Apr 5, 2021

ARC Review--Near the Bone by Christina Henry


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.




I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.


TRIGGER WARNINGS: Abuse, sexual abuse, controlling spouse


Christina Henry’s Near the Bone was without a doubt one of the most chilling reads I’ve ever read! There was so much horror to this novel and not all of it was monsters! I mentioned the trigger warnings forefront this time because this book is deeply seeded into some scary things. The book itself is still amazing, but I wanted readers to be aware of the characters’ dark history in this one. It left me chilled and with a mess of emotions whirling about.

Mattie lives with her husband, William, in a remote forest on a mountain. It’s always just been the two of them but then one day when checking the traps for their food source, Mattie finds a chilling pair of footprints that are not like any animal she’s ever seen before. She and William discover a cave of horrors that belong to this creature and William becomes set on hunting down this monster once and for all.

Though while journeying through the forest they run into a new problem, intruders. A group of hikers are out and about conducting research and when they encounter William and Mattie it sends a spark of familiarity with one of them. Mattie has lived a secluded life for many years because her husband deemed it so, so seeing other people left her a little off-kilter.

All the while, Mattie is overcome with dreams of another life. One about a young girl with her family. A life of before…soon a new horror story is revealed to Mattie day by day as memories long forgotten resurface. This my friends was the truly scary part of the story. It left me chilled. Christina Henry is proven once again to be a master storyteller, even of the hard topics.

That William is an abusive d—husband has you rooting for Mattie with every little act of defiance that she commits. When the strangers soon turn to trying to help Mattie escape William, Mattie has to relearn what humanity is truly like.

Oh and all the while they are being hunted down by a monster they cannot see, one that moves so quick no one ever has the chance to scream. Blood trails and animal parts are left strewn about the forest in a macabre matter. This story is not for the faint of heart in more ways than one.

Near the Bone was a heart-racing read on many levels that it has a greater magnitude of “page-turner.” Still, you can’t help but turn the pages as fast as you can to see what the outcome will be. You hope for many things, but only a few will come true. That doesn’t make this a disappointing read in the least, it makes it one emotional gut punch to the feelings though.

In short, Near the Bone was one of the most soul-chilling reads I’ve ever read. It’s definitely a horror story to be sure and I stress again it is not for the faint of heart. The trigger warnings I mention only touch the surface. There is another one that I will say connects to a controlling spouse, I intentionally left out the actual word for spoiler purposes, but figured you might be able to gain an idea from the last part. This book was horrifying to say the least, but masterful storytelling and underneath it all, a story of hope…as most “monster” stories can be. That last piece of positivity was everything though.

Sadly, while I hoped for answers as to this mysterious monster stalking the woods that only seemed to appear recently, those were not so forthcoming. I can understand leaving it a mystery in some sense, but what baffled me was that this monster literally only came about recently, so it left me wondering where was it in those early years of Mattie and William’s lives in the forest? It was puzzling for sure and that we only catch glimpses of it had me even more intrigued…yet still utterly horrified! The mysterious monster was definitely a puzzle I would’ve liked solved, but I can mostly live with not knowing…except the bit about where it suddenly came from though! Lol.

If you’re looking for a positively terrifying read this year, Christina Henry’s Near the Bone is the read to go with! It’s so utterly bone-chilling, that you will never want to go camping again! I knew there was a reason why I didn’t like going into nature! This is a read not to be missed for fans of horror!



Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars


Near the Bone releases April 13, 2021






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