkin
    January 1, 1970
    As soon as I opened up The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke, I loved it. This story is about family and friendship and follows a group of girls (and one boy) who have made their way in a world that isn’t always a great place. This Boneless Mercies consists of Frey, Ovie, Juniper, and Runa and their work consists of dealing death. They are hired to kill quickly and quietly but they are all tired of surviving by killing others. When Frey hears about a monster destroying a town, she con As soon as I opened up The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke, I loved it. This story is about family and friendship and follows a group of girls (and one boy) who have made their way in a world that isn’t always a great place. This Boneless Mercies consists of Frey, Ovie, Juniper, and Runa and their work consists of dealing death. They are hired to kill quickly and quietly but they are all tired of surviving by killing others. When Frey hears about a monster destroying a town, she convinces everyone that this is their chance to make a name for themselves and get out of the death trade. Of course, they face a number of challenges along the way to their destination and things don’t always work out as planned but I thought each and every one of the risks they encountered helped me to see how strong they were together. The characters are really what made this story a good one for me. Frey is the unofficial leader of this group, but she doesn’t make the decisions. Each one of the girls are very different but they are still a cohesive group. That’s not to say that they got along all the time, but they worked together and respected each other’s thoughts and opinions. Learning each one of these character's stories and about what led them to the group of mercies was important. It helped me understand who they were as a person and I loved how Tucholke did this for each character at different parts of the story.The world that Tucholke developed to push these characters through their journey is harsh and dark but they still somehow seem to survive and their love for each other never wavers despite the things they all go through. The mercies live on the periphery of the rest of the world and don’t really belong. Everywhere they go, they are viewed as outsiders and they really only have each other. This is also a world where bravery and epic journeys become a part of the world’s histories and Frey wants to be remembered for something.I don’t want to say too much about the actual story here other than the fact that it has a strong cast of characters who all play a part in getting the mercies to through their journey. There is danger around every bend for this group and by working together and trusting in each other, they make it to where they want to be. This is my first book by Tucholke but will definitely not be my last. I couldn’t put this book down but also didn’t want the book to end because now I want to know what happens next for everyone. Consider adding this book to your “to read” shelf if you haven’t done so already and pick it up when you can.Thank you to the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
    January 1, 1970
    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 3.5*I dare you to tell me that you don't need a book with female warriors who are also awesome friends and are planning to save the world. Especially in this hellscape we find ourselves in every day, this book's power cannot be understated. Before they plan to save everyone, the mercies spend their time mercy-killing people who ask for their help. It's dark to be sure, but it is also a p You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 3.5*I dare you to tell me that you don't need a book with female warriors who are also awesome friends and are planning to save the world. Especially in this hellscape we find ourselves in every day, this book's power cannot be understated. Before they plan to save everyone, the mercies spend their time mercy-killing people who ask for their help. It's dark to be sure, but it is also a power in itself. Allowing people the right to choose how they want to live and die is pretty compelling stuff. Plus, it gives each of the women her own place in the world, her own agency.This is just a little synopsis of my thoughts, after all, so let me be super quick: The story starts out kind of slow- I won't lie that I was nervous. But it picks up a lot and explores a ton of relationship dynamics, so for me, it was absolutely worth it!  The world-building is quite interesting, and the female friendships (actually, the friendships in general) are fabulous. Plus let's be real: It's just plain badass.
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  • Cherry (_forevermint)
    January 1, 1970
    *I received a free copy of this book from the publisher though that in no way affects my thoughts or opinions* As much as I wanted to read Beowulf before this, I decided I would read it after instead if I felt like it. I think things actually worked out better this way because instead of comparing the two, I only sometimes wondered, "did this happen in the original?" and then moved on. My focus was really on this book and this book alone. Tbh, I was a little hesitant to start this book because I *I received a free copy of this book from the publisher though that in no way affects my thoughts or opinions* As much as I wanted to read Beowulf before this, I decided I would read it after instead if I felt like it. I think things actually worked out better this way because instead of comparing the two, I only sometimes wondered, "did this happen in the original?" and then moved on. My focus was really on this book and this book alone. Tbh, I was a little hesitant to start this book because I absolutely hated Wink Poppy Midnight by the author. While her writing in that book was lovely and all, I found all the characters to be annoying and easily detestable. I'm soooooooooo glad that wasn't the case for this book. I LOVED this one. Right of the bat, I fell in love with the storytelling and who the boneless mercies were and what they did. The pacing for this book was surprisingly slow, like really really slow. It was not the fast-paced, 'one adventure sequence after the next' story I was expecting and I was totally okay with that. I was happy to be along for the ride, meeting the various people the mercies came across and hearing the tales of their sagas. The concept of the boneless mercies, sea witches and the cut-queen all seemed really original and honestly the friendships between the mercies was just the best to read about. They were all so different but they bonded so well together. I LOVE BOOKS ABOUT FRIENDSHIPS. There are a few places in the story where I definitely wanted more but overall, I loved being in this world and I didn't want the story to end.
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  • Tiffany BookwormFiles
    January 1, 1970
    The Boneless MerciesImmediate thoughts:First, thank you to @fiercereads and @fsgbooks for this arc! I loved this book! A gender-bent retelling of a classic Norse tale, this was a delightful read with *gasp* like ZERO common tropes!All of the females in this book were inspired and fierce and full of heart. While the start was a little slow for me, I could see how the author was shaping the world and characters. It was beautifully written and sewn together. I really loved the powerful friendships The Boneless MerciesImmediate thoughts:First, thank you to @fiercereads and @fsgbooks for this arc! I loved this book! A gender-bent retelling of a classic Norse tale, this was a delightful read with *gasp* like ZERO common tropes!All of the females in this book were inspired and fierce and full of heart. While the start was a little slow for me, I could see how the author was shaping the world and characters. It was beautifully written and sewn together. I really loved the powerful friendships this group had. With no romance or deception, they were just bonded and true.I wish we’d gotten a little more at the end. More about the “villain” maybe. More about another villain who has gone missing temporarily. Just a little more. But overall, a wonderful and fun read with a lush world and tons of powerful women!
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  • belle ☆ミ (mybookcastle)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsthe premise was interesting, who doesn't want to read about badass female mercenaries? but it was difficult to form any sort of emotional connection with the characters, especially because they felt so abstract instead of a real person.-------------reviewThe premise of this book was so intriguing I had to add into my tbr. Four strong women who were travelling around became tired of the mercenary lifestyle. They want more, but of different things.The characters was unlike any other that 3.5 starsthe premise was interesting, who doesn't want to read about badass female mercenaries? but it was difficult to form any sort of emotional connection with the characters, especially because they felt so abstract instead of a real person.-------------reviewThe premise of this book was so intriguing I had to add into my tbr. Four strong women who were travelling around became tired of the mercenary lifestyle. They want more, but of different things.The characters was unlike any other that I’ve read about. Coupled with April Genevieve Tucholke’s unique writing style, the characters are sort of detached yet connected from the reader’s point of view. The girls are uniquely their own. Even though there’s four of them, they are easily distinguishable with their actions and personality. Some are quiet while others are more expressive. I don’t necessarily feel emotionally connected to them but their uniqueness drew me in.Although I did enjoy this book, I felt that the mythology/legends weren’t properly explained or explored in-depth. There were many tribes and different clans in this world but their history weren’t always further developed. It seemed surface and only served the purpose of adding background to the characters.With how the ending went, there might be a continuation to this book. If that happens, I’ll pick it up to see where things will go. I’m slightly satisfied with how it ended but the 5% of me felt bothered that there wasn’t a concrete ending.
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